The total area planted with potatoes in Great Britain this season is up 4% on last year to 121,000 hectares, according AHDB Potatoes Market Intelligence Analysts.
However, despite the rise, friers are being warned it does not necessarily mean an increase in volume or a relaxation of prices as previous years have proven.
AHDB’s Amber Cottingham says: “A five-year average yield of 44.7 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) would see a production increase of 4%. This average includes 2012, which was an extremely low yielding year due to adverse weather. If we exclude 2012 from the average, it becomes 46.7t/ha, harvest at that rate would result in an 8% increase in potatoes on the market compared to the 2016/17 season.”
With a lot of growing time remaining in the season, Amber says nothing can be taken for granted at this stage, adding: “An increase in production of between 4% and 8% cent might sound sensible, but if this season sees another record high-yielding year such as 2015 then production could be as high as 5.9 million tonnes. This would be 13 per cent up on the previous season.
“Although if weather events change dramatically and yields take a nosedive then production could still be as low 4.5 million tonnes, a 14 per cent decrease in production on the previous season.”