Potato harvest halted once again; prices stable

The potato harvest has come to a halt once again due to the season’s wet weather. This week, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) estimated that between 50% and 70% of potatoes had been lifted.

Farmers got a lot of work done in the early part of last week. However, progress is variable.

Some farmers in the north of the country are estimated to have up to 70% of their crops out of the ground. This is also reported to be the case in Co. Donegal where approximately 60-70% of crops are harvested.

Further south, progress is slower but, overall, most farmers look to have 50% of their crops out of the ground.

While yields aren’t reported to be breaking records they are good, but difficult harvest conditions are making digging hard and as the wet weather continues there is more risk of potatoes being left behind.

Looking across the water in the UK and it seems to be a similar story. Farmers in the south of England are struggling in wet conditions, while the harvest has progressed well in Scotland.

Potato prices

On the price front, there has been no change in recent weeks. A box of roosters is still retailing as low as €360/box and as high as €400/box, according to the IFA’s potato price report.

This is translating to €3.90/bag up to €4.60/bag for a 10kg bag of roosters. A 10kg bag of Kerr Pinks is selling from €5/bag to €5.50/bag.

Data source: IFA