Potato prices remain unchanged this week and there is more action in the fields as dry weather has helped to improve harvesting conditions according to this week’s Potato Market Update from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

This week’s good weather is allowing for faster progress and it is expected that the final crops of Queens will be lifted.

However, many farmers are still finding harvesting conditions difficult in some areas and are behind schedule as a result according to the IFA.

Demand remains strong in the retail trade and there is uncertainty around the food service sector according to the report.

This week’s average potato prices reported to the IFA are outlined below. They remain unchanged from last week.

Average ex-farm potato prices reported to the IFA on September 16:
  • Roosters box (new season) – €425;
  • Roosters 10kg (new season) – €5.50;
  • New-season Queens 10kg bag – €6;
  • New-season Kerr Pinks – €6.50.

In the UK, demand is reported to be “subdued” this week as stricter lock down measures may be imposed in the country. Purchasers are waiting for more information before placing orders.

The first EU-27 production estimate puts the crop at 54.8 million tonnes. This is approximately 3.7 million tonnes higher that 2019. A total of 1.655 million hectares are estimated to have been planted – 26,000ha more than last year.

The report also stated that total potato plantings in the EU-27 are approximately 102,000ha higher than they were five years ago.