WET WEATHER means 3% of the national potato crop remains to be lifted, with1-2% of the crop already written off in Scotland, parts of eastern England and the midlands.

The amount of soil on tubers taken into store will now be key to how long crops keep, says British Potato Council expert Rob Burrow. “Many growers with late lifted crops will be looking to market this side of Christmas,” he says.

Quality problems include wet rot after blight and waterlogging, and greening. Recent frosts should not have affected quality, says Mr Burrow. “We generally need three to four nights of continuous frost to make a significant impact.”