5 January 2001

Frost damage adds to spud angst

FROST damage fears have been added to potato growers concerns following the Christmas cold snap, says the British Potato Council.

Market information manager Rob Burrow says 15-20% tuber frost damage is reported in crops still to lift in the north and crops in ambient stores could also be affected.

"The chill factor in ambient stores was quite high. Monitoring is essential." If damage is detected the crop should be moved quickly to prevent rots spreading, he advises.

However, for the 19,000ha still to be lifted in England, Scotland and Wales there is little growers can do until land dries, he concedes.