By FWi staff

UNECONOMICAL harvest levels have now been reached In most crops still left to be harvested, reports the British Potato Council.

“After a weekend of severe cold weather followed by more rain, many growers with crops still in the ground have little confidence in being able to salvage anything harvested,” says the BPCs Rob Burrow.

“Few growers report that up to 50% is saleable, but latest reports are nearer 20%.”

A break in the weather allowed some lifting progress last week, and total clearance stands at 127,300ha, 88% of the total.

The market is yet to reflect the recent troubles encountered in the field, with prices easing for low and medium quality material, reports the BPC. Top quality values remain firm.

Substituting supplies with imports, and growers having to load poor and suspect crops are blamed for the market situation, says Mr Burrow.

In the south and Wales bulk and prices remain unchanged on the week. Bags have also stabilised with Maris Piper easing 10 to 120-130/t.

Bulk prices in eastern and western regions have eased by up to 45/t for top quality Edward, now worth 235/t. Reds have dropped 50 to 200/t for best.

Other bulk whites are unchanged. Bagged Edward and Maris Piper are unchanged, reds are slightly easier at 130/t.

In Scotland and the north of England bulk and bag values remain unchanged on the week.

The BPC weekly GB ex-farm average price dipped again this week by 1.83, to 117.14/t, excluding bags.