14 September 2001
Just starting out on potatoes

DAVID NELSON, of Branstons in Lincoln says, “This week is the first real week of progress, theyre going at about 70% and we should see more next week.”

“Were about a week behind normal, and farmers are very conscious about burning off crops so harvesting is easier.

“Second earlies crops have made the size but it is going to be more difficult on the later Cara and Maris Piper to make the size.”

Their farmers in Somerset are doing better. “In two weeks they should have broken the back of the crop. Theyre going full steam into store.”

On the chalk, silt and limestone soils of Lincolnshire quality is OK, “but not stunning. There is more black scurf showing up, some background black dot and common scab is persistent.

“The black scurf and black dot are common problems associated with the light land and we have known about the scab for a while.

“Theyre generally at acceptable levels for packing.

“With late planting and early lifting there are generally less problems.”

He says there is plenty of volume on the market, with heavy and light land coming in together. Lifting conditions are generally good with a few wet patches.

Harvest in East Anglia could be late as they may delay burning plants off. This is to ensure chipping and processing varieties make the grade.


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