Potatoes escape industry decline
OUTPUT from every major agricultural product with the exception of potatoes declined between 1998 and 1999, notes Jimmy McClean, head of agricultural services at the Royal Bank of Scotland, in an analysis of the industry.
Taking the total income from farming indicators, figures used by the ministry of agriculture, he notes that costs have now been firmly squeezed on feedstuffs, fertilisers and seeds.
But there were costs outside the farmers control that outweighed the savings made through improved efficiency. These included fuel and oil prices and staff costs.
McClean makes a poor prognosis of future prospects. The weakness of the euro will translate to a further reduction in support payments over commodity prices.
Other factors expected to play a depressing part include inflationary pressures on overhead costs and rising interest rates.
- End of potato bonanza in sight?, FWi, 16 February 1999
- Soggy year means record spud prices, FWi, 24 December 1998
- Potato value up 100/t on 97, FWi, 06 August 1998
- The Scotsman 14/02/2000 page 20