12 September 2001
Second early potatoes almost finished

GROWERS for Broadacre Farms have almost finished the second earlys crop.

Darryl Kenyon says, “Weve now done about of a third of the crop, with the rest being main crop. We should be fully into them in 10 days. A lot of crops have been burnt off this week.”

The company is based in Southport on Merseyside, but has growers all over the UK.

Conditions have been good over the last month. “We havent had a day off harvesting for rain, which is very unusual in the west of the country.”

The early crops have mainly been Morene, Shepody, Estima and salad varieties. Quality has been fairly good.

“Wet rot and blackleg have been a bit of a problem, but there has been no problem with blight.”

He says the yields on the second earlys crop have been below average. “The yields are poor due to the very hot June. The plants just shut down once the very high temperatures were reached.”

Also to blame have been the later planting dates. “We like to finish planting late April or Early May. This year it was late May and early June.”

He expects the main crop to yield well. “Were pleasantly pleased with the yields form Pentland Dell.”

He is more worried about the marketing side of the business. “The price is poor and its gone down terribly in the last week.

“But it is not so much a price issue as an orders issue. In the last three or four weeks there have been no orders, with packers or processors doing much trade. They are only taking contract crops at the most.”

He says orders are now starting to pick up more now but expects the market not to fully recover till after Christmas. “Overall we dont need a wet harvest like we had last year.”


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