By Olivia Cooper

SEED potato plantings are 8% down in Scotland, with England and Wales 5.6% below last year, according to the BPCs provisional figures.

The most notable changes are a 44% increase in Maris Peer, while plantings of Atlantic have halved in Scotland, and Charlotte area is 44% down in England and Wales.

Holland, one of the largest exporters of seed and ware potatoes worldwide, has also lowered plantings by 4% to 38,268ha (94,522ac).

Despite this, the trade do not expect a shortage of seed. “But prices will be more buoyant, which is a good thing for the seed industry, which has been really struggling,” says BPCs head of export and seed, Alasdair MacLennan.

“The favourite varieties are already well booked up this year,” he adds.

Seed crops in Scotland are being burnt down early, and are making good progress, although tuber numbers are down.

Export companies Agrolon, McCain and Signet PB are accompanying the BPC on a trade visit to Turkey and Lebanon this week.

They are meeting with importers to promote trade, as well as viewing the National listing trials that are being carried out there on 13 British varieties.

Mr MacLennan reported from Turkey that the meetings are going “very well so far”.