Spud Watch: Slow start to harvest but quality OK

The potato harvest is under way in the north of Scotland – a slightly later start than the last couple of years, but conditions are currently good.


Andy Steven Agrovista (Scotland)

The spell of dry weather through August and into September has slowed bulking rates considerably and it’s been difficult to get ware crops up to size.

Seed crops are also looking a bit lighter with lower tuber numbers, so all in all, there will not be any record yields this year.

Quality overall is good with only a low level of powdery scab in some crops. There are also a few soft rots around as a result of the wet weather in July and the challenge will be to get them out on the harvester.

The other challenge is going to be getting crop temperatures down as they go into store. Currently soil and air temperatures have been high and this combined with higher bacterial loadings after a wet summer could make long-term storage challenging if crops are not handled carefully.

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