Potatoes variable in Shropshire

Shropshire grower Andrew Crow finished grain harvest a month ago at Cherrington Manor near Newport.

Eighty hectares (200acres) of Claire winter wheat was cut before the rain came, with yields 25% down on last year at 7.5t/ha (3t/acre).

“I’ll grow a new variety next year – something more up to date.”

Potato yields had generally been poor this year with 80ha (200acres) averaging 25t/ha (10t/acre). Premiere suffered the most in the dry weather, with lowest yields, he said.

Eight hectares (20acres) of Accord yielded well at 30t/ha (12t/acre). Half the 16ha (40acres) of Premiere were at a “mediocre” 35t/ha (14t/acre) on a contract farm and 12ha (30acres) of Wilja was overall very disappointing.

But he was very pleased with Maris Piper yielding over 50t/ha (20t/acre). “The Piper we got in at the end was a fantastic crop.”

Lower yields were put down to dry weather in the summer. “There was a period of eight weeks without any rain and we missed all the thunderstorms this side of Newport. We were irrigating every day non-stop for nine weeks. It was quite hard work.”

But Mr Crow said some of the crop came in above budget, and he was pleased prices were starting to rise.

“On the whole we will be better than last year. It has been a hard year and the weather has lowered yields, but the shortage has pushed the price up higher than expected.”

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Variety: Claire
• Area: 80ha (200acres)
• Yield: 7.5t/ha (3t/acre)

• Crop: Potatoes – Maris Piper
• Area: 44ha (110acres)
• Yield: over 50t/ha (20t/acre)

• Crop: Potatoes – Accord
• Area: 8ha (20acres)
• Yield: 30t/ha (12t/acre)

• Crop/Variety: Potatoes – Premiere
• Area: 16ha (40acres)
• Yield: 35t/ha (14t/acre)

See more