Preparing for potatoes in Pembrokeshire… The Puffin Group finds dusty conditions at St Ismaels. Dry weather nationwide may be prompting fears of a drought, but it has allowed planting to proceed apace. By Apr 11, over 90,000ha (222,390 acres) were in the ground, compared with 78,000ha (192,738 acres) at the same time last year. Growers will be encouraged by PMB predictions that new potato imports could fall 50,000t this year. In Cyprus, for example, bad weather has hit yields while Italian plantings are down a quarter.