Grower Wilf de Gruchy makes a head start with Jersey potatoes, a week ahead of usual. A big crop is expected, but the British Potato Council believes supermarkets, which buy 80% of Jerseys crop, will shift 12,000-15,000t by Aprils end. A quicker lift will reduce output to 50,000t, 14% below last year. That bodes well for mainland earlies in early May, as does poorer quality old crop. End of Feb stocks, at 2.52m tonnes, were slightly down on last year. Average price is now £88.48/t, 58% higher.