Early spud progress is under way…

8 May 1998

Early spud progress is under way…

EARLY potato lifting has started in earnest in Cornwall, with 100t taken on the bank holiday weekend and a similar daily volume expected during the week, reports Bob Burrow of the British Potato Council.

Despite a token start on Apr 10, a week earlier than last year, tonnage lifted to date is down. "By May 2 last year, 58ha had been lifted. This years area is certainly not at that level." Pembs had lifted 30t by Tuesday, but Suffolk had not started. He expects prices to remain firm to the middle or end of July.

Firmer longer

"The later maincrops mean prices will remain firm longer than normal," says Greenvale Produce account manager Andrew Storey.

He reports average farm prices of £660/t (30p/lb) and yields of 10t/ha (4t/acre), with growers moving into Minerva and Rocket this week.

Mr Burrow warns growers going for extra yield. "Tuber numbers are reported to be low. Growers should beware of crops growing too big for the early market."

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