Preparations for maincrop harvest gaining pace.

29th August 2000

The typical summer weather continued over the Bank Holiday, with sunny spells interrupted by sharp periods of heavy rain in many regions.

But preparations for the maincrop harvest and storage are gaining pace, with harvesting last week only slightly down on the previous week.

Ground clearance is still ahead of last year. Last Friday (August 26) total clearance was 17,750ha compared with 16,162ha in 1999.

In East Anglia and Lincolnshire bulk grade 1 King Edwards are fetching 240-250/t. Other red and white samples are worth 150-220/t, loose skin produce mainly 120/t up to 145/t for best. Salads are fetching 120-160/t up to 250/t for best Charlotte. Bag trade is slow, mainly 90-140/t.

In the south, Midlands and Wales bulk samples are 130-190/t depending on baker content, with reds fetching 230/t for best. Salads are worth 200-250/t with loose skin samples fetching 130-140t. Bags mainly 100-120/t up to 150/t for best chipping Piper. Non chipping varieties are fetching 80-120/t with the odd 140/t.

In the North, bulk whites are fetching up to 190/t for high baker content, up to 250/t in the north west. Bag whites are mainly 110-125/t up to 130/t for top Piper, 160/t for washed Dundrod.

In Scotland bulk semi-set material is worth 90-130/t up to 180/t for high baker content. Top Piper and Desiree are fetching 200/t. Bags are mainly 100-120/t up to 180/t at local sales. Salad samples are worth 180-240/t.

The BPC weekly GB ex farm average remained fairly stable with a 1.70/t dip last week to 125.49 (excluding bags). This compares with 76.70/t last year.

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