Two weeks behind with spuds

12 September 2001

Two weeks behind with spuds

ROBERT SMITH, who farms at Duxford in Cambridgeshire, is up to two weeks behind in harvesting potatoes.

“Its going very steadily. Im frustrated with slow skin set and crops finishing and havent burnt them all off yet. It was not helped by the late planting dates.”

Harvesting was started 10 days ago. Late second earlys crop Estima are yielding well at 49t/ha (20t/acre), but main crop King Edward “are a bit light” at 37t/ha (15t/acre). Some Charlotte were grown for smalls.

Much of the crop is being moved off the farm, having been sold forward. “The flooded market was bound to happen with late planted crops all coming together at the same time.”

There are 190ha (469ha) of potatoes to harvest and he thinks harvest will go on until the third week of October, if the weather holds.

“Ive been pleased with the quality so far. Theres a lot of scab around, but we seemed to have avoided it by irrigating at the right time.”

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