13 September 2001
Wet ground for Norfolk spud lifters
POTATO harvest has been going since the first week in August for B and C Potatoes near Alysham.
Director Tony Bambridge says, “We are about two weeks behind in harvesting. Weve got another 480 acres out of 770 acres and I cant see us finishing till November.”
“With 65mm of rain in September, which is average for the whole month, the weather has hampered our ability of lifting, and on Monday and Tuesday (10-11 September) we couldnt move.”
B and C Potatoes are members of Greenvale AP. “People who are not members of a potato co-op are having trouble with movement off the farm and are at the mercy of the market.
“Being a member seems to be paying dividends at the moment.”
He thinks the saturation in the market could take until Christmas to sort out.
“With many big farmers behind in harvesting, bad weather later on could mean a shortage in the quality potato market.”
He is pleased with quality harvested so far. “Its meeting the customer specification with good skin finish.
“The potatoes for processing have adequate size and dry matter. There are problems in the area, but we specialise in them and with a lot of effort get it right.”
They have lifted Maris Piper for pre-packing, Premier for processing, Bintje for special contract and some Estima.
“Most are going straight off from the field but we are now beginning to store some.”
“Yields are about 8-10% below what we would have wanted them to be at this stage.” Late planting dates are the most important factor in this.
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