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Potato stocks high but quality mixed



A bumper crop of potatoes could be offset by quality issues, warns AHDB  Potatoes as it releases its latest figures.


AHDB Potatoes, which represents potato growers, says GB potato stocks are up 23% on the previous season with levels for the end of November sitting at an estimated at 3.6m tonnes. This is the highest level for this point in the season since 2011/12.

Amber Cottingham, analyst for AHDB Potatoes, said: “Last December we estimated the GB production figures to be up by around 15%, at 6.04m tonnes, so the increase in stocks held in store has been expected.”

The high production in the 2017 growing season was the result of a 5% increase in planted area to 122,779ha coupled with one of the highest average yields on record (49.3t/ha).

With much of the season still to come, high production figures suggest that it is unlikely that potato supply will be as tight as it was over the previous two seasons.

However, AHDB warns this is dependent on crop quality and reports suggest there have been quality issues this season due to poor conditions at harvest.

Amber adds: “This could have affected quality as crops went into store, which could impact wastage in store, and actually lead to a faster drawdown in stocks.”

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