Potato planting was delayed by roughly six weeks this year.


Rise in potato prices expected in 2024

AS much as 70 per cent of this year’s maincrop of potatoes have yet to be dug nationwide, and the harvest has been so bad that the price of a bag of potatoes will almost certainly have to increase in 2024 because of an upcoming shortage in supply.

Potato growers in the East and South East – in Wexford, Cork, Meath, Louth, etc – have been more affected than growers on this side of the Shannon. Drills have been left underwater in some counties after the wettest July on record. Rainfall was recorded on 28 of 31 days at the weather station in Cork Airport in October.

“The drill of clay is coming up with the harvester for some lads. It’s pure muck. It’s getting caught in the web and the harvester can’t let it back down. Machines are under awful pressure,” said Barry Stephens of Galway Potatoes.

“There’s lads in the East of the country with 200 or 250 acres that they haven’t started harvesting yet.

TH Body: “Growers will have to be compensated for losses. It costs between €3,000 and €3,500 to grow one acre of spuds. That doesn’t include costs like storage or paper bags or the harvest of it.

“Floods, flood damage, water damage and frost are some of the things that can affect a crop. Frost is the big one. Frost is highly likely this year. It can wipe out crops of potatoes. It has to get to minus six or minus seven to do big damage.”

Growers in the UK are also feeling the pain of a wet 2023, with well-known potato harvesting areas such as Lincolnshire in the North of England and Perthshire in Scotland hit by heavy rainfall in recent times...

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