Irlanda: Overall, crops are looking good and yields should be boosted
Dry warmer weather last week was welcomed to alleviate the poor fieldwork conditions in some parts of Ireland. Overall crops are looking good and yields should be boosted by the recent warm spell.
Lifting conditions have improved this week following the dry spell. Lifting of queens resumed in most parts however growers are reminded to be patient when lifting queens to ensure top quality produce is dug.
According to an IFA survey of the early variety potato acreage planted, total acreage is up about 4/5% on last year. Planted acreage of Home Guard has declined as more growers appear to switch to Premiere and Queens. It is estimated that about 20% of the total early crop has been harvested at the end of June.
Extremely heavy rainfall and excessive heat in Eastern, Central and Southern Europe have caused concern that the crop may not yield as well as initially anticipated. Drought concerns have lessened in France but there are now reports of hailstone damage to crops.
Generally, the season appears to be running a week ahead of schedule in most parts of Europe and at least average yields are anticipated.