The 2016 British potato crop is expected to be down five per cent on last year at 5.22 million tonnes, AHDB Potatoes has said. Average yields are also forecasted to have slipped eight percent to just under 45 tonnes per hectare, while planted area is up four per cent to 116,000 hectares. Supply could be even tighter than last year, the body said, as this season’s overall drop in production follows last year’s already low yields.
This year’s crop is the UK’s fourth-smallest potato crop since 1960, AHDB said, with many anecdotal reports of wastage, particularly due to growth cracks and greening, which have combined with lower gross yields to lead to the smaller crop. However, results are affected by yield performance by region. For instance, Scottish yields are down by less than English yields, while the packing and seed sectors in Scotland have seen stable production levels.