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Northern Ireland: Maincrop potatoes – two weeks ahead of schedule at Wilsons

Angus Wilson, CEO and Lewis Cunningham, Managing Director of Wilson's Country with some of their 'You Say Potato' range. Photograph: Columba O'HareThe first of this year’s maincrop potatoes will be dug during the second week of July, according to Wilson’s Country CEO Angus Wilson. “This is almost a fortnight ahead of the usual start date to the season,” he added. “As a result of the mild spring, crops were planted early and soil conditions have remained excellent. The combination of heat, sunlight and moisture that has characterised the weather over recent weeks has ensured that growth rates have been well above average.” Wilson also confirmed that Northern Ireland’s potato acreage is up 5% year-on-year, with similar increases also being recorded in ROI and GB market. “But the increase in acreage will not automatically translate into an equivalent increase in tonnage later in the year. The weather from now until harvest time will determine the final size of the 2017 crop. Yields are a factor in this equation as will be farmers’ ability to get potatoes actually lifted, should the weather turn bad. More

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