Rebound in UK potato sowings to end, says Produce Investments

The bounce in UK potato plantings looks poised to go into reverse, Produce Investments said, as it unveiled results showing a recovery in profits, and an appetite for further expanding from its core business in the root crop. Angus Armstrong, the Produce Investments chief executive, told Agrimoney.com that his “gut feeling” for UK potato sowings for the 2018 harvest was that they would “show a slight decline”. That would follow sowings growth of 4% in both 2016 and 2017. Average UK prices of non-contracted potatoes have fallen back below £100 a tonne, standing at £94.01 a tonne this week – down 49% year on year, according to the AHDB bureau. “Because of decent returns, the agricultural mentality is to put more crop into the ground,” Mr Armstrong said, although adding that Produce Investments – owner of the Greenvale packing business, one of UK’s big three potato suppliers – had not itself followed this trend in its cropping operations. More