Europe, UK, Ireland

Big issues in the Irish potato sector are coming home to roost this summer

Potato crops are suffering badly this yearRichard Hackett writes in Farm Ireland: I began last month’s article by quoting Warren Buffet and his explanation that systemic weaknesses become more apparent during times of trouble (or as he said, ‘only when the tide goes out do you discover who has been swimming naked’). The continuing drought conditions have provided further evidence of the systemic weaknesses in Irish agriculture, particularly our potato and vegetable industry. Potato crops are suffering badly this year. Yes, they are suffering from the drought, but the drought is also revealing how poorly structured the industry is. The dominance of one variety -Rooster – is a big impediment to developing the industry and making it more resilient to weather events. Rooster isn’t particularly drought prone, but its late maturity is going to be an issue this year. No other product line is dominated by one variety for so long. Cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, lettuce have a succession of varieties suitable for particular times of the year. Read more