Europe, UK, Ireland

The drought issue: Potato growers in Ireland facing unprecedented sprouting problem

The consequences of the extreme temperatures and moisture deficits experienced earlier in the year have become evident this week as significant areas of potato crops are now sprouting. Substantial stress was placed on potato crops during the hot weather, which limited both canopy development and tuber bulking. With the onset of cooler, wetter conditions, daughter tubers have now broken dormancy and developed sprouts as they themselves switch to reproductive mode. Sprouted tubers have been discovered in fields across the country, stretching from Cork to Donegal. Every variety, including Roosters, Queens, Kerr’s Pinks, Maris Piper and Golden Wonder, are being affected. In severe cases, sprouts have elongated to six inches or more and are now developing granddaughter tubers, a process known as chain tuberisation. Read more