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Jersey Royals: Hopes for a good season as planting gets under way

The Island’s potato growers are making the most of almost ideal planting conditions to get the 2019 crop into the ground ready to harvest from early spring.

This time last year they were facing severe losses as the worst weather conditions in four decades put planting back by a month.

Jersey Farmers Union president Peter Le Maistre said: ‘The weather was a bit more unsettled last week, and we had a cold night from Saturday to Sunday morning, but I don’t think any damage was done, as only a handful of potatoes are beginning to show.’

Persistent rainfall over the winter of 2017 and 2018, and severe frosts from late February and March last year – when the Beast from the East hit the British Isles – had a devastating effect on farmers. Sub-zero temperatures wiped out much of the very early crop while waterlogged fields set planting back by a month.

The Island’s biggest potato grower, The Jersey Royal Company, expects to plant 120 million seed potatoes in a combined area of around 8,000 vergées this year.

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