AHDB Potatoes reports that, ‘The first potato area estimate from the North-Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) region suggests a possible increase of 3.6% compared with last season.’
According to the report, the increase would have been even larger, but was curtailed due to the restricted availability of certified seed resulting from lower crop yields last year. Most of the increase in planting has been driven by continued demand from the European processing industry.
‘It is important to note is that the GB proportion of the 2017 area estimate is based on an historical average. The NEPG area estimate is therefore likely to change as more information becomes available,’ added AHDB Potatoes. In order to foresee potential production possibilities for the NEPG region, AHDB has calculated different scenarios based on the 572,000 ha estimate. These range from 25.19 million tonnes based on historic low yields of 44 t/ha, to 29.83 million tonnes based on historic highs.
AHDB analysis suggests that if the current area estimate is realised, production is likely to increase across the NEPG area, even if the yields achieved are similar to the lows of 2012, which was an usually low yielding year. Conditions will determine final planting figures, although many countries are reported to have had ‘ideal’ conditions and made good starts.
Photo Caption: Graph showing historic and predicted planting areas
Photo Credit: AHDB & NEPG