The NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) group says that its forecast for 2019’s potato harvest (based mostly on the results of trial digs) is between 27 and 27.3 million tonnes for the five leading potato producing countries (Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Great Britain). This is three per cent more than the five year average, and represents a 12 per cent increase on last year’s figure, although with most crops still in the field, NEPG stresses this is an estimate.
According to NEPG, a larger area is the main driver for the increase in production, rather than higher yields. All NEPG countries, except Great Britain planted more potatoes, with France showing an area 14 per cent higher than its five year average area. The average yield across the five countries is currently estimated at 44.7 t/ha, compared with an average of 47.1 t/ha over the last five years and 40.9 t/ha last year.
Crop development is also said to be later than usual in many areas, and NEPG says that its crop estimates are not currently reflected by the market. The group “expects that the price could increase over the upcoming weeks on the continent,” due to higher demand from processors, with Eastern European countries reporting much lower yields.
Picture caption: NEPG forecast this year’s crop from the five member countries at 27 million tonnes
Photo source: Flickr / David Wright