In light of the coronavirus outbreak reaching the UK in January 2020 there has been significant development, ultimately changing the way the potato industry has been functioning. At first, the changes were slow but once the government started enforcing stricter guidelines things quickly changed.
As we enter February, lifting is still ongoing across GB as growers attempt to salvage crops still left in the ground. The potatoes that are coming out are often of questionable quality and quick movement is a priority given the risks of breakdown.
October has brought wide-spread rainfall causing problems for maincrop lifting for much of the country. Although there has been problems with off-field supply, demand has remained fairly steady for free-buy material.
Earlier in the season we looked set for a decent sized crop to be met with lacklustre demand. However, the adverse weather conditions during lifting has meant that the outlook for this season has taken a U-turn.
Earlier this month, we released the first provisional estimate of total production in Great Britain for the 2017 crop, showing production up 15.2% [i] on the year at 6.04Mt, the highest level since 2011.