Potato Lifting Progress

Use our interactive tool below to discover lifting progress across Great Britain. You can also select regional detail to see the latest update for lifting in your local area. Progress is reported against total area of surveyed regions, including earlies but excluding seed.

Overview

As of WE22 October, 70% of the GB potato area (excluding seed) had been lifted. Following a sustained period of heavy rain in late September, the soils moved from being too dry to too wet in just a few days. The unsettled weather persisted throughout early and mid-October resulting in challenges to potato lifting, especially for those on heavier land. Where weather and ground conditions allowed, lifting progress was steady and growers on well-draining soils cleared good areas.

On heavier soils and in wetter regions lifting was stop-start, with only small areas cleared at any one time. Access to the field with large machinery was the main limiting factor. There are reports of crops in the North in standing water that have been written off due to the inability to access the field. Despite the challenges thrown at growers in the first part of October, the rate of progress increased from that seen in late September. Improved conditions in WE22 October saw the progress rate further extend, with more fields becoming accessible and easier to work.

Quality has been variable over the lifting period. The main issues have arisen from crops that have been in standing water or have been challenging to lift. Above average levels of black leg and associated rots are reported on particularly saturated soils. 

Concerns over storage issues are prevalent across all regions. Higher soil loading on crops going into store is slowing the drying process and reducing airflow through the crops. There are also increasing reports of rots in lifted crops, which combined with wet crops going into store increase the risk of rots spreading. At the moment there are no widespread reports of storage issues, but crops are only just being loaded.

Click here to see the latest Lifting Report in detail