UK potato growers worried about looming homegrown crop shortage

August 6, 2019

UK consumers may face a shortage of home-grown potatoes next year as stocks run out due to new storage rules. Experts fear a 12-week gap could open up in the UK supply in 2020 as a result of the loss of the main chemical used on stored spuds.

Suffolk farmers could play a critical role in helping to solve the problem, as an advice group for growers tries to work out potential solutions which can be used on-farm.


Farm levy payers' organisation, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), has chosen James Foskett Farms Ltd at Bromeswell, near Woodbridge, to be its next Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm East host, starting from September 1, 2019.


It takes over where the Elveden Estate - the previous host - leaves off in looking at how to help potato growers through the problems they face, and finding ways to produce the crop sustainably - and profitably.


One of the biggest problems facing potato farmers as they go into next year is the loss of a sprout suppressant called CIPC following a European Union-wide decision, which will have a knock-on effect on how long the crop can be stored.

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