Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Potato news: Pleasant summer makes for good spud harvest

Potatoes
Potatoes

The Northern Ireland potato is back — but the chips are looking stumpy this winter.

That’s the message from potato processors, who are predicting a good harvest in a few weeks.

Last year was a complete washout thanks to a horrendous growing season and disastrous harvest-time. But this autumn, thanks to a warm summer with a mix of sunshine and rain, we’re on course for a good, although not a bumper, harvest, according to Lewis Cunningham, Wilson’s Country managing director.

“We’ve had heat, moisture, sunshine, so we’re getting growth which is good. But we haven’t got the daylight hours left — it’s getting dark at 9.30pm now,” he said.

“But it means we’re getting the numbers. We’re getting a lot of average size potatoes and the maincrop harvest is three weeks away.”

But baking potatoes and large potatoes suitable for chip shops could be in short supply — heralding a winter of stumpy chips.

“We are hoping for a good, dry, normal September and October to give a normal harvest. If we get that, it should be a reasonable harvest,” added Mr Wilson.

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