This year, Jersey Potato exporters were able to negotiate a better price from UK supermarkets this, which helped cover their rising costs somewhat better. However, blight and poor weather meant it was still a difficult season.
Jersey Farmers Union president Peter Le Maistre said it was another challenging year for the sector, particularly in the final stages of planting, when a long run of good weather was replaced by rain in late March. "We got off to a good start with a fair spell of weather in February and March. We made good speed but the last 20% of seed took a long time to go in. Lifting went reasonably well, but we had a lot of rain around the time of the Coronation and Liberation breaks, and all growers were affected by blight, which came in the late-planted crop."
"We spray less than we used to, but sometimes the weather catches you out. We would have been pleased to have the extra potatoes because the demand was there."
He continued: "Yields from mid-June were disappointing and that was due to damage caused by the persistent easterly winds in April and May. The overall impression from growers was that this season was better than the one before but not a great one, because of those yields at the end."