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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 15 July, 2020

Ireland's potato crop is at risk because of bad weather conditions

The Irish Farmers’ Association has warned that much of the crop might not get harvested this year.

Image: Shutterstock/Elliotte Rusty Harold

POOR WEATHER IS posing a risk to Ireland’s potato crop, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has warned. 

The IFA said that only 30% of the potato crop has been harvested – down from 60% in a typical year.

Farmers say they have been hit by wet conditions, meaning more of the harvest could be lost this year. 

The national potato chairman of the IFA, Thomas McKeown, said that in the north-east of the country, farmers have experienced almost double the normal average rainfall in August and September. 

Potatoes remain a key Irish crop and is a staple of the Irish diet. The country’s average potato consumption is 85 kilograms per person, according to Teagasc figures

Potato production, typically at around 9,000 hectares, has fallen to 8,100 hectares this year. 

This is still higher than last year’s low of 7,900 hectares. 

The organisation is also warning that many winter cereals haven’t been planted yet – less than 20% of the normal area has been planted due in part to the lack of a “significant weather window”. 

The IFA says that it could be difficult for farmers to comply with Department of Agriculture rules over the use of nitrates.

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