Potato growers reluctant to open stores due to fears of damage to produce

The Potato Council has reported that growers across many parts of the country have been reluctant to open their stores.

Council representative Rob Burrows said growers had been particularly reluctant to open ambient facilities during the current cold spell and loading to processors in areas such as Scotland had been restricted because of the weather.

NFU Scotland representative Bob Carruth also confirmed that some potato producers north of the border are concerned about transporting their produce for packing and processing.

He told Grower: "Although they have been picked now and are in storage, the temperatures across Scotland are so severe that even transporting them for packing runs a risk of them becoming frosted."

Carruth added: "What is unusual about this cold spell is that it has been going on for three weeks now in areas that are not normally associated with heavy snowfall. Fife and Moray have had as much snow as anywhere else."

But Steve Barker, general manager at Albert Bartlett in Boston, Lincolnshire, told Grower that the firm had not been as badly affected as some other parts of the UK.

"To be honest, we have not had too many problems," he added. "Potatoes are in the cold store. The only issue is warming them up in the shed before we use them."


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