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2016 GB potato production estimated down 5% at 5.22Mt

Publication Date: 
25 November 2016

AHDB Potatoes' first provisional estimate of total production[i] in Great Britain for the 2016 crop year is 5.22 million tonnes[ii], down 5% from 2015. Average yields[iii] for GB are estimated at just under 45 tonnes/ha, down 8% on last year.

This article also restates the planted area[iv] estimate for 2016 at just over 116,000ha, up 4% on last year.

This year’s crop is the GB’s fourth-smallest potato crop on records going back to 1960. Lower gross yields have led to the smaller crop, and come alongside many anecdotal reports of wastage, particularly due to growth cracks and greening.

However, the picture differs by market sector and is partially related to yield performance by region. For instance, Scottish yields are down less year-on-year compared to English yields and those sectors that Scotland specialises in (packing and seed) have seen production levels supported somewhat. Nonetheless, this season’s overall drop in production comes following on from last year’s already low level, when tightness in supplies became evident later on in the season. This indicates that supply this season could be even tighter in many market sectors.

Note that the production estimate is based on information from 400 sample crops, with a sample area of 3,677 ha (3.3% of total area).


For more information contact Arthur Marshall at or 02476 478 956


i. Total Production is the total harvested volume of the GB crop measured in metric tonnes. It excludes field leavings and material graded out prior to storage or sale.

ii. The statistical confidence interval is ±2.5%, indicating that there is a 95% probability that, based on this sample, the true GB total production figure is within the range 5.08 to 5.35 million tonnes.

iii. Potato yields are net of crop losses and on-farm grading waste. Yields are estimated from the Grower Panel, which is a stratified random sample of 498 crops from growers. For this report, data from a sub-sample of 400 crops was available. The estimate for net yield has confidence limits of +/- 2.5%. Confidence limits give the range around the sample mean within which there is a 95% probability that the true mean lies.

iv. This area estimate includes all potato planting in GB and is made up of both AHDB registered and unregistered area. It is based on a sample of 89% of registered growers. The area estimate has confidence limits of +/- 0.5%. The figure for 2015 has also been updated slightly to 112,000ha, following inclusion of additional data from growers.

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