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Jersey Royal planting on track after wet weather hinders progress

Publication Date: 
4 March 2016

Amber Cottingham, Analyst, amber.cottingham@ahdb.org.uk, 02476 478 698

The Jersey Royal Company (JRC) reported that a good start was made to the outdoor planting, with planting in earnest in the New Year. Although weather conditions were mixed, ground conditions on the South East slopes (known as côtils) were generally good, as they are free draining, and drying winds enabled progress to be made. Flatter land conditions, however, were wet. By the start of February, all of the early slopes were planted and progress continued to be made on flatter land, despite periods of wet weather.  

Into February persistent rain interrupted planting for a couple of weeks. However, by the end of February, JRC reported that a six day dry spell allowed planting to catch up, now with over half of the area for export planted. Crops have been developing well under plastic, helped by the mild conditions earlier in the year.

Figure 1: Early crop development coming on well

All of JRC’s indoor crop was planted in glasshouses before Christmas. Crop development was on schedule, with lifting started in the second week of February, about a week earlier than usual. The first potatoes lifted were packed into 6kg units and sent off to wholesale markets in London where they often fetch a premium. At the start, the indoor crop is lifted three times a week to ensure a regular supply. JRC report tuber numbers of the early planted indoor crop to be slightly down, but quality is reported to be good. Yields of the indoor crop planted slightly later look to be improving. The Jersey Royal Company are confident of a successful season ahead.

Figure 2: One of the first boxes of this year’s indoor crop.

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