Update fresh potato harvest 2019/20.
The NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) have come up with a new harvest estimation for consumption potatoes in the main 5 potato growing countries (F-B-NL-D-UK). 

If all potatoes will be lifted, some 26,9 millions tons will be harvested. 

This is 10% more than last season and 1,8% more than the past 5-years average. The years 2014 and 2017 gave harvest results which were much higher. 

The abovementioned figures have to be placed in a correct context : 
In the “big 5” the total acreage planted increased by 9% when compared to the past 5-years average. However, this season’s yield is much lower (6,8% down the 5-years average). Add to this the fact that Poland has known one of the worst harvests in years and takes a lot of volume in the “big 5” in order to cope with shortages on the fresh market and in processing industry. 

In simple words : the increase in planted area has created only a marginal increase in output in volume of fresh potatoes. When linked to the increase in processing capacity in the past 5 years, it means a serious shortage and this could be felt in the months to come. 

Situation on the fields : 
The main season was started with a serious delay, due to the hot and dry months of July and August. On October 20th still some 60% of all fresh consumption potatoes in Belgium and Holland were still in the ground! Continuous rainfall hindered normal harvesting activities in the first weeks of October. Since beginning of this week (October 28th) some areas have noted the first night frost. 
Quality is fine but irregular and special attention and monitoring will be needed as a lot of potatoes have been harvested and stored in wet conditions, which could cause damage (bacteriae and fungi) at a later stage in the warehouses. 

An interesting table of comparison is added to this article and should be interpreted in the light of what is written above. 

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