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Jersey Royal potato planting halted by rains

Planting Jersey Royal
February 12, 2014

Sustained heavy rain and poor weather conditions has put the planting of Jersey Royal potatoes on hold.

The crop, which was worth nearly £30m to the island in exports last year, depends on an early harvest to maintain its value.

Heavy rain has left fields far too wet for the sowing of seed potatoes.

William Church from the Jersey Royal Company said he expects there to be repercussions for farmers' profits later in the year.

"It has been a very wet couple of weeks, it has disrupted planting, we normally plant from the beginning of the year to the end of March," he said.

"The knock-on effect is that around the beginning of May, when we expect to have more potatoes exported, we will have to work with what we already have.

"We do have a couple of hundred staff standing around not doing much at the moment waiting for a full day of dry weather to dry out the fields so we can plant again."

He said it would put farmers behind schedule, but that they were able to get a number of royals planted throughout January.

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The Jersey Royal Company is a fully integrated produce company growing, grading, washing and packing Jersey Royal New Potatoes for UK retailers.