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Belgian potato producers are relieved as weather turns

Belgian potato producers are relieved

Belgian potato producers are relieved. At last the weather conditions were in their favour and they could start the harvest

October 25, 2016
Finally, potato growers in Belgium can relax a bit.

For a moment, it seemed as if the doomsday scenario of potato growers in Belgium was coming true, but this weekend potato producers can finally feel relieved.

Bart Nemegheer of the Aardappelhoeve, (laughing):

“At last the weather conditions were in our favour and we could start the harvest. We were beginning to wonder if it would ever rain again. Although, I think it has rained enough for now.”

“The best weather for the harvest is cloudy but not too cold.”

Harvest is still possible

Bart Nemegheer:

“Everyone has immediately started harvesting with all the manpower they can get. Everything has to get out of the ground, preferably in record time. The temperatures are all right now and there is not too much rain, so everything is good.”

“The weather should be dry for the harvest, because that is not possible when it is raining. If the temperature remains fine, it seems as if we can still get a large volume out of the soil. It is quite logical that the producers were afraid. The chance to actually harvest the potatoes got smaller and smaller and every day the weather remained dry. Besides, near the end of October, there is a much larger chance of night frost.”

“Many producers had sleepless nights; there is a lot of money in the ground.”

High prices

Bart Nemegheer:

“The prices are high and for now it will remain that way.”

“There is a lot of pressure on the short-term market and there is no good reason why the prices should be decreasing. The yield per hectare is not very high and there is still not enough volume on the market.”

“There is hardly any free trade and the producers that supply the industry have a lot of trouble fulfilling their contracts. The prices are about 200 euros per ton.”
And, for those people who think that the potato producers will be earning a lot of money: Bart Nemegheer:

“That is definitely not the case. The yield per hectare is lower and during this season, more money has been used for the protection of the plants because of the weather conditions. The price is deservedly on a high level.”
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De Aardappelhoeve is a family business specialized in the growing, washing and packing of table potatoes.
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