The UK Potato Council's provisional estimate of total production for the 2010 crop year is 5.817 million tons, down 6.1 per cent from 2009.
This figure is based on production reported from 316 crops in the Grower Panel, and has confidence limits of ± 3 per cent.
Growing conditions this season have been variable with a cold wet spring delaying planting of many second early and maincrop varieties. By early May around 88 per cent of the crop had been planted compared with over 90 per cent at the same time in 2009.
Early crop lifting started slightly later but growers cleared ground rapidly due to strong demand. Summer weather was also varied with slightly wetter conditions in the East than the West, although local variations were also reported.
The generally drier growing period resulted in an increase in cases of common scab and reduced tuber size in crops. As a result growers in many cases delayed harvesting, to leave crops to grow on longer than usual, in an attempt to increase bulking rates, which in many cases proved successful.