As always, this season has been different from others, it had an ending i haven’t experienced worse in the 30 years I have worked with potatoes.
We had a relative early start of the season the first potatoes were in the soil earlier than normal.
The summer had less sunshine hours than normal and more rain, but the rain was coming evenly without cloudbursts which destroys the potatoes.
Everything looked positive in August, despite the worry about less sunshine hours. The yields in crisp potatoes were measured higher than normal and the quality quite good, except for some late blight attacks.
In September we started storing organic potatoes with quite good weather conditions, but after the 10th September it was rain every day in Denmark. One measuring station measured 300 mm rain the following 5 weeks.
Normally the harvest of crisp potatoes is finish 1st October and all driving to storage are finished 10th October, but this year there has only been very few days with dry weather, and not enough to make the soil dry enough to harvest at just reasonable conditions. The part that was harvested was in a very bad durability.
Shortly after 10th October Thorsens Chipskartofler A/S and most growers decided to dry all potatoes just after harvest before handling and transport, which means that the potatoes were filled in trailers or containers with drying channels in the bottom mounted with fans. The air that was blown through were dried with heat in front of the fans. Hereby drying of the potatoes succeeded in very short time, despite harvesting at extreme wet conditions and at the same time very high humidity.
With this work demanding and expensive process, saving most of the potatoes it succeeded, but some areas were not harvested, because it was impossible to go there with the machines.
27th October the frost came to Denmark, luckily later than normal, afterwards it was over with harvesting crisp potatoes, because they can not be cooled under 8 degrees.
Thanks to a huge effort from suppliers, transport companies and employees it succeeded to save the harvest, but there are 10 % less potatoes in storage than expected.
This was a harvest season with huge costs, but as we always say in the potato business; “Next year is probably going to be better” fortunately it is a business with a big optimism and spirit of sacrifice.
Thank you for the support from customers, suppliers and other collaborators.