The storage of potatoes are finished

The last potatoes was stored Tuesday, October 8. It has been the most intense inlay season we have experienced in many years.The first 10 days we worked 24 hours a day. but later when it was too cold in the night and the morning, it gave a little more humane working hours. Overall a season with good quality and yield.

It has been a year with perfect wheather for harvesting potatoes. As mentioned previously, the quality has been good apart from a few water damaged areas and more internal rust spot than normal.

However nothing comes easy. Again this year we where in for a surprise, especially in the variety Verdi. It has apparently not been stock ripe.

Despite completely scorched top and a ferm skin, there has been some lack of durability in some batches. But we have noticed, if the batch is harvested in to steps with 5-6 days interval, there is fine durability on the last harvest.This despite the fact, that the harvest started more than 3 weeks after desiccation.

So it is with potatoes, even if you have many years of experience, you can learn something new each year.

New potatoes

Since the start of week 27 we have got new German potatoes delivered to the company in Sunds. They will be washed, graded and afterwards transported directly to the crisp factories. The quality of the potatoes is fine, but because of the very late and cold spring with heavy rainfall in Germany there are still problems with the size and the yield is low.

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Visiting Italy

Because Thorsens Chipskartofler A/S has begone to sell an increasing quantity to Italy, Jesper, Erik and Jacob were visiting the Italian cooperators, and one of the factories there is delivered to.

Italy has a big production of crisps, and a big part of the potatoes for that are imported, caused by the hot climate, which makes storage very difficult, because the potatoes not will get firm for stock, when the harvest takes place in 25-30 degrees.

When the climate is different from the Scandinavian, the Italians handling of potatoes is different too, which challenges Thorsens Chipskertofler A/S’ normal procedure for handling and delivery.

The visit in Italy gave a good insight into how the potatoes were handled after Thorsens Chipskertofler A/S has delivered to the factory, and an understanding of, why they did as they did. Furthermore the relation between the participating from Thorsens Chipskartofler A/S and the cooperators from Italy were strengthened.

Storing season is ended

On friday November 16th we ended storing of the last potatoes from stack. We can look back on a storing season that have stretched over a longer period, given more work, bigger speculations and more troubles than ever seen before in this company.

During the storing season we had to take out parts only a few days after they where stored, which were giving more work and extra costs.

The storing season ended far different from what we expected when we started it, regarding the way we did things, the result we got, and the time it took.

But we must say when we look into our storehouses today, it was worth the effort. The durability looks fine in most parts. And the questionable parts are so few and good that we can get through them in a reasonable way.

At the moment there is plenty to do in the production. There are still some things left from the installing of the machinery for washing and grading this summer, which is not running smooth yet, but we hope that now when storing season is ended, we can also get the last things regarding the machinery ended, as parts of, is supported by EU and the Danish ministry of food.

Growing season 2012

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.

 

Current weather situation

The weather is very unstable at the moment, and therefore it is difficult to harvest stock potatoes with good quality. It seems that once again this year, we have to work hard when the weather is good, to get stock potatoes in the storage before it gets too cold. Therefore it is important for us and growers to have everything ready, so there are no unforeseen barriers that could have been avoid, during the storage process, when the good weather comes again.

With the large amount of water we get at the moment, where the potatoes have stopped growth, there is a high risk of water damaged potatoes. Therefore, both we and growers have to pay attention to water damaged potatoes, as typically are found in lower places and high sandy soil on the field.