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UK: This year′s potato crop loss estimated at 3,300 hectares

The extent of losses to the 2007 potato crop from flood, waterlogging and blight is provisionally estimated at 3,300 hectares (2.6 per cent of total plantings).

Hardest hit areas are from Herefordshire and Shropshire, across to Nottinghamshire and Norfolk and up to Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire and North Yorkshire, says the British Potato Council. The full extent of wastage is expected to be revealed once harvest gains pace next month.

Some growers have suffered huge individual losses from flooding of up to 80-100 per cent of their crop, whilst others are encountering 20-40 per cent rotting from the after-effects of saturated land.

However, the wider problem appears to be from blight. Preventative spraying remains a priority.

More crops are being written off and many are senescing earlier than usual, which is revealing wide variation in yields.

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