The Jersey Royal season is at least three weeks late this year after the “Beast from the East” delayed the planting of the much-anticipated spring crop.
The potato’s short seasonal window, usually from April to mid-July, is behind schedule after hard frosts and almost double the 30-year average of rainfall in December and January left the ground saturated and “undesirable for planting”, growers said.
Jersey normally exports around 30,000 tonnes of the potatoes to the UK each season, but producers say the figure could be up to 20% lower this year, with full volumes expected to be on supermarket shelves by mid-May.
Tim Ward, operations director at grower Albert Bartlett, said: “The hard frosts we received from the Beast from the East affected most of the early crops, in particular the steep south-facing cotils planted in January.
“Although quality and taste will remain unaffected, we are at least three weeks behind our expected start date and are still in need of spring to arrive to avoid further delays.”
The Jersey Royal Company said planting was behind, with only two-thirds of the export crop planted to date.