Potato Crop: Wet Weather

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 2:45 pm, 22nd September 2020

My Department's assessment is that the recent wet weather in August has caused some localised flooding in parts of the Kilkeel and Newcastle areas and has led to some disruption of blight control programmes and difficulties with the desiccation of potato crops across Northern Ireland. As we now move into the main period for potato harvesting, DAERA staff will continue to monitor the situation as the effects of waterlogging on a potato crop are difficult to evaluate until a number of weeks later, usually at harvest. Furthermore, the DAERA staff will continue to provide technical advisory support to Northern Ireland potato growers to maximise business performance.