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 Buscador de Noticias
Europa 31/05/2024

Estonia: Planting potatoes gets off to a later than usual start

Farmers and market gardeners are having to rush to get potatoes planted, with the cold but short spring being followed by the hot weather this month, "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported.

In Viljandi County in South Estonia, one producer, Koordi Kartul OÜ, began potato planting two weeks later than usual.

The concern’s owner, Janek Lass, told AK: "We started on April 30 this year."

"This developed so rapidly that you barely noticed the spring. It’s already summer in effect, the fields are dusty, and there’s a lot of work ahead. This year, we need to hurry to get the potatoes planted in May, as we want to start harvesting new ones in June," Lass went on.

The Solist variety was planted first in Koordi Kartul’s fields, and though while the plants are still under cover, the first potatoes are due to reach store shelves a month from now latest.

This year, Koordi Kartul cultivate 60 hectares of potato tubers. There is no scope for any broader cultivation, Lass added.

"Our land resources set the limit, and marketing is complicated. It may seem like we could cultivate more, but in reality, we’re always having to look for markets. But we’re managing. There are fewer growers and fewer consumers now, so what can you do," Lass told AK.

Meanwhile, in Rapla County in central Estonia, potato farmer Kalle Hamburg was on Thursday still busy preparing the soil for planting.

He said he plans to start planting on Saturday, covering 30 hectares with tubers.

"Since we are dealing with seed potatoes, soil temperature is a vital factor. There’s no point in planting potatoes in colder soil where they might get diseased. In the warm soil, the initial growth compensates for the later planting," he added.

Hamburg said he also does not plan to increase his potato planting area this year. "In an open market situation, this could backfire. If neighboring countries get a good harvest and prices are low, planting more may not end up justifying itself."


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