A 'tight spot' with early planting


18 April 2023
Growers in northwestern Spain could see over-abundance during campaign.

POTATO Producers in Castilla y León, a region of northwestern Spain, are due to finish planting their crop at the end of this month and while there is no official data about the area planted, the cultivated area is expected to be around 16,600 hectares.

President of Appacyl (Association of Potato Producers of Castilla y León), Eduardo Arroyo, said that the region was seeing more early varieties and an increase in the Agria variety. But while growers have made a good start to planting, it has been "too tight", he added.

Producers have sown potatoes at the beginning of March, when the logical thing was to plant them in the middle or end of the month so what is sown today is the same as it was at the end of March, ie between 70 and 80% of the surface," he said, adding that this means there could be an over-abundance in the future because the planting has not been staged.

Yolanda Medina, President of the Patata de Castilla y León inter-branch organisation agreed. She said 60% of the potato crop in the region was planted in three weeks.

"The trend is to have short cycles because of the cost of irrigation, so we see more early varieties and an increase in the Agria variety in later varieties," she said.

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The inter-branch organisation will no longer carry out a European project owing to lack of funds of its own
The Patata de Castilla y León inter-branch organization will no longer carry out a European project for the promotion of this crop endowed with 1,275,000 euro.

After competing with initiatives from other countries and going through a complex selection process, the association was awarded a 1,275,000 euro EU funding but this will only finance 70% of the project. 

"The association voted not to move forward with this project without having that 30% of the financing, so we rejected it," said Yolanda, adding that it was a missed opportunity.

"We're missing a golden opportunity to convey how good our potatoes are, to create awareness of climate issues and how they influence the product externally," she added.

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