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Greenhouse potatoes making up for late harvest

The potatoes in the Netherlands will be harvested later than usual this season. “Because of the cold and wet weather of late the planting has been postponed. The open-field offer is still small for now,” says Jan Goedegebuure at the start of May. The Goedegebuure - Gunter company from Sint-Annaland has been cultivating potatoes for over 20 years. Doré in a greenhouse under plastic and Frieslander in the open field. 




The arsenal of Dutch greenhouse potatoes is not very big. Potato growers use the greenhouses as an addition to the open field cultivation. According to Jan this is not difficult. “There are diseases that you hardly have trouble with outside, but those are easily dealt with. Besides, in the greenhouse you can give water and when needed turn on the heating to counter the nightly frost. This year we had a lot of frost in February. So we needed to heat more than usual.”

 

The greenhouse potatoes grown by the company from the province of Zeeland end up in farmer shops. The open-field potatoes go to Auction Sint-Annaland. Before the auction even starts, deliveries are already made on demand. “At this point there are already traders who want potatoes but not yet enough volume to start the auction. The auction director then sells them on demand. This way you have a bit more influence on the price.”


Timing
It’s all about the right timing. “Within two weeks the potatoes must be gone. When the harvest from the open field begins, the offer increases and the price decreases. It's an art to not create a gap between the harvest from the greenhouses and the harvest from the open field”, says Jan. “In the greenhouses you have an influence on the growing conditions, but for the open field this is not the case.” To make the harvest from the open field and the harvest from the greenhouses come closer after each other the company has started drip irrigation.

 

Jan notices the competition from abroad keeps on growing. “This might become a problem. Now you already have Spanish Doré and in a while France will also be joining. Quality is pretty decent.” Yet Dutch potatoes are the best, according to Jan. “The Doré taste the best when you harvest them when the plant is green. When the plant dies you will notice it in the flavour of the potato. The greener the leaf, the better the potato tastes.”
 


The original article appeared in the 5th issue, 32th edition of Primeur. See www.agfprimeur.nl.

For more information:
Firma Goedegebuure-Gunter
ja.goedegebuure@kliksafe.nl


Publication date: 6/13/2018

 


 

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