It took some effort to get table and French fries potatoes going. Arable farmer Jan Voordendag still achieves an average yield. The grower expects that picking up demand after the winter will no longer be able to make up for the backlog in demand and price.
At our company in Strijen we grow roughly 65 percent table varieties and 35 percent French fries. I have early and medium late table varieties. That way I can spread the work in the cultivation and the delivery of the product, ‘says Voordendag. ‘The table potatoes go to Albert Heijn via Nedato. The variety of chips that I grow is the Agria. ‘
Against his will, Voordendag has a large part of the potatoes free. With the onset of the corona crisis, the contractors withdrew. Now that prices are low, the arable farmer foresees the second year in which money has to be spent on the cultivation. ‘The free chips potatoes went to the cows this spring. For example, these years we incur the expenses for seed potatoes and storage, without having to pay any return. ‘
2020 had a difficult start with a dramatically bad structure. ‘I first did everything with the rotary harrow and then milled. Back then you still had a lot of lumps on this clay of 30 to 60 percent sludgeable. Young sea clay is not easy to work with. ‘ To get the plant up well, it irrigated two or three more times.
‘Some rain followed in July and August. After the heat of mid-August, I rained again at night. Now it is dry again. So we are waiting for some rain to harvest the medium late table potatoes and the Agrias. ‘
The soil herbicide worked well, partly due to the irrigation. Weeds were no problem. ‘I haven’t heard of Phytophthora here. It was dry and the humidity was low. The potatoes are not that big, but the variety is good. ‘
Jan Voordendag –
Arable farmer in Strijen, South Holland. He has 25 hectares of potatoes, 35 percent of which are French fries and 65 percent of table potatoes. Expected yield: early table potatoes 45 tons per hectare, medium late table potatoes 55 tons per hectare, French fries potatoes 55 tons per hectare.