The 2020 summer season is likely to turn out to be a Caporetto for Venetian potatoes. The dry spring, the costs of processing and collection are a lethal mix for tubers red soils of Guà the river , cultivated in the provinces of Padua, Vicenza and Verona in the towns of Montagnana, Saletto, Megliadino San Fidenzio, Ospedaletto Euganeo, Cologna Veneta, Pressana, Roveredo di Guà, Lonigo, Noventa Vicentina and Poiana Maggiore. Only in the colognese area, the production is around 400 thousand quintals.
The remuneration, the producers complain, is so low that it does not pay off the investment. And, after a 2019 that had been positive, so much so as to encourage an expansion of dedicated areas, there are those who prefer not to collect or give away the products. The “fault” is also the weather, the scarce rains and a not hot enough summer: “Many of us, despite being able to boast satisfactory yields per hectare , from 400 to 600 quintals, have had to stop to wait for the plant to dry, or spread the desiccant to accelerate ripening, otherwise it would be ruined and peeled off “some producers explained to the L’Arena newspaper.
But these measures, on the economic front, did not bring appreciable results: in June the early varieties, primarily Colomba and Primura, initially gained less than 40 cents per kilo; the price lists are now around 15 cents , with a minimum of 12 , against a production cost of 22.
And together with the economic problems there are the agronomic ones, with the presence of the larvae of elateridae (Agriotes litigiosus), more commonly known as ferretti, to do damage. The warehouses are full, the languishing sales and local Coldiretti invites producers, traders and distributors to make a common front to defend the profitability of the sector on the eve of the arrival on the market a batch of foreign product, from France but not only that it could further “depress” the price lists.