Jersey Royals potatoes

This year’s Jersey Royal season has been 'the most challenging in recent memory,' according to William Church of the Jersey Royal Company.

Citing the wettest winter and lowest average temperatures in over 50 years, Church said that growers have struggled with the adverse conditions.

He explained: “Once planted, the early potato crop was subjected to unprecedented and continuous cold temperatures (averaging about 5 degrees centigrade) for many weeks, throughout February, March and well into April.

“To compound matters, Jersey suffered the heaviest snowfall for over 30 years when, on 11 March, nearly a foot of snow fell, which then drifted up to 10 feet in places and settled for 10-12 days.”

Church added that the weight of the snow damaged foliage, resulting in low soil temperatures and a crop vulnerable to disease and damage from pests. Admitting that early Jersey potatoes were less attractive than usual, Church insisted things are now looking brighter.

He explained: “Fortunately, the later planted crop - those on sale now - are back to their usual high standard and enjoying excellent sales.

“Indeed, all retailers and wholesalers continue to stock the productand many are looking to carry on until the beginning of August; all in all a great finish after an exceptionally difficult start.”