Jersey Royal growers are facing delays to harvesting their crop for the second year running, again because of cold weather.

Large volumes will not come on stream until mid May - two weeks later than usual.

Low temperatures have held up tuber growth and farmers have been forced to leave plastic sheets on fields for longer than usual.

However, Jersey Royal Potato Marketing, which markets the island's export volumes, said the difficulties facing growers were less serious than they were last year, when some of the crop was damaged by severe frosts. Sales manager Tim Ward said: "This year it's simply that the potatoes are growing more slowly. This means quality will be good because the potatoes haven't been subjected to as much stress as last year.

"We've done 200 tonnes this week. Normally at this time of year we'd do double that."