Planting of Jersey new potatoes has never been so late because of wet conditions, according to the British Potato Council. Lifting from tunnels which provide the earliest crop ­ which has been retailing at £1.40p/lb, double last year ­ will have finished by the weekend. Some crops grown under polythene on the earliest headlands are expected to be available, weather permitting. Volumes will be very light. The BPC estimates there will be maximum availability during the second to third third week of May. The 35,000 tonne crop should be clear by the end of June. - English root crop growers have been given a time extension by Brussels to lift their crops delayed through the appalling winter weather. They now have until April 30 to harvest potatoes, carrots and beetroot without jeopardising the chance to put land into set-aside. Meanwhile rain has delayed spring crop onion drilling for up to four weeks according to seedsman Nickersan Zwaan. Many areas have already reported that it may be too late to drill some of the later main crop varieties unless there is an improvement in the weather. {{M/E FRESH PRODUCE }}