British potato yields for 2004 are expected to be almost identical to those of last year, despite an increase in planted area.
A total production figure of 5.954 million tonnes has been recorded by the British Potato Council as a provisional estimate for the year, from 130,896 hectares. Last year 5.983 million tonnes were harvested from 124,800 hectares.
Average yields per hectare are expected to be lower than 2002 and 2003, but higher than 1999, 2000 and 2001.
The BPC said initial indications were that quality was better than last year, when the weather was drier.