News potatoes

Seed potato acreage 2024: more fries varieties

July 2, 2024 - Jesse Torringa

The seed potato area only shrinks by 0.6% this season, but significant shifts are visible. This was reported by the Dutch general inspection service NAK. The varieties in the fries segment are increasing significantly in area, while the overseas export varieties are decreasing. The Fontane area even increases by 11.3% compared to last season.

In recent months, there was speculation that the seed potato area could shrink again due to the good prices for table potatoes and the increased costs for the seed potato grower, but it now appears to be less severe according to the figures published by NAK on Monday afternoon. A total of 38,503 hectares were indicated by seed potato growers for inspection. In 2023, that area was 38,735 hectares. So, a small shrinkage is visible. The area may still increase slightly because seed potato growers planted last week and this was not reported to NAK in time. Moreover, the last plots still need to be planted in the southeast. However, it is by no means certain if that will still happen.

The largest variety is once again Fontane with 5,749 hectares by far. Agria follows with 2,877 hectares. Last year, Spunta was the second largest variety, but it is now in third place with 2,828 hectares. Then follow Innovator and Arizona with 2,035 and 1,568 hectares respectively.

Significantly more fries varieties
Despite a small decrease in area, there are very striking differences in the area figures per variety. Last year, the varieties in the fries segment declined sharply, due to disappointing prices for the fries varieties compared to the balance of the overseas export varieties. Innovator even decreased by 11%. It is not entirely unexpected with the significantly increased (free) prices for the fries segment, but this year the opposite is visible. Fontane is increasing again by 11% and goes from 5,164 hectares to 5,749 hectares. Agria follows with a 10% increase, reaching 2,877 hectares. Innovator is a notable variety and only increases by 1% to 2,035 hectares. Other varieties in the fries segment also show an average increase, such as Markies, Challenger, and Melody. This comes at the expense of varieties destined for, among other things, overseas destinations.

The biggest loser among the varieties is Spunta. Despite a fairly good payout for the variety last year (both on contract and free market), the variety decreases from 3,603 to 2,828 hectares. A decrease of 21%. Arizona decreases by 11% and goes from 1,771 to 1,568 hectares.

Jesse Torringa

Jesse Torringa is a market specialist in seed potatoes and organic potatoes, onions, and carrots at DCA Market Intelligence.
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