In Scotland, the potato planting season has been a race against the clock as farmers navigate unpredictable weather patterns. Persistent rain showers have forced farmers to seize every dry spell for planting, creating a start-stop rhythm that complicates their efforts. Despite dry surfaces, the underlying soil remains soaked, making the task even more challenging.

Most of the crops are now in the ground, though planting is still ongoing in the Black Isle. In Moray and Aberdeenshire, around 75% of the potatoes are planted, while Angus and Perthshire have reached 90%. The Borders region is nearly finished. This delayed planting will likely result in an extended harvest period.

The season has been further strained by a shortage of seed potatoes, compelling some farmers to rely on farm-saved seeds, despite the heightened risk of disease. The warmer weather has prompted growth spurts, but insufficient sunlight has dampened hopes for a bountiful harvest, potentially affecting yield and seed maturity. Late-planted crops are experiencing stress, which could lead to a wider range of tuber sizes and present difficulties for the seed sector.

The frequent rains have also created an environment ripe for blight and other diseases. Early sightings of peach potato aphids and instances of blackleg disease have added to growers’ concerns.