• Potatoes are mainly grown for human consumption.
  • Potatoes are now part of the British staple diet.
  • The market price of potatoes fluctuates according to supply and demand.
  • Potatoes are put in storage to meet the demand for year round potatoes.
  • They are susceptible to frost and must be stored in insulated buildings to keep them in good condition.
  • Potatoes are a root crop.
  • Growers need to irrigate their potato crops since this plant is very susceptible to drought.
  • This crop must be rotated and only grown in a field once in every seven years due to a soil borne pest called potato cyst nematode.
  • Blight is another disease which can ruin the potato crop and growers use fungicides to protect their crop from blight.
  • This disease caused the Irish Potato famine of 1845 to 1850.
  • Potatoes are a versatile food which can be cooked in a variety of ways.
  • They can be roasted, boiled, baked, mashed or fried.
  • Potatoes can also be processed into crisps, frozen chips or roasties, instant mash or canned new potatoes. 

The Potato Crop

The potato crop is produced in four batches;

  1. First earlies.
  2. Second earlies.
  3. Early maincrop.
  4. Late maincrop.


  • Earlies are more commonly known as new potatoes.
  • Some earlies are imported from warmer climates.
  • Earlies are planted in February/March and harvested between late May and August.


  • Maincrop potatoes are planted in April and harvesting continues throughout September and October.
  • Types of maincrop potatoes are Maris Piper, Desiree, King Edward and Pentland Dell.
  • Most maincrop potatoes are stored inorder to meet the demand for potatoes all year round.

Tractor Ted Grows Potatoes