Potato growers have written to agriculture minister Carola Schouten urging her to relax the rules on watering their crops, even in areas where there is a ban.
The continuing drought threatens to slash the size of this year’s potato crop, and this means French fries are likely to be smaller and more expensive this autumn and winter, the Telegraaf reported.
‘I will begin harvesting my early crops next week,’ Zeeland potato farmer Adrie Amperse told the paper. He delivers potatoes to the French fries industry and says this year’s crop is likely to be 40% smaller than in the average year.
The smaller harvest and rising prices will not benefit some farmers because they are on fixed price contracts, the potato growers organisation NAV says.
In addition, insurance policies against crop failures are too expensive for many farmers, the NAV says. It wants the government to scrap taxes on insurance policies.
A spokesman for the agriculture ministry said it would be mid-August before the department would be able to answer the farmers.