The Potato Council said the fungal disease, that manifests itself as a mould on the leaf and roots, has hit the potato crop badly this year due to the wet weather.And if it wasn't wet weather, it’d be dry weather. Or hot weather. Or cold weather. For as long as I can remember, there’s always been something affecting something else, every year, as an excuse for price rises.
But it seems a brand new scapegoat has been found:
‘Allotment amateurs’ were also blamed for a "disproportionate amount of overall blight pressure."
Inexperienced gardeners could make blight spread by dumping infected potatoes on the compost, where the spores can spread on the wind to neighbouring farms.*shakes fist* "You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"
It seems those awful amateurs are lax with their pesticide regime as well (surely a another reason one might want to grow their own?):
In contrast commercial farms regularly spray the crop with fungicide to stop infection and bury any infected potatoes.Naturally, this is very regrettable, and should stop. Says the pressure group for commercial potato farmers:
Allan Stevenson, Chairman of the Potato Council, told trade journal The Grocer, that people should be buying potatoes from the supermarket rather than growing their own as this may help spread blight.Well, yes. You would say that, wouldn't you?
"People should be encouraged to grown their own vegetables to learn about the origins of their food,” he said.
"But the blight risk is real and it would be preferable if people bought healthy, well produced potatoes from their retailer rather than grow their own."Preferable for your members’ pockets, you mean?
A spokesman for NSALG insisted that their members were aware of how to deal with blight and it was unfair to 'tarnish everyone with the same brush".
“People being able to grow their own should be celebrated," she said.
"Like everything else people should be supported and educated about the right and wrong ways to deal with things but I would say our members are fairly well educated in knowing how to deal with pests and diseases. It is unfair to tarnish everybody with the same brush.”Unfair, yes, but when you have a captive market to protect, every little helps, hmm?