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?
There really is a Potato Council - at least it hasn't got a new name such as "Spudz!" - and it is funded by a levy on the industry.
It did, however spend a considerable amount of energy changing its name from Potato Industry Development Council, and then the British Potato Council until April 2008.
I derive some satisfaction from the fact that I'm annoying at least one industry pressure group.
I'm still waiting for my allotment. When I get one, I'll be planting out some spuds. Y'see, although there's not much in it costwise, home grown ones taste better.
And, no, I won't be smothering them in pesticides.
Soon to come:
Growing your own food? £5K fine and up to 5 years in jail.
And sooner than that:
Keeping eyes peeled for those Potato License Detector Vans.
Do you have a licence for that potato, Madam?
Damn you, Anon, you beat me to it.
IIRC, years ago the Potato Council were at loggerheads with some Department of Interfering Busybodies.
The Tatty Council wanted people to eat more of the things their farmers grew in any way, and that included chips. Naturally.
However the DoIB got angry because people were eating fatty foodstuffs and promptly dropping dead by their thousands on the street, most of them right outside the Fish and Chip shops.
So rival ads appeared full of praise and condemnation and for all I know they glared at each other across some pleasant street in the heart of London.
Happily, they all carried on being funded
I had always thought that professionals built and sailed the unsinkable Titanic, while Noah with his ark was a complete amateur.
Just how big are these allotments where people are growing their own spuds because if they are less than an acre or so it is not worth the effort.
Just after the war we grew most of our own vegies including spuds. It took about 2 acres to get enough spuds to last the year for 5 people so how growing them in the usual sized allotment is going to make ant impact on consumption is beyond me.
The problem here is the way the EU has banned just about every useful pesticide and fungicide, which it did in a grubby (ho ho) stitch-up with two or three giant chemical companies.
The scheme was cheered to the heavens by the "OMG!!! You mean water is a chemical!?" ignoramuses in the Green and Organic movements and the net result has been a huge increase in the problems of both fungal diseases and pests.
"There really is a Potato Council - at least it hasn't got a new name such as "Spudz!".."
Heh! Don't give them ideas!
"I derive some satisfaction from the fact that I'm annoying at least one industry pressure group."
I make it my goal to annoy one per day...
"Y'see, although there's not much in it costwise, home grown ones taste better."
They really do. I suspect it's psychological, but it seems to work.
"..and for all I know they glared at each other across some pleasant street in the heart of London."
"The problem here is the way the EU has banned just about every useful pesticide and fungicide..."
It's amazing how much 'good' that EU does us all, isn't it?
2 acres of potatoes?and you ate them all?
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