The UN has made 2008 the year of the potato in order to focus attention on how important the potato is as a subsistence food in many countries. In contrast to grain, the potato is not internationally traded goods to any great extent but cultivated and consumed locally. The Swedish potato production is estimated to be 853 000 tonnes this year.
Increased production of table potatoes despite decreased acreage
This year's Swedish production of table potatoes is estimated to 558 000 tonnes. This is 4 percent higher than the production of 2007. Four counties are predominant regarding the cultivation of table potatoes: Skåne, Västra Götaland, Hallands and Östergötland counties. The preliminary national acreage for table potatoes amounted to 19 680 hectares in 2008. This is a decrease by 650 hectares or 3 percent compared to the statistics of last year. It was mainly in Halland and Västra Götaland counties that table potatoes acreage decreased. The total national acreage for table potatoes has decreased as a trend during the past decade, with the exception of years 2004 and 2005.
The yield of table potatoes is estimated to be 28 340 kilos per hectare. This is 8 percent, or over 2 000 kilos per hectare, over last year's yield per hectare. Despite such, that the production was larger than last year is an effect of having harvested a higher yield per hectare and that the unharvested acreage this year is of a limited scope.
Total production of potatoes for starch also increased despite the decreased acreage
Potatoes for starch are mainly cultivated in Skåne, Blekinge and Kalmar counties. The yield is estimated to be 40 400 kilos per hectare and the production to be 295 000 tonnes, which is a 16 percent higher than last year's results. The acreage for potatoes for starch, 7 310 hectares, is over 700 hectares less this year than last year and the least acreage since 1995.
Less unharvested acreage compared to last year
Unharvested acreage for table potatoes estimated for the country as a whole amount to approximately 280 hectares, which is 700 hectares less than last year when large rainfall during the growing season led to unharvested acreage. Only 10 hectares of the acreage for potatoes for starch is estimated to be unharvested compared to nearly 900 hectares in 2007.