29 July 2011
Statistics published on Thursday (28 July 2011) show an increase of 5% in the number of vergées currently under production for early Jersey Royal potatoes.
The Environmental Management and Rural Economy section at Howard Davis Farm have released the information which shows that in 2009 the figure was 15,969 vergées and this increased to 16,745 vergées in 2010. However, the quantity of exports, including autumn earlies, decreased from 37,631 tonnes to 30,478 tonnes whilst the value of exports went up from £27.1m to £31.4m.
Milk sales through Jersey Dairy rose from 12.6 million litres to 12.9 million litres from marginally less milking animals with the average milk yield per cow reaching 4,342 litres per cow, compared with 3,869 litres in 2008.
The number of sheep in the Island has continued to rise, though pig numbers fell, probably due to the cost of feed imports and the competition for land pushing up land rental and sale values.
Commenting on the latest agricultural statistics, Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Connétable Len Norman said ”Following the presentation of the Rural Economy Strategy it is important to keep abreast of any changes within the industry and the annual statistics provide a good benchmark.
“It remains to be seen whether this level of potato production is sustainable and the Economic Affairs Scrutiny Rural Economic Strategy sub panel has requested a review into the issue of food security and the production of a strategy and long-term vision for Jersey in consultation with the industry and the public by January 2012.”