Sweden’s potato farmers face big losses

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Potatoes are rotting in the ground in many places.  (Gustaf Klarin/Sveriges Radio)
Potatoes are rotting in the ground in many places. (Gustaf Klarin/Sveriges Radio)
Potato farmers in Sweden’s Värmland region risk losing big parts of their crops because of intense rain.

Farmer Gunnar Carlsson in the community of Grava, outside of Karlstad, says he has had to leave a lot of potatoes in the ground because rain and flooding has made harvesting impossible. The water is now causing the potatoes to rot, Swedish television SVT reports.

“I might have to leave as much as a couple of hectares,” he says. “That’s maybe around 150,000 kronor in losses.”

Carlsson is not alone in his plight. The company Värmlandspotatis AB, which is co-owned by ten local farmers, says they have yet to receive a single potato from the region. The company’s managing director estimates that 10-15 percent of the total crops in the region are at risk. And if the rains continue until winter, the situation could become even worse.

“This is the worst year I have ever seen and I’ve been doing this for forty years” Carlsson tells SVT. “It’s never been this wet, ever.”

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Fighting to protect bird habitat in North America’s boreal forest, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Investment in forestry returning to pre-crash levels in Finland, Yle News

Russia:  Counting elusive Finnish forest reindeer in Russian Karelia, Yle News

Sweden: Farming, forestry and climate change in Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States:  Farm flourishes on Alaska tundra, Alaska Dispatch

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