Castlecor Pota­toes Potato growe & dis­tributer Castlecor, Mal­low Ned English

The Corkman - - OPINION -

are re­moved from cold stor­age and warmed up to 80C to avoid bruis­ing un­der the skin dur­ing pro­cess­ing.

Our fully au­to­mated wash­ing and pack­ing lines use lead­ing edge technology to wash, grade and pack our pota­toes. We have the ca­pa­bil­ity to pack to any size in pa­per bags, plas­tic film and now pa­per-lam­i­nate and mi­crowav­able ma­te­ri­als.

Potato grow­ing in Ire­land has many chal­lenges. The main potato grow­ing ar­eas of Ire­land are sit­u­ated in Wex­ford, Meath/Dublin and Done­gal. We are one of the few main crop grow­ers in the Mun­ster area.

Suit­able potato grow­ing land con­sists of deep free-drain­ing loam soils with lit­tle stone con­tent. We take great care in land se­lec­tion each year and en­sure that we en­hance the nu­tri­ent con­tent of the soil through our fer­til­i­sa­tion pro­grammes.

Mother Na­ture works with us and pro­vides suit­able win­dows of op­por­tu­nity to plant, grow and har­vest our crops. In ex­tremely dry con­di­tions we have to roll out the ir­ri­ga­tion equip­ment dur­ing the grow­ing sea­son. Strangely, we some­times are pray­ing for rain – not too much, just the right amount…

Technology plays a huge roll in potato grow­ing. Our har­vesters have 15 cam­eras on-board watch­ing the flow of pota­toes as they are lifted from the ground and passed over the ro­tat­ing clean­ers. Our trac­tors nav­i­gate us­ing GPS technology dur­ing the plant­ing process.

Our crop records are man­aged through an App and down­loaded to our server at head-of­fice.

Stor­age ca­pac­ity at Castlecor is in ex­cess of 7,000 tonnes of pota­toes.

Once har­vested pota­toes are dried us­ing spe­cial dry­ing pro­grammes in our stores and then plunged from am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture down to be­tween two and four de­grees. There they will sit in the cold dark­ness un­til re­quired for pack­ing.

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