Potato growers and shippers in Prince Edward Island are holding back on packing as they wait to assess their crops after frost back in September. The frost came earlier than usual while the potatoes were still in the ground. As a result, supplies are very tight and will be so for the foreseeable future.
“Potato supplies are very tight right now because a lot of producers haven’t started packing yet,” noted Ashton Perry of W.P. Griffin. “Back on September 25, there was a heavy frost, which is earlier than usual. It happened towards the end of harvest and as a result, production has been slower while producers are waiting to see how the crop has been affected and how their potatoes will store.”
Perry added that the early frost at the end of harvest combined with a late frost at the start of the season, compressing the season. “We also started late because of a late frost early in the season,” she said. “In fact, there were only two months this year when we didn’t have frost.”
It’s not just PEI that is short on potatoes. Suppliers say that there is currently a worldwide shortage, with many regions short on potatoes this year. Such shortage has led the market to be tight as well, for both fresh product and processing.