Cultivation/Production, Fresh/ Table, North America, Studies/Reports, Trends, Weather/Climate

Weather more favourable to Prince Edward Island’s potato industry so far in 2019

This year’s potatoes may have gone into the ground a little late, but with good growing conditions since, the crop is catching up. “We had some nice heat in June and when (the plants) emerged we gained ground,” said P.E.I. Potato Board general manager Greg Donald.

Conditions have been so good in some parts of P.E.I. that Knutsford grower Karl Smallman is already suggesting there’s potential for a bumper crop, if the right recipe of moisture, sunshine and heat is maintained.

“The amount of moisture we have right now, it’s fantastic,” Smallman commented. “So, if we can keep getting shots like this every week or so, it would be great.”

Where the difference from last year to this year is really noticeable is in western P.E.I., Donald said. He noted the west was particularly dry the last two growing seasons but, this year, it is ahead of the rest of the province in terms of moisture levels. 

There was more rainfall across P.E.I. in June this year than in June of 2018, and while central and eastern P.E.I. could benefit from some rainfall any time now, conditions have remained moist up west.

Donald said the whole province is still running a little ahead of normal for precipitation.

“All the fields look good,” said Smallman. “The chance of having a really fantastic crop is really good right now.” But the farmer stressed current cloudy, damp weather conditions are ideal for the spread of blight, suggesting the challenge this week could be to have a big enough weather window to get the entire crop blight-sprayed. 

Read the full story in the Journal Pioneer here

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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