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Prince Edward Island potato growers ‘very concerned’ by drought

It’s been great weather for going to the beach, and not bad yet for potato farmers, but they are going to need the weather to turn soon, reports the CBC’s Kevin Yarr.

“It is hot and dry,” said Greg Donald, general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board. “The growers are very concerned right now but we’re hopeful if we get rain real soon here we’ll be OK.”

According to Yarr, the Island has seen two heat waves in the last week, and the dry spell goes back to the beginning of April.

Since April 1, rainfall in Charlottetown is only about half of normal. In Summerside it’s only about a third. The situation is slightly better in the east, with rainfall at St. Peters about 60 per cent of normal.

A dry spring is not necessarily a bad thing, said Donald. It’s good for planting if the fields aren’t muddy, because it’s easy to get farm equipment on to them.

And some farmers feel dry weather early on can make for hardier plants, he said, because the roots will grow down deep looking for water.

“Right now, we’re OK, it’s deep roots, they’re eternal optimists,” said Donald.

Read the full report by Kevin Yarr on CBC here

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