Many potato fields across Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) are not in the condition they are usually at this time of year due to the hot and dry conditions for much of July and August, reports John Robertson for CBC News.
“Right now, on a non-irrigated field, if you pull up the potatoes, the row just kind of falls between your hands,” said Kevin Murray, a potato farmer in Bedeque with Murray Farms Ltd. With no moisture, it’s just — not beach sand but pretty close.”
Robertson reports that the Canadian Drought Monitor had much of central P.E.I. in extreme drought condition as of Aug. 31. While there has been more rain in September, in the first half of the month it is only about half of normal rainfall.
“Normally potato plants do start to die down in September because we’re moving close to the primary harvest season, but these plants have been mostly dead now for a week or two,” said Ryan Barrett, research and agronomy co-ordinator with the P.E.I. Potato Board.
Source: Read John Robertson’s full report on CBC News here.
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Photo: Ryan Barrett, researcher and agronomy co-ordinator with the P.E.I. Potato board, digs up a test area to see what a potato plant was able to produce in the dry summer conditions. (John Robertson/CBC)