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Significant drop in Canadian potato production

Canadian potato production will decline this year, possibly by six percent or more, reports Robert Arnason for The Western Producer. A hot and dry summer, especially in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, cut into potato yields across the country.

Last year, Canadian farmers produced 106.4 million hundredweight of potatoes. The 2020 crop could be around 100 million cwt. “The biggest decrease in yields will be in Eastern Canada…. Also, Western Canada yields are not what they (expected),” said Kevin MacIsaac, United Potato Growers of Canada general manager. “We’re estimating, as of today, (production) would be off by six million cwt…. It’s not a real crisis situation, but it’s a tightening of supply.”

Yields are down substantially in P.E.I. and New Brunswick because growers don’t have irrigation systems. In late August, CTV News reported that some parts of P.E.I. received 15 percent of normal rainfall this summer. P.E.I. potato yields may drop by 15 to 25 percent.

“That could reduce (P.E.I.) production by five million cwt. and make it one of the lowest crops since back in 2001,” United Potato Growers said in a September report.

Official numbers haven’t been calculated in Manitoba, but yields may drop by 15 percent, said Dan Sawatzky, Keystone Potato Producers Association general manager. The crop was seeded later than normal, there was a hot spell during flowering and a second heat wave in late August. All those factors cut into production.

Source: The Western Producer. Read the full report here

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