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Prince Edward Island potato growers optimistic, but worries around markets and seed supply

Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI) potato growers say they’re optimistic for the 2021 season, after the roller-coaster ride of 2020, which included the COVID-19 pandemic, and a hot, dry summer that cut into yields, according to a report by Nancy Russell for CBC News

“I think overall, when we look back, the potato industry fared fairly well,” said Randy Visser, CEO of G Visser & Sons in Orwell Cove, P.E.I. “There was quite a bit of volatility, and ups and downs as far as the supply chain went, especially in the retail part of the industry. The grocery stores were really trying to react to what the consumers were doing.”

“Potato growers today are a little better off than they were a year ago, because a year ago, we were in total chaos,” said Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada. “After being through some of that in the past year, I think growers are more optimistic, and looking forward to some of the things that a new year will bring with planting potatoes,” MacIsaac said. 

MacIsaac said many people in the industry are watching the supply of seed potatoes for planting in 2021. He said the hot, dry summer in the Maritimes cut into the seed produced in 2020. “Supply is very tight, particularly in some varieties, probably sold out some time ago, for particular varieties,” MacIsaac said.

Source: CBC. Full story here
Photo: This truckload of potatoes from G Visser & Sons is headed to Puerto Rico. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

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