North America, Trends, Weather/Climate

Potatoes in eastern Canada faring well, the west sees yield impact of excessive heat

Potato harvest is well underway in Canada, with varying results from a near-record harvest to too-short in supply, according to a report by RealAgriculture.

“Moving from east to west, the season is always later. We have more time in the east to allow the crop to get harvested before winter sets in, in a normal year,” says Kevin MacIsaac, of United Potato Growers of Canada.

“Starting in P.E.I., I would estimate the crop today is coming up to about 40 per cent harvested,” says MacIsaac, of United Potato Growers of Canada. After three years of below average crops in the area due to warm, dry conditions, a good quality crop is welcome for farmers on the East Coast.

New Brunswick is harvesting a record crop this fall compared to last year, where some growers reported 30 to 35 per cent below average yields, again due to dry conditions, especially on a growing region that relies solely on precipitation.

Heading into Western Canada, the drought has been detrimental to yields.

“Most potato production in Manitoba is irrigated, but it’s just those hot temperatures, where the crop can’t cool down at night, the foliage and the leaves just can’t get cool, it really stresses the canopy and prevents some good yield production,” says MacIsaac.

Source: RealAgriculture. Full report and audio here – listen to the full conversation between MacIsaac and RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney
Photo: A truckload of potatoes from G Visser & Sons is headed to Puerto Rico | Shane Hennessey/CBC

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