Statistics Canada released its acreage report on July 18, showing that potato growers have confidence in fall markets. Acres are up 11,526 or 3.3 per cent across the country. Four provinces have recorded increases: New Brunswick (+ 3.8%), Quebec (+ 4.7%) Manitoba (+5.3%) and Alberta (+11.5%).
In eastern Canada, growers are responding to needs from local processing plants. In western Canada, the big news is demand from the new J.R. Simplot plant in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba and the Cavendish plant in Lethbridge, Alberta. These plants are scheduled to be on line this fall or early winter. If you combine the numbers from the three prairie provinces, there are now 135,500 acres dedicated to potatoes.
Kevin MacIsaac, general manager, United Potato Growers of Canada, reports on the progress of the potato crop, from a meeting held in Quebec City on July 17. The crop is growing well across all regions, with irrigation underway as expected in mid-summer. For his detailed report, go here: https://unitedpotatocanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/UPGC-Canadian-Potato-Crop-Report-July-17-2019.pdf
Potato growers are now vigilant for late blight. The Wisconsin Potato Newsletter reported on July 17: “Late blight on potato has been confirmed in Wood County this afternoon. We have a sample on campus in UW- Madison Vegetable Pathology and our technician will type this first thing in the morning so that we have an understanding of the clonal lineage (strain), and likely character and mefenoxam (metalaxy-Ml) resistance status. Sporulation was present but light on most leaves. Lesions were quarter sized on upper leaves.”
Source: Statistics Canada/United Potato Growers of Canada