All hands are on deck to harvest the Canadian potato crop. Circumstances vary across the country depending on weather.
Prince Edward Island – A hot and dry summer ended with rain the last week of August, then Hurricane Dorian brought another 110 mm for a total of 200 mm in 10 days. The soils seem to have absorbed the water, however hurricane-force winds in excess of 100 km/hr have created some leaf and stem damage.
Dig samples show yields ahead of 2018, with a big gain in the last week of 40+cwt, however the crop still needs three weeks of growth without further rain or early frost to make accurate predictions.
Fresh prices are similar to last year, around $3.10/lb FOB PEI.
Nova Scotia – Although a smaller potato producer, the province was pummelled by Hurricane Dorian. Heavy rains created erosion and washouts in fields.
New Brunswick – Yields look good but variable based on the usual growing season differences within the province from north to south.
Quebec – Due to timely rains, the overall crop is looking really good with some digs currently reaching 400 cwt/acre. The Quebec board’s recommended price is at $3.50/10 lb which is very similar to last year.
Ontario – Quality has been very good in both fresh and processing sectors, although the yield has been variable and seems a bit more favourable in the chip than in the early fresh fields. Prices are good at $3.40/10 lb.
Manitoba – Harvest for processing potatoes out of field has been going for awhile with good yields. Growers would like to be done harvest by October 1. The new Simplot plant expansion is on target for end of January 2020. Quality looks good on table potatoes.
Alberta – The processing crop really would like another week of growth, but it may run out of calendar time. Alberta growers would like to see harvest wrapped up by October 5. The new Cavendish Farms processing plant has been running since mid-August and will ramp up production as it overcomes the challenges of bringing a new plant online.
British Columbia – Favourable growing conditions have translated into good-size tubers and consistent stands. A quarter of the crop has been dug to date.
For the full report, go here:
Source: United Potato Growers of Canada September 11, 2019 release