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Photo courtesy of Dave Groeneweg Wetaskiwin Co, Alberta.
Photo courtesy of Dave Groeneweg Wetaskiwin Co, Alberta.
April 01, 2024

Southern Alberta has finally received a blanketing cover of snow. Over the last two weeks of March, most of the south received up to a foot of snow. This was a welcomed sight, but will do little to rectify the inevitable.


“The province has been under a drought for the last five to six years and we need a major change in the weather patterns,” writes Terence Hochstein, executive director, Potato Growers of Alberta. “In talking to growers from other growing areas in western North America, most are extremely dry. One of our growers was visiting family in Iowa a week ago and on their drive home, never encountered any snow until they reached central North Dakota, and even then, it was only a dusting.”


Hochstein says another month of wet snow is needed, then a rainy May and June to restore empty reservoirs and replenish soil moisture. Every river in Alberta is below its normal water flow for this time of year.


On the contract front, the Alberta contracts have been negotiated and growers know what volumes are needed for 2024.


“Although some of our sectors are down in acres this year, there is some positive growth in other areas,” says Hochstein. “By the first of June, we will have a good idea of what was planted in Alberta for this upcoming year. Washington and Alberta remain the only areas that are complete on their contracts.”  


Source: Potato Growers of Alberta April 1, 2024 newsletter          


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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 1 April 2024