June 3, 2022 By Potatoes in Canada
Much like many Canadian Prairie planters are falling behind on crop planting, potato growers in some provinces are feeling a similar squeeze.
That’s according to Terence Hochstein, executive director of Potato Growers of Alberta. In the association’s Potato Minute newsletter for the month of June, Hochstein shared some relatively dire news from his own jurisdictions, and relayed similarly unfortunate news from his other provincial counterparts.
“Other than a few thunderstorms and hailstorms that have gone through the south,  was the last time that we received a good old fashioned rain event,” Hochstein wrote. “Even with adequate irrigation it is becoming more and more challenging to produce a good potato crop without some help from Mother Nature. With the cold, dry start to the 2022 season, it appears that the crop is about [seven to 10] days behind where we would normally like to see it.”
He says the lack of traditional mid-season rainfall could pose trouble for the upcoming growing season. “The seed industry relies on the skies opening up every few weeks,” he wrote.
Other provinces are facing similar – or worse – struggles. He says in speaking with his counterparts across the country, he’s learned that BC’s early crop has, for the most part, been “drowned out and is all but a complete loss.” Manitoba is, at best, 20 per cent completed due to excess moisture – a similar issue that is keeping crop planting far behind the province’s five-year average. New Brunswick is between 25 to 30 per cent planted, considered one week behind, while P.E.I. growers are approaching the 50 per cent level. Ontario and Quebec, writes Hochstein, are “all over the map.”
U.S. farmers are also somewhat behind, says Hochstein, citing struggles in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest.
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