Alberta potato production booming despite recent drought conditions
January 5, 2024 By CBC News
Potato farmers in the province enjoyed a strong harvest in 2023, after back-to-back, record-breaking production years, according to the Potato Growers of Alberta.
As reported by CBC News, Alberta produced 32,063,000 hundredweight (CWT) potatoes this year, more than Prince Edward Island’s 25,813,000 CWT total, per StatsCanada.
Last year marked just the second time this century that Alberta surpassed P.E.I., famous for its spuds, as Canada’s largest potato-producing province.
“The industry is starting to shift, and it’s not just Alberta,” says Terence Hochstein, executive director of the Potato Growers of Alberta.
“Manitoba is growing. Washington is growing. Idaho continues to grow. The production is starting to shift from the east to the west.”
Hochstein said higher yield numbers in western North America are largely because of increased planting, not consistently strong growing conditions.
Growers planted 80,100 acres of potatoes in Alberta this year, up from last year’s total of 73,080 acres.
“We went into a very good warm May and June. … And that just seemed to translate into a great crop this year,” he says, adding that timely rains helped potato farmers in central and northern Alberta.
“Last few years [growers] ran out of moisture.”
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