Frozen spuds in Manitoba
By Potatoes in Canada
There is a good chance Manitoba will fall short of its contract amounts after damaging frosts froze some fields before salvaging, said Dan Sawatzky, manager of the Keystone Potato Producers Association, to the Manitoba Co-operator.
An estimated 30 per cent of potatoes were still in the fields when temperatures dipped to below 10 degrees Celsius in mid-October, topping off two weeks of unseasonably cold weather. Some producers are attempting to manage frozen potatoes in storage, while others have decided to opt out of any further harvest attempts.
Even for farmers with insurance, the abandoned acres still have a huge financial impact on farmers.
Despite frost and rain disturbing harvest progress, Manitoba potato crop has had a relatively good disease year. There was no late blight found in Manitoba and the season was remarkable for very low aphid numbers and low levels of early blight, according to Dr. Vikram Bisht's Potato Disease report for Manitoba Agriculture. However, black dot incidence was extensive and there was widespread Verticillium wilt earlier than normal in many fields.