P.E.I. potato farmers concerned about wet conditions as harvest begins
September 21, 2023 By Potatoes in Canada
The potato harvest is just about to get underway in several parts of P.E.I., and many Island farmers are wondering what all the rain this summer is going to mean for this year’s crop as they head out into the fields.
As reported by the CBC, Greg Donald, general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board, says the crop is looking good, but not as good as last year when it was almost an ideal season.
“I think we had every bit the crop, the potential, as last year. But with the ongoing cooler and wet weather, I think that’s going to affect some of the productivity,” says Donald.
Donald says harvesting will be more difficult this year due to the excessive moisture, meaning operations will slow down.
The weather may have also damaged the crops, he says.
“Potatoes that are in very wet conditions, there can be issues with tuber rot, especially in the high-risk areas, in low areas or poor-drainage areas of the field.”
Donald says producers will pay extra attention to the wetter parts of their fields and take precautions.
“They will identify those areas of the fields before harvest, and watch those areas very closely,” Donald says.
“If there’s some issues, they’ll perhaps leave those and harvest them later, segregate them in their potato warehouses and manage them differently, maybe with more ventilation. And in some cases, may decide to leave them in the field.”
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