As of June 1, total Canadian potato storage holdings are down 3.3 per cent over 2022 numbers for the same period, and higher than the three-year average, according to a United Potato Growers of Canada report.
As inventory winds down, many shippers across Canada are keeping an eye on stocks and metering out the old crop to ensure they can meet commitments through to new crop. There were a record 14.4 million cwt of potatoes shipped from storage in May, an increase of 13 per cent over April shipments and just 4.4 per cent higher than in May 2022. Fresh and processing disappearance was slightly lower this month, but seed disappearance almost doubled, as planting began in earnest in May.
Quebec and Manitoba saw slight increases in fresh shipments while all other provinces’ movement in this sector was down, with the opposite in processing, as all provinces showed increased shipments of potatoes in the sector for May except Quebec and Manitoba. Most of the seed potatoes in the west had been shipped in April, whereas the majority of seed movement in the east happened in the month of May, with 94 per cent of December seed holding shipped as of the end of May.
Planting is now complete, or almost, in all provinces across Canada, with some of the early Warba crop in B.C. harvested and in stores. The weather through planting was very good in all areas of the country, particularly compared to the cold, wet spring of last year, with most provinces reporting potatoes in the ground “on schedule”. However, in many provinces, the weather has turned hot and dry since planting, which has not yet impacted the crops drastically, but all growers are keeping a close eye on the forecast as the plants develop.
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