Potatoes New Brunswick
    After what was an almost perfect beginning to the growing season, the recent spell of prolonged high temperatures and dry conditions have been an obstacle for potato growers.

    "The weather was ideal until three weeks ago. Everything was ahead of schedule and there were good growing conditions,"said Joe Brennan, chairman of Potatoes New Brunswick's board of directors, late last week.
    "Then the conditions turned extremely dry and we experienced a setback. It is certainly taking a toll."

    The south of the province seemed to be hit the hardest by the drought-like conditions. The area has received little rain. Temperatures have been well above average for this time of year.

    Brennan and most of the potato industry were hoping heavy rain expected to be delivered by hurricane Earl over the weekend and forecasted lower temperatures this week will help to alleviate some of the damage.

    The Upper St. John River Valley escaped most of Earl's wrath as the storm veered east at the last minute, delivering the worst it had to offer to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. While it delivered the rain the Upper Valley needed, it didn't hit the region with damaging winds.

    Still, in the lead up to last weekend's rain, potato growers were forced to deal with August's extreme heat and lack of rain.

    "The south seems to be the worst. Woodstock has been quite dry,"said Brennan. "This extreme heat is taking a greater toll. We're not really sure of how that's going to impact the crop."