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Potato Harvest Canada cut short by severe frost.

Potato Harvest Canada cut short by severe frost.

The weather in PEI this fall was rain, rain and more rain. Growers didn't have enough days of decent weather to dig potatoes out of the ground. The PEI Potato Board has described the weather as, "for the birds" on social media.

November 26, 2018
The General Manager of United Potato Growers of Canada, Kevin MacIsaac, released a report on the final potato harvest situation in Canada.

Kevin MacIsaac:

Unfortunately this has been a very difficult harvest in almost all provinces in Canada.”

“Approximately 15,000 acres in the country had to be abandoned which will have implications for our supply this marketing season.
The potato harvest in Canada by province

Prince Edward Island

After a month of very high rainfall, the last suitable day for harvest was November 9th. Many growers dug for 24 hours around the clock until rain came again in the early hours of November 10th. Abnormally cold temperatures dipped to -15 Celsius and two snowstorms since have prevented further progress.

The PEI Potato Board surveyed all growers and estimate that 6,800 acres were unable to be harvested. All four sectors of processing, table, seed, and chipstock have been affected in that order. Between 2-2.5 million hundredweight may have been left in the ground due to extreme weather conditions.

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The latest potato statistics for Prince Edward Island


Nova Scotia

Growers could not catch a break from early frost in the spring, to a summer of drought, to excessive rains at harvest. Some fields still had water between the rows and had to be abandoned.

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The latest potato statistics for Nova Scotia


New Brunswick

When cold weather set in many growers had 20-25 acres left to finish and one grower had a very large block to harvest. Estimated acreage unharvested is between 500 to 1,500 acres. In addition, those later harvested acres have some cold damage. Yields were relatively good however defects are a concern for both fresh and processing with regard to off types, gravity, and colour.

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The latest potato statistics for New Brunswick


Quebec

The harvest turned difficult in the northern part of Quebec and cold temperatures stalled harvest. The estimate of acres that had to be abandoned is close to 2,000 acres. A dry summer had reduced overall yields but an even bigger concern is the size profile. An early frost stopped tubers from bulking into that chef or jumbo size.

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The latest potato statistics for Quebec


Ontario

Most of the crop got harvested. The province had a tough difficult, late harvest with wet conditions, however the temperatures never dipped to the extremes of other provinces. Given the hot dry summer, many buildings are not full and others do not have potatoes stored in them at all. Size profile is also a concern for chef markets.

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The latest potato statistics for Ontario


Manitoba

Harvest in Manitoba has left 5,200 acres abandoned due to harvest conditions. This 2,000,000 cwt. was mostly designated for the processing market. In addition the last several thousand acres dug after severe cold temperatures are now having storage difficulties as they warm up. Processing potatoes are currently being imported to meet commitments.

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The latest potato statistics for Manitoba


Saskatchewan

Severe cold in Saskatchewan stalled harvest when it was only 35% complete. Some acreage was harvested after the frost and others were abandoned.

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The latest potato statistics for Saskatchewan


Alberta

There was still 5% of the crop to be harvested when snow and /or cold weather set in. However after a 4-week period the temperature did warm up and the soil dried allowing most of harvest to be completed. About 500 acres had to be abandoned. Colour was lost after the cold and warehouses containing those potatoes are being monitored closely for storage issues.

(Click to access)

The latest potato statistics for Prince Alberta


British Columbia

Harvest went well allowing growers to complete the job before bad weather set in. Yields were good, above last year, and also had good quality.

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The latest potato statistics for British Columbia

Companies in this Article
The United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) aims to improve the marketing of potatoes via the development of better market information and analysis, and stronger communications and cooperation between grower organizations across Canada.