Canada Potato Production Down 3 Percent

Published online: Dec 14, 2018 Articles
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Source: CBC News 

Potato production was down almost 3 percent across the country this year, according to figures released by Statistics Canada.

Because of difficult growing and harvesting conditions, about 6,000 acres of potatoes were left unharvested and are still in the ground.

Almost 8 percent of P.E.I.'s seeded area went unharvested—or about 7,000 acres. Jason Hayden, chair of the P.E.I. Potato Board, says that will present a challenge for next year.

"Each farm's going to have to make their own decisions on how they deal with those fields, how they till them, what crops they can put in them," he said.

"Even the fields that were harvested, there's a lot of compaction issues farmers have to deal with. A lot of farmers didn't get their cover crops on quite the way they would have liked to so there are issues that farmers will have to deal with."

Even with the drop in production, P.E.I. was still the largest grower in the country with 21.8 percent of the overall crop.

Alberta had 21.5 percent and farmers were able to harvest 97 percent of their seeded area, increasing production almost nine per cent. 

Manitoba came in with 19.6 percent even with a loss of more than 8 percent of its crop.

A late spring, dry summer and cold, wet fall made growing and harvesting conditions difficult for potato farmers. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)