Manitoba Retailers' Lack of Potatoes Described as Anomaly

Published online: Aug 19, 2019 Articles
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Source: Portage Online

Grocery stores around the Canadian province of Manitoba haven't had the usual amount of local potatoes this year.

Manager of Keystone Potato Producers Association, Dan Sawatzky claims this is largely due to last year's crop freezing on many farmers. He says the crop would've been okay if it weren't for the weather.

"The majority of the crop was there," says Sawatzky. "We had a very good crop coming. It would've been in line with the last two or three years where we've had some exceptional yields. Growers harvested at a regular time. It looked like they were going to have a very good crop; they were just unable to get it all. It was just a matter of wet weather keeping them out of the fields and then finally they ran out of time because of the frost."

Despite last year's unfortunate weather, Sawatzky still believes most farmers will keep a similar approach.

"There may be a little additional equipment," says Sawatzky. "Maybe tweak some of the efficiency on the farms to try and tighten that harvest window. I think, for the most part, people are geared up to harvest in the harvest window that they have for a number of years. We had conditions we haven't seen since potatoes started here for processing back in the early '60s."

He adds that farmers should not be worried about the same thing happening this year or in the near future at all. However, they are pushing the start date of harvest earlier than usual.