Potato Harvest Complete, Crop Suffered From Extreme Heat

Oct 22, 2021

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Manitoba's potato harvest has basically wrapped up.

That according to Dan Sawatzky, Manager of Keystone Potato Producers Association (KPPA).

"Yields varied a lot. Certain areas that ran short of water, they certainly performed quite a bit poorer. It's a little bit variable within regions as well, but basically the Carberry area and the Portage area, actually performed quite well. Winkler and Carman, not so good although there are exceptions within all the regions," he said. "We will be short. There were some growers that met contract volumes, but the majority of them did not. The crop didn't fair that well given the heat that we experienced through the summer. Thirty-six days of over 30 degree weather. It actually shortens the season, potatoes don't perform well if the temperature is above 28 or 30 degrees Celsius."

Sawatzky says some farmers delayed harvest to increase the season length in hopes of getting a little extra yield.

"This year we faired overall a little better than last year," he added. "I think our numbers last year ended up being about 17 per cent short of contract. I expect we'll be somewhere in that 10 to 15 per cent range this year. Processors are looking elsewhere to see if there's supply to bring into the province again and the only place that seems to have any extra would be the eastern parts of Canada and the U.S."

Sawatzky notes there is some early storage issues such as blackleg or soft rot. Late and early blight weren't major concerns this year, due to the dry conditions.

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The Ag Bros are Jim, Tom and Eric Schuurmans. We are a dairy, poultry and grain farm in Ontario, Canada.