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Canadian Potato CropReport August

Prince Edward Island
PEI’s potato crop got off to a good start and most fields have achieved full canopy.Unfortunately,weather in the past month has been hot and dry.There have been sporadic rainfalls across the Island that have maintained the crop, but generally amounts have been insufficient. Some fields and certain varieties are now showing stress during the tuber bulking phase. A good rain is needed as soon as possible to finish the crop with decent yield and quality. Still too early to make an accurate yield prediction but it will likely be tough to get an average crop unless conditions improve real soon. To date there has been limited harvest for fresh markets locally, in the Maritimes and a few loads for export. Crop yield for these early digs has been light.

New Brunswick
Has been a decent growing season but rain fall in the past two weeks has been scattered and erratic. The southern region of the Potato Belt was very dry having received significantly less than the 5-year average of normal seasonal precipitation to date. The northern regions have received approximately 93% of normal precipitation. Fortunately,on August 8-9, both Carleton and Victoria county received 1-2 inches of rain, scattered across the counties. Tuber development, set and size, is good for this time of year,slightly behind,but catching up. After the rain, some fields of early superiors are now ready for top kill. In the southeastern part of the province, round whites are being harvested now.

Since planting, the province of Quebec, has experienced a lot of heat and very little rain. The irrigated fields and areas that received more rain are in great condition, but the tubers didn’t quite bulk as expected. On the other hand, rainfall and the lowering temperatures in the last two weeks have greatly benefited the plant canopies.

The Saguenay region saw adequate rainfall and the crops are in  great condition. They are, however, noting a 1-2 week delay in development. Harvest in this region will not begin before the 15th of September.The southern-central part of Quebec began harvest with small volumes of fresh white potatoes in July. The main harvest started 3 weeks ago,and this week for colors. The Russet harvest is slated to begin in a month’s time. The harvest of processing potatoes will start around the 20th of August.Demand is good; last Friday the board set the price of 10lb whites at $3.85 and 10lb colors at $4.00.It is too soon to predict yields, but at this time, it appears to be an average to below-average year. 

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