Many Canadian potato growers have been dealing with a difficult two months with an unexpected supply of processing potatoes as a result of decreased sales of French fries, as many restaurants shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fortunately for most areas, planting conditions have been very good, allowing growers to get their 2020 crop into the ground in a timely manner.
On Prince Edward Island, late May, planting is around 70% complete with very good conditions and no rain delays over the past ten days. Some growers will finish up this week and soil conditions are now getting dry.
Processing acres in the province are expected to be down 10% below last year. Chip acres will be up slightly, and little change is expected in fresh or seed acres. PEI planted 85,500 acres last year. Potatoes from the old crop continue to go to intended markets. There will be significant unused seed as a result of lower processing acres. Surplus seed will be diverted to fresh markets, dehydrated goods, cattle feed or waste. Old crop potatoes will likely be processed into September.