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Potato fields P.E.I are too dry

Canadian growers want high-capacity well ban lifted

Some potato farmers from Prince Edward Island are calling for government to lift its moratorium on high-capacity agricultural wells to allow more irrigation as the province enters "a near-crisis situation" in terms of dryness, said the executive director of the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture.

Robert Godfrey said the lack of rain has decimated crops this year and the province needs to take another look at lifting the moratorium: "We're seeing about a third of the rainfall now for the third or fourth month in a row. We need rain in a really bad way … about 30 millimetres of rain as soon as we can get it."

As reported by potatoesincanada.com, several growers have lobbied the provincial government for years to lift the ban on drilling high-capacity wells in the province, a moratorium that has been in place since 2002.

Godfrey questioned why other industries and municipalities have access to water and agriculture does not: "We feel that's discriminatory. If the recharge is as adequate as they say, then why continue to exclude agriculture from allowing them to irrigate crops."

He said he'll be meeting with Premier Dennis King this week.

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