According to Ontario’s potato specialist Eugenia Banks, Ontario’s potato harvest was progressing well, but had to stop over the past few days as temperatures rose above optimal harvest levels.
Banks told potatoesincanada.com: “To keep a healthy crop in storage, pulp tuber temperature should not be above 18 C when trucks arrive to storages.” Temperatures in Alliston, one of the potato growing regions in the province, have hovered around the mid-20s Centrigrade over the past couple days.
Mark van Oostrum with WD Potato Ltd. estimates that about 40 per cent of the chip stock is now harvested. Banks added that according to Joe Lach of Fancy Pak Brand Inc, potato farmers in the Simcoe – Delhi area should be done digging by October 12.
According to Lach, there are a lot of odd-shaped potatoes and internal problems in the late crop. Grade out is high too. This is the result of a hot, dry summer, or as Lach put it “the wrath of nature.”