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Crop update August 19, 2021

Canada: Early harvest of table, chip, and processing potatoes has begun in most provinces

The potato crop in Canada is now in the very critical growth stage of tuber bulking. Set has been determined and it is now this phase which will provide yield and determine production for this crop. While there is still considerable time left for many growing regions, the Canadian crop in mid-August appears to have good potential (in many but not all regions) to meet the needs of industry and rebound after reductions in yield and production experienced due to growing conditions in the previous two seasons. Early harvest of table, chip, and processing potatoes has begun in most provinces. A summary of crop progress from east to west follows:

Prince Edward Island:
The potato crop in PEI has experienced almost ideal growing
conditions for the first 90-100 days of its growing season. The
province received 130 plus mm of rainfall during the month of July, a
welcome change from the drought of previous years.

New Brunswick:
The overall health of the crop is good to excellent. The moisture level
in the northern part of the province is dry to very dry, so timely
moisture is still needed to finish the later maturing varieties.
Moisture levels in the southern area of the province have been
better but will still need rain.

Although the growing season has been excellent earlier on, the
excessive heat and dry conditions experienced lately have been
stressing the crop. The early table harvest got off to a great start with
potential for a high yielding crop, however later season varieties
could be negatively impacted on both yield and size. Growers who
have the ability to irrigate are busy doing so.

The 2021 potato crop has enjoyed a nice growing season throughout
the province. Some years would see large differentials in moisture
levels and resulting yields from the southern Simcoe county to the
northern parts of Dufferin county. This year, abundant rainfall has
taken some of the pressure off long days of running irrigation

Fresh potato growing areas of the province have experienced the
most severe drought in the province, with very hot and dry
conditions. Many reservoirs in the Carmen and Winkler areas have
been drained and yield is being substantially affected at this time.
Current estimates are 50% of a normal crop. Rain is forecast for the
weekend, but unfortunately many fields will not have the benefit of
that moisture, as producers need to start top killing for harvest.

Temperatures are once again into the mid 30’s this week. Stress from
heat is beginning to show up in processing fields, particularly on
varieties like Russet Burbank which are susceptible to early dying.
Most reservoirs have run out of water but those drawing from the
aquifer or Assiniboine River have adequate water. Some rain
(between half an inch to an inch) fell over the past week with more
forecasted this week. Early harvest on Rangers began August 10th and matched or exceeded expectations for yield with good size profile.
Old crop finished over the weekend, although Simplot is planning on
bringing in additional crop from ND during this week.

Despite the heat and drought this year, Saskatchewan has a very
decent looking crop. Growers have been able to keep up with water
demand using irrigation, which is expected to produce a better crop
than the previous two years, in terms of both quality and yield. Crop
stages are extremely varied due to the heat, and also smoke from

The province received one inch of rain this week – the first in about
two months. Hot temperatures are starting to cool off, but crop
damage has already been done. The crops do look green and lush on
top, but underneath is a very different story.

British Columbia:
The province has had record setting heat since June 15th. Most
growers have been able to keep water to the fields which should
result in a good average yield but not like the one experienced last
year. Early harvest has been going on for some time.

Click here for the full report

For more information:
Kevin MacIsaac
United Potato Growers of Canada 

Publication date:

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