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Despite temperature troubles

Manitoba potato harvest surprisingly good

Dan Sawatzky is the manager of the Keystone Potato Producers Association, and he says that when you have days where it gets to be about 30 degrees, that's when the plant starts to react negatively. He explains what happens with potatoes that experience that level of heat: "The potato plant struggles in that kind of heat and it shuts down, so it actually loses the ability to grow and mature. Tails are a little smaller this year than we normally would like to see and maturity has taken place a bit later than normal."

The harvest began earlier this year; it is now about 60 per cent done. Regular harvests begin around mid-August, whereas this harvest began towards the beginning of August. He goes into detail on some of the positives seen this year.

"We have not had any (blight) reported and lately they've been in spore traps set up over the last three years," Sawatzky told portageonline.com. "We didn't catch any late blight spores either so that disease wasn't a problem this year."

He says despite all of the negatives surrounding this year, the potato harvest has a surprising amount of positives, as since the rain came and went before the harvest began for them, the potatoes were able to recover.


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