European drought good news for farmers

pe-grain-field.jpgThe sad truth of the global food market is that in order for farmers in one place to have a really good year, farmers somewhere else have to be having a bad one.

The harvest for grain and potatoes on P.E.I. this year looks to be excellent. Weather conditions could hardly be better, with lots of sunshine, warm weather, and just enough rain mixed in. Farmers are anticipating an excellent harvest, and bringing it in early as well.

But all that would mean very little if every region of the world was looking forward to the same. The resulting glut of produce would depress prices, and everyone would suffer.

That’s not the case this year. A drought in Europe has crushed the harvest in Russia and the Netherlands. Holland is also dealing with a new bacterial pest in its seed potatoes. As a result, prices are expected to be up, and overseas markets that have been closed for years are opening up.

“It’s sad that somebody has to have misfortune for us to get in, but that’s the way it is,” said Island potato grower Alex Docherty.

Harvest is still a few weeks away, and there could still be problems. Last year muddy harvest conditions almost did in the crop, but farmers are now looking forward to a break after years of low prices.