P.E.I. shipping in potatoes to make up for low crop yield
Island production fell eight per cent overall after dry summer, largest drop among major Canadian growers
P.E.I. has experienced a lower potato crop yield than usual this year and has been forced to ship in spuds from other areas of the country to make up for it.
- A quicker, but smaller potato harvest on the Island this year
- P.E.I.'s dry summer may take a toll on potato yield
The province remains Canada's heaviest hitter in terms of potato production, producing roughly 25 per cent of the country's annual yield.
However, dry weather conditions over the summer reduced the Island crop yield by about eight per cent this year — the largest drop among major growers in Canada.
The ones in Manitoba are probably are not all spoken for yet so we expect that will happen throughout the season.— Kevin MacIsaac
Kevin MacIsaac, general manger of the United Potato Growers of Canada, says western P.E.I. took the brunt of this year's dry spell. He said eastern P.E.I. received enough rainfall to keep production levels near normal.
"Mother Nature still controls a big part of the farmer's wellbeing and their ability to produce a crop," he said.
"It's not a question of acreage being planted, or that kind of scenario, it's more about what the season brings and that's what the season brought this year."
Cavendish calls for more potatoes
Most major potato-growing provinces had a steady production year with Alberta, Quebec and New Brunswick experiencing surpluses again.
In response to P.E.I.'s lower yield, Cavendish has had to import potatoes from as far as away as Alberta to make up for the shortage.
MacIsaac said it's costly to ship potatoes from that far away and that processors will have to cover that cost.
"Companies took the initiative to purchase those potatoes and get those moved to P.E.I.," he said. "The ones in Manitoba are probably are not all spoken for yet so we expect that will happen throughout the season."
MacIsaac said P.E.I. could look for potatoes, if need be, from the U.S.
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