Almost time to plant for P.E.I. potato farmers

Island potato farmers are checking the machinery and testing the soil, because planting time is almost here.

Soil should be dry enough by next week in many areas

Potato farmers are eagerly awaiting drier weather to plant potatoes. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Island potato farmers are gearing up for another planting season.

At least one farm in the province's east has already planted a few acres, according to P.E.I. Potato Board chair Rodney Dingwell.

But he says most farmers are still getting their gear ready.

"This is a very mechanical business that we're in," said Dingwell. "There's a lot of machinery and most people take this time of year to go over and prepare their machinery and get it serviced, and hopefully then planting will go without too many breakdowns."

Until the soil is dry, most farmers will do maintenance on the machinery they'll use for planting. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Most farmers will wait until the soil gets a bit warmer, which could happen as early as next week.

"We're seeing the sunshine coming out for longer days now, and the land is drying," said Dingwell, who also runs Modhaicdh Farms Ltd. near Morell. "There is always some last-minute, hurry up, get it done jobs to do, and we're doing that."

Planting on P.E.I. usually starts in the east and moves west, because the eastern end of the Island has drier, sandier soil.

From the Island Morning interview by Stephanie Kelly