A quicker, but smaller potato harvest on the Island this year

Warm and drier than normal weather has meant a quicker harvest, but lower yield for many potato farmers on P.E.I.

The reason for both is the same: warm and dry weather

Warm and dry weather has meant a quick potato harvest, but there's a catch. (CBC)

Warm and drier than normal weather has meant a quicker harvest, but lower yield for many potato farmers on the Island.

Rodney Dingwell, the chair of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board, said farmers are getting their crop harvested as much as five days earlier than usual, which makes the farmers happy.

"When you get more work done in a short period there's benefits to that in reduced costs, labour and fuel,"

Dingwell said the reason dry weather makes the harvest go quicker is simple: potatoes can be more easily dug out of the ground. 

"A little moisture's good, but having too much moisture and pulling trucks through mud is not very attractive."

Dingwell also said the warmer weather meant less frost, which also helped the harvest.

What the farmers aren't happy about is some of the yield, which was lower in some areas because of the same weather that made the harvest so quick, warm and dry.

"A lot of us could've benefited from moisture early in the season when the plants could've made use of it," said Dingwell.

Between June and September, Charlottetown normally receives 373.3 millimetres of rain. This year that total was down to 323.4 millimetres, with three of four months being below normal.