PEI

P.E.I. potato industry to focus on research

The chair of the P.E.I. Potato Board says growers on the Island have not been getting the net returns that other growers across the country have been getting for their crop.

Canadian Potato Council maps national plan

The P.E.I. Potato Board says some crops are rotting in storage this year. (CBC)

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board met on Friday.

The chair of the board said growers on the Island have not been getting the net returns that other growers across the country have been getting for their crop.

Gary Linkletter said the industry needs to stay on top of research in order to stay competitive.

"Nationally, the Canadian Potato Council is deep into getting a plan together, and staff here has worked hard to help us get something together. Going to take that to growers in the new year and try to formalize a plan," he said.

"The government has gotten out of research for the most part. They're certainly not doing the basic research they used to, so if we want it done we're going to have to do it ourselves."

Linkletter said this plan will help them identify better methods of growing that will help producers keep their costs down.

Heavy rainfall in September paired with a relatively warm fall has caused some potatoes to rot in their storage facilities on the eastern side of the Island, according to the P.E.I. Potato Board.

The province said some samples have come in showing cases of pink and bacterial rot. The Department of Agriculture said the temperatures aren't dropping low enough at night to cool and dry the potatoes.

"Down east, there are a couple of storages that had some storage problems, nothing severe, nothing like a couple of years ago. Western end our crop came in very good condition and is storing well," Linkletter said.