Fading rain prospects worry potato farmers
Much-needed rain forecast for Friday
Following a dry June and what is turning into an even drier July, P.E.I. farmers are beginning to get concerned about the impact on the potato crop.
"As the days and now weeks start to go by in July we haven't had any additional rainfall," said P.E.I. Potato Board general manager Greg Donald.
"On top of that [we] have had above normal temperatures, so concern that it's going to have an impact on the crop by harvest time."
The last day with more than a centimetre of rain falling was July 2. Two thirds of the way through the month there is just 20.4 centimetres of rain down. The average for July is 80.
Rain in the forecast
Donald said the crop looks good right now but it's a critical time. Late planting, because of a wet month in May means the plants are just starting to grow potatoes.
Ideal conditions would be about 2.5 centimetres of rain a week. Fewer potatoes will grow, and they won't grow as big, if the lack of moisture continues.
There is rain expected, and perhaps some thundershowers, Friday afternoon and through Saturday morning.
But that rainfall could be localized. Earlier forecast had some rain coming to the Island early next week, but as of Friday morning there is no other rain in the forecast through to next Thursday.
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With files from Laura Chapin