PEI

Potato prices climbing in wake of poor growing season

Fresh potato prices are higher than usual because of shortages after the worst growing season in decades.

Worldwide crop may be the worst in more than 45 years

While the harvest worked out for some, many P.E.I. farm fields were too muddy to harvest. (Submitted by Bryan Maynard)

Fresh potato prices are higher than usual because of shortages after the worst growing season in decades.

On P.E.I., Canada's largest producer of potatoes, it's estimated about 2,800 hectares of potatoes were left in fields, because the fall was so wet and fields were too muddy to harvest. The season was also late starting due to a cold spring.

People in the industry estimate prices for potatoes are up at least 15 per cent, and could continue to climb even further.

"They're saying it's the shortest crop since 1972, worldwide," said Jennifer Harris, marketing director for Mid Isle Farms in Albany, P.E.I.

"I think that everybody's holding on and expecting these higher prices but I do feel like there may be a sense out there that they should be even higher."

Harris said there is still supply right now, but as that supply dwindles prices could rise further. How much they go up, she said, will depend on how strong the new potato crop is from Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.

Those potatoes usually arrive in May.

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