Canadian potato growers will plant 5,000 less acres of potatoes this year at 380,000 acres marking a 1.3 per cent drop, the April 28 issue of the North American Potato Market News (NAPMN) says.
The report says the reduction is mainly expected to come from Prince Edward Island as growers there are dealing with rising production costs and market uncertainty. There’s also a drop expected in Ontario, while growers in New Brunswick, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan may increase acreage. Acreage will be stable in Quebec and British Columbia.
“There is a lot of uncertainty as to how growers will react to this year’s extremely high production costs and increased financial risk. Actual acreage may still change substantially,” NAPMN says.
Frozen processing acreage should be stable. The report notes contracts have been settled in several regions with the rest expected to wrap up in the next few weeks.
“Some fryers have offered contract volume increases. Growers have been reluctant to accept, due to rapidly rising input costs.”
Table potato acreage should remain stable nationally despite P.E.I. growers possibly cutting back, the report says. Russet and red potato acreage will likely remain flat, while yellow potato acres could increase slightly.
Chip potato acreage will likely drop with most of the reduction coming in Ontario, NAPMN says.
Cold, wet weather has slowed planting across most of North America, the report says.
“Planting delays and slower crop development could impact production for the 2022 potato crop more than acreage adjustments.”
Some of the early planting areas are already a week or two behind schedule. NAPMN says planting delays and slow crop development will likely have a much larger impact on total production than acreage adjustments.