The North American Potato Market News (NAPM) is predicting Canadian growers will plant 374,000 acres for the 2021 growing season, which would be a four per cent increase from last year, the April 28 issue of NAPM says. NAPM is expecting acreage increases in all major producing areas, with the largest jumps happening in Manitoba and New Brunswick.
Most processing growers across the country have a good understanding of contract volumes, the report says. However, in Alberta negotiations are ongoing with growers holding back on starting to plant until terms are settled.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is still causing uncertainty for the demand outlook. NAPM notes actual acreage could still change substantially from their forecast.
Planting has started though in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia. The report notes acreage will be up in the Prairie provinces in order to supply new processing capacity, however exact increases are not clear — this is the main cause of the overall Canadian acreage bump this year.
NAPM expect modest increases in seed and table potato acres, while chip potato acres will should remain flat. Russet table potato production will likely increase with yield rebounds in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, however reports suggest growers aren’t planning to make significant acreage changes this year. There will be a shift though from red to yellow potatoes as red potato sales have been sluggish while the yellow market has been strong.