The Canadian potato crop is looking good with growers from coast-to-coast optimistic for favourable growing conditions, the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) says in a report on June 23. The crop is in various stages, ranging from emergence to touching between rows.
Prince Edward Island
The P.E.I. potato crop is emerged with nice, even stands being reported. Growing conditions have been excellent and the crop is in better shape than at this time last year, the report notes.
Surveys are indicating planted acreage is slightly larger at one per cent, up around 1,000 acres, UPGC says.
Potatoes in New Brunswick were planted early with some growers reporting their finishing date to be ahead of their starting date last year, the report says. Emergence has been good despite dry growing conditions. Canopies are beginning to fill out.
Planted acreage is expected to be up, with the formed product line in the McCain expansion requiring a minimum of 3,000 to 4,000 additional acres. Some chip acres have even been shifted to french fry acres. Neighbouring states have also been looking to increase their volume requirements, UPGC notes.
Planting and emergence conditions have been ideal for Quebec potato crops. The crop is looking good overall, but it has been a bit drier in the area south of Montreal, UPGC says.
Processing acres are expected to be higher, with a slight increase on the fresh side also.
New potatoes are listed for sale with harvest to start on July 5, the report notes.
Planting conditions were ideal for Ontario crops, the report says. Some earlier planted potatoes in April were hit by frost but have since recovered.
“The crop overall looks very good, but the province is very dry and in need of rain. Growers with irrigation have rarely seen such an early start to the job of adding water, with many in their third or fourth pass already,” UPGC says.
Acreage is expected to be flat, with harvest starting around July 10 to 15.
Potato crops in Manitoba have been experiencing very dry conditions with most in need of more moisture.
“This year it has been dry, with no rain for two weeks now, and none in the forecast for 10 days. Some reservoirs are 35 to 40 per cent full while others are empty,” UPGC says.
Growers in some areas are using up their available water to hasten row closure and minimize evaporation losses from the soil surface. Moisture limitation will challenge yield potential.”
Total fresh acreage is expected to be similar to last, it will be down a couple hundred on reds though. On the processing side, acreage has increased around 5,500 acres — this isn’t enough to meet processing plant needs though, the repot notes.
The Saskatchewan crop went in early with good planting conditions, UPGC says. However, soil is quite dry with water supplies for irrigation at some of the lowest levels in recent memory.
Acreage is expected to be slightly higher, up around 200 acres.
Planting of potatoes in Alberta was completed quick this year, with emergence good so far. It’s been extremely dry though across the province, the report notes.
“Alberta is not as reliant as other provinces on reservoirs to source water for irrigation. So should have adequate water supply for the processing region, although growers have been busy staying ahead of the crop needs,” UPGC says.
The seed crop in the northern part of the province is coming along well. Crops in the Lacombe and Red Deer area suffered severe hail damage shredding emerged plants, the report notes.
Growers in B.C. had an early spring with good planting conditions. Growing conditions have been excellent, with bud formation and rows almost closed, the report says. The first early season Warba’s were for sale as of May 20.