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    AgronomyCrop ProductionCanadian Potato Crop Increase Beats Estimates at 5.3 Per Cent

    Canadian Potato Crop Increase Beats Estimates at 5.3 Per Cent

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    The 2021 Canadian crop is larger than previous estimates had it pegged at, the July 16 Statistics Canada data shows. Potato acreage is estimated at 378,624 acres, up 5.3 per cent from the 2020 crop.

    Previously the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) had predicted acreage would increase by at least 2.3 per cent, while the North American Potato Market News called for a 4.3 per cent increase.

    “This year’s increase, predominantly in major processing provinces, helps bring supply in the industry back to meet demand increases in the industry that began pre-COVID,” UPGC says in a release about the data. UPGC notes acreage is still well below Canada’s peak of 457,500 acres in 2003 though.

    The largest acreage increases were recorded in Alberta and Manitoba, who have both saw processing capacity increases over the last two to three years, UPGC says. Alberta growers planted 13.1 per cent more acres of potatoes than in 2020, and in Manitoba they planted 10.1 per cent more. New Brunswick saw the third largest acreage jump at 9.2 per cent — this is to help supply a formed line expansion for the province’s fry plant.

    Potato acreage in Ontario rose five per cent, which was driven by strong demand for chips. Prince Edward Island saw a 1.1 per cent increase — the Maritime province is still Canada’s largest potato growing area, UPGC notes.

    British Columbia recorded a five per cent decrease in acreage, which UPGC says is surprising. Acreage is Saskatchewan held steady at traditional levels of 6,200 acres while Nova Scotia saw a decrease of 100 acres.

    Quebec data wasn’t available during the survey period by Statistics Canada, so a five-year average was used for the province. Actual acreage numbers for Quebec will be updated on Dec. 7 when final harvested area, yield and production data is released. Quebec’s five-year average was 43,000 acres, but the industry expects acreage to at least be equal to last year’s 45,638 acres with demand increases happening for both fresh and processing sectors, UPGC says.

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