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Robert Irving, president of Cavendish Farms, delivers a speech to the P.E.I. Young Farmers Association at Murphy’s Community Centre Saturday. Irving said the company is currently working on developing potatoes that can withstand dry growing conditions. Photo: Katherine Hunt

Cavendish Farms Developing Seeds to Withstand Dry P.E.I. Summers

Cavendish Farms is working to develop potato seeds that can thrive in dry growing conditions on P.E.I., says the company’s president Robert Irving.

Irving was a guest speaker during the P.E.I. Youth Farmers annual general meeting at Murphy’s Community Centre Saturday.

“We’ve got a whole seed investment now,” said Irving. “We’ve got a seed specialist and we’re putting up a seed farm here to develop new types of seed varieties and new types of potatoes to get better yield, better quality.”

While Irving’s presentation focused on customer care, during a question and answer session he spoke about the importance of developing potatoes that could thrive in drought-like conditions.

The last two harvests of P.E.I. potatoes have produced lower than average yields, partially because of hot summer temperatures with little rain. Growers saw further complications in 2018 with an unusually rainy fall, which led to thousands of acres of potatoes being left in the ground.

To make up for the shortfall, Irving said Cavendish Farms imported millions of pounds of potatoes from other provinces and the United States for its New Annan plant.

Read more in The Guardian

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