By Garry J. Sloik,
Keystone Potato Producers’ Association
Manitoba Processing Potatoes As this article is being written in early October, the weather is fully cooperating—sunny, warm and windy—allowing harvest to finish. In Manitoba, harvest has been very trying for many producers, the sporadic rains continued and the Portage, Carman and Winkler areas lost many of the mid-September harvest days due to wet conditions. Light frosts in late September saved some top-killing costs but did very little or no damage.
Overall, crop yields follow the wild weather swings of the spring and summer, with many record high yields and a few fields that will probably not even be harvested. Many areas had too much rain earlier that created “holes” in fields but the balance of the field yielded well. There were a number of fields with reported yields over 500 cwt/acre.
These yields are a credit to the producers for having all the inputs in place and Mother Nature for cooperating with early heat and a warm summer—considering the provincial average has been 260–270 cwt/acre. Although harvest is not complete, we anticipate there will be enough processing potatoes to fulfill the processors’ contract volumes. The cool storage temperatures in early September allowed the producers who were harvesting to use plenty of air to condition the crop in storage and the storages are in very good condition.
Hopefully it will continue.
Upcoming conference and trade show:
January 26–27, 2011 Manitoba Potato Production Days
Keystone Centre Brandon, Man.