By Garry J. Sloik,
Keystone Potato Producers’ Association
The 2010 season has been a wild roller coaster ride. In April, everything went well and it was estimated that 60% of the crop was seeded, far beyond any other year. The first half of May was cool and wet with very little more planted during that period. The majority of the balance was planted in the second half of May and would have been normal except for the continued sporadic rain causing some seed rot and, in some areas, enough drown-out to force replanting in June—so much for the early spring. As this is being written, the thunderstorms continue and some of the replanting may be in trouble a second time. The last of the table potatoes have just been planted but it is too late to plant for processing potatoes as maturity would be an issue.
Part of the province will have ping-pong ball-sized early Rangers, while other Russets have not emerged.
Just when you think things can’t get worse, the gardening stores import and sell tomato transplants with late blight so our industry is faced with a very long spray season. This is costly for those who have a good crop started but at least they have the potential for a very good crop. The lateplanted, low-potential yield will also have a costly spray season.
Manitoba has some acreage with tremendous potential and other acreage that will suffer all year.
Here’s hoping the roller coaster ride ends soon and the weather cooperates.