AgronomyFading rain prospects worry P.E.I. potato farmers

Fading rain prospects worry P.E.I. potato farmers

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Following a dry June and what is turning into an even drier July, P.E.I. farmers are beginning to get concerned about the impact on the potato crop.

“As the days and now weeks start to go by in July we haven’t had any additional rainfall,” said P.E.I. Potato Board general manager Greg Donald.

“On top of that [we] have had above normal temperatures, so concern that it’s going to have an impact on the crop by harvest time.”

The last day with more than a centimetre of rain falling was July 2. Two thirds of the way through the month there is just 20.4 centimetres of rain down. The average for July is 80 cm.

Donald said the crop looks good right now but it’s a critical time. Late planting because of a wet month in May means the plants are just starting to grow potatoes.

Ideal conditions would be about 2.5 centimetres of rain perweek. Fewer potatoes will grow, and they won’t grow as big, if the lack of moisture continues.

The forecast had some rain coming to the Island early this week, but as of last Friday morning there is no other rain in the forecast through to the coming Thursday.

Source: CBC.ca

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