Here is your provincial potato association updates from across Canada for the fall 2023 issue of Spud Smart.

B.C. Vegetable Marketing Commission logo

British Columbia

By: Hugh Reynolds with Reynalda Farms in Delta, B.C.

British Columbia had a good early start this year, as most potatoes were planted in early to mid-May. In fact, many areas of North America got off to a good start. After several years of short supply and fair prices, every seed piece that would throw a sprout was planted.

Most potatoes planted are Russets as they yield well and can be sold everywhere. The changing weather this summer gave many growers perfect days with yields greater than the storages would hold. In the east more rainfall than the potatoes needed placed those potatoes in peril. Farmers in both situations are desperate to sell potatoes fast and out of the field if possible. This sudden extra supply is weakening prices.

With winter, supply will be back in balance with good demand, and fair prices should return. For those of us in the middle we need to store our potatoes and stay out of the market so that the market can right itself. It may take until Easter but with patience we will still make money.

Keystone Potato Producers Association logo
Photo: Keystone Potato Producers Association


By: Susan Ainsworth, general manager of the Keystone Potato Producers Association

Planting began roughly a week later than average this spring; however, when compared to 2022, the crop got in and out of the ground nearly two weeks earlier with over 50 per cent of fields at emergence by the first week in June. By contrast, planting wasn’t completed in the province until June 18 in 2022. Above normal temperatures in May and June contributed to quick emergence and tuberization. At the same time, rainfall was significantly below normal (50 to 75 per cent below) and remained that way throughout most of the growing season apart from some sites in the western part of the province. Many rainfall events came in the form of thunderstorms leading to multiple incidents of scattered hail damage.

The off-field harvest began in early August and looked very good which is leading growers to be optimistic as we move into harvesting the storage crop. Early indications of process fields being harvested as of Sept. 11 suggest it will be a good crop. In addition, irrigated seed that has been dug to date is also showing excellent quality and strong yields. Wishing everyone a safe and abundant harvest!

Planning has begun for Manitoba Potato Production Days which will be held Jan. 23 to 25 in Brandon, Man. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend as we anticipate an excellent show.

Ontario Potato Board logo
Photo: Ontario Potato Board


By: Kevin Brubacher, manager of the Ontario Potato Board

The 2023 growing season has been a welcome change from recent years in the province of Ontario. For much of the summer producers across the province received adequate rainfall to produce an exceptional crop. Although the wet weather brought its own set of challenges along with it, all reports indicate a better than normal yielding crop with good quality. We will see some losses in low lying areas and from a few cases of late blight. As producers begin the storage harvest, we know they will do an excellent job of leaving any questionable potatoes in the field.

At the time of writing this in early September, harvest of the 2023 Ontario summer potato crop is winding down. Movement has been steady with pricing holding strong. Harvest began on the fresh potato crop in mid-July with harvest of the storage crop beginning mid- September into October. We are confident the majority of acres will be harvested by the second week of October. Field run product for the process market has been of excellent quality and movement has been brisk. Harvest of the storage crop for our process customers is in full swing.

The annual general meeting of the Ontario Potato Board is scheduled to take place Dec. 6, 2023. We invite anyone interested in attending to please do so. Direct any questions regarding the AGM can be sent to the board office at [email protected] or call (519) 846-5553.

Potatoes New Brunswick logo
Photo: Potatoes New Brunswick

New Brunswick

By: Jean-Maurice Daigle, director of market information for Potatoes New Brunswick

With harvest starting, growers are praying for drier weather. The crop got off to a great start at planting and received timely rains during the first part of the season, but the province has received more that the needed amount of rain in the month of August and the first part of September. Growers began harvesting the off-field processing crops the week after Labour Day and have had to work around rain fall events and less than ideal digging conditions to deliver the crop to processors. Initial reports of the early varieties are showing average yields, low tuber count and higher than average hollow heart. Ten feet digs of the storage varieties are showing the same low tuber count and a few quality issues.

The growing season’s weather meant that growers had to be vigilant and keep on top of spraying the crop. Growers managed to keep disease at bay in the field and are hoping that the conditions improve during the harvest in order to ensure the storability of the crop.

Saskatchewan Seed Potato Growers' Association Inc. logo
Photo: Saskatchewan Seed Potato Growers’ Association Inc.


By: Anita van Loon, administrator of the Saskatchewan Seed Potato Growers Association Inc.

The 2023 season was mostly hot and dry with a lot of irrigation done by growers. Depending on the area, the crop looks decent to good. Some of the growers expect a lower yield compared to previous years. Growers are reporting they see ozone damage due to all the smoke from forest fires.

Our annual field day at the Canada Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre showed us the research of growing sweet potatoes in a short season. The research is done in high tunnels, under row cover, and in regular ground.

Most of the growers are busy with top killing, and some have started with harvest as of mid-September.

We at the Saskatchewan Seed Potato Growers Association wish all the growers across Canada a good and safe harvest.

Related Articles

Despite Wide Ranging Weather Canadian Potato Yields Decent

Canadian Potato Crop Looking Decent

Hot Hot Hot (and Dry) Weather Weighing on Canadian Potato Crop