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Important Harvest Considerations for PEI Growers in 2018

It’s been an incredibly challenging harvest season, and we’re hoping for much better weather to allow you to get the rest of the crop under cover. We’ve received some suggestions and had some thoughts as well in reflection of the conditions this fall, so we’d like to share them with you.

Disposal of Tare soil at storages

There’s a lot of soil getting to the warehouse yards due to the wet conditions. It’s very important to handle that soil properly in order to prevent problems in the future. The soil should either be returned to the field from which it came, or else taken to non-agricultural sites so that nothing in the soil can potentially contaminate another field(s). Good practices in this area can help prevent the spread of disease and/or pests.

 Sharing of Farm Equipment

Some growers who have finished digging their own crops are now helping neighbours get their crops under cover. That’s wonderful, and similar to the tare soil noted above, there are biosecurity considerations involved. Please ensure that you clean and disinfect your equipment before you move onto another farm, and before you return your equipment back to your own place later this fall. Also, if you are a seed potato farm and are getting help from neighbours, ensure that the equipment is cleaned and disinfected to CFIA’s requirements in order to ensure you retain your seed status. If you have any questions on that, please call your local CFIA inspector.

Stress/Mental Health

The growing conditions for the 2018 crop have been very difficult, and that takes a toll on you and your family, as well as on the crops. The PEI Federation of Agriculture (PEIFA) has a confidential counselling service that is available free of charge to Federation members and their families. No one within the PEIFA or the Department of Agriculture will know who uses the service.

The services will be accessible 24 hours a day by contacting the counselling coordinators – Jan Henry, Caroline LeBlanc or Frank Bulger directly at (902) 626-9787.  Again, all calls and enquiries will remain confidential.

If there’s anything we can do to help with any of the above, or with anything else, given this challenging harvest, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Source: PEI Potato Agronomy

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