With Manitoba and Alberta potato growers increasing acres, the extra processing supplies should help alleviate a supply shortfall in the United States but it still won’t be enough for a total offset, the July 22 issue of North American Potato Market News (NAPM) says.
Overall North American potato production decreased by 3.7 per cent to 1.328 million acres. The biggest cut came in the U.S., where growers reduced their planted area 4.9 per cent. In Canada acreage was cut by 1,039 acres with increases in table potato acres, chip acreage and seed offsetting most of the contract volume reductions in the frozen processing sector.
With a trend yield and normal abandonment Canada could produce a 115.1 million cwt potato crop in 2020, the report notes. This would exceed the current estimate for the 2019 crop by 8.6 million cwt, or 8.1 per cent.
“The biggest factor in the projected crop increase is the anticipation that Canada will not experience a third consecutive year of substantial harvest losses.”
There is concern though from Eastern Canada where prolonged dry weather may take the top off of potato yields, the report says.
Canadian chip potato buyers increased contract volumes this year, matching the increased pandemic demand. The biggest increase happened in Ontario, the report notes.