The provincial government in Prince Edward Island is giving seed potato producers $3 million to help them adapt amid ongoing trade suspensions, a May 12 news release said.
The Soil Building for Seed Producers Projects is a $3 million provincial investment into the Island’s seed sector funded through the Potato Emergency Contingency Program. It will focus on the continued implementation of Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) on fields currently used for seed potato production, the release said.
“In our meetings with industry and the P.E.I. Potato Board, the need for additional supports for our seed sector were identified, specifically so that those growers can assess and address alternative crops as they deal with ongoing trade suspensions,” Bloyce Thompson, P.E.I. minister of agriculture and land, said in the release. “To be able to deliver a program that will support them and at the same time help build our Island soil, is something we are proud to deliver.”
The release noted the project was developed in collaboration with the P.E.I. Potato Board and will focus on a variety of BMPs, including incorporating new soil-building crops into rotations and extending rotations with soil-building perennial crops to increase carbon sequestration and contribute to reducing net carbon emissions in the province.
“This project will help those most affected by the restrictions on seed movement to cover fixed costs while gaining some time to assess how they move ahead, and it is very positive that they will be able to take advantage of this support while benefitting the environment and improving soil health,” John Visser, chairman of the P.E.I. Potato Board, said in the release.
P.E.I. seed potato exports to the United States have been banned since November after potato wart was discovered in two fields. Table stock exports to the U.S. resumed in April.
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