b'EYE ON THE NATION BRITISH COLUMBIA MANITOBAHugh Reynolds with Reynalda Farms Dan Sawatzky, general manager,in Delta, B.C. Keystone Potato Producers AssociationBritish Columbia is having a normal spring and those who plantIt has been a long cold winter in Manitoba with fields in the early potato varieties are busy planting.majority of the potato growing region still covered in snow as of The effects of the fall floods are mostly past with repairswriting in late March. The exception would be in the southern mostly done. There was an initial concern about fields beingportion of the province which has experienced enough snow overcapacity, but the flood waters just went over top and backmelt to begin to fill reservoirs, many which had remained empty into the river.the previous year. I dont expect any real changes to B.C.s fresh potato acresWith the increased snow over the winter, we are in a better for 2022 as our fields are already on a short crop rotation. Theposition for spring moisture than in the last few years. The slow highways and railways still have a few temporary bridges butmelt has meant more moisture has remained on the land to begin are all delivering potatoes as fast as possible. B.C. mainly growsto replenish soil moisture yet still allowing for some runoff to fresh cut fries for our own market and we depend on the Prairiesbe captured. Timely rainfall will still be needed throughout the to supply the Pacific markets.growing season to avoid last years experience of harvesting 60 Theres a lot of stress everywhere between the Russianper cent of a normal crop due to drought for many crops grown invasion of Ukraine and supply shortages, it cannot be saidunder dryland conditions.enough to work steady and safe. Good luck! Some seed is moving out to grower yards to be pre-cut and prepared for planting. An early spring is looking quite unlikely. Seed management may need to respond accordingly. There may also be some growers unsure of their full planting intentions with alternate crop pricing looking very attractive at an all-time high.Contract talks around potato pricing, although settled early in some parts of North America, are still not settled in Manitoba at the time of writing. Volumes have been communicated to allow for the planning of seed procurement. Manitoba is still struggling to supply all the processor needs locally. A contributing factor is the lack of water license availability at the current time. The discussion of this shortfall is ongoing within the province between growers, processors and government.As COVID-19 restrictions ease within the province our first in person industry meeting is taking place. Our spring production meeting combined with the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) with research reporting has garnered a lot of interest on March 26. Topics other than UPGC and research included crop profitability potential and potato cost of production.All the best with planting this spring.58SPUDSMART.COM Spring 2022'