b'product in advance can be a challenge. For Robertson, the news was more Weve been able to buy some of ourthan welcome. While hes still awaiting inputs in advance, but its hard to storedetails on the resumption, he looks everything on farm. Then comes the issueforward to resuming trade with the U.S. of availability, if you can even get yourand re-establishing relationships with some of your fertilizers and other thingscustomers there.in a timely fashion. Were doing as muchWe need to work on getting our as we can to try and mitigate that. industry back on its feet. Steps need to be taken to ensure this border closure Trade Concerns doesnt happen again. We cant continue For Robertson, many concerns have beento farm with the threat of a closure at any secondary to the major one facing P.E.I.moment hanging over our heads, he says growers since Novemberthe closure ofin an April 1 email. Chad Robertson, a sixth-generation the United States border to P.E.I. potatoesfarmer at his familys farm Marvyns grown for the fresh and seed markets.Drought Difficulties Garden in Prince Edward Island It was in November that a potato wartOf course, P.E.I. wasnt the only province discovery was made, and the borderto face challenges posed by Mother closed to P.E.I. potatoes. Nature. After the dry 2021 summer in Things have been at a standstill since aManitoba, potatoes from the Maritime lot of orders were cancelled and its beenprovinces were being shipped west to a massive hit to our whole island economyManitoba to fill processor needs. here, Robertson explains. The situationWhile overall potato production was handled poorly. Its been a toughhas increased in the Prairie provinces, winter, and everybody has been prettyprocessors still dont have enough raw nervous going into the spring. product to last the entire season. Extreme Of course, that all changed on March 24heat caused size and quality issues with (just two days after Congress) when thethe 2021 crop as well. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)We fared OK this last summer with announced exports of P.E.I. table stockour crop; we had good quality and good potatoes to the United States wouldyields. Weve been fortunate that weve resume. pushed as hard as we have with theSheldon Wiebe of J.P. Wiebe Ltd. in As a result of the U.S. and Canadairrigation on our farm. Weve been ableManitobareaching an understanding about theto mitigate some of that excess heat and risk of table stock potato imports fromdryness on our farm. Still, finding good P.E.I., Canada will lift its ban while APHISwater sources remains a challenge for plans to publish a federal order outliningmany, Wiebe explains. additional required mitigations to protectIts hard for a lot of our growers to get the U.S. potato industry, a USDA newsa good source of water to be able to have release said. a good quality potato for the marketplace The USDA has determined freshand consistent yield that the processors potatoes from P.E.I. may resume underneed. Weve seen so much help from specified conditions that will pose littlethe federal government go to Alberta risk of introducing potato wart diseaseand Saskatchewan and it often seems to into the U.S., the release notes. be funnelled past us here in Manitoba. Table stock potatoes must be washedHopefully that funding will come here in P.E.I. to remove soil, treated with awithin the next year or two.sprout inhibitor, and graded to meet the U.S. No. 1 standard. Shipments must thenNavigating the Markets be officially inspected by the NPPO ofRight now, potato growers in NorthShawn Paget operates Riverview Farms Canada and certified as meeting USDAAmerica are facing some of the mostin New Brunswicks Saint John River requirements, the release says. complex planting decisions theyve seenValleySPUDSMART.COM Spring 20227'