b"Canadian Potato Crop on the UpswingCanadas potato crop should be larger this year following the pandemic drop.BY: ASHLEY ROBINSONWITH DEMAND ON the rebound asFinal acreage numbers wont beMany irrigation reservoirs in Manitoba the global COVID-19 pandemic nears anreleased until mid-July by Statisticsare fed by the Assiniboine Delta Aquifer end, Canadas potato crop is expectedCanada, but the expectation is there will this has allowed for dams to be opened to increase this year. Weather could bebe a larger crop this year than last. UPGCand reservoirs filled. Others are fed by a deciding factor though on how big theis predicting acres will rise by at least 2.3off-stream reservoirs, specifically in the final crop is. per cent, while the North American PotatoCarman, Winkler area, which havent I'm thinking we're in a better placeMarket News is calling for a 4.3 per centbeen able to be filled.than we were. We were really concernedincrease.Some growers were able to lay pipe at the start of planting in Westernat quite a distance to try and fill their Canada, Kevin MacIsaac, generalThe Weather Factor reservoirs from some of these streams manager of the United Potato GrowersAcross Canada, potato growers are facing athat do flow out of the aquifer. So, there is of Canada (UPGC), said in a phonewide range of issues from drought to heat.some ability to capture a little bit of that interview in mid-June. Based on what IOn the Prairies, irrigation systems werewater under permission, Sawatzky says.see from rainfall amounts that came in theturned on earlier than normal as spudsIn northern Alberta, the last two wet last two weeks, we're in a better spot, andwere planted into dry soil. Timely rains inyears have made for good soil moisture we have some water in those reservoirs.May have made a difference though. reserves. The southern part of the But again, the growing season is a longWere a little bit behind on theprovince is facing similar dry conditions one, we've got a long ways to go to getemergence maybe a few days. But withto Manitoba though.that crop. the heat that weve been having sinceIn British Columbia, crops are looking The weather story varies across thethey emerged, I think (potato cropsgood with Warba potatoes already being country, with dry conditions in the westare) making pretty good progress,harvested and sold. and better conditions in the Maritimes.Dan Sawatzky, general manager of theIn Ontario and Quebec, planting got off While rain has fallen across the PrairiesKeystone Potato Producers Association,to an early start. While planting conditions since planting, irrigation reservoirs areexplains in a phone interview. were optimal, several areas were hit by still running low which could causeThroughout the winter, Manitoba fieldsan early frost in May. Most have recovered further problems. In the Maritimessaw only 40 to 60 per cent of normalsince then but some are in desperate need following dry conditions in 2020, amoisture amounts. Soil moisture reservesof rain.favourable winter allowed soil moistureare running low with Sawatzky sayingIn the Maritimes, potato planting went reserves to be replenished starting thetimely rains will be needed over thewell with crops having just emerged as of 2021 crop off well. growing season. the third week of June. A planted potato field at Borden Carleton, P.E.I. PHOTO: ANNE PHILLIPS12SPUDSMART.COM Summer 2021"