b'MANITOBA NEW BRUNSWICKDan Sawatzky, general manager, Jean-Maurice Daigle, director of market Keystone Potato Producers Association information for Potatoes New BrunswickAs I write this article at the start of January, we are in the throes2021 growing conditions were ideal and a welcome change from of winter here in Manitoba. Our temperature has struggledthe previous years drought conditions. New Brunswick growers to get above minus 30 this past week which isnt conducivewere more than pleased when came time to harvest the 2021 to bringing fresh air into the potato storage buildings to helpcrop producing the largest yielding crop on record. This led to maintain good quality potatoes. Although harvest was donegrowers scrambling to find room for the large production volume under favourable digging conditions, we have seen more storageand coupled with excess rain in late September during harvest, breakdown issues than expected. The cold weather we had atmade for some storage challenges during the early part of the the start of January may add to the situation. Processors havestorage season. Processors have been busy attempting to utilize been able to address mostall the produced volume and prioritizing usage to mitigate sub-of the issues before theypar storage conditions or issues.deteriorate too badly. OneThe cold weatherGrowers were happy with the interest coming from western wonders if more researchwe had at theprocessing plants wanting to source raw from the east but again efforts should be directedCOVID-19 is causing issues with availability of transportation toward potato storage researchstart of Januaryand thus preventing growers from sending raw potatoes to under Manitoba conditions. Amay add toalleviate western shortages.storage management workshopGrowers are confident with the storability of the storage crop hosted by Gaia Consulting heldthe situation.and quality issues in storage should be manageable. in early December was wellProcessors haveQuality and payables at the processing plants are trending attended. been able toin line with long-term averages and processors are happy with Potatoes continue to bethe quality of the 2021 crop. Packers are also running to meet brought in from outside theaddress most ofdemand and prices have been strong even with the uncertainty province, but the majority willthe issues beforeof COVID-19.be brought from the east thisSeed potatoes are showing excellent quality, very low virus year rather than the Pacificthey deterioratelevels and are storing well with no issues.North-West and Idaho as theytoo badly. have been the previous three years when we experiencedDAN SAWATZKYshortages. Although the shortfall isnt as severe as in previous years growers are anxious when they see potatoes being imported when their bins have issues.Our Annual Meeting was held both in person and virtual for those who could not attend in person. Attendance was reasonable given the ever-changing COVID-19 situation. Our premiere meeting and trade show Manitoba Potato Production Days unfortunately was cancelled this year due to provincial public health restrictions.As the days begin to lengthen planning for the next growing season is well underway and the question on the growers mind is that of covering the ever-increasing costs they are seeing. Pricing negotiations havent yet taken place here in Manitoba.Trusting everyone is able to take a bit of time to catch their beath and relax over the winter months.SPUDSMART.COM Winter 202261'