Despite most of the Canadian potato crop being dug this year, overall potato production dropped 1.3 per cent from last year to 104.2 million hundredweight (cwt), Statistics Canada says in a news release on Dec. 3.
Favourable weather conditions during harvest allowed for 98.6 per cent of potato crops to be harvested, the release notes. Harvested area increased by three per cent from 2019 to 352,155 acres, this was mainly due to poor harvest conditions in 2019 leading to large areas of abandonment.
The drop in overall production is the result of drought conditions in many provinces. Manitoba was the largest potato producer with 23 per cent of total production, the release says. Alberta was next at 22.5 per cent and Prince Edward Island followed at 20.1 per cent.
Nationally, the average yield dropped by 4.2 per cent to 295.9 cwt per acre in 2020, the release notes. Alberta continued its streak of reporting the highest yield at 404 cwt per acre, followed by Manitoba at 337.1 cwt per acre. In New Brunswick, the Maritime province recorded its lowest yield since 1995 at 220 cwt per acre, down 23.6 per cent from last year.
Overall Canadian seeded acres did fall this fall this year by 1.4 per cent, due to a decreased demand at processing plants due to the closure of restaurants and bars during the early stages of the pandemic, the release says.