Processors on the hunt for potatoes after shortage in P.E.I.
Dry spell led farmers to experience reduced yields
By Kaitlynn Anderson
Processors in P.E.I. must import potatoes from other provinces after local producers faced below-average crop yields, according to a CBC News article on Friday.
P.E.I suffered a total yield reduction of approximately 8 per cent this year due to dry growing conditions. Alberta, Quebec and New Brunswick, in contrast, all experienced production surpluses.
While the western side of P.E.I. was hit the hardest by the dry spell, the eastern part of the province received enough rain to maintain average production levels, Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada, told CBC News.
In order to sustain production, processors such as Cavendish have had to look for potatoes from as far as Alberta.
“Companies took the initiative to purchase those potatoes and (move them) to P.E.I.," MacIsaac said.
This process can be costly, he added.
In other parts of Canada, growers have installed irrigation systems to mitigate the risks associated with dry spells, MacIsaac told Farms.com.
However, Eastern provinces more commonly receive too much — rather than not enough — rainfall, he said.
And P.E.I. has a moratorium on the drilling of deep water wells for agricultural irrigation.
“Therefore, to be in compliance with government regulations, growers would have to obtain water from other sources, such as building lagoons or reservoirs, (which are) expensive infrastructure projects.”
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