Kevin MacIsaac, General Manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada released the final harvest update report earlier today.
In Prince Edward Island, it is said that after a month of very high rainfall, the last suitable day for harvest was November 9th. Many growers dug for 24 hours around the clock until rain came again in the early hours of November 10th. Abnormally cold temperatures dipped to -15 Celsius and two snowstorms since have prevented further progress. The PEI Potato Board surveyed all growers and estimate that 6,800 acres were unable to be harvested. All four sectors of processing, table, seed, and chipstock have been affected in that order. Between 2-2.5 million hundredweight may have been left in the ground due to extreme weather conditions.
Harvest in Manitoba has left 5,200 acres abandoned due to harvest conditions. This 2,000,000 cwt. was mostly designated for the processing market. In addition the last several thousand acres dug after severe cold temperatures are now having storage difficulties as they warm up. Processing potatoes are currently being imported to meet commitments.
There was still 5% of the crop to be harvested in Alberta when snow and /or cold weather set in. However after a 4-week period the temperature did warm up and the soil dried allowing most of harvest to be completed. About 500 acres had to be abandoned. Colour was lost after the cold and warehouses containing those potatoes are being monitored closely for storage issues.