P.E.I. growers hope for consistent rainfall
© Guardian photo by Steve Sharratt
Farmers getting the crop in along the Monaghan Road in eastern P.E.I. on Thursday are hoping for the arrival of some rain as fields are as dry as a bone, the dust is thick, and the provincial fire index is high.
Prince Edward Island potato growers are in the middle of one of the busiest times of their year — planting season.
The Island is home to the largest acreage of potatoes grown in Canada (more than 88,000 acres in 2012), with potatoes grown for processing, fresh consumption and seed.
A news release from the P.E.I. Potato Board says that while growers have been taking advantage of the warm, sunny weather in the past week to get spuds in the ground, they will be equally thankful for the rain when it arrives.
They are also hopeful for a growing season featuring more consistent rainfall than experienced last year.
The Potato Board says now that contracts have been settled with all french fry and chip processors, growers have a good idea of how many acres they will need to plant to fill those contracts.
Producers who grow for the fresh market or for seed are also mindful of how many potatoes they will need and will plant accordingly in order to match supply with demand as much as possible.
Prince Edward Island motorists are encouraged to have patience with farm equipment on Island roads, especially at this time of year.
“Slow-moving tractors and implements take time to make it from field to
field, so keep a reasonable distance and make sure
it is safe before attempting to pass slow-moving vehicles,” the news release states.
The potato industry in P.E.I. creates a total economic impact of $1.065 billion and directly or indirectly employs more than 12
per cent of the Island workforce.