Potato planting season underway

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P.E.I. growers hope for consistent rainfall

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.

Organizations: P.E.I. Potato Board

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, P.E.I., Canada

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Recent comments

  • John MacDonald
    May 11, 2013 - 11:48

    We could all be happy if our land wasn't being poisoned. Is there any government agency help for those of us who have asked to no avail that potato farming above our drinking water wells be planted without poisons? It is unacceptable. The incidence of cancer rises yet poisonous potato farming continues. Can it be stopped? Respectfully, John MacDonald

  • intobed
    May 10, 2013 - 17:29

    Go to YouTube. Search for the following: PEI Potatoes - CTV Investigation Part 1. Find out the environmental and human cost to growing these potatoes. Watch both CTV Investigation Parts 1 and 2.

  • intobed
    May 10, 2013 - 15:42

    All those potatoes come with a price. Here are some cancer statistics for PEI: · Highest incidence rate for men, all cancers combined, in the country (16% above national average) · Second highest incidence rate for prostate cancer (29% higher than national average) and second highest mortality rate (37% above the national average) · 3rd highest mortality rate for lung cancer (28% above the national average) · Highest mortality rate for women, all cancers combined, in the country (interestingly, however, we have the third lowest incidence rate in the country) · Highest mortality rate for breast cancer – 26% higher than national average (3rd lowest incidence rate) · Second highest incidence rate for colorectal cancer and second highest mortality for women (47% above national average). The amount of pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers used on PEI to grow crops is astounding.