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Alberta ranks first among Canadian potato producers

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This is the second time in 100 years that Alberta has overtaken Prince Edward Island in potato production.

Radio-Canada

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Alberta has produced 32 063,000 quintals of potatoes in 2023, surpassing Prince Edward Island and its 25,813,000 quintals, according to the most recent data from Statistics Canada.

According to Terence Hochstein, executive director of the Alberta Potato Growers' Association, the industry is changing and it's not just the case in Alberta.

He claims that production is migrating from east to west. [Production of] Manitoba is growing, Washington is growing, Idaho continues to grow.

Indeed, Manitoba also managed to slip into second place among the provinces producing the most potatoes in 2023, ahead of Prince Edward Island.

Hochstein said the higher yields in the West are largely due to the increase in cultivated acreage. According to Statistics Canada (New window), Alberta potato producers seeded almost 3,000 more hectares this year, compared to last year, for a total of 32,415 hectares.

The data shows that Alberta also took the prize as the province with the best yield in 2023. On average, each acre grown in Alberta produced 419 quintals of potatoes. For comparison, the Prince Edward Island average was 311 hundredweight per acre.

For Terence Hochstein, this success is due to crop irrigation and also to Mother Nature. We had a very good and very warm month of May and June. This seems to have resulted in an excellent harvest.

In a document (New window), Statistics Canada says that the lack of water affected the agricultural producers throughout the West. Moreover, the final report on Alberta's crops (New window) (in English) published on October 17, 2023 shows that the rate of main crops (including wheat) is down by 4.3 % compared to the five-year average.

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If potato producers have succeeded in their harvest, it is partly because the plant is grown in Alberta thanks to irrigation, suggests Terence Hochstein. Farmers who grow crops this way have been allowed to use more water than was allowed for their dry crops, such as wheat, when there were water restriction measures. x27;use of water, he explains.

Farmers have often also chosen to redirect a portion of the x27;water intended for dry crops towards irrigated crops such as tubers, indicates Terence Hochstein. Because potatoes are a high-value crop compared to wheat, he points out.

He says the inputs for growing an apple of land are more expensive than for wheat. He supposes that if potato producers have done well, it is because they have focused on this production to the detriment of others.

With information from Brendan Coulter

By admin

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