Morgan McNeil, our Junior Agronomist, has compiled a very useful summary of weather conditions during the 2019 growing season. It is available as a PDF to download, with the summary below:
Overview of Data (Including October)
June of 2019 was considerably wetter in the East compared to the difference in the historical records and to the other 3 locations in PEI included in this report (Table 1). Due to the higher rainfall amounts in the West during July, and despite the additional moisture up West bringing its own challenges for quality crop storage conditions after harvest, it appears to have resulted in stronger potato yields in West Prince compared to more average yields in other locations in the province. Summerside and the West received a lot more rain in September compared to their historical amounts as well as compared to Charlottetown and the East regions. Luckily, October 2019 provided largely average amounts of rain, as many fields were still trying to dry out from September rainfall.
The growing degree days (GDD) in the East were fairly high in May of 2019 compared to the other locations across the province reported here (Table 2). The heat units were well balanced across the growing season with generally more differences between this year’s and historical records rather than between locations in particular months. With the exception of June 2019 being considerably cooler than historical amounts, most of the other months across all locations were warmer this year compared to the 1981-2010 records. In particular, September and October of 2019 were quite a bit warmer, which was encouraging to help dry out excess moisture to improve the harvest conditions in the fields. This was especially better compared to the colder conditions in the previous fall of 2018.
Looking at the rainfall totals for the 2019 growing season the West had the most rainfall overall, and the East had the least (Table 3). Hurricane Dorian definitely had a role to play in the total rainfall differences across the province. Historically, the East had the most, and the West had the least. The rainfall data for Summerside ranked it somewhere in between the other locations. The most accumulated GDD were reported in the West in 2019, as well as in the historical records. Meanwhile, the East had the least GDD both in 2019 and historically.