Agronomy Update – May 31st

Hello growers and industry partners,

It’s been a couple of weeks since I sent out an agronomy update…I was busy in the field, and so were most of you!  From conversations with growers across the province, it sounds like the majority of growers are done planting earlier than ever.  Hopefully, having most acres in the ground in May will mean more days of growth with longer sunlight hours, more photosynthesis, and better yields and gravity.

Just a few things touch on before the weekend.


Welcome Bethany!

A warm welcome to Bethany Visser, who joined us on May 15th as Junior Agronomist on a maternity leave term to replace Humna, who is expecting a baby in the next couple of weeks.  Bethany just graduated from Dordt University in Iowa with a B.Sc. in Plant Science and is excited to get some experience working with us on research and agronomy projects for the next 12 months.  We’ve mostly been in the field setting up trials since she started, so she’s hitting the ground running!


Dry, Dry, Dry

No need to tell anyone that it’s painfully dry.  A few pockets of the Island have been fortunate to catch 10 or 20 mm of rain here and there over the last 10 days, but most areas have had negligible rainfall for 3 weeks or more.  A few things to keep in mind as we wait for some rain:

  • Most pre-emergence herbicides are activated by soil moisture.  Getting them applied before any forecast rainfall (even a small amount) will make them much more effective at preventing weed seeds from germinating.
  • Remember that pre-emergence herbicides mean before the weeds emerge, not as much the potatoes!  If you already have a carpet of weeds on your hills and the potatoes aren’t through the ground, Sencor and Lorox won’t do as much as a burn-down herbicide.  Talk with your agronomist to determine the best plan for you to keep ahead of the weeds.
  • Application of broadcast urea on dry soil without significant rainfall in the forecast is a recipe for nitrogen losses due to volatilization.  Use of a urease inhibitor (Agrotain, Super U, etc) is recommended!
  • For those planting cover crops in the next month, pay attention to planting depth or time planting after we get some rain to ensure quick and even emergence.


Scouting Workshop – June 20th

The PEI Department of Agriculture is hosting a Scouting Workshop on Thursday, June 20th at the Emerald Community Centre.  This workshop is open to all working in the potato industry, including producers, farm staff, agronomists, seasonal scouts, service suppliers, and more.  Topics will include:

  • Insect ID and IPM thresholds
  • Disease ID and monitoring tools
  • Weed ID and management options
  • Identifying Nutrient Deficiencies and taking petiole samples
  • Tips for effective field scouting with experienced potato scouts

More details will be coming in the very near future, but to reserve a space for you or a member of your team, contact Rodrigo at


Aphid Alert 2024

The Aphid Alert program is returning for 2024, and we plan to get started a week earlier that usual given how early planting is finishing up this year.  If you would like to host an Aphid Alert trap this year, please contact Rebecca MacSwain at (902) 314-9208 or to get added to the list.

I hope that everyone has a great weekend.  Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need assistance with any agronomy-related issues this spring.