I hope that everyone is done potato harvest (or almost done). Hard to think of a fall in recent memory with better harvest conditions and better temperatures for cover crop establishment. I love to see all of the fields greening up around the province after harvest.
In general, it sounds like most growers in the western half of the province are happy with their crop. There are a few worries here and there about storability…both because of water soak in some potatoes not showing up until they got to the storage, as well as the warm temperatures this last month or so making it hard to get storages cooled down. However, it doesn’t sound like those issues are widespread, as many growers avoided potential problem areas while digging or diverted those potatoes to temporary storage.
In the eastern half of the province, it sounds like the yields are better than expected heading into harvest, despite the lack of rainfall in late summer. However, while total yield isn’t as low as expected, size profile is undersized for a number of varieties.
I am hearing more accounts of issues with common scab this year…even in fields that don’t have much of a history of scab, and even on varieties that normally don’t suffer scab very often. This will be worth following up on. I’ve heard and seen a few instances of wireworm damage, but almost exclusively on fields that did not previously have a history of wireworm and did not have insecticide. We will have more to share on results from the provincial wireworm survey this winter, but wireworm continues to spread geographically across the province, so it’s important to consider baiting/scouting for wireworm if you’re at all worried about the potential for damage in your crops.
Thank You to Morgan:
As many of you know, our Junior Agronomist, Morgan McNeil, has taken on a new role as a Soil Health Specialist with the PEI Department of Agriculture and Land. I want to thank Morgan for her hard work over the last three and a half years working with me on research and agronomy projects, including Living Labs projects. I’m happy to see that Morgan is staying in the industry, working on something she’s passionate about…soil health.
Through the winter, I will be searching for candidates to fill our Junior Agronomist position. If you know of any recent university graduates who might be interested in this opportunity, please feel free to let them know!
PEIFA Cover Cropping Workshops:
The PEI Federation of Agriculture, in partnership with ACORN and Farmers for Climate Solutions, are hosting three local workshops on November 23rd and 24th. I will be presenting on fall cover cropping, and the PEIFA will be highlighting the OFCAF program which can help producers fund cover cropping.
Registration is required but there is no cost to attend. All farmers/agronomists are invited to attend. Meeting locations:
Nov 23rd (9 to 12) – Mill River Resort
Nov 23rd (2 to 5) – Emerald Community Centre
Nov 24th (9 to 12) – UPEI Climate School, St. Peters
To register, visit the PEIFA website here.
Have a great weekend,