It’s been a very nice start to September so far. Cooler at nights to spur the potato plants to ramp up tuber bulking. Sunny and warm during the day to keep photosynthesis happening. And enough dry weather to allow folks to get grain harvest wrapped up. Lots of growers I’m talking to are also getting their fields prepared for next year with tillage and cover crops applied.
Conditions are variable across the Island. In West Prince, many areas got 35-50 mm of rain last week and don’t need any more rainfall for a while. In Kings County, many areas had half of average rainfall in August and need at least one more decent rain before harvest. In general, the crop is still ahead of schedule in most parts of the province, with test dig yields at or above the levels seen at the same time last year.
Thanks to Morgan for creating this table of the growing season rainfall so far this year:
Spore Trap Results:
Spornado (Sept 6th): All sites negative for Late Blight
AirSpore (Sept 7th): All sites negative for Late Blight.
Airspore is now down to 7 collection sites. Bortrytis spores (grey mould) are down substantially this week, with most fields returning to triple digit numbers rather than the 10,000+ that we saw in some fields last week. The drier weather of the past 7 days is likely playing a big part in that.
Linked here is a quick refresher on some things to keep in mind as we get geared up for harvest. Many of them are common-sense and may seem like things you do as routine, but perhaps it may be a good refresher for equipment operators or seasonal farm staff. If you have questions about anything on the list, feel free to give me a call or send me a note.
Fall Cover Cropping:
Getting lots of calls about cover cropping the last week…very happy to get those calls. Feel free to reach out if you have questions. We are getting to the end of the ideal window for brassica cover crops (radish, mustard), so if you are still wanting to use some of those covers, I would recommend spinning on some barley or oats as well at a low rate, just to ensure that you have a decent cover if the radish or mustard is slower coming.
OFCAF: I’ll mention this again, but the PEI Federation of Agriculture has significant funding for fall cover crops available. Check out www.peifa.ca/ofcaf for more information. If planting a fall cover crop, you could be eligible for $75/acre with a farm maximum of $50,000 this year. There is also funding that can cover BMPs for nitrogen management or purchase of equipment for improved cover crop and nitrogen management (ie. no-till seeders, fertilizer applicators, etc). Contact the Federation for more details.
Have a great rest of the week!