The latest grasshopper forecast for Saskatchewan sees reduced threat in 2021. Provincial insect specialist James Tansey says crop loss was moderate to insects this past year. He says there were several grasshopper outbreaks, notably around the southwest, southeast and west central and central areas.
Potato Production in Canada for the year 2020, is estimated at 104,203,000 hundred weight. This is down 1.4 million hundred weight or 1.3% below 2019. Due to market uncertainty from COVID-19, Canada planted 5,000 fewer acres in the spring of 2020. The bigger reduction, however, came from hot dry weather conditions across the country and particularly in Eastern Canada where many growers are unable to irrigate their crops.
The government of Prince Edward Island has announced it will come to the aid of the province’s seed potato growers through an assistance program, compensating for the negative effects COVID-19 on the industry. According to a press release from the PEI government, the Seed Potato Recovery Program is a $1.19 million fund for seed growers who can demonstrate that they have incurred significant costs associated with the pandemic.
“We’ve seen hail—lots of hail—and through the summer, we saw cloudy, rainy weather. And to top the year off, we just had an early freeze with lots of snow and it’s all putting additional challenges in front of our growers,” says Warren Sarafinchan, chief executive officer with the BC Tree Fruits Cooperative based in Kelowna, BC.
Nutrien Ltd. is reporting a third-quarter net loss of US$587 million thanks mainly to an US$823-million writedown in the value of its phosphate fertilizer operations. The Saskatoon-based company, which reports its results in U.S. dollars, says its loss equates to $1.03 per diluted share, compared with earnings of $141 million or 24 cents per share in the same three months a year ago.
Saskatchewan Agriculture's latest crop report shows 96% of the provincial crop is now combined. Harvest is 91 per cent complete in the northwest, 92 per cent in the east central region, 93 per cent in the northeast, the southeast and west-central regions are at 98 per cent, while harvest in the Southwest is at 99 per cent complete.
According to Ontario’s potato specialist Eugenia Banks, Ontario’s potato harvest was progressing well, but had to stop over the past few days as temperatures rose above optimal harvest levels. Banks said: “To keep a healthy crop in storage, pulp tuber temperature should not be above 18 C when trucks arrive to storages.”
The temperature dipped below zero in a number of areas across the Prairies on Monday night, one of the hardest hit areas was Saskatchewan. Environment Canada's Weather Summary shows temperatures ranged from -2 in the Kindersley, Humboldt area, to -5 in Rosetown, Swift Current and Assiniboia, to -7.9 in Coronach and Val Marie.
The British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association is once again appealing to locals to consider picking fruit as temporary employment. A similar plea was made earlier in the season, just before the cherry harvest. The plea is deemed necessary in the wake of a severe labour shortage of foreign workers.
Farmers in southwest Saskatchewan continue to lead all regions with the most harvest progress. Producers in that area reported 50 per cent of the crop combined while the southeast region is at 39 per cent. John Ray farms roughly 1,000 acres in the Creelman district southeast of Regina. He has just started swathing but said most farmers in his area have been moving through the crop quite quickly.
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