According to the United Potato Growers of Canada’s March storage update, in some provinces in Western Canada, potato storage holdings as of Mar. 1, 2020 for all sectors, are significantly below their three-year averages.
In British Columbia, stocks are 17 percent below their three-year average. However, it is important to note that the 2018-2019 season was a standout season that boosted the average. In Alberta, potato storage holdings are moderately better than the three-year average (an increase of 1.7 percent) but still down from where Alberta was in the 2018-2019 season.
In Manitoba, holdings are 13.4 percent below their three-year average. Manitoba recorded 8,974,000 hundred weight for 2019-2020, up from the 2018-2019 season (8,640,000 cwt) but down from 2017-18 (10,977,000 cwt) and 2016-17 (11,458,000 cwt).
The decline in Manitoba can be attributed to two rough harvest years in a row. In 2019, Manitoba estimated 13,000 acres of potatoes were left unharvested. New Brunswick also saw some declines, though not as much as Manitoba, and its holdings are 7.2 percent below the province’s three-year average.
In other parts of Eastern Canada, a different story emerges. P.E.I. currently holds the largest inventory of potatoes with stocks similar to 2018 and 2017. In 2019-2020, holdings are 3.9 percent above the three-year average. In Ontario, holdings for the 2019-2020 season are up 7.1 percent from the three-year average sitting comfortably at 2,724,000 cwt.
As explained on potatoesincanada.com, overall, Canada saw a 1.9 percent decrease in potato storage holdings across all sectors in the 2019-2020 season.