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Potato production and climate change: Canadian experts have their say

Potato is the most important non-grain crop in the world. So, understanding the potential impacts of climate change on potato production is critical, especially for producers. Throughout its long history, Earth has warmed and cooled time and again. Climate has changed when the planet received more or less sunlight due to subtle shifts in its orbit, as the atmosphere or surface changed, or when the Sun’s energy varied. But in the past century, experts agree that humans have also played a part in influencing the Earth’s climate. The weather is changing. It’s readily noticeable in warmer and longer seasons, and especially in the number and severity of storm activities. So, with these changes, what are the biggest challenges we’re likely to see that will affect crop management and production of potatoes? And what can growers do to manage those challenges, starting now? 

Spud Smart magazine in Canada gathered some expert opinions on climate change, and how potato growers can adapt to weather changes now, and into the future. The three experts are: David Phillips, senior climatologist, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, vice president research and quality, Peak of the Market, Manitoba; and Michele Konschuh, potato research scientist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Alberta. Read the full article by Janet Kanters