For a second year in a row, Manitoba potato farmers are facing major losses at the hands of Mother Nature.
Dan Sawatzky, manager at the Portage la Prairie-based Keystone Potato Producers Association, said 27 per cent of this year’s crop remains underground thanks to heavy fall rain and an early dump of snow.
“In the end we left quite a few more acres in the ground then we did the previous year,” Sawatzky, whose association represents more than 50 growers in Manitoba, told CBC News on Tuesday.
He estimates that more than 12,000 acres of potatoes (close to 5,000 hectares) were not harvested this fall before the frost set in — more than double the amount left in the ground at the end the 2018 season.
Producers around Carberry, in southwestern Manitoba, appeared to be hit hardest this year, he said.
Sawatzky said all indications at the beginning of the season pointed to a fairly good year for potatoes, and producers had reason to be optimistic.