Farmers starting to catch up from late start

Eric McCarthy
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ALBERTON -- Planting is about two weeks behind in the eastern end of the province and a week to 10 days behind in the central and western parts of the province suggests Brian Beaton, potato specialist with the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture.

A wet spot is avoided as a tractor and planter put in a crop of potatoes in a field off the Piusville Road Thursday morning. A cool, wet spring has left many farmers behind schedule but they have been making headway in the past week.

Despite a bigger gap from normal, the east is still ahead of the rest of the province, Beaton noted

“They normally go in early to mid-April. They’re able to get some of their earlier stuff in, just because of the sandier soil down there in the eastern part of the Island,” he explained.

Beaton said farmers all over the Island are now well into cropping season and there is no great concern over being held up.

“Yeah, we’re behind what we’d probably like to be,” he acknowledged.

There could be reason for concern over early seed that’s suffered though a cold, damp spring. “There’s always concern about seed piece decay,” he noted.

The weather was so wet, though, that there’s less early stuff in the ground than normal to worry about, he acknowledged.

There’s been a good spurt of planting and seeding in the last week or so, Beaton said

The forecast is pointing to several days of warmer weather that Beaton suggests will help with the potato planting and give grain fields a needed boost of energy.

“If we don’t get any prolonged periods of wet, cold weather, I think we should be okay,” he assessed.

Geographic location: Iceland

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