A tough growing season could result in some payouts for lost potato crops, says P.E.I. Agriculture Minister Rob Henderson.
Henderson said during Tuesday’s question period that about 10 per cent of P.E.I.’s 85,000 acres of planted potatoes have not been harvested due to poor weather conditions.
“Obviously, it has been a very challenging harvest season. We’ve had rain just about every second day and we’ve had extreme wind conditions and from that perspective, farmers are going to be challenged,” said Henderson.
Henderson said a little more than 90 per cent of the province’s potato crop is under crop insurance programs implemented by both the provincial and federal government. He said there are some farmers who are not covered through crop insurance but they are covered through the AgriStability Program, which saw an extended application deadline this year.
West Royalty-Springvale MLA Bush Dumville had initially raised the issue and stated the potato industry had a “difficult year.”
Dumville asked whether that crop insurance would cover all those losses or if government would be required to “top it up”.
Henderson said, while farmers can choose their amount of coverage on crop insurance, it is still too early to say.
“At this point in time, it’s a little too early to tell what kind of numbers we’re talking about as far as crop insurance and what kind of pay-outs are going to be occurred, but we do anticipate there will be pay-outs,” said Henderson.