Saskatchewan vegetable production good overall according to ministry of agriculture

Beets, carrots and potatoes thrived under cooler Saskatchewan growing conditions this year.

Precipitation was below normal early in the year, but picked up by early summer in most areas. With the exception of some dryland potato acres, most vegetables in Saskatchewan are raised with some form of irrigation.

Hot, sunny weather was less prevalent in 2019 and that meant fewer heat units. One comparison on a plot of cucumbers showed only 650 heat units this year, while there were 940 heat units in 2018.

“It makes the season a little later,” says Connie Achtymichuk, vegetable specialist with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. “It took a long time for things like cucumbers, corn, pumpkins—some of the heat loving crops—to ripen.”

Most crops were harvested prior to hard frosts that arrived at least two weeks later than normal.

“We could have used a few more days for a few of the potato crops, but almost everything came off in good condition this fall. The extension of the season at the back end was a good thing for us,” Achtymichuk said.

Potatoes account for about 90 percent of Saskatchewan commercial vegetable production. Yields were above average and quality was excellent. This was much needed following very poor potato harvest conditions in 2018.

Cooler conditions kept disease and insect issues to a minimum.

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