Manitoba is partly responsible for an increase in Canadian potato shipments, according to new numbers from Statistics Canada (SC). Currently, P.E.I. is Canada’s biggest spud producer.
SC recently reported potato shipments in Canada are up 4.1 per cent in 2015, Manitoba potato shipments alone accounts for 57.2 per cent of the increase.
In 2015, P.E.I. potato shipments represented 23.7 per cent of total in Canadia. Manitoba was close on its heels with 20.6 per cent.
Prince Edward Island prides itself on being Canada’s king of spuds. The island is Canada’s largest potato producer and the industry is worth more than a billion dollars, according to the Prince Edward Island Potato Board.
The recent surge in Manitoba potato production has to do with how much the main potato processors – McCain’s, Simplot, and Cavendish – contract out to farms. All three demanded fewer potatoes for 2013 and 2014 from Manitoba farms, but in 2015 all three demanded more.
Looking at the long-term trend, it’s clear Manitoba is peeling its way to catch up to P.E.I. The industry has grown substantially in the past 20 years.
Canadian potato production is up overall in part because of the low Canadian dollar compared to the U.S. dollar.