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Potato growers counting on a break in the weather

ELMSDALE -- Peter Griffin was breathing a sigh of relief Thursday that a break in the weather was forecast for overnight.
After nearly a full week of wet, miserable weather and idle equipment, the operations manager and co-owner of WP Griffin Inc. in Elmsdale was running out of rainy day projects to keep his field crew occupied.

Although some growers have already dug a few fields, this was going to be the first big week of the fall harvest for his company and, he suspects, for most other growers. Although there is still a wide-open window for getting the crop out, he admits some panic is already setting in because of delay. “Everybody will have to be pretty busy for the next four to five weeks,” the veteran grower acknowledged. Pointing to a relatively good growing season, Griffin is expecting a good crop, at least throughout Prince County. “The profile looks pretty good,” he reported. He suggested there might be some scabbing in some varieties because of the hot July weather but he is not expecting that to be much of a factor.

If the rain clouds get turned off overnight and the wind stays up to help dry fields out, Griffin said his harvesting equipment could be in the fields by Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. There will be two harvesters going, one for minis and the other for potatoes for processing. “Hopefully this is it,” he said about the wet weather. Except for some blips on October 1, 5 and 10, the Weather Network’s 14-day trend points to some good harvesting weather ahead.

Eric McCarthy
Journal Pioneer

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