Irrigation eludes island growers

10/29/2013 04:09:00 PM
Melissa Shipman

Recent years have brought less-than-average rainfall to Prince Edward Island, and potato growers have found that a difficult challenge to overcome since irrigation isn’t an option for many growers.

Only about 6% of the island’s crop is irrigated, according to Gary Linkletter, president and co-owner of Linkletter Farms, Summerside Prince Edward Island.

Several years ago, the government placed a moratorium on irrigation wells to allow time to study how many the island would be able to support.

The 12-month review period ended a long time ago, however, but no decision has been made, which is frustrating growers who want to add irrigation, especially when surface water irrigation has been limited because of low river levels.

After the government has finished reviewing the issue, Linkletter said he hopes they will issue more deep water well permits.

Linkletter said the island’s water table is largely unused by other industries, so there is plenty of water to go around.

“There’s a lot of water to use if we manage it properly,” he said.



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