Canada: Ontario processing tomato crop hit hard by heavy rainfall

It’s been probably the most difficult year we’ve had in a long, long time,” Leamington processing tomato grower Walter Brown,who serves on the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers’ board. In an article on the Windsor Star he is estimating yields will be down an average of 20 per cent in the crop that is worth about $50 million in Ontario. “We have areas in our fields where there are no plants at all, I mean, where the water stood over and over again, it’s entirely bare,” Brown said. “It just seems like the tomatoes just finally had enough of wet feet.”

Two frosts in May forced growers to re-plant tomato transplants that are started in greenhouses and had growers banking on a perfect season to make up for a poor start. Brown said fields had recovered enough that they could have had a successful year had it not been for record rains in July that swamped the plants. Now it has turned cold. The harvest could begin in a week.

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