Latest articles


Finding the right niche

If it makes you shake your head that these two large, sophisticated farms are focusing on, of all things, sweet potatoes as the right crop to build their futures on, listen to them explain why

In just a couple of pockets across the country, it’s estimated Canada is growing about 1,800 acres of sweet potatoes. About 1,100 of them are grown by Berlo’s Best. Why? The reason is partly what you might expect. Canadian demand for sweet potatoes has skyrocketed. Ethnic markets are booming, sales of new products like sweet […] Read more


Growing potatoes without chemicals

Organic potato production on a commercial scale is a challenge, but one Ontario grower is meeting it

Isaiah Swidersky offers a careful answer when asked if organic potato production is a risk worth taking. “To some degree it is, but there’s a reason I haven’t expanded it to 200 or 300 acres,” Swidersky says. “It’s a challenge to grow organic potatoes. But I’m optimistic. It’s a good challenge.” Swidersky’s operation, Rose Mountain […] Read more



Maritime potato harvest a pleasant surprise

Late-season rains gave the crop a lift, but access to irrigation remains a concern for Island growers

The 2016 harvest in the country’s largest potato-producing province proved to be a pleasant surprise. By mid-August, many growers in Prince Edward Island were starting to brace for a below-average harvest. A dry summer saw much of the crop, especially in the central part of the province, slow to size up and problems with both […] Read more


crop spraying potatoes

Pesticide review a huge issue for horticulture sector

Time of worker re-entry after application and use of protective equipment are stumbling blocks

Canada’s horticultural growers say they’re concerned about a review of many of the broad-spectrum crop protection chemistries they’ve relied on for years. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is conducting the review, with a final outcome due in 2018. That gives growers and other industry stakeholders the rest of 2017 to strengthen their arguments and […] Read more



Alberta potatoes mostly escape the deluge of 2016

A bit of luck, combined with tile drainage, helped Alberta potato growers survive the province’s wet 2016 season

For Alberta potato growers, the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons could not have been more different — hot and dry followed by cold and wet. Despite that, 2016 yields were more or less consistent with the past several years. “Our acres are flat — they have been for the past couple of years,” says Terence […] Read more


Keeping out the invaders

Biosecurity: Provincial organizations encouraged to promote a national on-farm biosecurity standard

This growing season, potato producers in Canada will be on the lookout for dickeya, an emerging blackleg pathogen in the U.S. that caused significant crop losses in the country’s northeastern region in 2015. Preventing new diseases like dickeya and keeping old adversaries like late blight in check are important reasons why growers subscribe to farm […] Read more



U.S. looks to gain back potato market share

A big factor influencing potato demand in the past decade or two has been low-carb diets that eschewed potatoes. But those negative views are changing, according to Blair Richardson, president of Potatoes USA. “The research we’ve been conducting in the last couple of years (shows) that consumer perception of the potato is actually improving quite […] Read more


New products available for potato growers in 2017

Aprovia Aprovia fungicide is a new alternative for the control of verticillium wilt. Aprovia contains the fungicide Solatenol, a SDHI (succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor) fungicide from FRAC Group 7. It is registered for in-furrow application to suppress verticillium wilt, silver scurf and rhizoctonia (black scurf, and stem and stolon canker). syngenta.ca Aprovia Top Aprovia Top fungicide […] Read more



Canadian potato industry on the upswing

A weaker loonie and promotion of potatoes prepared in more healthy ways are improving prospects for growers and processors

After several years of challenging times, the Canadian processing potato industry is feeling a lift, in part due to a lower loonie. It’s stimulated exports of french fries and other processed products as well as fresh potatoes to the United States and other markets, and for the first time in years some processing plants in […] Read more


Building a traditional farm for a modern world

Change Makers: Yesterday’s values can still guide their farm today, Jason and Laura Kehler are discovering, but only if those values are re-engineered for efficiency, and for a new business climate

Today’s farmers are change makers. Re-inventing our farms has become normal. So Country Guide asked top ag journalists from across the country to interview farmers who excel at change, taking their farms in very different directions with an eye to finding their best opportunities. Their stories start with our January 2017 issue and will continue […] Read more