GFM Network News


McCain’s one-year multi-species blend contains 13 species, including spring oats, balansa clover, Austrian winter peas and sunflower.

2 covers — 25 species

P.E.I. potato growers are exploring diverse approaches to solve their low organic matter levels with cover crops

Soil organic matter has become a popular topic of discussion in the past year. In Ontario, a report from late 2016 indicated soil organic matter (SOM) levels in many parts of the province are at 15-year lows, coinciding with increasing interest in the use of cover crops, reduced- or no-till management and longer rotations in […] Read more

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



Isaiah Swidersky says resistant varieties are one organic defence against late blight, but these varieties aren’t always the ones in highest consumer demand.

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


Simplot to supersize Portage la Prairie fry plant

U.S. agrifood giant J.R. Simplot plans to bulk up its potato processing footprint in southern Manitoba with a $460 million plant expansion. The company and the provincial government on Wednesday announced construction will begin this spring on a 280,000-square foot expansion at its 180,000-square foot french fry processing plant at Portage la Prairie. The expansion, […] Read more



Alberta, feds back Lethbridge potato processing plant

The federal and Alberta governments are set to cover over $22 million in costs related to the construction of Cavendish Farms’ new potato processing plant at Lethbridge. The two levels of government on Monday announced $20 million for the City of Lethbridge for related municipal infrastructure developments, through the federal/provincial Clean Water and Wastewater Fund […] Read more

Pearce: Heavy rains cause losses in Ontario potato fields

After a month of good growing conditions and positive reports amid sporadic news on disease potential, word from one of Ontario’s potato-growing regions is that roughly 1,000 acres of potatoes have been lost due to flooding. Drenching rains in midwestern Ontario have left both commercial fields and variety plots ruined. Rainfall amounts from June 22 […] 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

Pearce: Rain expected to stall Ontario potato planting progress

Rainfall expected for much of southern Ontario is expected to narrow what’s been a relatively early planting window for Ontario’s potato growers. Two weeks ago, the reports from the Ontario Potato Board were full of warm temperatures and dry soils, and growers, particularly around Leamington and Delhi, took full advantage. One farmer in the Delhi […] Read more