GFM Network News


McCain to dial up fry production in New Brunswick

Reading Time: 2 minutes The company behind about a quarter of the world’s frozen French fries plans to ramp up demand from New Brunswick potato growers with a line capacity upgrade at its recently expanded plant there. McCain Foods announced Aug. 27 it will put up another $12 million to add capacity to its Florenceville, N.B. plant’s French fry […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 6 minutes 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


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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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


At least two killed in potato farmer protests in Peru

Reading Time: 2 minutes Lima | Reuters — At least two people have been killed in clashes at protests by potato farmers across the Peruvian Andes, police said on Thursday, as demonstrators demanded the government make good on promises to buy excess potatoes after a sharp price drop. Thousands of farmers took part in the protests on Wednesday and […] Read more

Alberta, feds back Lethbridge potato processing plant

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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: Tests negative, weather positive for late blight in Ont. potatoes

Reading Time: 2 minutes Aside from concerns regarding drier conditions in different potato-growing regions of Ontario, some growers are testing for late blight. Spore traps near Delhi came back negative recently — but did indicate an increase at the end of the experiment. Eugenia Banks, a consultant for the Ontario Potato Board, stated such a “signal” might indicate an […] 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Laus Stiekema (middle), his son Lauran (left) and son-in-law Jaco are process-potato growers from Vauxhall, Alta., in the heart of southern Alberta’s irrigation country. Laus says they had an “average” crop this past year, missing much of the precipitation that hammered the province throughout the spring and summer.

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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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