GFM Network News


Blocked tissues that transport water cause the telltale wilting and death of Potato Early Dying disease.

Potato Early Dying a silent yield killer

Industry network seeks to reduce impact of the disease

A national initiative to reduce the severity of a silent enemy in Canadian potato fields is claiming some early success halfway through its four-year program. The Canadian Potato Early Dying Network (CanPEDNet) is starting to learn more about verticillium wilt and how to deal with this major yield-limiting pathogen in commercial potato cropping systems, said

Potato scab is unsightly, consumers don’t want it and it results in more food waste.

Unsightly tubers hard to sell

Researchers close in on scab-resistant potatoes

A research project by Agriculture and Agri-Food scientists hopes to develop genetic resistance to a chronic disease in Canada’s potato crops. The project by AAFC researchers in Prince Edward Island aims at identifying precise genes responsible for resistance to common scab disease in some potato varieties so breeders can use them in developing new resistant


“You have to be resilient to be a potato grower.” – Dan Sawatzky, KPPA.

Manitoba potato growers look for brighter 2021

Industry coming off three straight challenging years

Beleaguered Manitoba potato growers are hoping for a normal crop this year after three consecutive years of adverse weather, unharvested acres, lower-than-expected yields and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Guarded optimism would be the best way to describe growers’ mood as they prepare for the 2021 crop amid weather and market conditions largely beyond their control.

A modified, one-pass seeder and hilling system from Spudnik was key to Berry’s foray into direct-seeded potatoes.

Direct-seed potatoes show no harvest hit

Both yield and quality were comparable in an initial trial comparison of traditional spring tillage and direct seeding

The amount and quality of the potatoes coming off Chad Berry’s field last fall weren’t that much different from one side to the other, but one half came with a lot less tillage. Results are in from the 2020 field-scale trial, which hoped to create a side-by-side comparison of conventional spring tillage and direct-seeded potatoes.

Potato producers have been spared sights like this in 2020, although yields may have fallen short of what many producers would have liked.

Smooth harvest, but short yield for potato growers

Manitoba won’t see the undug acres of 2018 and 2019, although many yields aren’t bursting any storages

Manitoba’s potato crop won’t be breaking yield records. Then again, at least the crop is off the field. It has not been the case for the last two years. Producers were forced to abandon a significant portion of their crop in both 2018 and 2019 due to wet falls and damage from frost. Last year,


Canola stubble pokes out of the hills in Chad Berry’s direct-seeded potato demonstration.

Spud growers let soil lie

Under the Hill Farms is testing minimum-tillage potatoes on a field scale

Potatoes aren’t usually the poster child for minimal tillage. The reality of the planting, hilling and digging cycle usually means plenty of black dirt, some of it airborne. But dramatically reducing tillage is exactly what Chad Berry, of Under the Hill Farms near Glenboro, is trying to do. Berry’s farm, in association with Simplot Canada,

The downturn has come as an abrupt shift from expected demand for Manitoba potatoes.

COVID-19 puts the brakes on potato acres

The potato sector is bracing for long-term impacts as the COVID-19 pandemic shrinks demand

Manitoba’s potato acres will take a hit this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and plummeting demand. According to multiple industry sources, McCain Foods has dropped 16 per cent of acres from its contracts with Manitoba farmers, while Simplot has also made smaller cuts from its agreements. Why it matters: As demands shrinks,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa in this April 24, 2020 file photo. (Photo: Reuters/Blair Gable)

Trudeau pledges $252 million in COVID-19 aid for farmers, processors

Dairy commission's credit line extended for storage program

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada will invest $252 million to help some of the country’s farming and food processing sectors weather the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday, adding more money could come later if needed. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture, one of Canada’s biggest farm groups, asked Ottawa last week for an


Mark and Yanara Peters were happy to restart what they’re hoping will be an annual tradition this past fall.

Manitoba potato growers keep on giving

Despite a challenging year this farm family keeps an important tradition alive

For Mark and Yanara Peters, 2019 had been a year full of challenges. Yet despite a less than average potato crop on Spruce Drive Farms, a dozen miles northwest of Portage la Prairie, the couple chose to keep a new tradition alive on their farm. Sine 2016 they’ve donated more than 120,000 pounds of potatoes

Common insecticides are having less of an impact on potato beetles in recent years.

Potato beetle resistance on the rise

This long-standing challenge is growing as less response to foliar insecticides is being observed

Manitoba potato growers may need to get more comfortable with leaf damage. According to Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, vice-president of research and quality with Peak of the Market, growing insecticide resistance in Colorado potato beetles means it’s something they’ll likely see more of. Much like flea beetles in canola, potato producers are being urged to hold off