GFM Network News


Small numbers of potato psyllids were found in Alberta between 2015 and 2017. The insect was found in Saskatchewan and Manitoba in 2016.

Zebra chip pathogen found in Alberta

This colour-changing disease is making 
its way to western Canadian potato fields

Zebra chip” is a fun, jaunty name for a potato disease that has nobody in the industry laughing. The disease, which causes harmless but unsightly stripes in potato chips, costs producers millions of dollars annually in New Zealand and the United States. Now the zebra chip pathogen has been found for the first time in […] 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



Grimme hopes Canadian farmers will see the potential offered by the new EVO 290 potato harvester as the brand looks to increase its presence in the North American market.

New potato harvester from Grimme

Brand sees an emerging market for specialty harvester in North America

Big red Grimme potato harvesters are anything but a common sight here in Canada, but spud growers will likely recognize the name of one of Grimme’s brand subsidiaries, U.S.-based Spudnik, which it acquired in 2003. Spudnik has been a major potato equipment supplier in North America for a long time. The Grimme brand harvesters are […] 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

The three varieties in Simplot’s Innate Gen 2 lineup are, from left to right, Burbank, Atlantic and Ranger.

Acreage low, stewardship high for GE potatoes

This year’s Canadian acreage of J.R. Simplot’s genetically engineered Innate potato will be “very small” to non-existent, according to a company spokesperson. Kerwin Bradley, director of commercial innovation for Simplot, says the company’s marketing strategy for new varieties is based on customer polls and identification of marketing channels. “We don’t plant potatoes, or give seed […] 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


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

In honour of my Irish grandmother here’s a traditional potato recipe

Since St. Patrick’s Day is nigh upon us, I dedicate today’s musings to my grandmother, Josephine O’Hara. Or, as I knew her best, Grandma Jo. Grandma Jo was proud of her Irish heritage. So proud, that dinner on St. Patrick’s Day was akin to Christmas or Easter. In other words, a feast. There would be […] Read more

In recent years, late blight has been a common issue among a lot of home tomato growers. Mountain Merit has good resistance to multiple diseases including high tolerance to late blight. Compact determinate plants produce a concentrated set of medium-size red tomatoes mid-season during a harvest window of four to five weeks.

Start thinking about potatoes and tomatoes this month

Singing Gardener: March is the time to sprout spuds and start seeds

March is a good month to begin sprouting potatoes and starting tomatoes. Also, will be sharing Part 1 of excerpts from two pages of a handwritten letter. Top that off with where to buy late blight-resistant tomato seeds. There’s a song that says, “I need attention bad.” Did I get yours? Thank you folks for […] Read more