Potatoes in Canada

News Business & Policy
Canadian potato production is up from 2018

Seeded area increased in Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick.


July 18, 2019
By Potatoes in Canada

Topics

Potato farmers planted 360,543 acres (145 906 hectares) of potatoes in 2019, up 3.3 per cent from 2018, according to Statistics Canada’s potato production update.

Seeded area increased in Alberta by 11.5 per cent, in Manitoba by 5.3 per cent, and seeded area also increased in New Brunswick by 3.8 per cent. The increase in seeded area is likely in response to the rising demand for processing potatoes.

In recent years there has been increased investment in Canada’s potato processing sector to keep up with the growing demand for processed products. Both Cavendish Farm’s new $360-million potato processing plant in Lethbridge, Alta., and JR Simplot’s $460-million processing facility expansion in Portage la Prairie, Man., are expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Simplot will begin accepting potatoes in September and October with the intent of being in full production by January 2020, revealed Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eicher during Manitoba Ag Days in Brandon, Man. at the start of the year. Simplot will require 16,000 more acres of potatoes, putting Manitoba close to the top spot as Canada’s main potato producer.

Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada, noted that the acreage increases are justified and needed for an expanding market.

“The Alberta figure of an additional 6,682 acres is current with industry projections, however the 3,400 acre increase in Manitoba seems low compared to what the province had estimated and the volume the new plant will require,” MacIsaac added.

Despite all the news in Western Canada, Prince Edward Island still claimed the top spot as the largest potato producer, accounting for 23.7 per cent of the total potato seeded area in 2019. Manitoba followed closely behind representing 18.7 per cent of the total potato seeded area, and Alberta represented 17.1 per cent.