Latest articles


The need is great — and so is this farmer’s generosity

Desire to give back results in the Alberta Farm to Food Bank

Steve Breum was looking for a way to expand his vegetable operation and give back to the community at the same time when he decided to start growing fresh produce for food banks. “We’re in a recession here, and people don’t have the money for food. These food banks need donations,” said Breum, owner of […] Read more


Better together: Innisfail Growers is a testament to teamwork

The five farm families in the group have been successfully selling direct for more than 25 years

Beck Farms took an unorthodox approach to getting into the wholesale market when it was starting out in the mid-1980s — by selling directly to consumers. “We actually went to a few small farmers’ markets and had people try our carrots,” said Shelley Bradshaw, who owns Beck Farms with husband Rod. “We would say, ‘If […] Read more



Bud the Spud would feel at home in Alberta’s growing potato sector

Alberta is third in potato production after P.E.I. and Manitoba, and more growth is around the corner

Most people don’t know it, but Alberta is the third-largest producer of potatoes in the country, after Prince Edward Island and Manitoba. “Currently we grow about 53,500 acres,” said Terence Hochstein, executive director of the Potato Growers of Alberta. The association’s 150 members have a big economic impact. The farm gate value of their potatoes […] Read more


Cherries and berries workshop

Workshop at Olds College, register by Feb. 14

Sour cherries and haskap are excellent fruit crops to grow in Alberta, with lots of potential markets for these tasty berries. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has organized a full-day workshop in Olds on all aspects of growing these crops, from planting to harvest. Participants will receive information on varietal selection, establishment, maintenance, and harvest of […] Read more



Raise a glass of banana beer — this popular fruit will endure

U of A’s Stan Blade says the world’s most popular fruit will survive — in some form or another

Don’t worry, be happy — the banana is not going extinct. And an Alberta plant scientist is helping to ensure that. “I think we will always have bananas,” said Stan Blade. But, he added, they might be quite a bit different — such as much smaller and red or purple in colour. “My view of […] Read more


New potatoes and green parsley

Researchers release 15 new potato varieties

Genomic tools are increasingly used to identify favourable traits and speed the breeding process

Reds, a wedge with an edge, and a super storer are among this year’s new potato selections from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Red-skinned varieties made up half of the total selections that Ag Canada potato breeders released earlier this month during their annual release open house. This includes a multi-purpose variety that shows promise for […] Read more



Produce sector needs help with CFIA changes

Low margins in the industry leave little capacity to cover rising research costs if an existing formula is scrapped

Sweeping regulatory changes at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and limited funds for research are among the challenges facing fruit and vegetable growers, says Ron Lemaire, president of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. “The foundation for Canada’s fresh produce supply chain is made up of approximately 25,000 small-, medium- and large-size farms that produce vegetables, […] Read more


Books on veggie and fruit production

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has a number of publications available for those interested in commercial production of vegetables and fruits. Commercial Vegetable Production on the Prairies is a 300-page book covering all aspects of production from seeding through to disease, weed and insect control. Commercial Strawberry Production on the Prairies and the Saskatoon Berry Production […] Read more



Get the lowdown on spud pests

Workshops run March 1 to March 3

A series of upcoming workshops will provide fresh market potato growers with information on current and up-and-coming diseases and pests in the province. “Participants will receive information on the importance, impact and management of a number of disease/pest issues in Alberta, including late blight, potato psyllid/zebra chip, fusarium dry rot and blackleg and several skin […] Read more


Greenhouse growers have new fact sheet on integrated pest management

A new fact sheet is available to help greenhouse growers with their integrated pest management programs. “By taking appropriate steps, such as the ones outlined in this new publication, greenhouse growers can ensure a quality crop and a reduction in pest-related problems during the growing season,” said commercial horticulture specialist Dustin Morton. Entitled Greenhouse Sanitation, […] Read more