Manitoba Could Become Canada’s Biggest Potato Producer
New investments by Simplot and McCain in Manitoba, Canada could the see the region become the largest producer of potatoes in the country, surpassing Prince Edward Island, a new report has revealed.
According to the information, Simplot is looking to spend USD400m in order to expand its French fries processing plant located in Portage de Prairie.
The plant will require 16,000 additional acres of potatoes to operate and will become operational in early 2020. Previously, Simplot had been importing potatoes from Alberta and Idaho to compensate for the shortage in the region.
In recent years, farmers in Manitoba have seeded around 64,000 acres of potatoes, while Prince Edward Island acreage is around 85,000. The extra 16,000 acres will place Manitoba in very close proximity to Prince Edward Island. Even so, the Island will probably still have the most acres of potatoes in 2019, but Monitoba potato yields are about 20% higher and overall production is only 10% lower, compared to the Prince Edward Island region.
Simplot is not the only potato processor investing in the region. McCain Foods is also looking spend USD75m to upgrade its potato processing facilities in Carberry and Portage la Prairie.
Although Manitoba’s potato production dropped in 2018, the report expects prospects to be rising in the region in the next couple of years.