News Releases

News Release - Canada and Manitoba

August 29, 2016

Governments Invest in Vegetable Research to Improve Yields and Grow New Crops in Manitoba

The Canada and Manitoba governments have invested more than $210,000 in a new vegetable research site near Winkler, focused on improving yields, developing new varieties and creating opportunities for potato, sweet potato and carrot growers, Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today. 

“Our government is proud to support research for the improvement of yields and the development of new vegetable varieties in Canada,” said MacAulay.  “This investment will help Canada’s vegetable farmers expand their markets in Canada and abroad, creating new opportunities and generating greater returns for Canadian farmers.”

Funding will be provided through Growing Innovation – Capacity Knowledge and Development to support research focused on:
• nutrient and pest management for potatoes;
• new varieties of sweet potato that are better suited for Manitoba’s shorter growing season; and
• variety evaluation and crop management techniques to improve quality and yield for carrots.

“This research project will provide Manitoba’s growers with relevant information to help them make decisions for their farms, while also identifying new opportunities for the future,” said Eichler.  “Vegetables are important crops for the province’s farmers and for our agriculture industry, while also having the added benefit of making more nutritious and locally-grown food available for Manitobans.”

The research site will be operated by Peak of the Market, a grower-owned cooperative responsible for selling Manitoba’s fresh market potatoes and other vegetables.  The company will contribute more than $477,000 toward this three-year research project.

“We appreciate working in partnership with government, which will allow us to continue to build the industry,” said Keith Kuhl, chair, Peak of the Market and president of Southern Potato.  “New crops and varieties are a key component to ongoing success.”

Canadians are eating more sweet potatoes and demand has increased by 83 per cent over the last 10 years. Most are currently imported from the United States.  Manitoba growers have found the growing season to be too short to successfully grow available varieties.

Manitoba farmers grow more than 9,000 acres of fresh market potatoes and 600 acres of carrots for Peak of the Market every year. The company and its growers employ more than 1,000 people in Manitoba. 

Growing Innovation – Capacity and Knowledge Development provides financial assistance to lead and implement innovation in Manitoba’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-processing sectors.  The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in cost-shared programming in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets. For more information, visit under Growing Forward 2.

For more information on Manitoba’s agricultural programs and services, follow the Twitter account at

- 30 -