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Cavendish Farms to open Potato Research Centre in Prince Edward Island

Involvement of Cavendish Farms with potato variety development was abundantly clear at the annual Growers Field Day in New Annan on September 25, 2018.

Canadian potato processing company Cavendish Farms, a subsidiary of J.D. Irving, announced last week that it will build a new potato research and plant breeding centre in New Annan, Prince Edward Island.

The $6 million facility, which is fully funded by the company, is an investment in the sustainability of PEI’s all-important potato industry.

As witnessed over the last two summers, the growing season is changing with hotter temperatures and less precipitation at critical times. This is a real challenge for PEI growers and places the potato crops at risk.

The new research facility, with the state-of-the-art greenhouse, will allow Cavendish Farms to conduct important research year-round.

Different lines of potatoes with promising traits such as superior yields and a reduced environmental footprint specific to soil, climatic and seasonal conditions on PEI will be evaluated.

Robert K. Irving, President of Cavendish Farms:

“In the face of this changing climate, our research will be focused on high yielding potatoes that can withstand and be resistant to hot dry summers and disease pressures.”

“Developing a potato variety that grows better yields in shorter seasons with less fertilizer will be beneficial to the PEI environment.”
Speaking at the PEI Youth Farmers meeting earlier this year, Robert Irving also highlighted the importance of investment in potato varieties.

(Click picture to watch video)

Cavendish Farms video on the relation of the company with the Island farmers and the special challenges PEI offers for potato cultivation

The Cavendish Farms Research Centre will be studying different potato varieties. All seeds will produce a different type of plant so that the best lines can be used in future potato growing seasons.

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board is pleased with this investment.

Greg Donald, General Manager PEI Potato Board:

“A locally driven approach to developing varieties that are more suitable to our specific climate will be an asset to the entire PEI potato industry.”
The Cavendish Farms Research Centre will open in 2020 and create 4 full-time and up to 12 seasonal jobs.