Canadian potato processing company Cavendish Farms, a subsidiary of J.D. Irving, will build a new potato research and plant breeding centre in New Annan, Prince Edward Island.
Fully funded by the company, the $6 million facility, will support the continued sustainability of PEI’s all-important potato industry.
Over the last two summers, growers have experienced hotter temperatures and less precipitation at critical times. They could benefit from 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.
“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, ”said Robert K. Irving, president of Cavendish Farms. “Developing a potato variety that grows better yields in shorter seasons with less fertilizer will be beneficial to the PEI environment.”
The new research facility, with a state-of-the-art greenhouse, will be open in 2020.
“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,” said Greg Donald, PEI Potato Board general manager.
Source: Cavendish Farms’ August 2, 2019 news release