About Alberta Potatoes
The potato-growing areas in our province include irrigated areas from the Lethbridge, Taber, Vauxhall, and Bassano-Brooks areas. In addition, the Edmonton and Lacombe areas are also important potato growing regions, especially for seed potatoes. In 2012, a total of 55,700 acres of potatoes were planted in Alberta. Since then an average of 52,500 planted acres were reported for the 2013, 2014, and 2015 crop years. The total value of the industry, crop and value added, is approximately $1 billion annually, all spent in Alberta.
Alberta’s Potato Industry is Made Up of Three Growing Sectors
The combination of Alberta’s high altitude, long warm summer days and cool nights, with an abundant supply of water, consistently produces a high quality potato. There are 197 different varieties of potatoes grown in Alberta, and our consumers can choose from a number of popular and unique fresh table potatoes at local grocers, farmer’s markets, and from the producer themselves. PGA growers are proud to display their annual program licenses, which guarantees their customer that their potatoes are grown in an environment that meets national food safety guidelines and controls contamination at all levels of production. The fresh market represents 5% of the total production.
The consistent success that Alberta growers have shown in the past has attracted several major processors to the Southern Alberta area. The processor companies show their confidence in the Alberta potato growers to apply their knowledge and skills to grow high-yields of quality potatoes for processing. Around 81% of all potatoes grown in Alberta are process potatoes that are turned into French Fries and potato chips.
Alberta is known at home and internationally for its quality seed potatoes. Our climate and land used to produce the seed results in seed potatoes characterized by increased vigor, high quality and limited disease and pest problems. Of the total potato production in Alberta, 14% is for seed for local and export markets.
Always plant certified seed potatoes, which are available at most garden centers. Certified seed potatoes have been inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and meet the requirements for certification. They are disease free and will produce the largest crop of potatoes. The potatoes you may have saved from last year, or get at the supermarket might appear to be healthy, however should not be used for planting your garden. They have less vigor and are susceptible to disease.
Alberta grown seed potatoes are available at larger garden centers. For a list of Seed Growers in the Province, please refer to the seed directory below or on our home page.
Alberta seed potatoes operate under the Canadian Seeds Act.
The current Seed Directory including varieties and Growers are listed on our home page or follow this link.