The 2022 growing season brought its own set of challenges for producers depending on the crop you grow and your location.
Those challenges varied from wet conditions early on to another dry growing season in other areas.
Daniel Metheringham, is Vice-President of Agriculture at McCain Foods says potato growers faced those same challenges.
"If I look at Alberta, they've had a good harvest. We're looking at sort of budgeted yields in that region. There was some weather events, a hailstorm that caused a little bit of a concern, but overall we're looking good. Manitoba had a really tough start to the year. If we go back to spring, it was very wet and that delayed the planting period. Since then, we've had favorable conditions, but I don't think that crop could ever really catch up from the cold wet start they had in Manitoba. New Brunswick was more positive. I think the growing conditions the last couple of years actually have been really conducive to potatoes. So we are looking at a really good crop there, and also really good quality."
Metheringham says they have contracted growers in Manitoba, Alberta and New Brunswick that provide potatoes for the factories in those regions.
There's a real buzz in the agriculture sector around regenerative agriculture and sustainability both of which fall in line with McCain's Regenerative Agriculture Framework.
He says its important to McCain that growers can manage not only financially but environmentally.
"Whether it's enhancing crop diversity, looking at ecosystems, most importantly armoring the soils. The soils are the lifeblood of growing potatoes, or growing all of our crops. So really protecting those soils
and then we're looking at technology."
To ensure that regenerative agriculture is both feasible and economically viable for farmers, McCain is testing its practices and principles and experimenting with new equipment and technology with its Farms of the Future project, the first of which is located in McCain’s hometown of Florenceville, New Brunswick.
Last week, McCain announced it's working with Farm Credit Canada to offer growers involved in McCain's Regenerative Agriculture Framework financial incentives.
Through FCC's Sustainability Incentive Program customers who are also McCain suppliers are eligible to receive an incentive payment for their farm sustainability efforts.
The calculation will be based on a portion of their total owing for eligible lending with FCC to a maximum payment of $2,000 a year.
Additional incentives are available for growers depending on where they are in their journey on McCain’s Regenerative Agricultural Framework.
McCain says farmers at the "Onboarding" level of the Framework will receive matching funds, while McCain will match $2 for every dollar received from FCC for farmers at the "Beginner" level.
The incentive from McCain increases as farmers progress through the framework to the Master and Expert levels.
The incentive offered at these levels is roughly equal to interest-free financing (assuming up to $400,000 at 4%) to a maximum payment of $14,000 from McCain and $2,000 from FCC.
More information on McCain’s Regenerative Agriculture Framework can be found here.
Information on FCC’s Sustainability Incentive Program can be found at fcc.ca/sustainabilityprograms.
You can hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with Daniel Metheringham, McCain's Vice-President of Agriculture by clicking the link below.