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An organic evolution: Kroeker Farms’ journey to sustainable potato farming

Kroeker Farms, based in Manitoba, Canada, has established itself as a leading proponent of sustainable potato production, according to an article published by the Potato Sustainability Alliance (PSA). The farm, which has been in operation since 1955, has prioritized long-term environmental stewardship over short-term profits.

“We’ve always been about taking the long view with our operational decisions, vs. finding the next, most profitable practice,” says Harwin Bouwman, Chief Operating Officer.

Harwin Bouwman

While the majority of their potatoes are conventionally grown, they have become one of the largest organic potato producers in North America, with a third of their farm dedicated to organic potato production. This approach allows them to balance financial returns with environmental benefits.

The farm has implemented various sustainable practices, including the strategic rotation of green manure crops to replenish and maintain soil health, leading to incremental increases in soil organic matter. They have also invested in the installation of drain tile to improve water infiltration and reduce runoff.

Additionally, Kroeker Farms has constructed over 20 irrigation reservoirs to minimize the need to pump water from local wells, demonstrating a commitment to responsible water management.

Bouwman emphasizes the farm’s commitment to making decisions that consider the long-term impact on future generations, rather than focusing solely on short-term gains. This philosophy has guided their strategic investments in organic production and sustainable water management, positioning them at the forefront of environmentally conscious potato farming.

Source: Potato Sustainability Alliance (PSA). Read the full story here
Cover image: Credit Kroeker Farms via PSA

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