Hi, I'm Gordon Visser, the owner of Norbest Farms. I've been growing potatoes in the rich soil and long summer days of the North Saskatchewan River Valley for more than 20 years. There's no place on earth that means more to me than a field of fine, healthy spuds. The crew at Norbest Farms puts a lot of time into creating the best possible environment for growing and storing potatoes.
We’re delighted you’ve come to our website and invite you to discover the magic of Northern Vigor matched with one of North America’s most advanced seed potato production facilities.
Norbest Farms grows seed potatoes in the rich soil of the North Saskatchewan River Valley located in Northern Alberta, Canada. The Visser family has farmed and has grown potatoes since the 1950s. Norbest Farms is currently run by Gord Visser, the third generation of this family-owned potato enterprise.
Norbest Farms is located in an agricultural area that is ideally suited for growing potatoes. The area’s sandy loam soil, combined with our ability to irrigate our potato crop with water from the nearby North Saskatchewan River, enables us to produce fantastic seed potato crops.
Explore the website for more details about Norbest Farms and the high quality seed potatoes we produce for the Canadian and U.S. market. If you have any questions give us a call or drop us an email.
The main storage and handling area of Norbest Farms is designed to handle high volumes of potatoes efficiently and cleanly.
A long loading area (behind the four doors at the front) can load up two tandem trailer units at a time, in insulated, heated comfort. Four 260-by-72-foot storage bins (one each in line with the four doors) hold 44,000 bags of potatoes each in a climate-controlled environment.
We don't rush potatoes through here. The loading area is large so that everything can be handled indoors. A huge indoor pre-grading bin holds two semi-trailer loads so we can get our trucks moving again quickly during harvest, but we can take our time getting potatoes into the bins.
Here's a photo of a storage bin just before harvest season. You'll recognize the air ducts along the wall, which will be laid through the pile to ensure proper ventilation.
The concrete-floored storage area is lined with galvanized steel, which makes it easy to keep everything clean. The ceiling is insulated to R60 and lined with cedar, which absorbs moisture before it drips on the pile.
During the off-season all equipment is carefully and completely cleaned. The floor of this equipment shed has since been covered with concrete.
While Northern Alberta gets enough rainfall in many seasons for a good potato crop, rainfall is not predictable. Norbest Farms uses irrigation to ensure consistent seed potato size and quality. Irrigation is also used at harvest time to mellow the soil. This reduces clumps during harvest and makes it easier to handle the potatoes with less bruising.
Northern Alberta is currently free of late potato blight, and because the region is used primarily for production of seed potatoes, it is well isolated from major production areas further south where blight can be a problem. Blight-free seed potatoes are essential for efficient and profitable potato production and reduce input costs for fungicide and other control measures.