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Our spring 2017 issue features several stories related to the planting season, including the importance of soil health, the ins and outs of water management, and introducing Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s 2017 new releases. Also, read the latest on how a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement could impact Canadian potato growers. All this and more in the spring 2017 issue of Spud Smart.


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Cavendish Farms P.E.I. getting major storage upgrades

Potato processor Cavendish Farms is investing in major potato storage upgrades at its New Annan,P.E.I. facility. The company is constructing two new buildings to store potatoes. According to Jubs Bristow, vice-president of agriculture with Cavendish Farms, the new buildings will be able to hold 48 million pounds of potatoes. Bristow said the buildings under construction are meant to replace six outdated ones, which are 50 to 60 years old and poorly insulated….

Global Biotechnology Leaders to Unite in Winnipeg

This September, the bioscience world is coming together in Winnipeg with one mission: feeding nine billion people on our current agricultural footprint – through innovation and collaboration. Solutions Start Here, the 2017 ABIC conference, takes place September 25th to 28th at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Man. ABIC, the Agricultural Bioscience International Conference, is the premier global meeting that promotes innovation in bioscience for sustainable food, feed, fibre and fuel security…

Know Your Soil Moisture

Irrigation management is about deciding when to irrigate and how much water to apply. When irrigations are managed properly, sufficient water is available for plant uptake for photosynthesis and transpiration during the growing season and excess water loss – through deep percolation and surface runoff – is minimized. Numerous studies have quantified the magnitude of yield reduction when irrigation is delayed and available soil water within the root zone of the crop…

2017 Ontario Potato Field Day

The Ontario Potato Field Day will be held on Thursday, August 17 at the Alliston HJV Equipment location. This is an excellent opportunity for growers to see what is new in potato equipment, to have a look at new varieties and to exchange information.  In addition, a trade show will feature new potato technology to enhance production practices. For more information, contact Eugenia Banks at  

Fading rain prospects worry P.E.I. potato farmers

Following a dry June and what is turning into an even drier July, P.E.I. farmers are beginning to get concerned about the impact on the potato crop. “As the days and now weeks start to go by in July we haven’t had any additional rainfall,” said P.E.I. Potato Board general manager Greg Donald. “On top of that [we] have had above normal temperatures, so concern that it’s going to have an impact…

McCain invests in Coaldale, Alta. plant expansion

McCain Foods Limited is expanding its capacity at its plant in Coaldale, Alta. According to a news release, the investment will bring additional production capacity to the french fry manufacturing facility, helping to meet continued strong demand for McCain products in the company’s domestic and international markets. Built in 2000, Coaldale is a key plant within the McCain North American supply network and today employs over 200 workers and draws its supply…

New Canadian Agricultural Partnership to Help Position Canada as a Leader in the Global Economy

Canada’s Ministers of Agriculture have reached agreement on the key elements of a new federal, provincial, territorial (FPT) agricultural policy framework during the annual meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, from July 19-21. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3 billion investment, will come into effect on April 1, 2018.  It will strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector, ensuring continued…

Late blight found in Ontario spore traps

Late blight was found yesterday (July 19) in the Delhi area, in a field with two spore traps.  There were only a few plants with dried up lesions. According to the grower, he had sprayed Curzate + Bravo + Copper as a preventative treatment. This week, spore traps caught late blight spores in the Shelburne, Alliston and Simcoe Delhi areas. It has been a very wet year so far, and it is…

Greek “potato island” breaks Guinness World Record for biggest batch of fries

It took more than 1,500 kg of raw Naxos potatoes, 22 huge cauldrons, the hard work of 40 volunteers and the determination of a whole island, but in the end Naxos won the bet. “We have broken the Guinness World Record. Greece is celebrating,” announced Dimitris Kapounis, president of the island’s agricultural cooperatives union on Saturday. The electronic scale that weighed the fried potatoes read 554 kg, which is 100 kg more…

Potato Pests Outlook 2017

By all accounts, the potato industry in Canada is a healthy one, and things are certainly looking up for 2017. But to get there, potato growers know they must deal with the inevitable snags that can arise during the growing season. Namely: potato pests, such as insects and diseases. Spud Smart reached out to some experts in the field in late June to determine what risks growers may face. Prince Edward Island…

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