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Browsing articles by Jim Timlick

2017 Canadian Potato Crop Outlook

Potato growers in Canada enjoyed a banner year in 2016. Manitoba in particular recorded record yields thanks to good weather and favourable growing conditions. Prices for fresh potatoes were strong from coast to coast and contract volumes remained stable. And for the third year in a row, the national average for potato yield hit record levels, coming in at 307 hundredweight (cwt) per acre. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato…

New Potato Varieties 2017

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) rolled out 15 new potato varieties to growers and industry representatives on Feb. 13 at three open houses: Fredericton, N.B., Guelph, Ont. and Lethbridge, Alta. The open houses were an opportunity for AAFC researchers to share results of the agency’s potato breeding program’s accelerated release selections. Twelve of the 15 new varieties unveiled are classified as fresh market or dual purpose use, while the three remaining varieties…

A Canadian Love Affair

Michel and Hanneke Camps didn’t plan on becoming farm owners when they first arrived in Canada in 2000. The husband and wife had both graduated from university in their native Holland with degrees in intensive livestock management and were eager to gain some work experience abroad. They ended up in southern Alberta and spent the next two years doing just that, Michel at a potato farm and Hanneke at a nearby hog…

2016 Crop Outlook

In 2015, Canadian potato growers enjoyed record-setting yields in many parts of the country, including New Brunswick, Manitoba and Alberta. Nationally, the average potato yield was a 305 hundredweight per acre, up from the previous record of 294 hundredweight set the year before. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada, stated in mid-June that 2015’s exceptional numbers can be attributed to favourable growing conditions. “It was a warm…

AAFC Unveils New Varieties for 2016

Canadian growers were able to catch a glimpse of the future at a series of open houses recently hosted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada potato breeders to share the latest results of their accelerated release selections program. This year’s open houses were held Feb. 10 on three fronts – the Fredericton Research and Development Centre in New Brunswick, the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre in Alberta, and for the first time ever…

That’s a Wrap

Science has yet to discover a method for turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse, but it has come up with a way to turn potato waste into an eco-friendly product that could one day take the place of traditional plastic food wraps. A team of researchers at the University of Alberta is conducting a study into the use of potato waste products such as peels and culls to produce a…

Turning Potatoes into Biogas

Since its formation more than 90 years ago, one of the guiding principles of Surrey, B.C.-based Heppell’s Potato Corp. and its owners has been the fundamental belief that there is always a better way of doing things. So it was only natural three years ago that when partners Pete Schouten and Wes Heppell began looking for solutions to one of their biggest challenges — acquiring more agricultural land in British Columbia’s fertile…

Fraser Valley Farm a Growing Concern

It takes some people most of their lives to find a career that is right for them. It took Pete Schouten considerably less time. “Apparently when I was seven I told my parents I was going to be a farmer,” he says, laughing. “I don’t know what it was. There was just a satisfaction in watching something grow I guess. I had some cousins who farmed and I thought that was kind…

Production Projections

Favourable conditions in most growing regions this spring, a dip in the value of the Canadian dollar and some increases in processing contracts have potato producers across the country feeling optimistic about the 2015 season. Statistic Canada’s production estimates for 2015 released on July 17 show the total planted acreage in Canada as 349,005 acres. Overall, this represents an increase of 1,465 acres from 2014, a 0.4 per cent rise. Contributing to…

Protecting Potato’s Heritage

The Andean region of Latin America has long been regarded as one of the most fertile and productive areas in the world when it comes to potato cultivation. The area is home to more than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes, some of which have existed since the time of the Incas. However, there is growing concern that this tuber biodiversity could be at risk as a result of several factors including the…

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