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Browsing articles by Marc Zienkiewicz

Using smartphones to battle pests

A new app has been designed to help growers of field crops identify and manage insects, pathogens and weeds. And there is potential for other crops to be included once work on the current setup is complete. Set to be officially released in 2018 on Android and iOS, the Mobile Integrated Pest Management (Mobile-IPM) app is a tool for Canadian farmers. It focuses on the major Canadian crops such as oilseeds, cereals…

Michael Smith Promotes Potatoes

Michael Smith loves potatoes, and he’s reaching out on social media May 26 at 9.m. Eastern Time to let the whole world know. The internationally renowned chef is starring in two potato-related videos that are among a series of 10 videos produced for the Half Your Plate campaign to promote eating more fruits and vegetables by filling half your plate with these food items. The first of them is being released this week…

Green Light for Innate in Canada

Imagine walking into a grocery store in the future and finding fresh potatoes pre-cut, packaged and ready to cook. It’s a product the J.R. Simplot Company is envisioning thanks to its genetically modified Generation 1 Innate potato, which was given the green light by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada earlier this year. Canadian approval came too late for them to be grown commercially in this country in 2016, but…

New Weapon against Verticillium

Potato producers have wrestled with Verticillium wilt for decades. Because some of the Verticillium pathogens can stay present in soil for 10 to 15 years, it’s a long-term problem that can be notoriously difficult to control, never mind test for. A new tool for helping growers successfully combat the pathogen that plays a role in potato early dying (PED) complex could be available within a couple of years, thanks to the work…

Spirit of the Farm

When Ontario potato grower Ken Beattie visited a vodka distillery in Prince Edward Island several years ago, he was inspired to try creating his own brand of high-quality spirits using his own potatoes. Now, Beattie’s Farm-Crafted Potato Vodka is ready to launch with a small-batch trial run in select Ontario stores this spring, and an entire distillery is being constructed on the producer’s 4,000-acre potato farm near Alliston. “Ken has a firm…

Quest Continues for Low Acrylamide Potatoes

Despite another recent study showing no firm link between levels of dietary acrylamide in food and cancer in human beings, efforts continue in order to find new potato varieties that will produce minimal amounts of the chemical when cooked. “I won’t say acrylamide isn’t important anymore. It’s a trait that processors should continue to look at,” says Zenaida Ganga, crop specialist with Cavendish Farms – Research Division in Prince Edward Island. The…

Four Generations of Potato Growers

When Manitoba potato grower Terry Bailey walks through the frozen food aisle in a supermarket, he sometimes wonders how many of the french fries on display might have originated from his own farm. He’s been a grower for McCain Foods, the world’s french fry leader, in Carberry, Man. since 2004, when McCain acquired the area’s processing plant from Midwest Food Products. Prior to that, Bailey’s family grew potatoes for Midwest as well….

Increasing Competitiveness

Researchers have received $1.4 million in federal funding for an industry-driven research project to study ways of boosting potato production and address Canada’s declining export competitiveness. Announced by Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz in Fredericton, N.B. on July 14, the national research effort is being led by Potatoes New Brunswick and involves the participation of scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, N.B. along with University of Manitoba researchers, other…

Winning the Battle Against Late Blight

When late blight was discovered in many Alberta potato fields in 2010, growers, scientists and many others in the province’s potato industry were justifiably worried. Its return represented a serious threat to the Alberta potato industry, seeing as the province had been virtually late blight-free since the early 1990s. Caused by the fungal pathogen Phytophthora infestans, late blight is placed by scientists in a group called oomycetes, which are water moulds. The…

Crafting A Great Brand

The Canadian potato chip industry is a big business, with Research and Markets pegging its value at an impressive $1.6 billion by the close of 2016. It’s also highly competitive —with a plethora of well-known brands crowding stores and established players dominating shelf space, capturing the attention of consumers certainly isn’t easy. Ryan Albright knew he had his work cut out for him when he co-founded the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company…

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