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Browsing articles by Treena Hein

Farming From Space

Technology in all areas of farming continues to evolve, and satellite data collection and analysis is no exception. It’s becoming less expensive every year to collect data on crops, weather and more from space, and the information gathered is also getting much more detailed and reliable. Satellite data are useful to the agriculture community not only in terms of understanding long-term trends, but in gaining faster and better insight into crop-soil health…

The Next Level of Weed Control

As anyone in the ag sector well knows, new technologies are quickly revolutionizing farming, automating processes in major ways to make them more efficient, less costly and more environmentally-friendly. Weed control is one of those processes. Several companies and academic groups around the world have developed systems that enable more precise herbicide application through taking large numbers of images of a field using cameras on drones. The images are then amalgamated together…

Preparing for the Potato’s Future

It’s always been critical to breed new crop varieties with good yield and harvest quality, but it’s more important than ever to do so now, with crops facing myriad stresses related to changing climate conditions. Dr. Keshav Dahal, a crop stress physiologist who joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research and Development Centre in Fredericton, N.B. during summer 2017, is helping unlock how some plants sense and react to stress more effectively than…

Growth Regulator Update

Use of the growth regulators MH (maleic hydrazide) and CIPC (chlorpropham) are integral to the potato industry, but there is always room for improvement – and even new avenues of use as the chipping industry evolves. First, let’s look at how MH works and how it is best applied. MH is effective in preventing sprouting as long as there is enough green foliage to translocate the chemical. It can be applied too…

French Fries Gaining Ground

Hot, convenient and delicious fast food – that’s what’s driving the growing global demand for frozen potato products such as french fries. Bruce Huffaker, publisher of North American Potato Market News, says the biggest current growth markets for french fries are Brazil and several countries in both the Pacific Rim and Middle East. While Europe offers aggressive pricing, good currency value and some transportation advantages, Huffaker says North America’s biggest advantages are…

Potato Sustainability Initiative Expands and Evolves

The Potato Sustainability Initiative (PSI) grew out of a request from McDonald’s in 2010 for its growers to track and report on the adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) practices. By 2013, the PSI had evolved into a comprehensive and groundbreaking collaboration that included customers, processors and growers in both the U.S. and Canada – a program that promoted and measured practices important to worker safety and sustainability, including water and energy…

Celebrating 150-plus years of potato production

Long before John A. Macdonald took office as this country’s first prime minister 150 years ago, there were potatoes growing in Canada. But before we go into the history of the potato, let’s go back to the very beginning. Potatoes originated in the Andes in South America and were taken to Spain around the year 1500. However, another 200 years or so passed before potatoes were recognized as a useful food source…

Soil Testing Accuracy Important

The phrase that advises us never to compare apples to oranges should be taken very seriously in relation to soil tests according to Pat Toner, a soil management specialist with New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture (NBAFA). “A standard test will measure water pH, buffer pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur, but you need to ensure a couple of things are in place for the results to be accurate and useful,” Toner explains….

New Specialty Potatoes Offer Choice

It’s a great time to be a potato lover in Canada. Together, 2016 and 2017 mark banner years for new variety introductions. While it’s too early to fully report on Canadian consumer response for these groundbreaking spuds, we can give you preliminary news on the browning-resistant Innate, the low glycemic index Carisma, the flavourful Rooster (currently the most popular potato in the U.K.), as well as new coloured varieties released by Agriculture…

Sorghum-Sudangrass as Rotation Crop

The ideal potato rotation crop is one that offers more than one agronomic benefit and also has a positive effect on potato yields. An exciting rotation option with great potential on both these fronts is now being investigated in a second in-depth study in P.E.I. Sorghum-sudangrass is being closely examined as part of a larger cross-country study focused on enhancing the productivity and sustainability of Canadian potato production. The national team includes…

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