Connect With Us

Browsing articles by Treena Hein

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…

Trade Agreements and Potato Markets

It is hoped that when it is ratified, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will open new export markets for Canadian potatoes. But when U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the trade agreement in January, it put negotiation among the remaining 11 nations in flux. Before we go into what might happen, let’s look at the current potato export “lay of the land” among the nations involved. According to…

IPM Training Module Launched

Positive comments are coming fast and furious for a new potato integrated pest management (IPM) training module recently launched by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). According to OMAFRA, “the module is a great educational tool with information for the common insect pests, diseases, viruses and disorders of potatoes in Ontario.” The creator of the module is Eugenia Banks, OMAFRA’s longtime potato specialist who retired in late 2015….

Public trust in Canada’s food system

“Very serious” – that’s how United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) general manager Kevin MacIsaac describes the issue of lost public trust in Canadian agriculture. “We have to approach this in the same way we would deal with issues of food safety and other key issues,” he says, “because it will eventually lead to declines in consumption of certain foods if people do not trust the source.” John Bareman, chair of the Canadian…

Potato Wastewater

Water availability and water quality are two issues that are gaining a lot of attention these days, and concerns have led to stricter agricultural water-use regulations in some provinces. In Ontario, for example, farmers will feel the impact of new phosphorus loading targets for Lake Erie that the federal government is expected to announce soon, as part of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between Canada and U.S. When tubers are moved…

Recipe for Success

2015 was a whirlwind year for Valley Growers, the Ontario potato company operated by Gerry Philippe and Tami Rainville. Its line of never frozen packaged french fries called G&T Farmhouse Fresh Fries was launched in the spring of last year. After months of strong market acceptance that continues to grow by the day, the makers of Farmhouse Fresh Fries received a prestigious Ontario Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence in November. The…

Potato Alternatives

Most potato growers understand the value of rotating spuds with other crops in a rotation spanning three years or longer, as a vital tool for fighting potato diseases and pests. Some farmers, facing shrinking margins and other factors such as a declining agricultural land base and high costs for adding fields, are tempted to grow potatoes one in every two years, despite the deleterious effects of shorter crop rotations. Potatoes are a…

You have successfully signed up for our newsletter!

Open