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Browsing Category Fall 2012

State-of-the-Art Storage Saves Crops

Jean-Marie Pelletier grew up surrounded by potatoes. It was hard not to, living in the northernmost point of New Brunswick’s potato belt, where the economy of his hometown, Drummond, is centred on potato production. Growing up on his father’s farm, the fourth-generation farmer and his two brothers, Rino and Marcel, learned all about potato farming and, with potatoes in his blood, Pelletier purchased his own farm in 1976 in order to grow processing…

At The Root

People News Kok Retires as Secretary of UPGC Ray Keenan, chairman of the United Potato Growers of Canada, recently presented Edzo Kok with a certificate of appreciation for his years of service as secretary of the organization. Kok, of Taber, Alta., joined the Potato Growers of Alberta as its executive director four years ago, bringing with him over 30 years of experience to the potato industry. Kok has had a diverse background…

Market News

Recent production estimates from the United Potato Growers of Canada indicate that across Canada, production has returned close to the five-year average. One year ago, production was significantly reduced in many areas due to weather-related issues. For the 2012 crop, according to Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of UPGC, “we had started our projections using average numbers, but we lowered them quite dramatically in the middle of the summer, because a lot of…

World Review

Glum Outlook for European Potato Crop Potato production has faced difficult challenges this season across Europe as well as the United Kingdom. Extreme weather conditions have been commonplace with variable yields, sizes, quality and availability of potatoes among the key concerns experienced this year. Total plantings were down in countries comprising the North-Western European Potato Growers, while yields are also expected to be lower in each country. The NEPG, representing the five…

Tuber Talk

Tackling Acrylamide

The term “acrylamide” has been showing up in mass media reports since 2002. Dietary acrylamide has become an area of concern for consumers, the food industry and regulators due to its carcinogenic potential for humans. What is acrylamide, how did it become such a hot topic of discussion, and are there any solutions for the supposed health risks that it poses? Research The potato industry has reason to be concerned about acrylamide. In…

Equipment and Technology Showcase

Tillage Horsch Anderson is offering Joker, a high-speed, versatile new tillage tool. Suitable for use both in the spring and fall seasons, the Joker offers a wide variety of applications, including residue mixing, field conditioning, seed bed preparation and fertilizer incorporation. The Joker’s 20-inch notched disks are designed to rotate faster than traditional disks, allowing the machine to complete fields in half the time or less on a per-foot basis than other…

Storage Innovation: A Case Study in Success

Maximizing efficiency and longevity are the driving forces behind a new potato storage facility that is being built at Gerrit Visser and Sons potato farm at Orwell Cove, P.E.I. “We are building a storage that is intended for long-term use,” says Randy Visser. “We are trying to maximize everything and make everything as efficient as possible. It’s the reality of the industry that there is much more concern with the quality and…

Know Your Enemies

When preparing for the storage season, loss of potatoes is one of the main problems that growers have to contend with annually. There are a number of causes for loss of potatoes during storage, including respiration, transpiration and—very often—disease. Spud Smart consulted with Khalil Al-Mughrabi, pathologist at the Potato Development Centre of the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, about the most common storage-related diseases growers need to take particular…

Eye On The Nation

British Columbia Tom Demma, General Manager B.C. Vegetable Marketing Commission British Columbia’s total planted area for 2012 is 6,700 acres with 5,600 and 1,100 acres for fresh marketing and seed potato end use, respectively. These values are not much different when compared to 2011. The weather experienced in B.C. during the potato season, from seeding to harvest, held many extreme events for the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island growing areas, and this…

Navigating the Trade Landscape

Along with rice, corn and wheat, potatoes are counted among the top four food crops worldwide. The fact that the potato is the only horticultural crop to make this list is pretty impressive for this so-called “humble” vegetable. As the potato increases in significance globally, the trade landscape for the crop is changing. Over the past several years, production has shot up in China, India, eastern Europe and other areas. According to…

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