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Browsing Category Spring 2012

Market News

Supply estimates released from the United Potato Growers of Canada indicate that, compared to a year ago, there is a 10 per cent decrease of potatoes in storage across the country. Eastern Canada is showing the sharpest decline in stocks, with over 15 per cent fewer potatoes compared to this time last year. According to Bruce Huffaker’s North American Potato Market News, at 49.5 million hundredweight (cwt) across the country, stocks haven’t…

Growing into the 21st Century

Heppell’s Potato Corporation, headed by Wes and Laureen Heppell and Peter and Lauren Schouten, is a family-owned business on the edge of the West Coast of Canada that grows potatoes as well as other vegetable and cereal crops. Peter Schouten describes their location as “five miles from the coast and five miles up from the U.S. border,” and adds that three generations of two families have farmed in the area since the…

At the Root

Product News Bayer CropScience Introduces Good Growing Link Bayer CropScience has launched the Good Growing Link, a web-based tracking tool powered by food safety and traceability technology company FoodLogiQ Inc. The Good Growing Link helps users identify, measure and improve their sustainability efforts, and provides a tool to merchandise these contributions to customers and other stakeholders. Bayer CropScience believes the Good Growing Link will help the entire food chain demonstrate and communicate…

World Review

Association Blames Retailers for Crisis in Irish Potato Sector Irish Federation of Agriculture president John Bryan said in early January that potato growers in Ireland are facing a wipeout, as retailers and packers pocket up to 80 per cent of the final consumer price and farmers are going broke. Bryan pointed out that average farm gate prices in Ireland are €130 per tonne, and retail prices are averaging at €500 per tonne….

Equipment and Technology Showcase

Wireless Monitoring Weather Innovations Inc. is offering growers a new tool for the summer of 2012—a wireless sensor interface designed to monitor conditions within a field while connecting to the main weather station. The interface will allow growers to monitor soil moisture, temperature, relative humidity and rainfall in multiple areas of a field. “We’ve been operating wireless weather stations for years, so the weather part isn’t a real innovation, but what the…

Innovations in Crop Protection

Across Canada, growers are implementing integrated approaches to pest control, including the use of biologically-prepared pesticides which boast lower environmental as well as human and animal health risks compared to some chemical pest control products. Biopesticides are made from the natural products of plants, living organisms or minerals. “These products are capable of being toxic or producing metabolites that are deleterious to pests or pathogens of other organisms,” says Khalil Al-Mughrabi, a…

Tuber Talk

Chemical Pest Control Products: Resistance Update

Stakeholders in the potato industry, from members of the scientific community to manufacturers of crop protectants and growers, understand that undesirable crop pests can develop resistance to the chemical pest control products used to control them. Resistance is a phenomenon that occurs when pest populations—insects, diseases, weeds and nematodes—are repeatedly exposed to the same active ingredient. As resistance develops in a particular pest population, a chemical pest control product becomes ineffective and…

Why Buy When You Can Lease?

 Why Buy When You Can Lease? As the president of Advanced Growth Group, growers always ask me, “Why would I want to lease when I could buy an item and own it?” My best answer is that you can lease to own and get all your tax money back faster. That way, you get the best of both worlds. The idea that leasing is for those who can’t afford to buy is…

Eye On The Nation

Alberta Edzo Kok, Executive Director Potato Growers of Alberta With planting season approaching, growers are faced with the annual decision of how many acres to plant to fulfill their contracts. While the common approach has always been to base the acreage requirement on the past few years’ average yields, there has recently been a temptation to stray from that formula. With Mother Nature not cooperating in many areas for the last few…

The Battle Rages On

With few effective alternative controls available for wireworms in potatoes, the PMRA has decided to extend the deregulation deadline to 2015. Thimet is a systemic insecticide and is the only product currently registered in Canada (except for British Columbia) that is effective in killing wireworms and can be used by all growers. Wireworm control is tricky, partly because of the multiple species—around 30—that exist across Canada, which are specific to different areas…

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