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Browsing Category Spring 2017

The Little Potato Company Announces New U.S. Head Office and Plant in Wisconsin

The Little Potato Company has announced its plan to develop and operate a new $20 million U.S. Head Office and processing facility in the Village of DeForest near Madison, Wisconsin. This new facility will supplement the Company’s Canadian Head Office and plant in Edmonton, Alberta. This expansion, to be custom‐built on U.S. Hwy 51 and open in early 2017, will feature state‐of‐the art equipment, and will serve customers throughout the USA when fully…

Understanding the Potato’s Appeal

A graph of table potato consumption per capita in Canada over the past 20 years plainly illustrates a stark reality: the average Canadian today consumes just 22.2 kilograms of fresh potatoes per year, barely more than half the 42.7 kilograms an average Canadian consumed two decades ago. The decline in per capita consumption is a serious and ongoing concern, and a priority for the potato industry to continue working to mitigate. That…

World Review

BRAZIL In late February, the Brazilian Government imposed an anti-dumping duty on frozen potatoes imported from Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Brazil is an important export market for potato processors in Western Europe, so this duty can have significant economic impact for the processors. The issue arose when the Brazilian government started an anti-dumping investigation on the import of frozen potato products from Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands in 2015….

Industry Comment: The Importance of Unity

The United Potato Growers of Canada was formed in 2006. Our country followed a similar initiation of our sister organization, the United Potato Growers of America (UPGA), formed by our neighbours south of the border. It was formed out of desperation. Growers were losing their shirts financially and it was an attempt to bring a tide that would raise all boats. Even more importantly it was recognized at that time that the…

Building a better potato farm, one decision at a time

Ontario potato farmers, Kate and Peter Vander Zaag have spent almost three decades investing mentally and financially in improving their crop quality[\deck] In every business, there are front-runners and there are followers. Motivated by passion and unafraid of learning, Kate Vander Zaag, and her husband Peter, have never been ones to sit back and wait for others to forge the path ahead. Farming together in Alliston, Ont. since 1990, they are fearless…

Industry News

BUSINESS NEWS P.E.I. Potato Prices on a Tear P.E.I. potatoes fetched good prices in 2016, continuing a trend that stretches back to 2004. The strong performance for Island spuds was shown in the farm product prices indexed released by Statistics Canada on Feb. 27. The index, set at 100 in 2007, reached 169.3 for potatoes last year, which was well above the national index of 149.1. It was a big jump over…

Family Pride

In 1989, Kornelis Bakker was in his second year of university in the Netherlands when his best friend made a surprising announcement: “We’re going to Canada next summer,” he told Bakker. A seed growers’ delegation from New Brunswick had been in the area visiting a few seed farms, including his friend’s. That night at supper, his friend told his parents he’d decided to do an internship in New Brunswick. “No, you’re not,”…

Guarding Against Dickeya

After triggering major crop losses in the United States, Dickeya has been dominating the potato meetings circuit in North America for the past year or two. In Canada, some of the discussions revolve around the consequences for growers should the new disease makes its way into this country — but some industry experts maintain Dickeya is likely already here. “I don’t know what the extent is [in Canada], but we found Dickeya…

Potatoes and Water Management: From Deluge to Drought

Potato producers know all too well that controlling Mother Nature is as likely as reigning in a two year-old. In either case, you’re doomed before you start. At the same time, there are ways to optimize water use efficiency and minimize the damage from floods and droughts. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart assembled five industry experts to discuss the importance of water management to potato production, and how to deal…

From our Desk

Spuds on Mars

There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about launching manned missions to Mars with people who will colonize the planet. For example, Netherlands-based Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2031. Eldon Musk’s SpaceX mission to Mars has joined the race, although they’re short on details at this point. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is on a journey to Mars…

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