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Browsing Category Summer 2018

Manitoba Grower Prizes Self-Reliance

Spud Plains Farms is one of the largest potato operations in Manitoba. The 15,000-acre farm includes about 4,500 acres of irrigated potatoes which are spread over out over 80 kilometres in the southwest area of the province. Owner Paul Adriaansen believes for an operation of his farm’s size, it pays to be self-sufficient. “We do as much as we can ourselves on our farm. We just purchased an aircraft last year, a…

Market News

Canada’s potato storage holdings as of June 1 were up 3.1 per cent — or just over 575,000 hundredweight — from the year before, according to figures from the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). The bulk of this increase is on the processing side, with total storage holdings in this category showing a year-to-year increase of 10.6 per cent. According to Kevin MacIsaac, UPGC general manager, this is a reflection of…

2018 Forecast Calls for Optimism

For most of the past decade, potato production in Canada has been relatively stagnant. The economic crash of 2008 reduced demand for Canadian spuds in some markets and the industry struggled to regain its lost footing. With the 2018 growing season well under way, there now seems to be a renewed sense of optimism among many Canadian potato growers. Preliminary estimates indicate a total of 353,000 acres will be planted in Canada…

Remote Sensing: The technology, current use and future outlook

Remote sensing in potatoes is being actively investigated for its value in ensuring a high-yielding, healthy crop. Although in its relatively early stages in Canada, data collection through remote means and the related data analysis is developing at a swift pace. In this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart gathered experts to report on the remote sensing tech being used in potatoes, the present value of the information collected and where the future…

Comparing New Nitrogen Alternatives

Nitrogen use efficiency is a topic that is an intersection of food security, environmental sustainability and economics in our agricultural production systems. We need to use nitrogen to produce a good harvest. So says Dr. Guillermo Hernandez Ramirez, the study’s lead investigator and an assistant professor in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. “However, by using nitrogen fertilizer we also have the risk of losing some of that…

Top Grade

It’s been five years since Austin Roberts and his wife Ramona joined forces with other P.E.I. potato farmers to successfully improve their industry for the better. In 2013, Austin (Kinkora Holdings) partnered with Marvyn Webster (Valley Grove Enterprises) and Andrew Lawless (Hilltop Produce) to built a pre-processing potato wash facility. “We felt that P.E.I. farmers as a group needed a safe and environmental option to clean and optimize product in a high-capacity…

Boosting soil carbon, boosting potato yields

Louis-Pierre Comeau is adding the soil carbon piece to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) research efforts in the Maritimes. His studies will be contributing to the development of practical, profitable agricultural practices that increase soil organic matter for improved potato yields. Carbon is part of all plants and animals, and the key element in soil organic matter. “In turn, soil organic matter is essential for a variety of needs like food, fibre…

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…

Potatoes and Good Health Go Hand-In-Hand

Do potatoes belong in a healthy diet? Following a decades-long tide of negative buzz about the potato’s role in weight gain, diabetes and a host of other ills, this is the question the potato industry would like to answer once and for all with a resounding “yes!” Thanks to a recent initiative focused on potatoes and health, the industry is a big step closer to that goal, according to John Bareman, chair…

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…

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