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From potatoes to pot: former Spudco facility to grow marijuana

Some new life is being breathed into a massive potato facility once owned by the Saskatchewan government. In the 1990s, the provincial government spent millions of dollars trying to develop the provincial potato industry before abandoning the plan completely. Now, Vancouver-based United Greeneries plans to open a marijuana facility in a massive 60,000 square foot facility once owned by Spudco in Lucky Lake, roughly 130 kilometres southwest of Saskatoon. READ MORE  

Spudnik celebrates 60 years

It was the same year the Russian satellite Sputnik was launched into space that Spudnik Equipment Company launched itself into the potato equipment manufacturing business. It started in a potato cellar northwest of Blackfoot, Idaho (the potato capital of the world), by a group of men with the idea that loading potatoes should be less back breaking than the method they were using. Brothers Carl and Leo Hobbs designed and developed the…

Market News

For the fourth straight year, the national potato yield in Canada has hit a new record high. According to figures from Statistics Canada, the national yield per acre for the 2017 potato crop was 309 hundredweight (cwt). That’s up slightly from the previous record-setting level of 308 cwt per acre in 2016. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) isn’t surprised the yield number is maintaining its…

Lamb Weston Invests in Additional Fry Line

Lamb Weston Holdings has announced an expansion of french fry processing capacity in North America and an increase in its quarterly dividend. The company announced an investment to expand operations at its Hermiston, Oregon, processing facility, with the construction of a 300m pound-per-year, state-of-the-art french fry line. The new line will be modeled on the company’s recently operational production line in Richland, Washington, and is expected to be completed in the fourth…

Potato Growers of Alberta name new board

The Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) named their new board during their annual general meeting in Red Deer in November. Board Chairman is Russell Van Boom, Northbank Potato Farms Ltd., while Board Vice Chairman is Michel Camps, CP Farms Ltd. Rounding out the board is: Lyndon Nakamura, Nakamura Farms Ltd.; Jeff Ekkel, Sunnycrest Seed Potatoes Inc.; Tony Bos, Boston Farms Ltd.; James Bareman, Bareman Farms; and Louis Claassen, Claassen Farms Ltd. For…

Company executive makes predictions for future of potato industry

While he maintains there will be a market for potatoes well into the future, Ghislain Pelletier predicts the future of the industry will bear little resemblance to the past. The global vice-president for agronomy for McCain Foods was one of the keynote speakers at the recent annual meeting of the PEI Potato Board. Pelletier told the meeting he has spent virtually his entire life in the industry as he grew up on…

Study Shows Advantages of Building Potato Processing Plants in Alberta and Idaho

An economics study funded by the Idaho Potato Commission concludes that Alberta and Idaho would be the best location for the next fry processing plant. The research shows that any processor planning to build a new frozen fry plant would be wise to locate it in Alberta or Idaho, according to a recently completed economics study funded by the Idaho Potato Commission. Joe Guenthner, an emeritus University of Idaho economics professor, and…

Simplot, Iden Biotechnology partner to explore potential nutritional properties of potato

Spanish biotechnology company Iden Biotechnology is partnering with J.R. Simplot Company, potato processor and developer of Innate potatoes, to explore the potential for nutritional enrichment of the potato. As part of the agreement, Iden will identify promising genes for potential use in Simplot’s proprietary Innate biotechnology platform. Iden will use its identification and screening platform for the development of gene traits of agronomic relevance for main crops like corn, wheat or potato…

Company wins appeal in dispute over shipped potatoes

A company involved in shipping seed potatoes from P.E.I. to Venezuela has successfully appealed a court order to pay more than $79,000. In a recent decision, two of three P.E.I. Court of Appeal judges agreed to vacate a summary judgment order for HZPC Americas Corporation to pay Havenlee Farms Inc. of Summerside, P.E.I. READ MORE

Cavendish Farms Officially Opens New Potato Storage Facility

Cavendish Farms officially opened its new state-of-the-art potato storage facility in New Annan, Prince Edward Island, on Oct. 23. Premier Wade MacLauchlan and Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture for the Government of Canada joined Cavendish Farms President Robert K. Irving to cut the ceremonial ribbon. “This investment in our Prince Edward Island operation will allow us to ensure a quality supply of potatoes year round,” said Irving. “This will allow us…

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