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Expanding Markets for Canadian Potatoes

The federal government is providing more than $274,000 to help expand markets for Canadian potatoes. This project, funded under the Growing Forward 2, AgriMarketing Program, provides the Canadian Horticultural Council with up to $274,714 to help grow foreign and domestic markets for Canadian potatoes, through trade shows, targeted advertising, incoming missions, market research and development, and product promotion. According to a news release, the investment is part of the federal government’s plan…

Potatoes CAN Grow on Mars

The International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru has successfully grown potatoes in a hermetically-sealed orbital environment that simulates conditions on Mars, indicating that it is possible to repeat the events of the 2015 film The Martian. The Phase Two effort of CIP’s proof of concept experiment to grow potatoes in simulated Martian conditions began on Feb. 14, 2016 when a tuber was planted in a specially constructed CubeSat contained environment built by…

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 P.E.I.’s 2015 index of 150.2. Total index also…

Industry News

BUSINESS NEWS Cavendish Farms To Construct New Potato Processing Plant Cavendish Farms is expanding its business in Lethbridge, Alta., with the construction of a new frozen potato processing plant. A total of 287 acres of land in the Sherring Industrial Park on the north side has been sold to Cavendish Farms for $7.9 million. The company is planning on investing $350 million in the new potato processing plant, to replace its current, aging plant, which will…

Market News

AFTER TWO years of record-breaking yields for potato production in Canada, 2016 saw another bumper crop. While production was down substantially in Central Canada, other parts of the country produced an excellent crop, resulting in an estimated national yield of 307.2 hundredweight of potatoes per acre. That’s up 0.7 per cent from 2015’s yield of 305.1 hundredweight. While it’s been a third straight record-setting year for potato yields in Canada, it certainly…

Vietnam: Growing out of poverty with potato

The cliché of Asian agriculture is endless fields with rice. But there is literally and figuratively speaking room for the potato. The project ‘Growing out of poverty with the potato’ is trying to make Vietnam self-sufficient in the production of potatoes. Interestingly, the project involves the whole chain from producer to consumer. This benefits Vietnam in many ways. The revitalizing of the humble Vietnamese potato industry increases the standard of life of…

New Brunswick gov’t supports expansion at Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co.

The New Brunswick and federal governments have announced a contribution of $867,000 to help the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co. with an 836-square metre (9,000-square foot) expansion. This will allow the company to improve efficiency, optimize operating space and increase production. “Investing in this expansion will help deliver on our number one priority of job creation,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet in a news release. “Covered Bridge has shown…

U.S. Potato Growers Select 2017 National Potato Council Leadership

At the National Potato Council’s (NPC) 2017 annual meeting Jan. 6-7 in San Francisco, Dwayne Weyers of Aspen Produce, LLC, in Center, Colorado, was elected to serve as NPC’s 2017 president and to lead the council’s executive committee. As president, Weyers will host the 2017 NPC summer meeting in Denver. The executive committee holds office for one calendar year. NPC delegates approved Daniel Chin of Klamath Falls, Oregon, as the new vice-president…

The Agricultural Growth Act: One Year Later

In 2015, the Canadian potato breeding landscape was transformed with the adoption of the Agricultural Growth Act. The AGA, or Bill C-18 as it was otherwise known, included amendments to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (PBRA) that brought Canada into compliance with the 1991 Act of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91). Among the numerous provisions in the amended PBRA was extending the duration of…

UAVs coming to a potato field near you

Agriculture is on the cusp of a game-changing leap forward in technology. Currently, most agricultural unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used for the technologically simple task of remote digital photography But, government and private-sector scientists alike are proving UAVs can do much, much more for Canadian farming. “Soon, definitely less than a decade from now, using UAVs will be a common-place practice; just one more tool in the toolbox,” says Dan Clarke,…

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