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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…

Worst Japan harvest in 34 years bites snack makers’ shares

Japan’s potato chip lovers, beware: Your favorite snacks may become harder to find. The country’s worst potato harvest in at least 34 years has prompted major snack makers to halt production of several types of snacks. The news hit share prices on Tuesday of Calbee Inc, which makes about half of Japan’s potato snacks including “Consonme Punch,” and Koike-ya Inc, both of which tumbled to two-month lows. Bad weather is the main…

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…

CHC names new president, board

The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) named its new president and board of directors for 2017-2018. Alvin Keenan of Prince Edward Island is new CHC president for the 2017-2018 term. Keenan started working with CHC in 1983. Since that time, he has advocated on a wide range of issues, including trade and marketing, labour, and crop protection. He currently operates Rollo Bay Potatoes with his brother Ray and their families. They are dedicated…

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…

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