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Browsing Category Spring 2013

Growing Potatoes—Off the Beaten Path

Back in 1995, William ‘Neil’ Thompson was looking to change things up on his Riverhurst, Sask., wheat farm. “At that time the price of cereals was down a little, and I was looking to even that operation out and make a bit of money,” says Thompson. That something different was potatoes, and Thompson’s initial planting efforts have grown into a bustling seed potato operation known as RAP 2000. Today, Thompson dedicates between…

At The Root

Product News Bayer Offering Titan Insecticide for In-Furrow Application Bayer CropScience potato insecticide Titan is now registered as an in-furrow application to complement its use as a seed-piece treatment. Titan, a broad spectrum seed-piece insecticide for potatoes, now has the added benefit of application flexibility. “We work to provide growers with not only the best pest control, but also flexible application options,” says David Kikkert, portfolio manager of horticulture with Bayer. “With…

Market News

After disappointing seasons in 2010 and 2011, the Canadian potato industry was back on track last year in terms of annual production. Statistics Canada’s crop figures show a production increase of 9.4 per cent for 2012 from the previous year. As a result, there’s been a corresponding increase in the number of potatoes in storage across the country. Supply estimates for March 1 released by the United Potato Growers of Canada show a 17.9…

World Review

BHUTAN Considered one of the major breakthroughs in agricultural research and innovation, aeroponics could open up a world of opportunities for potato growers in Bhutan. Mostly cultivated in high-altitude areas between 1,500 and 3,000 metres above sea level, the potato is among the most important cash crops in the Himalayan nation. Aeroponics is a closed or semi-closed system for growing plants in an air or moist environment without the use of soil…

Tuber Talk

Killing Weeds with Less

Successful weed management is one of the cornerstones of successful commercial potato production, particularly at the start of each growing season. Controlling weeds in potato crops doesn’t appear to be getting any easier—many Canadian growers and researchers alike agree this seems to be more of a challenge with each passing year. Weeds compete directly with potato plants for the basic natural elements required for growth, namely light, water and nutrients, and can…

Equipment and Technology Showcase

Transporting Potatoes GOW Group Inc., an industrial fabrication facility in Grand Falls, N.B., is offering a new, redesigned bulk box for transporting potatoes and other produce. The box offers a number of new features, including a vertical sliding side gate, round construction, front and rear planetary drives, and an easy-access swing out hydraulic compartment. GOW owner/operator, Marco Gagnon, says the time was right for a redesign. “The box was the same design…

Bed Planting for Potatoes

In recent years, some potatoes growers in Idaho and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest have started experimenting with bed planting techniques as an alternative to the conventional ridged row system. Now, the lure of producing potentially larger yields with less water has enticed a few innovative growers half a continent away—in rural Manitoba—to give bed planting a try. Chad Berry, owner of Over and Under the Hill Farms, plans to use a…

Eye On The Nation

Canadian Potato Council David Jones, Manager, Potato Industry Co-ordination Canadian Horticultural Council/Canadian Potato Council Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, Director, Research & Quality Enhancement Peak of the Market The Research Working Group of the Canadian Potato Council has been very active developing the potato research proposal for inclusion in the Canadian Horticultural Council’s Agri-Science Cluster for Horticulture 2 under the Growing Forward 2 application. Last November, the CPC adopted the National Potato Research and Innovation…

Staying Sharp

Canada’s natural advantages for growing high-quality seed potatoes are well known: harsh winters break up pest cycles while summers are temperate with long days and cool evenings, most areas experience adequate natural rainfall, and coast to coast, fertile soils promote healthy plant development and growth. These conditions are especially conducive to producing clean, high-vigour seed. From east to west, growers also have easy access to major markets via road and marine transportation….

Adventures in Flavour

Canadian consumers are used to choosing from a few standard types of potatoes—reds, yellows and whites—which they often find piled in heaps at the end of the vegetable aisle in the grocery store. But Angela Santiago, co-founder and CEO of the Little Potato Company based in Edmonton, Alta., has a different vision for potato consumers. “Little Potato Company loves to branch out into new things,” she says. “Our purpose is to bring…

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