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Browsing Category Seed & Potato Varieties

Dry Harvest Conditions = Near-Term and Long-Term Challenges

The year 2017 may very well be remembered as the year the rain just didn’t come. Across much of Canada, conditions as we near potato harvest are notably dry and hot. With the exception of cooler, wetter than normal conditions in certain areas of Ontario, much of the country has seen little rain since May and June. Unfortunately, dry conditions limit yield, challenge growers at harvest, and can increase the risk of…

Lab Testing: Unfortunate Cost or Priority Investment?

No matter how excellent your product, your business will only be as successful as the customer service you offer. Though that sentence is so often repeated it’s become cliché, it is also absolute reality. For seed potato growers, offering excellent customer service means anticipating and meeting all of a customer’s needs, from reliable product to knowledgeable answers to seed quality verifications and regulatory requirements. Seed potato customers’ needs differ depending on both…

Growing Relationships

In today’s ultra-fast, highly digitalized world, it’s sometimes easy to overlook how much real, human to human relationship still matters. In life, in business and in agriculture, taking time to communicate openly, develop trust and build rapport is vital to success. Whether you are a potato grower, a seed producer, a retailer, a consumer, or – like us – a variety marketing company, you are a key player in the potato production…

Make Time for Field Evaluation Days

Bringing a new potato variety to market is an incredibly challenging combination of science, marketing and rigorous testing. While only a fraction of new varieties ever make it to commercial production, the few that do reach grocery store shelves are vital to the viability and future of the potato industry. Each successful new variety is an important step forward for breeders, growers, commercial buyers and, ultimately, consumers. As such, all potato industry…

Success with Organics Depends on Starting with the Right Seed

The price premium on organic produce of all kinds, combined with growing interest in sustainable farming, is tempting more and more agricultural producers to look towards organics. Though initially a little slower to take off than some organic crops, commercial organic potato production is now growing steadily. Here are some points to consider before embarking on organic farming. Since not all conventional potato varieties are suitable for organic production, it is wise…

Potatoes are Healthy……Again

Dr. Mehmet Oz, made famous by Oprah and now himself a popular talk-show host, dedicated much of his March 23, 2017 episode to promoting potatoes and educating viewers about their many uses (see it here: https://t.co/cQ1eWazTZw). The potato industry cheered. After all, our industry has not always seen eye to eye with Dr. Oz because he, like many celebrity influencers, has typically overlooked potatoes’ many health benefits in favour of riding the…

Best Investment? Clean Seed

The dollars and cents of farm business success aren’t always as simple as they might first appear. While minimizing costs can seem like a smart business decision, it is exactly the opposite if that up-front savings ends up costing crop quality and/or yield. The purchase of seed is a perfect example: while it can be tempting to buy the least costly seed potatoes available, investing in high quality, tested, disease-free seed will…

Benefits of Proper Seed Potato Handling and Shipping

In the springtime shipping rush, the organizing, grading, shipping and occasional crisis managing that define seed potato sales can make even the most seasoned producer frustrated. Unfortunately, the pressure to fill orders quickly can result in potatoes that went into storage in perfect condition arriving at customers’ doors bruised and cracked. Given that the ultimate goal and the key to long-term business success is customer satisfaction, speed needs to be secondary to…

Marketing Potatoes: Our Shared Responsibility and Combined Benefit

Back a generation or two ago when seemingly every North American home bought potatoes by the 20 lb bag and variety options were limited, marketing potatoes was straightforward: grocers simply put potatoes on their shelves and customers bought them. Instant access to information, hugely expanded grocery options, and a burgeoning number of potato types, sizes and end-uses, however, means potato marketing today is a critical, complicated priority that the entire value chain…

Traceability Should be a Priority for Every Producer

Across every sector and at every level of the agriculture industry, countless conversations are occurring these days about traceability. Now that technologies exist that can track origin, movement history and current locations of product – be it milk, livestock, or in this case, potatoes – traceability is becoming a huge priority for product producers, retailers and consumers alike. It is now possible to trace food products from the field to the consumer…

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