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Browsing Category Summer 2015

Crafting A Great Brand

The Canadian potato chip industry is a big business, with Research and Markets pegging its value at an impressive $1.6 billion by the close of 2016. It’s also highly competitive —with a plethora of well-known brands crowding stores and established players dominating shelf space, capturing the attention of consumers certainly isn’t easy. Ryan Albright knew he had his work cut out for him when he co-founded the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company…

From our Desk

Tater Tourism

Potatoes and Tourism. Two words that most people wouldn’t find particularly synonymous. Ryan Albright is one of the exceptions. The New Brunswick potato grower is a co-founder of the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company, which is featured in our lead story of this issue of Spud Smart. Albright’s company makes old-fashioned potato chips at its plant in Hartland, N.B., which is home to world’s longest covered bridge. About 100,000 visitors come to Hartland each summer…

Production Projections

Favourable conditions in most growing regions this spring, a dip in the value of the Canadian dollar and some increases in processing contracts have potato producers across the country feeling optimistic about the 2015 season. Statistic Canada’s production estimates for 2015 released on July 17 show the total planted acreage in Canada as 349,005 acres. Overall, this represents an increase of 1,465 acres from 2014, a 0.4 per cent rise. Contributing to…

What’s After Thimet?

There’s a growing sense of unease among Canadian potato producers as the countdown continues on the deregulation of Thimet 15-G. In the face of increased wireworm pressure across the country, especially in Prince Edward Island, growers aren’t the only group troubled by the phasing out of the only insecticide registered in Canada for use on potatoes that kills wireworms. “Growers need a product that kills wireworms. They are concerned about it and we…

Late Blight Breakthrough

There may be a new weapon in the fight against one of the world’s most devastating potato diseases — late blight. Scientists from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and the Sainsbury Laboratory at Norwich Research Park in England say they’ve identified a resistant gene that fights against new strains of the oomycete disease. The wild potato gene targets elicitin, a pathogen protein that performs an important biological function. This make makes it…

Controlling Silver Scurf

One of the more pervasive tuber diseases in North America, silver scurf has been increasing in incidence and severity in recent decades. This has resulted in economic losses that have been most clearly felt in the fresh sector, where unsightly potato skins can lower the market value of the crop. Tracy Shinners-Carnelley is the director of research and quality enhancement for Manitoba’s Peak of the Market — a grower-owned not-for-profit vegetable marketing…

If Plants Could Talk

Imagine if you could walk into the field and have your potato plants tell you how they are doing. This groundbreaking technology is closer than you think. Two Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists at the Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, N.B., Bernie Zebarth and Helen Tai, are working on a method for collecting data from plants almost the same way as a car mechanic assesses your car’s engine. The researchers are looking…

From Chuno to Vodka

Fresh potato consumption, once the mainstay of world potato utilization, is decreasing in many countries, especially in developed regions. Currently, more potatoes are processed to meet rising demand from the fast food, snack and convenience food industries. The major drivers behind this development include growing urban populations, rising incomes, changing diets and the diversification of lifestyles that leave less time for preparing fresh potatoes at home. This shift, in turn, is affecting…

Post-harvest Field Care

Successful potato growers know that even the best soils can produce inferior yields and quality if steps aren’t taken after harvest to prepare their fields for the following year, whether it’s being planted with potatoes or another crop in their rotation. We asked the following experts to identify and discuss some of the best management practices they’d recommend for an effective post-harvest field care strategy: Yves Leclerc, McCain Foods director of agronomy…

4R Nutrient Stewardship

4R nutrient stewardship represents an innovative approach to nutrient best management practices. Proponents of applying this concept to potato production believe that the principles of this approach provide a sound framework for growers to achieve cropping system goals, such as increased production, increased farmer profitability, enhanced environmental protection and improved sustainability. In essence, 4R nutrient stewardship implies that growers put the following best management practices in place in terms of the nutrient…

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