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Browsing Category Winter 2017

Convincing the Unconvinced on Precision Agriculture

Precision agriculture is cutting edge, high-tech and full of potential. At least some western Canadian potato farmers, however, see it as overwhelming, costly, frustrating, and/or difficult to implement. If you look past the hype and excitement surrounding precision agriculture, you’ll find a group of farmers who have tried it and quit, or who were turned off the concept before they ever started. Jeff Bronsch, an agronomic consultant in Taber, Alta., understands farmers…

Eye On The Nation

ALBERTA By Terence Hochstein, Executive Director, Potato Growers of Alberta The 2015-2016 crop year was anything but normal for Alberta process potato growers. An early April start turned into a long fall with not a lot to show for it. A cool summer with less than average heat and growing degree days (GDD) left Alberta growers with just an average crop. The quality is excellent but the 2016 yields come up rather…

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…

World Review

CANADA An archeologist has harvested blackened 3,800-year-old potatoes in British Columbia. The crop is uneatable, of course, but proves that North American natives tended gardens during the prehistoric era. The garden is older than the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, found in Greek and Roman texts. The remains were discovered by University of British Columbia scientists led by Tanja Hoffmann, at an archaeological site called DhRp-52, which lies west of Vancouver. The site…

Warmer, Drier Climate with Plenty of Variability

Since there is no immediate “fix” for the weather, Canadian potato farmers have to be ready for change and be adaptable, advises David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada. The climate is changing. Although it may not seem like it during specific weather events – exceptional rainstorms and severe cold snaps – evidence predicts climate over the coming years will be warmer and drier. That will mean changes. “The farms that 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…

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