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Our spring 2017 issue features several stories related to the planting season, including the importance of soil health, the ins and outs of water management, and introducing Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s 2017 new releases. Also, read the latest on how a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement could impact Canadian potato growers. All this and more in the spring 2017 issue of Spud Smart.

 

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Potato supplier HZPC charged by South African Competition Commission

South Africa’s Competition Commission has referred a Netherlands-based seed potato breeder and its exclusive South African distributor to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for abuse of dominance in relation to the exclusive supply of Mondial seed potatoes varietal in the country. Wesgro Potatoes, a potato seed grower in South Africa, has an exclusive agreement with HZPC Holland to sell the Mondial seed potato varietal to commercial farmers. In turn, commercial farmers grow…

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…

Family Pride

In 1989, Kornelis Bakker was in his second year of university in the Netherlands when his best friend made a surprising announcement: “We’re going to Canada next summer,” he told Bakker. A seed growers’ delegation from New Brunswick had been in the area visiting a few seed farms, including his friend’s. That night at supper, his friend told his parents he’d decided to do an internship in New Brunswick. “No, you’re not,”…

Potatoes and Water Management: From Deluge to Drought

Potato producers know all too well that controlling Mother Nature is as likely as reigning in a two year-old. In either case, you’re doomed before you start. At the same time, there are ways to optimize water use efficiency and minimize the damage from floods and droughts. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart assembled five industry experts to discuss the importance of water management to potato production, and how to deal…

From our Desk

Spuds on Mars

There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about launching manned missions to Mars with people who will colonize the planet. For example, Netherlands-based Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2031. Eldon Musk’s SpaceX mission to Mars has joined the race, although they’re short on details at this point. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is on a journey to Mars…

Eye On The Nation

MANITOBA By Dan Sawatzky, General Manager, Keystone Potato Producers Association Our annual conference, Manitoba Potato Production Days, was held at the end of January with excellent attendance. Industry support of this event is exceptional and is instrumental to the conference success. The Manitoba Potato Partners Seminar is held the end of March with updates from UPGC and APRE, followed by our provincial potato research reporting activities. Usage of the large crop in…

Simple and Effective Late Blight Detection

Determining late blight presence and the resulting pressure on potato crops is an ongoing challenge. Usually, potato growers start a preventive fungicide program with broad spectrum fungicides before row closure, which ensures stems and leaves at the base of plants are protected from both early and late blight. If late blight is identified in the field, growers switch to fungicides that specifically target it for enhanced crop protection. But what if it…

The Promise of Innate

There’s been plenty of talk in Canadian potato circles this past year about Innate, the genetically modified potato from J.R. Simplot Company that’s been given the green light by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada. Those approvals came too late for the product to be grown commercially in Canada in 2016, but don’t be surprised if Innate potatoes make an appearance this year. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the…

Dutch Potato Processing Industry Approaches 4 Million Tonnes

Potato manufacturers in the Netherlands are approaching the four million tonnes of processed potatoes mark annually. From March 2016 to February 2017 3.942 million tonnes of potatoes were processed into consumer products in the Netherlands. Processing figures from the Dutch Organization of Potato Merchants (Nederlandse Aardappel Organisatie, NAO) shows that 334,000 tonnes of potatoes have been processed in the Netherlands in February 2017. Last year in the same month, the processing volume…

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…

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