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Advances in Potato Handling Equipment

At one time, the only real tools a potato farmer needed were a trusty spade and a good strong back. While a little blood, sweat and tears can still go a long way in determining how successful a grower can be, having the right tools has become increasingly important. New developments in technology, mechanization, storage and breeding are allowing growers to produce more spuds with fewer resources. The challenge for many potato…

Vine Killing: Timing is Everything

As any potato grower will attest to, a successful growing season often comes down to what transpires below the soil’s surface. A field full of healthy, robust tubers usually translates into a positive bottom line. As significant as the happenings below ground may be to growers’ fortunes, events above the surface can have an equally big impact on just how fruitful their season may be. Perhaps there is no better example of…

New Tools for the CPB Toolbox

A study being conducted by researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s London Research and Development Centre could soon provide Canadian potato growers with new insight on how to fight one of the industry’s most troublesome pests — the Colorado potato beetle. The five-year study is officially known as the Development of Regional Management Strategies and Decision-Making Tools for Control of the Colorado Potato Beetle. Work on the project began this past summer…

2018 Forecast Calls for Optimism

For most of the past decade, potato production in Canada has been relatively stagnant. The economic crash of 2008 reduced demand for Canadian spuds in some markets and the industry struggled to regain its lost footing. With the 2018 growing season well under way, there now seems to be a renewed sense of optimism among many Canadian potato growers. Preliminary estimates indicate a total of 353,000 acres will be planted in Canada…

2018 Forecast Calls for Optimism

For most of the past decade, potato production in Canada has been relatively stagnant. The economic crash of 2008 reduced demand for Canadian spuds in some markets and the industry struggled to regain its lost footing. With the 2018 growing season well under way, there now seems to be a renewed sense of optimism among many Canadian potato growers. Preliminary estimates indicate a total of 353,000 acres will be planted in Canada…

2017 Canadian Potato Crop Outlook

Potato growers in Canada enjoyed a banner year in 2016. Manitoba in particular recorded record yields thanks to good weather and favourable growing conditions. Prices for fresh potatoes were strong from coast to coast and contract volumes remained stable. And for the third year in a row, the national average for potato yield hit record levels, coming in at 307 hundredweight (cwt) per acre. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato…

New Potato Varieties 2017

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) rolled out 15 new potato varieties to growers and industry representatives on Feb. 13 at three open houses: Fredericton, N.B., Guelph, Ont. and Lethbridge, Alta. The open houses were an opportunity for AAFC researchers to share results of the agency’s potato breeding program’s accelerated release selections. Twelve of the 15 new varieties unveiled are classified as fresh market or dual purpose use, while the three remaining varieties…

A Canadian Love Affair

Michel and Hanneke Camps didn’t plan on becoming farm owners when they first arrived in Canada in 2000. The husband and wife had both graduated from university in their native Holland with degrees in intensive livestock management and were eager to gain some work experience abroad. They ended up in southern Alberta and spent the next two years doing just that, Michel at a potato farm and Hanneke at a nearby hog…

2016 Crop Outlook

In 2015, Canadian potato growers enjoyed record-setting yields in many parts of the country, including New Brunswick, Manitoba and Alberta. Nationally, the average potato yield was a 305 hundredweight per acre, up from the previous record of 294 hundredweight set the year before. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada, stated in mid-June that 2015’s exceptional numbers can be attributed to favourable growing conditions. “It was a warm…

AAFC Unveils New Varieties for 2016

Canadian growers were able to catch a glimpse of the future at a series of open houses recently hosted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada potato breeders to share the latest results of their accelerated release selections program. This year’s open houses were held Feb. 10 on three fronts – the Fredericton Research and Development Centre in New Brunswick, the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre in Alberta, and for the first time ever…

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