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Industry News Fall 2019

PEOPLE NEWS Ivan Noonan Receives Certificate of Appreciation from UPGC Ivan Noonan was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation as a founding co-chair of the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC), which was formed in 2006. He was presented with the certificate of appreciation by UPGC chairman, Ray Keenan, in Charlottetown in August. Before his retirement, Noonan was the general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board from 1994 to 2008 and then…

From our Desk

Unlocking the Potato’s True Potential

LAST AUGUST, at the Potato Association of America (PAA) annual meeting, I had an opportunity to talk with Michiel de Vries, Solynta’s research team lead, about the work he and his colleagues are carrying out. Solynta, a potato seed breeding company based in Wageningen, the Netherlands, has invented a fast and efficient hybrid breeding technology. One that could change global food consumption and unlock the true potential of the potato, de Vries…

The Ins and Outs of Potato Yield Monitoring

Bill Menkveld, vice-president of sales and marketing for Greentronics, has never met a grower who isn’t interested in yield maps. He says producers are often surprised by the results. “Growers are always amazed to see how much yield changes across a field. It’s not uncommon to see yields vary by a factor of 100 or 200 per cent,” he says. Yield monitors provide information about crops and production practices and are designed…

Spud Smart Webinar: The Ins and Outs of Potato Yield Monitors

With increased input costs and skyrocketing land prices, profit margins are shrinking — it’s never been more important to have a good handle on what’s happening in your fields. Data generated from yield maps provide insight on how to manage your crop to improve your profit margin, your yield, or both. Whether this is your first season or your fifth using a potato yield monitor, our guest speakers will make sure you’re…

This Artist has an Eye for Potatoes 

When is a Colorado potato beetle near a potato a good thing? When it’s part of a gorgeous, handmade ceramic potato mug. Manitoba artist Jillian Sareault uses sculptural techniques to create potato-like ceramic vessels that can be used in everyday life. Each piece has its own unique qualities and no two are identical. Sareault came up with the idea when her mother, MaryAnn Sareault, who is the conference coordinator for Manitoba Potato…

Champion of the Industry

Nora Olsen has a list. It’s a bucket list, of sorts, she has kept for the past 10 years of all the potato research she’d like to carry out. It’s no wonder that list is dwindling after the University of Idaho professor and extension potato specialist’s tireless efforts for the sector. Olsen champions the potato industry and its stakeholders, especially growers, because she loves her work and feels honoured to be part…

We Have Common DNA

Peter VanderZaag has been on a vigorous campaign to alleviate poverty and hunger through potato science and production almost his entire life. His work improving potato production in Central Africa, Southeastern Asia, and China has had far-reaching effects. The researcher was heavily influenced by his heritage — generations of VanderZaags in the Netherlands have been potato producers — and most notably his Uncle Date, a distinguished potato scientist. “My Uncle Date was…

Worth Their Weight in Gold

Since John Nordgaard has been with Black Gold Farms, the company’s size has quadrupled. Employees have increased from around 30 in 1997 to 185 full-time staff today. As director of operations then, and executive vice-president of operations now, Nordgaard has participated in much of that growth. Although, he’d be the last person to say so. At Black Gold Farms, Nordgaard oversees operations for all farms across multiple states, he has also managed…

The Honour is Ours

After spending more than three decades with the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory as a research plant geneticist developing improved potato varieties, Kathleen Haynes says a significant highlight of her career has been bringing researchers together to work on projects for the benefit of the potato industry. “I’m most proud of the working groups we assembled to address problems in the industry,” she says. This year,…

From our Desk

Potato Industry and Producer Engagement Increasing

EXCITEMENT IS IN the air as Manitoba gets ready to host the 103rd Potato Association of America Annual Meeting in Winnipeg at the end of July.  It’s a time for the sector’s scientific branch to share research information about all facets of the potato industry, to recognize members who have made significant contributions to the sector, and to nurture and mentor upcoming researchers. It’s also an opportunity for all industry stakeholders, including…

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