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Browsing articles by Marc Zienkiewicz

Essential versus non-essential travel guidelines from the Canadian government

Business Allowed to Continue Despite Travel Restrictions

The following piece is from our sister publication, Germination. After some uncertainty last week surrounding the closure of the Canada-U.S. border to all but essential travel, the federal government has eased concerns with regard to temporary agricultural workers and the definition of non-essential travel. Agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau released a statement saying temporary foreign workers will be allowed on farms providing they follow protocols including a health screening before they arrive and…

Potato plants growing in a field

Temporary Foreign Workers Will be Able to Enter Canada, But There May be a Catch

At a news conference this week, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said temporary foreign workers will be allowed entry into Canada after self-isolation for 14 days. However, a senior cabinet minister said Thursday, March 19, the allowance refers to workers coming over the Canada-US border only. We are still awaiting specific details from the federal government in regard to its Seasonal Agricultural Workers program. In a press release, the Western Canadian Wheat…

Fostering Mental Health in Agriculture and the Workplace

How do we create an industry where mental health is talked about and stigma is eliminated? Adelle Stewart Executive Director Do More Agriculture Foundation Adelle was born and raised in Saskatchewan, and lives on a small ranch outside of Saskatoon. She brings over 20 years’ experience in mental health, workshop facilitation, disability management, human resources as well as operational efficiency, strategy, and marketing to her position with Do More Ag. A lot…

New Sweet Potato Variety Shines

Ready for commercial release in 2019 is Radiance, a new sweet potato variety developed in Canada to suit the country’s growing season and conditions. The variety is currently being trialed from coast-to-coast, and should be appearing in Canadian grocery stores next year. Valerio Primomo, a research scientist and vegetable breeder at Ontario-based Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland), developed the variety with Canada’s unique growing conditions in mind, its shorter growing season…

Using smartphones to battle pests

A new app has been designed to help growers of field crops identify and manage insects, pathogens and weeds. And there is potential for other crops to be included once work on the current setup is complete. Set to be officially released in 2018 on Android and iOS, the Mobile Integrated Pest Management (Mobile-IPM) app is a tool for Canadian farmers. It focuses on the major Canadian crops such as oilseeds, cereals…

Michael Smith Promotes Potatoes

Michael Smith loves potatoes, and he’s reaching out on social media May 26 at 9.m. Eastern Time to let the whole world know. The internationally renowned chef is starring in two potato-related videos that are among a series of 10 videos produced for the Half Your Plate campaign to promote eating more fruits and vegetables by filling half your plate with these food items. The first of them is being released this week…

Green Light for Innate in Canada

Imagine walking into a grocery store in the future and finding fresh potatoes pre-cut, packaged and ready to cook. It’s a product the J.R. Simplot Company is envisioning thanks to its genetically modified Generation 1 Innate potato, which was given the green light by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada earlier this year. Canadian approval came too late for them to be grown commercially in this country in 2016, but…

New Weapon against Verticillium

Potato producers have wrestled with Verticillium wilt for decades. Because some of the Verticillium pathogens can stay present in soil for 10 to 15 years, it’s a long-term problem that can be notoriously difficult to control, never mind test for. A new tool for helping growers successfully combat the pathogen that plays a role in potato early dying (PED) complex could be available within a couple of years, thanks to the work…

Spirit of the Farm

When Ontario potato grower Ken Beattie visited a vodka distillery in Prince Edward Island several years ago, he was inspired to try creating his own brand of high-quality spirits using his own potatoes. Now, Beattie’s Farm-Crafted Potato Vodka is ready to launch with a small-batch trial run in select Ontario stores this spring, and an entire distillery is being constructed on the producer’s 4,000-acre potato farm near Alliston. “Ken has a firm…

Quest Continues for Low Acrylamide Potatoes

Despite another recent study showing no firm link between levels of dietary acrylamide in food and cancer in human beings, efforts continue in order to find new potato varieties that will produce minimal amounts of the chemical when cooked. “I won’t say acrylamide isn’t important anymore. It’s a trait that processors should continue to look at,” says Zenaida Ganga, crop specialist with Cavendish Farms – Research Division in Prince Edward Island. The…

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