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Browsing articles by Treena Hein

What To Do When Frost Hits

When a pre-harvest hard frost hits — a temperature of -2.22 C or below — growers are faced with some thorny challenges. While a light frost may only damage the tubers in the top part of the hill, a severe frost can take out much more. There has been early frost three out of the last 10 years in the Maritimes, and outof those incidents, last year was the worst for frost-damaged…

On the Campaign Trail

IN SOME REGIONS of the world potato consumption has stagnated in recent years. There are several thorny reasons for that, says Peter VanderZaag, president of Sunrise Potato Storage in Alliston, Ont., and a professor at Yunnan Normal University in Kunming, Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China.  “In the media, potatoes get a bad rap in many ways,” he asserts. “There is lots of information out there about how they are fattening, they…

What Consumers Want and Farmers Need

Gathering good information is important for any sector in meeting current and future market demands, and researchers at the University of Guelph and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are continuing to do just that with regard to conventional and pigmented potatoes. Most consumers know by now that eating fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants may decrease their chances of developing heart disease, cancer and more. Because potatoes are already such a popular food,…

New and Improved Potato Scanning and Handling Systems

Any technology that helps maximize profit and minimize waste is welcome in agriculture, and potato farming is no exception. There are some recent updates on new and established scanning and handling systems now available or soon to be marketed. You have likely heard about the SmartSpud, a revolutionary Canadian device produced by Masitek Instruments of Moncton, N.B., that travels through potato equipment from harvester to packaging, mimicking a real potato. It provides…

Preparing for the Potato’s Future

It’s always been critical to breed new crop varieties with good yield and harvest quality, but it’s more important than ever to do so now, with crops facing myriad stresses related to changing climate conditions. Dr. Keshav Dahal, a crop stress physiologist who joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research and Development Centre in Fredericton, N.B. during summer 2017, is helping unlock how some plants sense and react to stress more effectively than…

Remote Sensing: The technology, current use and future outlook

Remote sensing in potatoes is being actively investigated for its value in ensuring a high-yielding, healthy crop. Although in its relatively early stages in Canada, data collection through remote means and the related data analysis is developing at a swift pace. In this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart gathered experts to report on the remote sensing tech being used in potatoes, the present value of the information collected and where the future…

Top Grade

It’s been five years since Austin Roberts and his wife Ramona joined forces with other P.E.I. potato farmers to successfully improve their industry for the better. In 2013, Austin (Kinkora Holdings) partnered with Marvyn Webster (Valley Grove Enterprises) and Andrew Lawless (Hilltop Produce) to built a pre-processing potato wash facility. “We felt that P.E.I. farmers as a group needed a safe and environmental option to clean and optimize product in a high-capacity…

Farming From Space

Technology in all areas of farming continues to evolve, and satellite data collection and analysis is no exception. It’s becoming less expensive every year to collect data on crops, weather and more from space, and the information gathered is also getting much more detailed and reliable. Satellite data are useful to the agriculture community not only in terms of understanding long-term trends, but in gaining faster and better insight into crop-soil health…

The Next Level of Weed Control

As anyone in the ag sector well knows, new technologies are quickly revolutionizing farming, automating processes in major ways to make them more efficient, less costly and more environmentally-friendly. Weed control is one of those processes. Several companies and academic groups around the world have developed systems that enable more precise herbicide application through taking large numbers of images of a field using cameras on drones. The images are then amalgamated together…

Preparing for the Potato’s Future

It’s always been critical to breed new crop varieties with good yield and harvest quality, but it’s more important than ever to do so now, with crops facing myriad stresses related to changing climate conditions. Dr. Keshav Dahal, a crop stress physiologist who joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research and Development Centre in Fredericton, N.B. during summer 2017, is helping unlock how some plants sense and react to stress more effectively than…

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