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Excitement Building for Canada’s Agriculture Day

With less than a month to go before Canada’s Agriculture Day, Canadians are once again invited to celebrate the food they love. Canada’s Agriculture Day will be held on February 12 this year, marking the third annual celebration of the agriculture industry and all others who play a role in bringing food to our tables. “It’s our biggest celebration of the year. Canada’s Agriculture Day showcases all the amazing things happening in…

Potato Scientists Unravel Genetics of Tuber Skin and Flesh Colour

Potato tuber skin and flesh colours are attractive traits for consumers and frequently influence purchase choices. In a new study, scientists of the James Hutton Institute have identified a genetic molecule that regulates the production of anthocyanin, a natural pigment which in turn influences tuber skin and flesh colour. The researchers also identified previously unknown inhibitors of anthocyanin production, offering an opportunity for potato breeders to target these genes in new breeding programmes…

BASF Launches Critical Insecticide for Use in Canadian Soybeans and Potatoes

Canadian farmers have a new tool to protect their soybean and potato crops in 2019 with the launch of BASF’s Sefina™ insecticide. Sefina utilizes a unique mode of action, Group 9D active ingredient Inscalis™, to quickly halt aphid feeding, reducing production losses and virus transmission. In research and commercial trials across Canada and the United States, Sefina showed extended control of up to three weeks against additional aphid pests that have, over time, developed resistance to other insecticides. “Canadian…

Changing Storage Styles? Look for Wins

You’ve decided it’s time to update or build new potato storage. You’ve spent time considering the questions I posed in my last column on where to begin the process. Now it’s time to get down to brass tacks. There are four main factors you must consider when deciding upon a potato storage facility, these include: style of building insulation ventilation and humidification options: auxiliary heat and/or refrigeration Basically, there are three building…

Modern-Day Air Systems: Cushioning the Blow

Did you know skydiving and commercial potato production have something in common? Before they release their chutes, skydivers usually reach terminal velocity, which is the constant speed those falling bodies travel when air resistance prevents further acceleration. Air systems found in potato equipment are based on the same principle. The air inside the system is adjusted to meet the terminal velocity of the potato. Once the air is adjusted then that potato…

McCain Foods in Manitoba prepares for 40th Anniversary Celebrations in 2019

Beginning in the New Year, McCain Foods (Canada) will celebrate 40 years of sustained operation and investment in Manitoba together with employees, growers and neighbours in the local communities where it operates: Carberry and Portage la Prairie.  “In 2019, the McCain Portage la Prairie facility will celebrate 40 years of continued operation in the local area,” announced Danielle Barran, President, McCain Foods Canada. “Our 40-year presence in the community is a strong…

How to Plan Today to Manage PVY

Although the transmission and incidence of Potato virus Y in Canadian potato crops has declined dramatically over the past eight years, new threats to quality and yield are on the horizon in the form of necrosis-causing novel strains. How can Canadian growers manage PVY on their farms today, and how do they fight these latest strains? For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart sought input from industry experts Mathuresh Singh, director of Agricultural…

Expansion Key for Success for New Brunswick Potato Grower

Michel Levesque, who grew up on a farm in New Brunswick’s fertile potato belt, was only 24 when he began his own potato operation in Saint-Andre, N.B. “I started by myself in 1991. My father had a farm and he sold it to my two brothers. I wanted to still continue farming, so I bought a farm a couple of miles away from the homestead farm,” says Levesque, who’s 52. Levesque admits the…

Disease Alert

Attending winter trade shows and meetings are a favoured ritual for many potato growers. Certain topics tend to dominate the conference circuit every year, and one that’s likely to have a lot of farmers talking this winter is a brand-new strain of late blight called US-25. “This is a topic that will be discussed at winter meetings,” says Eugenia Banks, a potato specialist with the Ontario Potato Board. “There’s not much awareness…

Breaking the Fall

Two years ago, Maritimer Pete Nieuwhof was contemplating ways to speed up packing of his farm’s fresh potato harvest. He found his answer with the EZ-Down, an ingenious device invented by a pair of fellow P.E.I. potato growers. “At the time, we were looking for something to speed up our production a little bit. We had an old homemade machine on the line. It was working well, but we wanted to upgrade so…

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