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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…

Promoting Potatoes

P.E.I. POTATOES HAS established a strong reputation as a leader in marketing and promoting potatoes, both within Canada and abroad. It has now come out with a new media campaign that relies heavily on the Island’s beauty and rich potato heritage to further entrench the Prince Edward Island Potatoes brand in the minds of consumers.  The new television and online marketing campaign kicked off in November with a 30-second video called “What…

Innate Outlook

INNATE POTATOES, the biotech spud from Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Company, have been approved for production and sale in Canada since 2016.  Since then, Innate has been grown in field trials in P.E.I., Ontario and Manitoba and the trials are expected to continue in 2019. But aside from a few acres in Ontario that’s producing an Innate chip variety for an American processor, there isn’t any commercial production of Innate potatoes in this…

McCain Foods Portage la Prairie Facility Celebrates 40 Years in Business

Portage la Prairie, Man., April 16, 2019 – Yesterday, McCain Foods (Canada) celebrated the 40th anniversary of its Portage la Prairie, Man., facility and also officially opened its new potato receiving area at a special ceremony hosted onsite at the potato processing facility. Manitoba dignitaries, including Premier Brian Pallister and Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler among others were in attendance, as were local growers from the Keystone Potato Producers Association, McCain executives and…

Winnipeg to Host Potato Association of America Meeting

The 103rdannual meeting of the Potato Association of America will take place July 28 to Aug. 1 at the Delta Hotel in downtown Winnipeg, Man. It’s never been held in Manitoba before, and organizers are looking forward to hosting what’s considered the premier educational event for the North American potato industry. “It’s the most academic type of potato meeting that we have, and it tends to be the event of the year…

Going Without Mancozeb

Canadian potato farmers could be facing higher production costs with the potential loss of a key weapon against late blight. Mancozeb is a relatively inexpensive, Group M fungicide that’s used extensively in Canada to combat late blight and early blight, with some growers applying the chemical up to 10 times per season on their potato fields. The broad-spectrum fungicide is currently under review by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency due to…

Market News

Potato storage holdings in Canada totaled 56.9 million hundredweight on Feb. 1, a 9.2 per cent decline from the same time in 2018, according to the United Potato Growers of Canada. Storage holdings were down in every potato-producing province except for British Columbia, where holdings were up substantially at 36 per cent. According to UPGC General Manager, Kevin MacIsaac, British Columbia’s crop was below average last year so the increase returned that…

New Way Forward

The potato breeding program operated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has a long history, releasing more than 130 new varieties over the past 90 years. Because of shifts in consumer demand, technologies, markets and growing conditions that have transformed the potato landscape in Canada in recent years, AAFC has decided it’s time for a change. This year, the department’s potato breeding program is undergoing a major overhaul in an effort to modernize…

UPGC Canadian Crop and Market Report—March 15, 2019

The UPGC board of directors met last week in Halifax and reviewed the potato crop and market status across Canada. Overall Potato Stocks for March 1st are down 11.5% or 6.3 million hundredweight compared to March 1 of 2018. Fresh stocks are down 16.6% compared to a year ago and potatoes intended for processing are down 4,287,000 cwt. Seed stocks are 5.6% below one year ago. Prince Edward Island Fresh potato movement…

In-Furrow Pink Rot Fungicide Control Active in September?

Most of you probably know that Orondis Gold Potato fungicide, a co-pack containing Orondis and Ridomil (active ingredients oxathiapiprolin and metalaxyl-M), will be available this spring to suppress pink rot and Pythium leak.  The registration is for in-furrow application, but pink rot usually develops at the end of the season.  Will Orondis applied mid-May still be active in September? My colleagues across the border always do a good job evaluating fungicides before…

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