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Eye On The Nation

SPRING 2019 MANITOBA Dan Sawatzky, General Manager, Keystone Potato Producers Association As I write this snapshot of what I am seeing in the Manitoba potato world, both Simplot Canada and McCain Foods are busy with capital projects. Simplot is on track with the construction of a new plant adjacent to their Portage location doubling their capacity and adding to their ability to produce specialty products. McCain is near the end of a…

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…

2021 World Potato Congress, Ireland: Change of Dates Announced

The previously scheduled dates of the WPC Congress in Ireland (May 24-27, 2021) have been moved by one week to May 31 to June 2, 2021 due to the Dublin Bloom Festival (https://bloominthepark.com/). This will allow 2021 WPC Congress participants and their partners to enjoy this important Irish horticulture event in the city, and for the  Irish promotion board ‘Bord Bia’ (one of the major sponsors of WPC and organizer of the Bloom Festival)…

Potato Prices Climbing in Wake of Poor Growing Season

CBC News Fresh potato prices are higher than usual because of shortages after the worst growing season in decades. On P.E.I., Canada’s largest producer of potatoes, it’s estimated about 2,800 hectares of potatoes were left in fields, because the fall was so wet and fields were too muddy to harvest. The season was also late starting due to a cold spring. People in the industry estimate prices for potatoes are up at…

Ethylene Delays Sprouting in Onions and Potatoes

The British company Restrain has been developing ethylene generators since 2003, and they rent these to tomato, onion and potato growers throughout the season. The generators, equipped with technology developed in the Netherlands, are now sold in 36 countries. The operation of the system is relatively simple: the heat generated by the machine turns beet alcohol into ethylene. Ethylene is a natural plant hormone that is produced by all plants, but climacteric…

Pressure Continues on Supply of PEI Potatoes

Supplies of potatoes from Canada’s Prince Edward Island province are very tight. “We’re short in Canada and I know they’re also short in Europe and the U.S. has issues as well and it’s due to weather,” says Jennifer Harris of Mid Isle Farms in Albany, PEI. “We had everything. We had a wet spring which delayed growers getting into the fields for planting and then we had a very dry summer that…

A Better Estimate of the Net Yield of Seed Potatoes with Vision Techniques

Growers of seed potatoes would like to know on which part of their parcel the potatoes grow best, and how the location influences the size of the potatoes. But during harvesting, hundreds of potatoes will roll into the harvesting machine at the same time. Wageningen University & Research is working with Aeres Hogeschool, the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Green Campus and several growers to study how this yield can be measured by…

WPC Welcomes Dr. Nigel Crump as its New International Advisor, Oceania

World Potato Congress President, Romain Cools is very pleased to welcome Dr. Nigel Crump to its International Advisory Committee. “Dr. Crump is an excellent addition to our highly respected professional group of International Advisors. With Nigel’s addition, we now have potato specialists representing all parts of the world.” Dr. Nigel Crump is a potato pathologist with over 19 years’ experience working in the Australian potato industry. Nigel is the General Manager for…

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…

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