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Revolutionizing with CRISPR

By Alex Martin There are plenty of buzzwords surrounding the seed industry in 2018 — GMOs, gene-editing, organic and, of course, CRISPR. While we know a lot surrounding the debate of GMOs versus organic and whether or not GMOs and gene-editing overlap, one gene-editing technology still seems a mystery. So, what exactly is CRISPR-Cas9, and why does it matter to the seed industry? CRISPR is a genome editing system that could benefit…

Potato Breeding: A European Approach, Part I

Of the top 10 food crops in the world, potato comes third, and is the No. 1 non-grain food product. Originally grown in the Andes, the Spanish introduced the potato to Europe in the 16th century, and, after a bumpy start, potatoes have been a very popular food source over the past two centuries. The potato is a healthy, low-calorie, high-fibre food that offers significant protection from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Additionally,…

Eye On The Nation

MANITOBA  Dan Sawatzky, General Manager, Keystone Potato Producers Association  Heat and lack of rainfall highlight the growing conditions for Manitoba this season. Above 30 C days were double the normal, which will have some effect on yield and quality. 2011 was the most recent year where we experienced similar heat, which resulted in significant yield losses.  Dry conditions were carried over from last fall and winter, where little precipitation fell. This summer’s…

Canadian Plant Health Council Launched

Ottawa, Ont. – Collaboration between Canadian governments, industry, academia and other partners in plant health is essential to protect our resources from new and emerging risks, drive innovation and ensure that Canadian industry remains competitive and sustainable. Plant health partners in Canada are pleased to announce the establishment of the Canadian Plant Health Council – fulfilling a multi-partner commitment to collaboratively implement the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada. The Canadian…

Medium Term Outlook Projects Continued Growth for the Canadian Agricultural Sector

Ottawa, Ontario — Canadian farmers are leaders in producing safe, high-quality agricultural and food products for Canadians and people around the world. The sector is a major driver in creating good, middle-class jobs, and is one of Canada’s key growth industries. On Sept. 21, 2018, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada released its Medium Term Outlook (MTO), an economic projection of the domestic and international agricultural markets from 2017 to 2027. This year’s projections…

Alberta Farmers Fret Over Late-Summer Snowfalls that Delayed Harvest

Some Alberta farmers are concerned about their crops after a late-summer snowfall blanketed parts of the province, with more flurries expected in the forecast. Early season snow can squash crops that grow upright, like wheat and barley, make them harder to harvest and decimate their quality, leaving farmers with a less valuable product. Greg Sears has been growing canola, wheat, barley and peas just north of Grande Prairie, Alta., for about a…

New Zealand Potato Body to Ensure Quality Products Enter Fiji

New Zealand’s potato industry governing body has made a commitment to ensure the quality of potatoes imported from New Zealand by Fiji will be of top quality. Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ) says it wanted to see Fiji’s potato industry grow. Its chief executive, Chris Claridge, made the comments during the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji’s (BAF) bilateral meeting with the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (NZMPI) in Nadi on Tuesday.PNZ was representing…

Late Blight Detected Near Alliston, Ont.

On August 18, results of spore trap filter analysis were positive for late blight for the Alliston, Ont., area, says Eugenia Banks, a potato specialist with the Ontario Potato Board. Late blight was found in a field near Alliston on August 14, she says. “There was a delay of at least 10 days between plant infection and catching spores in the spore traps,” says Banks. “One of the reasons for this delay…

USDA: Potato Stocks Up 9 Per Cent From June 2017

The 13 major potato States held 59.0 million cwt of potatoes in storage June 1, 2018, up 9 per cent from June 1, 2017. Potatoes in storage accounted for 15 percent of the fall storage States’ 2017 production, 2 percentage points more than last year. Potato disappearance, at 341 million cwt, was down 3 percent from June 1, 2017. Season-to-date shrink and loss, at 23.4 million cwt, was 8 per cent lower…

Nurturing Deep Roots in Sustainability

The VanderZaag family has been growing potatoes for generations, initially in the Netherlands, and then immigrating to Alliston, Ont. For founder of Sunrise Potato Storage Ltd., Peter VanderZaag, it is not just about producing a marketable crop but returning life to the depleted soils around the world. Today, the family farm consists of over 1,000 acres of potatoes, and a state-of-the-art storage facility that can hold 400,000 cwt (18,000 tonnes) of potatoes….

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