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Manitoba Potato Farmer Nearing 40 Years in the Biz

Rick Davison, a successful potato producer in Carberry, Man., didn’t shy away from making some big decisions as a young farmer. Davison was only 18 when he purchased his first quarter section, which was then added to the family farm. Four years later, he convinced his father George they should try their hand at growing potatoes on their 1,000-acre farm. “I had to coax my dad along because he was getting to…

From our Desk

New Girl on the Block (or Page Actually)

You might notice it’s a different name and picture on this page… well, let me take this as my cue to introduce myself. My name is Ashley Robinson and I’m the new editor of Spud Smart, so you’ll be seeing my name and picture here in each issue from now on for the foreseeable future. First off, I’d like to admit I’m new to the potato world. I’ve covered Canadian agriculture news…

Eye on the Nation

Eye On The Nation

Manitoba By: Dan Sawatzky, general manager of the Keystone Potato Producers Association In the midst of a mild winter, growers in Manitoba are looking forward to another growing season. Record attendance at Manitoba Potato Production Days indicated not only strong support for the planning committee and the trade show/speaker line up, but also a resilience to look at ways of improving potato production on the heels of a couple tough harvest seasons….

From our Desk

Reach Out and Talk About It

To say harvest conditions were difficult in 2019 for some western Canadian potato producers would be an understatement. The total unharvested potato acres last year in Canada was just under 20,300. Cold, wet conditions followed by snow meant approximately 84 per cent of those unharvested acres were located in Manitoba and Alberta, where about 13,000 and 4,000 acres, respectively, were left in the ground (Market News, page 50). This is the second…

Eye On The Nation

Winter 2020 ALBERTA  Terence Hochstein, Executive Director, Potato Growers of Alberta  Only in Alberta can you go from -35 C on Friday to 2 C on Sunday morning. Such is the life in the Chinook belt of southern Alberta. The winter in Alberta has been a mixed bag to say the least. Three feet of snow at the end of September, then it’s gone for a while, then another couple of feet,…

Growing Potatoes is a Family Affair

At Les Fermes PL Levesque Ltd., a 2,000-acre potato farm in Saint-André, N. B., you could say farming runs in the family. Paul Levesque, who owns the farming operation along with his wife, Lynn, grows potatoes there, just like his father and grandfather before him. Today, his two sons, Angelo and David, help run the farm, as do three grandsons, Samuel, Zackari and Mathias, who represent the sixth generation of potato growers…

Eye On The Nation

Fall 2019 MANITOBA Dan Sawatzky, General Manager, Keystone Potato Producers Association MANITOBA  Dan Sawatzky, General Manager, Keystone Potato Producers Association  As I write this article in mid-September, the storage potato harvest is finally fully underway. Rain that was in short supply over the summer came in the early part of the month, limiting harvest progress. Processors managed their supply through rain stock, asking growers with direct contracts to lay their product in…

From our Desk

Unlocking the Potato’s True Potential

LAST AUGUST, at the Potato Association of America (PAA) annual meeting, I had an opportunity to talk with Michiel de Vries, Solynta’s research team lead, about the work he and his colleagues are carrying out. Solynta, a potato seed breeding company based in Wageningen, the Netherlands, has invented a fast and efficient hybrid breeding technology. One that could change global food consumption and unlock the true potential of the potato, de Vries…

Farming Potatoes is in his Blood

Jaap Remijn grew up on a potato farm in the Netherlands but decided to pursue mechanical engineering after high school. When he immigrated to Canada, the opportunity arose to buy a potato farm in Alberta. Remijn decided it was something he couldn’t pass up. “It was just something I wanted to do for myself,” says Remijn, whose father started farming potatoes in Holland at the age of 19. “I guess farming potatoes…

From our Desk

Potato Industry and Producer Engagement Increasing

EXCITEMENT IS IN the air as Manitoba gets ready to host the 103rd Potato Association of America Annual Meeting in Winnipeg at the end of July.  It’s a time for the sector’s scientific branch to share research information about all facets of the potato industry, to recognize members who have made significant contributions to the sector, and to nurture and mentor upcoming researchers. It’s also an opportunity for all industry stakeholders, including…

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