Connect With Us

Browsing Category Viewpoints

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…

Farming Life Tough to Beat

JASON KEHLER has been helping grow potatoes on the family farm in Carman, Man., since he was 12 years old. Some 30 years later, he can’t imagine doing anything else.  “I’ve always wanted to farm since I was probably old enough to say the word,” says Kehler, who’s a fourth-generation farmer and second-generation potato producer. “I love what I do. I enjoy the challenge, the people, and just watching Mother Nature make…

Stress Factors and Management Practices for Sugar End Disorder and Stem-End Chip Defect

SUGAR ENDS AND stem-end chip defect are tuber disorders affecting product quality of processing and chipping potatoes, respectively. The environmental stresses causing the disorders occur during the growing season, but tubers appear asymptomatic until harvest or later in storage. Although there are many similarities between the two disorders, there are also some key differences.  To understand the factors causing sugar ends and stem-end chip defect as well as management practices to reduce…

Eye On The Nation

Summer 2019 MANITOBA Dan Sawatzky, General Manager, Keystone Potato Producers Association The crop in Manitoba is progressing well. Planting was only slightly behind normal but cool May weather delayed emergence putting the crop three to five days behind. Dry conditions contributed to little seed rot being reported in spite of the delayed emergence resulting in good stands. Another observation with delayed emergence is the even staging of the crop development across the…

Combatting Common Scab

COMMON SCAB, a bacterial disease that doesn’t affect yields but causes ugly lesions and cavities on infected tubers, which can render them unmarketable, is a pervasive threat in potato-growing areas across Canada.  It has likely been around for as long as people have been growing potatoes, but researchers are still trying to determine why the pathogen is much more common in some fields than others and what the best methods are for…

Champion Potato Grower has Roots in Holland

ALBERTA POTATO PRODUCER Laus Stiekema was in his early 40s when he decided to leave the Netherlands with his wife and four kids to start a new life on the Canadian prairies in 2004. Fifteen years later, there’s no question that Stiekema and his family have landed on their feet. Stiekema now runs a thriving potato operation called Stiekema-Kolhorn Joint Venture in Vauxhall, Alta. Last November, Stiekema-Kolhorn JV was named McCain Food’s…

From our Desk

What’s Old is New Again: Practical CPB Insecticide Resistance Management

  As growers head into another production season, some are concerned about Colorado potato beetle populations and rising neonic insecticide resistance.  Ian MacRae, a professor and extension entomologist at the University of Minnesota, offered some practical insecticide resistance management steps at Manitoba Potato Production Days in January in Brandon. MacRae kicked off the conference presentations with a talk about Colorado potato beetle management in a post-neonic world.  The bottom line is we’re…

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…

Eye On The Nation

New Brunswick The 2018 growing season in New Brunswick is complete and will be remembered as one of the most challenging in the last 10 years or more. The challenging growing season in New Brunswick was further exacerbated by an early deep penetrating frost and subsequent excessive moisture during the harvest season.  The September frosts capped yields early and wet conditions during the harvest posed several challenges for growers as they attempted…

From our Desk

Mental Health in Agriculture: It Starts With Me

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Socrates There is nothing quite like the pain of witnessing someone that you love suffer and the feeling of powerlessness in making the mental anguish of another disappear. But here’s a little secret. No one always has it together. Every life is laced with adversity, sadness and grief. The belief that we need to manage on our own is changing,…

Older Articles »

You have successfully signed up for our newsletter!