In recent years, innovative potato producers across Canada have been experimenting with different tillage equipment and changes in practices to reduce the amount of tillage on their farms. Fewer tillage passes are generally associated with improved soil health, soil organic matter, less soil compaction, and savings in both fuel and labour. This panel discussion features some potato producers from across Canada who have been experimenting with reducing their tillage in a variety of ways.
Moderator: Ryan Barrett, research coordinator with the P.E.I. Potato Board
Chad Berry partner in Under the Hill Farms, Over the Hill Farms, and Pleasant Valley Golf Course. He is also chair of the Keystone Potato Producers Association. Berry grows processing potatoes and 11 other crops across 13,000 acres. His farm is always trying new techniques to make it more efficient and sustainable.
Michel Camps is owner of CP Farms ltd, in Barnwell, Alta. He farms almost 4,000 acres, with 1,200 acres being dedicated to processing potatoes. Michel also grows sugar beets, corn for grain and cereals. The farm was started 20 years when Michel and his wife immigrated from Holland.
Matt Ramsay is a director and operator of Oyster Cove Farms Ltd. in Kensington, P.E.I. Oyster Cove Farms is a fifth-generation farm and is also owned and operated by Matt’s father, John, and brothers, Ben and Michael. At the farm, the Ramsays grow 500 acres of processing potatoes and 400 acres of grain as well as organic potatoes, peas, and hemp. Matt is active with the Kensington North Watershed Association, sits on the board for the P.E.I. Soil and Crop Improvement Association, and is a director with the P.E.I. Organic Producers Cooperative.
Homer Vander Zaag
Homer Vander Zaag farms in Alliston, Ont. and is the president of H. J. Vander Zaag Farms Ltd. He has farmed since 1990, and in the last four years his daughter Karen and son Garrett joined the farm. They farm 1,900 acres of potatoes for the chip market and an additional 1,500 acres of cereal rotation crops.
The Canadian Spud Congress was held on Feb. 24 to 25, 2021. This was one of the presentations from it.