IssuesFall 2011Equipment and Technology Showcase

Equipment and Technology Showcase


Equipment and Technology Showcase

Looking to replace handling equipment for next year or improve your storage facility this season? Spud Smart has details on the newest products and technologies for Canadian growers.

Iso-Glide Builds on Iso-Flo Success
Key Technology has released Iso-Glide, its newest vibratory conveyor. Building on the company’s Iso-Flo technology platform, the conveyer offers producers gentler handling and increased control, and is ideal for handling fragile products, such as frozen potato processing, says Tim Reardon, potato industry manager at Key Technology. Iso-Glide also performs a range of packaging and handling distribution functions.

According to Reardon, the Iso-Glide conveyor is a re-engineered version of the Iso-Flo conveyor. “The Iso-Glide extends the applicability of Iso-Flo. It uses the same spring arms, and uses all the parts and training of the Iso-Flo, but has a more gentle effect on the product,” he explains. The Iso-Glide conveyor uses a longer stroke, but lower speed than Iso-Flo, creating nearly continuous contact between the conveyor and the product. This keeps the conveyor bed clean and the product intact. “Compared to horizontal motion conveyors, Iso-Glide is built to shake at a higher frequency—the advantage is that you have more adjustment capability. You can adjust it to vibrate faster, slower, or more or less aggressively,” says Reardon.

The Iso-Flo conveyor is an industry leader in terms of its longevity, high-speed and high-volume capabilities, but can occasionally accumulate build-up from seasoned product, says Reardon. The Iso-Glide avoids this problem with its gentle handling and self-cleaning motion.

Find more information at

Potato Vent Offers Ease-of-Use
Better Air Manufacturing, based in MacGregor, Man., offers a range of agricultural products, rebar accessories and ventilation systems for a wide range of applications. Better Air’s Potato Vent is designed to offer ventilation coverage compatible with 12-, 15-, or 18-inch round pipe. The Potato Vent is entirely plastic, UV-resistant, corrosion-free, easy to install and clean, and requires no maintenance once installed, says John Waldner, sales manager for Better Air.

According to Waldner, the vent is an excellent replacement for wooden flumes or metal culverts—wooden flumes tend to splinter and metal culverts can rust. “It’s a much simpler system than flume boards—it offers much better coverage and uniform air flow all across the floor,” he says. “It’s a great product—talk to producers and they will agree with that.”

The Potato Vent is sold across Canada and in the United States. For more information, visit

Storecast Tested in Canada
Pest Pros Inc, a Wisconsin-based crop consulting firm and disease diagnostic laboratory, is collaborating with Daryl Lingley of Soil Food Web Atlantic Canada, based in Bible Hill, N.S., to test its Storecast (Storage Potato Disease Risk Indexing) system in Prince Edward Island this fall. The project will test Russet Burbank samples from 21 commercial fields, and results will be released at the end of the year.

The Storecast system tests tuber samples using real-time PCR for the screening of soft rot, pink rot and pythium leak pathogens, and assesses the storage disease risk potential for individual fields. Comparisons of predicted disease to actual disease figures show agreement of nearly 80 per cent.

“At present the options for Storecast testing in Canada are limited,” says Randy Van Haren, lead pest management specialist for Pest Pros. “Due to phytosanitary considerations, tubers cannot be shipped to our lab from Canada without a USDA-APHIS permit. The permit would require us to upgrade our lab. We are exploring the possibilities.

“Samples pre-processed through the DNA extraction phase can be shipped to our lab. We are hopeful that we can develop collaborators able to do this at a minimum cost in order to bring the service to locations in Canada,” he says.

Head to for more information on the Storecast system.

OmniDucts Feature Ventilation Value
Omnivent, a global storage technology specialist active in 45 countries, is now selling air ventilation ducts specifically designed for the ventilation of potatoes in Canada. Called OmniDucts, the semi-circular ventilation shafts allow for regular air distribution throughout the pile, decreasing in size slightly as they move away from the plenum to allow for pressure build-up and even air distribution.

Ed Vandenberg, one of four Alberta growers using the ducts, purchased OmniDucts this fall for use in his potato storage, and is pleased with their performance. “These ducts are designed for lateral air movement so you don’t need to space them as closely, and have better air movement through the pile,” says Vandenberg. “Also, they are easier to handle than culverts, and compared to in-floor ventilation the OmniDucts are much cheaper.”

Although Omnivent is looking to expand its operations in the fresh and processing potato markets in North America, as yet OmniDucts are not widely available in Canada—interested growers must contact certified Omnivent dealer Bigstone Creek Ventures, based in Wetaskiwin, Alta. The dealership’s owner, Jake Hoogland, uses the ducts in his own operation. “They are light in weight and stack on top of each other so very little room is wasted when storage is empty,” he says. “The light weight is nice and safe for handling and washing.”

Call Bigstone Creek Ventures at 780-818-8202 for more details.

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