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Industry News Winter 2020

PEOPLE NEWS

McCain Foods Announces 2018 Top Potato Growers at Manitoba Awards Banquet

McCain Foods (Canada) announced A&M Farm Ventures Ltd. as the 2018 Crop Year Champion Potato Grower for Manitoba at the annual McCain Manitoba Growers’ Appreciation Banquet held last December, an annual tradition made even more special during the 40th anniversary of the Portage la Prairie facility in 2019. 

Approximately 150 guests, including executives from McCain Foods, gathered to celebrate the top Manitoba growers. Representatives from A&M Farm Ventures (Tom, Lisa, John and Shawna Adriaansen) accepted the Champion Grower award, marking their first win of this prestigious recognition and exceptional partnership with McCain. 

The Top Innovator Variety Grower in Manitoba this year was S.B. Vegetable Growers. The team from Portage la Prairie has achieved standings nine times in the Top 10 Growers Awards, and this is their first time as Champion Innovator Grower. Both partners expressed a hearty thank you for the recognition of their work providing top-quality potatoes despite the challenging conditions in one of the most difficult growing seasons the region has faced. 

Scott Rodger Appointed as LEMKEN’s Managing Director and Sales Manager

LEMKEN, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers for soil cultivation, seeding and crop care machinery, settled down in 2018 LEMKEN Canada Inc. as a fully-fledged subsidiary after two successful decades offering products and service all over the country. Scott Rodger leads the subsidiary from January 2020 as managing director and sales manager. With him, LEMKEN has found a broadly-experienced and passionate ag professional. 

WPC Announces New International Advisor in Kenya

The World Potato Congress is pleased to announce that Wachira Kaguongo has accepted the position of the World Potato Congress Inc.’s (WPC) newest International Advisor. Kaguongo is an agricultural economist currently working with the National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK). He joined NPCK in 2011 and has been involved in its establishment, operationalization, strategy development and resource mobilization.

Over the last twenty years Kaguoungo has worked with agricultural-based organizations in impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation of research and development projects. He has conducted research and development projects on livelihood, policy, farming systems, trade-offs analysis, value chain analysis and agricultural marketing in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Ethiopia and Malawi. 

P.E.I. Potato Board Elects New Executive for 2019/20

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board has a new executive as a result of its board of directors’ meeting last November. The board is pleased to announce that Jason Hayden will continue in the role of chairman. Hayden has been on the potato board for five years serving as the tablestock director for the Charlottetown District. He farms with his family in Pownal, where they grow and pack fresh potatoes. Hayden served as chair in 2018/19 and vice-chair in 2017/18.

The new vice-chairman of the board is Wayne Townshend of Fortune Bridge. Townshend and his family own and operate Townspud Inc. Townshend represents the seed sector for the Montague/Souris District.

John Hogg from Summerside will continue in the role of secretary-treasurer. Hogg and his family own and operate Klondike Farms. Hogg represents the processing sector for the Summerside District. The board is also pleased to welcome three new directors: John Griffin of W.P. Griffin Inc., representing the tablestock sector for the West Prince District; Donald Stavert of Stavert Farms Ltd., representing the seed sector for the Summerside District; and Becky Townshend of Townshend Potato Co. Ltd., representing the processing sector for the Montague/Souris District. 

BUSINESS NEWS

Key Technology Acquires Herbert Solutions

Key Technology, a leading global designer and manufacturer of digital sorting, inspection, conveying and other processing equipment, and a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, has acquired Herbert Solutions, enhancing its portfolio of potato and vegetable equipment solutions.

Herbert has established itself as a leader in serving the root crop and fresh produce markets with an assortment of industry-leading sorting, washing and handling solutions. They are headquartered in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The acquisition further strengthens Key’s position in its core potato and vegetable market segments.

“The combination of Herbert’s expertise in handling and sorting whole products and Key’s strong presence in processed potato and vegetable solutions creates a complimentary fit between our two companies,” said Louis Vintro, co-president at Key Technology. “It will enable us to offer an even broader set of integrated solutions that will benefit our customers’ product quality, production efficiency and overall yield.” 

Solynta Granted U.S. Patent for Hybrid True Potato Seed Development

Solynta, the inventor and global leader in the breeding of hybrid potato cultivars produced from true potato seed, announced the grant of U.S. Patent Serial No. 10,524,436 entitled “Hybrid Potato Breeding.” The patent claims Solynta’s methods of producing potato inbreds and hybrids that are propagated from true seed. 

Pim Lindhout, Solynta’s chief scientific officer, states: “Solynta’s innovative Hybrid True Potato Seed breeding will finally unlock the humble potato’s vast potential. Not only producing more and better food, but also with a smaller ecological footprint. Together with academia and other companies, we can now increase the speed of innovation needed for feeding the world in a sustainable way. The first commercial cultivars are now being tested in the market.”

Hein Kruyt, company CEO, stated: “I am very excited by the grant of this patent because this now finally enables Solynta to license this innovation to others, and by that broadening and speeding up the availability of better food to the world; reducing environmental impact and fighting malnutrition. The potato market is so huge and there is such an urgent need that one company cannot cater to this alone. Licensing will support successful partnerships that are crucial to achieve sustainable potato cultivations worldwide.” 

J.R. Simplot Company Agrees to Acquire Pinnacle Agriculture

The J.R. Simplot Company, a privately held food and agribusiness company headquartered in Boise, Idaho, and Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, a leading agricultural retailer, have announced Simplot’s agreement to acquire all of the interests in Pinnacle Agriculture Enterprises and its subsidiaries. The acquisition will bring together two market leaders in the distribution of agricultural crop inputs and related services. The target acquisition close date is in early 2020.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Pinnacle employees, customers and partners. By combining our geographic footprint and shared commitment to service, we will better serve customers in some of the most important agricultural communities in the world,” said Doug Stone, president of Simplot’s AgriBusiness Group. “We look forward to bringing together these complementary businesses and continuing to create value for our customers.” 

NPC Launches New “Eye on Potatoes” Podcast

At the 12th annual Potato Expo, held last January in Las Vegas, the National Potato Council announced the launch of its new podcast, “Eye on Potatoes.” The podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, provides a platform for growers throughout the country and policy makers in Washington to learn about industry policy priorities and hear from growers and experts on the latest issues affecting the industry.

“NPC was created in 1948 for the sole purpose of impacting federal policy to benefit the U.S. potato industry,” said NPC CEO Kam Quarles. “A key part of our ability to be successful in that mission is for growers and allied industry members to know what NPC is doing on the federal level, how it’s impacting them, and how they can get involved. The ‘Eye on Potatoes’ is a terrific way to keep our partners throughout the country and in D.C. updated, knowledgeable, and engaged with our efforts on their behalf.” 

Reinke Recognizes Ful-Flo Industries with Gold Pride Award

Reinke Manufacturing, a global leader in irrigation systems and technology, has recognized Ful-Flo Industries in Winnipeg, Man., with a Gold Pride award in recognition of the company’s marketing year success. The organization was honored during Reinke’s annual convention in Kansas City. 

PRODUCT NEWS

BASF Launches Cevya Fungicide in Canada

BASF introduces Cevya fungicide featuring the new Revysol fungicide active ingredient (AI) which is now registered in Canada (note: Cevya fungicide is not classified for sale or use in Ontario). Cevya fungicide offers fast and continuous control of key diseases in fruits and vegetables including apples, potatoes and sugar beets. 

“Cevya fungicide is a systematic fungicide providing preventative and post-infection control of key diseases for growers challenged with resistance and seeking to maximize their yields. The fungicide controls biotypes that may have developed resistance to other Group 3, 7, 9 and 11 fungicides,” said Trevor Latta, Corn, Soybean and Horticulture Brand Manager, Agricultural Solutions Canada. 

TOMRA Food Introduces New Sorting Machine for Post-Harvest Potatoes

TOMRA Food has just introduced the TOMRA 3A, a vision sorter for the separation of a range of foreign material from unwashed potatoes. Developed in response to specific customer challenges, the TOMRA 3A delivers a new level of FM sorting performance but with added features. 

The TOMRA 3A sorter can be positioned going into or coming out of storage where it can reduce sorting labour and shipping costs, increase available storage space, and protect the stored potato and downstream equipment from damage. 

The sorter employs an inspection and ejection system to detect and remove rocks, dirt clods and other debris from the incoming product. The TOMRA 3A is designed to operate at high capacity yet gently moves the product without risk of damage or bruising. 

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