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 for the last few years and have written the odd potato piece, but when it comes to the meat and potatoes of the industry, I’ve only partaken in the gravy. I did grow up in the ag world, as my family ran a mixed a cattle and grain operation, so the world of food production is near and dear to me.
I recently worked at Bloomberg covering Canadian agriculture and North American commodity markets. While there I dipped my toes into reporting on the dismal state of last year’s potato crop (my fingers are crossed for better conditions this year).
Mostly my knowledge comes from the large potato patch my grandfather plants on my family’s farm each year in southwestern Manitoba. My grandfather comes from the time when to survive the winter you had to plant and then store enough food in the cellar to make it through. And while most of his storing ways have fallen by the wayside, the potato patch has not. He plants it every year, tends to it regularly, and in the fall the neighbours gather to harvest it with us, usually going home with enough potatoes to last them the next few months.
Looking through this issue I found myself drawn to Mark Halsall’s story on the PMRA re-evaluations entitled Keeping Up with Change. Across the agriculture industry, farmers are finding themselves increasingly having to adapt their agronomic practices to tightening environmental regulations. However, those ever-changing regulations can be hard to follow, and I found Tracy Shinners-Carnelley’s comments explained and laid out the changes in a straightforward and easy to understand manner.
I also found myself diving right into this issue’s Roundtable feature on dry versus liquid fertilizers, written by Treena Hein. I’ve covered the fertilizer industry extensively in the past and was eager to learn about intricacies of fertilizer applications specific to potato growing.
My hope with taking on the editor role with Spud Smart is that I’m able to continue to provide the in-depth industry content you expect while adding a fresh new spin on it. So please, if you have any ideas or comments, please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always open to suggestions, because without you reader, I wouldn’t have a magazine to edit.