Approximately 250 growers, crop consultants and potato-industry personnel gathered to see the latest potato equipment, new potato varieties and the trade show at the 2016 Ontario Potato Field Day.
Held August 18, the event was hosted by HJV Equipment in Alliston, supported by the Ontario Potato Board and organized by potato specialist Eugenia Banks.
Potato growers from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Quebec also attended the field day.
There were over 100 new potato varieties on display, including varieties for the fresh, processing and specialty markets.
For the fresh market, the variety Actrice (Real Potatoes) caught the attention of many growers because of its attractive tubers with smooth, shiny skin. Actrice is an early, yellow-fleshed variety that is very tasty. Primabelle and Panamera (HZPC Americas) are two yellow-fleshed varieties that got good reviews from potato growers.
Among the potatoes for the French fry market, Alta Strong (Real Potatoes) and Pomerelle Russet (Pommes de Terre Laurentiennes) were well rated by growers.
There was interest in Kalmia (La Patate Lac Saint-Jean), a white-fleshed fresh-market variety that could also be used as a French fryer.
Double Fun (HZPC Americas) had the nicest skin among the purple-fleshed varieties. It also has very good culinary traits.
Among the trade show exhibitors, the Quebec Company Lab’ Eau-Air-Sol demonstrated the use of spore traps for foliar diseases of vegetables. Douglas Ag. Services provided the latest information on chloropicrin application to control soil-borne diseases. Maximum H2O System (Mississauga) restructures water and minerals at a molecular level to make them more bio-available to plants. The displays of Gorman Controls (PEI) and GRB Ag. Technologies (Ontario) focused on storage management.
Potato growers attend this important annual event because they obtain practical, up-to-date information on varieties and the latest potato-production technology that allows them to remain competitive. It is also a chance for growers to meet in a friendly, informal setting to discuss problems.