Success in Agriculture

Robert Anderson and Jill Ebbett, fifth-generation potato farmers from East Glassville, N.B., were named Atlantic’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018.

Published in Business & Policy
Farm Management Canada and the Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture Programs are accepting submissions from agricultural students across Canada for the 2017-18 Excellence Award for Agricultural Students. 

Three winners will receive scholarships toward furthering their education in agriculture. The award is designed to help students develop their communication skills by having the opportunity to voice their opinion on a subject related to farm management. 

Students are asked to submit a multimedia presentation, a video, a Twitter chat, a blog or a Wiki, responding to the following question: 

What aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should be addressed and amended in the current negotiations that will benefit Canada's agriculture sector? 

All applications must be received by May 6, 2018. More information can be found here.
Published in Business & Policy
Last year was an "optimistic year'' in P.E.I. agriculture, with successes coming in the potato, dairy and blueberry industries, says the minister of agriculture.
Published in News
EU-funded scientists have discovered genetic markers that could allow potatoes to be selected for their ability to be stored at low temperatures, keeping them fresh and avoiding the use of anti-sprouting chemicals.
Published in Research
A major expansion project has been announced for a Manitoba potato-processing plant that's expected to create about 90 new full-time jobs.
Published in News
It will now be elementary for a P.E.I. raw potato preparation operation to inspect the inside of potatoes with new technology called the Sherlock Separator-2400.
Published in Technology
Chemicals in the leaves of potato plants, produced naturally by the plant, may hold the key to a new way in controlling Colorado potato beetles. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientist, Helen Tai (pictured here) has turned to the leaves growing on wild potato relatives – leaves that Colorado potato beetles won’t eat – as a new approach to keep the pest away.
Published in News
Leading U.K. agronomy specialists, Levity CropScience, based at Myerscough College in Bilsborrow, recently unveiled their industry changing research at the British Potato exhibition in Harrogate.

Based on independent field trials, from 2015 to 2017, Levity has demonstrated that their product, Potato Lono, increases potato yields by up to $1,000 per hectare. Trials were held in England, Ireland, Netherlands, and France.

Potato Lono improves photosynthesis, and helps crops increase carbon efficiency during times of stress, improving tuber initiation and bulking. This can result in increased tuber numbers, when applied during tuber initiation, with trials showing increases of over 60,000 extra tubers per hectare across various potato varieties.

"We're excited to have revealed this groundbreaking data" said David Marks, Joint MD, Levity CropScience. "Our hard work has paid off and now growers around the world will be able to benefit from this research and our innovative application of this knowledge into unrivalled, pioneering fertilizer products."

Anne Weston, Joint MD, Levity CropScience added: "Over the next few weeks, we will be attending several exhibitions to meet farmers and their advisers to highlight and discuss our results, including the fantastic benefits Levity CropScience's products offer the farming and horticultural industries throughout the world. It is another example of how our innovative Lancashire company is driving research into increasing crop yields throughout the world, which will ultimately benefit both the environment and the local population."
Published in Research
A sixth-generation farmer from Malden, N.B. has found a market for potatoes too small to sell to grocery stores.

Blue Roof Distillers is the first Canadian farm-to-bottle distillery making vodka from potatoes.

The family used to donate the tiny taters from its 350-acre farm to local cattle farmers for feed or sell them to a dehydration plant that would turn them into potato flakes.

But an oversupply of small potatoes meant the dehydration plant's prices were low, so the family needed a new business venture, says Devon Strang. For the full story, click here

Published in Markets and Marketing
A genetically improved potato designed to have resistance to a devastating global plant disease has successfully come through the first year of field trials.

The field trial conducted by The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) in Norwich involves incorporating late blight resistant genes from a wild potato relative into a cultivated Maris Piper potato. READ MORE
Published in News
Cavendish Farms has officially opened its new potato storage facility, which will mean the company can supply potatoes year-round.

The new facility, says a statement, is 88,000 sq. ft. and has a refrigerated potato storage capacity of 48 million pounds. The facility is split into two separate buildings with each building being 44,000 sq. ft.

Cavendish Farms is using the Tolsma System, which will allow the company to maintain consistent quality potatoes all year for use at its two processing plants on the island. For the full story, click here.
Published in News
McCain Foods (Canada) has officially opened its new $65M state-of-the-art potato specialty production line, expanding the company's flagship potato processing facility in Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick.

The new 35,000 square foot McCain Foods potato specialty production line addition represents the largest capacity expansion investment in Canada in nearly 10 years. The investment is reflective of the continued growth of the North American frozen potato and potato specialty segments in both the retail and food service businesses.

"Florenceville continues to be the French fry capital of the world. The official opening of the new production line reflects McCain's ongoing commitment to invest in the needs of our consumers and customers today, and also the company's focus towards future product development and innovation," said Jeff DeLapp, president, NA, McCain Foods Limited.

"During our 60th year of business, investment in the Florenceville-Bristol facility is a testament to the importance the community holds as the birthplace of McCain Foods," added DeLapp. "In addition to the more than 40 new jobs created, the construction build stimulated economic activity within the region, and an additional demand of 4,000 acres of potatoes is to be supplied to the facility by New Brunswick potato farmers."

A strong, sustainable Canadian business

Since the company was founded in 1957, McCain's leadership in the Canadian frozen potato market segment across all retail, food service and quick service restaurants (QSR) channels is undisputed.

All of McCain's potato products are made from 100% real potatoes grown on farms close to our facilities, which are spread across the country in New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Alberta.

"McCain is proud to partner with over 150 farming families across the country" stated Shai Altman, President, McCain Foods (Canada) "Our delicious products are a direct result of the quality potatoes grown by farmers, many of whom share a multi-generational partnership with McCain, some dating back to our start 60 years ago."

For the past 60 years, McCain Foods has grown proudly from its Florenceville, New Brunswick roots. With 30 employees and sales of $150,000 in its first year of business in 1957, the company has grown to become a global enterprise with more than 20,000 employees operating out of 53 production facilities on six continents with sales in excess of CDN $9 billion, while remaining Canadian headquartered and family-owned.

Published in News
The Government of Prince Edward Island and the P.E.I. Potato Board are partnering with Island farmers to provide fresh produce to those affected by the devastating Hurricane Irma in Florida.

A tractor trailer with more than 40,000 pounds of fresh produce will leave Prince Edward Island for Georgia where it will be distributed to victims of Hurricane Irma.

"The PEI Potato farmers always rise to a need and this is no exception, even during the busy harvest time," said Rodney Dingwell, chairman of the PEI Potato Board. "We have a very generous industry and it gives me great pride that we are so quick to respond when someone is in need. Not only with our own communities, but as far away as the southern U.S." READ MORE
Published in News
Irving-owned Cavendish Farms is opening a new $360-million frozen potato-processing plant in Lethbridge, bringing about 400 jobs to southern Alberta.

Company president Robert K. Irving said it is a big deal for agriculture in Alberta.

"Our business will grow from 6,000 acres of potatoes today, with our present land, up to over 15,000 acres," Irving said at the new plant's groundbreaking earlier this month. "Those 9,000 acres, it's an opportunity for the local farmers, the growers in the region, to really look at the opportunity to grow and expand their operations here and have a long-term future with potatoes." READ MORE
Published in News
A company started by six Mount Allison students sees a place for potato peels in furniture, flooring and ceiling tiles.

Enviroot's goal is to reduce waste by using food remains, especially potato peelings, to make a safe material for use in the home.

The company received a national business prize of $20,000 from Enactus Canada, a student-led entrepreneurial organization, and the McCain Social Enterprise Project Partnership to get the project going this summer.

"We use the potato peels that we get from McCain Foods here in New Brunswick in our particle board as a kind of filler," said Justin Trueman, Enviroot CEO and fourth-year biology student.

The potato peels are plasticized by melting them a little bit, and a bond between the potato peels' particles is created.

This allows them to bind products together without need of formaldehyde, which is the glues of some household furnishings, walls and stairs made from composite wood materials. READ MORE
Published in News
Rob Green, a potato farmer in Bedeque, is taking cover crop rotations to a new level. In the past, he grew barley, canola and hay as his rotational crops.
Published in Soil
Last month Statistics Canada released the results of the 2016 Census of Agriculture. Like many of you, I was eager to read up on the results and discover how our industry has changed in the five years since the last survey was conducted. 
Published in News
With planting season just around the corner, researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are reminding home gardeners to take precautions to prevent the infection and spread of late blight. Planting clean and disease-resistant seeds is the best way to prevent the spread of late blight to other gardens and potato farms.

What is late blight?
Late blight is a disease caused by an organism that produces a white fuzz on the underside of leaves which releases millions of spores that float through the air to infect other plants. The spores land on a susceptible leaf, germinate, and cause brown oily lesions. The spores splash on the ground and infect potato tubers, which become brown and rusty looking, with a granular texture. Crop losses due to late blight can cost the Canadian potato industry tens of millions of dollars annually.

Protecting the potato industry
AAFC late blight specialist Rick Peters says taking steps to prevent the disease from infecting potato crops is important to help protect the health of the industry. He advises home gardeners to ensure their tomato seeds are resistant to the US-23 strain of late blight. Resistant seeds can be purchased at most garden centres. Certified disease-free seed potatoes can also be found at garden centres or purchased from a local seed potato grower. Peters says potatoes grown from last year’s garden or those bought from the grocery store are not suitable for planting as these tubers have not been tested and certified as disease-free and could be susceptible to a variety of potato diseases.

AAFC has partnered with industry leaders to identify and track late blight strains in production areas across the country. Scientists are also looking at biological characteristics of the different strains including how they respond to treatments. This knowledge allows for better management and control of the strains in Canadian potato and tomato production areas. While scientists continue to study the disease, they maintain that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and home gardeners have an important role to play.

If you spot a suspected late blight infection in your garden this season, please contact the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries at 1-866-778-3762 for information on how to properly dispose of infected plants.

Published in Diseases

August 23, 2016 - Approximately 250 growers, crop consultants and potato-industry personnel gathered at the 2016 Ontario Potato Field Day on Aug. 18 in Alliston, Ont., to see the latest potato equipment, new potato varieties and a trade show. The day was hosted by HJV Equipment, supported by the Ontario Potato Board and organized by Eugenia Banks, Ontario potato specialist.

There were over 100 new potato varieties on display; 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 russet 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 and GRB Ag. Technologies 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.

The day is also a chance for growers to meet in a friendly, informal setting to discuss problems.

Published in News

 

Nov. 11, 2015, Guelph, Ont. - The Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture (CYSA) Competition named the winners of the 2015 competition at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on Nov. 7.

  • Senior champion: David MacTaggart from Lacombe, Alta.
  • Senior second place: Simon Greenough from Newport, N.S.
  • Senior third place: Kathryn Ringelberg from Troy, Ont.
  • Junior champion: Denesh Peramakumar form Concord, Ont.
  • Junior second place: Douglas Archer from Mount Pleasant, Ont.
  • Junior third place: Priethu Raveendran from Woodbridge, Ont.

This 31st edition of CYSA welcomed 26 competitors aged 11 to 24 from across Canada who offered their insight and solutions regarding the following topics: 

  • The biggest challenge facing Canadian agriculture today is . . . 
  • What role should government play in assisting young people entering farm businesses? 
  • Here's how our changing climate is affecting Canadian agriculture. 
  • This Canadian has significantly influenced agriculture. 
  • The one thing modern Canadian farmers must have is . . . 

 

Each year the renowned public speaking competition is held at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. The competition is open to youth ages 11 to 24 with a passion for agriculture whether raised on a farm, in the country or in the city. The topics for 2016 will be:

 

  • What is the impact of public opinion on Canadian farmers?
  • How would you explain a GMO to a non-farmer?
  • What does the next generation of agriculture bring to the table?
  • How can we improve the media's perception of Canadian agriculture?
  • Old MacDonald had a farm...But what about Mrs. MacDonald?

For more information about CYSA visit www.cysa-joca.ca.

 

Published in News
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