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Sweet potatoes are a heat-loving crop that are right at home in North Carolina. The state has almost 50,000 acres devoted to the tuber. So it takes patience to find a cultivar that might flourish in Canada’s cool-climate zones. That’s underway as Vineland Research and Innovation Centre works with growers and processors to exploit growing consumer demand. Jack Streef (left) and sons Dylan and Nathan, have staked part of the Princeton, Ontario family business on 60 acres of sweet potatoes for the first time this year. Photos by Glenn Lowson.

Market signals persuade long-time potato growers to dig sweet potatoes

Princeton, Ontario – For 37 years, potatoes have been a staple for Streef Produce Ltd., but this year, they grew a new root vegetable: sweet potatoes. Sixty acres sounds like a big gamble, but with strong demand signals, president Jack Streef expects that genetic research will improve his stake. … [read more]

News bulletin: No shortage of beehives to pollinate our crops

  There is a problem, there isn’t a problem. This is the problem, that is the problem. I have read and heard these words in regards to bee health so many times it leads me to believe one thing: we don’t know what the problem is or if there is … [read more]

Sowing the seeds of performance

 Harvest is mostly complete. Now is the time to take stock of how the growing year went and to evaluate the performance of the farm over 2014, and indeed over several previous years. To … [read more]

For business purposes, odds are you’re a “modern” farmer

  Some people see farming as a nod to tradition, to simplicity, to steadfastness and unwaveringpredictability. They see it as a lifestyle first, and then a business. And indeed this image works well for some fruit … [read more]

New Canadians and ‘foodies’ drive specialty store sales

  There are two reasons specialty stores are growing. The first reason is the demographic composition of our marketplace is changing rapidly, and the second reason is the focus on food in our society. Immigration in Canada … [read more]

Supplies of disease-resistant rootstock are already tight for 2017

 Harrow, Ontario –Today’s worldwide shortage of rootstock should be motivating apple and tender fruit growers to review order catalogues for plantings three, if not, four years out. “Growers have to think about 2017 now,” urges … [read more]

Increased planting densities improve asparagus yields

Follow the statistics and then follow the money. Ontario’s asparagus industry is not only increasing acreage but yields per acre, primarily due to the cold-weather variety Millennium and higher planting densities. Between … [read more]

New distribution service ramps up for clean seed garlic

 Ontario’s garlic industry is thriving, to the point that the distribution of clean seed was overwhelming the propagation unit in New Liskeard. “We’re not set up as a catalogue business,” say Becky Hughes, head of … [read more]

Keeping tables relevant makes decisions valid

 In early September we received a notice from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) asking for a review to be done in 45 days on a significant list of standards that have to do with … [read more]

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