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At this time of year, getting onto the land is a primal urge of farmers. Here, this coulter-disc machine prepares the soil for potato planting. “This process is vertical tillage whereby we can cut the straw finer to make a better seed bed without covering all the straw,” says potato grower, Stan Wiebe, MacGregor, Manitoba. “We are making the field less susceptible to wind erosion.” Modern equipment plus ever-evolving seed cultivars put spring into a farmer’s step. In the next couple years, the non-bruising, late-blight resistant Innate potato may add yet another choice. Photo by Stan Wiebe.

The biotech road leads to a horticultural horizon

Two horticultural crops -- the Arctic apple and the Innate potato -- are arriving at a milestone together. Both are products of biotechnology, the result of genome editing that silences the enzyme responsible for bruising. Both have been recently approved for sale in the United States. The Canadian Food Inspection … [read more]

Memo to Canadian government: Give us financial protection against insolvency in Canada and restore preferred status under PACA in the U.S.

  Quebec City, QC -- Financial protection for Canada’s fruit and vegetable sector has never been more important. Produce trade to the U.S. is worth $4 billion annually, according to a recent Conference Board of Canada report, and is likely to grow with the Canadian dollar worth just north of 78 … [read more]

Safety of reusable plastic containers questioned

Quebec City, QC -- Canada’s horticulture industry is complaining about ongoing sanitary issues with reusable plastic containers (RPCs), citing a 2014 study from the University of Guelph that showed post-cleaning contamination in a high percentage … [read more]

A changing climate, shift of perspective

If you take time to visit the web pages of companies such as Walmart – the world’s largest grocer – and other major corporations, their first page now always has a link to sustainability. In … [read more]

Water, water, everywhere

We are certainly blessed in Ontario to have an abundance of natural water sources, but we must not take it for granted. Beyond human consumption, water is an essential resource for many sectors, including … [read more]

Without land, it’s hard to compete against imports

The part of the world popularly called America’s winter salad bowl – southwest Arizona, around Yuma -- is as desolate as the moon. At least, that’s the way it seemed to me when I visited … [read more]

Family first

Back in 1983 when our son was born, The Grower inserted a small announcement to that effect. I was honoured and humbled because I had no idea who or how that was done- long before … [read more]

Alternative water treatments that don’t cost the earth

 Bond Head, ON -- The Holland Marsh Growers’ Association (HMGA) is half way through a three-year, $2.1 million water management project. Lessons were shared at a recent seminar that heartened the spirits of growers under … [read more]

Improve water uniformity and crop quality with two new technologies

What could be improved about drip tape? It doesn’t always work efficiently in undulating fields, says Christian Houle, irrigation manager for Dubois Agrinovation. With differences in elevation, the water flow may not be consistent. … [read more]

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