Humidity increases mold pressure in raspberries

Humidity increases mold pressure in raspberries

Continued humid conditions with moderate to warm temperatures are promoting Botrytis gray mold infection in fall raspberries.

Cold temperatures hamper soybean nodulation

Cold temperatures hamper soybean nodulation

The 2014 growing season was the worst year in recent memory for poor root nodulation and nitrogen (N) fixation in soybeans.

Researchers study myelin to help improve piglet survival

Researchers study myelin to help improve piglet survival

Reduced myelin may contribute to poor survival of low-birth-weight piglets, and improved myelination may help the piglets survive.

Precision Feeding

Precision Feeding

Controlling individual bird feed intake to match body weight targets can realize genetic potential

Picking top wheat genetics

Picking top wheat genetics

The wheat variety trials, posted at www.gocereals.ca, are the best source of variety performance information.

video
North American Manure Expo comes to Canada...
For the first time ever, the North American Manure Expo is being hosted within a Canadian province. The annual show is being held August 20 and 21, 2013, at the University of Guelph’s Arkell Research Station, located near Guelph, Ontario. So, what's a Manure Expo and why should you attend? This video will provide all the dirt.
video
Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitatio...
Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitation
video
The population explosion...
With the world's population increasing exponentially and farmland staying the same, BASF took to the streets to ask consumers if this trend is sustainable.
video
Lily Tamburic...
Lily Tamburic

Equipment

TOMRA Sorting Solutions launches new potato sorter TOMRA Sorting Solutions launches new potato sorter

September 3, 2014 – TOMRA Sorting Solutions recently released its new sensor-based systems to sort and process potato products at Potato Europe. The company demonstrated the Field Potato Sorter (FPS) and displayed the Halo sorter at Potato Europe, in Bockerode, near Hanover, Germany. “This is the first successful high throughput optical sorting solution in the industry for unwashed potatoes. The system enables growers, processors and packer companies to lower labour and potato storage costs significantly while raising product quality and yield,” explained Jim Frost, market unit manager, TOMRA Sorting Food.“ "Utilizing unique biometric signature identification technology, the FPS provides a representation of the visible and near infrared spectral zones, which allows it to analyze and identify organic characteristics and compositions of all objects. It can therefore distinguish clumps of dirt, stones, foreign material and rot from potatoes, even those with substantial soil covering.” Frost said the machine could be used for different varieties and sizes of unwashed potato while process and packer customers can use the data the machine produces for predictive analysis, to achieve purposes such as optimizing production lines. “The FPS is replacing hard-to-find manpower needed to clean the product stream going into and out of potato storage. The robust, weatherproof and user-friendly system is compact and available in various widths to fit all specific capacities up to 70,000 kilos an hour. The sorting machine is compatible with other potato grading equipment, but can also be used on its own to sort harvested potatoes, before or after storage.”

Research

Researchers could improve how produce shipped Researchers could improve how produce shipped

September 9, 2014, Gainesville, FL – A University of Florida-led research team’s development of a tracking system could change the way companies ship fresh fruits and vegetables, letting them know which produce is closest to expiration and providing consumers the freshest products available. Jeffrey Brecht, director of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Center for Food Distribution and Retailing, studied strawberries beginning with their harvesting from fields in Florida and California to their delivery to stores in Illinois, Washington, Alabama and South Carolina. Colleagues from the University of South Florida, Georgia Tech and industry partners collaborated on the project, funded by a $155,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation. Brecht delivered a presentation recently on his findings at the International Horticultural Congress in Brisbane, Australia. The researchers placed two radio frequency identification (RFID) devices into each pallet of strawberries as they were picked. The devices allowed them to track the strawberries’ temperature from the field, through pre-cooling and into trucks (which can hold 28 pallets), to distribution centers and then on to stores. Their theory is that if you know the quality of the produce and the temperatures to which it has been exposed, you will know which produce to deliver first to stores. They specifically researched the theory of “first in–first out,” known as FIFO in the food distribution industry. And they found that “first expired-first out,” or FEFO, was a better way to distribute delicate fruits and vegetables. Companies normally measure only the temperature of an entire truck. But Brecht explained that individual pallets can vary greatly in temperature, depending on what time of the day berries were picked and even their placement on the truck. Strawberries picked in the cool of the morning and placed on a refrigerated truck would stay fresher longer than strawberries picked in the afternoon heat. Brecht said under perfect conditions, strawberries can maintain a good quality, based on researchers’ scale of what’s acceptable, for up to 14 days. Less than perfect conditions, mainly due to a lack of temperature control, drastically reduce the berries’ postharvest life. It can take as long as four days to go from field to store, but that would be for a cross-country trip, such as from California to South Carolina. Maintaining good quality, he said, helps consumers buy what is freshest and reduces food waste. “If you improve the efficiency of postharvest handling, you reduce waste and losses and that improves sustainability,” Brecht said. “Because, of course, if you ship something to market that’s not going to end up being eaten by consumers, every single bit of input in growing it, harvesting, packing, cooling, shipping – everything is wasted.”