The sweet potato craze is one of the latest food trends to sweep our nation. Canadian demand for the tuber has sky rocketed, reaching heights that exceed demand
The 2014 Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association’s annual orchard tour of the Annapolis Valley paid a visit to an orchard this summer experiencing an inter-generational transfer as well as a technological transition.
Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) recently announced a new way to dramatically increase crop yields by improving upon Mother Nature’s offerings
ARS researchers have discovered that weather-reporting Doppler radar can also track corn earworms.
Canada’s changing demographics are creating new market opportunities for farmers looking to expand their businesses.
Honey Bee AirFLEX...
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.
Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitatio...
Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitation
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.
December 15, 2014 – An attractive shrub bearing fingers of golden fruits, seabuckthorn has been grown in Canada primarily for its esthetic purposes and ability to block wind and help conserve soil. After almost 30 years of research and development at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), this shrub is looking to come out of the field and into the supermarket. Bill Schroeder, a researcher at AAFC’s Agroforestry Development Centre in Indian Head, Sask., is the recognized North American expert on this budding bush and the first scientist to initiate a comprehensive seabuckthorn research program. The Agroforestry Development Centre has the only North American bred cultivars available, which has been instrumental in the development of the Canadian seabuckthorn industry. Seabuckthorn has been touted as the new super fruit in the same breath as goji and pomegranate. It possesses rare features found in only a handful of plants: a balanced concentration of essential fatty acids and oils, 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) in the peel of the stem and berries, plus some of the highest antioxidant activity among medicinal plants. Besides its nutritional values, the shrub is also one of the few non-legume nitrogen fixing species. "Thanks to its high concentrations of vitamins C and E, carotene, flavonoids, amino acids and essential oils, the value-added opportunities for seabuckthorn products are numerous – food and drink, nutrition supplements, cosmetics, veterinary care, and dyes – to name a few," said Schroeder. Schroeder’s extensive research has resulted in a breeding strategy aimed at improving yield, fruit characteristics, harvest efficiency and thornlessness. He’s narrowed down 25,000 genotypes to 1,000, then finally to 32 superior individuals. With an eye to thornlessness, Schroeder has developed eight high yield cultivars that are extremely hardy and adapted to cold, semi-arid continental climates. Schroeder and collaborating AAFC researchers at Summerland Research Centre in BC have also developed new orchard management protocols, which include propagation techniques, orchard design, weed and pest management, harvesting techniques and pruning for maximum productivity and quality. The greatest challenge seabuckthorn poses is the difficulty in harvesting the berry from its tight cluster on thorn-covered branches. The traditional method - manual labour – is cost prohibitive (estimated at 75 per cent of production cost). Many methods have been experimented with, ranging from tree and branch shakers, vacuum suction, and quick freezing fruit laden branches. AAFC research continues, with a concentration on breeding and agronomic strategies with an added focus on genomics tools and biochemical traits. This new research will speed up the cultivar development of key phyto-chemical traits such as flavonoids, phenolics and fatty acid profiles, all of which will lead to even more potential for the seabuckthorn. With a concentrated effort on all fronts – market development, agronomic technology, cultivar development and processing – the Canadian prairies could one day find itself a major grower and supplier of seabuckthorn fruit and products.
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.”