Albert Van Oosten stands in front of an Agrifac sprayer.

Specialty Vegetable Equipment plans to open a bricks-and-mortar storefront near Norwich, Ontario in the spring of 2019. The partnership between Streef Produce and Albert Van Oosten is expanding, following the trend to labour-saving machinery.

Dry harvesting conditions in the Leamington, Ontario area. Photo by Glenn Lowson.

The United Potato Growers of Canada has issued its best estimate of how growing conditions will affect harvest 2018. The hot and dry summer across most of Canada will depress yields.

Awards at the Asia Fruit Logistica trade show, September 5-7, spotlight the growth of fresh produce companies. One example is India’s IG International, the second-largest, cold-chain company by capacity in the subcontinent. It’s doing a big business in apples. 

Transportation of goods is one of the largest contributors to Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at 10.5 per cent of the national emissions profile. Carriers and brokers are taking steps to reduce or offset their contributions to the emissions.  Since 2012 in Canada, the SmartWay Program has been running to help companies increase efficiencies and decrease emission levels.

A new blow has been dealt to European farmers hoping to use advanced agricultural technology, a decision that could have implications for farmers here in Canada. A European high court has ruled new gene editing technology, initially designed for plants, will be dealt with in the same regulatory manner as the transgenic technology that consumers in North America have come to accept, but Europe despises. 

Greenhouses have been modernizing since they began being built for commercial production.

A Chinese-based company, Eagle Brother Co Ltd., is specializing in drones that spray crop protection products. In a demonstration, one model drone sprayed 40 acres of rice paddies in two hours with only one quadcopter and 12 batteries.

John Vanthof

John Vanthof, an NDP MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane since 2011, has been named NDP deputy leader for the 2018 fall session in the Ontario legislature. He’s also a shadow critic for the ministry of agriculture, food and rural affairs. 

A trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico has been confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Canadian Produce Marketing Association is encouraged with the pending movement towards a trilateral deal.