Vegetable variety and yield research boosted on Winkler site

Peak of the Market’s Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, director of research and quality enhancement, (L) discusses sweet potato research with Manitoba’s  minister of agriculture, Ralph Eichler and deputy minister, Dori Gingera Beauchemin. Photo by Debbie Jones.

The Canadian and Manitoban governments are investing more than $210,000 in a new vegetable research site near Winkler, focused on improving yields, developing new varieties and creating opportunities for potato, sweet potato and carrot growers.  The joint announcement came from federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba agriculture minister Ralph Eichler on August 29.

 

Funding will be provided through Growing Innovation – Capacity Knowledge and Development to support research focused on:
• nutrient and pest management for potatoes;
• new varieties of sweet potato that are better suited for Manitoba’s shorter growing season; and
• variety evaluation and crop management techniques to improve quality and yield for carrots.

 

The research site will be operated by Peak of the Market, a grower-owned cooperative responsible for selling Manitoba’s fresh market potatoes and other vegetables.  The company will contribute more than $477,000 toward this three-year research project.

 

“We appreciate working in partnership with government, which will allow us to continue to build the industry,” said Keith Kuhl, chair, Peak of the Market and president of Southern Potato.  “New crops and varieties are a key component to ongoing success.”

 

Canadians are eating more sweet potatoes and demand has increased by 83 per cent over the last 10 years. Most are currently imported from the United States.  Manitoba growers have found the growing season to be too short to successfully grow available varieties.

 

Manitoba farmers grow more than 9,000 acres of fresh market potatoes and 600 acres of carrots for Peak of the Market every year. The company and its growers employ more than 1,000 people in Manitoba. 

If latest news: 
Check if it is latest news (for "Latest News" page)
Publish date: 
Thursday, September 8, 2016

Click to leave a comment

CAPTCHA
For security purposes, please confirm you are not a robot!

RELATED NEWS

Green light for berry bright future

The Greenbelt Foundation has identified that vertical farming as well as several fruits and vegetables are ripe for expansion in Ontario’s $2.2 billion horticultural sector. They are garlic, eggplant, sweet potatoes, fresh grapes, pears and strawberries. Jeff Tigchelaar, Jordan, Ontario is one berry grower enjoying robust sales at the Ontario Food Terminal.

Fewer hands, less food

Last July, this display of plenty from Oxford County grower John Den Boer was captured at the Ontario Food Terminal. As the summer of COVID-19 unfolds, the variety and volume of fruits and vegetables may not be in such grand array because growers do not have timely access to enough seasonal ag workers for essential planting and harvesting. The legal case of Brett Schuyler signifies the height of the hurdles faced by growers across Canada. 

Coping with changing rules of engagement

Sour cherry trees will be in blossom in May, immune to the world pandemic of COVID-19 virus. Although an uplifting sight, the outstanding question is how they will be harvested in two months. This cover story quotes several horticultural industry leaders on what’s happening now and potential paths forward. 

Canadian food system is up to the test

Seasonal agricultural workers such as Jamaican Willy Green are crucial to the 2020 growing season. The federal government is providing exemptions to the travel ban however logistics are still to be announced. 

The future of IPM: something old, something new

Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald has mentored dozens of students as professor of plant agriculture, University of Guelph. Equally at home in the field, she’s working with Master’s student Alexandra Dacey, documenting carrot weevil found in carrot trials at the Muck Crops Research Station in Bradford, Ontario.