Bill George Jr. and his son Will have tasted the promise of Icewine exports to China. With geopolitical tensions in 2019, the risks of diversifying into markets abroad have been amplified. It’s too early to know if the recent U.S-China deal will help or hinder.    

RELATED NEWS

Soil fitness – just do it!

Fourth-generation grower Kyle Horlings is questioning the way things have always been done. Since 2015, he’s taken about 10 acres of carrots and onions out of production every year for restorative cover plantings. His experiments near King, Ontario garnered him the Healthy Soil Award from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority in November. 

Frequent flyer earns bonus points for good taste

Oleen Smethurst is known for her quest for flavour. As assistant vice-president, general merchandise manager for produce, Costco Canada, she jets all over the world from Berlin to Bogotá, meeting with growers and seed suppliers. While touring southern Ontario in late August 2019, she visited Martin’s Family Fruit Farm near Waterloo, Ontario.

Cold comfort, the new standard in root vegetable storage

Quinton Woods, sales and plant operations, Gwillimdale Farms, oversees the second phase of a storage facility near Bradford, Ontario that will be filled with onions and carrots in the fall of 2019. 

Grading peaches by the pixel

New packing lines are revolutionizing how tree-ripened tender fruit can be speedily handled and shipped to consumers. The largest peach grower in Ontario, the Tregunno family, installed a Spectrim vision system three years ago at the farm near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Ryan Tregunno stays sharp for 10 weeks as traffic controller in his computer pit above the lines of peaches and nectarines.

On top of the latest labour-saving equipment

Carrot, parsnip and onion grower Doug Van Luyk is one of those in the Holland Marsh who has expanded to 500 acres in both muck and mineral soils with the help of labour-saving technology. Here, his son Bradley stands on top of a self-propelled, two-row carrot harvester near Newmarket, Ontario. Photo by Glenn Lowson.

RELATED NEWS

Syngenta launches Miravis fungicides

Miravis is the global umbrella brand for several group 7 fungicides containing Adepidyn, the trademarked name for the active ingredient. Miravis Duo is for cucurbit and fruiting vegetables while Miravis Prime is for grapes. 

Gowan acquires active ingredients from Bayer

It’s important to know who’s backing your crop protection products. In continuing fall-out from company mergers, some products such as Reason are changing hands.   

BASF launches Cevya fungicide in Canada

Systemic fungicide Cevya will be available for the 2020 crop year.  

Prowl herbicide label expanded

The Prowl herbicide label is now expanded for control of labelled weeds on garlic, shallots and transplanted leeks in Canada

Delegate insecticide label expanded on grapes, fruiting vegetables

The Delegate insecticide label is now expanded for control of spotted wing drosophila on grapes and other pests in fruiting vegetables in Canada. 

RELATED NEWS

Processing veg growers elect first and second vice-chairs

The Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers confirmed its 2020 board. The sector earned just under $90 million in farmgate sales in 2019. Sweet corn had its strongest showing in four years with an estimated $8.017 million in farmgate value.  

Scott Hodgins joins Plant Products Inc

Headquartered in Leamington, Ontario, Plant Products Inc. is building on its core greenhouse base to include outdoor fruits and vegetables with the addition of a crop protection veteran. 

CanadaGAP announces stakeholder advisory committee

Ontario apple grower Cathy McKay has been reappointed chair of CanadaGAP’s stakeholder advisory committee for 2020. It consists of volunteers who serve a technical role to the CanAgPlus board of directors. 

Local Food Champion opens second farm market

The constant stream of traffic is a telling sign that Howe Family Farms got it right on its second farm market location near St. Thomas. Grower Kevin Howe is celebrating the 2019 Local Food Champion award given by the local MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. 

Nature Fresh Farms sells to growers

Nature Fresh Farms has announced that it’s transferring the keys to 36 acres, comprising Phase 1 and 2 greenhouses, to a new group of dedicated growers. The new business entity, Chosen Fresh Farms, is owned by Neil Enns, Ben Friesen, Abram Fehr and Peter Klassen. 

RELATED NEWS

E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce declared over

American food safety authorities declared that as of January 15, 2020, the E. coli outbreak connected to romaine lettuce from Salinas, California is now over. A total of 165 people were sickened. No deaths were reported. 

Fruit Logistica Innovation Award nominees

The showcase of 2020 Innovation Award nominees will be a top attraction in Berlin from Feb 5-7.  One of them is a cross between Chinese green cabbage and broccoli with a distinctive purple stalk. 

Tweaks needed for robotic harvesting of apples

Will 2020 be the year for commercializing robotic harvest of apples? Technical obstacles remain for the companies trialling in New Zealand, Europe and the United States. 

Mexico is #3 in strawberry exports

Mexico is a produce powerhouse. Globally, it’s one of the largest exporters of strawberries, eclipsed only by Spain and the United States.    

 

Pure Flavor hosts U.S. ag secretary in Georgia

Pure Flavor, a Canadian-owned greenhouse grower, hosted U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue earlier this fall at its Fort Valley, Georgia location. The former two-time Governor of Georgia is originally from Perry, located just 10 miles from the greenhouse.

RELATED NEWS

Oleen Smethurst, Costco Canada, focuses on flavour

Oleen Smethurst, general merchandise manager for Costco Canada, flies all over the globe from Berlin to Bogotá to taste test fruits and vegetables.

Nick VanBerlo rides the superfood wave with sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are not native to Canada, but for the VanBerlo family near Simcoe, Ontario, sweet potatoes have become second nature. 

The Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers are protesting against the provincial government’s changes to how prices would be negotiated with tomato and carrot growers.

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FEATURES

  • Kwik Lok unveils sustainable bag closure

    A new Eco-Lok closure offers the same safety, quality and rigidity as former plastic closures with lower carbon footprint.

  • Latest technology at FutureTEC Zone

    United Fresh 2019 offers a glimpse into the future with a TEC Zone featuring 24 top ag tech start-up companies. One of those is Montreal-based Motorleaf, which uses artificial intelligence to automate harvest yield estimates and disease scouting in tomato and pepper greenhouses. 

  • Tiny package, huge benefit for cherry growers

    Hazel Technologies Inc., based in Salinas, California, has developed a small, biodegradable and food-safe insert to extend the shelf life of a carton of fresh fruit. Now the post-harvest sachet is being launched for one of the most challenging fruits to keep fresh – cherries.

  • Photo courtesy of Eugenia Banks
    Potato common scab research unveils surprising results

    Scabby potatoes are unmarketable. However, molecular technology has determined that the most predominant species in Ontario might be one that could be controlled with cultural practices.

Recent News

Seasonal workers in Ontario greenhouses

Approximately 3,000 seasonal workers from Mexico and the Caribbean began arriving in January to help in Leamington, Ontario and Niagara peninsula greenhouses. That’s the vanguard of what’s expected to be a total of 18,000 seasonal workers in Ontario. 

Canada Agriculture Day set for February 11

The fourth anniversary of Canada’s Agriculture Day aims to strengthen the consumer-producer relationship. 

Buy Canadian foods campaign to build public trust

Buy local. Buy Canadian. A new federal campaign will urge consumers to put their buying power behind locally-grown foods. Fresh, frozen, pickled – it all counts. 

E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce declared over

American food safety authorities declared that as of January 15, 2020, the E. coli outbreak connected to romaine lettuce from Salinas, California is now over. A total of 165 people were sickened. No deaths were reported. 

CHC extends early bird registration to Jan 31

Ottawa is hosting the 2020 Canadian Horticultural Council annual general meeting at the Westin Hotel, March 10-12. Get registered now for this educational and networking policy event. 

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OUR COLUMNISTS

Stefan Larrass brings more than 10 years ...
Bill studied horticulture at the University ...
Chris Duyvelshoff, is OFVGA's crop protection ...
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Jennifer Morris is president of Two Roads ...