The Ontario government is helping to deliver agri-food literacy tools for students by funding AgScape. It’s the organization that develops and distributes curriculum-linked learning materials to classrooms. 

RELATED NEWS

Apeel goes global

The California company that has engineered an edible covering for fruits and vegetables is opening offices in key countries:  Mexico, Netherlands and Peru. 

Action against tomato brown rugose fruit virus

USDA now requires Canada to inspect tomato and pepper fruit to ensure it is free of disease symptoms prior to export to the United States. The federal order is effective Friday, November 22, 2019.

Houwelings defends intellectual property

A United States Court of Appeals has affirmed the validity of Houweling’s UltraClima Semi-Closed Greenhouse patent. 

Plum pox virus eradicated in U.S.

USDA has declared the country free of plum pox virus after a 20-year battle. It’s a huge milestone for the $6.3 billion stone fruit industry. 

Chilean blueberry exports achieve record

The world’s largest exporter of blueberries, Chile, reports that exports will reach record volumes of 115,000 tons in the 2019-2020 season. That’s up four per cent from a year ago. 

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.

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. 

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.

Spearheading change with asparagus allies

For the last two years, Rebecca Compton has chaired the Asparagus Farmers of Ontario through a challenging marketing period. While managing 60 acres and an on-farm retail outlet, Big Red Barn near Delhi, Ontario, she encourages her young children – Sable and Anson – to be at home in the field.

RELATED NEWS

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. 

RELATED NEWS

Refreshed board for Canadian Centre for Food Integrity

Five new board members have joined the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity. Experience and breadth of knowledge of Canada’s food system adds to a dynamic board of 11.

Federal cabinet named

Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau retains her post as minister of agriculture and agri-food. 

OPMA honours four produce leaders

The 28th annual Ontario Produce Marketing Association Gala shone a light on four of the industry’s brightest and best on November 15. One of them was Steve Bamford who won the Cory Clack-Streef Produce Person of the Year Award.

Manitoba agriculture minister named

Former farmer Blaine Pedersen is the new minister of agriculture and resource development.

Young speakers for agriculture compete at the Royal

Passionate and politic – that’s the best way to describe this year’s crop of Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture who competed at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on November 2. This year’s senior champion was Ellie Stauffer from Alberta. The junior champion was also an Albertan:  Ryley Mappin. 

RELATED NEWS

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. 

Syngenta appoints Christina Stroud

A strategic communications professional, Christina Stroud has joined Syngenta Canada as the new head of corporate affairs.

Kams Growers Supply adds Bioline brand

Kam’s Growers Supply is teaming up with the Bioline brand of biological control.  It’s a growing trend of learning how to integrate biologicals and traditional methods of pest control.

A cut of $88 million in the next fiscal year will affect staffing levels as well as research, as the Alberta government seeks to balance its books in the next five years. Budgets will continue to erode from $967 million in 2018-2019 to $822 million in 2022-23.

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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

BC Icewine harvest began Nov 28

Grower intentions for the BC Icewine harvest are down in 2019 with a total of 125 acres registered. That figure is off the pace of 200 acres in recent years.

Food prices to increase in 2020

The 10th annual Canada Food Price Report predicts that vegetable prices will increase by two to four per cent in 2020.  Fruit prices could go up by 1.5 to 3.5 per cent.

Solar renewable energy for greenhouses

Researchers at the University of Windsor are looking to the sun to help solve a challenge for Ontario greenhouse growers – how to expand the sector sustainably while reducing its environmental footprint. 

Compliance postponed for a year on produce packaging

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is extending mandatory compliance for Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) traceability requirements specific to produce packaging. The fruit and vegetable industry has until January 15, 2021 to use the current stock of packaging material.

Security from trespass legislation in Ontario

While it’s unlikely that activists would raid a potato-packing facility, the integrity and security of the food safety system must be upheld. That’s why Ontario’s proposed new legislation – Security From Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act 2019 – is relevant beyond livestock farmers. 

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