The New Democratic Party, led by Jagmeet Singh, has committed to payment protection for growers selling to the United States. The pledge was made June 16 when he unveiled the party’s platform for the fall federal election. 

RELATED NEWS

Rebecca Compton updates state of Ontario asparagus industry

Rebecca Compton, chair of Asparagus Farmers of Ontario, talks about her background and leadership approach to tackling industry issues.

Cathy McKay talks about the Canadian Apple Breeding Consortium

Apple grower Cathy McKay has converted her 27-acre orchard to new varieties and trellis systems to produce a great tasting experience for consumers.

Greenhouse grower Duffy Kniaziew talks about the 2019 business environment

Canada’s greenhouse vegetable sector is being buffeted by carbon taxes, high energy prices and repercussions from the last year’s sudden cannabis expansion.

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

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.

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.

Breeding local apples for multiple micro-climates

Many apple growers are converting to high-density orchards with top-selling consumer favourites:  Honeycrisp, Ambrosia and Gala. The search for new varieties is arduous as Cathy McKay, vice-chair of the Ontario Apple Growers, attests. She’s been one of the champions of a new Canadian Apple Breeding Consortium.

Cannabis clouds competitiveness of greenhouse vegetable sector

Canada’s greenhouse vegetable sector is feeling the heat from energy prices to carbon taxes to cannabis conversions. But Duffy Kniaziew, owner, Orangeline Farms, is sticking with what he knows: peppers.

Seasonal workers a win-win, says apple producer

In the Canadian Horticultural Council’s latest video, British Columbia apple grower Nirwal Dhaliwal talks about the importance of international workers, both to running his operation, and personally, as friends and neighbours.

Photo courtesy Coral Beach Farms

British Columbia’s minimum wage went from $12.65 to $13.85 per hour on June 1, putting pressure on horticultural producers. Wage rates are scheduled for regular hikes in B.C. to $14.60 on June 1, 2020 and $15.20 on June 1, 2021.

“Everyone at the table” is the tag line for the first national food strategy. Federal ag minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced $134 million in funding in Montreal. 

RELATED NEWS

Food safety drives production and packaging systems

Perspectives on food safety differ in Europe compared to the United States. Shifting trends may inspire farmers to grow more protected crops rather than open field vegetables. Hydroponic lettuce is a case in point.

U.S. backs down on Mexican tariffs

The produce industry is relieved that threats have been cancelled to impose five per cent tariffs on Mexican goods crossing into the U.S. on June 10. The Border Trade Alliance offers some context.

U.S. fresh veg production dips to 19-year low

Inclement weather, food recalls and widening trade gaps contributed to a 19-year low in the production of fresh vegetables in the U.S. in 2018. Onions, head lettuce, romaine lettuce and tomatoes accounted for much of the decline.

McCain Foods opens DC in Idaho

The world’s largest potato processor needs another 10,000 to 15,000 acres of potatoes to keep its expanded distribution centre humming in Burley, Idaho.

Behind the USDA export numbers

A deep dive into the USDA’s latest economic forecast shows horticultural exports remaining steady at $35.5 billion. Canada remains a top market for American fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Canadian government is launching three new earth observation satellites on June 12, 2019. With capability to survey all of Canada in two or three days, the satellites will provide data that augments understanding of crop growth.

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FEATURES

  • Chris Duyvelshoff
    AALP Class 18 announced

    The Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program kicks off its Class 18 on September 15. The OFVGA’s Chris Duyvelshoff, crop protection advisor, is one of the 21 emerging leaders accepted to the 19-month course.  

  • The president of Savoura found deceased

    The founder of the Savoura greenhouse tomato brand, Stéphane Roy and his 15-year-old son Justin, were found deceased on July 25 after a helicopter crash in northern Quebec. 

  • Peter Vander Zaag receives award

    Ontario potato breeder and grower, Dr. Peter Vander Zaag, has received an honorary lifetime membership from the Potato Association of America. He has shared his expertise around the world making the tuber a source of stable income in parts of China.

  • Photo courtesy of Town Hall Brands
    Passing of Harry McWatters

    A legendary pioneer in the British Columbia wine industry has passed. Harry McWatters, 74, celebrated many milestones along the way. 

  • 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

Sobeys accepts Foodland Ontario awards

Two Foodland Retailer Awards acknowledge outstanding displays of fruits and vegetables at the Sobeys #685 store in Kitchener, Ontario. 

BC cherries funded for new export markets

Federal funding of $241,000 will be matched by industry to spur diversification of British Columbia’s cherry export markets. South Korea is one such target. 

Record crowd for Triggs Lecture Series

Vaughn Bell, senior scientist at the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research, has just finished lectures on disease pressures in grape vineyards in Ontario and British Columbia.

AALP Class 18 announced

The Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program kicks off its Class 18 on September 15. The OFVGA’s Chris Duyvelshoff, crop protection advisor, is one of the 21 emerging leaders accepted to the 19-month course.  

Support for pollinators in wild blueberries

In 2018, Canadian wild blueberry exports accounted for about half of Canada's total fresh and frozen blueberry exports, which totaled $475 million, to 45 countries. The sector will get more federal and provincial support for bee health:  $800,000.

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OUR COLUMNISTS

Bill studied horticulture at the University ...
Chris Duyvelshoff, is OFVGA's crop protection ...
Gordon Stock is OFVGA's senior policy advisor ...
Jennifer Morris is president of Two Roads ...
Owen Roberts is a journalist and a columnist ...