Potato storage research to get boost

Manitoba’s potato research landscape is getting a funding injection to improve infrastructure.

The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing $98,970 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to upgrade the University of Manitoba’s horticulture storage facility so it can conduct potato research.

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and provincial Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson made the announcement Thursday in a media release.

“Ensuring that our scientists have the tools they need to conduct their research is essential to support the resilience and competitiveness of the agricultural sector,” Bibeau said in the release.


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“Potatoes are the fourth most valuable crop in Manitoba and are estimated to generate $1 billion per year for the provincial economy,” Johnson said in the same release. “Research and innovation are critical to developing new approaches that improve the potato sector.”

The investment will allow researchers to conduct post-harvest potato storage research that will be representative of on-farm storage at producer operations. The upgraded storage facility will be able to control environmental conditions, including carbon dioxide levels, temperature and humidity.

It will also align with other international research facilities and will be able to create more training and capacity-building opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students as the university strengthens partnerships with producers and processors in the potato sector.

“This much-needed infrastructure renewal will help our researchers solve real-world challenges in the storage and management of potatoes,” said Martin Scanlon, agricultural and food sciences dean.

“Equally important is the training and development of highly qualified professionals that this facility will provide to benefit the future of the potato industry in Manitoba and beyond.” — Manitoba Co-operator staff

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