Croptracker - Blog

Are you going to the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention in Niagara Falls this year?  If so, make sure to drop by Booths 1022-1024 on the trade show floor to say hello and be one of the first to view a live demo of Croptracker's exciting upcoming module: Harvest Quality Vision.

potatoes in a sack

British chips (otherwise known around the world as "fries") were shorter in 2018 after extreme heatwaves left UK crops parched over the summer months.  A lighter-than-usual snack may be seem like a superifical issue, but it's indicative of a problem that threatens to bring sweeping changes to the British produce industry and its growers.

fruit trees in snow

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” - John Steinbeck.

It's true that fruit growers rely on the cooler temperatures of winter to ultimately produce the best yields.  When winters are too warm, fruit struggles to ripen and halt new leaf growth.  Cooler temperatures bring fruit to maturity, enhance their colour, and improve their flavour.

But too-cold temperatures can spell disaster for growers.  2019 has seen growers in the Northern Hemisphere contend with particularly frigid winter conditions.  California's Central Valley's $2 billion citrus crop was threatened earlier this month when a hard freeze warning went into effect.  In some areas, temperatures reached 24 to 25 degrees (27 degrees [-2.78 degrees Celsius] is the point where ice crystals can start to form internally in the fruit).  

In today's blog post, we discuss different ways - from heaters to sprinkler systems, from spray-on "winter jackets" to even helicopters - that growers protect their crops from brutal winter temperatures.

cabbage close up

The number of farms devoting more than half of its acreage to organic production leapt almost 15 percentage points in 2018, reveals Growing Produce's 2019 State of the Vegetable Industry report.