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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 18-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, March 5, 1974 THERE ARE ONLY A FEW FREEZERS LEFT AT OUR BOXCAR PRICES FIRST COME FIRST SERVED Smith's Color TV Appliances 236 13th St. N. Phone 328-5541 CLOSED MONDAYS OPEN THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS TILL 9 P.M. Housewife preference prompts carefull potato handling LONDON (CP) The quality of packaged foods, especially vegetables; has risen greatly in recent years and British housewives are showing a distinct preference for well-graded, damage-free packaged produce Producers of potatoes are having to pay greater attention to the quality, including damage levels, of the harvested crop And more stringent quality standards have recently been imposed-on growers by their own marketing organization, the potato marketing board. This has brought a practical response from the manufacturers of potato harvesting and handling machinery. To maintain the good handling cnaracteristics of machinery in the face of farmers' demands for greater output from each machine has not been easy. In the unreliable and often wet weather of an English autumn the main concern of the grower has been to get the crop out of the ground and into store in the briefest possible time. And because of the growing labor shortage farms, machines are being increasingly utilitized for the whole harvesting oper- ation from removal from the soil to loading into and out of store Crop loss Increasing mechani- zation has created problems for the farmer, in terms of greater losses of the crop and, where machine operation has not been of the highest standard, of crop damage. A recent study by the British government advisory service and the potato marketing board showed, for example, that on many farms as much as half a ton of potatoes was left in the field after a ma- chine harvesting operation. Added to the fact that as much as five per cent of the crop was also being seriously damaged, this often involved a financial loss to the producer of as much as an acre. Considerable research effort has been devoted to means of reducing these losses and also to finding harvesting mechanisms that sort the potatoes more efficiently. Much of the research on potato crop mechanization is carried out at the Scottish station of the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering (NIAE) at Midlothian. Gamma ray The most recent innovation is a harvester, not yet fully proved and developed, which utilizes a gamma-ray automatic sorting device, elimi- nating the need for hand la- bor The machine is the successor to a harvester, also developed by the NIAE, that sorts potatoes by x-ray The heart of the sorting mechanism, which separates stones and clods of soil from the crop flowing through a harvester, is a detector which operates hydraulic "fingers" in order to flick rejected objects from the conveying machinery. This is similar in principle to that of the x-ray harvester but the gamma-ray system has substantially greater sorting efficiency. Mechanical harvesting of potatoes with machines of all types has inevitably brought a greater risk of damaging the crop. This problem too has received attention at the NIAE A recent survey of three types of harvester set out to establish the main causes of damage and to find means of reducing it. The main conclusions were that a significant amount of the harm done to the potato occurs in the interval between its leaving the harvester and delivery into store, and that the time of most risk is when the delivery trailer begins to fill with a new load from the harvester. Removal of soil from freshly harvested potatoes is another problem which is receiving attention from agricultural engineers In modern large-xcale storage systems soil removal is essential if air is to circulate freely and the tubers are to keep in good condition. Pampering the potato modern equipment carefully loads vegetable crop. SOU.TESTMG SOL ANALYSIS FEED ANALYSIS WttER ANALYSIS PLANT TISSUE ANALYSIS ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY CONSULTATION OPEN HOUSE TO FARMERS AND STOCKMEN During 4G-EXPO Week MARCH A 8 1O a.m. to 4 p.m. Come tour our lab and lot us show you how we can analyze your SOIL and FEED to attain the MAXI- MUM BENEFIT. 132 N. MAYOR MAGRATH DR. tETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA TIN 3P5 8131 RAPESEED An Agriculture Canada survey of rapeseed growers in western Canada in 1971-72 showed about 75 per cent of toe rapeseed acreage was fertilized, 66 per cent was covered by either hail or crop in- surance; about 45 per cent was sprayed for insects and 30 per cent was sprayed for weeds. MEAT GRADES Before fresh meat is graded in Canada, it must pass health inspection. A round "Canada Approved" or "Canada" inspection stamp is applied to all car- casses after they nave been inspected by federal government veterinarians. Edible dyes are used for stamps and grade marks. TOP STARS GATHER The 40-acre ranch of producer-director Greg Garrison in California's Hidden Valley, near Los Angeles, was- the gathering place of some of the top stars of the music business recently when Mac Davis. Buck Owens. Dionne Warwicke. Tom T. Hall and Wayne Newton amved to tape location appearances on NBC-TVs "Music Country U S.A series ;