Country 105

Country 105

Agriculture Report

Potatoes on Mars?

By Fadi Didi

Researchers working in a lab in the Peruvian capital of Lima have been able to grow a potato plant in a simulator that mimicks the harsh conditions found on Mars.

After experimenting in the Andean nation's dry, desert soil, scientists have successfully grown a potato in frigid, high carbon-dioxide surroundings.

Though still in early stages, investigators at the International Potato Center believe the initial results are a promising indicator that potatoes might one day be harvested under conditions as hostile as those on Mars.

The findings could benefit not only future Mars exploration, but also arid regions already feeling the impact of climate change.


Canadians will be invited to celebrate agriculture and food next year on February 13th, Agriculture Day.

Candace Hill, manager of Agriculture More than Ever, says it's important to talk about farming and food production throughout the year, but also to have a day dedicated to the industry.

She says this year's first Agriculture Day was a huge success, with posts on the issue trending in Canada on Twitter for most of the day.

Hill said the day was marked by hundreds of events and the participation of almost 500 partner groups.


The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies says a new code of practice for egg farmers will help reduce the extreme stress suffered by egg-laying hens.

The National Farm Animal Care Council code calls for producers to phase out the use of small, cramped cages for hens over the next 15 years and sets new care standards for the birds.

Roger Pelissero, chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada, says the transition will be a challenge for some of the organization's one-thousand regulated farmers as they look at upgrading their equipment.


Packets of wildflower seeds that Cheerios is distributing as a way to help bees is facing some stinging criticism.

The vice president of the Ontario Invasive Plant Council says some of the flower species aren't native to North America and some are potentially invasive.

P-E-I-based Veseys Seeds supplied the flower mix for Cheerios and says in most locations, the seed mixture species will be non-native but not considered invasive.

Last year the seed giveaway was only in Canada, but this year was expanded to the U-S. 


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