A resident of Almaty is developing a promising treatment for sowing potatoes

A resident of Almaty is developing a promising treatment for sowing potatoes

On the left is the plan treated with the old paint, and on the right is the plan treated with the France Harvey paint, the growth of which is visibly more lush. (Photo: Yohann Harvey Simard)

Almatois France Harvey, accompanied by agrochemists, has developed a new type of potato seed treatment based on wollastonite, a mineral abundant in the Saint-Ludger-de-Milot area.

The aim was to find an alternative to the powder treatment currently used by manufacturers, the use of which will be banned from 2024.

“It was discontinued because it caused skin problems,” explains France Harvey.

Potato seeding is done using pieces of potato that are inserted back into the ground. To prevent the seeds from being attacked by insects, peeled potato pieces are coated with a coating that replaces the natural protection provided by the skin.

A unique product

France Harvey, who comes from a farming background, has developed a replacement product for the old finish. According to him, the recipe for the treatment, which was developed with the Agricultural Research and Innovation Center Agrinova, would even be unparalleled.

A key ingredient in its formula is wollastonite, a mineral with the largest deposit in Canada and the only one in Quebec, located in Saint-Ludger-de-Milot. The mine will be operated by the mining company Vertical Exploration, with which France Harvey has signed a contract for the supply of several tons.

L’Almatois intends to sell its seed treatment through its company CASIO3Plus Solutions.

Proof tests

The France Harvey coating is the result of a research and development process that required several hundred thousand dollars of investment. Several tests have been conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the treatment.

“We planted five acres of potatoes, part with my coating and another part with the old one, to compare root system development. And finally, not only did my coating work well, but it put the potatoes in a higher position than those sown with the old treatment.”

According to France Harvey, his seed treatment has the potential to find markets across Canada and the United States. Several producers have already expressed interest in the treatment, presented by France Harvey at agricultural fairs.

According to France Harvey, the success of his treatment could stimulate the region’s economy, while production would rely entirely on local raw materials.

“I can’t give an exact date yet, but we are working on structuring the launch of the product and bringing it to market.”

Yohann Harvey Simard, Local Journalism Initiative

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