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Our spring 2017 issue features several stories related to the planting season, including the importance of soil health, the ins and outs of water management, and introducing Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s 2017 new releases. Also, read the latest on how a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement could impact Canadian potato growers. All this and more in the spring 2017 issue of Spud Smart.

 

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Canada 150 Celebrations at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre

The Lethbridge Research and Development Centre is celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s 150th anniversary, with an Open House on Thursday, June 29, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the ground-breaking agricultural research—past and present—conducted in Alberta that has changed the face of agriculture in Canada and around the world. More information and registration

Satellite technology could help ag producers measure soil moisture

Agricultural producers could, in the future, make use of better forecasts to more efficiently irrigate their fields using a Purdue-developed technology that could  more accurately sense soil moisture below the surface through measuring the reflections of  communication satellite signals. “The reflectivity of the surface is a function of the soil moisture, and that allows us to quantify the amount of moisture in the soil so, if necessary, growers can take corrective actions…

2017 PGA Golf Tournament

The Potato Growers of Alberta is hosting their annual golf tournament on Thursday, July 6, 2017. Come out for a day of sun and fun in support of the Alberta potato industry. Growers can pair up with their favourite golf partner and enjoy a day mingling with industry associates. Information, registration  

Good news for fresh potato prices

Canada’s potato storage holdings as of June 1 were down 14.4 per cent — or just over 2.8 million hundredweight — from the year before, according to figures from the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). Kevin MacIsaac, UPGC general manager, says it’s the result of good demand in the fresh, chip and french fry categories in recent months. “The market has been active,” he says. “It has helped move the pile…

Taiwan gov’t to control future GMO potato imports

Taiwan’s agriculture authorities say they’re prepared to implement controls to prevent the possible import of U.S. genetically modified (GMO) potatoes from affecting domestic growers.  The U.S. recently applied with the Taiwan Health and Welfare Ministry to import GMO potatoes, with the approval process expected to be completed next year at the earliest. However, concerns are being raised about the potential health impacts of GMO food products and the adverse effects of these…

U.S. Importing More Potatoes

U.S. volume of imports of dehydrated, fresh, frozen, chips and seed potatoes are up seven per cent from July 2016 to March 2017 compared to the same period the previous year.  The increase of 2.5 million hundredweight (cwt) fresh weight equivalent (fwe) was due to increases in all products except seed potatoes. The increase was led by fresh potatoes, which were up 17 per cent or 940,173 cwt. Imports of dehydrated potatoes increased six…

Potato Cyst Nematodes threaten crop in Kenya

Infestation of potatoes by the potato cyst nematode (PCN), a pest ravaging potato plants that was discovered in Kenya two years ago, has reached alarming levels. A survey done in 20 counties through support from United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), whose results were released two weeks ago, shows that PCN infestation has reached 80 per cent to 100 per cent in some of the potato growing areas. The study shows…

Quebec eyes Seed Potato Export to Latin America and Caribbean

Over the past few decades, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Alberta have exported a considerable amount of seed potatoes from Canada to Latin America and the Caribbean. However, the export market in some of those countries has decreased substantially in the past couple of years. Meanwhile, seed potato growers from Quebec have almost exclusively exported their seed potatoes to the U.S. Recently, a couple of seed potato companies from Quebec, together…

Soil Testing Accuracy Important

The phrase that advises us never to compare apples to oranges should be taken very seriously in relation to soil tests according to Pat Toner, a soil management specialist with New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture (NBAFA). “A standard test will measure water pH, buffer pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur, but you need to ensure a couple of things are in place for the results to be accurate and useful,” Toner explains….

Bill Menkveld, Greentronics

Variable Rate Potato Production = More $ in Your Pocket

Yield- and soil-map based variable rate (VR) seeding and fertilizer management is gaining popularity in cereal, corn and oilseed crops. So far, it hasn’t earned as much traction in potato fields, both because many planters are not set up for VR tech adoption and because few potato growers monitor yield at harvest, a necessary step in VR input management. But, major changes are just around the corner. Today’s yield mapping and planting…

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