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In this issue, learn how companion planting offers hope for wireworm control, and why keeping any eye on harvest and storage handling are key to a successful crop. You’ll also read about how finding the right help at planting and harvest can be a challenge. And, there’s a new way to combat soil erosion – nurse crops.

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Manitoba Potato Production Days 2018

Manitoba Potato Production Days 2018 goes Jan. 23-25 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon, Man. The event includes a jam-packed agenda with well-known industry experts, and a trade show featuring potato equipment and services. Information  

When pests graze certain potatoes, yields double

When some Colombian potato varieties are lightly grazed by a pest, the plants respond by growing larger tubers, at times doubling their yields. Although many types of plants can repair pest damage while maintaining productivity, it’s rare to find species that actually overcompensate and increase productivity. Cornell and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia researchers first discovered this effect in a commercial Colombian potato in 2010. Now, a new study by the research…

Presque Isle, Maine considering bringing harvest into the classroom

For generations, high school students in northern Maine have taken a three-week break from classes every fall to harvest potatoes. But the acreage has shrunk over the past 50 years, and technology has reduced the demand for labour, which means far fewer teenagers are working in the fields of Aroostook County. In the town of Presque Isle, the school board is looking at a new approach that could end the tradition of…

Disease Watch: Potato Virus Y

Potato virus Y (PVY) is one of the most damaging potato viruses and a serious threat to the successful production of an acceptable seed lot around the world. It can cause mosaic on potato leaves, and affect yield and quality. Yield losses range from 10 to 80 per cent. Affected tubers are unusable for propagation. Late season virus transmission by aphids is difficult to detect in field inspections as it seldom produces…

33rd Annual Maine Potato Conference and Trade Show

The 33rd Annual Maine Potato Conference and Trade Show goes Jan. 17-18 in Caribou, Maine. The conference is designed for potato producers, farm workers and crop advisers. Scheduled speakers include UMaine Extension crop and soil specialists, UMaine and UMaine Presque Isle researchers, Maine Board of Pesticides Control and Maine Potato Board staff, and McCain Foods agronomists. Topics include soil health and combating drought, storage practices, technology in agriculture and certified seed results….

Lunchtime is over for the Colorado potato beetle

Chemicals in the leaves of potato plants, produced naturally by the plant, may hold the key to a new way to control Colorado potato beetles — a major pest for potato growers. Dr. Helen Tai, an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientist, has turned to the leaves growing on wild potato relatives, leaves that beetles won’t eat, as a new approach to keep the pest away. Many plants in the potato…

Lockwood Creates Industry First – VACS Mobile

NEWS RELEASE West Fargo, ND – Following the VACS-8 model, the Lockwood VACS Mobile is a complete handling and cleaning system mounted on one single semi-trailer. With the aid of high volume air, you can clean loads of potatoes easily while minimizing damage as it efficiently removes rocks, dirt, vines, corn trash and other debris effortlessly. The VACS Mobile is best described as “the ultimate mobile cleaning machine” by Lockwood’s Director of…

GM potato variety could deflate GMO myths’ bubble in Uganda

Uganda is steadily progressing towards having a potato that will not require chemical spraying. This is because scientists at the National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) and International Potato Center have developed a late blight resistant variety, Vic 1, from the popularly grown susceptible Victoria variety. According to Dr. Alex Barekye, who is the director of Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute in Kabale District, this new variety has shown great results in…

Potato Nutrient Management Workshop

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board, under the Agronomy Initiative for Marketable yield (AIM), is hosting a potato nutrient management workshop on Jan. 17 in Summerside, P.E.I. This is a one-day refresher on the basics of nutrient management and potato fertility, including soil testing, role of nutrients, pH and CEC, role of soil organic matter, making blend and rate recommendations, different nutrient sources and split application of nutrients. Presenters include Dr. David…

Bumper Yield Plagues India’s Potato Farmers

Bumper potato production has placed farmers in a quandary across India. According to several news reports, farmers have been forced to destroy potatoes due to falling prices and lack of storage facilities. Thousand of potato growers in southwest UP, West Bengal,Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh have either resorted to destroy their produce or left it at farms and cold storages. Owners of cold storage are also incurring losses. As per the initial…

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