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In this issue, you’ll discover how new research shows promise in curing common scab. You’ll also learn about preventing Dickeya, Curtailing Chlorothalonil, and get tips from industry experts on best practices for soil fumigation.

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Nutrient Stewards Know, Time Isn’t Free

Being wholly dependent on the land, farmers are most successful when they work in tune with nature’s rhythms and requirements. Achieving maximum plant nutrition and yield through a combination of best management practices is integral to any farming operation, as seen with the widely adopted 4R Nutrient Stewardship program. Created to help operations increase profitability and sustainably, the four cornerstones (4Rs) of nutrient stewardship – right nutrient source, right rate, right placement,…


New Potato Varieties Meet Changing Industry Needs

The potato industry’s health, both in the immediate and long-term, depends on all players working to balance and achieve the value chain’s many, varied needs. Constantly changing consumer demands must be top priority for the industry. However, the needs of producers, packers and processors must also be considered. New varieties can prove beneficial to the entire value chain, solving many of the challenges facing today’s potato industry. While traditional fresh market Russet…


Labour Shortages Drive Automation in Potato Packaging and Processing

Stand amongst potato packers or processors and the conversation will invariably shift towards one topic: the constant, looming concern regarding labour. With domestic labour less willing to take on menial jobs and international labour increasingly limited, labour shortages are now costing packers and processors significant dollars. Sizing, grading, packaging and palletizing potatoes is laborious, repetitive, tedious work. A generation ago, the same could be said of countless jobs. Now, however, automated machines…


A Whole New Reality for Yield Monitoring

If you’re firmly against yield monitoring and think it’ll never have a place in your potato fields, I understand. Twenty years ago when yield monitors first made big waves in agriculture, they didn’t offer much benefit to potato farmers. While the monitors churned out reams of data, most farmers were unsure how to translate that data into useful information. Analysis programs seemed to be designed more for statisticians and computer scientists than…


Ventilation in Early Storage Key to Long-Term Storage Success

What happens during the earliest days of tuber storage sets the stage for long-term storage success. Potatoes need ventilation in their first two weeks of storage for three major reasons. The first is to dry surface moisture and any adhered soil on the surface of the tubers, which would otherwise favour the growth of microorganisms. The greater the difference between the amount of moisture in the ventilating air and the amount on…


New potato researcher at Colorado State University

An expert in potato pathogens is the new head of Colorado State University’s Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, or BSPM, housed in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Amy Charkowski spent more than 15 years as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and served as a resource for that state’s potato industry before coming to CSU. Charkowski’s research has provided significant insights into enhancing disease resistance in potato breeding. She…


Tesco Brings Together Potato Suppliers to Reduce Food Waste

British retail chain Tesco has announced it will bring potato suppliers Branston and Samsworths together, to reduce the food waste, by using all the production for mashed and prepared meals. Mark Little, head of Food Waste Reduction department, explains on Tesco’s blog that potatoes come in all shapes and sizes and, previously, some of the extremely “wonky” ones would get left in the field. To solve the problem, the retail chain takes…

Lamb Weston will instantly become one of the region’s largest companies when it spins off from ConAgra Foods this fall. The $3 billion frozen potato giant employs 4,000 people in the Columbia Basin. Pictured is its potato processing plant on Glade Road, north of Pasco. (Photo: Bob Brawdy, Tri-City Herald)

Lamb Weston chooses Idaho

Lamb Weston has selected a suburb of Boise for its corporate headquarters, but the Columbia Basin is still a winner as the frozen potato giant moves toward independence from its Chicago-based parent, ConAgra Foods. Lamb Weston will become a standalone, publicly traded company sometime this fall. When that happens, Lamb Weston will instantly become one of the Northwest’s largest private companies. Its 2015 revenue of $2.9 billion would have ranked Lamb Weston…

Potatoes are waiting in the row waiting to be scooped up. (Photo: Bryan Maynard)

P.E.I. potato farmers seeing ‘very good’ crops

Despite a dry summer, it’s so far so good for the Island potato harvest, says the chairman of the P.E.I. Potato Board. Island farmers are about a third of the way through the harvest, and the quality and quantity of spuds seems to be better than expected, said Alex Docherty. “So far what we’ve been into has been very good, the rounds,” he said. Docherty said there are still some spuds being…

World Potato Congress will be facilitating a roundtable for the private sector during the African Potato Congress in October, which will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

World Potato Congress organizing roundtable for private sector

World Potato Congress (WPC) will be facilitating a roundtable for the private sector during the African Potato Congress in October, which will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. WPC acts as a catalyst to develop the potato system in the developing world and strengthen its collaboration with those countries, which recognize the potential of increased potato production and consumption as a way forward to bring food security and economic growth for the…

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