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Our summer 2017 issue features several stories related to the production season, including the 2017 production outlook, pests to watch for this season, and soil and water issues. And in honour of the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation, we recognize the role potatoes have played in Canada’s
thriving agriculture sector over many years. All this and more in the summer 2017 issue of Spud Smart.

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Swansfleet Alliance Celebrates 40 Years

Manitoba’s Swansfleet Alliance is marking its 40th year of producing seed potatoes this year. Its founder, Dutch immigrant Henk Jonk, came to Canada in 1954 and eventually settled in the Swan Lake area of the province to farm. He began growing seed potatoes in 1976, and today his sons and grandchildren carry on the proud family tradition of providing high-quality seed to potato producers in Manitoba. One of Henk’s grandsons, Russell Jonk,…

Dewulf introduces new offset harvester with bunker

Dewulf introduced Torro, its trailed 2-row sieving harvester with haulm conveyor, flat hedgehog units and bunker, at Potato Europe 2017. The 2-row trailed sieving harvester with bunker is equipped with 2 sieving webs in combination with a curved haulm conveyor. Thanks to its unique curve, the falling height is continuously limited to an absolute minimum and damage to the crop is prevented. According to a news release, the Torro is equipped with…

Tong Caretaker Introduces Trailer Reversing Sensors

Tong’s Caretaker mobile grader is now available with a new option of trailer reversing sensors, making loading the grader’s hopper quicker, safer, easier and more accurate than before. Designed to provide operators with the hopper loading version of parking sensors, the new trailer reversing system features a fully adjustable proximity sensor that detects the position of the trailer while reversing, and signals the driver once it is in place for tipping. “The…

Cuban Delegation Visits Seed Potato Companies in Quebec

A Cuban delegation visited the main seed potato companies in Quebec in early August, organized by Progest 2001 Inc. The Cuban delegation was headed by the National Director of Crops and also included the National Director of Seeds and the Potato Director of the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences (INCA). They visited seed production fields, different types of mini-tuber production and in-vitro laboratory facilities. Furthermore they held several meetings with seed growers…

European Potato Production Up Over Last Year

For the current European potato harvest, the North-western-European Potato Growers (NEPG) estimate the total potato production at 27.9 million tons for the five NEPG countries (Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Great Britain). The estimate is based on sampling and data from the first actual harvests. Acreage has increased 4.6 per cent compared to last year, while the average yield per hectare is estimated at 48.2 ton/ha. This is 2.9 per cent…

Potato Europe 2017 welcomed 10,000 visitors, despite weather

Despite the cancellation of Day 1 of Potato Europe (Wednesday, Sept. 13) and the less-than-perfect weather on Day 2, the 270 exhibitors were able to welcome around 10,000 visitors on Thursday, Sept. 14. The trade fair was opened by the mayor of the Noordoostpolder, Aucke van der Werff. By pushing the button, he started the harvesting demonstrations. The harvested potatoes of variety Innovator went straight into the box-filling demonstration and storage lines….

Potato Sustainability Initiative Expands and Evolves

The Potato Sustainability Initiative (PSI) grew out of a request from McDonald’s in 2010 for its growers to track and report on the adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) practices. By 2013, the PSI had evolved into a comprehensive and groundbreaking collaboration that included customers, processors and growers in both the U.S. and Canada – a program that promoted and measured practices important to worker safety and sustainability, including water and energy…

Ten Tips for a Tip-Top Harvest

The potato person who said many years ago “A potato storage is not a hospital” was absolutely right. Diseased or bruised tubers do not get better in storage. Tubers bruised at harvest are easily invaded by soft rot or Fusarium dry rot, which can cause serious economic losses in storage. Harvest management, in large part, is bruise management. Bruising also affects tuber quality significantly. In order to harvest potatoes with minimum tuber…

A novel option to combat soil erosion

A spring cover crop planted at potato planting time – called a nurse crop – offers a way to reduce soil erosion during the weeks between potato planting and hilling. But what is the optimal way to grow a nurse crop to benefit the soil, the potato crop, and the grower’s bottom line? Researchers and growers in New Brunswick and Maine are working on answering that question. “The best part of the…

Dry Harvest Conditions = Near-Term and Long-Term Challenges

The year 2017 may very well be remembered as the year the rain just didn’t come. Across much of Canada, conditions as we near potato harvest are notably dry and hot. With the exception of cooler, wetter than normal conditions in certain areas of Ontario, much of the country has seen little rain since May and June. Unfortunately, dry conditions limit yield, challenge growers at harvest, and can increase the risk of…

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