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Innate potatoes next to one affected by black spot bruise. All photos: J.R. Simplot Company.

Green Light for Innate in Canada

Imagine walking into a grocery store in the future and finding fresh potatoes pre-cut, packaged and ready to cook. It’s a product the J.R. Simplot Company is envisioning thanks to its genetically modified Generation 1 Innate potato, which was given the green light by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada earlier this year. Canadian approval came too late for them to be grown commercially in this country in 2016, but…

coveredbridge

Covered Bridge Potato Chip Strike Ends

The five-month-old strike at Covered Bridge Potato Chips in Hartland, N.B. has come to an end after unionized workers voted in favour of a deal. The two sides reached a collective agreement on May 20 after negotiations resumed and then workers voted 71 per cent in favour of the deal on May 24. Carl Flanagan, a national representative for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1288P, said the new contract includes improvements to the…

A potato in August 2015 infected with Dickeya dianthicola, a bacteria that causes the rotting disease blackleg. Photo: Steve Johnson.

Dickeya: A New Threat to Potato Production in North America

The main bacteria causing potato blackleg and tuber soft rot are Pectobacterium atrosepticum, P. carotovorum subsp. carotovorum, and Dickeya spp., all formerly belonging to the genus Erwinia. Dickeya and Pectobacterium affect a number of host species including potato, carrot, broccoli, corn, sunflower and parsnip, but they do not appear to thrive on legumes and small grains. These bacteria characteristically produce a range of cell-wall-degrading enzymes that macerate plant tissues on which they…

The work of identifying industry priorities for potato research in the next round of federal funding will begin this summer.

Canadian Potato Council Annual Meeting

About 40 representatives from the potato industry and the federal and provincial governments gathered in Ottawa, Ont. on March 7 and 8 for the Canadian Potato Council and Seed Potato Sub Committee meetings to review topics of importance to Canadian potato growers. These meetings were held in conjunction with the Canadian Horticultural Council Annual General Meeting. Among the topics discussed was the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO), which provides a forum…

Photo: Tong Engineering

Potato Handling Equipment on Display in UK

Tong Engineering, a leading vegetable handling equipment manufacturer, will be exhibiting at the UK’s largest arable event, Cereals, to present its latest equipment range for 2016. Tong will have the latest model of its Storemaker hopper cleaner machine available for view at the event being held June 15 and 16. The new Storemaker is suitable for multi-site use – in the field, on the farm or in the packhouse – and it…

New Initiative for Improving Potato Varieties for South Asia

The International Potato Center (CIP), global seed potato company HZPC and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) have announced a new partnership. Their joint aim is to develop better potatoes for tropical and subtropical conditions. CIP and HZPC will combine their experience and resources to breed and select potato varieties suitable for local markets in South Asia. SFSA will provide support. This public-private partnership demonstrates the organizations’ joint aim of raising…

Guatemalan tuber moth larvae can seriously damage potatoes. Photo: Boyce Thompson Institute.

Tuber Attacks Triggered by Above-ground Attacks

Potato plants boost the chemical defences in their leaves when Guatemalan tuber moth larvae feed on their tubers, report researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI). While the potato’s response may seem counterintuitive, it protects against leaf-eating pests, ensuring that the plant can maintain sugar production, to continue growing tubers during the moth larvae infestation. The study, which was led by BTI Professor Georg Jander and Katja Poveda, assistant professor of entomology…

YukonPotato

In Praise of the Yukon Gold Potato

On Barack Obama’s table at holiday feasts; on Justin Trudeau’s plate at his White House state dinner; and on the Oscar gala hors-d’oeuvres trays, was a small yellow potato called the Yukon Gold. Alexander York von Sivers, a 59-year-old man in Toronto, is on a mission to make sure everybody knows it. “It’s a story that had to be told,” he says. York has been working for three years to publicize the 50th…

Manitoba Potato Acres Projected to Fall

Potato acres are expected to fall in Manitoba this spring, as french fry companies cut back on process potato contracts. Manitoban potato growers are still negotiating contracts with Simplot and McCain Foods, which operate processing plants in Carberry and Portage la Prairie, but preliminary talks suggest volumes and acres will be down compared to 2015. “Simplot has indicated they’re going to be down about 10.7 per cent (in volume),” said Dan Sawatzky,…

Jennifer Harris receives the 2016 Mary Fitzgerald Award from Les Mallard at the 91st Annual CPMA Convention and Trade Show in Calgary, Alta. Photo: CPMA.

Potato Marketer Receives CPMA Award

The Canadian Marketing Produce Association recently recognized Jennifer Harris, marketing director of Mid-Isle Farms in Albany, P.E.I., with the prestigious Mary Fitzgerald Award at the 91st annual CPMA Convention and Trade Show in Calgary, Alta. The award is presented to an individual with passion and dedication to the produce industry, and Harris was the first ever recipient from the Atlantic Provinces. Harris is responsible for Mid-Isle’s marketing programs, including package design, market information,…

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