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In the spring 2018 issue of Spud Smart, we showcase the 2018 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada accelerated release varieties. Also in this issue, read about the next level of weed control, Colorado potato beetle management techniques, and the effect of climate change on potato production now and into the future.

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An environmentally friendly solution to potato early dying complex

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers in Fredericton are exploring environmentally friendly solutions to manage Potato Early Dying complex (PED), a disease that is limiting yields in many potato fields in Eastern Canada. PED is a disease complex caused by a combination of a fungal disease (Verticillium wilt) and root-lesion nematodes. With few available treatments, a process called biofumigation is being used by some growers to manage PED.  The process involves tilling…

GMO potato can reduce fungicide use by 90 per cent

Researchers in Ireland and the Netherlands have discovered that a genetically engineered potato carrying a blight resistance gene could help farmers reduce fungicide sprays by up to 90 percent. Scientists from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Teagasc, the Irish agricultural research agency, conducted three years of field tests in the two countries to examine the effectiveness of potato genes aiming to confer resistance to Phytophthora infestans, otherwise known as late blight…

Comparing New Nitrogen Alternatives

Nitrogen use efficiency is a topic that is an intersection of food security, environmental sustainability and economics in our agricultural production systems. We need to use nitrogen to produce a good harvest. So says Dr. Guillermo Hernandez Ramirez, the study’s lead investigator and an assistant professor in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. “However, by using nitrogen fertilizer we also have the risk of losing some of that…

10th World Potato Congress

The 10th World Potato Congress goes May 27-31 in Cusco, Peru, the first time the Congress will be held in South America. The 10th World Potato Congress (WPC) and the XXVIII Latin American Potato Association (ALAP) Congress is the industry’s most important scientific event worldwide. It is an excellent showcase to promote the sustainable use of potato biodiversity (with a focus on native varieties), including how to differentiate it on the market…

Top Grade

It’s been five years since Austin Roberts and his wife Ramona joined forces with other P.E.I. potato farmers to successfully improve their industry for the better. In 2013, Austin (Kinkora Holdings) partnered with Marvyn Webster (Valley Grove Enterprises) and Andrew Lawless (Hilltop Produce) to built a pre-processing potato wash facility. “We felt that P.E.I. farmers as a group needed a safe and environmental option to clean and optimize product in a high-capacity…

Wild potatoes from Germany breed stronger, more disease resistant potatoes

Wild potatoes acquired from a gene bank in Germany six years ago are producing promising results for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers trying to develop superior Canadian varieties with resistance to some of the most problematic potato diseases. Stronger potato varieties will increase yields for Canadian growers, which translates into higher profits. Dr. Benoit Bizimungu, head of potato breeding at the Fredericton Research and Development Centre, said a number of hybrids bred…

First large-scale French Fries production plant in Russia inaugurated

A new potato processing plant was officially opened in Lipetsk, Russia, in late April. This first Russian large-scale French fries production facility was built through a joint venture of the Russian Belaya Dacha Group and Lamb Weston/Meijer. The construction of the plant was subsidized by the Russian State Program for Agriculture Development. According to Ivan Lebedev, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the facility is another step…

Potato Expo Innovation Hub 2019 Open And Accepting Submissions

Following a highly successful launch at the Potato Expo 2018, the Potato Expo Innovation Hub is now open and accepting abstract submissions for the Potato Expo 2019, the largest convention and trade show for the potato industry drawing more than 2,000 attendees and over 180 exhibiting companies. Potato Expo takes place January 9-10, 2019 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Located on the Trade Show floor, the Potato Expo Innovation Hub will…

Potato seed calculation

A pertinent subject for the season is calculating planting rates. Andy Robinson, extension agronomist and assistant professor in potato production at North Dakota State University, has developed a table that can help growers calculate the amount of potato seed needed to plant at different row widths, within-row spacing and seed piece size. READ MORE  

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