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In this issue, hear what growers and agronomists have to say about the benefits of tighter row spacings in potato production.You’ll also get an update on potato psyllids and  zebra chip disease, and learn how Ontario’s Valley Growers has come up with a fresh take on french fries that’s winning awards.

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Former NHL star and motivational speaker Ryan Walter (right) shares his Stanley Cup ring with Matt Hemphill, executive director of Potatoes New Brunswick, at the New Brunswick Potato Conference and Trade Show on Feb. 4.

Big Crowd for New Brunswick Potato Show

This year’s New Brunswick Potato Conference and Trade Show, held Feb. 4 at the E. & P. Senechal Centre in Grand Falls, N.B., is being hailed as a great success by organizers. Matt Hemphill, executive director of Potatoes New Brunswick, told Spud Smart as the conference was wrapping up that it was the largest attendance he’d seen in recent years. “We’ve seen almost 300 people go through the door, and you always…

Dmytro Yevtushenko. Photo: University of Lethbridge.

New Research Chair in Potato Science at U of L

Funded by a consortium of association and industry partners, the University of Lethbridge has appointed Dmytro Yevtushenko as Research Chair in Potato Science. The local potato industry is poised to benefit from Yevtushenko’s experience as a plant biologist and from his expertise in potatoes, a plant he has studied for more than 25 years. “This is a dream job, tailored for me,” says Yevtushenko, who assumed the position on Jan. 4. “Thanks…

Potato Effluent Turned into Fertilizer

Scientists in China have developed a way of making fertilizer from waste water discharged by potato processing plants, solving a pollution problem which has held back China’s potato ambitions. China sees potatoes as a new staple food to ensure food security, but protein-rich water discharged by starch processors, a major buyer of the spuds, has been blamed for polluting rivers and lakes. “For years, there has been no technical solution to this…

A trial field of blight-resistant GM potato in Rangpur, Bangladesh. Photo: Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute.

Bangladesh Develops Blight Resistant GM Potato

Bangladeshi scientists have successfully field-tested a genetically modified potato resistant to late blight. After the last trial is over in February, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) will approach regulators for approval of the RB (blight resistant) gene-infused potato. BARI officials are calling the GM potato the farmers’ answer to late blight once it’s released. With an annual output of nine million tonnes, Bangladesh is the seventh largest potato-producing nation in the world. Its…

New Fungicide for Late Blight

Syngenta Canada Inc. has announced the launch of Orondis Ultra, a new fungicide for the control of oomycete diseases such as late blight caused by downy mildews and Phytophthora species in potatoes and vegetables. Orondis Ultra is a combination of the newly registered active ingredient, oxathiapiprolin, which belongs to the piperidinyl-thiazole-isoxazolines (Group U15) class of fungicides, and mandipropamid (Group 40), a leading active ingredient in the marketplace. In field trials, oxathiapiprolin has demonstrated excellent preventative…

© Kevin Abosch.

Potato Photo Sells for US$1 Million

Photographer Kevin Abosch recently sold a photograph of a potato for 1 million euros, equivalent to just over US$1 million. The photograph, titled “Potato #345,” was taken in 2010 as part of a series, according to media reports. It’s a portrait of an Irish potato on top of a black background, a distinguished trademark of Abosch’s that is exceedingly sought after by his wealthy, and often well-known, admirers. The 46-year-old artist generally commissions…

The trade show floor at Manitoba Potato Production Days, held Jan. 26 to 28 at Keystone Centre in Brandon, Man.

2016 Manitoba Potato Production Days

Manitoba Potato Production Days, the annual conference and trade show dedicated to Manitoba’s potato industry, wrapped up Jan. 28 after a successful three-day run. “In think Manitoba Potato Production Days went very well this year,” said Dan Sawatzky, general manager of Manitoba’s Keystone Potato Producers Association. “We’re quite pleased with how it’s turned out.” Sawatzky noted that the trade show display area within the Keystone Centre, the site of MPPD, was bigger…

Innate late blight resistance demonstrated at Michigan State University, 2013. Photo: J.R. Simplot Company.

Second Generation Innate Potatoes Receive Safety Clearance

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has completed its food and feed safety assessment of the J.R. Simplot Company’s second generation of Innate potatoes. The FDA concluded that these Russet Burbank Generation 2 potatoes are not materially different in composition, safety, and other relevant parameters, from any other potato or potato-derived food or feed currently on the market. Simplot will still need to complete its registration with the Environmental Protection Agency for these…

Group of native potatoes harvested by a family of farmers in Peru. Photo: A. Balaguer, CIP.

Native Potatoes Identified in Peru

A team of researchers from Peru’s National Institute of Agricultural Innovation has identified 130 varieties of native potato, according to news reports. The research project is part of the country’s effort to catalogue the different types of potato and its classifications. The data collected will be added to the National Registry of the Native Potato of Peru, and is part of a plan by the South American nation to develop new potato…

TOMRA Combines Brands

Optical food sorting system manufacturer TOMRA Sorting Food has reached an important milestone in its history. TOMRA is retiring its BEST Sorting and ODENBERG legacy brands as of this year, and the company will progress as a single, unified brand under TOMRA Sorting Food. TOMRA Sorting Food is part of TOMRA Sorting Solutions, a global market leader with more than 5,000 of its sensor-based sorting systems installed at food growers, packers and…

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