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In this issue, learn how companion planting offers hope for wireworm control, and why keeping any eye on harvest and storage handling are key to a successful crop. You’ll also read about how finding the right help at planting and harvest can be a challenge. And, there’s a new way to combat soil erosion – nurse crops.

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Accelerated Release Offers a Variety of Options

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) accelerated release program is a bit like the Olympics of potato variety development. And just like the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, also happening this month, only the very best will make it to the podium. Out of approximately 100,000 initial AAFC potato seedlings grown in the field six years ago, 15 are being released for industry evaluation this year, and it could take up to three…

Alberta: Potato Pest Management Workshop

There are a number of pests that regularly affect or threaten potato crops in Alberta. Learn about a range of disease and insect pests that threaten the Alberta potato industry during a one-day workshop on March 6 or 8, 2018, at Festival Place (Sherwood Park) or the Coast Lethbridge Hotel (Lethbridge). At the workshop, you’ll learn about pest identification, factors that affect pest incidence and severity, as well as pest management using…

Fall potato production estimate steady

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Statistics Canada estimate that North American potato growers produced 506 million cwt. in fall 2017. That amount would be a decrease of 1% from 2016, according to the report issued by the organizations Feb. 12. The dip is consistent with the expectation conveyed in the December report on North American potato production. Canadian growers harvested 106 million cwt., up slightly from the previous year. U.S. production…

Eco-friendly Alternative to MDF Made from Potato Peelings

Two Kingston University (London, England) graduates have created an environmentally friendly, sustainable and biodegradable alternative to MDF, produced from potato peelings. Graphic design graduates Rob Nicol and Rowan Minkley are the team behind Chip[s] Board – a potato-based product turning food waste material from restaurants into a robust ready-to-use chipboard-like sheet. The environmentally friendly product is strong enough to construct temporary structures designed to last more than a month. Five kilograms of…

Potato weed control goes digital

Some new high tech tools will soon give farmers a way to keep weeds down, cut costs and herbicide use dramatically and work around weed resistance to herbicides. In collaboration with a University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) engineer, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) weed specialist Andrew McKenzie-Gopsill is turning to sensors, cameras and computer algorithms to detect the exact location of weeds in a field. The digital technology will create a…

Building Momentum for Canadian Potatoes in International Markets

As domestic potato consumption slows but production continues to grow, finding lucrative export markets for Canada’s fresh, frozen and seed potatoes is a vital and increasing priority. The vast majority of Canada’s potato exports – approximately 91 per cent of our fresh potato exports and 84 per cent of our seed potato exports in 2015/2016 – travel south to U.S. customers. To date, bilateral trade agreements are keeping this trade route smooth….

TOMRA Food Launches Farm-to-Fork Pan-Industry Working Groups

TOMRA Food is forming cross-industry working groups to accelerate development of digital standards for the food industry, with the first meetings to be held in Q4, 2018. “Thousands of TOMRA Food sorters around the world are generating valuable data that has the power to optimize every part of the food supply chain,” says Mike Riley, head of TOMRA Food. “This is in addition to data from millions of other devices and applications…

Agrico presents ‘the next generation of potatoes’ at Fruit Logistica in Berlin

Emmeloord, 9 February 2018 – Agrico was exhibiting at Fruit Logistica in Berlin from Wednesday 7 to Friday 9 February 2018. During this leading international trade fair, Agrico, together with its subsidiaries, showed its future orientated growth power. Many years of intensive breeding efforts have resulted in Agrico being the first company to offer a complete package of phytophthora resistant varieties. In addition to their extremely high resistance to late blight (Phytophthora…

Bill Menkveld, Greentronics

3D Bin Mapping: The Future is Now

We’ve all heard it said that knowledge is power. When it comes to storing potatoes, knowledge translates to something equally important: dollars. Advanced harvest tracking and 3D storage mapping technology now allows accurate-to-the-truckload tracing of potatoes from where they were grown in a field to exactly where they are stored in a bin. There are all kinds of reasons why having at-a-click access to your potato pile’s side-map, top-map and every angle…

Is There a Best Way to Manage Nitrogen?

A major project with studies in Manitoba and Alberta has been comparing diverse nitrogen management options to see if there might be a clear winner when it comes to irrigated potato production on the Prairies. The project was prompted by several considerations. “Potato is one of our crops where we apply the most amount of nitrogen. So any study that helps us to fine-tune nitrogen management to optimize yields and quality and…

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