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In this issue, learn about a new strain of Alfalfa Mosaic Virus that causes necrosis in tubers. You’ll also read about UAVs and how these ‘eyes in the sky’ are about to fundamentally change how potato farmers see, interact with and manage their crops. And, read all about how two wireworm experts have developed innovative traps that target the adult stage of wireworms, called click beetles.


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GrowCanada 2016: Up to the Challenge

The GrowCanada conference goes December 6-8, 2016 in Ottawa. The GrowCanada conference is Canada’s premier agricultural event, providing a platform to connect with industry leaders from across the country, explore cutting edge insight and build a stronger and more vibrant Canadian agricultural sector that ultimately contributes to a better world. More information, registration.  


Secondary Nutrients are Critically Important

Potato growers spend appreciable time and effort carefully managing their fields’ nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels. Successful producers don’t stop there, however. They understand that secondary nutrients like magnesium, sulfur and calcium – though required in smaller amounts than nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – are equally essential to plant growth. As per Leibig’s Law of the Minimum, whichever nutrient is least available to plants will prove the limiting factor on crop growth….


Canadian potato production in 2016

Statistics Canada has released their most recent Canadian potato production statistics. Overall, potato production in Canada was up over 2015. Specifically: Potato production was 105.2 million hundredweight (4.7 million tonnes) in 2016, up 0.5% from 2015. Production in British Columbia increased 41.8% to 315.0 hundredweight per acre. Ontario, which experienced extreme summer heat and drought, saw production and yield fall 17.2% compared with a year earlier. Harvested area edged down 0.2% from 2015. In 2016, Prince Edward Island represented 24.5% of total potato production and Manitoba 21.3%….


PMRA proposes phase-out of imidacloprid use

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is proposing to phase-out all the agricultural and a majority of other outdoor uses of imidacloprid over three to five years. Imidacloprid (Admire) is a neonicotinoid insecticide used by commercial applicators and growers to manage insects on a large number of agricultural crops, including potatoes in which it provides extended control of Colorado potato beetle, aphids, potato leafhopper and potato flea beetle. Health Canada recently…

Potatoes moving along a conveyor belt on their way to the storage building on Stan Wiebe's potato farm near MacGregor, Man.
Photo: Stan Wiebe

Manitoba breaks spud harvest record for second year

It’s not the great potato famine but the great spud glut. A bountiful potato harvest in Manitoba this year smashed yield records for the second consecutive year. Now, potato growers have to figure out what to do with their mountains of taters. Read more from the Winnipeg Free Press.    


Optimal Tuber Cooling a Key Step Towards Successful Pile Management

Harvest is complete, your crop is in storage and the November skies are threatening snow. As fall turns into winter, your tubers’ respiration is slowing as they prepare for dormancy. Once your potato crop is dry, suberization is complete, and – in the case of processing varieties – colour is achieved, turn your attention to cooling your tubers to an optimal storage temperature so your crop holds its value through the months…


Traceability Should be a Priority for Every Producer

Across every sector and at every level of the agriculture industry, countless conversations are occurring these days about traceability. Now that technologies exist that can track origin, movement history and current locations of product – be it milk, livestock, or in this case, potatoes – traceability is becoming a huge priority for product producers, retailers and consumers alike. It is now possible to trace food products from the field to the consumer…


Shortage of Canadians Working in Agriculture to Double by 2025

The gap between labour demand and the domestic workforce in agriculture has doubled from 30,000 to 59,000 in the past 10 years and projections indicate that by 2025, the Canadian agri-workforce could be short workers for 114,000 jobs. This is a key finding of newly released Agriculture 2025: How the Sector’s Labour Challenges Will Shape its Future research by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC). The LMI research also revealed that…

Twister, from Agrico, is a good variety for organic growers because it is resistant to common scab, viruses and late blight.
Photo: Eugenia Banks

Potato Days in The Netherlands

Potato Days is held the second week of November every year in The Netherlands. At this event, Dutch potato breeding companies showcase their varieties and clones for the table and processing markets. The three-day event attracts hundreds of potato growers and industry personnel from all over the world. Most companies have their offices near the city of Emmeloord, which makes visiting the different breeding companies easy. HZPC, a world leader in potato…


It’s all gravy for P.E.I. potato industry

The Prince Edward Island potato board says the high price for potatoes will put millions of extra dollars into the provincial economy this winter. Prices were a big topic of conversation when growers met in Charlottetown for the board’s annual meeting Nov. 18. But prices vary depending on which varieties are grown. “Prices are up considerable,” said potato farmer Alex Docherty, who is also the board president. “A penny a pound brings…

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