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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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New Brunswick potato farmers named Atlantic’s 2018 Outstanding Young Farmers

Atlantic hospitality and camaraderie were on full display in Truro, N.S. on April 12-14 as fifth generation potato farmers, Robert Anderson and Jill Ebbett of East Glassville, N.B. have been named Atlantic’s Outstanding Young Farmers. Robert assumed management responsibilities of the farm in 2000 after returning from a year at college. The farm is known for its high quality Elite Seed Potatoes by customers internationally, and for its outstanding soybean and grain…

Europatat 2018 Congress

Europatat is the European Potato Trade Association. It gathers national associations and companies involved in the trade of seed potatoes and ware potatoes from all over Europe. Initially set up in 1952 by national associations to protect the interests of the wholesale potato merchants, its membership now counts over 30 associations and companies. In order to create a meeting for all potato professionals on the edge of a new potato season, Europatat…

NSERC funds UPEI research into potato input technologies

The development of new technologies and systems for the application of potato production inputs has received a funding boost at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). The National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has awarded Dr. Aitazaz Farooque, an assistant professor at UPEI’s School of Sustainable Design Engineering a Discovery Grant and Discovery Accelerator Supplement. Farooque’s research — Development of Precision Agriculture Technologies to Improve Crop Productivity and…

Peru Prepares to Host World Potato Congress

More than 800 delegates are expected to attend the 10th World Potato Congress (WPC) May 27 to 31 in Cusco, the historic city in southwestern Peru that was once capital of the Inca Empire. The event, which will showcase the origins of the potato in the South America’s Andean region, is being held in Latin America for the first time. “I think it will be such a unique and different experience for…

Searching for the occasional market for excess potatoes

Organizations representing potato farmers in Belgium and France, ABS (Algemeen Boerensyndicaat, Flanders), FWA (Walloon Federation of Agriculture) and UNPT (National Union of Potato Producers, France), jointly started Interreg project GEPOS to look for alternative destinations for potatoes in Belgium and the North of France in seasons marked by large surpluses. The Problem Demand for potatoes for processing in Belgium and France increases each year. As a result, acreage dedicated to potato cultivation…

Potato blight trends in Europe

Late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans, remains the major threat to potato crops in Europe, and a main reason for pesticide use. EuroBlight is a European network of scientists and other specialists working on potato early and late blight. The EuroBlight project is examining the ongoing evolution of the potato late blight pathogen (Phytophthora infestans). In 2017, almost 1500 samples from 16 countries in Europe were genotyped. The results indicate that new…

CPMA Convention and Trade Show

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) is hosting its annual convention and trade show April 24-26 in Vancouver. The conference, with the theme “Live Healthy Eat Fresh,” is CPMA’s keystone event and Canada’s largest event dedicated to the fruit and vegetable industry, with a unique forum for industry leaders to enhance their business opportunities in Canada through an exceptional combination of education and networking opportunities. More information  

Potatoes and Good Health Go Hand-In-Hand

Do potatoes belong in a healthy diet? Following a decades-long tide of negative buzz about the potato’s role in weight gain, diabetes and a host of other ills, this is the question the potato industry would like to answer once and for all with a resounding “yes!” Thanks to a recent initiative focused on potatoes and health, the industry is a big step closer to that goal, according to John Bareman, chair…

Which came first: humans or the sweet potato?

Sweet potatoes were domesticated thousands of years ago in the Americas. So 18th century European explorers were surprised to find Polynesians had been growing the crop for centuries. Anthropologists have since hypothesized that Polynesian seafarers had brought the tuber back from expeditions to South America — a journey of over 7,500 kilometers. New genetic evidence instead suggests that wild precursors to sweet potatoes reached Polynesia at least 100,000 years ago — long…

Registration granted for a potato seed treatment to help manage pink rot

Syngenta Canada Inc. announces the registration of Revus fungicide as a potato seed treatment for the suppression of pink rot and control of seed-borne late blight in potatoes. Pink rot is a soil-borne disease caused by the pathogen Phytophthora erythroseptica that thrives in wet, poorly drained soils. Infection typically takes place pre-harvest, as the pathogen enters tubers through the stem end and lenticels. Tubers infected with pink rot will often decay during harvest and…

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