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Our spring 2017 issue features several stories related to the planting season, including the importance of soil health, the ins and outs of water management, and introducing Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s 2017 new releases. Also, read the latest on how a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement could impact Canadian potato growers. All this and more in the spring 2017 issue of Spud Smart.


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Companion planting offers hope for wireworm control

Wireworm is persona non grata in many Canadian potato-growing areas, particularly in P.E.I., Alberta and B.C., where the pest causes millions of dollars of damage each year. “P.E.I. is a good example of where a wireworm problem is out of hand,” says Bob Vernon, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). “There’s a new species that’s come in from Europe that is now causing most of the damage: Agriotes sputator….

Seed potatoes go to waste due to trade restrictions

The repercussions of the tomato potato psyllid outbreak are taking shape in Western Australia (WA), with seed potato growers starting to feed hundreds of tonnes of perfectly good produce to their cattle. With exports of WA potatoes and tomatoes still ground to a halt, and a fully supplied local market, seed potato producers have no home for their produce. It has forced many growers, such as Albany’s Trevor Barker, to dump their…

New Specialty Potatoes Offer Choice

It’s a great time to be a potato lover in Canada. Together, 2016 and 2017 mark banner years for new variety introductions. While it’s too early to fully report on Canadian consumer response for these groundbreaking spuds, we can give you preliminary news on the browning-resistant Innate, the low glycemic index Carisma, the flavourful Rooster (currently the most popular potato in the U.K.), as well as new coloured varieties released by Agriculture…

Canadian young leaders chosen for Youth Ag-Summit

Bayer, together with partners Groene Kring (GK) and Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs (FJA), is pleased to announce that 100 bright young minds have been selected to participate in the third global Youth Ag-Summit, which will take place in Brussels, Belgium from Oct. 9-13, 2017. This year’s Summit is themed “Feeding a Hungry Planet,” and aims to address the UN Sustainability Goals of ending hunger, achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture. Four…

Potato Late Blight Management

Potato late blight is a devastating disease of potatoes. It can destroy a potato field in a few days if wet weather prevails and no effective fungicides are applied. This is a “community disease” because late blight spores are spread by wind from infected to healthy fields. Thus, the management practices followed by individual growers will affect an entire potato production area. Late blight is carried over from one season to the…

Webinar: Potatoes and water management

Register for Spud Smart’s webinar: Potatoes and Water Management, Thursday, May 18, 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT. Learn why water is the single most limiting factor in potato production Hear about ways to deal with a shortage or excess of Mother Nature’s most precious commodity Learn about new water management techniques Learn more and register  

Potatoes May be NAFTA Target

The National Potato Council (NPC) is calling for action in any upcoming NAFTA renegotiations. In a letter to President Donald Trump, John Keeling, the NPC’s CEO, said the group “is strongly supportive of improving the conditions for trade that we confront with Canada and Mexico.” Keeling also noted that the two countries represent important markets for U.S. producers. Canada is the second-largest export market with annual sales of $315 million — 17.8…

Washington Potato Producers To Vote On Marketing Order

Washington potato producers will vote from June 9-23, 2017, on whether to continue the federal marketing order regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Washington. Producers who have produced potatoes in Washington from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, are eligible to vote. A continuance referendum is required every six years. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) would consider termination of the order if less than two-thirds of the…

Northwest Potato Research Consortium awards grants

The Northwest Potato Research Consortium recently approved a combined $1.5 million in grant funding to 37 research projects. The consortium, formed in 2012, is funded with $650,000 each from the Idaho and Washington potato commissions and $200,000 from the Oregon Potato Commission to support regional potato research. Potato breeding program The consortium awarded $362,000 toward the cooperative potato breeding program — slightly less than last year because University of Idaho storage researcher…

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