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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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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…

Feds Invest in New Robotic Technology for Quebec Potato Processing

Patates Dolbec’s potato packaging facility in Saint-Ubalde, Que., yesterday received a federal government investment of $4.5 million to offset its recent expansion and modernization project. The money is earmarked for the purchase and installation of new robotic equipment that will sort, grade and pack more fresh potatoes in less time, enabling the company to improve their product quality, lower operational costs and develop new markets in the United States. Canada’s food processing…

The Next Level of Weed Control

As anyone in the ag sector well knows, new technologies are quickly revolutionizing farming, automating processes in major ways to make them more efficient, less costly and more environmentally-friendly. Weed control is one of those processes. Several companies and academic groups around the world have developed systems that enable more precise herbicide application through taking large numbers of images of a field using cameras on drones. The images are then amalgamated together…

Automated Potato Packaging Solution Lowers Operating Costs

Paxiom has recently improved their WeighPack Systems PrimoCombi multi-head weigher. The new and improved system means operators have less to learn, technicians simplify troubleshooting, managers enjoy more uptime, and executives benefit from lower operating costs. The scale, highly conducive to food industry packaging, is constructed entirely in food grade 304 stainless steel and an open frame design leaves no small crevices for bacteria to hide. The PrimoCombi, available in various weigh-bucket configurations,…

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