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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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Australian OGTR Approves Field Trial of GM Potato

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) in Australia has issued a license to the Queensland University of Technology, allowing the limited and controlled release (field trial) of potato genetically modified (GM) for disease resistance. The field trial (License Application DIR 150) is authorized to take place at one site of up to 0.1 hectare in Redland City, Queensland, for a period of two years. It will assess the agronomic characteristics…

2017 Ontario Potato Conference & Trade Show

The 2017 Ontario Potato Conference & Trade Show will be held at the Delta Hotel in Guelph on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The speakers will provide the latest information on seed health, disease management, insect management, soil improvement, storage audits and pesticide re-evaluations. The deadline for early registration at $50 is Friday, Feb. 24. The on-site registration fee at the Delta Conference Center is $75. Agenda Registration  

Red-skinned potato varieties lead selections by breeders

Red-skinned potato varieties made up half of the total selections Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) breeders released to industry during the annual potato selection release open house on Feb. 15. For the first time, the program will unveil a multi-purpose red-skinned selection, showing promise for processing as wedges and as a traditional table potato. In all, 15 selections were displayed this year by the AAFC breeding program for industry representatives in Fredericton,…

Fast-Tracking Extreme Resistance

A key tool in the arsenal for controlling potato virus Y (PVY) is cultivar resistance. Now, researchers are developing better molecular markers for faster, more accurate screening of potato breeding lines for “extreme resistance” to PVY – equivalent to PVY immunity. That will enable breeders to more efficiently develop new varieties with total protection against this serious disease. “PVY is one of the most widespread viruses and also one of the most…

U.S. Exports of Frozen and Fresh Potatoes Grows

U.S. exports of frozen and fresh potatoes continued to grow in December while dehydrated exports were still down but by a lesser degree. The strong dollar continues to be an issue, but tight exportable supplies are also having an impact on future sales. Frozen export volume increased 22 per cent in December and is up six per cent for the first six months of the marketing year. Exports for the month were…

Brazil imposes anti-dumping duty on frozen potatoes

Last week the Brazilian Government decided to impose an anti-dumping duty on frozen potatoes imported from Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Brazil is an important export market for potato processors in Western Europe, so this duty can have significant economic impact for the processors. The issue is playing ever since the Brazilian government started an anti-dumping investigation on the import of frozen potato products from these countries in 2015. The anti-dumping…

Potato pest worries farmers in Australia

Potato producers in southwest Western Australia say the detection of the tomato potato psyllid is a “serious blow” to their industry. The psyllid is known to attack a range of plants in the Solanaceae family, including potato and also sweet potato. It is the first time the pest has been detected in Australia. It has so far been detected in tomatoes and eggplants in Perth, in tomatoes at two properties in Mount…

Potato Post-harvest Management Workshop Series

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF), in partnership with the Potato Growers of Alberta, is holding a potato post-harvest management workshop at three sites in March. “Crop and financial losses of stored potatoes has a significant impact on the profitability of fresh and seed potato growers in Alberta,” says Robert Spencer, commercial horticulture specialist, AF. “Participants will learn about potato storage design and management, as well as pre-harvest, post-harvest, in-storage and post-storage disease…

Market News

AFTER TWO years of record-breaking yields for potato production in Canada, 2016 saw another bumper crop. While production was down substantially in Central Canada, other parts of the country produced an excellent crop, resulting in an estimated national yield of 307.2 hundredweight of potatoes per acre. That’s up 0.7 per cent from 2015’s yield of 305.1 hundredweight. While it’s been a third straight record-setting year for potato yields in Canada, it certainly…

Idaho potato industry makes progress against diseases

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — The head of Idaho’s potato seed certification program says growers appear to have made progress in controlling bacterial ring rot challenges, and their potato virus Y infection rates seem to have flattened. Alan Westra, area manager of the Idaho Crop Improvement Association, based his observations on early numbers from ongoing seed certification testing. In 2014 — following a ring rot flare-up — Idaho implemented rules governing the devastating…

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