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Our Winter 2017 issue features several research-related stories on potato agronomy and breeding, including a story on how researchers are developing new markers for much more efficient selection of PVY-immune potato lines. Also, read about how climate change may change potato production in Canada. And, experts weigh in on best management practices to combat soil-borne pests and diseases.

 

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Canadian potato storage holdings down

TOTAL POTATO storage holdings in Canada were down eight per cent on Feb. 1 from a year previously, according to the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). Storage holdings were down in every province except for British Columbia, where holdings were up substantially at 24 per cent. Kevin MacIsaac, UPGC general manager, says an exceptional 2016 crop in B.C. meant more potatoes than usual were put in storage following harvest. Of those…

Potatoes USA Elects New Leadership

The Potatoes USA grower membership elected new leadership during its Annual Meeting held in Denver, CO, March 13-16. The Potatoes USA Executive Committee is comprised by the Chair, Immediate Past Chair, and the Co-Chairs of each committee. They will serve a one year term through Potatoes USA Annual Meeting to be held in March 2018. The marketing committees will work over the next 12 months to guide how the Potatoes USA staff…

Texas: Neonicotinoid insecticides losing efficiency in potato psyllid control

The Texas potato industry may be losing a mainstay in the battle against psyllids, according to a recent Texas A&M AgriLife Research study. Dr. Ada Szczepaniec, AgriLife Research entomologist in Amarillo, said while there may be varying degrees of resistance to neonicotinoid insecticides in populations of psyllids across Texas, her recent study indicates they’ve lost their punch. “We are able to provide strong evidence that these insecticides no longer suppress populations of…

Mesh Keeps Pests Off Potatoes: NZ research

In New Zealand, a team of Lincoln University researchers is impressed with the results from a trial of a mesh cover that is used to protect potato crops from insect pests. The effectiveness of the mesh at protecting potatoes from the tomato-potato psyllid (TPP) was tested in a trial at the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) field site at Lincoln. Future Farming Centre head Dr. Charles Merfield said the mesh was “incredibly…

2017 Wireworm Research & Extension Seminar

The 2017 Wireworm Research & Extension Seminar is being held on March 28, 2017, at Red Shores Racetrack in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The seminar will feature presentations by researchers conducting wireworm/click beetle research both locally and nationally. Agenda Information and registration  

Understanding the Potato’s Appeal

A graph of table potato consumption per capita in Canada over the past 20 years plainly illustrates a stark reality: the average Canadian today consumes just 22.2 kilograms of fresh potatoes per year, barely more than half the 42.7 kilograms an average Canadian consumed two decades ago. The decline in per capita consumption is a serious and ongoing concern, and a priority for the potato industry to continue working to mitigate. That…

New Potato Nutrition Facts Label in the United States

Potatoes USA has developed an updated new Nutrition Facts Label for fresh potatoes to meet updated FDA guidance. A new label was released in the fall to meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revisions to the requirements for Nutrition Facts Labels. Since that new label was released, more guidance and changes have been provided by FDA prompting the updated version. The FDA has made adjustments to their Recommended Daily Value of…

Expanding Markets for Canadian Potatoes

The federal government is providing more than $274,000 to help expand markets for Canadian potatoes. This project, funded under the Growing Forward 2, AgriMarketing Program, provides the Canadian Horticultural Council with up to $274,714 to help grow foreign and domestic markets for Canadian potatoes, through trade shows, targeted advertising, incoming missions, market research and development, and product promotion. According to a news release, the investment is part of the federal government’s plan…

Field and Storage Mapping on the Vander Zaag Farm

Ontario potato farmers Kate and Peter Vander Zaag were among the first to adopt potato yield monitoring and, more recently, field-to-storage load tracking and mapping. Tech-savvy producers who prioritize quality, the Vander Zaags believe capturing quality information is key to growing better potatoes. I sat down with Kate to hear her perspective. Bill: What made you first consider yield monitoring? Kate: When we started seeing yield maps for grain, we thought immediately…

2017 Northeast Potato Technology Forum

The 24th Annual 2017 Northeast Potato Technology Fourm is being held March 15-16, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook Hotel in downtown Fredericton. The Northeast Potato Technology Forum is an annual event that provides potato researchers, extension specialists and industry representatives from Atlantic Canada and Northeastern United States an opportunity to discuss potato research and exchange technical information of benefit to the potato industry. Participation is open to all private and…

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