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In this issue, learn how companion planting offers hope for wireworm control, and why keeping any eye on harvest and storage handling are key to a successful crop. You’ll also read about how finding the right help at planting and harvest can be a challenge. And, there’s a new way to combat soil erosion – nurse crops.

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Correctly Used Neonics Do Not Adversely Affect Honeybee Colonies, New Research Finds

The three most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides for flowering crops pose no risk to honeybee colonies when used correctly as seed treatments, according to new studies by University of Guelph researchers. Amid mounting controversy over use of neonicotinoids (neonics) and declining bee population, a new analysis by U of G scientists of previously unpublished studies and reports commissioned by agri-chemical companies Bayer and Syngenta – as well as published papers from the…

U.S. Fall Potato Production 2017 Down Two Per Cent

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimates the United States fall potato potato production for 2017 at 399 million cwt, down two per cent from last year. The area harvested, at 900,600 acres, is down one per cent from the previous year. The average yield forecast, at 443 cwt per acre, is down 4 cwt (-0.9 per cent) from last year’s record high yield. In Idaho, growers reported some flooding and cool…

USDA/NIFA invests in U.S. potato breeding research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support for research to increase the productivity, profitability, and natural resources stewardship of potato production systems. The grants are funded through NIFA’s Potato Research Breeding program. Recipients of the funding include: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, $273,235 University of Maine, Orono, Maine, $388,000 Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, $620,160 Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, $796,800…

Simplot, Iden Biotechnology partner to explore potential nutritional properties of potato

Spanish biotechnology company Iden Biotechnology is partnering with J.R. Simplot Company, potato processor and developer of Innate potatoes, to explore the potential for nutritional enrichment of the potato. As part of the agreement, Iden will identify promising genes for potential use in Simplot’s proprietary Innate biotechnology platform. Iden will use its identification and screening platform for the development of gene traits of agronomic relevance for main crops like corn, wheat or potato…

S-Scan Farms McCain Champion Grower in Alberta

S-Scan Farms of Scandia, Alta. was named the McCain 2016 Crop Year Champion Potato Grower for the McCain Coaldale plant during the annual Growers’ Appreciation Banquet held at the Coast Hotel in Lethbridge. Stan and Stuart Kanagawa accepted the Champion Grower Award for S-Scan Farms. They have been in the top 10 line-up a total of eight times. The growers who qualified for the top 10 roster, in order of final standings,…

Managing Weight Loss in Storage

By now, potatoes in most of the U.S. and parts of Canada have been in storage one to two months. The crop is at or nearing holding temperatures specific to the cultivar and use. Storages are being monitored for disease development, desired temperature, ventilation and humidity. What isn’t as easy to see is the amount of weight loss, or shrinkage, that is occurring in storage. Stored potatoes will lose weight from respiration…

Improving Soil, Improving Potatoes

Innovative growers and an agronomist recently teamed up to look at ways to improve the potato crop and the soil. For three years, Bruce and Hunter Wilson gave agronomist John Lightle the go ahead to try some cover crop combinations on their 6,000 acre farm in the Dufferin Highlands of Ontario. The acres are in a prime potato producing area and the growers wanted to maximize their yield while considering other cropping…

Idaho’s Spud School 2018

Ask The Plant Academy is hosting Spud School 2018: Breaking Potato Quality and Yield Barriers, on January 15-16, in Fort Hall, Idaho. READ MORE  

Company wins appeal in dispute over shipped potatoes

A company involved in shipping seed potatoes from P.E.I. to Venezuela has successfully appealed a court order to pay more than $79,000. In a recent decision, two of three P.E.I. Court of Appeal judges agreed to vacate a summary judgment order for HZPC Americas Corporation to pay Havenlee Farms Inc. of Summerside, P.E.I. READ MORE

U.S. Red River Valley potato quality, harvest good

Minnesota and North Dakota Red River Valley potato producers shipped more than 700,000 hundredweight of potatoes in September and October, a 32 per cent increase over last year’s count, according to the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA). That’s slightly ahead of shipments at that time for the 2015 crop, making this year the largest fresh crop harvest in many years, according to the association. Producers faced a trucking shortage because truckers…

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