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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…

Potatoes CAN Grow on Mars

The International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru has successfully grown potatoes in a hermetically-sealed orbital environment that simulates conditions on Mars, indicating that it is possible to repeat the events of the 2015 film The Martian. The Phase Two effort of CIP’s proof of concept experiment to grow potatoes in simulated Martian conditions began on Feb. 14, 2016 when a tuber was planted in a specially constructed CubeSat contained environment built by…

From our Desk

Imidacloprid Uncertainty

UPDATE:  The consultation period has been extended. Interested parties are encouraged to provide comments and suggestions by 23 March 2017. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you have probably heard by now that Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is proposing to phase out all agricultural uses of imidacloprid over three to five years. The proposed phase out comes as a result of a re-evaluation of imidacloprid by the PMRA,…

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,…

New Brunswick gov’t supports expansion at Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co.

The New Brunswick and federal governments have announced a contribution of $867,000 to help the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co. with an 836-square metre (9,000-square foot) expansion. This will allow the company to improve efficiency, optimize operating space and increase production. “Investing in this expansion will help deliver on our number one priority of job creation,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet in a news release. “Covered Bridge has shown…

“Uglies” – potato chips from waste potatoes

Pennsylvania-based potato chip maker Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips, has launched a new variety of chip: Uglies. The company introduced the new chips at the 101st Pennsylvania Farm Show, which was held Jan. 7-14 in Harrisburg. According to the company, the goal of the new brand of chips is to help reduce food waste, and save everyone money. “This new brand is using potatoes that farmers would likely be throwing away due to minor…

Oz farmer serves up potato ice cream

Forget mashed, baked or fried — potato ice cream is just one of the recipes whipped up from the country kitchen of Australian spud growers Phil and Val Murphy. For more than a century, the rolling plains of rich, red earth in the heart of Gippsland, Victoria, have been prime spud-growing territory. Tons of potatoes are trucked out during harvest time from January to June and served up to shops and supermarkets…

Canadian potato production in 2016

Statistics Canada has released their most recent Canadian potato production statistics. Overall, potato production in Canada was up over 2015. Specifically: Potato production was 105.2 million hundredweight (4.7 million tonnes) in 2016, up 0.5% from 2015. Production in British Columbia increased 41.8% to 315.0 hundredweight per acre. Ontario, which experienced extreme summer heat and drought, saw production and yield fall 17.2% compared with a year earlier. Harvested area edged down 0.2% from 2015. In 2016, Prince Edward Island represented 24.5% of total potato production and Manitoba 21.3%….

PMRA proposes phase-out of imidacloprid use

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is proposing to phase-out all the agricultural and a majority of other outdoor uses of imidacloprid over three to five years. Imidacloprid (Admire) is a neonicotinoid insecticide used by commercial applicators and growers to manage insects on a large number of agricultural crops, including potatoes in which it provides extended control of Colorado potato beetle, aphids, potato leafhopper and potato flea beetle. Health Canada recently…

From our Desk

Learning From Experience

Weather has always been in the forefront of human consciousness – man is aware of the surrounding climate almost every minute of every day. When we get up, we look outside to “see what it’s doing” weather-wise. We check weather reports at breakfast so we know what to wear when we step outside the door. We study long-term forecasts to find out what the weather will be like for the week. Whether…

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