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Browsing articles by Janet Kanters

Malta potato industry in decline

Over a decade, Malta potato exports fell from 7,200 tonnes in the 2004 crop to just 3,100 tonnes in 2014, a massive 56 per cent drop. This relentless decline of potato cultivation in Malta was documented in an overview of the agricultural sector in the national 2018-2028 policy that described export levels falling “drastically” in 2015 and 2016 due to the shortage of rainfall. Even the area dedicated for the cultivation of…

From our Desk

Soil Health Research Ongoing

Another crop year is upon us, and once again, potato producers are busy preparing. Pre-planting tasks abound – repairing and updating equipment, prepping the soil, checking and preparing seed, scheduling help. I’m not a potato grower, so I know I am missing myriad steps producers take. But one thing I do know – ensuring the health of your soil is paramount to healthy production and good yields. Some new research is underway…

Colorado Potato Beetle Marches On

The most destructive potato crop pest in Canada, the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), shows no sign of slowing down. Indeed, since the 1950s, Colorado potato beetle has developed resistance to 52 different compounds belonging to all major insecticide classes, and resistance is growing to neonicotinoid chemistries. According to Dr. Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, vice president research and quality with Peak of the Market in Winnipeg, Man., there is an ongoing increase in the…

Start with Healthy Potato Seed

Healthy potato seed is the cornerstone of potato production. Indeed, healthy seed helps to ensure a healthy yield. Join the free one-hour Spud Smart webinar — Start with Healthy Potato Seed — on Thursday, March 29. In this free webinar, participants will learn about: The importance of healthy seed How adverse storage conditions affect seed stock Proper seed handling tips How to find that perfect seed stock Presenters: Steven B. Johnson, Ph.D.,…

Potato Growers of Quebec AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Potato Growers of Quebec (Les Producteurs de pommes de terre du Québec) will be held at the Lévis Convention and Exhibition Center at 5750, rue J.-B.-Michaud, Lévis, on March 29, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.pptq.ca/nouveautes.htm, or email info@pptq.ca. Agenda (French language)  

Innovation Expands Opportunity with P.E.I. Potato Producer

Federal support is allowing Thompson Potato Company Inc. to increase its processing capacity and extend the packing season, creating longer term employment for staff while supporting local potato growers. A repayable contribution of $350,000, provided through Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Business Development Program will help the company build a new state-of-the-art ventilated storage expansion onto its facility in Victoria, P.E.I., and install optical sorting equipment. “The storage upgrades and new optical…

U.S. student wins prize for blight solution

New York student Benjamin “Benjy” Firester has won one of the United States’ top young science prizes for his research on the devastating microorganism which caused the Irish Potato Famine, devising a computer model that could prevent it causing billions of dollars in lost crops every year. The 18-year-old senior at Hunter College High School beat 1,800 students in the race to the $250,000 first prize at the Regeneron Science Talent Search,…

Picking away at the problem of common scab on potatoes

Dr. Claudia Goyer, a molecular bacteriologist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Fredericton Research and Development Centre in New Brunswick, says she is seeing promising results that may help potato growers get more of their products into the global marketplace. Common scab is a potato disease caused by bacteria in the soil and while it is not a health issue for humans, common scab’s crusty lesions on potato skin can make potatoes unmarketable. …

2018 Northeast Potato Technology Forum

The 2018 Northeast Potato Technology Forum will be held March 21-22, 2018, at the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook Hotel in downtown Fredericton, N.B. This annual event 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 public researchers, extension specialists, growers, and other potato…

Potato Production and Climate Change

Potato is the most important non-grain crop in the world. So, understanding the potential impacts of climate change on potato production is critical, especially for producers. Throughout its long history, Earth has warmed and cooled time and again. Climate has changed when the planet received more or less sunlight due to subtle shifts in its orbit, as the atmosphere or surface changed, or when the Sun’s energy varied. But in the past…

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