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Browsing articles by Janet Kanters

Global Biotechnology Leaders to Unite in Winnipeg

This September, the bioscience world is coming together in Winnipeg with one mission: feeding nine billion people on our current agricultural footprint – through innovation and collaboration. Solutions Start Here, the 2017 ABIC conference, takes place September 25th to 28th at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Man. ABIC, the Agricultural Bioscience International Conference, is the premier global meeting that promotes innovation in bioscience for sustainable food, feed, fibre and fuel security…

Fading rain prospects worry P.E.I. potato farmers

Following a dry June and what is turning into an even drier July, P.E.I. farmers are beginning to get concerned about the impact on the potato crop. “As the days and now weeks start to go by in July we haven’t had any additional rainfall,” said P.E.I. Potato Board general manager Greg Donald. “On top of that [we] have had above normal temperatures, so concern that it’s going to have an impact…

McCain invests in Coaldale, Alta. plant expansion

McCain Foods Limited is expanding its capacity at its plant in Coaldale, Alta. According to a news release, the investment will bring additional production capacity to the french fry manufacturing facility, helping to meet continued strong demand for McCain products in the company’s domestic and international markets. Built in 2000, Coaldale is a key plant within the McCain North American supply network and today employs over 200 workers and draws its supply…

Precision application of nitrogen in potato farming using drones

Researchers at Wageningen University & Research are testing the use of drones to measure nitrogen needs in potato crops. The “Toward precision agriculture 2.0” research program includes a group of potato farmers carrying out test runs with sensor observations by drones. The drone images show exactly where they should apply more or less nitrogen on their fields, allowing farmers to use the product more efficiently. “Dutch potato farmers apply an average of…

National Potato Psyllid Monitoring Program

In 2016, the National Potato Psyllid Monitoring Program placed, picked up and examined 380 sampling cards in southern Alberta, with about 140 in the field. The program also received cards from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. As of mid-June 2017, the program was just beginning to sample for this season, with four sampling cards on stakes at each of 40 sites in Alberta, and other…

Potato Pests Outlook 2017

By all accounts, the potato industry in Canada is a healthy one, and things are certainly looking up for 2017. But to get there, potato growers know they must deal with the inevitable snags that can arise during the growing season. Namely: potato pests, such as insects and diseases. Spud Smart reached out to some experts in the field in late June to determine what risks growers may face. Prince Edward Island…

Developing wireless sensor technologies to fight potato rot in storage facilities

In Idaho, potatoes are both a humble stereotype and a half-billion dollar crop. According to the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, every spring farmers plant more than 320,000 acres of potatoes valued at between $550-$700 million. Yet unbeknownst to most consumers, roughly 30 per cent of the potatoes harvested spoil before they reach a grocery store shelf. Boise State University researchers Harish Subbaraman, David Estrada and Yantian Hou hope to change that. In…

Simplot applies to bring GM potato products into New Zealand

JR Simplot has applied to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) for approval to export genetically modified potato products into Australia and New Zealand. Simplot is not asking to export GM potato tubers, because no tubers of any sort can be exported to Australia or New Zealand. The Soil & Health Association of New Zealand has opposed the application, saying a large number of genetically engineered foods are already on sale in…

Dickeya dianthicola found in Western Australia

Western Australia (WA) potato growers have been hit by a fresh disease scare, with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development warning farmers a new, aggressive bacteria had been detected. Department irrigated agriculture executive director John Ruprecht said the bacteria Dickeya dianthicola, which causes the diseases blackleg and soft rot, had been found in a commercial crop north of Perth. While the two diseases are already in Australia, it is the…

Potato area has increased in the EU – and so has demand

Total consumption potato area in north-western Europe, specifically in the North-Western European Potato Grower (NEPG) area, has been estimated at 578.821 ha, which is 4.6 per cent more than last year and 8.3 per cent more than the five-year average. All five countries (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) increased their potato area with Belgium on top with 5.4 per cent. This is based upon the NEPG country estimations….

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