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Potatoes May be NAFTA Target

The National Potato Council (NPC) is calling for action in any upcoming NAFTA renegotiations. In a letter to President Donald Trump, John Keeling, the NPC’s CEO, said the group “is strongly supportive of improving the conditions for trade that we confront with Canada and Mexico.” Keeling also noted that the two countries represent important markets for U.S. producers. Canada is the second-largest export market with annual sales of $315 million — 17.8…

Washington Potato Producers To Vote On Marketing Order

Washington potato producers will vote from June 9-23, 2017, on whether to continue the federal marketing order regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Washington. Producers who have produced potatoes in Washington from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, are eligible to vote. A continuance referendum is required every six years. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) would consider termination of the order if less than two-thirds of the…

Should Seed Potato Growers start testing for Dickeya?

The potato disease Dickeya can be detected by laboratory testing — but is there enough of it present to justify the higher costs? That is the question for Canadian seed potato growers exporting to the United States who are increasingly asked for the test. It’s a relatively new threat to North American potato production. The invasive pathogen Dickeya dianthicola — not to be confused with blackleg causing Dickeya solani — was first…

Genetically engineered potatoes approved for Maine

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control unanimously approved on Friday, May 12 the registration of three new types of genetically engineered potatoes that have been developed by a major Idaho agribusiness company. The means that J.R. Simplot Co.’s Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic potatoes could be planted in Maine fields at any time. By adding genes from a wild potato plant, these potatoes were created. These potato types are designed to…

Dicamba drift a new danger for potato growers

Crop damage caused by herbicide drift should be a risk on Manitoba potato producers’ radar this year. Soybean producers are gearing up to plant Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans following European Union approval last summer. The soybeans are tolerant to both glyphosate and dicamba herbicides. But dicamba drift can cause irreparable damage in neighbouring potato crops, said Andy Robinson, a North Dakota State University extension potato specialist, during a presentation on herbicide…

Canada’s 2016 Census of Agriculture

Farm operators are slightly older and there are fewer farms in Canada than in 2011, but farms are on average larger and more area is devoted to crop production according to the results from the 2016 Census of Agriculture. Agricultural data has been collected in Canada since 1666 and 2016 marks the 22nd Census of Agriculture since Confederation. The census paints a sweeping picture of the agricultural sector. It tracks changes in crops and livestock, as well as the evolution…

Farm succession skips a generation

Knowing an opportunity when you see it is key to building a successful business, say two Prince Edward Island brothers. So are preparation and confidence in your skills. When the opening came to purchase their grandfather’s farm near Summerside and walk into a turn-key potato operation, Bryan and Kyle Maynard knew it was their chance. “When the opportunity came up, we were both excited to take this on,” 31-year-old Kyle says of…

McCain Foods USA Announces Expansion of Burley, Idaho Facility

McCain Foods USA will expand its production capacity for frozen french fries in North America. The location of the expansion is McCain’s current plant in Burley, Idaho where it has been doing business for 20 years.  Capital investments to support the expansion total more than USD$200 million to expand its state-of-the-art production facility.  With the expansion, McCain expects to create more than 180 new positions in Burley directly. McCain officials said in…

Building a better potato farm, one decision at a time

In every business, there are front-runners and there are followers. Motivated by passion and unafraid of learning, Kate Vander Zaag, and her husband Peter, have never been ones to sit back and wait for others to forge the path ahead. Farming together in Alliston, Ont. since 1990, they are fearless about investing their brainpower to constantly build a better farm. The Vander Zaags share flexible roles and responsibilities (Peter tends to handle…

West Australia moves from Potato Psyllid Eradication to Control

Potato Psyllids, a destructive plant pest found for the first time in Australia in February, cannot be eradicated so the industry will seek to manage it, rather than destroy it. The Department of Food and Agriculture of West Australia said it would work on a plan to control the tomato potato psyllid, which attacks a range of vegetable crops including tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli and tamarillo. Department biosecurity and regulation executive director…

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