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Browsing articles by Shannon Schindle

Loosing Linuron

Linuron is a staple ingredient in herbicides used for decades to help Canadian growers control broadleaf and grassy weeds prior to planting potatoes each growing season. However, changes are coming that will affect growers who rely on this pre-plant burndown product to control persistent weeds. Linuron is an active ingredient in some Group 7 herbicide products that growers have been using effectively, not just to control weeds and to also fight against…

Planting the Seeds of Innovation

For two decades now, Saskatchewan-based Tuberosum Technologies Inc. (TTI) has been striving to make potato production more efficient and sustainable through breeding technologies. To TTI breeders, the answer lies with true potato seed (TPS). Some potato varieties naturally produce small fruit that contain hundreds of these tiny botanical seeds, which can grow into full tuber producing potato plants. The use of TPS to cultivate potatoes isn’t new, as the practice was born…

Boosting Plant Breeders’ Rights

Earlier this year Canada became the newest country to revise its Plant Breeders’ Rights legislation with the adoption of the Agricultural Growth Act, also known as Bill C-18. The act includes amendments to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (PBRA), which brings Canada’s PBRA into compliance with the 1991 Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91). The amendments are expected to transform the Canadian potato…

Introducing Innate

Following United States Department of Agriculture approval of Innate potatoes in November, J.R. Simplot Company expects to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its Innate product within a few months, the final hurdle for commercially producing the genetically modified potatoes in the United States. The company anticipates similar approval by Health Canada in early 2015, clearing the way for Innate in this country. Doug Cole, Simplot’s director of…

Making a Name

Branding has become an increasingly important dimension of business marketing, as companies tussle to differentiate themselves from their competitors in a crowded marketplace. And many of those taking the step into branding say it’s a winning strategy. The potato industry is no exception. Success stories include PEI Potatoes, Edmonton’s The Little Potato Company and Manitoba’s Southern Potato Co., which have all embraced branding and re-branding strategies as a way to optimize their…

Rising Resistance

It’s important to keep an eye out for Colorado potato beetles during the growing season because of their potentially devastating impact on both yield and quality. In recent years, farmers have relied heavily on neonicotinoid insecticides to help keep this resilient bug in check — but of growing concern to producers is the fact that what once worked, actually may not now. In addition to growing CPB resistance to neonicotinoids, another disturbing…

A Lasting Impression

After more than 40 years in agriculture and 30-plus years of dedicated service to Manitoba’s Keystone Potato Producers Association, Garry Sloik is stepping down as manager of the association. His replacement at the KPPA, Dan Sawatzky, admits he has some big shoes to fill, and lauded Sloik for the many skills he brought to the position. “Working as a provincial agricultural representative provided him with outstanding communication skills. Being employed with Carnation…

Stopping the Spread of Late Blight

Late blight disease has been a challenge to potato producers in Canada for many years, but new strains of the pathogen are making it more difficult to control. The US-8 genotype has been dominant in much of Canada for the past 15 years; however, new studies indicate it’s no longer the leading strain. Khalil Al-Mughrabi, acting manager and pathologist at the Potato Development Centre in Fredericton, N.B., says that’s because more aggressive…

Genetically Modified Potatoes: Making Slow Inroads

In the past decade, a number of different regions around the globe have developed genetically modified potatoes, but slow acceptance in the marketplace has meant new varieties often remain on the sidelines. Despite this, hope remains that GM potatoes will one day become valuable to end users, possibly in the near future. With that in mind, researchers continue work on finding new benefits of GM potatoes. For example, this past summer, Teagasc,…

Zebra Chip Update

North American researchers are working hard to improve management strategies for a disease that continues to spread. Zebra chip disease has been a growing issue in the last decade as the potato psyllid continues to migrate further north in the United States. The vector of zebra chip disease is the potato psyllid, an insect that can transmit the disease—however, not all psyllids are carriers of the pathogen. According to Donald Henne, professor…

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