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Multi-Species Cover Crop Blend for Rotation in the Canadian Potato Provinces

Soil organic matter has become a popular topic of discussion in the past year. In Ontario, a report from late 2016 indicated soil organic matter (SOM) levels in many parts of the province are at 15-year lows, coinciding with increasing interest in the use of cover crops, reduced- or no-till management and longer rotations in the past three to five years. On Prince Edward Island, the issue of low SOM levels is…

Market News

Canada’s potato storage holdings as of June 1 were up 3.1 per cent — or just over 575,000 hundredweight — from the year before, according to figures from the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). The bulk of this increase is on the processing side, with total storage holdings in this category showing a year-to-year increase of 10.6 per cent. According to Kevin MacIsaac, UPGC general manager, this is a reflection of…

Pocket Diagnostic Expands In U.S. Market

Pocket Diagnostic announced the addition of another distributor of their plant disease rapid tests in the U.S. Pocket Diagnostic produces in-field results in a matter of minutes, which enables advisors, inspectors and growers alike to confirm the presence of a plant pathogen quickly, meaning the necessary protocol for dealing with a plant disease can begin faster than if a sample was sent to a lab for analysis. “We are pleased to add…

2018 Forecast Calls for Optimism

For most of the past decade, potato production in Canada has been relatively stagnant. The economic crash of 2008 reduced demand for Canadian spuds in some markets and the industry struggled to regain its lost footing. With the 2018 growing season well under way, there now seems to be a renewed sense of optimism among many Canadian potato growers. Preliminary estimates indicate a total of 353,000 acres will be planted in Canada…

New, Emerging Clones of Phytophthora Infestans in Europe

Over the last five years, EuroBlight has undertaken and coordinated an extensive survey of European populations of the late blight pathogen, P. infestans. The most recent data from the EuroBlight monitoring initiative highlighted the emergence of three new clonal lineages, named EU_36_A2, EU_37_A2 and EU_41_A2, in different parts of Europe. As ever, this raises the question of the epidemic potential of these newcomers, and of their impact on late blight management strategies. Are those…

Do Some Potato Growing Soils Suppress Powdery Scab?

A research project in New Zealand is determining if different field soils affect development of powdery scab on potatoes, and whether soil physical, chemical and/or biological characteristics influence this important potato disease. The project is developing new knowledge that may provide a basis for manipulating soil factors to reduce the harmful effects of the powdery scab pathogen. Photo 1. Powdery scab can severely reduce the quality and marketability of seed, fresh market…

Remote Sensing: The technology, current use and future outlook

Remote sensing in potatoes is being actively investigated for its value in ensuring a high-yielding, healthy crop. Although in its relatively early stages in Canada, data collection through remote means and the related data analysis is developing at a swift pace. In this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart gathered experts to report on the remote sensing tech being used in potatoes, the present value of the information collected and where the future…

An environmentally friendly solution to potato early dying complex

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers in Fredericton are exploring environmentally friendly solutions to manage Potato Early Dying complex (PED), a disease that is limiting yields in many potato fields in Eastern Canada. PED is a disease complex caused by a combination of a fungal disease (Verticillium wilt) and root-lesion nematodes. With few available treatments, a process called biofumigation is being used by some growers to manage PED.  The process involves tilling…

Colorado Potato Beetles Wanted

Dr. Ian Scott, a research scientist with the London Research and Development Centre at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, is conducting a survey of Colorado potato beetle susceptibility levels to registered insecticides (neonicotinoids, diamides and spinosyns). What does he need? He is looking for approximately 150 beetle adults (a minimum of 75 adults or large larvae are acceptable) per sample. If you have a few you can spare, please contact Dr. Scott and…

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