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Correctly Used Neonics Do Not Adversely Affect Honeybee Colonies, New Research Finds

The three most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides for flowering crops pose no risk to honeybee colonies when used correctly as seed treatments, according to new studies by University of Guelph researchers. Amid mounting controversy over use of neonicotinoids (neonics) and declining bee population, a new analysis by U of G scientists of previously unpublished studies and reports commissioned by agri-chemical companies Bayer and Syngenta – as well as published papers from the…

U.S. Fall Potato Production 2017 Down Two Per Cent

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimates the United States fall potato potato production for 2017 at 399 million cwt, down two per cent from last year. The area harvested, at 900,600 acres, is down one per cent from the previous year. The average yield forecast, at 443 cwt per acre, is down 4 cwt (-0.9 per cent) from last year’s record high yield. In Idaho, growers reported some flooding and cool…

Improving Soil, Improving Potatoes

Innovative growers and an agronomist recently teamed up to look at ways to improve the potato crop and the soil. For three years, Bruce and Hunter Wilson gave agronomist John Lightle the go ahead to try some cover crop combinations on their 6,000 acre farm in the Dufferin Highlands of Ontario. The acres are in a prime potato producing area and the growers wanted to maximize their yield while considering other cropping…

U.S. Red River Valley potato quality, harvest good

Minnesota and North Dakota Red River Valley potato producers shipped more than 700,000 hundredweight of potatoes in September and October, a 32 per cent increase over last year’s count, according to the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA). That’s slightly ahead of shipments at that time for the 2015 crop, making this year the largest fresh crop harvest in many years, according to the association. Producers faced a trucking shortage because truckers…

McCAIN FOODS RECOGNIZES FISKEL FARMS AS CHAMPION GROWER

Fiskel Farms of Carberry, Man. was named the McCain 2016 crop year champion potato grower for the McCain Manitoba plants during the annual Growers’ Appreciation Banquet held at Canad Inns in Portage la Prairie. Approximately 190 guests gathered to celebrate the top growers and their achievements. This is the second time Karen, Rick and son Derek Fiskel have achieved the champion grower award. Special guest Dan Sawatsky, Keystone Potato Producers Association manager,…

Potato growers benefit from not planting potatoes

There are plenty of complex topics potato growers need to understand to run a profitable business, but when it comes to outputs there are two simple measures of success growers strive for that are easy to understand – high yields and high quality. Every decision a grower makes has an impact on those outcomes, which starts with selecting crops to plant in a given field. Developing a crop rotation plan based not…

NEPG adjusts potato harvest estimation upwards

Although the full harvest is not in the stores yet, the North-Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) estimates the actual harvest at 28.9 million tons for the five countries. This is more than the estimate of last September. The five countries that comprise the NEPG include Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The NEPG stresses that especially in Great Britain and the Netherlands, there is still at least 10-15 per cent…

Irish potato farmers fear ‘one of the worst harvests in memory’ after wet spell

Potato farmers in Northern Ireland are facing their worst harvest in living memory as more than half of this year’s crop is still in the ground. One Co Down farmer could lose more than £130,000 as he battles the challenging wet conditions that have potentially destroyed much of his crop. Northern Ireland’s potato industry said they are hoping for a break in the wet weather to save it from one of the…

Tasmanian potato growers preparing for the worst

Surveillance programs for tomato potato psyllid (TPP) are being ramped up in Tasmania as growers try to delay any incursion of the pest for as long as possible. TPP was detected in Western Australia (WA) earlier this year. Free sticky trap packs are being distributed by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture to growers and agronomists to set up around the perimeter of susceptible crops, particularly potatoes, Tasmania’s biggest vegetable crop. The institute’s…

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