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North-Western European Potato Growers Ring the Alarm Bell for Next Potato Harvest

Throughout North-Western Europe the NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) reports that it is obvious that the next potato crop will be much lower and quality issues will be a main challenge. Extreme record drought and exceptional temperatures all over the main potato growing countries in Europe. Not even 50 % of the North-Western potato acreage can be irrigated and is spite of the high costs irrigation pumps are working day and night….

Potato Late Blight Confirmed in Wisconsin and Illinois, August 9, 2018

The US-23 genotype of Phytophthora infestans (the causal agent of late blight) was detected on commercial potatoes in Adams and Marquette Counties in Wisconsin and in Illinois, confirmed by University of Wisconsin – Madison researchers Dr. Yu Chen and Mr. Shane Hansen. Dr. Amanda Gevens (UW-Madison) reports that detected lesions were classic with brown, water-soaked discoloration on stems and leaves (Figure 1) with sporulation on leaf undersides (Figure 2). The US-23 genotype…

Innovative Approach to Breeding Could Mean Higher Yields and Better Crops

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Albany, California, have found a way to streamline the process that scientists use to insert multiple genes into a crop plant, developing a reliable method that will make it easier to breed a variety of crops with vastly improved traits. The technology is expected to speed up the process for developing new varieties of potatoes, rice, citrus and other crops that are better equipped to tolerate…

Canadian Grain Commission Invests Surplus Funds in the Harvest Sample Program

Canadian producers will have access to even more information on the quality of their harvest thanks to enhancements to the Canadian Grain Commission’s Harvest Sample Program. Beginning in the 2018-19 crop year, producers who participate in the Harvest Sample Program will receive falling number and deoxynivalenol (DON) results for their wheat samples at no cost. With this additional information in hand, producers will be better able to market their crop to ensure…

Ireland: Potatoes Stop Growing in Parched Earth

David Rodgers, the second generation of his family growing potatoes in Ballyboughal, and his father have never experienced anything like it. So parched is the earth in this famously lush and fertile north Co Dublin countryside – renowned for its food produce – that potatoes are not growing at all. One of four brothers who grow Queens, Kerr’s Pinks and mostly Roosters over 250 acres, they supply Country Crest, which in turn…

‘Canadian Potato Growers Made Wise Planting Decisions,’ Says Grower Organization

Statistics Canada released the first official estimate of planted Canadian potato acreage for 2018. Planted acreage nationally is slightly up +0.5% and is estimated to be 347,416 acres, compared to 345,817 acres planted in 2017. “It overall reflects improved demand for processing products,” says the general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada, Kevin MacIsaac. He says the slight increase further indicates that producers “have made wise planting decisions after assessing…

Enormous Potato Production Potential in Africa

Since 1990, the acreage used for potato production worldwide has increased by 40%. The delivered volume has also doubled. Over the same period, the trade value of potatoes has shot up by 400%. Dr Maximo Torero is the World Bank’s Executive Director. He says that, in a large part, this imbalance of increasing production versus the increasing value of potatoes can be found in the frozen product sector. “The most significant increase…

Potato Oversupply Expected in Europe

Based on the latest calculations of the NEPG, the association of potato producers in north-western Europe, which includes those of the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, the acreage devoted to potatoes in these countries amounts to 595,587 hectares; an increase of 1% compared to last season. This, as stated by the association in a press release, means that there may be “a situation of oversupply” in those areas. The…

Disease Watch: Potato Early Dying

Potato early dying (PED) is also known as early die and early maturity wilt. This disease is endemic in many fields with a long history of potato production. There is increased pressure on Canadian processing potato production to increase productivity to remain competitive in regional and global markets. PED is a major yield-limiting factor in all major potato production areas of Canada. PED results in premature vine senescence and can limit potato…

Mustering Mustard for Potato Productivity

A recent study by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientist Dr. Bernie Zebarth, together with McCain Foods Canada agronomists and the PEI Potato Board, identified potato early dying complex (PED) and degraded soil health as the two most important factors limiting potato production in the Maritimes. So says Dr. Dahu Chen, a plant pathologist at AAFC’s Fredericton Research and Development Centre. This double threat has prompted Chen and his colleagues at AAFC…

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