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Browsing Category Crop Production

When pests graze certain potatoes, yields double

When some Colombian potato varieties are lightly grazed by a pest, the plants respond by growing larger tubers, at times doubling their yields. Although many types of plants can repair pest damage while maintaining productivity, it’s rare to find species that actually overcompensate and increase productivity. Cornell and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia researchers first discovered this effect in a commercial Colombian potato in 2010. Now, a new study by the research…

Presque Isle, Maine considering bringing harvest into the classroom

For generations, high school students in northern Maine have taken a three-week break from classes every fall to harvest potatoes. But the acreage has shrunk over the past 50 years, and technology has reduced the demand for labour, which means far fewer teenagers are working in the fields of Aroostook County. In the town of Presque Isle, the school board is looking at a new approach that could end the tradition of…

Disease Watch: Potato Virus Y

Potato virus Y (PVY) is one of the most damaging potato viruses and a serious threat to the successful production of an acceptable seed lot around the world. It can cause mosaic on potato leaves, and affect yield and quality. Yield losses range from 10 to 80 per cent. Affected tubers are unusable for propagation. Late season virus transmission by aphids is difficult to detect in field inspections as it seldom produces…

Market News

For the fourth straight year, the national potato yield in Canada has hit a new record high. According to figures from Statistics Canada, the national yield per acre for the 2017 potato crop was 309 hundredweight (cwt). That’s up slightly from the previous record-setting level of 308 cwt per acre in 2016. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) isn’t surprised the yield number is maintaining its…

Chinese Potato Production to Rebound

As the largest potato producer in the world, China’s 2017/18 fresh potato production is forecast at 97 million metric tons (MMT), due to an expansion of potato area, according to a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service report. During the 2016/17 season, production was forecast to increase three per cent to 100 MMT, but actually dropped five per cent to an estimated 92 MMT. This decrease was due to continuing drought in the north…

P.E.I. shipping in potatoes to make up for low crop yield

P.E.I. has experienced a lower potato crop yield than usual this year and has been forced to ship in spuds from other areas of the country to make up for it.​ The province remains Canada’s heaviest hitter in terms of potato production, producing roughly 25 per cent of the country’s annual yield. However, dry weather conditions over the summer reduced the Island crop yield by about eight per cent this year — the largest drop among major growers in…

Chile: Potato producers end a complex season

Potato producers in Chile aren’t very happy with how the 2016/2017 season ended. High production and low prices were the keynote of the period, according to The Potato Market 2016/2017 Season, a report published by Javiera Pefaur, of the Department of Market Analysis and Sector Policy of Odepa. “It has been more than five years since the national average prices to wholesalers have been as low as in this season,” said Pefaur….

Increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use in potatoes

The federal government is investing $1.8 million with the University of British Columbia (UBC) to determine carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and develop beneficial management practices (BMPs) for increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use in potato crops, and in blueberry and forage crops. According to the Dr. Rickey Yada, Dean, Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC, the project will provide new science-based knowledge on net GHG emissions by…

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…

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