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Glossy, Laperla, Montreal, Spartan Chipper and unnamed F13026 were standout varieties at two Ontario potato field day events in August. Over 100 new varieties were examined in the plots at the Elora Research Station at the University of Guelph, and a similar number were on display at the Ontario Potato Board’s Ontario Potato Field Day at HJV Equipment in Alliston. Growers were invited to chat with companies showcasing products that will interest…

Market News

Despite a slow start for potato planting in some parts of the country, the average yield in Canada in 2017 is expected to come close to that of last year’s record-breaking crop, according to figures provided by the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). Based on late August estimates from producers, the Canadian average yield for this year’s crop is projected to be 304 hundredweight (cwt) per acre, which is just under…

Banks: Ontario Variety Trial Results

Ed. note: On Sept. 4, 2017, Eugenia Banks, potato specialist with the Ontario Potato Board, dug up the Beeton (Ontario) Variety Trial plot that was embedded in a grower’s field. These are her observations: The flooding that occurred on June 23, as a result of a five-inch rain, kept the plants under water for 30 hours. I expected  a total loss. However the grower worked hard to save my plot and the…

Wet winter in NZ devastates potato crop

An unprecedented wet season has caused potatoes to rot in the ground before they could be harvested, with one Horowhenua district farmer losing 100 tonnes from a single paddock. Opiki potato farmer, Mike Moleta has been working his family farm for two decades, his father for six decades before him. He said that in all that time they had never experienced weather so extreme. The potatoes, planted on their Opiki farm during…

Webcast: Seed Potato Certification

The Plant Management Network (PMN) has released a new presentation to help potato consultants, growers and other practitioners in Canada and the U.S. learn about the basics of seed potato certification. Seed certification provides assurance to growers that seed-borne potato diseases are kept under acceptable levels, and helps the industry consistently provide high quality products to consumers. The webcast, developed by Robert D. Davidson, professor and extension specialist at Colorado State University,…

Pakistan proposes national potato institute; seed potato import reduced by 50 per cent

Pakistan has reduced the import of potato seeds by 50 per cent as a result of strong public-private partnership in locally-certified potato production through planning and technical assistance. Ahead of the start of the potato growing season, the Variety Evaluation Committee of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council has recommended improving the quality of local certified potato seed through tissue culture laboratories, and proposed the establishment of a national potato institute. Setting up the…

PEI Potato Producers Building Soil Health Through Crop Rotation

An area of increased attention for agricultural research and changes in production practices globally is soil health. Through new technology and a better understanding of the microbial communities in soil, farmers are making changes in crop rotation, tillage, and nutrient management to foster the health of their soil. Prince Edward Island potato producers are also making changes to their production practices to improve soil health, encompassing the biological, chemical and physical qualities…

Rwanda’s Eastern Province has potential for potato seed production

Experts in potato breeding and research have identified Rwanda’s Eastern Province as a potential alternative for clean potato seed production. Researchers sought for an alternative after reports that Northern and Western provinces, the main potato production areas, were said to be infested by viruses and were limited for both breeding and production of potato. Kirimi Sindi, the country manager of International Potato Centre (CIP), said traditional potato growing areas in the country…

Updated organic potato production guide available

Cornell University has released an updated version of its guide for organic potato production. The 2016 Organic Production and IPM Guide for Potatoes provides an outline of cultural and pest management practices and includes topics that have an impact on improving plant health and reducing pest problems. While the guide is written for a U.S. audience, much of the information can certainly be applied to Canadian organic potato growers’ systems.  

Late Blight and Potato Psyllids Both Detected in North Dakota

North Dakota State University (NDSU) plant pathologist Dr. Gary Secor announced July 27 that late blight was confirmed in a potato sample from Pembina County in northeast North Dakota. Since then it has been determined the outbreak is more widespread with finds in Walsh and Nelson Counties as well. Conditions have been favourable for late blight spread and infection, and growers in these areas should apply a late blight specialty fungicide such…

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