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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…

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…

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,…

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