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Feds Invest in New Robotic Technology for Quebec Potato Processing

Patates Dolbec’s potato packaging facility in Saint-Ubalde, Que., yesterday received a federal government investment of $4.5 million to offset its recent expansion and modernization project. The money is earmarked for the purchase and installation of new robotic equipment that will sort, grade and pack more fresh potatoes in less time, enabling the company to improve their product quality, lower operational costs and develop new markets in the United States. Canada’s food processing…

The Next Level of Weed Control

As anyone in the ag sector well knows, new technologies are quickly revolutionizing farming, automating processes in major ways to make them more efficient, less costly and more environmentally-friendly. Weed control is one of those processes. Several companies and academic groups around the world have developed systems that enable more precise herbicide application through taking large numbers of images of a field using cameras on drones. The images are then amalgamated together…

Preparing for the Potato’s Future

It’s always been critical to breed new crop varieties with good yield and harvest quality, but it’s more important than ever to do so now, with crops facing myriad stresses related to changing climate conditions. Dr. Keshav Dahal, a crop stress physiologist who joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research and Development Centre in Fredericton, N.B. during summer 2017, is helping unlock how some plants sense and react to stress more effectively than…

Influencing Potato Tuber Numbers

(The following content belongs to Yara International ASA and is part of Yara Potato Plantmaster. For more information visit www.yaracanada.ca) The numbers of potato tubers produced by each potato plant is influenced by agronomy and varietal potential. A large number of tubers per hectare will produce a crop of predominately small tubers, ideal for canning, salad or seed potatoes. A relatively low tuber number provides less competition per unit area and allows…

Healthy Seed Helps Ensure Healthy Yield

Ideal growing conditions, optimum fertility, pest and disease control – all these things are crucial to ensure a high-yielding, healthy crop. But before the seed goes in the ground, it’s crucial growers ensure the seed they’re planting is as healthy as possible. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart gathered some expert opinions on why it’s important potato growers plant the best seed they can get their hands on. Our five experts…

Malta potato industry in decline

Over a decade, Malta potato exports fell from 7,200 tonnes in the 2004 crop to just 3,100 tonnes in 2014, a massive 56 per cent drop. This relentless decline of potato cultivation in Malta was documented in an overview of the agricultural sector in the national 2018-2028 policy that described export levels falling “drastically” in 2015 and 2016 due to the shortage of rainfall. Even the area dedicated for the cultivation of…

From muddy spud to the perfect French fry: Information experts are optimizing potato production

Modern potato harvesting can be a pretty rough business. In years gone by, the farmers would be out in the fields assisted by friends and family carefully digging up the potato crop by hand. Today, mechanical harvesters are in use. But if the machinery is not adjusted correctly, the potatoes can get badly bumped and knocked as they move along the agitator belts, hitting stones and each other on their way. This…

Colorado Potato Beetle Marches On

The most destructive potato crop pest in Canada, the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), shows no sign of slowing down. Indeed, since the 1950s, Colorado potato beetle has developed resistance to 52 different compounds belonging to all major insecticide classes, and resistance is growing to neonicotinoid chemistries. According to Dr. Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, vice president research and quality with Peak of the Market in Winnipeg, Man., there is an ongoing increase in the…

Start with Healthy Potato Seed

Healthy potato seed is the cornerstone of potato production. Indeed, healthy seed helps to ensure a healthy yield. Join the free one-hour Spud Smart webinar — Start with Healthy Potato Seed — on Thursday, March 29. In this free webinar, participants will learn about: The importance of healthy seed How adverse storage conditions affect seed stock Proper seed handling tips How to find that perfect seed stock Presenters: Steven B. Johnson, Ph.D.,…

New Publication – Plant Nutrition Diagnostics: Potato

Good nutrition is essential for supporting potato plant health and providing the necessary defense against plant disease and stress. The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), J.R. Simplot Company and Tennessee State University have collaborated on a new publication that provides readers with access to a unique collection of hundreds of high resolution photographs that document a wide range of nutrient deficiency symptoms in potato plants with remarkable clarity. Developed within a unique…

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