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Browsing Category Fall 2015

Future Challenges and Opportunities for the Potato in a Global Context

The following is the Closing Plenary Address at the closing ceremonies of the 2015 World Potato Congress, held July 27 to 30, 2015 in Yanqing County, Beijing, China. It was delivered by prominent Canadian potato grower and scientist Peter VanderZaag, a special advisor for the WPC who has long ties with the Chinese potato industry. Introduction At the end of this great Potato Congress, we view the future and ask the important…

From our Desk

All-new Spudsmart.com

As the director of Digital Strategies at Issues Ink, publisher of Spud Smart, I am delighted to share the exciting news that spudsmart.com will soon be sporting a brand new look. Our web designer Nicholoas Buhr and the rest of the Spud Smart team have been working hard to craft a website that not only delivers compelling content and is user-friendly and appealing to the eye, but is responsive for easy viewing…

Turning Potatoes into Biogas

Since its formation more than 90 years ago, one of the guiding principles of Surrey, B.C.-based Heppell’s Potato Corp. and its owners has been the fundamental belief that there is always a better way of doing things. So it was only natural three years ago that when partners Pete Schouten and Wes Heppell began looking for solutions to one of their biggest challenges — acquiring more agricultural land in British Columbia’s fertile…

Increasing Competitiveness

Researchers have received $1.4 million in federal funding for an industry-driven research project to study ways of boosting potato production and address Canada’s declining export competitiveness. Announced by Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz in Fredericton, N.B. on July 14, the national research effort is being led by Potatoes New Brunswick and involves the participation of scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, N.B. along with University of Manitoba researchers, other…

Tools for Success

To protect their investment, it’s important for growers to keep on top of the latest innovations in ventilation, humidification and spout control when storing their potato crops. Spud Smart talked to some industry experts about new equipment, products and technologies aimed at ensuring storage success. Remote Control Ashley Gorman, vice-president of sales at P.E.I.-based Gorman Controls, believes the most important new technologies to hit the scene in recent years have been those…

Top 5 Storage Diseases

Potato growers are familiar with the expression ‘a potato storage is not a hospital’, which reflects the simple truth that diseased potatoes going into storage are not going to get better. It is essential that growers carefully monitor potatoes going into storage and keep a close eye on storage conditions to keep infections from spreading to maintain the value of their crop. It’s also important to understand that managing potato diseases in…

Winning the Battle Against Late Blight

When late blight was discovered in many Alberta potato fields in 2010, growers, scientists and many others in the province’s potato industry were justifiably worried. Its return represented a serious threat to the Alberta potato industry, seeing as the province had been virtually late blight-free since the early 1990s. Caused by the fungal pathogen Phytophthora infestans, late blight is placed by scientists in a group called oomycetes, which are water moulds. The…

Durable Late Blight Resistance

Researchers from Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands have just completed a 10-year project entitled “Durable Resistance against Phytophthora through cisgenic modification” with the acronym DuRPh. Their goal was to prove that existing potato varieties can be made durably resistant to the Phytophthora infestans pathogen that causes late blight in potatoes, thereby reducing dependence on chemical fungicides to fight the disease. The cisgenic modification technique applied in the DuRPh project…

Boosting Plant Breeders’ Rights

Earlier this year Canada became the newest country to revise its Plant Breeders’ Rights legislation with the adoption of the Agricultural Growth Act, also known as Bill C-18. The act includes amendments to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (PBRA), which brings Canada’s PBRA into compliance with the 1991 Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91). The amendments are expected to transform the Canadian potato…

Ontario Potato Field Day

About 250 growers, crop consultants and industry representatives gathered in Alliston, Ont., on Aug. 20 for the 2015 Ontario Potato Field Day. Eugenia Banks, potato specialist with the Ontario Agriculture Ministry who organized the field day with the support of the Ontario Potato Board, says it was a very successful event, with growers from as far away as Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island enjoying the friendly atmosphere. Hosted by HJV…

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