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Browsing Category Fall 2017

Top of the Hill

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…

Potato Storage: Keeping an Eye on the Prize

The case could be made that caring for potatoes and for children have a lot in common: Let your guard down for a minute and you’ll pay for it in the end. Like parenting, potato storage is an area in which expert advice can save a lot of headaches and wrong turns. In this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart turned to three experts on the ins and outs of potato storage: Robert…

Potato Mutants: Useless Freaks or Precious Gems?

Mutations are naturally occurring phenomena in all living organisms. Most mutations are harmful in the organisms in which they occur. In seed-propagated crops, such harmful mutations – “freaks” – are often lost in the cycle of sexual reproduction and selection. Since the potato is commercially propagated by vegetative means, most mutations (also known as “sports”) that occur in the potato will be maintained. This can either be a bane or a blessing…

Companion planting offers hope for wireworm control

Wireworm is persona non grata in many Canadian potato-growing areas, particularly in P.E.I., Alberta and B.C., where the pest causes millions of dollars of damage each year. “P.E.I. is a good example of where a wireworm problem is out of hand,” says Bob Vernon, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). “There’s a new species that’s come in from Europe that is now causing most of the damage: Agriotes sputator….

Seasonal help can be hard to come by

No two Canadian potato operations have the same challenges. Coast to coast, the problems and opportunities facing producers vary widely based on geography and markets. But one problem might be a little more common than others: finding the right seasonal help during the two busiest times of year – planting and harvest. In New Brunswick, a shortage of skilled workers has been a problem for years, says Paul Leahey, who has managed…

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