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Is There a Best Way to Manage Nitrogen?

A major project with studies in Manitoba and Alberta has been comparing diverse nitrogen management options to see if there might be a clear winner when it comes to irrigated potato production on the Prairies. The project was prompted by several considerations. “Potato is one of our crops where we apply the most amount of nitrogen. So any study that helps us to fine-tune nitrogen management to optimize yields and quality and…

Solving Eastern Canada’s Yield Woes

As a large-scale soil rejuvenation study in New Brunswick draws to a close, lead researcher and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada potato scientist Bernie Zebarth says solutions to lagging potato yield in Eastern Canada are anything but simple. For decades, potatoes have held top position as Maritime Canada’s most important cash crop. In 2015-2016, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia produced 1.84 million tonnes of potatoes for a value of $256…

Reaping Rewards of Processing Plant Expansion

After years of stagnant growth, the potato processing industry in North America is on the rise. Numerous processors have expanded or opened plants in the last year or two in response to growing demand for french fries and other potato products. For instance, McCain Foods expanded its potato processing facilities in Idaho and New Brunswick in 2016, and growers in both areas are reaping the benefits. Blair Young, who grows 600 acres…

Peru Prepares to Host World Potato Congress

More than 800 delegates are expected to attend the 10th World Potato Congress (WPC) May 27 to 31 in Cusco, the historic city in southwestern Peru that was once capital of the Inca Empire. The event, which will showcase the origins of the potato in the South America’s Andean region, is being held in Latin America for the first time. “I think it will be such a unique and different experience for…

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…

Alberta Potato History Outlined in New Book

The history of the potato is a long and varied one. From the spud’s humble beginning in South America, to its current production throughout the world, potatoes are an integral part of almost every human being. One provincial association has decided to bring the history of the potato in its province closer to home. The Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) recently launched a book about the history of potatoes in Alberta. According…

Romain Cools New Head of World Potato Congress

Romain Cools of Belgium has been selected by the World Potato Congress (WPC) board of directors to be the organization’s fourth president and CEO since its inception in 1993. Cools assumed the leadership role on Jan. 1, taking over from David Thompson, the P.E.I. resident and long-time WPC board member who served as the organization’s top executive from 2012 to 2017. “This is the first time that we’ve gone outside of Canada for…

Agritechnica Showcases New Potato Technology

Every two years, vendors and farmers meet in Hanover, Germany for Agritechnica, the world’s largest trade fair for agricultural machinery. This year, nearly 450,000 people walked the 26 halls looking at new innovations and production solutions. Spud Smart was there for a firsthand look at some of the latest innovations in the potato sector. Agritechnica is a big draw for farmers who want to stay on the cutting edge of technology. This…

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…

Impact of the Potato on Society

Archeological and genetic evidence indicates the domestication of the potato probably took place about 8,000 years ago in the vicinity of Lake Titicaca, located on the border of current Peru and Bolivia. From Pachamanca and Chuño to Unprecedented Inflation The domestication of the potato gradually resulted in greater food production, which in turn stimulated population growth, development of cities, technology, crafts, arts, sciences and political centralization in the Inca Empire. One of…

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