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Browsing Category Summer 2014

Straight from the Field to the Store Shelves

Growing and selling fresh, local potatoes is the name of the game for Blair and Irene Lodder, who farm about 125 acres of potatoes in Grand Forks, B.C. “Today I dug potatoes and tomorrow the store will receive them,” Blair says. Lodder Potato Farms, which was started by Blair’s father, Tony, in 1956, trucks out potatoes daily to different grocery stores in the area, from Safeway and Loblaws to Quality Greens Farm…

At The Root

People News CHC WELCOMES NEW LEADER The Canadian Potato Council has a new leader. The chair of the Potato Growers of Alberta, John Bareman, succeeds Joe Brennan as CPC chair for 2014. Bareman was elected to the position at the Canadian Horticultural Council/CPC meetings held in Kelowna, B.C. in March, following Brennan’s resignation as CPC chair. MCCAIN FOODS HIRES NEW PRESIDENT, NORTH AMERICA McCain Foods Limited has appointed Jeff DeLapp as president,…

World Review

China Researchers in China have conducted several studies to improve sweet potato through biotechnology. A recent report called “Sweet Potato Omics and Biotechnology in China” published in Plant Omics Journal summarizes China’s advances in sweet potato biotechnology and suggests directions for future research in this area. China has been using an efficient system of embryogenic suspension cultures for sweet potato genotypes since the 1980s, in which plant regeneration in different tissues via organogenesis…

Market News

Canada’s potato storage holdings as of June 1 were up almost 14 per cent — or just over two million hundredweight — from the year before, according to figures from United Potato Growers of Canada. In Eastern Canada, the storage holdings were up a little more than five per cent, while this figure was considerably higher in Western Canada — just over 27 per cent. Kevin MacIsaac, UPGC general manager, says while the…

Equipment and Technology Showcase

  Soil Moisture Monitoring The Valley SoilPro 1200 uses advanced technology to collect detailed soil moisture data and to provide practical advice for growers on when and how much to irrigate. Potato producers who utilize irrigation can pump less and use only the water their crop needs, using just the right volume of water to achieve maximum yield. Powered by AquaSpy, the SoilPro 1200 is an accurate, high-quality capacitance probe that contains 12…

Eye On The Nation

New Brunswick By Louis Ouellette, Market Information Co-ordinator Potatoes New Brunswick The 2014 New Brunswick potato planting season got off to a slower start than normal. A long, cold winter led to soil temperatures not warming up until the second half of May. Once growers got on the fields, favourable planting weather saw the majority of crop get into the ground by June 11 or so. Regardless of the late start, if…

Rising Resistance

It’s important to keep an eye out for Colorado potato beetles during the growing season because of their potentially devastating impact on both yield and quality. In recent years, farmers have relied heavily on neonicotinoid insecticides to help keep this resilient bug in check — but of growing concern to producers is the fact that what once worked, actually may not now. In addition to growing CPB resistance to neonicotinoids, another disturbing…

Integrated Pest Management

Pests in their many forms — rooted, winged or microscopic — are a problem for any potato grower. Eradicating weeds, bugs and diseases in a way that’s environmentally sustainable but also makes economic sense is a primary goal of using an Integrated Pest Management strategy. We posed the question of best management practices in IPM to three growers from across the country: Michel Camps of Alberta, P.E.I.’s Thomas Hamill and Eugene Antworth…

Managing Fusarium Dry Rot in Potatoes

Fusarium is a major problem for potato growers. The fungi, says Alberta Agriculture plant pathologist Michael Harding, can affect tubers all the way through the production cycle, causing seed piece decay, wilt during the growing season, and dry rot in storage. There are ways, however, to mitigate risk, and should that fail, ways to manage the disease if it does occur. “Fusarium is a really important fungal genus for potato diseases,” says…

A New Way Forward

In the summer of 2012, members of the Canadian potato industry, under the leadership of the Canadian Potato Council, established a national research and innovation strategy for potatoes. The strategy was, in part, in response to the need for the industry to provide matching funds in order to benefit from federal government programs under Growing Forward 2. The strategy acted as a call to arms, and in the fall of 2012, industry…

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