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Browsing Category Winter 2012

Growing the Energy Circle

Brothers Chris and Harold Perry are determined that their 3,500 acre family farm near Coaldale, Alta. will grow more than just crops. The Perrys are collaborating on a project to build an anaerobic digester at CKPPQ Farms which will turn agricultural waste into renewable biogas. Their goal is to create a sustainable, on-farm energy system that provides all the power needs of the farm and can sell excess power back to the…

Equipment and Technology Showcase

Drain Tile Precision Land Solutions, based in southern Manitoba, provides a variety of water management services to its customer base, including customized design and installation of tile drainage systems. “We sell the pipe and install it, and the system is individually-designed and engineered for each field. It’s very site-specific,” says owner Chris Unrau Drain tile systems work by keeping the water table below the root zone in potato fields, allowing excess water…

Tuber Talk

Viruses Causing Tuber Necrosis, Part II: PMTV and TRV

Commercial potato growers are aware of the serious threat posed by two well- known pathogens,  potato mop-top virus (PMTV) and tobacco rattle virus (TRV). According to Huimin Xu, research scientist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Charlottetown and an expert on PMTV and TRV, these pathogens can cause potato tuber necrosis of sensitive potato varieties (the brown coloured streaking is necrosis of the potato flesh and is generally known as spraing)….

Trends in Seed Treatment

Seed treatment provides an insurance policy for protecting seed until the first shoots emerge. However, there are a finite number of seed treatment products available to Canadian growers that are designed to combat pests and diseases affecting specific regions of the country. As a result, the arrival of new products on the market is always noteworthy—but growers should be aware of the costs and benefits in order to make wise choices. Two…

Best Practices: Irrigation and Fertility Management

BIOGRAPHIES Homer VanderZaag grows about 900 acres of potatoes, primarily chipstock for Frito-Lay, near Alliston, Ont. Rob Van Roessel, chairman of the Potato Growers of Alberta, farms 390 acres of Russett Burbanks in Bow Island, Alta. Jason Kehler grows Russett Burbanks and Innovators on 450 acres at his farm near Carman, Man. Gary Linkletter is chairman of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board and farms 1500 acres of potatoes near Summerside, P.E.I….

The Balancing Act

Recent liming research completed in Prince Edward Island shows that applying lime to the soil does not increase the occurrence of scab when scab-free seed is planted. Robert Coffin, president of Potato Consulting Services Inc., conducted the lime research trials on his farm near Green Bay, P.E.I. last year. Scab, a bacterial disease, is a major problem worldwide that can impact tuber quality. Coffin’s liming trials generated much interest, as very little…

World Review

CIP Promotes Potato Innovation in Bangladesh In a press release issued early December, the International Potato Center (CIP), headquartered in Peru, stated that poverty affects 40 per cent of people in Bangladesh, and the country’s rate of malnutrition is among the highest in the world, with 56 per cent of preschoolers underweight. In an effort to combat these alarming numbers, CIP is launching a new program in disaster-prone southern Bangladesh to raise…

Eye On The Nation

Prince Edward Island By Gary Linkletter, Chairman, Prince Edward Island Potato Board After the Christmas and New Year holiday season, the potato industry on Prince Edward Island is  gearing up for meeting season, and there are numerous options for growers and those who work with and represent growers. On January 18, P.E.I. growers will have the opportunity to attend the United Potato Growers of Canada Partners Seminar sponsored by Bayer CropScience. Island…

Novel Soil Amendment Products

Fertile soil is one of the most important elements of successful crop production. Arable farmers have used soil amendments to enhance soil properties for centuries, and soil specialists around the world agree that soil organic matter is a crucial determinant of plant health. An increase in the soil’s organic matter content vastly improves the soil’s ability to retain nutrients and make them available to plants, with the added benefits of improved soil…

Advances in Soil Sampling and Analysis

Regular soil sampling and testing are crucial elements for achieving a sound and accurate fertility program. Fertilizer management is a critical factor influencing the profitability and sustainability of potato production, as fertilizer products represent a substantial input cost for producers. Thus, regular soil sampling and testing are important aspects of fertilizer management. A soil test is in essence the analysis of a soil sample from a particular field to determine nutrient and…

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