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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…

Webcast: Seed Potato Certification

The Plant Management Network (PMN) has released a new presentation to help potato consultants, growers and other practitioners in Canada and the U.S. learn about the basics of seed potato certification. Seed certification provides assurance to growers that seed-borne potato diseases are kept under acceptable levels, and helps the industry consistently provide high quality products to consumers. The webcast, developed by Robert D. Davidson, professor and extension specialist at Colorado State University,…

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…

Dutch company develops new blight-resistant potato

The Dutch company Solynta has developed a potato variety that is resistant to late blight (Phytophthora infestans). As a result, it could greatly reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture. The company plans to unveil its new blight-resistant potato later this week. The potato disease causes widespread damage to potato stocks worldwide every year, despite the intensive use of pesticides. Richard Visser, chair and head plant breeding at Wageningen University & Research,…

Converting potato waste to ethanol

With more than two dozen companies in Pennsylvania manufacturing potato chips, it is no wonder that researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have developed a novel approach to more efficiently convert potato waste into ethanol. This process may lead to reduced production costs for biofuel in the future and add extra value for chip makers. Using potato mash made from the peelings and potato residuals from a Pennsylvania food-processor, researchers…

Wisconsin Potato Growers Face New Restrictions To Prevent Crop Disease

Some Wisconsin potato growers are applauding new state laws that could help protect against crop disease. Gov. Scott Walker signed two new measures involving the potato industry Wednesday. One law requires growers to use certified seed potatoes if planting five or more acres. “It’s a requirement that just about every one of the other seed states in the country that grow seed potatoes already have,” said Alex Crockford, director of the Wisconsin…

Innate Second Generation Potato Receives Canadian Clearance

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have completed the food, feed and environmental safety assessments of the J.R. Simplot Company’s second generation of Innate potatoes. The authorizations enable the potatoes to be imported, planted and sold in Canada, complementing the three varieties of Innate first generation potatoes that received regulatory approval last year. Health Canada conducted a comprehensive safety assessment and approved the use of Innate second generation potatoes…

Japan’s potato supply is recovering as production returns to normal

Japan’s potato supply is rebounding — with wholesale and retail prices falling — thanks to solid shipments from secondary producing regions starting in the spring. Potato stocks are 20 per cent higher on the year at Tokyo’s Ota market. Shipments began arriving in April from prefectures such as Shizuoka in Japan’s main island and Nagasaki in the country’s south, areas that experienced solid harvests due to favourable weather this spring. “There isn’t…

Researchers Engineer Heat Tolerance in Potato Crops

Scientists at the James Hutton Institute and the University of St. Andrews have developed a technique to ‘engineer’ heat tolerance in potato crops, potentially providing potato breeders with a valuable tool in their quest to create varieties suited to the requirements of growers, industry and retailers. The potato crop is particularly vulnerable to increased temperature, which is considered to be the most important uncontrollable factor affecting growth and yield, according to the…

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