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TOMRA Food Launches Farm-to-Fork Pan-Industry Working Groups

TOMRA Food is forming cross-industry working groups to accelerate development of digital standards for the food industry, with the first meetings to be held in Q4, 2018. “Thousands of TOMRA Food sorters around the world are generating valuable data that has the power to optimize every part of the food supply chain,” says Mike Riley, head of TOMRA Food. “This is in addition to data from millions of other devices and applications…

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…

Colorado potato beetle genome gives insight into major agricultural pest

The Colorado potato beetle is notorious for its role in starting the pesticide industry — and for its ability to resist the insecticides developed to stop it. Managing the beetle costs tens of millions of dollars every year, but this is a welcome alternative to the billions of dollars in damage it could cause if left unchecked. To better understand this tenacious pest, a team of scientists led by University of Wisconsin–Madison…

Green potatoes safe for consumers to eat, researcher says

Sabine Tanios is a PhD candidate in Tasmania working on research into why and how potatoes develop green colouring. Her work at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture looks at the wide range of factors that cause undesirable greening in potatoes, and at ways of reducing it. She said consumers’ reluctance to eat green potatoes had an easy solution. “We’ve all heard that green potatoes are toxic,” she said. “However, this is not…

When pests graze certain potatoes, yields double

When some Colombian potato varieties are lightly grazed by a pest, the plants respond by growing larger tubers, at times doubling their yields. Although many types of plants can repair pest damage while maintaining productivity, it’s rare to find species that actually overcompensate and increase productivity. Cornell and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia researchers first discovered this effect in a commercial Colombian potato in 2010. Now, a new study by the research…

Tackling Resistant Pink Rot

Ridomil has been the standard fungicide for managing pink rot for many years. However, a national survey shows Ridomil-resistant pink rot is becoming more common. Fortunately, Canadian research has identified effective alternatives for managing resistant populations. “The issue of pink rot resistance came to a head in the early 2000s, when different potato production regions in the U.S. were finding some resistance to Ridomil, which has the active ingredient mefenoxam as they…

Potato blight’s chemical attack mechanism explained

A team of international researchers headed by scientists from the University of Tübingen has deciphered the workings of a cytolytic toxin, which is produced by some of the world’s most devastating crop diseases. The Cytolysin is manufactured by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi and can wipe out entire harvests if chemical protection is not used. The study – by researchers from Tübingen and their partner institutions in Berkeley, Bordeaux, Ljubljana, Liége…

Increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use in potatoes

The federal government is investing $1.8 million with the University of British Columbia (UBC) to determine carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and develop beneficial management practices (BMPs) for increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use in potato crops, and in blueberry and forage crops. According to the Dr. Rickey Yada, Dean, Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC, the project will provide new science-based knowledge on net GHG emissions by…

Correctly Used Neonics Do Not Adversely Affect Honeybee Colonies, New Research Finds

The three most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides for flowering crops pose no risk to honeybee colonies when used correctly as seed treatments, according to new studies by University of Guelph researchers. Amid mounting controversy over use of neonicotinoids (neonics) and declining bee population, a new analysis by U of G scientists of previously unpublished studies and reports commissioned by agri-chemical companies Bayer and Syngenta – as well as published papers from the…

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