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NSERC funds UPEI research into potato input technologies

The development of new technologies and systems for the application of potato production inputs has received a funding boost at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). The National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has awarded Dr. Aitazaz Farooque, an assistant professor at UPEI’s School of Sustainable Design Engineering a Discovery Grant and Discovery Accelerator Supplement. Farooque’s research — Development of Precision Agriculture Technologies to Improve Crop Productivity and…

Farming From Space

Technology in all areas of farming continues to evolve, and satellite data collection and analysis is no exception. It’s becoming less expensive every year to collect data on crops, weather and more from space, and the information gathered is also getting much more detailed and reliable. Satellite data are useful to the agriculture community not only in terms of understanding long-term trends, but in gaining faster and better insight into crop-soil health…

Preparing for the Potato’s Future

It’s always been critical to breed new crop varieties with good yield and harvest quality, but it’s more important than ever to do so now, with crops facing myriad stresses related to changing climate conditions. Dr. Keshav Dahal, a crop stress physiologist who joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research and Development Centre in Fredericton, N.B. during summer 2017, is helping unlock how some plants sense and react to stress more effectively than…

From muddy spud to the perfect French fry: Information experts are optimizing potato production

Modern potato harvesting can be a pretty rough business. In years gone by, the farmers would be out in the fields assisted by friends and family carefully digging up the potato crop by hand. Today, mechanical harvesters are in use. But if the machinery is not adjusted correctly, the potatoes can get badly bumped and knocked as they move along the agitator belts, hitting stones and each other on their way. This…

U.S. student wins prize for blight solution

New York student Benjamin “Benjy” Firester has won one of the United States’ top young science prizes for his research on the devastating microorganism which caused the Irish Potato Famine, devising a computer model that could prevent it causing billions of dollars in lost crops every year. The 18-year-old senior at Hunter College High School beat 1,800 students in the race to the $250,000 first prize at the Regeneron Science Talent Search,…

Picking away at the problem of common scab on potatoes

Dr. Claudia Goyer, a molecular bacteriologist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Fredericton Research and Development Centre in New Brunswick, says she is seeing promising results that may help potato growers get more of their products into the global marketplace. Common scab is a potato disease caused by bacteria in the soil and while it is not a health issue for humans, common scab’s crusty lesions on potato skin can make potatoes unmarketable. …

2018 Northeast Potato Technology Forum

The 2018 Northeast Potato Technology Forum will be held March 21-22, 2018, at the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook Hotel in downtown Fredericton, N.B. This annual event provides potato researchers, extension specialists and industry representatives from Atlantic Canada and Northeastern United States an opportunity to discuss potato research and exchange technical information of benefit to the potato industry. Participation is open to all private and public researchers, extension specialists, growers, and other potato…

P.E.I.: Potato Research Update and Grower Feedback

P.E.I. potato growers and Agronomy Initiative for Marketable yield (AIM) partners are invited to a series of local meetings on March 19th and 20th, 2018 to discuss some of the trials being done under AIM. As well, this will be an opportunity for growers to provide feedback on their priorities for research and agronomy, to ensure the AIM program continues to respond to the needs of growers. Meeting times and locations: March…

U.K. report states potatoes provide health benefits

For decades, potatoes have been branded unhealthy and humans have been advised to avoid consuming too many of them. But now, researchers say that consuming the popular tuber is actually good for you. Scientists who reviewed a host of evidence are pushing for potatoes to be reassessed for their “clear” health benefits. They have uncovered evidence in a 60-page report that consuming potatoes could slash the risk of having a heart attack…

Study Traces the Origins of CPB

A new study from a University of Maryland-led team of researchers confirms the long held idea that the Colorado potato beetle, by far the most damaging insect to the U.S. — and Canadian — potato industry, originated in the Great Plains region of the United States. The findings dispel more recent theories that this beetle may have come from Mexico or other divergent populations. These findings shed new light on the origin of…

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