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Browsing Category Spring 2015

Potatoes in the Pampas

Situated in the fertile Pampas region of Argentina, El Parque Papas is a bustling potato business that produces and stores chipping and french fry stock for the processing market. It boasts a pair of the biggest names in the global potato market — McCain and PepsiCo — as its main customers. El Parque Papas currently supplies about 23,000 tonnes of chipping potatoes annually for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division. In addition, it provides about…

Industry News

PEOPLE NEWS International Potato Center Founder Passes Away Richard L. Sawyer, the founder of the International Potato Center (CIP) and its first director-general, passed away on March 9 in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Dr. Sawyer’s legacy is enormous. His project to begin a potato research for development institute in the potato’s center of diversity was visionary and this work has led to improved nutrition, health, and livelihood for millions of rural poor in…

World Review

Germany Colorado potato beetle (CPB) is one of the most destructive and hard to control insect pests due to its resistance against pesticides. Researchers from Max Planck Institute have now developed an alternative to pesticides. According to the researchers, the new technology utilizes molecular biology and allows for precise protection against CPB without using chemicals or introducing foreign proteins into the potato plant. This was done by adopting the mechanism of RNS…

Market News

March figures for potato storage holdings from the United Potato Growers of Canada paint a different picture for each side of the country. “Right now … they’re down in the West, and up in the East,” says Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the UPGC. “It’s two totally different scenarios, based on where you are in the country. “Some of it is related to the fact that western growers planted less. I mean…

Eye On The Nation

Prince Edward Island By Alex Docherty, Chairman, Prince Edward Island Potato Board As of the beginning of March, we were in the middle of the 2014/2015 shipping season. Quality remained top-notch, processing use was up over last year, and demand for fresh use seemed to be picking up. Post-harvest testing for the potato virus Y and potato leaf roll viruses in seed had been completed for the most part, with an approximately 90…

Potato Gatherings

The 2015 Ontario Potato Conference was held March 5 at the Delta Hotel and Conference Centre in Guelph, Ont. The attendance of about 275 growers and industry people exceeded expectations. Among the attendees were delegates from Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. There were 30 exhibitors at the trade show, which included displays of new potato varieties and the latest production technology. All exhibitors indicated that they plan to be back at…

Crop Rotations

The effect of sensible crop rotation on pest and pathogen populations in potato crops is coming under increasing scrutiny these days, and is a matter that most commercial farmers in Canada carefully consider when planning for the next cropping season. In fact, many growers regard crop rotation as a primary cornerstone of their sustainability strategies. In addition, studies in Canada, the United States and several European countries consistently confirm the importance of…

Taking on Late Blight

We put the question of best management practices for preventing or reducing potato crop damage from late blight to three experts: Gary Secor, a North Dakota plant pathologist who dispensed advice on managing late blight to growers at the Ontario Potato Conference in March, and two McCain Foods agronomists, Monica Everett and Gilles Moreau, who regularly help growers do battle with the disease.When it comes to potato diseases, late blight is one…

Wild Potato Cousins

The potato probably has more related wild species than any other crop. These wild relatives grow through much of the Americas, from the United States southwest through Central America and then along the South American Andes Mountains from Venezuela through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and northwest Argentina. They also occur in the lowlands of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil. Over millions of years, various wild potato species have adapted to…

Protecting Potato’s Heritage

The Andean region of Latin America has long been regarded as one of the most fertile and productive areas in the world when it comes to potato cultivation. The area is home to more than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes, some of which have existed since the time of the Incas. However, there is growing concern that this tuber biodiversity could be at risk as a result of several factors including the…

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