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Browsing Category Spring 2016

Spudsmart Webinar and Podcast

Agronomic experts share their research findings and views on the importance of high-quality seed in potato production. During this webinar, you will learn how seed quality is affected by numerous factors such as chronological and physiological age, physical quality, seed lot history and seed storage and handling. You will also hear how seed potato preparation, such as warming seed before planting, influences crop growth and performance. Sponsored by McCain Foods.

Demystifying Data

The ag industry has been talking about it for quite some time: simple, intuitive farm data collection and management that provides valuable information to growers, which ultimately leads to increased yields and profits. Until now, farmers have been piecing data management systems together, gleaning information and efficiencies where possible. Meanwhile, many collection and organization processes remain cumbersome and inefficient, and the data’s full potential unrealized. However, with the recent launch of some…

Loosing Linuron

Linuron is a staple ingredient in herbicides used for decades to help Canadian growers control broadleaf and grassy weeds prior to planting potatoes each growing season. However, changes are coming that will affect growers who rely on this pre-plant burndown product to control persistent weeds. Linuron is an active ingredient in some Group 7 herbicide products that growers have been using effectively, not just to control weeds and to also fight against…

AAFC Unveils New Varieties for 2016

Canadian growers were able to catch a glimpse of the future at a series of open houses recently hosted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada potato breeders to share the latest results of their accelerated release selections program. This year’s open houses were held Feb. 10 on three fronts – the Fredericton Research and Development Centre in New Brunswick, the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre in Alberta, and for the first time ever…

Planting the Seeds of Innovation

For two decades now, Saskatchewan-based Tuberosum Technologies Inc. (TTI) has been striving to make potato production more efficient and sustainable through breeding technologies. To TTI breeders, the answer lies with true potato seed (TPS). Some potato varieties naturally produce small fruit that contain hundreds of these tiny botanical seeds, which can grow into full tuber producing potato plants. The use of TPS to cultivate potatoes isn’t new, as the practice was born…

New Weapon against Verticillium

Potato producers have wrestled with Verticillium wilt for decades. Because some of the Verticillium pathogens can stay present in soil for 10 to 15 years, it’s a long-term problem that can be notoriously difficult to control, never mind test for. A new tool for helping growers successfully combat the pathogen that plays a role in potato early dying (PED) complex could be available within a couple of years, thanks to the work…

Spirit of the Farm

When Ontario potato grower Ken Beattie visited a vodka distillery in Prince Edward Island several years ago, he was inspired to try creating his own brand of high-quality spirits using his own potatoes. Now, Beattie’s Farm-Crafted Potato Vodka is ready to launch with a small-batch trial run in select Ontario stores this spring, and an entire distillery is being constructed on the producer’s 4,000-acre potato farm near Alliston. “Ken has a firm…

Progressive Outlook on Potato Farming

New Brunswick’s Shawn Paget is among the new generation of potato farmers working hard to ensure that the industry remains an integral part of Canadian agriculture. “I’m very optimistic,” says the Simonds, N.B. farmer who’s also chair of Potatoes New Brunswick. “We’re all striving to become more efficient, and the advancements in technology today are allowing us to become better growers and more competitive in the world market.” Paget’s Riverview Farms is…

Late Blight Offensive: Targeting Tomatoes

Last year, for the first time in more than a decade, there were no lab-confirmed cases of late blight in Prince Edward Island’s commercial potato crop. And the province’s home gardeners can take much of the credit. A program launched by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the P.E.I Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in early 2015 urged gardeners to help protect the province’s $1 billion potato industry by planting tomato varieties with…

Why High-quality Potato Seed is Important

What’s the secret to a great potato crop? Things like fertile soil, ideal weather and a benign summer free from pests and diseases certainly come to mind, but there’s one crucial factor that sometimes overlooked — starting off with good quality seed. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart gathered some expert opinions on why it’s important for commercial potato growers to seek out the best seed they can get their hands…

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