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Browsing Category Spring 2017

Guarding Against Dickeya

After triggering major crop losses in the United States, Dickeya has been dominating the potato meetings circuit in North America for the past year or two. In Canada, some of the discussions revolve around the consequences for growers should the new disease makes its way into this country — but some industry experts maintain Dickeya is likely already here. “I don’t know what the extent is [in Canada], but we found Dickeya…

Potatoes and Water Management: From Deluge to Drought

Potato producers know all too well that controlling Mother Nature is as likely as reigning in a two year-old. In either case, you’re doomed before you start. At the same time, there are ways to optimize water use efficiency and minimize the damage from floods and droughts. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart assembled five industry experts to discuss the importance of water management to potato production, and how to deal…

From our Desk

Spuds on Mars

There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about launching manned missions to Mars with people who will colonize the planet. For example, Netherlands-based Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2031. Eldon Musk’s SpaceX mission to Mars has joined the race, although they’re short on details at this point. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is on a journey to Mars…

Eye On The Nation

MANITOBA By Dan Sawatzky, General Manager, Keystone Potato Producers Association Our annual conference, Manitoba Potato Production Days, was held at the end of January with excellent attendance. Industry support of this event is exceptional and is instrumental to the conference success. The Manitoba Potato Partners Seminar is held the end of March with updates from UPGC and APRE, followed by our provincial potato research reporting activities. Usage of the large crop in…

Simple and Effective Late Blight Detection

Determining late blight presence and the resulting pressure on potato crops is an ongoing challenge. Usually, potato growers start a preventive fungicide program with broad spectrum fungicides before row closure, which ensures stems and leaves at the base of plants are protected from both early and late blight. If late blight is identified in the field, growers switch to fungicides that specifically target it for enhanced crop protection. But what if it…

Trade Agreements and Potato Markets

It is hoped that when it is ratified, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will open new export markets for Canadian potatoes. But when U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the trade agreement in January, it put negotiation among the remaining 11 nations in flux. Before we go into what might happen, let’s look at the current potato export “lay of the land” among the nations involved. According to…

New Potato Varieties 2017

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) rolled out 15 new potato varieties to growers and industry representatives on Feb. 13 at three open houses: Fredericton, N.B., Guelph, Ont. and Lethbridge, Alta. The open houses were an opportunity for AAFC researchers to share results of the agency’s potato breeding program’s accelerated release selections. Twelve of the 15 new varieties unveiled are classified as fresh market or dual purpose use, while the three remaining varieties…

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