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Browsing Category Spring 2018

The Next Level of Weed Control

As anyone in the ag sector well knows, new technologies are quickly revolutionizing farming, automating processes in major ways to make them more efficient, less costly and more environmentally-friendly. Weed control is one of those processes. Several companies and academic groups around the world have developed systems that enable more precise herbicide application through taking large numbers of images of a field using cameras on drones. The images are then amalgamated together…

Bill Menkveld, Greentronics

Maximizing Potato Yield Starts at Planting

Improved planting technology is coming to a potato field near you. Here’s why you might want to be on the leading edge of these technologies. Uniform crop emergence is key to optimizing field management all season long. Plants that emerge consistently allow hilling, spraying, irrigation and harvest to occur at the right timing across the entire crop, promoting healthier plants, optimum tuber set and more efficient harvest. Achieving emergence consistency depends on…

Arm Yourself Against PVY

Canadian potato growers should keep an extra watchful eye out for potato virus Y (PVY) this coming season. Though PVY has been a costly issue for decades, winter test results show a concerning increase in the disease in certain regions over the past couple years, likely due to newer, more aggressive PVY strains such as PVYNTN, delayed harvests and higher than normal overwintering of aphids. PVY impacts both yield and, when infection…

Eye On The Nation

BRITISH COLUMBIA By Hugh Reynolds, Reynelda Farms, Delta, B.C. B.C. has had near endless rain in January with a very cold February and a wet, cool March forecast. This puts B.C. behind for our famous early potatoes. With today’s excellent planters, we will only need a good week to pound in many acres of potatoes, but they will be a little later this year. In B.C. we have a regulated quota for potato delivery…

From our Desk

Soil Health Research Ongoing

Another crop year is upon us, and once again, potato producers are busy preparing. Pre-planting tasks abound – repairing and updating equipment, prepping the soil, checking and preparing seed, scheduling help. I’m not a potato grower, so I know I am missing myriad steps producers take. But one thing I do know – ensuring the health of your soil is paramount to healthy production and good yields. Some new research is underway…

Colorado Potato Beetle Marches On

The most destructive potato crop pest in Canada, the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), shows no sign of slowing down. Indeed, since the 1950s, Colorado potato beetle has developed resistance to 52 different compounds belonging to all major insecticide classes, and resistance is growing to neonicotinoid chemistries. According to Dr. Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, vice president research and quality with Peak of the Market in Winnipeg, Man., there is an ongoing increase in the…

China a Potato Production Powerhouse

Hundreds of potato stakeholders from around the globe will descend on Cusco, Peru, in May for the 10th World Potato Congress (WPC). One the largest groups of participants will be from China, the leading potato producer in the world and the host nation for the last WPC in 2015. According to Peter VanderZaag, a WPC director and one of the key organizers of WPC 2015 as well as WPC 2018, the event…

Potato Production and Climate Change

Potato is the most important non-grain crop in the world. So, understanding the potential impacts of climate change on potato production is critical, especially for producers. Throughout its long history, Earth has warmed and cooled time and again. Climate has changed when the planet received more or less sunlight due to subtle shifts in its orbit, as the atmosphere or surface changed, or when the Sun’s energy varied. But in the past…

Nurturing Deep Roots in Sustainability

The VanderZaag family has been growing potatoes for generations, initially in the Netherlands, and then immigrating to Alliston, Ont. For founder of Sunrise Potato Storage Ltd., Peter VanderZaag, it is not just about producing a marketable crop but returning life to the depleted soils around the world. Today, the family farm consists of over 1,000 acres of potatoes, and a state-of-the-art storage facility that can hold 400,000 cwt (18,000 tonnes) of potatoes….

Disease Watch: Spore Trapping

Determining late blight presence and disease pressure on the potato crop is an ongoing challenge. A heavy late blight infestation can cause several thousands of dollars in losses. Control of late blight is mostly achieved through fungicide application, and growers anticipate that late blight control requires routine applications of fungicides at high rates and short intervals throughout the growing season, beginning at 50 per cent emergence. This is an unsustainable situation that…

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