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Browsing Category Summer 2017

Celebrating 150-plus years of potato production

Long before John A. Macdonald took office as this country’s first prime minister 150 years ago, there were potatoes growing in Canada. But before we go into the history of the potato, let’s go back to the very beginning. Potatoes originated in the Andes in South America and were taken to Spain around the year 1500. However, another 200 years or so passed before potatoes were recognized as a useful food source…

2017 Canadian Potato Crop Outlook

Potato growers in Canada enjoyed a banner year in 2016. Manitoba in particular recorded record yields thanks to good weather and favourable growing conditions. Prices for fresh potatoes were strong from coast to coast and contract volumes remained stable. And for the third year in a row, the national average for potato yield hit record levels, coming in at 307 hundredweight (cwt) per acre. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato…

Market News

Canada’s potato storage holdings as of June 1 were down 14.4 per cent — or just over 2.8 million hundredweight — from the year before, according to figures from the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). Kevin MacIsaac, UPGC general manager, says it’s the result of good demand in the fresh, chip and french fry categories in recent months. “The market has been active,” he says. “It has helped move the pile…

Soil Testing Accuracy Important

The phrase that advises us never to compare apples to oranges should be taken very seriously in relation to soil tests according to Pat Toner, a soil management specialist with New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture (NBAFA). “A standard test will measure water pH, buffer pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur, but you need to ensure a couple of things are in place for the results to be accurate and useful,” Toner explains….

Wireworms – Know Them, Control Them

A key hurdle in managing wireworms is that different species can have different responses to control measures. So in 2004, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers launched the first-ever nation-wide survey of wireworm pest species. Now this challenging survey is in its final year. “The survey is foundational to our development of integrated pest management strategies for wireworms right across Canada,” says Bob Vernon, the AAFC research scientist who is leading the…

Strain Tracking

Through a national initiative, Canadian researchers have found that late blight strains have shifted dramatically across the country since 2009. The researchers have also identified important differences among the strains in such characteristics as fungicide sensitivity, host preferences, and aggressiveness on potato tubers and foliage. And their findings are making a vital difference in late blight prevention and management. The research is led by Rick Peters, a research scientist with Agriculture and…

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