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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…

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…

From our Desk

Waging War on Waste

Waste is a reality for all potato operations. Just how much waste varies, and the degree of waste often differs from season to season. Canadian growers commonly view waste as potatoes unusable for fresh market, processing or dehydration because they do not meet minimum size, grade or quality standards. Potatoes disposed of due to low market value caused by overproduction—typically referred to as cull potatoes—are also considered waste. Solanum, a potato processor…

Tuber Talk

Chemical Pest Control Products: Resistance Update

Stakeholders in the potato industry, from members of the scientific community to manufacturers of crop protectants and growers, understand that undesirable crop pests can develop resistance to the chemical pest control products used to control them. Resistance is a phenomenon that occurs when pest populations—insects, diseases, weeds and nematodes—are repeatedly exposed to the same active ingredient. As resistance develops in a particular pest population, a chemical pest control product becomes ineffective and…

Investing in IPM

There are signs on the horizon that major players in the potato industry are increasing their investment in sustainable pest management solutions. Case in point is McDonald’s Corporation’s response to a shareholder request in 2008 to discover methods of reducing pest control products in their potato supply: McDonald’s approached McCain Foods, Lamb Weston and Simplot and asked them to participate in the implementation of an integrated pest management/integrated crop management survey at…

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