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Browsing Category Crop Production R & D

Sorghum-Sudangrass as Rotation Crop

The ideal potato rotation crop is one that offers more than one agronomic benefit and also has a positive effect on potato yields. An exciting rotation option with great potential on both these fronts is now being investigated in a second in-depth study in P.E.I. Sorghum-sudangrass is being closely examined as part of a larger cross-country study focused on enhancing the productivity and sustainability of Canadian potato production. The national team includes…

Mesh Keeps Pests Off Potatoes: NZ research

In New Zealand, a team of Lincoln University researchers is impressed with the results from a trial of a mesh cover that is used to protect potato crops from insect pests. The effectiveness of the mesh at protecting potatoes from the tomato-potato psyllid (TPP) was tested in a trial at the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) field site at Lincoln. Future Farming Centre head Dr. Charles Merfield said the mesh was “incredibly…

Conservation Measures Outperform Conventional Yields

Conventional potato production appears ultimately to produce the highest net return per acre. But you have to weigh that against “conservation” potato production practices that not only grow potatoes, but also do more to improve overall soil quality and health. What is that worth to a producer? That conclusion comes following a 12-year Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) field study comparing conventional irrigated potato production practices and conservation practices that included no…

Potato-Vegetable Growers Give $5 Million for UW-Research

Potato growers plan to give $5 million to University of Wisconsin-Madison during the next decade to conduct research for the industry. Members of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) will pay for the new research with higher assessments on their product sales. Last summer, the industry increased its assessment by one penny for every 100 pounds of potatoes and vegetables produced , and the association’s board plans to raise it…

More tools for wireworm control

Two researchers have done extensive work to improve and expand options for controlling wireworms, including insecticides and crop rotations. However, none of the available options gives complete control, and wireworm populations are exploding in some parts of Canada. New, innovative traps are set to become valuable additional tools in the fight against these very damaging pests. Wireworms belong to the Elateridae family. Canada has about 30 wireworm species of economic importance. A…

Potato funding announced for Manitoba

The Canada and Manitoba governments have invested more than $210,000 in a new vegetable research site near Winkler, Man., focused on improving yields, developing new varieties and creating opportunities for potato, sweet potato and carrot growers. The announcement was made today by federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. Funding will be provided through Growing Innovation – Capacity Knowledge and Development to support research focused on: • nutrient…

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…

Bed Planting Results Show Benefits

Five-row bed planting of potatoes comes with some inherent advantages over traditional ridged row planting. That’s the finding of a recent Manitoba study carried out to determine how different bed planting techniques can effect potato plant populations in terms of yield, tuber profile and quality for french fry processing. Bed planting of potatoes has been gaining attention in Canada after growers in Idaho and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest started experimenting with…

A New Way to Grow

Canadian researchers are experimenting with a new method of growing seed potatoes, and the results look promising. Scientists at the Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development Crop Diversification Centre say aeroponic potato production — which essentially involves growing potatoes in air, rather than soil — has the potential to revolutionize how seed potatoes are grown in Canada. Potato research scientist Michele Konschuh, based in Brooks, Alta., is leading the evaluation of a commercial…

Keeping Soil Where It Belongs

Ongoing research being conducted in New Brunswick promises to give potato farmers valuable insight into the effectiveness of the best management practices in use to combat soil erosion. The study, being carried out near Fredericton, N.B., by staff at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Potato Research Centre, is examining how the movement of water off farm fields in New Brunswick’s Black Brook watershed produces channels and gullies, accelerating soil erosion and nutrient losses…

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