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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…

UAVs coming to a potato field near you

Agriculture is on the cusp of a game-changing leap forward in technology. Currently, most agricultural unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used for the technologically simple task of remote digital photography But, government and private-sector scientists alike are proving UAVs can do much, much more for Canadian farming. “Soon, definitely less than a decade from now, using UAVs will be a common-place practice; just one more tool in the toolbox,” says Dan Clarke,…

Sorting the rocks from the spuds

Up until this fall, Alex Docherty, chairman of the PEI Potato Board and a potato farmer in Elmwood, P.E.I., would do what most potato farmers on the Island still do today — hire rock pickers. This year, he purchased a Spudnik AirSep Harvester, a piece of equipment instead that eliminates one of the more mundane tasks of the potato harvest — separating the rocks from the spuds. “It’s an incredible piece of equipment,”…

Potato Wastewater

Water availability and water quality are two issues that are gaining a lot of attention these days, and concerns have led to stricter agricultural water-use regulations in some provinces. In Ontario, for example, farmers will feel the impact of new phosphorus loading targets for Lake Erie that the federal government is expected to announce soon, as part of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between Canada and U.S. When tubers are moved…

Agritechnica

Every two years, Hanover, Germany hosts Agritechnica, the world’s largest trade fair for agricultural machinery and equipment. Agritechnica 2015 attracted almost 3,000 exhibitors from 50-plus nations along with tens of thousands of visitors from more than 100 countries to Hanover in November. Spud Smart was there and was able to peruse the latest in cutting edge potato equipment on display. Here are some products that caught our eye. Every-Air Tarp Winner of…

Equipment and Technology Showcase

Metal Detector Integrating a metal detector with a potato processing line is easy with the new CEIA THS/RB-800 system from Heat and Control, Inc. At 800 millimetres long, this compact system includes a CEIA THS/SL21 series Slim-Line metal detector, round belt conveyor, operating controls, and an optional conveyor speed-sensing encoder, all pre-assembled on a sanitary support frame. The polyurethane cord conveyor is available in three widths and can be removed without tools….

Tools for Success

To protect their investment, it’s important for growers to keep on top of the latest innovations in ventilation, humidification and spout control when storing their potato crops. Spud Smart talked to some industry experts about new equipment, products and technologies aimed at ensuring storage success. Remote Control Ashley Gorman, vice-president of sales at P.E.I.-based Gorman Controls, believes the most important new technologies to hit the scene in recent years have been those…

Equipment and Technology Showcase

  Soil Moisture Monitoring The Valley SoilPro 1200 uses advanced technology to collect detailed soil moisture data and to provide practical advice for growers on when and how much to irrigate. Potato producers who utilize irrigation can pump less and use only the water their crop needs, using just the right volume of water to achieve maximum yield. Powered by AquaSpy, the SoilPro 1200 is an accurate, high-quality capacitance probe that contains 12…

Equipment and Technology Showcase

Precision Farming Display The new TMX-2050 from Trimble is a modern precision farming display that is built on the popular Android operating system and optimized for the company’s Connected Farm service, an integrated operations management system that facilitates information exchange across the entire farm. “Combining the latest technology in hardware, software and data management, the display is the in-cab tool that seamlessly integrates with Connected Farm and takes farmers to the next…

Eliminating the Paper Chase

At the height of harvest, Brian Sackett, owner of Sackett Potatoes in Mecosta County, Mich., runs three harvesters in three fields going to three different bins, putting away 1.1-million hundredweight of potatoes destined for the chipping industry. Ten years ago, an employee would sit at the scale for up to 16 hours a day, recording truck weights as each potato load came in from harvesting more than 3,400 acres. Sackett felt there…

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