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Psyllids and Zebra Chip

University of Lethbridge biogeography professor Dan Johnson has been monitoring Prairie potato fields for the past few years, looking for evidence of the potato psyllid and a bacterium it can carry that can lead to zebra chip disease in potato crops. The good news: So far in 2017, the number of potato psyllids has been lower than in previous years, both in Canada and the U.S. The better news: None of the…

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Fries Get Bum Rap

It happens constantly: news writers get all hot and sweaty whenever “bad food” news releases are dropped on their desks. Red meat is bad for you. Coffee is bad for you. Booze is bad for you. To be fair, that last one could be correct, but only if you overindulge. And isn’t that the crux? Everything in moderation, that’s the key. So it was bound to happen sooner or later. Potatoes, specifically…

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Spuds on Mars

There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about launching manned missions to Mars with people who will colonize the planet. For example, Netherlands-based Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2031. Eldon Musk’s SpaceX mission to Mars has joined the race, although they’re short on details at this point. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is on a journey to Mars…

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Imidacloprid Uncertainty

UPDATE:  The consultation period has been extended. Interested parties are encouraged to provide comments and suggestions by 23 March 2017. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you have probably heard by now that Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is proposing to phase out all agricultural uses of imidacloprid over three to five years. The proposed phase out comes as a result of a re-evaluation of imidacloprid by the PMRA,…

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Learning From Experience

Weather has always been in the forefront of human consciousness – man is aware of the surrounding climate almost every minute of every day. When we get up, we look outside to “see what it’s doing” weather-wise. We check weather reports at breakfast so we know what to wear when we step outside the door. We study long-term forecasts to find out what the weather will be like for the week. Whether…

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Leveraging Social Media in Agriculture

Whether social media is used for personal or business, it has and will continue to have a tremendous impact on society. It’s not only revolutionized the way we communicate with friends, family and peers, but it has increased the speed of conversation dramatically. It’s also a huge factor in modernizing a business’s connection with their current and prospective customers. Social media is a series of community-building networks — where we start and…

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Promoting Knowledge in the Produce Aisle

As the editor of Spud Smart, I peruse all kinds of potato-related information every day. I see a lot of interesting stories, and something I came across not too long ago got me thinking: Wouldn’t it be great if the people manning the produce aisle in my local supermarket knew more about potatoes? It’s an idea that the U.S. Potato Board has taken to heart, with a program it has introduced to…

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More Ways to Get Great Potato Info

In this space in our last issue, our director of Digital Strategies at Issues Ink, Jill Hollosi, informed Spud Smart magazine readers about the brand new look, enhanced responsiveness and increased functionality of That was just the start. There have been some more exciting new digital developments and engagement opportunities for website visitors here at Spud Smart. I’m pleased to tell you about our new Spud Smart podcasts and webinars. This…

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As the director of Digital Strategies at Issues Ink, publisher of Spud Smart, I am delighted to share the exciting news that will soon be sporting a brand new look. Our web designer Nicholoas Buhr and the rest of the Spud Smart team have been working hard to craft a website that not only delivers compelling content and is user-friendly and appealing to the eye, but is responsive for easy viewing…

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Tater Tourism

Potatoes and Tourism. Two words that most people wouldn’t find particularly synonymous. Ryan Albright is one of the exceptions. The New Brunswick potato grower is a co-founder of the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company, which is featured in our lead story of this issue of Spud Smart. Albright’s company makes old-fashioned potato chips at its plant in Hartland, N.B., which is home to world’s longest covered bridge. About 100,000 visitors come to Hartland each summer…

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