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Browsing Category Winter 2016

Spudsmart Webinar & Podcast – Fall Bedding

  Experts weigh in and share their experiences on how fall bedding can improve the soil environment, ultimately leading to greater yields. Fall bedding in potato fields allows for soil preparation work to be done when growers typically have more time and labour available to them. In this webinar, we present expert views on how this procedure can improve the soil environment, ultimately leading to greater yields. Sponsored by: McCain Foods

Spud Smart Webinar

Expert views on how this practice can improve yield and quality and reduce defects. Growers and agronomists share their experiences and views on best management practices for using narrower row widths in potato production and the benefits for producers. During this webinar you will: • Hear how data from McCain Foods’ Manitoba growers showed significant yield increases with decreased row spacings from 2009 and 2015 • Learn about a U.S. Pacific Northwest…

True Potato Seed

The use of true potato seed (TPS) for growing potatoes is likely as old as the cultivation of the potato itself. Many potato cultivars in Andean highlands of South America — the region where potato was first domesticated — flower profusely and produce a lot of fruit. So it is only natural that the people in this area used TPS both to produce a crop for consumption as well as to develop…

Recipe for Success

2015 was a whirlwind year for Valley Growers, the Ontario potato company operated by Gerry Philippe and Tami Rainville. Its line of never frozen packaged french fries called G&T Farmhouse Fresh Fries was launched in the spring of last year. After months of strong market acceptance that continues to grow by the day, the makers of Farmhouse Fresh Fries received a prestigious Ontario Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence in November. The…

Zebra Chip Update

When Joseph Munyaneza first started working with zebra chip as a U.S. federal researcher, the disease — a bacterial infection spread by potato-tomato psyllids — was confined to Texas. Munyaneza is a research entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and is based in Washington, where he also serves as an adjunct professor at Washington State University. “As a federal government employee, I conducted research in Texas….

Potato Alternatives

Most potato growers understand the value of rotating spuds with other crops in a rotation spanning three years or longer, as a vital tool for fighting potato diseases and pests. Some farmers, facing shrinking margins and other factors such as a declining agricultural land base and high costs for adding fields, are tempted to grow potatoes one in every two years, despite the deleterious effects of shorter crop rotations. Potatoes are a…

Quest Continues for Low Acrylamide Potatoes

Despite another recent study showing no firm link between levels of dietary acrylamide in food and cancer in human beings, efforts continue in order to find new potato varieties that will produce minimal amounts of the chemical when cooked. “I won’t say acrylamide isn’t important anymore. It’s a trait that processors should continue to look at,” says Zenaida Ganga, crop specialist with Cavendish Farms – Research Division in Prince Edward Island. The…

That’s a Wrap

Science has yet to discover a method for turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse, but it has come up with a way to turn potato waste into an eco-friendly product that could one day take the place of traditional plastic food wraps. A team of researchers at the University of Alberta is conducting a study into the use of potato waste products such as peels and culls to produce a…

Tighter Row Spacings

Growers and processors are always looking at how to improve farming practices that will boost yields in potato fields. Could using a narrower row width when planting potatoes be one way? Spud Smart asked the following four experts to share their views on tighter row spacings in potato production and how growers could stand to benefit: processing potato producers John Goff and Sheldon Wiebe and McCain Foods agronomists Scott Graham and Rhett…

Four Generations of Potato Growers

When Manitoba potato grower Terry Bailey walks through the frozen food aisle in a supermarket, he sometimes wonders how many of the french fries on display might have originated from his own farm. He’s been a grower for McCain Foods, the world’s french fry leader, in Carberry, Man. since 2004, when McCain acquired the area’s processing plant from Midwest Food Products. Prior to that, Bailey’s family grew potatoes for Midwest as well….

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