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Sprouting: an unnecessary hit to your wallet

I’ve heard growers say, literally countless times, “They’re just little sprouts. They aren’t a big deal.” While it’s true that processors will often accept sprouts up to 1.5 inches, sprouting is actually a big – and unnecessary – deal. Whereas a dormant potato tuber is nature’s ideal moisture storage mechanism, each sprout leaks moisture. The math is simple: less moisture = less weight = less money. As such, any grower who wants…

Potato plants in a row in a field

U of S Researcher Looking into Low Environmental Impact/Cost Potato Varieties

University of Saskatchewan plant scientist Kate Congreves has received funding from Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) to identify potato varieties which reduce environmental impact and cost, a news release from the U of S says. She plans to test modern potato cultivars for improved nitrogen and phosphorus efficiency. By identifying the best potato varieties to grow in Saskatchewan, farmers will be able to boost yields, increase revenue and reduce fertilizer use, decreasing…

Pile of potato

Japan Top Export Market for U.S. Potato Products

The United States exported nearly US$348 million worth of potatoes and potato products to Japan in 2018, making the Asian nation the number one overseas market for U.S. potatoes, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service report. Japan is a major importer of cooked and prepared frozen products, with the U.S. accounting for nearly 70 per cent of Japan’s total imports annually. Japan’s market for U.S. potato products is…

606 S-Series Air Cup

Successful Farmers Know “An Ounce of Prevention…”

Functional, well-maintained equipment can make the difference between farming success and enormously costly misses, breakdowns and losses. In the more than 35 years I’ve spent in the equipment business, I’ve found most farmers do a decent job of prepping their planters, harvesters and other equipment for winter storage, and of greasing, tuning and maintaining their machines prior to use the next season. However, don’t pat yourself on the back just yet. I’ve…

Potato plants in a row in a field

North American Potato Industry Bands Together to Form Sustainability Group

As consumer and industry preferences continue to drive demand for more sustainable foods, the Canadian and United States potato industries have banded together to create the Potato Sustainability Alliance, said a news release from the organization. The newly created group was first announced in January at the Potato Expo in Las Vegas, Nev. The Potato Alliance builds on the work of the previously created Potato Sustainability Initiative, while adding fresh packers, agribusinesses,…

P.E.I. Farmers Fight Back Against Late Blight With Ag Tech

To cut down on costs and make their operations more efficient Prince Edward Island potato farmers have started using precision agriculture technology to prevent late blight, according to a news release from the Prince Edward Island Potato Board. Farmers usually use fungicides throughout the growing season to protect from late blight which can cause millions of dollars in crop losses. Many P.E.I. farmers though have started using precision agriculture technology like localized…

Practices for Mitigating Soil Compaction

ALTHOUGH FARMERS have known for a long time that soil compaction is an important issue, they are now getting more serious than ever about its management. Compaction can threaten potato plants in a number of negative ways, yet farmers must often make the decision to enter a field (e.g. at planting) when conditions don’t lend themselves well to compaction prevention. However, a wholistic approach throughout the year employing the latest strategies will…

Practices for Mitigating Soil Compaction – A Spud Smart Roundtable Webinar & Podcast

Although farmers understand soil compaction is an important issue, they are now becoming more serious than ever about its management. Compaction can threaten potato plants in a number of negative ways. Farmers must often make the decision to enter a field when conditions don’t lend themselves well to compaction prevention. However, a wholistic approach throughout the year employing the latest strategies will ensure the effects of soil compaction are minimized, year in…

From our Desk

Reach Out and Talk About It

To say harvest conditions were difficult in 2019 for some western Canadian potato producers would be an understatement. The total unharvested potato acres last year in Canada was just under 20,300. Cold, wet conditions followed by snow meant approximately 84 per cent of those unharvested acres were located in Manitoba and Alberta, where about 13,000 and 4,000 acres, respectively, were left in the ground (Market News, page 50). This is the second…

Eye On The Nation

Winter 2020 ALBERTA  Terence Hochstein, Executive Director, Potato Growers of Alberta  Only in Alberta can you go from -35 C on Friday to 2 C on Sunday morning. Such is the life in the Chinook belt of southern Alberta. The winter in Alberta has been a mixed bag to say the least. Three feet of snow at the end of September, then it’s gone for a while, then another couple of feet,…

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