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Potato plants in a row in a field

Seeding Update — Ontario Potato Planting Starts

Potato planting across southern Ontario has began within the last few weeks, Eugenia Banks, a potato specialist with the Ontario Potato Board, says in an email. There has already been 130 acres of potatoes planted in the Lemington area, according to Mark VanOostrum, Banks notes. The area received two inches of rain last weekend, which stalled planting for a few days. Planting started this week at Whites Potato Farm located near Vanessa,…

Potato seeds poking out of the dirt

Pandemic Wrecks Potato Planting Plans

As french fry sales plunge and fresh potato and chip sales surge due to the COVID-19 pandemic, processors are struggling to gauge future market demand leaving farmers in the flux as they start planting this year’s crop, the April 1 issue of North American Potato Market News says. As restaurants have shutdown or closed in-restaurant seating, french fry sales globally have dropped. Fries are starting to pile up and plants are slowing…

Fusarium and Soft Rot

Disease Watch: Fusarium Seed Piece Decay, Fusarium Dry Rot

Fusarium is the most common fungus responsible for seed-piece decay and dry rot. Although Fusarium is found in most soils, infected seed tubers are the most important sources of inoculum. Planting infected seed results in poor stands and serious economic losses. Soft rot bacteria often invade tubers with dry rot, which causes the seed to rot very quickly. Identification External lesions are sunken and shriveled with concentric wrinkles. Cracks often form in…

Pile of potatoes

Japan Further Reduces Export Tariffs on U.S. Potatoes

Japan has agreed to further reduce exports on United States potato products as of April 1, a news release from the National Potato Council (NPC) says. This comes only four months after the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement came into affect on Jan. 1. The tariff on U.S. frozen fries will fall to 2.1 per cent, and the tariff on U.S. dehydrated potato flakes will drop to 10 per cent. Further reductions will happen…

Potato plants growing in a field

Air-Cup seeders offer front-of-season savings and end-of-season premiums

Considering a new or new-to-you potato planter? Here’s the pros and cons for the most common styles available today: Pick Planters The oldest form of potato planting technology is pick-based planting. Pick planters operate by stabbing potato seed and then dropping it into the trench. While spacing is based off the size of the pick wheel, at times, it may not be as accurate as newer styles of planters. The trick with…

French fries

French Fry Sales Slide

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause restaurants across North America to shut down and limit operations, demand for french fries has dropped significantly, the March 25 issue of North American Potato Market News says. Demand for fresh potatoes in grocery stores has rose as shoppers have stockpiled supplies, however traffic at fast-casual restaurants dropped by 78 per cent compared to last year, the report says. Over 80 per cent of North American…

COVID-19

Canadian Potato Industry COVID-19 Updates

Below is a list of updates from provincial and federal potato organizations in regards to COVID-19 information. This page will be updated when new information is available. Keystone Potato Producers Association The organization’s office closed as of Monday, March 23, with employees working from home, Dan Sawatzky, general manager of the Keystone Potato Producers Association (KPPA), says in an email. The spring production/United Partners meeting which was scheduled for March 26 has…

Potato field in sunset

Canadian Government Enables FCC to Lend $5 billion More

The following piece is from our sister publication, Alberta Seed Guide. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold the Canadian government has provided Farm Credit Canada (FCC) with an additional $5 billion in lending capacity, Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced today. Bibeau’s announcement comes following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement earlier today outlining more details on the Government of Canada’s plan to support the economy during the COVID-19…

Essential versus non-essential travel guidelines from the Canadian government

Business Allowed to Continue Despite Travel Restrictions

The following piece is from our sister publication, Germination. After some uncertainty last week surrounding the closure of the Canada-U.S. border to all but essential travel, the federal government has eased concerns with regard to temporary agricultural workers and the definition of non-essential travel. Agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau released a statement saying temporary foreign workers will be allowed on farms providing they follow protocols including a health screening before they arrive and…

Potato field in sunset

P.E.I. Potato Breeder and Seed Company Joins Sustainability Group

The recently created Potato Sustainability Alliance (PSA) has added Charlottetown, P.E.I.-based breeding and seed potato trading company HZPC Americas Corp, as a member to its organization, the group says in a news release. “Fostering collaboration across the value chain is an essential component of PSA. By joining our organization and partnering with our members and potato farmers, HZPC can help catalyze opportunities for ongoing improvement in potato sustainability,” Laura Scandurra, executive director…

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