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In the spring 2018 issue of Spud Smart, we showcase the 2018 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada accelerated release varieties. Also in this issue, read about the next level of weed control, Colorado potato beetle management techniques, and the effect of climate change on potato production now and into the future.

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Researchers Update on Potato Genome Editing

Polyploid plants are limitedly amenable to breeding and genetic engineering and editing because of difficulties in segregation and purifying genes of interest into a single line. Thus, such plants are usually clonally propagated. Nevertheless, efforts on proving the applicability of the genome editing technology have been applied in such plants, especially in potato, the third most important food crop after rice and wheat. Researcher David Douches from Michigan State University and colleagues report on the latest efforts on potato genome editing…

Corn Infected with Ear Rot Increases Fusarium graminearum Inoculum in Soil

This year, the incidence of corn ear rot caused by Gibberella zeae, a.k.a Fusarium graminearum, is high in some Ontario fields. A question that has been raised recently related to corn ear rot is, “Does Fusarium graminearum infect potatoes?” The answer is YES. A survey conducted by Gary Secor from North Dakota State University in the north central United States showed the predominant causes of potato dry rot in that region were Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium sambucinum.  F. graminearum  is the asexual…

Support for Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector to Grow the Middle Class

Montague, P.E.I., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada — Canada’s recent Fall Economic Statement 2018 showed that the Government’s plan is working: more Canadians are employed, wages are growing, and middle-class Canadians have more money to save, invest and grow the economy. The Government of Canada knows that Canadian farmers and food processors are key drivers of the Canadian economy. The Statement is the next step in our plan, where we are supporting Canada’s competitiveness so that…

BASF Pipeline: New products for Potato Growers

Recently, I attended a meeting organized by the staff of BASF to provide updates on several pesticides in the pipeline. Two products that caught my attention were Zidua and CIMEGRA.  Zidua is a pre-emergence herbicide that controls redroot pigweed and suppresses lamb’s quarters.  It is in the same family as dimethenamid-p (Outlook) and s-metolachlor (Dual Magnum).Andrew Robinson, a potato agronomist in North Dakota and Minnesota, has been testing Zidua for three seasons. “Zidua needs to be…

PEI Potato Board Elects New Executive for 2018/19

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I., November 26, 2018—The Prince Edward Island Potato Board has a new executive as a result of its November 21st Board of Directors meeting. The Board is pleased to announce that Jason Hayden has been elected to the Chair position.  Jason has been on the Potato Board for four years serving as the Tablestock Director for the Charlottetown District.  He farms with his family in Pownal where they grow and pack fresh…

Switching of Consumption Potatoes for Seed Potatoes Proven

Brussels, November 22, 2018—Earlier this month, Breeders Trust revealed a major fraud, concerning the switching of at least 200 tons of potatoes meant for consumption, to seed potatoes. Seed Company Mts. H. te Luttelgeest (the Netherlands) was caught red-handed when adding the yield from a lot of consumption potatoes to a lot of seed potatoes. Breeders Trust had been monitoring a potato field for months, after it had been established this summer,…

Potato Days in The Netherlands

Potato Days is a spectacular event that is held every year in the Emmeloord-Joure areas of Friesland. It is a 3-day event, usually the second week in November, when the Dutch potato-breeding companies and a few companies from Germany and Denmark, open their doors to showcase new potato varieties. Tuber samples are on display, and there are brochures with information on agronomy, tuber quality and pest resistance. I have attended this event…

Government of Canada Supports Efforts to Improve Mental and Physical Wellbeing of Farmers and Others in the Agriculture Sector

 November 20, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada  Canadian farmers and food processors across the country work hard every day to put safe, high-quality food on our tables, while driving our economy and creating good, middle-class jobs. Farming can provide an amazing lifestyle with great rewards, but it can also be hard on mental health. Farmers and their families often face high levels of stress because of forces that…

McCain Foods Commits $75 Million to Manitoba Production Facilities

Portage la Prairie, MB, November 26, 2018 – McCain Foods (Canada) announced today infrastructure investments totalling $75 million for its Portage la Prairie and Carberry, Man., facilities. The investments further strengthen the company’s potato processing presence in Western Canada.  “Our investments at both the Portage la Prairie and Carberry facilities are testaments to McCain’s ongoing commitment to growers, employees and the communities in which we operate in Manitoba,” said Jeff DeLapp, president,…

United Potato Growers of Canada: Final Harvest Update November 23, 2018

Prince Edward Island After a month of very high rainfall, the last suitable day for harvest was November 9. Many growers dug for 24 hours around the clock until rain came again in the early hours of November 10. Abnormally cold temperatures dipped to -15 C and two snowstorms since have prevented further progress. The PEI Potato Board surveyed all growers and estimate that 6,800 acres were unable to be harvested. All…

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