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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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Maritimes Potato Growers Impacted By Adverse Weather Offered Support

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is offering support to customers in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick whose potato crops were impacted by an unusually wet, cold fall, causing a loss in revenue. Potatoes need to be dry and not too cold to be harvested without the risk of damage, and there were very few days in October and November where conditions were right. This followed an extremely challenging growing season, mired by…

Soil Tilling, Mulching Key To China’s Potato Crop

When you think of China, do you think of potatoes? Maybe not, but in the Loess Plateau region of northwestern China, potato is the main food crop. Even though it is such an important crop there, potato yields are lower than they could be. The area has a dry climate with uneven precipitation. Droughts are common, especially in the spring when crops are just starting to emerge. If soil moisture was more…

Algeria Will Stop Seed Potato Import In 2021, Says Minister Of Agriculture

In Algeria, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries Abdelkader Bouazghi said Saturday, Dec. 8 in Guelma: “Algeria will stop the import of potato seeds in 2021.” In a statement to the press at the farm Richi Abdelmadjid in the commune of Belkheir, the minister indicated that this farm has “greatly”succeeded in the technical mastery of the production in quantities of seed potatoes of first generation (G1) allowing the production of second…

UK Potato Production Hits Lowest Level Since 2012

UK potato production has hit its lowest level since 2012 and the fourth smallest since 1960, down by 13% on the five-year average of 5.6m tonnes at 4.9m tonnes. The relatively low production figure is a result of an estimated 4.4% drop in planted area, and a 12% drop in average yield. The crop was heavily impacted by a combination of late planting and the prolonged hot and dry weather that stalled tuber…

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,…

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