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Browsing articles by Eugenia Banks

Ontario Potato Conference and Trade Show Announced

The 2020 Ontario Potato Conference and Trade Show will be held in Guelph, Ont., at the Delta Hotel and Conference Center on Thursday, March 5, 2020. The agenda is still not finalized but should be ready by the middle of December. The trade show promises to be as interesting as ever. Lunch, coffee breaks and parking will be included in the registration fee. As always, the conference is supported by the Ontario Potato…

Ontario Crop Production Update Oct. 11

Sunny, balmy weather this week allowed growers to make lots of progress with the harvest.  Many growers have finished digging. According to Mark VanOostrum, 80 per cent of the chipping crop has been dug.  The size profile is better than expected, and the quality is very good.  Rainfall was below average in June, July and August in the Alliston area, which resulted in poor crops in non-irrigated fields. I visited P &…

Ontario Potato Harvest, Sept. 24, 2019

On Sept. 24, I dug an on-farm variety trial in one of HJ Vanderzaag fields near Alliston.  Although the new varieties were very interesting, I could not keep my eyes off the 8-row Spudnik windrower that Garrett, Homer’s son, was operating very skillfully. This fantastic, folding windrower was digging eight rows and picking up another six rows of windrowed potatoes, 14 rows in total. A third windrower was picking up six additional…

Ontario Potato Harvest, Sept. 31, 2019

Yesterday, the Alliston area was buzzing with diggers and windrowers in action. Potato trucks were continuously on the roads carrying the crop to their storage destinations. I saw very good Lamokas being stored at HJ VanderZaag Farms. WD Potato was also very busy receiving potato trucks and filling storages. Potato quality there was also very good. In general, the size profile  is better than expected. I did not see any tuber health…

2019 Successful Harvest Checklist for the Storage Crop

Whoever said that “a potato storage is not a hospital” was absolutely right. Diseased or bruised tubers that are stored will not get better. Tubers bruised at harvest are easily invaded by soft rot and/or Fusarium dry rot, which can cause serious economic losses in storage. Harvest management is, in large part, bruise management. Bruising affects tuber quality significantly. In order to harvest potatoes with minimum tuber damage, growers need to implement digging,…

Ontario Potato Production Update—September 9, 2019

According to Mark Van Oostrum, a few growers will start digging the storage crop this week, but the majority will start next week on September 16.  All the best for the storage crop harvest! Pink eye and road-mapping are both physiological problems that have been detected recently in a few fields. The photo above shows what pink eye looks like on tubers when freshly dug; the lesions will dry up and turn…

Black Cutworm Alert for Late-Planted Fields in Ontario

Yesterday, I checked a variety trial near Alliston that was planted late, on May 27. There was a moderate to high population of small black cutworms in the plots of late varieties, those that still had green foliage. Although the worms were small, there were also tubers with feeding damage. Small larvae of the black cutworm feed on the foliage in the evenings and remain buried in the soil near the plants…

Ontario Potato Production Update: Sept. 3, 2019

Harvesting fresh market and field fry potatoes continued over the long weekend.  Quality of both are very good, but yields are variable depending on the field. The storage crop is being top-killed according to the planting date. The spore traps keep detecting DNA of late blight in Dufferin, Simcoe and Norfolk Counties. This is a very important alert for growers in Dufferin County where there are still fields that will need at…

Late Blight Found in Southwestern Ontario

Over the weekend, a Norfolk County grower found a few Envol plants infected with late blight. The disease is under control; the affected plants were destroyed and the field sprayed with Ridomil plus Bravo. Most of the reports of late blight from the United States have been US 23, the tomato strain.  US 23 is, so far, sensitive to Ridomil. There are still many fields in the province that are green and…

2019 Ontario Potato Field Day Huge Success

The 2019 Ontario Potato Field Day was a huge success. A big thank you to HJV Equipment for hosting and to the Potato Board for sponsoring this summer event. Approximately 275 growers, potato industry personnel and researchers attended. The Field Day was a great opportunity to see a range of new equipment, including an impressive Field Loader from Grimme, to spend time at the trade show, and to see new varieties.  A…

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