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Browsing articles by Eugenia Banks

Potato field

Potato Update for Ontario

Fields across Ontario are at very different stages ranging from flowering and bulking in south western Ontario to still emerging in late areas such as Shelburne-Melancton. Most of the fields planted in early May in central Ontario are filling the rows, and tuber size is good! I saw leaf burning caused by heat and excessive evapo-transpiration. Plants overgrow this leaf burning lesions. Poor emergence has been noticeable in a few fields. Possible…

Colorado Potato Beetle

Dip Test Protocol to Determine Neonicotinoid Insecticide Resistance

An important factor in managing insecticide resistance is to know the effectiveness of the product which is going to be applied. This can be accomplished by using dip tests, a simple technique in which adults or larvae are immersed for a few seconds in insecticide solutions. The mortality rate determined for each insecticide indicates the products which are likely to be most effective under field conditions. Dip Test Items Although dip test…

Initial Late Blight Symptom

2020 Summer Checklist for Late Blight

Early Summer Field Scouting Start your scouting program before the crop emerges. This will allow scouts to become familiar with field characteristics such as low spots and changes in soil texture. Risky areas that should always be monitored are: Low lying areas that tend to be wet for long periods after rainfall — compacted areas. Rows close to tree lines. Field edges along creeks or ponds. Pivot center points and pivot wheel…

Black cutworm

Monitoring the Black Cutworm

Life Stages: Adult Moths – Eggs – Larvae – Pupa – Adult Moths First Generation: May – June Adult moths do not overwinter in Ontario but are blown up from the south on storm fronts. Consequently, black cutworm infestations are unpredictable. Damage varies from field to field and from year to year. This insect can cause considerable economic losses if not detected, so scouting is essential. The adults are grey moths with…

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…

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,…

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