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Browsing articles by Melanie Epp

New Strategies for Mitigating Off-Site Pesticide Movement in Water

WHEN THE PESTICIDE MANAGEMENT Regulatory Agency (PMRA) announced its proposed special review of clothianidin and thiamethoxam to assess their risks to aquatic invertebrates in November 2016, many in the potato industry were surprised.  And while Canada’s potato producers are already doing a good job in terms of implementing best management practices for off-site pesticide movement, the announcement serves as a reminder the industry must continue to seek out improvements. Formed in the…

Preventing Bruise in Potatoes

Meeting the demands of processors and buyers in terms of quality is a constant challenge for producers. Potatoes that don’t meet quality specs are either reduced in price or get rejected entirely. All through the production process, there are steps growers can take to assure the highest level of quality is maintained, particularly when it comes to mitigating bruise. There are three types of bruising that occur in potato tubers. Shatter bruise…

Agritechnica Showcases New Potato Technology

Every two years, vendors and farmers meet in Hanover, Germany for Agritechnica, the world’s largest trade fair for agricultural machinery. This year, nearly 450,000 people walked the 26 halls looking at new innovations and production solutions. Spud Smart was there for a firsthand look at some of the latest innovations in the potato sector. Agritechnica is a big draw for farmers who want to stay on the cutting edge of technology. This…

Soil Health Key for Long-Term Potato Production

Across North America, most potato crop yields have been on the rise in the past few decades. In parts of Canada though, data has revealed that yields in some areas have either decreased or remained stagnant, especially in New Brunswick. Soil scientists attribute this to waning soil health due in part to short rotations and soil erosion. As a result, improving soil health is top of mind for many producers. The Importance…

New Potato Technologies

The Humigator Designed by Idaho-based Isaacs Hydropermutation Technologies Inc., the Humigator is a combination of a humidifier and a fumigator. While its primary function is to clean the air in potato storage sites, which helps stop the spread and lower the risk of disease, it also humidifies to higher levels than older technologies, which reduces loss due to shrinkage. Garry Isaacs, the creator of the Humigator, designed the first prototype in 1985…

Agritechnica

Every two years, Hanover, Germany hosts Agritechnica, the world’s largest trade fair for agricultural machinery and equipment. Agritechnica 2015 attracted almost 3,000 exhibitors from 50-plus nations along with tens of thousands of visitors from more than 100 countries to Hanover in November. Spud Smart was there and was able to peruse the latest in cutting edge potato equipment on display. Here are some products that caught our eye. Every-Air Tarp Winner of…

Tools for Success

To protect their investment, it’s important for growers to keep on top of the latest innovations in ventilation, humidification and spout control when storing their potato crops. Spud Smart talked to some industry experts about new equipment, products and technologies aimed at ensuring storage success. Remote Control Ashley Gorman, vice-president of sales at P.E.I.-based Gorman Controls, believes the most important new technologies to hit the scene in recent years have been those…

Durable Late Blight Resistance

Researchers from Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands have just completed a 10-year project entitled “Durable Resistance against Phytophthora through cisgenic modification” with the acronym DuRPh. Their goal was to prove that existing potato varieties can be made durably resistant to the Phytophthora infestans pathogen that causes late blight in potatoes, thereby reducing dependence on chemical fungicides to fight the disease. The cisgenic modification technique applied in the DuRPh project…

If Plants Could Talk

Imagine if you could walk into the field and have your potato plants tell you how they are doing. This groundbreaking technology is closer than you think. Two Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists at the Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, N.B., Bernie Zebarth and Helen Tai, are working on a method for collecting data from plants almost the same way as a car mechanic assesses your car’s engine. The researchers are looking…

Low Glycemic Potatoes

A team of researchers at the Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, N.B., and the Lethbridge Research Centre in Alberta has developed a low glycemic potato. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada project lead Benoit Bizimungu says this development could help consumers to achieve sustainable weight loss and improve the management of diabetes. Not only that, but the new low glycemic index variety could create new market opportunities for potato growers. Glycemic index or GI…

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