Bringing Growers Together at the International Potato Technology Expo


Growers from across Prince Edward Island and Canada are currently in Charlottetown, P.E.I for the International Potato Technology Expo. The two-day event features presentations on various industry issues and a trade show showcasing potato industry companies and products.

“It’s really nice to be able to have the Potato Expo back. We’ve been able to have a few smaller grower meetings, 20, 30 people, but to be able to have a mostly full room and trade show and be able to get some out of province speakers, it’s really nice to get back to that,” Ryan Barrett, the research coordinator with the P.E.I. Potato Board, says in an interview at the show.

The first day of the conference featured presentations on:

  • Michele Konschuh from the University of Lethbridge presenting on irrigated research and extension in Alberta
  • Jay Hao with the University of Maine speaking on the outbreak of potato blackleg and soft rot in the northeastern United States
  • Lance Stockbrugger from Saskatchewan speaking on increasing profits through mangement

Highlights from the first day include:

  • Konschuh says when buying a soil moisture sensor you need to know how long it will last for — if you’re going to make the investment you want to know how long it’ll last.
  • In Alberta they’ve found a low pressure spray irrigation system is the most efficient model for watering crops, Konschuh says.
  • Problem with variable rate irrigation is it still requires someone to tell it where to water. Research is being done to make this happen using technology, but the tech isn’t there yet. There’s enormous potential though, Konschuh says.
  • Dickeya dianthicola was the pathogen identified as the source of the 2015 black leg/soft rot outbreak in Maine, Hao says.

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Ashley Robinson was raised on a mixed cattle and grain farm in southwestern Manitoba. She attended the University of Regina where she studied journalism. Following university, she has spent the better part of the past decade writing about agriculture in publications across Canada and internationally. Robinson’s agriculture writing has covered topics from rural issues to commodity markets. Since joining Seed World Group her work has focused on covering all aspects of the Canadian potato industry from planting to farm management, and agriculture in Alberta focusing on how the seed industry connects to farmer’s daily lives.