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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…

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…

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…

Researchers Shine a Light into the Mechanisms of Potato Late Blight Infection

Scientists at the James Hutton Institute, in collaboration with colleagues of the University of Dundee, Huazhong Agricultural University, Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences (both China) and Wageningen University (Netherlands), have shed further light into the mechanisms through which the potato blight pathogen interacts with plant cells to promote disease. Late blight played a major role in the historical Irish potato famine, and is still a huge problem for farmers today, causing massive…

Important Harvest Considerations for PEI Growers in 2018

It’s been an incredibly challenging harvest season, and we’re hoping for much better weather to allow you to get the rest of the crop under cover. We’ve received some suggestions and had some thoughts as well in reflection of the conditions this fall, so we’d like to share them with you. Disposal of Tare soil at storages There’s a lot of soil getting to the warehouse yards due to the wet conditions….

Seeking a Whammy for Wireworms

“We have estimated wireworm costs Prince Edward Island’s potato industry more than $10 million per year in damaged product, crop protection products, crop insurance claims, and costs associated with rotation crops to battle wireworm,” says Ryan Barrett, research coordinator with the P.E.I. Potato Board. “While research by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers, such as Dr. Christine Noronha and Dr. Bob Vernon has provided growers with more tools to battle this pest, it…

Ontario Harvest Update

Oct. 20, 2018—According to Mark VanOostrum, of W.D. Potato Ltd., 95 per cent of the processing crop has been dug.  This is close to the fresh market acreage harvested. The consensus among growers is yield is down and tuber size is smaller due to the hot, dry summer. Cold, wet and windy weather has made digging potatoes in October a challenge.  The first snow fell in the Alliston, Ont., area on October…

Proposed Regulatory Decision for Mancozeb

Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, Health Canada is proposing cancellation of all uses of mancozeb, except greenhouse tobacco, due to unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. Mancozeb is a broad-spectrum contact fungicide with multi-site modes of action. The public, including manufacturers and stakeholders, are encouraged to submit comments during the 90-day public consultation period, beginning Oct. 5, 2018. All comments should be addressed to the Pest…

Taking on Herbicide Resistance

Preventive measures can control the spread of herbicide resistance, but when they stop working, the best tool is rapid detection. Dr. Martin Laforest, a weed scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Research and Development Centre and his team have developed molecular tests that can detect the presence of herbicide resistance in less than two weeks using only leaves from the noxious plant. In Canada, weeds in vegetable crops cause tens of…

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