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A New Way to Weed

Its name may be a playful pun, but the R2 Weed2 agricultural robot is no joke when it comes to plucking problem weeds. So says Teric Greenan, a Nova Scotia vegetable grower turned high-tech entrepreneur who came up with the idea for the innovative robotic weeder, which could someday be used in commercial potato production. “In 2015, I started a mixed vegetable farm in Lunenberg County, N.S., which I ran with a…

Nurse Crops in Potato Production

As with any field crop, young potato plants face many threats. Erosion, wind, drought and competition from weeds are a few of the factors that can impede the plants’ optimal growth. This is why a team at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in the Maritimes has been looking into nurse crops — what they describe as fast-growing companion crops planted during the potato-growing season that help draw water to root systems, provide…

BASF Launches Cevya Fungicide in Canada

 BASF introduces Cevya fungicide featuring the new Revysol fungicide active ingredient (AI) which is now registered in Canada*. Cevya fungicide offers fast and continuous control of key diseases in fruits and vegetables including apples, potatoes and sugar beets.  “Cevya fungicide is a systematic fungicide providing preventative and post infection control of key diseases for growers challenged with resistance and seeking to maximize their yields. The fungicide controls biotypes that may have developed…

GM Potato Trials Point to Blight-Resistant Crops of the Future

A genetically modified potato with improved tuber quality and resistance to the devastating disease late blight has progressed successfully through the latest stage of trials. The field trials follow successful lab experiments to modify Maris Piper potatoes with late blight resistance genes from wild relatives of potato called Solanum americanum and Solanum venturii. To improve tuber quality, the modified Maris Piper lines also have genes switched off – or “silenced” – to…

Hemp in the Rotation?

Potato farmers are always keen to include lucrative new crops in the rotation, and various groups in New Brunswick are currently looking into the suitability of hemp. To start examining that possibility and all other economic growth opportunities related to hemp, the leaders at the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries put out a request for proposals (RFP), explains Kevin McCully, the department’s provincial director of agriculture. “We awarded the contract…

Potato Virus Y is the Most Serious Threat to Potato — Some Strains More than Others

By American Phytopathological Society Potato virus Y (PVY) is the most serious problem facing the potato industry in the United States and is the main cause for rejection of seed potato lots. The virus affects potatoes in two ways: It reduces the yield of potato tubers by 70-80% and also negatively affects the quality of the remaining tubers due to necrotic reactions. PVY encompasses a complex network of strains with a range…

World Potato Congress Presents its Fifth Webinar

The World Potato Congress (WPC) is pleased to be offering its fifth webinar on Oct. 29, 2019, via Zoom in its 2019 series with Dr. Nina Zidack. The topic is “Why You Should Plant Certified Seed Potatoes.” Zidack grew up on a farm/ranch in Central Montana.  After receiving a B.S. in Horticulture in 1987 from Montana State University, she went on to receive a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at Auburn University in 1993.  Zidack…

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…

The Ins and Outs of Potato Yield Monitoring

Bill Menkveld, vice-president of sales and marketing for Greentronics, has never met a grower who isn’t interested in yield maps. He says producers are often surprised by the results. “Growers are always amazed to see how much yield changes across a field. It’s not uncommon to see yields vary by a factor of 100 or 200 per cent,” he says. Yield monitors provide information about crops and production practices and are designed…

Alberta Potato Crop Production Report Oct. 8

The provincial average yields for potatoes on dryland and irrigated fields are estimated at 13.9 and 17.8 tons per acre, respectively. Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost) About 85 per cent of potatoes have been harvested, with yields on dryland and irrigated fields at 10 and 17.8 tons per acre, respectively Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen) About 90 per cent of potatoes have been harvested, with dryland yield…

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