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Fusarium-Infected Seed Potatoes

I have yet to meet a potato grower who is not familiar with the symptoms of the Fusarium dry rot that develops in storage.  The skin of infected areas is wrinkled, and there is a dry, non-smelly rot in the affected flesh.  However, Fusarium may also infect potato seed during transit or handling.  Bruises or wounds allow Fusarium and also soft rot bacteria to get into tubers. I received a photo last…

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What’s Old is New Again: Practical CPB Insecticide Resistance Management

  As growers head into another production season, some are concerned about Colorado potato beetle populations and rising neonic insecticide resistance.  Ian MacRae, a professor and extension entomologist at the University of Minnesota, offered some practical insecticide resistance management steps at Manitoba Potato Production Days in January in Brandon. MacRae kicked off the conference presentations with a talk about Colorado potato beetle management in a post-neonic world.  The bottom line is we’re…

Going Without Mancozeb

Canadian potato farmers could be facing higher production costs with the potential loss of a key weapon against late blight. Mancozeb is a relatively inexpensive, Group M fungicide that’s used extensively in Canada to combat late blight and early blight, with some growers applying the chemical up to 10 times per season on their potato fields. The broad-spectrum fungicide is currently under review by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency due to…

What’s the Best Choice for Orondis Potato Gold Usage?

In 2017, a very wet year, potato growers who used Orondis for late blight were very pleased with the performance of this fungicide.This year, potato growers can continue using Orondis for late blight during the season, as long as it has not been applied in-furrow at planting for pink rot control. What factors should be taken into consideration to decide on the application timing of Orondis? Orondis Potato Gold has been registered as…

New Two-Volume collection on Sustainable Potato Cultivation

Two new books on Achieving sustainable cultivation of potatoes have been published by award winning Cambridge publisher, Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing. Volume 1: Breeding improved varieties Volume 2: Production, storage and crop protection “Potatoes can be grown with relatively few inputs in a wide range of environments, making them an important food security crop,” says Francis Dodds, editorial director at Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, who has published the new research. “However, yields in developing…

Advancing the Control of Potato Common Scab with Molecular Technology

Common scab is the most important soil-borne disease of potatoes in Ontario and across Canada. Scab does not reduce yield, but the corky, pitted lesions that develop on infected tubers render the potatoes unmarketable. The management practices recommended to control common scab have proven to be inconsistent: they reduce the incidence in some fields but not in others. Recent research has suggested that there are different species of the scab pathogen that…

The Pros and Cons of Planting Whole Seed and Cut Seed Pieces

The whole seed model has been used in Europe for some time and is becoming more popular in the United States. The practice has had low adoption in Canada; however, that may change. Is a whole seed system possible for Canada? Join our live webinar to learn: The pros and cons of planting whole seed and cut seed pieces Whole seed size distribution and seed sizing capabilities Whole seed commercial trial results…

The Advantages and Challenges to Planting Whole Seed

  Some of the most important trials Shaun Pelkey, agronomy manager at McCain Foods’ Valley Farms in Grand Falls, N.B., has been conducting over the past few years focus on planting whole seed as a way to increase payable yields and maximize grower returns. “McCain is trying to lead the way on this,” he says. “We have a big drive to increase yields in this part of the world and to be…

Preparing Your Seed for Spring

It’s almost that time of year again. A key factor that affects the quality and quantity of potato crop yield under a grower’s control is seed tuber quality. You have decided which cultivar(s) to grow and how much seed you need. Soon it’ll be time to bring that seed home and prepare it for planting. Consider the following: The experience, expertise and integrity of the seed potato grower are the most important…

Cultivar and Common Scab

According to Claudia Goyer, a molecular bacteriologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Fredericton, N.B, cultivars differ in terms of how severe common scab will be. No cultivars have true resistance to common scab, where there is no disease at all. “All of them can get common scab. The tolerant ones get really minimal amounts of the disease, just a couple of lesions here and there. The susceptible ones get a…

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