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Build Soil Quality and Suppress Soil-Borne Pathogens to Improve Yields Study Concludes

Canadian potato farmers, facing rising production costs and increased pressure from global competitors, are always looking for ways to increase yields. Identifying obstacles limiting potato yields is part of the answer, and was the primary objective of a major five-year research project conducted in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba, which wrapped up last year. Project partners in the industry-led study included McCain Foods Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Potatoes New…

Cool Weather and Stem Elongation

In 2017, the season started with a cool spring, but not quite as cool or wet as this spring. That year, I observed abnormal stem elongation in June that affected Superiors and a processing variety. A colleague at North Carolina State University saw the same thing. It was clearly physiological, but the cause wasn’t obvious. We concluded that cool weather had this effect on a few varieties. The plants grew out of…

Proposed Registration Decision for 1-Octanol and 1,4Zap

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, is proposing registration for the sale and use of 1,4Zap Technical, and 1,4Zap, containing the technical grade active ingredient 1-octanol, for post-harvest application on stored potatoes to control emerged sprouts in ventilated storage facilities only. An evaluation of available scientific information found that, under the approved conditions of use, the health and environmental risks and the value…

IBM Provides Global Agriculture Solution

IBM has announced the global expansion of Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture, with AI technology tailored for new crops and specific regions to help feed a growing population. For the first time, IBM is providing a global agriculture solution that combines predictive technology with data from The Weather Company, an IBM Business, and IoT data to help give farmers around the world greater insights about planning, plowing, planting, spraying and harvesting. By 2050,…

Eugenia Banks: 10-Row Planter

I was in the Alliston, Ont., area during yesterday’s sunny afternoon and was delighted to watch Homer Vander Zaag’s 10-row planter in action.  It did a great job, and the Lamoka seed being planted looked very healthy. Fortunately,  I will be able to keep an eye on this field all summer long because one of my research trials will be in the field. Homer’s 10-row planter is the only one in Ontario…

Training Session for Potato Scouts

If you have scouts that need training, mark your calendars.  The 2019 Training Session for Potato Scouts will be held at the Holiday Inn on Scottsdale Drive in Guelph, Ont., on Monday, June 3.  The Potato Board will provide the 2019 Scouting Manual. Details are provided below. Please email Eugenia Banks with the names of attendees by Friday, May 31. Date: Monday, June 3, 2019 Location: Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre,…

Eugenia Banks: Planting News from Ontario

Cool, wet weather has delayed planting across the province.  According to Mark VanOostrum, 3,000 acres of chipping potatoes are usually planted by May 1, but this year only about 1,000 acres are in the ground. In the Leamington area, the Dakota Pearls that were planted early at Bradley Farms are cracking the ground, and they look healthy.  That is good news! The Envols planted near Chatham for the early fresh market will…

Spud Smart Webinar: Fighting Common Scab

Common scab is a pervasive threat to some potato-growing regions in Canada. Lesions and cavities on infected tubers can render them unmarketable. Researchers and industry experts are still trying to determine why the pathogen is more prevalent in some fields than others as well as the best methods for fighting the disease. While growers use many different practices to control common scab, none have proven to be totally effective. During this webinar,…

Factors Causing Poor Potato Emergence

There are many factors affecting potato emergence and stand establishment. Having a checklist of factors causing poor potato emergence is a useful tool for growers. I was able to add a number of factors to that checklist thanks to contributions from experts in Ontario, Canada, and the United States. Those potato experts include Joe Lach, Kate VanderZaag, Mark VanOostrum, Robert Coffin, Walt Quilty, Paul Van den Borre and Hossein Bagheri from Ontario, and…

Restriction of Neonicotinoid Uses to Take Effect in 2021

In April, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), a division of Health Canada, released its final decisions on the pollinator re-evaluations of three neonicotinoid insecticides: clothianidin (Clutch), imidacloprid (Admire), and thiamethoxam (Cruiser, Actara). Health Canada determined that the continued registration of imidacloprid, clothianidin, or thiamethoxam products are acceptable; however, certain uses have been cancelled to address possible risks to pollinators. Many of these cancelled uses affect Canadian fruit and vegetable growers. Bees…

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