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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…

Manitoba Crop Production Report Oct. 11

Again, the rains in the week (Tuesday, Oct. 1 to Monday, Oct. 7) were extensive in distribution in the province, but slightly less than last week. The weather station sites recorded 1/2” to 3/4” rainfall.  The air temperatures have generally cooled down, while overnight below freezing temperatures have started. The western areas of the province have received close to 140+ per cent of the normal rainfall. Soils are now saturated. The maps below…

Ontario Crop Production Update Oct. 11

Sunny, balmy weather this week allowed growers to make lots of progress with the harvest.  Many growers have finished digging. According to Mark VanOostrum, 80 per cent of the chipping crop has been dug.  The size profile is better than expected, and the quality is very good.  Rainfall was below average in June, July and August in the Alliston area, which resulted in poor crops in non-irrigated fields. I visited P &…

Driving Out Blight With Dual Control

Combining methods of disease control rather than relying on a single resistance strategy can extend the durability of crops by many years, confirms computer modelling that draws on classical population genetics theory. The finding comes from assessing the spread and virulence of the pathogen responsible for late blight of potato, Phytophthora infestans. The pathogen, which caused the Great Irish Famine in the mid-nineteenth century and led to the new science of plant…

Better Sooner Than Later

Late blight is a deadly disease that requires integrated management, including foliar fungicides as a key tool. Usually potato growers make repeated preventive applications of broad-spectrum fungicides starting before row closure, and then use late blight-specific fungicides if the disease is found in their fields. Now studies in Ontario and the Maritimes are working on easy-to-use technologies for early detection of late blight that could allow more targeted fungicide strategies. Late blight…

Harvest and Storage of Potato Crops Exposed to High Moisture Levels

Frequent and excessive rain received during the growing season is potentially conducive, especially in low spots and/or in poorly drained areas, to the development of some diseases, such as pink rot and Pythium leak (water rots). Growers with potato crops exposed to high moisture levels should follow the management practices below. Top kill at least two weeks prior to harvest to allow time for infected tubers to rot and to promote tuber…

What To Do When Frost Hits

When a pre-harvest hard frost hits — a temperature of -2.22 C or below — growers are faced with some thorny challenges. While a light frost may only damage the tubers in the top part of the hill, a severe frost can take out much more. There has been early frost three out of the last ten years in the Maritimes, and outof those incidents, last year was the worst for frost-damaged…

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