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Challenging weather conditions in most potato producing areas in Canada — including a cold, wet harvest season that resulted in thousands of acres of potatoes being left in the ground — resulted in a smaller crop in 2018. Statistics Canada figures released Dec. 13 show total potato production in Canada last year was 103.8 million hundredweight, down 2.6 per cent from 2017. According to StatsCan, the total amount of unharvested acres in…

In-Furrow Pink Rot Fungicide Control Active in September?

Most of you probably know that Orondis Gold Potato fungicide, a co-pack containing Orondis and Ridomil (active ingredients oxathiapiprolin and metalaxyl-M), will be available this spring to suppress pink rot and Pythium leak.  The registration is for in-furrow application, but pink rot usually develops at the end of the season.  Will Orondis applied mid-May still be active in September? My colleagues across the border always do a good job evaluating fungicides before…

New Prospect for Wireworm Control

A few years ago, Todd Kabaluk was given some fuzzy wireworms. That might not sound like an auspicious gift, but Kabaluk is a research biologist in integrated pest management with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). He was immediately interested. As it turned out, these fuzzy wireworms were the first step on the path toward a new possibility for controlling wireworms. Wireworms are the tough-to-control, soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles. AAFC has found…

Volunteer Potatoes: Potential Issue in 2019

Volunteer potato plants (potatoes growing from unharvested tubers) might be problematic in rotation crops during the 2019 growing season. These plants can be a competitive weed with most crops and act as a reservoir for diseases and insects. In general, winter conditions in Canada are severe enough to control most volunteers (soil temperature below -2 C or 28 F) but winter survival is dependant on tuber health, temperature, snow cover and burial…

Potato Scientists Unravel Genetics of Tuber Skin and Flesh Colour

Potato tuber skin and flesh colours are attractive traits for consumers and frequently influence purchase choices. In a new study, scientists of the James Hutton Institute have identified a genetic molecule that regulates the production of anthocyanin, a natural pigment which in turn influences tuber skin and flesh colour. The researchers also identified previously unknown inhibitors of anthocyanin production, offering an opportunity for potato breeders to target these genes in new breeding programmes…

BASF Launches Critical Insecticide for Use in Canadian Soybeans and Potatoes

Canadian farmers have a new tool to protect their soybean and potato crops in 2019 with the launch of BASF’s Sefina™ insecticide. Sefina utilizes a unique mode of action, Group 9D active ingredient Inscalis™, to quickly halt aphid feeding, reducing production losses and virus transmission. In research and commercial trials across Canada and the United States, Sefina showed extended control of up to three weeks against additional aphid pests that have, over time, developed resistance to other insecticides. “Canadian…

Changing Storage Styles? Look for Wins

You’ve decided it’s time to update or build new potato storage. You’ve spent time considering the questions I posed in my last column on where to begin the process. Now it’s time to get down to brass tacks. There are four main factors you must consider when deciding upon a potato storage facility, these include: style of building insulation ventilation and humidification options: auxiliary heat and/or refrigeration Basically, there are three building…

Modern-Day Air Systems: Cushioning the Blow

Did you know skydiving and commercial potato production have something in common? Before they release their chutes, skydivers usually reach terminal velocity, which is the constant speed those falling bodies travel when air resistance prevents further acceleration. Air systems found in potato equipment are based on the same principle. The air inside the system is adjusted to meet the terminal velocity of the potato. Once the air is adjusted then that potato…

McCain Foods in Manitoba prepares for 40th Anniversary Celebrations in 2019

Beginning in the New Year, McCain Foods (Canada) will celebrate 40 years of sustained operation and investment in Manitoba together with employees, growers and neighbours in the local communities where it operates: Carberry and Portage la Prairie.  “In 2019, the McCain Portage la Prairie facility will celebrate 40 years of continued operation in the local area,” announced Danielle Barran, President, McCain Foods Canada. “Our 40-year presence in the community is a strong…

How to Plan Today to Manage PVY

Although the transmission and incidence of Potato virus Y in Canadian potato crops has declined dramatically over the past eight years, new threats to quality and yield are on the horizon in the form of necrosis-causing novel strains. How can Canadian growers manage PVY on their farms today, and how do they fight these latest strains? For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart sought input from industry experts Mathuresh Singh, director of Agricultural…

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