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The Long Haul

Peter VanderZaag, co-owner of Sunrise Potato Storage Ltd. in Alliston, Ont. and a prominent Canadian potato scientist, learned a valuable lesson about storing spuds from his father, one of his mentors for growing potatoes. Potatoes, he was told, should look as good coming out of the bin as when they’re freshly harvested. The reason being the price farmers pay if they’re not. “If you don’t do the storage properly, you have nothing…

Preventing Bruise in Potatoes

Meeting the demands of processors and buyers in terms of quality is a constant challenge for producers. Potatoes that don’t meet quality specs are either reduced in price or get rejected entirely. All through the production process, there are steps growers can take to assure the highest level of quality is maintained, particularly when it comes to mitigating bruise. There are three types of bruising that occur in potato tubers. Shatter bruise…

2019 Successful Harvest Checklist for the Storage Crop

Whoever said that “a potato storage is not a hospital” was absolutely right. Diseased or bruised tubers that are stored will not get better. Tubers bruised at harvest are easily invaded by soft rot and/or Fusarium dry rot, which can cause serious economic losses in storage. Harvest management is, in large part, bruise management. Bruising affects tuber quality significantly. In order to harvest potatoes with minimum tuber damage, growers need to implement digging,…

UPGC Potato Crop Report, September 11, 2019

The United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) has released its most recent Canadian Potato Crop Report. Prince Edward Island The weather was dry and hot well into the summer this year until the province finally got rain in the last week of August. In contrast to last year, the western part of P.E.I. has had good moisture all along. The Summerside area had 90 mm of rain a week ago, and then…

Community and Science Strengthens Industry

Robert Thornton, an extension vegetable specialist and professor emeritus at Washington State University has been attending Potato Association of America (PAA) annual meetings since the early 1960s. He says the biggest reason he has maintained his membership for more than five decades is it keeps him honest. “Every year is an opportunity to have your thinking questioned,” Thornton says. “You can stay isolated in your own area of concern and be very…

2019 Canadian Potato Crop Outlook

Despite a late start to the planting season in most potato producing areas in Canada, growers are generally optimistic about the prospects for this year’s crop. However things turns out, it will most likely be an improvement on what, for many Canadian producers, was a dreadful end to the 2018 harvest season, when unseasonably cold, wet weather led to thousands of acres of potatoes being left in the ground. According to Kevin…

Vine Killing: Timing is Everything

As any potato grower will attest to, a successful growing season often comes down to what transpires below the soil’s surface. A field full of healthy, robust tubers usually translates into a positive bottom line. As significant as the happenings below ground may be to growers’ fortunes, events above the surface can have an equally big impact on just how fruitful their season may be. Perhaps there is no better example of…

PAA Local Arrangements Committee Hits It Out of the Park

Many potato industry thought leaders will be converging in the centre of Canada this summer for the 103rdPotato Association of America Annual Meeting. Researchers, agronomists, producers, graduate students, and plant breeders and pathologists represent some of the industry stakeholders who will attend the meeting July 28 to Aug. 1 in Winnipeg, Man. Conference organizers are expecting up to 240 participants from Canada, the United States and Mexico, as well as from many…

UPGC Crop and Market Report June 2019

The United Potato Growers of Canada has released its Crop and Market Report. Prince Edward Island About 98% of the crop is in ground. The season is at least a week to 10 days late, due to cold and wet soil conditions earlier in the spring. Temperatures lately have been warmer than normal, so potatoes should emerge more quickly than last year. Old crop holdings are down 20.5% with fresh down 31%….

Summer Checklist for Late Blight

When it comes to late blight, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The following is a comprehensive list for the control and management of late blight during the summer.  EARLY SUMMER  • Field scouting  Start your scouting program before the crop emerges. This will allow scouts to become familiar with field characteristics such as low spots and changes in soil texture.  Risky areas that should always be monitored…

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