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Browsing Category Spring 2020


Changing with the Times

Innovative new products are helping growers to adapt to changing market and field conditions It’s believed the first potatoes to be grown for human consumption were produced in South America about 10,000 years ago. The method used to grow tubers hasn’t changed much since then: plant, water, feed, weed and harvest. Thankfully for today’s potato growers though, the instruments used to plant, care for and harvest them have greatly evolved. Spud Smart…

Plane spraying potato field

Shrinking Toolbox

With fewer pesticides available to control insects and disease, potato growers in Canada need to find new options for protecting their crops. In recent years, the loss of a number of important pesticide products as well as new restrictions on the use of some others has meant potato growers are having to think outside the toolbox to protect their crops from harmful diseases and insects. Among the latest pesticides to be removed…

Potato plants growing in a field

Assessing Soil Health

Canadian researchers are part of a North American-wide initiative aimed at standardizing the way soil health is measured in farmers’ fields. Miles Dyck has a novel way of thinking about soil — it’s just like the human body. An associate professor of soil science at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alta., Dyck was speaking at the Alberta Potato Conference in November about soil heath, a term referring to the soil’s capacity…

Davison family photo

Manitoba Potato Farmer Nearing 40 Years in the Biz

Rick Davison, a successful potato producer in Carberry, Man., didn’t shy away from making some big decisions as a young farmer. Davison was only 18 when he purchased his first quarter section, which was then added to the family farm. Four years later, he convinced his father George they should try their hand at growing potatoes on their 1,000-acre farm. “I had to coax my dad along because he was getting to…

The Latest Practices for Use of Liquid and Dry Fertilizers – A Spud Smart Webinar & Podcast

Proper nutrient delivery is critical for maximized yield and quality in potatoes, and producers generally use both dry and liquid forms of fertilizer to accomplish this. However, what they choose to use and when depends on many factors, including cropping system (irrigated or not), what equipment they already have, availability of products and cost. From this webinar you will learn: The affect weather has on fertilizer application What optimal field conditions are…

From our Desk

New Girl on the Block (or Page Actually)

You might notice it’s a different name and picture on this page… well, let me take this as my cue to introduce myself. My name is Ashley Robinson and I’m the new editor of Spud Smart, so you’ll be seeing my name and picture here in each issue from now on for the foreseeable future. First off, I’d like to admit I’m new to the potato world. I’ve covered Canadian agriculture news…

A weedy potato field

Timing Can Be Everything

Successful weed control with using a combination of tank mix chemistry and timing of applications. Controlling a wide variety of weeds in a field can be a little like playing the lottery. If you time it right, choose the best products and don’t experience any adverse environmental factors, you may have a winning combination. To gamble with better odds of success for weed control and reduce the chance of developing herbicide resistant…

Potato field fertilized with Yara products

Roundtable — The Latest Practices for Use of Liquid and Dry Fertilizers

Our experts Bryan Maynard, co-owner, Farmboys farm in Richmond, P.E.I. Alan Blaylock, senior agronomist with Nutrien From Yara: Shawn McIver, Maritimes regional sales manager Maarten de Voogd, global potato business manager Toby Goodroad, market development director for North America Brady Stover, sales agronomist, Washington region Murray Van Zeggelaar, vice-president, ALPINE in New Hamburg, Ont. Experts review current trends and best practices to get the most out of using both forms of nutrient…

Pink Rot

Potato Disease and Pest Outlook for 2020

While growers across Canada will have a number of pests and diseases targeting potatoes in their specific regions, they all may face one common foe  — PED. Potato diseases such as early or late blight can occur in any of the potato growing regions of Canada. And as every grower knows, these, and many other disease and pest issues are weather related, but one disease becoming of increasing concern across the whole…

Eye on the Nation

Eye On The Nation

Manitoba By: Dan Sawatzky, general manager of the Keystone Potato Producers Association In the midst of a mild winter, growers in Manitoba are looking forward to another growing season. Record attendance at Manitoba Potato Production Days indicated not only strong support for the planning committee and the trade show/speaker line up, but also a resilience to look at ways of improving potato production on the heels of a couple tough harvest seasons….

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