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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…

From our Desk

Unlocking the Potato’s True Potential

LAST AUGUST, at the Potato Association of America (PAA) annual meeting, I had an opportunity to talk with Michiel de Vries, Solynta’s research team lead, about the work he and his colleagues are carrying out. Solynta, a potato seed breeding company based in Wageningen, the Netherlands, has invented a fast and efficient hybrid breeding technology. One that could change global food consumption and unlock the true potential of the potato, de Vries…

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 &…

World Potato Congress Inc. Announces New Director

World Potato Congress president, Romain Cools, is pleased to announce Greg Donald has joined its board of directors. Greg Donald has been the general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board since 2009. The P.E.I. Potato Board represents P.E.I. potato producers working together to ensure long-term profitability and sustainability through marketing, advocating, negotiation and activities that support quality potato production. Donald has a BSc in agriculture with a major in plant protection from Dalhousie…

Creating the World’s Best Vodka

Ontario potato farmers Ken and Liz Beattie got into the craft distillery business back in 2016, using surplus, non-saleable spuds otherwise destined for cattle feed to make potato vodka. Their fledgling company called Beattie’s Distillers has certainly come a long way since then. Proof of that came at the 2018 World Beverage Competition,a major event for the beer, wine and spirits industries. At that event—the first international competition for the Beatties —…

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…

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