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Scientists Discover Wild Potatoes Key For Stronger Spuds

Potatoes have been a staple of Britain’s diet for half a millennium, but new research suggests that limited genetic differences in potato lineages has left British and American spuds vulnerable to the disease that caused the Irish potato famine. Plant scientists at the University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute have revealed that commercial potato crops are under constant threat of late blight, the pathogen behind one of Europe’s most devastating…

This Artist has an Eye for Potatoes 

When is a Colorado potato beetle near a potato a good thing? When it’s part of a gorgeous, handmade ceramic potato mug. Manitoba artist Jillian Sareault uses sculptural techniques to create potato-like ceramic vessels that can be used in everyday life. Each piece has its own unique qualities and no two are identical. Sareault came up with the idea when her mother, MaryAnn Sareault, who is the conference coordinator for Manitoba Potato…

Digging of the Fresh-Market Crop Has Begun Near Leamington, Ont.

Things looked very different across the province from July 22 to 26 depending on the area.  Digging of the fresh-market crop has started near Leamington, Ont. Quality and size look good. Growers are digging the earliest planted fields in the Simcoe-Delhi region, but the area is dry. “Harvest has started for us and the crop looks good. We need some rain because harvesting and irrigating are not a great combination,” said Joe Lach,…

Clement Lalancette Recognized

Mr. Clement Lalancette recently retired as a founding director of the United Potato Growers of Canada, which was formed in 2006. He was presented with a certificate of appreciation by UPGC chairman, Ray Keenan, in Quebec City, on July 15, 2019. Lalancette is recognized for his outstanding leadership and dedication to the Canadian potato industry as a director of United Potato Growers of Canada representing the Quebec Potato Producers Association. Lalancette was the general manager…

Ontario Late Blight Spore Trap Results and Wisconsin Strain Identified

Spores of late blight were detected in Ontario in Dufferin, Simcoe and Norfolk counties.  The filters were in the spore traps from July 18 to 22.  Late blight has not been reported in Ontario, but it was found in a potato field in Wisconsin and identified as US 23, a strain that is very aggressive on tomatoes and potato tubers.  US 23 is susceptible to Ridomil (metalaxyl-M). New potatoes of the variety…

Fine-Tuning Pink Rot Fungicide Timing

Jeff Miller, a researcher with Miller Research in Idaho, will be presenting his latest study on management of pink rot (Phytophthora erythroseptica) at the 2019 Potato Association of America (PAA) annual meeting. This persistent soil-borne disease causes tuber breakdown and yield loss. Miller’s field trial is looking at the effect of the timing interval between spraying a phosphite fungicide for pink rot suppression and applying irrigation water. Miller provides some background information…

Pest Alerts to Help Fight Zebra Chip

In her presentation at the 2019 Potato Association of America Annual Meeting in Winnipeg, Man., Carrie Wohleb, an associate professor and a potato, vegetable and seed crops specialist with Washington State University (WSU) Extension, will be sharing the results from a monitoring network in Washington State that tracks potato psyllids (Bactericera cockerelli). These little flying insects are the vector for Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum, the bacterium that causes zebra chip disease. Zebra chip was…

PVY Management Strategies that Work

At the 103rd Potato Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting, Andrei Alyokhin, a professor of Applied Entomology at the University of Maine, talked about his recent studies on the transmission of potato virus Y (PVY), an aphid-borne virus that impacts potatoes worldwide. “PVY is an economically important virus that causes significant crop losses,” he says. Depending on the potato cultivar and the strain of the virus, PVY can cause such symptoms as leaf…

Late Blight Spores found in Ontario Spore Traps

High numbers of late blight spores were found in the filters of the two spore traps placed near Delhi, Ont. This area has received enough rain recently to create favourable conditions for disease development. Keep the crop protected, especially new growth.  It’s the best way to reduce the risk of outbreaks. Some early planted fields are being topkilled in Norfolk County. Tank mixing Reglone with Copper Hydroxide (e.g. Parasol) should ensure that spores…

Ontario Crop Production Update July 19, 2019

The potato crop in southwestern Ontario has benefited enormously from the 1 to 1.5 inches of rain that fell on July 17.  However Alliston, Shelburne and Eastern Ontario continue to be dry. Potatoes are showing signs of stress in the non-irrigated fields, especially leaf burn. According to Ontario Potato Distributing, the first new potatoes from Leamington will arrive at the Alliston packing plant on July 22. Joe Lach reported that a few…

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