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Drone flying over field

New Remote Sensing Technology Helps Detect Potato Diseases

A study done in the United Kingdom using aerial imaging was able to detect and differentiate between potato diseases, a May 27 news release from The James Hutton Institute, says. The InnovateUK-funded project called “In-field Optical Detection of Potato Disease,” which involved researchers from The James Hutton Institute, used aerial imaging taken from drones to detect and differentiate between potato diseases. Non-imaging hyperspectral data was also collected from artificially inoculated potato plants…

Potatoes

Wageningen University Studying Wild Potatoes to Find Pest Free Varieties

Wageningen University and Research (WUR) is launching a new study of wild potatoes to try and find new pest and disease-free varieties, the university says in a release on May 4. The research will focus on finding yield breeding material which can be used to develop disease-free potato varieties able to help with sustainable and circular potato production. It will help growers use less pesticides for disease and pest prevention on potatoes, the…

Woman elbow muscle

Study Finds Spuds Good for Muscle in Women

A study has found potatoes can be a source of high-quality protein to maintain muscle in women, a release from McMaster University says. The findings were published in the journal Nutrients and highlights the potential benefits of what is considered a non-traditional source of protein, particularly as dietary trends change and worldwide demand has increased for plant-based alternatives to animal-derived sources, the release says. “While the amount of protein found in a potato…

Pile of potatoes

Michigan State University Receives USDA Money for Potato Breeding Program

Michigan State University (MSU) has received US$700,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to invest in its potato breeding and genetics program, a release from the university says. The project will focus on identifying new varieties with superior agronomics and end-use quality, screening elite germplasm for resistance to key pests, developing and leverage genomic tools to enhance breeding efficiency, and transferring new varieties from the breeding programs to the commercial sector. Dave Douches,…

Potato plants in a row in a field

U of S Researcher Looking into Low Environmental Impact/Cost Potato Varieties

University of Saskatchewan plant scientist Kate Congreves has received funding from Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) to identify potato varieties which reduce environmental impact and cost, a news release from the U of S says. She plans to test modern potato cultivars for improved nitrogen and phosphorus efficiency. By identifying the best potato varieties to grow in Saskatchewan, farmers will be able to boost yields, increase revenue and reduce fertilizer use, decreasing…

Heat-Proofing Our Potato Crops

As climate warming turns up the heat, how will Canadian potato production be affected? “Potato crops are known to be sensitive to high temperatures,” says Xiu-Qing Li, a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Fredericton Research and Development Centre. “Potatoes evolved high in the Andes of South America where conditions are relatively cool. So, they grow best at temperatures around 22 degrees Celsius, which makes Canada a great place for potato…

Nurse Crops in Potato Production

As with any field crop, young potato plants face many threats. Erosion, wind, drought and competition from weeds are a few of the factors that can impede the plants’ optimal growth. This is why a team at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in the Maritimes has been looking into nurse crops — what they describe as fast-growing companion crops planted during the potato-growing season that help draw water to root systems, provide…

New Tool to Detect Blackleg Disease in Potato has Widespread Application

The American Phytopathological Society Potatoes are important. They rank fourth among the world’s staple crops. In the United States, they are grown commercially in 30 states and valued at $4 billion annually. Potatoes are also susceptible to 160 different fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases, such as blackleg and soft rot diseases, which are caused by the bacterium Dickeya dianthicola. In 2015, an aggressive outbreak of this bacterium led to losses of greater than…

Potato plants growing in a field

GM Potato Trials Point to Blight-Resistant Crops of the Future

A genetically modified potato with improved tuber quality and resistance to the devastating disease late blight has progressed successfully through the latest stage of trials. The field trials follow successful lab experiments to modify Maris Piper potatoes with late blight resistance genes from wild relatives of potato called Solanum americanum and Solanum venturii. To improve tuber quality, the modified Maris Piper lines also have genes switched off – or “silenced” – to…

Potato Virus Y is the Most Serious Threat to Potato — Some Strains More than Others

By American Phytopathological Society Potato virus Y (PVY) is the most serious problem facing the potato industry in the United States and is the main cause for rejection of seed potato lots. The virus affects potatoes in two ways: It reduces the yield of potato tubers by 70-80% and also negatively affects the quality of the remaining tubers due to necrotic reactions. PVY encompasses a complex network of strains with a range…

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