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Spud Smart Webinar: Fighting Common Scab

Common scab is a pervasive threat to some potato-growing regions in Canada. Lesions and cavities on infected tubers can render them unmarketable. Researchers and industry experts are still trying to determine why the pathogen is more prevalent in some fields than others as well as the best methods for fighting the disease. While growers use many different practices to control common scab, none have proven to be totally effective. During this webinar,…

Combatting Common Scab

COMMON SCAB, a bacterial disease that doesn’t affect yields but causes ugly lesions and cavities on infected tubers, which can render them unmarketable, is a pervasive threat in potato-growing areas across Canada.  It has likely been around for as long as people have been growing potatoes, but researchers are still trying to determine why the pathogen is much more common in some fields than others and what the best methods are for…

Potato Breeding: A European Approach, Part III

MARCEL BRUINS, editor of European Seed, sat down with the leaders of five major potato breeding companies in Europe to learn more about the challenges of breeding new potato varieties. Piet Smeenge, director of Kweekbedrijf Smeenge-Research; Vanessa Prigge, Crop Improvement project manager at Solana; Gerard Backx, CEO of HZPC; Jan-Paul Bandsma, product manager at de Nijs Potatoes; and Guus Heselmans, R&D manager of C. Meijer B.V., provided insight on this favoured crop. …

A Better Estimate of the Net Yield of Seed Potatoes with Vision Techniques

Growers of seed potatoes would like to know on which part of their parcel the potatoes grow best, and how the location influences the size of the potatoes. But during harvesting, hundreds of potatoes will roll into the harvesting machine at the same time. Wageningen University & Research is working with Aeres Hogeschool, the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Green Campus and several growers to study how this yield can be measured by…

The Benefits of True Potato Seed

Charles Miller, commercial director of Solynta, discusses true potato seed with Julie Deering, editor of Spud Smart’s sister publication, Seed World. Miller discusses the benefits of true potato seed, or potatoes grown from seeds instead of tubers. Solynta has been working on producing hybrid true seed potatoes through targeted breeding. Miller says true seeds don’t take as long to produce new varieties in comparison to tubers — which take about eight years to…

Potato Breeding: A European Approach, Part II

Marcel Bruins, editor of European Seed, sat down with the leaders of five major potato breeding companies in Europe to learn more about the challenges of breeding new potato varieties. Piet Smeenge, director of Kweekbedrijf Smeenge-Research; Vanessa Prigge, Crop Improvement project manager at Solana; Gerard Backx, CEO of HZPC; Jan-Paul Bandsma, product manager at de Nijs Potatoes; and Guus Heselmans, R&D manager of C. Meijer B.V., provided insight on this favoured crop….

Cultivar and Common Scab

According to Claudia Goyer, a molecular bacteriologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Fredericton, N.B, cultivars differ in terms of how severe common scab will be. No cultivars have true resistance to common scab, where there is no disease at all. “All of them can get common scab. The tolerant ones get really minimal amounts of the disease, just a couple of lesions here and there. The susceptible ones get a…

Keeping Tabs on Late Blight

Strain monitoring in Canada over the past three decades shows successive waves of new strains have replaced older strains of the late blight pathogen. The latest findings from research to track and characterize the strains across the country are a combination of good and bad news with direct relevance for managing the current strains. Rick Peters, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Charlottetown, P.E.I., is co-leading this research…

New Tools for the CPB Toolbox

A study being conducted by researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s London Research and Development Centre could soon provide Canadian potato growers with new insight on how to fight one of the industry’s most troublesome pests — the Colorado potato beetle. The five-year study is officially known as the Development of Regional Management Strategies and Decision-Making Tools for Control of the Colorado Potato Beetle. Work on the project began this past summer…

Researchers Go Toe-to-Toe with PCN

Although extremely rare in Canada, potato cyst nematodes (PCN) are such a serious risk to potato production and trade that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has strict surveillance and quarantine protocols. When PCN was discovered in Quebec in 2006, the CFIA immediately implemented quarantine measures for the affected fields. As well, the agency took other important steps, including working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and other stakeholders to identify research…

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