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Browsing Category Summer 2019

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…

Champion of the Industry

Nora Olsen has a list. It’s a bucket list, of sorts, she has kept for the past 10 years of all the potato research she’d like to carry out. It’s no wonder that list is dwindling after the University of Idaho professor and extension potato specialist’s tireless efforts for the sector. Olsen champions the potato industry and its stakeholders, especially growers, because she loves her work and feels honoured to be part…

We Have Common DNA

Peter VanderZaag has been on a vigorous campaign to alleviate poverty and hunger through potato science and production almost his entire life. His work improving potato production in Central Africa, Southeastern Asia, and China has had far-reaching effects. The researcher was heavily influenced by his heritage — generations of VanderZaags in the Netherlands have been potato producers — and most notably his Uncle Date, a distinguished potato scientist. “My Uncle Date was…

Worth Their Weight in Gold

Since John Nordgaard has been with Black Gold Farms, the company’s size has quadrupled. Employees have increased from around 30 in 1997 to 185 full-time staff today. As director of operations then, and executive vice-president of operations now, Nordgaard has participated in much of that growth. Although, he’d be the last person to say so. At Black Gold Farms, Nordgaard oversees operations for all farms across multiple states, he has also managed…

The Honour is Ours

After spending more than three decades with the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory as a research plant geneticist developing improved potato varieties, Kathleen Haynes says a significant highlight of her career has been bringing researchers together to work on projects for the benefit of the potato industry. “I’m most proud of the working groups we assembled to address problems in the industry,” she says. This year,…

From our Desk

Potato Industry and Producer Engagement Increasing

EXCITEMENT IS IN the air as Manitoba gets ready to host the 103rd Potato Association of America Annual Meeting in Winnipeg at the end of July.  It’s a time for the sector’s scientific branch to share research information about all facets of the potato industry, to recognize members who have made significant contributions to the sector, and to nurture and mentor upcoming researchers. It’s also an opportunity for all industry stakeholders, including…

Farming Life Tough to Beat

JASON KEHLER has been helping grow potatoes on the family farm in Carman, Man., since he was 12 years old. Some 30 years later, he can’t imagine doing anything else.  “I’ve always wanted to farm since I was probably old enough to say the word,” says Kehler, who’s a fourth-generation farmer and second-generation potato producer. “I love what I do. I enjoy the challenge, the people, and just watching Mother Nature make…

2019 PAA Symposium Unites and Sustains Industry

THE SYMPOSIUM BEING held at PAA’s annual meeting is an event no one will want to miss. “These are the hottest topics in the industry right now,” says Tina Brandt, co-chair of the 2019 PAA Symposium and Variety Development Manager for the J.R. Simplot Company. The event, which is being hosted by PAA’s Marketing and Utilization section, is also a little different this year, she adds.  “This one is unique in that…

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