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Potato plants in a row in a field

North American Potato Industry Bands Together to Form Sustainability Group

As consumer and industry preferences continue to drive demand for more sustainable foods, the Canadian and United States potato industries have banded together to create the Potato Sustainability Alliance, said a news release from the organization. The newly created group was first announced in January at the Potato Expo in Las Vegas, Nev. The Potato Alliance builds on the work of the previously created Potato Sustainability Initiative, while adding fresh packers, agribusinesses,…

Saving EU’s Competitiveness: Why CRISPR is so Incredibly Necessary

Cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a tough nut to crack in terms of plant breeding. It is a tetraploid crop, which means it has four sets of chromosomes and it is largely a heterozygous crop, which makes potato research and breeding through traditional crossbreeding a huge challenge. But help is on the way: by specific applications of genome editing, one or a few traits can be added to a commercial potato variety,…

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…

Peruvian Experiments Result In Potato To Grow On Mars

The humble potato may just be an important food for the future of space exploration. A recent experiment has taken place in the Peruvian capital of Lima. It saw a potato plant growing in conditions similar to what you might find on the surface of Mars. Experiments were conducted using Peru’s desert soil. Conditions were set up to mimic the harsh climate on Mars. These included an atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide….

French-Fry Plant Is Fuelled By Potato Scraps

What goes around comes around at Cavendish Farms in New Annan, P.E.I. — potato scraps from the french-fry plant are used at the nearby biogas facility to fuel the fry factory they came from. According to the company, generating biogas allowed it to reduce its dependency on fuel oil by 30 per cent, reducing greenhouse gases by about 35,000 tonnes — the equivalent of taking 7,300 cars off the road for one year….

IPM is a Powerful Tool for Potato Growers

Growers who practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) can positively impact their crop production and their bottom line. Integrated strategies offer the strongest protection for potato growers, who need a complete plan for combating every element that threatens their crop. Managing obvious threats like insects, nematodes, diseases, and weeds are often at the forefront of IPM tactics, but taking steps to monitor water management and crop rotation are also important in keeping potatoes…

Comparing New Nitrogen Alternatives

Nitrogen use efficiency is a topic that is an intersection of food security, environmental sustainability and economics in our agricultural production systems. We need to use nitrogen to produce a good harvest. So says Dr. Guillermo Hernandez Ramirez, the study’s lead investigator and an assistant professor in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. “However, by using nitrogen fertilizer we also have the risk of losing some of that…

Preparing for the Potato’s Future

It’s always been critical to breed new crop varieties with good yield and harvest quality, but it’s more important than ever to do so now, with crops facing myriad stresses related to changing climate conditions. Dr. Keshav Dahal, a crop stress physiologist who joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research and Development Centre in Fredericton, N.B. during summer 2017, is helping unlock how some plants sense and react to stress more effectively than…

New Publication – Plant Nutrition Diagnostics: Potato

Good nutrition is essential for supporting potato plant health and providing the necessary defense against plant disease and stress. The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), J.R. Simplot Company and Tennessee State University have collaborated on a new publication that provides readers with access to a unique collection of hundreds of high resolution photographs that document a wide range of nutrient deficiency symptoms in potato plants with remarkable clarity. Developed within a unique…

Nurturing Deep Roots in Sustainability

The VanderZaag family has been growing potatoes for generations, initially in the Netherlands, and then immigrating to Alliston, Ont. For founder of Sunrise Potato Storage Ltd., Peter VanderZaag, it is not just about producing a marketable crop but returning life to the depleted soils around the world. Today, the family farm consists of over 1,000 acres of potatoes, and a state-of-the-art storage facility that can hold 400,000 cwt (18,000 tonnes) of potatoes….

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