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First Argentine GM Potato to be Released in 2020

The National Council of Technical and Scientific Research (CONICET) commenced with the registration of the first biotech potato variety in Argentina to the National Seed Institute. CONICET, in partnership with Sidus, developed the biotech potato with resistance to virus Y called SPT TICAR. This new biotech potato variety is expected to provide potato farmers with 10% cost savings, reduction in the use of insecticides, and general improvement of competitiveness across the value…

From our Desk

Unlocking the Potato’s True Potential

LAST AUGUST, at the Potato Association of America (PAA) annual meeting, I had an opportunity to talk with Michiel de Vries, Solynta’s research team lead, about the work he and his colleagues are carrying out. Solynta, a potato seed breeding company based in Wageningen, the Netherlands, has invented a fast and efficient hybrid breeding technology. One that could change global food consumption and unlock the true potential of the potato, de Vries…

The Ins and Outs of Potato Yield Monitoring

Bill Menkveld, vice-president of sales and marketing for Greentronics, has never met a grower who isn’t interested in yield maps. He says producers are often surprised by the results. “Growers are always amazed to see how much yield changes across a field. It’s not uncommon to see yields vary by a factor of 100 or 200 per cent,” he says. Yield monitors provide information about crops and production practices and are designed…

Better Sooner Than Later

Late blight is a deadly disease that requires integrated management, including foliar fungicides as a key tool. Usually potato growers make repeated preventive applications of broad-spectrum fungicides starting before row closure, and then use late blight-specific fungicides if the disease is found in their fields. Now studies in Ontario and the Maritimes are working on easy-to-use technologies for early detection of late blight that could allow more targeted fungicide strategies. Late blight…

Advances in Potato Handling Equipment

At one time, the only real tools a potato farmer needed were a trusty spade and a good strong back. While a little blood, sweat and tears can still go a long way in determining how successful a grower can be, having the right tools has become increasingly important. New developments in technology, mechanization, storage and breeding are allowing growers to produce more spuds with fewer resources. The challenge for many potato…

Complex Potato Genome Further Unveiled

The potato is one of the most important food crops worldwide. Improvements to its traits can therefore have a major impact. Reading the genome structure of the potato is extremely tricky, however, as a regular potato consists of four genomes, which makes it difficult to determine the position of the genes. The recent research applied a diploid real potato plant with only one genome, a so-called homozygote, which makes it easier to read and compare the DNA base sequence. This plant, Solyntus, was produced as part of Solynta’s hybrid potato breeding programme.   The genome…

New Grimme Field Loader Arrives in Time for Aug. 22 Show

On Thursday, August 15, the new Grimme Field Loader arrived from Germany, and  HJV Equipment in Alliston, Ont., has brought the first one to North America! Depending on harvest conditions, a single trailer of potatoes can contain up to 20 per cent soil and/or trash. This can amount to as much as 1,000 tons per 100 ha, according to studies by Grimme. The new Field Loader is designed to reduce this trash…

New potato variety named after Alliston, spud capital of Ontario

By Brad Pritchard, Alliston Herald You’ve eaten countless potatoes grown in the sandy loam soils of Alliston, but until now you’ve never chowed down on an Alliston potato. Well, you better get those potato mashers ready, because there’s a new tater in town that could change that. In mid-July, a new variety of potato named Alliston was officially registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, making it the first tater in history…

New Potato Helps Farmers Weather the Frost in Peru

By William Schaefer, University of Wisconsin-Madison In a country with more than 5,000 potato varieties, you might not expect the arrival of another one to be a big deal. But this is Peru, where the potato was first domesticated and still plays a vital role in national identity. In Spanish you might call it patrimonio or orgullo; in English it translates to national pride or honor. However it’s phrased, for the people…

Community and Science Strengthens Industry

Robert Thornton, an extension vegetable specialist and professor emeritus at Washington State University has been attending Potato Association of America (PAA) annual meetings since the early 1960s. He says the biggest reason he has maintained his membership for more than five decades is it keeps him honest. “Every year is an opportunity to have your thinking questioned,” Thornton says. “You can stay isolated in your own area of concern and be very…

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