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Hummingbird Technologies’ flight schedule

Monitoring Your Fields

Checking every inch of your potato fields isn’t an easy task, but precision agriculture company Hummingbird Technologies is trying to make it easier. If you stand at the edge of a potato field, you’ll only see a small sampling of plants. If you start walking across it, you’ll be slowed by the potato hills. Overall, it’s not the easiest process. Drones and satellites however can see the whole field, which is what…

HZPC robot

HZPC Robot Helps Breed Disease Resistant Potatoes

Dutch potato breeder HZPC has developed a robot which helps them identify potato DNA and isolate diseases in plants, the company says in a release on May 20. Within 15 minutes the robot can isolate the DNA of 1,536 potato plants with positive traits being crossbred into a potato variety which is resistant to a variety of diseases. The DNA from the potato plants is then examined to see whether a more…

Radiance sweet potatoes

A Growing Appetite for Sweet Potatoes

The Canadian sweet potato industry is preparing itself to expand with a new variety developed specifically for the country’s climate. Sweet potato consumption in North America has doubled in the last decade —which is good news for Canadian growers. But the celebration doesn’t stop there, as a made-in-Canada variety of the root vegetable is showing excellent yields in recent trials. Radiance, a variety developed by Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Ontario…

LOCKWOOD Mobile TANK

Changing with the Times

Innovative new products are helping growers to adapt to changing market and field conditions It’s believed the first potatoes to be grown for human consumption were produced in South America about 10,000 years ago. The method used to grow tubers hasn’t changed much since then: plant, water, feed, weed and harvest. Thankfully for today’s potato growers though, the instruments used to plant, care for and harvest them have greatly evolved. Spud Smart…

P.E.I. Farmers Fight Back Against Late Blight With Ag Tech

To cut down on costs and make their operations more efficient Prince Edward Island potato farmers have started using precision agriculture technology to prevent late blight, according to a news release from the Prince Edward Island Potato Board. Farmers usually use fungicides throughout the growing season to protect from late blight which can cause millions of dollars in crop losses. Many P.E.I. farmers though have started using precision agriculture technology like localized…

A Change for the Better

IT’S BEEN A LITTLE over a year since Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) began revamping its potato breeding program. In addition to making the program more efficient and up to date, the move reflects a strong desire by the AAFC to make the program more responsive to the needs of the Canadian potato industry.  The changes are still ongoing, but many in the potato industry appear to like what they’ve seen so…

Solynta Granted US Patent for Hybrid True Potato Seed Development

Solynta, the inventor and global leader in the breeding of hybrid potato cultivars produced from true potato seed, announced the grant of U.S. Patent Serial No. 10,524,436 entitled “Hybrid Potato Breeding.” The patent claims Solynta’s methods of producing potato inbreds and hybrids that are propagated from true seed. Dr. Pim Lindhout, Solynta’s Chief Scientific Officer, states “Solynta’s innovative Hybrid True Potato Seed breeding will finally unlock the humble potato’s vast potential. Not only producing more and better food but…

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…

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