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Canada Joins Global Partners in Support of Agriculture Innovation and Trade

November 02, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada The Government of Canada recognizes that Canadian innovation has helped make our country a leader in producing safe, high quality products and we are committed to fostering innovation in the agricultural sector – here in Canada and beyond. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, is pleased that Canada has joined Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras,…

Revolutionizing with CRISPR

By Alex Martin There are plenty of buzzwords surrounding the seed industry in 2018 — GMOs, gene-editing, organic and, of course, CRISPR. While we know a lot surrounding the debate of GMOs versus organic and whether or not GMOs and gene-editing overlap, one gene-editing technology still seems a mystery. So, what exactly is CRISPR-Cas9, and why does it matter to the seed industry? CRISPR is a genome editing system that could benefit…

Potato Breeding: A European Approach, Part I

Of the top 10 food crops in the world, potato comes third, and is the No. 1 non-grain food product. Originally grown in the Andes, the Spanish introduced the potato to Europe in the 16th century, and, after a bumpy start, potatoes have been a very popular food source over the past two centuries. The potato is a healthy, low-calorie, high-fibre food that offers significant protection from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Additionally,…

Innovative Approach to Breeding Could Mean Higher Yields and Better Crops

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Albany, California, have found a way to streamline the process that scientists use to insert multiple genes into a crop plant, developing a reliable method that will make it easier to breed a variety of crops with vastly improved traits. The technology is expected to speed up the process for developing new varieties of potatoes, rice, citrus and other crops that are better equipped to tolerate…

US: Simplot Company Secures Agricultural Research & Commercial License From Corteva Agriscience™, Broad Institute Of MIT & Harvard

The J.R. Simplot Company announced today that it has executed a joint intellectual property licensing agreement with Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for foundational CRISPR-Cas9 and related gene editing tools. The technology provides Simplot with another avenue to bring desirable traits forward in certain fruits and vegetables and advance products to the market in the United States to benefit both farmers and consumers….

Newfoundland Firms Test New Potato Varieties

E.W. Gaze Seeds Co. and Phytocultures Ltd. are working together to bring new types of potatoes to Newfoundland and Labrador, from South America. E.W. Gaze Seeds Co., founded in Newfoundland in 1925,  specializes in selling “high-quality vegetable and flower seeds”. Phytocultures Ltd. reached out to E.W. Gaze to try out the new potato seeds they have been working on for a few years. The store is giving away free samples to people…

GMO potato can reduce fungicide use by 90 per cent

Researchers in Ireland and the Netherlands have discovered that a genetically engineered potato carrying a blight resistance gene could help farmers reduce fungicide sprays by up to 90 percent. Scientists from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Teagasc, the Irish agricultural research agency, conducted three years of field tests in the two countries to examine the effectiveness of potato genes aiming to confer resistance to Phytophthora infestans, otherwise known as late blight…

Wild potatoes from Germany breed stronger, more disease resistant potatoes

Wild potatoes acquired from a gene bank in Germany six years ago are producing promising results for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers trying to develop superior Canadian varieties with resistance to some of the most problematic potato diseases. Stronger potato varieties will increase yields for Canadian growers, which translates into higher profits. Dr. Benoit Bizimungu, head of potato breeding at the Fredericton Research and Development Centre, said a number of hybrids bred…

Potato DNA markers could keep potatoes fresher longer

Ireland is world-renowned for producing potatoes, but Irish crisp and chip manufacturers face a shortage of locally grown potatoes mainly due to long term tuber storage problems. This means they need to import over 50,000 tonnes of potatoes each year. Potatoes used for crisps and chips are usually stored at eight degrees – a temperature high enough to prevent starch from breaking down into glucose and fructose. To slow sprouting, potato producers…

Accelerated Release Offers a Variety of Options

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) accelerated release program is a bit like the Olympics of potato variety development. And just like the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, also happening this month, only the very best will make it to the podium. Out of approximately 100,000 initial AAFC potato seedlings grown in the field six years ago, 15 are being released for industry evaluation this year, and it could take up to three…

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