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PEI POTATO FARMERS OBSERVE WORLD FOOD SAFETY DAY

The inaugural World Food Safety Day is June 7, 2019 and that gives the PEI Potato Farmers reason to be proud, as we are very committed to growing the safest food possible. Island Potato farmers have a very high enrolment in CanadaGAP, which is the nationally recognized food safety program for fruits and vegetables. CanadaGAP sets out high standards throughout the entire food distribution process from growing, storing, packing and shipping food….

Combatting Common Scab

COMMON SCAB, a bacterial disease that doesn’t affect yields but causes ugly lesions and cavities on infected tubers, which can render them unmarketable, is a pervasive threat in potato-growing areas across Canada.  It has likely been around for as long as people have been growing potatoes, but researchers are still trying to determine why the pathogen is much more common in some fields than others and what the best methods are for…

New WPC Webinar with Dr. Gary Secor on BMPs for Seed Potato Handling

The World Potato Congress (WPC) is very pleased to be offering its third webinar in its 2019 series with Dr. Gary Secor. Secor is a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D, United States. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Montana State University, and his PhD from the University of California-Davis. Secor has worked with numerous potato diseases, concentrating in recent years…

Research Underway to Discover Causes of Senescent Sweetening in Potato Storage

Researchers at the James Hutton Institute and partner organizations are working to understand the mechanisms behind senescent sweetening, a problem responsible for considerable losses of potato crops during storage, particularly in the processing market. Speaking at the Scottish Society for Crop Research (SSCR) Potato Winter Meeting 2019, Dr. Rob Hancock, based within the Institute’s Cell and Molecular Sciences group, said: “This AHDB-funded project aims to define the biochemical pathways associated with senescent…

Ivan Noonan Recognized for his Efforts in P.E.I’s Potato Industry

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Ivan Noonan has experienced plenty of high-stakes situations, but he confessed he was far more nervous addressing a room of people last month. The former general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board was among three recipients of industry appreciation awards Feb. 19 at the P.E.I. Potato Conference. The others were Jack Reddin, founder of Reddin Farm Equipment in Stratford, which merged with Green Diamond Equipment in 2016, and David Scales,…

Cavendish Farms Developing Seeds to Withstand Dry P.E.I. Summers

Cavendish Farms is working to develop potato seeds that can thrive in dry growing conditions on P.E.I., says the company’s president Robert Irving. Irving was a guest speaker during the P.E.I. Youth Farmers annual general meeting at Murphy’s Community Centre Saturday. “We’ve got a whole seed investment now,” said Irving. “We’ve got a seed specialist and we’re putting up a seed farm here to develop new types of seed varieties and new…

The Benefits of True Potato Seed

Charles Miller, commercial director of Solynta, discusses true potato seed with Julie Deering, editor of Spud Smart’s sister publication, Seed World. Miller discusses the benefits of true potato seed, or potatoes grown from seeds instead of tubers. Solynta has been working on producing hybrid true seed potatoes through targeted breeding. Miller says true seeds don’t take as long to produce new varieties in comparison to tubers — which take about eight years to…

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,…

Eye On The Nation

MANITOBA  Dan Sawatzky, General Manager, Keystone Potato Producers Association  Heat and lack of rainfall highlight the growing conditions for Manitoba this season. Above 30 C days were double the normal, which will have some effect on yield and quality. 2011 was the most recent year where we experienced similar heat, which resulted in significant yield losses.  Dry conditions were carried over from last fall and winter, where little precipitation fell. This summer’s…

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