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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…

Canadian Plant Health Council Launched

Ottawa, Ont. – Collaboration between Canadian governments, industry, academia and other partners in plant health is essential to protect our resources from new and emerging risks, drive innovation and ensure that Canadian industry remains competitive and sustainable. Plant health partners in Canada are pleased to announce the establishment of the Canadian Plant Health Council – fulfilling a multi-partner commitment to collaboratively implement the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada. The Canadian…

Medium Term Outlook Projects Continued Growth for the Canadian Agricultural Sector

Ottawa, Ontario — Canadian farmers are leaders in producing safe, high-quality agricultural and food products for Canadians and people around the world. The sector is a major driver in creating good, middle-class jobs, and is one of Canada’s key growth industries. On Sept. 21, 2018, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada released its Medium Term Outlook (MTO), an economic projection of the domestic and international agricultural markets from 2017 to 2027. This year’s projections…

Alberta Farmers Fret Over Late-Summer Snowfalls that Delayed Harvest

Some Alberta farmers are concerned about their crops after a late-summer snowfall blanketed parts of the province, with more flurries expected in the forecast. Early season snow can squash crops that grow upright, like wheat and barley, make them harder to harvest and decimate their quality, leaving farmers with a less valuable product. Greg Sears has been growing canola, wheat, barley and peas just north of Grande Prairie, Alta., for about a…

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