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How to Plan Today to Manage PVY

Although the transmission and incidence of Potato virus Y in Canadian potato crops has declined dramatically over the past eight years, new threats to quality and yield are on the horizon in the form of necrosis-causing novel strains. How can Canadian growers manage PVY on their farms today, and how do they fight these latest strains? For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart sought input from industry experts Mathuresh Singh, director of Agricultural…

Expansion Key for Success for New Brunswick Potato Grower

Michel Levesque, who grew up on a farm in New Brunswick’s fertile potato belt, was only 24 when he began his own potato operation in Saint-Andre, N.B. “I started by myself in 1991. My father had a farm and he sold it to my two brothers. I wanted to still continue farming, so I bought a farm a couple of miles away from the homestead farm,” says Levesque, who’s 52. Levesque admits the…

From our Desk

We’re All In It Together

Hello, Potato Producers! I’m so happy to be at Spud Smart’s helm once again, and to be working with you, Canada’s potato industry stakeholders. In many provinces, this past growing season has been challenging, with prevailing hot, dry conditions for some and rains coming too late for others. Despite these challenging conditions, the September estimate for the average yield of this year’s crop is around 302 hundredweight per acre, which is close to…

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…

Manitoba Grower Prizes Self-Reliance

Spud Plains Farms is one of the largest potato operations in Manitoba. The 15,000-acre farm includes about 4,500 acres of irrigated potatoes which are spread over out over 80 kilometres in the southwest area of the province. Owner Paul Adriaansen believes for an operation of his farm’s size, it pays to be self-sufficient. “We do as much as we can ourselves on our farm. We just purchased an aircraft last year, a…

Remote Sensing: The technology, current use and future outlook

Remote sensing in potatoes is being actively investigated for its value in ensuring a high-yielding, healthy crop. Although in its relatively early stages in Canada, data collection through remote means and the related data analysis is developing at a swift pace. In this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart gathered experts to report on the remote sensing tech being used in potatoes, the present value of the information collected and where the future…

Healthy Seed Helps Ensure Healthy Yield

Ideal growing conditions, optimum fertility, pest and disease control – all these things are crucial to ensure a high-yielding, healthy crop. But before the seed goes in the ground, it’s crucial growers ensure the seed they’re planting is as healthy as possible. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart gathered some expert opinions on why it’s important potato growers plant the best seed they can get their hands on. Our five experts…

Eye On The Nation

BRITISH COLUMBIA By Hugh Reynolds, Reynelda Farms, Delta, B.C. B.C. has had near endless rain in January with a very cold February and a wet, cool March forecast. This puts B.C. behind for our famous early potatoes. With today’s excellent planters, we will only need a good week to pound in many acres of potatoes, but they will be a little later this year. In B.C. we have a regulated quota for potato delivery…

From our Desk

Soil Health Research Ongoing

Another crop year is upon us, and once again, potato producers are busy preparing. Pre-planting tasks abound – repairing and updating equipment, prepping the soil, checking and preparing seed, scheduling help. I’m not a potato grower, so I know I am missing myriad steps producers take. But one thing I do know – ensuring the health of your soil is paramount to healthy production and good yields. Some new research is underway…

Potato Production and Climate Change

Potato is the most important non-grain crop in the world. So, understanding the potential impacts of climate change on potato production is critical, especially for producers. Throughout its long history, Earth has warmed and cooled time and again. Climate has changed when the planet received more or less sunlight due to subtle shifts in its orbit, as the atmosphere or surface changed, or when the Sun’s energy varied. But in the past…

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