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Roundtable — Making Potato Storage Easier with Sugar Sampling

Sugar content tests allow growers to monitor sugar levels in field and in storage to keep potato crops in the best possible condition for shipping to fry and chip processors. Experts Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.  Spud Smart (SS): Why is knowing the sugar content of your potatoes important? Todd Forbush (TF): We need to know what the potatoes sugar profile is in storage, how they…

Potato field fertilized with Yara products

Roundtable — The Latest Practices for Use of Liquid and Dry Fertilizers

Our experts Bryan Maynard, co-owner, Farmboys farm in Richmond, P.E.I. Alan Blaylock, senior agronomist with Nutrien From Yara: Shawn McIver, Maritimes regional sales manager Maarten de Voogd, global potato business manager Toby Goodroad, market development director for North America Brady Stover, sales agronomist, Washington region Murray Van Zeggelaar, vice-president, ALPINE in New Hamburg, Ont. Experts review current trends and best practices to get the most out of using both forms of nutrient…

The Ins and Outs of Potato Yield Monitoring

Bill Menkveld, vice-president of sales and marketing for Greentronics, has never met a grower who isn’t interested in yield maps. He says producers are often surprised by the results. “Growers are always amazed to see how much yield changes across a field. It’s not uncommon to see yields vary by a factor of 100 or 200 per cent,” he says. Yield monitors provide information about crops and production practices and are designed…

Potato field

Stress Factors and Management Practices for Sugar End Disorder and Stem-End Chip Defect

SUGAR ENDS AND stem-end chip defect are tuber disorders affecting product quality of processing and chipping potatoes, respectively. The environmental stresses causing the disorders occur during the growing season, but tubers appear asymptomatic until harvest or later in storage. Although there are many similarities between the two disorders, there are also some key differences.  To understand the factors causing sugar ends and stem-end chip defect as well as management practices to reduce…

Spud Smart Webinar: Sugar End Disorder and Stem-End Chip Defect Stress Factors and Management Practices

Sugar ends is a physiological disorder that can occur at a tuber’s bud or stem end. The disorder’s symptoms usually aren’t apparent until the tuber’s exposure to colder temperatures — around 10 C or below. The stress that causes the disorder’s development occurs early in the growing season and may be difficult to determine. Stem-end chip defect is another serious threat affecting tuber quality for chip potato growers. What are the causes…

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…

The Advantages and Challenges to Planting Whole Seed

  Some of the most important trials Shaun Pelkey, agronomy manager at McCain Foods’ Valley Farms in Grand Falls, N.B., has been conducting over the past few years focus on planting whole seed as a way to increase payable yields and maximize grower returns. “McCain is trying to lead the way on this,” he says. “We have a big drive to increase yields in this part of the world and to be…

Potatoes and Water Management: From Deluge to Drought

Potato producers know all too well that controlling Mother Nature is as likely as reigning in a two year-old. In either case, you’re doomed before you start. At the same time, there are ways to optimize water use efficiency and minimize the damage from floods and droughts. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart assembled five industry experts to discuss the importance of water management to potato production, and how to deal…

Managing Soil-Borne Pests, Diseases

For potato farmers, soil-borne pests and diseases are like that pesky younger sibling that’s always trying to get you in trouble: ignore them at your peril. Hazards such as Verticillium, nematodes, pink rot and Rhizoctonia can have a big impact on the bottom line if not kept in check. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart sought input from three industry experts on the financial importance of these potato problems, and best…

Fall Bedding

Fall bedding in potato fields allows for soil preparation work to be done when growers typically have more time and labour available to them. In this system, growers usually irrigate, broadcast fertilizer as needed, plow, and then form beds into which they plant the following spring. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart asked the following five experts to weigh in on their experiences with fall bedding. Louis Claassen, a potato producer…

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