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Browsing Category Winter 2019

Potato Breeding: A European Approach, Part II

Marcel Bruins, editor of European Seed, sat down with the leaders of five major potato breeding companies in Europe to learn more about the challenges of breeding new potato varieties. Piet Smeenge, director of Kweekbedrijf Smeenge-Research; Vanessa Prigge, Crop Improvement project manager at Solana; Gerard Backx, CEO of HZPC; Jan-Paul Bandsma, product manager at de Nijs Potatoes; and Guus Heselmans, R&D manager of C. Meijer B.V., provided insight on this favoured crop….

The Pros and Cons of Planting Whole Seed and Cut Seed Pieces

The whole seed model has been used in Europe for some time and is becoming more popular in the United States. The practice has had low adoption in Canada; however, that may change. Is a whole seed system possible for Canada? Join our live webinar to learn: The pros and cons of planting whole seed and cut seed pieces Whole seed size distribution and seed sizing capabilities Whole seed commercial trial results…

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…

Preparing Your Seed for Spring

It’s almost that time of year again. A key factor that affects the quality and quantity of potato crop yield under a grower’s control is seed tuber quality. You have decided which cultivar(s) to grow and how much seed you need. Soon it’ll be time to bring that seed home and prepare it for planting. Consider the following: The experience, expertise and integrity of the seed potato grower are the most important…

Eye On The Nation

New Brunswick The 2018 growing season in New Brunswick is complete and will be remembered as one of the most challenging in the last 10 years or more. The challenging growing season in New Brunswick was further exacerbated by an early deep penetrating frost and subsequent excessive moisture during the harvest season.  The September frosts capped yields early and wet conditions during the harvest posed several challenges for growers as they attempted…

From our Desk

Mental Health in Agriculture: It Starts With Me

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Socrates There is nothing quite like the pain of witnessing someone that you love suffer and the feeling of powerlessness in making the mental anguish of another disappear. But here’s a little secret. No one always has it together. Every life is laced with adversity, sadness and grief. The belief that we need to manage on our own is changing,…

Investments Key at Manitoba’s Beaver Creek Farms

In the minds of some farmers, you need to spend money to make money growing potatoes these days. You could say Stan and Don Wiebe, co-owners of Manitoba’s Beaver Creek Farms, fall in that category. The two brothers have invested heavily in their potato operation over the years, installing costly tile drainage and irrigation systems in fields throughout their farm while doing their best to keep up with the latest in farm…

Cultivar and Common Scab

According to Claudia Goyer, a molecular bacteriologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Fredericton, N.B, cultivars differ in terms of how severe common scab will be. No cultivars have true resistance to common scab, where there is no disease at all. “All of them can get common scab. The tolerant ones get really minimal amounts of the disease, just a couple of lesions here and there. The susceptible ones get a…

Keeping Tabs on Late Blight

Strain monitoring in Canada over the past three decades shows successive waves of new strains have replaced older strains of the late blight pathogen. The latest findings from research to track and characterize the strains across the country are a combination of good and bad news with direct relevance for managing the current strains. Rick Peters, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Charlottetown, P.E.I., is co-leading this research…

New Tools for the CPB Toolbox

A study being conducted by researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s London Research and Development Centre could soon provide Canadian potato growers with new insight on how to fight one of the industry’s most troublesome pests — the Colorado potato beetle. The five-year study is officially known as the Development of Regional Management Strategies and Decision-Making Tools for Control of the Colorado Potato Beetle. Work on the project began this past summer…

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