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Browsing Category Winter 2020

Practices for Mitigating Soil Compaction

ALTHOUGH FARMERS have known for a long time that soil compaction is an important issue, they are now getting more serious than ever about its management. Compaction can threaten potato plants in a number of negative ways, yet farmers must often make the decision to enter a field (e.g. at planting) when conditions don’t lend themselves well to compaction prevention. However, a wholistic approach throughout the year employing the latest strategies will…

War on Weeds

IN ATLANTIC CANADA, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers are tackling the thorny problem of herbicide resistance in potatoes by looking into the biofumigant effects of different cover crops on weeds and weed seeds. The research is part of a broader integrated weed management plan for potatoes that’s being developed to counter the impact of rising herbicide resistance as well as the potential loss of linuron, a major weed control product and resistance…

Research Roundup: Potato Early Dying Complex

POTATO EARLY DYING COMPLEX (PED) is one of the most economically devastating diseases Canadian potato growers face each year, and incidence has been on the rise in fields across the country. With few registered chemicals available, an integrated management approach is the best means of control.  Early dying in potato occurs when potato plants fail to reach full maturity. As its name suggests, early dying is a complex issue due to a…

From our Desk

Reach Out and Talk About It

To say harvest conditions were difficult in 2019 for some western Canadian potato producers would be an understatement. The total unharvested potato acres last year in Canada was just under 20,300. Cold, wet conditions followed by snow meant approximately 84 per cent of those unharvested acres were located in Manitoba and Alberta, where about 13,000 and 4,000 acres, respectively, were left in the ground (Market News, page 50). This is the second…

Eye On The Nation

Winter 2020 ALBERTA  Terence Hochstein, Executive Director, Potato Growers of Alberta  Only in Alberta can you go from -35 C on Friday to 2 C on Sunday morning. Such is the life in the Chinook belt of southern Alberta. The winter in Alberta has been a mixed bag to say the least. Three feet of snow at the end of September, then it’s gone for a while, then another couple of feet,…

Pile of potato

Market News Winter 2020

Total potato production in Canada in 2019 was 106.6 million hundredweight, a four per cent increase from 2018, according to Statistics Canada figures released Dec. 13. The 2019 figures also show an average potato yield in Canada of just over 312 hundredweight per acre, a seven per cent increase from the previous year. According to Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada, the total production number could have…

Industry News Winter 2020

PEOPLE NEWS McCain Foods Announces 2018 Top Potato Growers at Manitoba Awards Banquet McCain Foods (Canada) announced A&M Farm Ventures Ltd. as the 2018 Crop Year Champion Potato Grower for Manitoba at the annual McCain Manitoba Growers’ Appreciation Banquet held last December, an annual tradition made even more special during the 40th anniversary of the Portage la Prairie facility in 2019.  Approximately 150 guests, including executives from McCain Foods, gathered to celebrate…

World Review Winter 2020

UNITED KINGDOM A genetically modified potato with improved tuber quality and resistance to the devastating disease late blight has progressed successfully through the latest stage of trials. The field trials follow successful lab experiments to modify Maris Piper potatoes with late blight resistance genes from wild relatives of potato called Solanum americanum and Solanum venturii. To improve tuber quality, the modified Maris Piper lines also have genes switched off — or silenced…

A Change for the Better

IT’S BEEN A LITTLE over a year since Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) began revamping its potato breeding program. In addition to making the program more efficient and up to date, the move reflects a strong desire by the AAFC to make the program more responsive to the needs of the Canadian potato industry.  The changes are still ongoing, but many in the potato industry appear to like what they’ve seen so…

Heat-Proofing Our Potato Crops

As climate warming turns up the heat, how will Canadian potato production be affected? “Potato crops are known to be sensitive to high temperatures,” says Xiu-Qing Li, a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Fredericton Research and Development Centre. “Potatoes evolved high in the Andes of South America where conditions are relatively cool. So, they grow best at temperatures around 22 degrees Celsius, which makes Canada a great place for potato…

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