MPPD Celebrates 50 Years of Potato Memories

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Manitoba Potato Production Days (MPPD) kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration with an opening night reception followed by a full day of presentations, demonstrations and trade show visits. The show runs from Jan. 24 to 26, 2023 in Brandon, Man. at the Keystone Centre.

“1973 is when Horticultural Industry Days kicked off and that included fruit and vegetable people. They over the years have dropped off and done their own thing,” Dan Sawatzky, general manager of the Keystone Potato Producers Association, says. “It’s our 50 year anniversary and we’re trying to make it a little bit special.”

The first full day of the conference featured presentations on:

  • Tracy Shinners-Carnelley with Peak of the Market presenting a pesticide update and on the consequences of reviews
  • Julie Pasche from North Dakota State University presenting on the differences and implications of common and powdery scab, and fungicide resistance in leaf spot pathogens
  • Mike Thornton from the University of Idaho presenting on the impact of heat on potatoes
  • David Zaruk gave a keynote speech about the sustainable potato
  • Haider Abbas with Manitoba Agriculture presenting on nitrogen dynamics in the potato root zone
  • Mario Tenuta from the University of Manitoba presenting on nitrous oxide
  • Emma Bedlington from Stratos prevention on current ESG trends and influence in agriculture

Highlights include:

  • Pymetrozine can’t be used after this growing season, so if you have any left on the farm use it this year, Shinners-Carnelley says
  • Because there’s different pathogens of common scab, a potato cultivator that may be resistant to common scab in one field might not be in another, Pasche says
  • There’s more products coming off the market for crop protection than there is coming on, Zaruk says
  • How do we communicate with consumers? How do we give a name to something that will be understood correctly? Communication isn’t about stating the facts, it’s about sharing a value, Zaruk says
  • You need to keep the message the same across the potato industry, so the public trusts it, Zaruk says
  • Potatoes take in more nitrogen gradually after planting and then it drops off as the growing season goes on, Abbas says
  • We’re losing two to three pounds per acre of nitrogen as nitrous oxide for plants. Well this might not cost you on your farm, it still means you’re releasing gas into the environment, Tenuta says
  • What is ESG? It stands for environmental, social and governance, Bedlington says
  • Per kilogram potatoes are very low for greenhouse gas emissions, Bedlington says

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