PAA Conference Sees Rising Demand to Share Potato Research

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With approximately 320 people in attendance at the Potato Association of America (PAA) annual meeting in Charlottetown, P.E.I. there are lots of potato researchers wanting to share their latest findings.

“We had a really large number of presentations. Usually at PAA we get away with two concurrent sessions, we’ve had to have three for most of the days because of the amount of presentations,” Ryan Barrett, chair of the PAA 2023 planning committee, says in an interview.

Sessions run until Wednesday, July 26 with Thursday, July 27 being a full day of farm and other agri-tourism tours happening at the conference.

Highlights from the second day on Tuesday, July 25 include:

  • In a study of Red Norland potatoes in Manitoba it was found that rain fed potatoes had more skin defects than irrigated spuds
    • This study was done by Manlin Jiang, Peak of the Market and Gaia Research
    • In potatoes with silver patch the skin defect there is less colouring under the skin
    • Tubers facing downwards in a greenhouse trial with higher soil temps had more silver patch — this suggests this could happen in the field also
  • In a Washington State University study on heat stress on potatoes, it was found that there was a 0.4C increase in temperatures between 2021 and 2022
    • Earlier planted spuds were found to have darker fry colouring, due to when the heat hit the spuds during plant growth
    • Study Lead Jacob Blauer says changing weather patterns may alter when potatoes should be planted
  • In a seed size trial, Hailey Hampton found that for Ranger Russet the optimal seed size is bewteen two to 2.5 ounces
  • By spacing out the length between potato seed in rows based on field zones it can help increase profitability, Evan MacDonald with the University of Prince Edward Island found in a study
  • In Phabian Makokha’s research he found that a narrower row width for potato planting can lead to a potential increase in yield

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