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In the spring 2018 issue of Spud Smart, we showcase the 2018 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada accelerated release varieties. Also in this issue, read about the next level of weed control, Colorado potato beetle management techniques, and the effect of climate change on potato production now and into the future.

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From our Desk

We’re All In It Together

Hello, Potato Producers! I’m so happy to be at Spud Smart’s helm once again, and to be working with you, Canada’s potato industry stakeholders. In many provinces, this past growing season has been challenging, with prevailing hot, dry conditions for some and rains coming too late for others. Despite these challenging conditions, the September estimate for the average yield of this year’s crop is around 302 hundredweight per acre, which is close to…

Cavendish Farms Installs TOMRA’s Eco Steam Peelers in its New Production Facility in Lethbridge, Alta.

Cavendish Farms, one of the largest processors of frozen potato products in North America, is equipping its new, state-of-the-art production facility in Lethbridge, Alta., with TOMRA’s Eco steam peelers. Cavendish Farms is committed to sustaining the environment and operates at the highest standards to protect the environment. “We are continuously looking for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and increase our processing efficiency. To equip our new, state-of-the-art production facility in…

New Genetic Tool May Help Breeders Develop Disease-Resilient Potatoes

An improved technique for capturing DNA in crops may give plant breeders huge advantages when it comes to developing varieties that are more resilient to pests and diseases. The technique, known as diagnostic resistance gene enrichment sequencing (dRenSeq), enables the high-confidence identification and complete sequence validation of functional resistance genes. More robust and cost-effective than whole-genome sequencing in potato cultivars, dRenSeq is the product of an international collaboration between the James Hutton Institute, Wageningen University (Netherlands), the…

Egypt’s Police Step in to Combat Potato Shortage

CAIRO—Egypt’s police are stepping in to fight a potato shortage that has caused prices for the staple to soar beyond the reach of many at a time when Egyptians are struggling with steadily rising food costs. Pro-government newspapers and TV stations have been publicizing raids on warehouses where authorities say businessmen are hoarding potatoes to try to drive up prices. The raids have showcased the lengths to which authorities are willing to…

Eye On The Nation

MANITOBA  Dan Sawatzky, General Manager, Keystone Potato Producers Association  Heat and lack of rainfall highlight the growing conditions for Manitoba this season. Above 30 C days were double the normal, which will have some effect on yield and quality. 2011 was the most recent year where we experienced similar heat, which resulted in significant yield losses.  Dry conditions were carried over from last fall and winter, where little precipitation fell. This summer’s…

Seeking a Whammy for Wireworms

“We have estimated wireworm costs Prince Edward Island’s potato industry more than $10 million per year in damaged product, crop protection products, crop insurance claims, and costs associated with rotation crops to battle wireworm,” says Ryan Barrett, research coordinator with the P.E.I. Potato Board. “While research by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers, such as Dr. Christine Noronha and Dr. Bob Vernon has provided growers with more tools to battle this pest, it…

Ontario Harvest Update

Oct. 20, 2018—According to Mark VanOostrum, of W.D. Potato Ltd., 95 per cent of the processing crop has been dug.  This is close to the fresh market acreage harvested. The consensus among growers is yield is down and tuber size is smaller due to the hot, dry summer. Cold, wet and windy weather has made digging potatoes in October a challenge.  The first snow fell in the Alliston, Ont., area on October…

Proposed Regulatory Decision for Mancozeb

Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, Health Canada is proposing cancellation of all uses of mancozeb, except greenhouse tobacco, due to unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. Mancozeb is a broad-spectrum contact fungicide with multi-site modes of action. The public, including manufacturers and stakeholders, are encouraged to submit comments during the 90-day public consultation period, beginning Oct. 5, 2018. All comments should be addressed to the Pest…

Market News

After three straight years of record-breaking yields in Canada, the 2018 potato crop appeared headed for a significant drop, thanks to the very hot, dry summer seen in many parts of the country. Some timely end-of-season rains, however, had growers feeling more optimistic heading into harvest. “Two or three weeks ago, we were looking at a severe crop production reduction because of excessive heat and lack of moisture,” Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the…

Louisiana Bans Sweet Potatoes from NC, SC, and FL

The state of Louisiana has banned the entry of sweet potatoes from the states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida effective immediately because of the presence of Guava Root Knot Nematode found in those areas. In a directive sent out to growers in the last week, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry declared that the nematode had been found within the state and was in the process of quarantining it….

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