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Ontario Planting News

After a slow emergence, potatoes in the Leamington area are growing fast, and best of all, they look healthy and vigorous. The attached pictures are courtesy of Chris Rahm, general manager of Setterington’s Fertilizer Service in Cottam, Ont. In other Ontario areas, growers are struggling with the rainy weather and many of them expect to finish planting by June 10. According to the weather network, warm summer temperatures will arrive late this…

United Potato Growers of Canada Planting Update 2019

Prince Edward Island April has been cold with above average rainfall. May has seen more normal amounts of rainfall, however showers almost every second day has made it difficult for growers to get into the fields. As of today, about 10-15% of the potato crop has been planted. Overall acreage will likely be similar to last year. Pricing on old crop has been good with GRI’s at $20.90. Although demand is good,…

Fighting Common Scab: A Spud Smart Roundtable Webinar

Common scab is a pervasive threat to some potato-growing regions in Canada. Lesions and cavities on infected tubers can render them unmarketable. Researchers and industry experts are still trying to determine why the pathogen is more prevalent in some fields than others as well as the best methods for fighting the disease.   While growers use many different practices to control common scab, none have proven to be totally effective. During this…

IBM Provides Global Agriculture Solution

IBM has announced the global expansion of Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture, with AI technology tailored for new crops and specific regions to help feed a growing population. For the first time, IBM is providing a global agriculture solution that combines predictive technology with data from The Weather Company, an IBM Business, and IoT data to help give farmers around the world greater insights about planning, plowing, planting, spraying and harvesting. By 2050,…

Ontario Planting Update

After the cold, rainy weather that prevailed through April and up to mid-May, spring seems to have arrived.  Warmer weather has allowed growers to get planting as fields dry up.  According to Mark VanOostrum, the processing crop is about 15 days behind: 60 per cent of the field-fry crop is in the ground, but only 20 per cent of the storage crop is planted. In general, planting for the fresh-market crop is also…

Think Beyond Today

After a decade in the potato storage business, I’ve learned there’s a single piece of advice I can give that, no matter the situation, the operation or the farmer, proves relevant each and every time someone is considering upgrading their storage. It’s this: think beyond today. If you buy yourself a new piece of equipment — a tractor, for example — and realize it’s not quite right for your operation, you have…

New Tool for Growers in the Fight Against Fungicide Resistance

May 13, 2019 – Ottawa, ON – Canadian growers have a new tool in the fight against resistance. ManageResistanceNow.ca, a resistance management website, has added fungicide best practice information to help growers minimize the development of resistance in their crops. “Fungicide resistance affects various crops grown across Canada. In fact, it is already an issue in pulses, potatoes and fruit crops,” says Pierre Petelle, president and CEO of CropLife Canada. “I’m pleased we can now offer growers…

How Potatoes Could Become Sun Worshippers

If there’s one thing potato plants don’t like, it’s heat. If the temperature is too high, potato plants form significantly lower numbers of tubers or sometimes none at all. Biochemists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered the reason why. If the temperature rises, a so-called small RNA blocks the formation of tubers. The scientists have now successfully switched off this small RNA and have produced potato plants that are more resistant…

Heat Stress Study Aims to Protect Potato Yields

Temperature has a pronounced effect on the formation of potato tubers: when temperature is too high, potato plants form less or no tubers, which can greatly decrease yields. Scientists at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen Nuremberg (Germany) and the James Hutton Institute have uncovered the genetic mechanism behind the decrease of potato yields under high temperatures, which may help develop heat-tolerant varieties and protect future potato yields. Potato is a major global food crop…

Eugenia Banks: 10-Row Planter

I was in the Alliston, Ont., area during yesterday’s sunny afternoon and was delighted to watch Homer Vander Zaag’s 10-row planter in action.  It did a great job, and the Lamoka seed being planted looked very healthy. Fortunately,  I will be able to keep an eye on this field all summer long because one of my research trials will be in the field. Homer’s 10-row planter is the only one in Ontario…

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