Growers, business people and leaders from across the potato industry recently joined together, virtually, at the 2022 Canadian Spud Congress. Attendees watched sessions about critical agronomic insights, business transition planning and an update on the industry at large as planting season nears.
Altogether, the Congress was insightful for those attending and here are a few key lessons gleaned from day two by our U.S. correspondent Sonja Begemann:
- One of the most important tasks growers should perform each season is soil testing. It not only informs fertilization decisions but provides insights into nematode populations and other pest presence.
- Whether tools are new or old, resistance management techniques are critical to enhance the longevity of the tool.
- A will might be a good start to transition planning but it’s not the only step you need to take. When you create a will, establish a power of attorney so even if you’re in capacitated, the farm can continue to operate until you’re available.
- Your succession plan is a living plan. Revisit it frequently and update it as farm and family dynamics changes.
- True potato seeds aren’t quite here yet, but when they start getting used more wide scale they can dramatically reduce transportation costs.
- Pelletizing potato seeds should have a low additional cost, if any.
- Verticillium wilt can be characterized by unilateral chlorosis. Accurate detection is key to understanding the disease.
- Mustard biofumigation is one of the most cost-effective strategies for Verticillium wilt management.
- Input costs weigh heavy on growers going into the planting season and high prices for lower-input commodities could pull acres out of potato production in favor of those commodities.
- Growers are optimists and ultimately excited to see what 2022 will bring!