Overall potato production in Canada dropped by 2.6 per cent, according to the latest estimate from the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPG).
Lorraine MacKinnon, PEI potato industry coordinator with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, says it’s not a nice position to be in now to start contemplating potential issues going forward with storage after a difficult harvest. MacKinnon created a checklist for producers to use during their daily warehouse visits that help identify symptoms of larger problems. Storage problems are better tackled sooner rather than later.
Prairie and east coast potato producers endured a prolonged harvest of excessive rain and cold temperatures. After a difficult harvest, it’s time to look ahead to the storage season.
Some areas of Canada did have a tough harvest due to cold, wet conditions resulting in these areas having lower than normal production, but there's no spud shortage yet, says Terence Hochstein, executive director of the Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA).
When you think of China, do you think of potatoes? Maybe not, but in the Loess Plateau region of northwestern China, potato is the main food crop.
Ontario corn producers are dealing with high-DON (deoxynivalenol) in grain corn this year. High amounts of the mycotoxin are harmful to animals, so high-DON corn is unsuitable for feed and producers have limited end use options.
From stalled harvests to abandoned acres, to potential storage problems, Canadian potato growers have not had an easy harvest.
P.E.I Potato Agronomy shares harvest considerations for Island producers battling tough harvest conditions, including disposing of tare soil properly at storages, thoroughly cleaning shared equipment to reduce biosecurity concerns, and taking care of producer wellness through available support programs. | READ MORE
The P.E.I. Potato Board is using its seed farm in Fox Island, P.E.I., to get new varieties into Island fields quickly and safely.
There is a good chance Manitoba will fall short of its contract amounts after damaging frosts froze some fields before salvaging, said Dan Sawatzky, manager of the Keystone Potato Producers Association, to the Manitoba Co-operator. An estimated 30 per cent of potatoes were still in the fields when temperatures dipped to below 10 degrees Celsius in mid-October, topping off two weeks of unseasonably cold weather. Some producers are attempting to manage frozen potatoes in storage, while others have decided to opt out of any further harvest attempts.Even for farmers with insurance, the abandoned acres still have a huge financial impact on farmers. Despite frost and rain disturbing harvest progress, Manitoba potato crop has had a relatively good disease year. There was no late blight found in Manitoba and the season was remarkable for very low aphid numbers and low levels of early blight, according to Dr. Vikram Bisht's Potato Disease report for Manitoba Agriculture. However, black dot incidence was extensive and there was widespread Verticillium wilt earlier than normal in many fields.
Cold and wet conditions in September and October has some Saskatchewan producers opting to leave potatoes out in the field instead of incur the cost of digging the crop out. Multiple nights of hard frosts have damaged potatoes near the surface and the damaged potatoes can cause healthy potatoes to rot in storage.
Above average rainfall across P.E.I. has made this year's potato harvest particularly difficult. The average rainfall for October at Charlottetown Airport is 112.2 mm, and as of Sunday 165.8 mm had fallen this month. The rain has been steady, with just six days with no rain recorded. | READ MORE
Eugenia Banks, Ontario potato specialist, attended a BASF meeting discussing several pesticides for potatoes will be coming through the pipeline for producers.
BASF Canada Inc. has been granted a new label expansion for Frontier Max herbicide for control of annual grasses and key broadleaf weeds in potatoes. In addition to its expanded label on potatoes, Frontier Max is also registered for use on corn, soybeans, dry beans, onions, cabbage and grapes.
Black cutworms were found in a number of fields near Delhi, Ont., on July 26, according to Eugenia Banks' latest potato update.
Syngenta Canada Inc. has received registration for Revus fungicide as a potato seed treatment for the suppression of pink rot and control of seed‑borne late blight in potatoes. Pink rot is a devastating, soil-borne disease caused by the pathogen Phytophthora erythroseptica that thrives in wet, poorly drained soils. Infection typically takes place pre-harvest, as the pathogen enters tubers through the stem end and lenticels. Tubers infected with pink rot will often decay during harvest and handling, which allows the pathogen to spread quickly from infected tubers to healthy tubers while in storage. “Every field has the potential for pink rot,” says Brady Code, eastern technical lead with Syngenta Canada. “It takes a very small number of infected tubers going over harvest equipment or getting by on the belt to put an entire season of work in jeopardy, and leave growers with far fewer healthy potatoes to ship.” Revus contains the active ingredient mandipropamid (Group 40), and works by protecting the daughter tubers from becoming infected with pink rot. It also provides control of seed-borne late blight (Phytophthora infestans), according to a company press release. Revus is applied at 5.9-11.8 mL per cwt of seed (13-26 mL/100 kg of seed). Following a seed treatment application of Revus fungicide, the first foliar fungicide application should be a product that does not contain a Group 40 active ingredient. Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for mandipropamid have been established for markets including Canada, the United States, Japan, and South Korea, in support of the seed treatment use pattern.
Although still in the early stages, this weed control solution is being designed as an advanced spot-spraying precision technology that will help farmers reduce input costs and add another management tool to their integrated management systems.
Bayer has announced the launch of Sencor STZ, a powerful and innovative new herbicide for broad-spectrum control of all major annual grass and broadleaf weeds in potatoes.
“Although potato psyllids have been known in the past to cause some damage themselves, the real concern is mainly from the bacterium, and we don’t have it in Canada yet. But if our potato psyllid population continues to increase – as it has done during 2013 to 2016 – and if it becomes more continuous with U.S. populations, and if tomato and potato plants (and tubers) are shipped more frequently, then it could arrive,” says Dan Johnson, an entomologist at the University of Lethbridge. | READ MORE
The Prairie Pest Monitoring Network (PPMN), now in its 20th year, continues to provide timely crop insect pest risk and forecasting tools for growers and the industry across Western Canada. As technology and forecasting tools advance, so does the ability of the network to provide relevant insect pest information related to scouting, identification and monitoring tools and information, plus links to provincial monitoring and support relevant to the Canadian Prairies. | READ MORE
An Islander has heeded the call to mass manufacture a trap to fight P.E.I.'s wireworm pest.
Nov. 28, 2016, Prince Edward Island – Health Canada's proposal to phase out a pesticide over three years will have a significant impact on Island farmers looking to control the Colorado potato beetle, says the P.E.I. Potato Board. | READ MORE
As part of the regular review process, Health Canada has completed its re-evaluation of imidacloprid, and has published its draft risk assessment for public comment. The assessment proposes current use of imidacloprid is not sustainable, and the levels of this pesticide that are being found in waterways and aquatic environments are harmful to aquatic insects, such as mayflies and midges, which are important food sources for fish, birds and other animals. Concentrations of imidacloprid in surface water can range from non-detectable to, in some rare cases, levels as high as 11.9 parts per billion, according to Health Canada. Scientific evidence indicates levels above 0.041 parts per billion are a concern. To address the risks identified, Health Canada has published a proposed risk management plan for public comment, which includes a proposed three-year phase-out of agricultural uses of imidacloprid in order to address risks to aquatic insects. In some cases, where there are no alternative pest control products available, a longer phase-out transition period of five years is being proposed. In a press release, Health Canada said it is consulting on these proposed mitigation measures, and the final re-evaluation decision and risk management plan will take into consideration any comments received during the consultations. The consultation phase includes a 90-day commentary period in addition to a multi-stakeholder forum that will discuss any proposals for potential alternative mitigation strategies that would achieve the same outcomes in a similar timeframe. Any proposals for continued registration will need to clearly demonstrate concrete actions to ensure levels of imidacloprid in water will be reduced below the level of concern. Based on the findings of the re-evaluation assessment on imidacloprid, Health Canada is also launching special reviews for two other widely used neonicotinoids: clothianidin and thiamethoxam. These special reviews will examine any potential risks these pesticides may pose to aquatic invertebrates, including insects, as they are also being detected frequently in aquatic environments. In the press release, Health Canada said it will provide updates as new information becomes available.
Bayer has launched Velum Prime nematicide, the first non-fumigant nematicide registered for potatoes in Canada. Velum Prime is a new mode of action and chemical class (pyridinyl ethyl benzamide) for nematode protection. It offers growers effective nematode protection that helps sustain plant vigor and maximize crop yield potential, according to a press release.Recent trials of Velum Prime demonstrated consistent yield and quality increases and reduction in plant parasitic nematodes, including root lesion, root knot and potato cyst nematode. Velum Prime is applied in-furrow at planting. It comes in a liquid formulation that offers reliable efficacy at low application rates making it ideal for use with existing in-furrow application equipment. Applied in-furrow, Velum Prime offers the added benefit of early blight protection. Maximum residue limits for Velum Prime applied in-furrow are in place supporting trade in North America and Europe. Additional MRLs supporting trade in other key export countries, including Japan, are expected early in 2017. For more information regarding Velum Prime, growers are encouraged to talk to their local retailer or visit cropscience.bayer.ca/VelumPrime.
The impact of the difficult harvest on the industry will be felt across all sectors - seed, table stock and processing. Crop stress, reduced yields and unharvested acres will all contribute to a national decline in potato production.
A shortage of potatoes across Europe is pushing up the cost of crisps and chips for British shoppers.
Some businesses that need a steady supply of potatoes — like fresh-cut fry shacks — are having problems sourcing their key ingredient.
Potato farmers planted 347,416 acres of potatoes in 2018, an increase of 0.5 per cent from 2017, according to Statistics Canada's update on potato production.
Potatoes are eating up a growing slice of Alberta's agriculture sector. The province has about 21,500 hectares of farmland dedicated to potatoes and produced just over two billion pounds of spuds last year, putting the province third in the country behind Prince Edward Island (36,000 hectares) and Manitoba (27,235 hectares). With Cavendish Farms slated to open a new Lethbridge processing plant in 2019 — adding another 3,800 hectares — the potato industry is expecting another bump in growth in the coming years. | READ MORE
Robert Anderson and Jill Ebbett, fifth-generation potato farmers from East Glassville, N.B., were named Atlantic’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018.
A UPEI research project aimed at making potato farming more efficient has received funding from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. | READ MORE
Patates Dolbec, a family business created in 1967 based in Saint-Ubalde, Que., recently completed an expansion and modernization project through an investment under the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program. This project, supported with a federal government investment of up to $4.5 million, includes the purchase and installation of new robotic equipment that will sort, grade, and pack more fresh potatoes in less time, enabling the company to improve their product quality, lower operational costs and develop new markets in the United States. The company specializes in potato packaging and employs more than 125 people. The new plant is intended to give Patates Dolbec more flexibility and allows the company to track data in real-time for better decision making and a more organized workplace.
Farm Management Canada and the Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture Programs are accepting submissions from agricultural students across Canada for the 2017-18 Excellence Award for Agricultural Students. Three winners will receive scholarships toward furthering their education in agriculture. The award is designed to help students develop their communication skills by having the opportunity to voice their opinion on a subject related to farm management. Students are asked to submit a multimedia presentation, a video, a Twitter chat, a blog or a Wiki, responding to the following question: What aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should be addressed and amended in the current negotiations that will benefit Canada's agriculture sector? All applications must be received by May 6, 2018. More information can be found here.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership was launched April 1, with the intent to chart the course for government investments in the sector over the next five years. The partnership aims to continue to help the sector grow trade, advance innovation while maintaining and strengthening public confidence in the food system, and increase its diversity, according to a press release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments have been working collaboratively since 2016 to develop the next agricultural policy framework, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. FPT governments consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, including producers, processors, small and emerging sectors to ensure the partnership was focused on the issues that matter most to them.In addition, under the partnership, business risk management programs will continue to help producers manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage, the release states.Ministers of Agriculture will convene inVancouverthis July for the annual meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture.
EU-funded scientists have discovered genetic markers that could allow potatoes to be selected for their ability to be stored at low temperatures, keeping them fresh and avoiding the use of anti-sprouting chemicals.
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Potato Business SummitWed Jan 09, 2019
Potato Expo 2019Wed Jan 09, 2019
AIM Workshops: Nitrogen ManagementMon Jan 14, 2019 @ 1:00PM -
AIM Workshops: Nitrogen ManagementTue Jan 15, 2019 @ 9:00AM -