Potatoes in Canada

Crop Watch News Crop Protection Diseases
Potato scout training goes virtual for 2020 season


Every year, Eugenia Banks, potato specialist with the Ontario Potato Board hosts a training day on how to scout potato fields. This year, in response to COVID-19, the training session is being brought online into a three-part webinar series.

On May 21 and May 28, Potatoes in Canada with support from BASF, will host three webinars on scouting best practices for diseases, pests and physiological disorders in potatoes.

“I have trained potato scouts for many, many years,” Banks explained in an email at the start of discussions to move the training online. “This year, the pandemic will not allow me to have [an in-person] training session for potato scouts.”

However, Banks did note that an upside to hosting the sessions online is that the platform allows for anyone to attend, even outside of Ontario.

These online sessions are also approved for three CCA-CEU credits: two in integrated pest management and one in crop management. They are split up in three session over two days:

  • Thursday, May 21, 2020
    • Diseases: morning session – 11:00 AM EDT
    • Insects: afternoon session – 2:00 PM EDT
  • Thursday, May 28, 2020
    • Physiological Disorders and Injuries: 2:00 PM EDT

In addition to each session, Banks will be providing her annual scouting manual and calendar resource to ensure scouts and growers are prepared for the 2020 growing season. Scouts and growers can also reference Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) latest potato field guide.

Visit the webinar registration page for more information on what will be covered in each session and to register.