Environment
In an effort to shine a light on the current status of herbicide resistance in Canada, Top Crop Manager (TCM) has launched the Herbicide Use Survey!

As an industry leader providing up-to-date information and research, TCM is looking to gather input from producers across the country in order to develop a more thorough understanding of the state of herbicide resistance in Canada.

TCM's Herbicide Use Survey will offer participants the ability to help tell the story of these important crop protection tools by having farmers like you share how herbicides are being used.

The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete, and will ask details like soil and farm acreage, types of weeds being targeted, as well as management practices. All submissions will remain anonymous.

Those who complete the survey will be entered into a random draw for a $500 visa card! Complete the survey here.

The Herbicide Use Survey ends December 8th. Results will be collected and presented at the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit in Saskatoon, Sask., on February 27 and 28.

Published in News
Digging early in the morning is fine, but the combination of high temperatures and humidity in the afternoon makes harvesting potatoes very risky. I have started digging the variety trials, and some of the new entries look promising. They all yield well, but I have had these varieties in trial for only one year. I have attached a few photos of these 4 promising varieties. Here are my field notes:
Published in News
All the isolates of late blight -Phytophthora infestans tested were US-23 for 2017. No new late blight incidence has been reported in the last week, which has generally been dry, warm and windy. The 7-day DSV accumulation for late blight risk has been essentially minimal. Harvest has begun in many areas.

The warm conditions has slowed the harvest of some processing fields, to prevent bringing warm tubers into storage. The seasonal accumulated precipitation has been 50-70% of normal in the potato growing areas (Fig1). The soils are generally on the dry side (Fig 2), but irrigated fields have sufficient moisture for a good harvest. READ MORE
Published in Diseases
A company started by six Mount Allison students sees a place for potato peels in furniture, flooring and ceiling tiles.

Enviroot's goal is to reduce waste by using food remains, especially potato peelings, to make a safe material for use in the home.

The company received a national business prize of $20,000 from Enactus Canada, a student-led entrepreneurial organization, and the McCain Social Enterprise Project Partnership to get the project going this summer.

"We use the potato peels that we get from McCain Foods here in New Brunswick in our particle board as a kind of filler," said Justin Trueman, Enviroot CEO and fourth-year biology student.

The potato peels are plasticized by melting them a little bit, and a bond between the potato peels' particles is created.

This allows them to bind products together without need of formaldehyde, which is the glues of some household furnishings, walls and stairs made from composite wood materials. READ MORE
Published in News

Researchers are hoping Canadian potato growers will soon be able to use an innovative approach to control wireworms. This method uses just a few grams of insecticide per hectare applied to cereal seeds that are planted along with untreated seed potatoes. It provides very good wireworm control for the whole growing season, with a lower environmental risk than currently available insecticide options.

Published in Crop Protection
Potato growers are hoping for some warmer temperatures and sunny skies in the coming days after two weeks of rain have brought planting to a halt across most of Prince Edward Island.

"We're into our second week of wet weather and really there's nothing being done at the present time," says Rodney Dingwell, chair of the P.E.I. Potato Board. | READ MORE
Published in News

July 27, 2016, Prince Edward Island – While some areas on P.E.I. got a thorough soaking over the weekend, others are still thirsty for moisture. Water levels are still low in some areas of the province, reports CBC. | READ MORE

Published in Crop Protection

March 7, 2016, Charlottetown, PEI – A research team has discovered that Prince Edward Island is exporting more than just potatoes.

It turns out that 95 per cent of the nitrates that are emptying into the Northumberland Strait are coming from this province. And of these, 91 per cent are coming from the Island's agriculture industry. READ MORE

Published in Research

December 3, 2015, Gainesville, FL – University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers have found an irrigation method that uses 50 per cent less water than traditional systems to grow potatoes.

The system is called “hybrid centre pivot irrigation.” With this method, about two-thirds of the water used to help grow potatoes is sprayed from above ground, similar to natural rainfall, and about one-third comes from under the ground – a traditional method known as “seepage irrigation.”

UF/IFAS assistant professor Guodong “David” Liu led a group of UF/IFAS researchers in testing the impact of hybrid centre pivot irrigation on soil moisture and temperature at a Manatee County, Florida potato farm.

The method saved about 55 per cent of water in a three-year trial at the farm. Additionally, researchers found no loss in crop yield using less water. Liu said he now is convincing growers to use centre pivot irrigation with fertigation, in which all the water comes from above-ground sprinklers. Scientists say they may save one third more water.

“By using center pivot irrigation, we saved approximately one billion gallons of irrigation on the private farm during the last three growing seasons,” he said.

Growers typically use seepage irrigation because the system doesn’t need extra equipment, said Liu, a faculty member in the UF/IFAS Department of Horticultural Sciences. But seepage uses too much water, he said. Centre pivot irrigation equipment costs about $1,000 per acre, but it can be used for many years.

Invented by a Colorado farmer in 1940, centre pivot irrigation uses equipment that rotates around a pivot, thus watering the crop with sprinklers.

Commercial potato producers in Southwest Florida – home to the Manatee County where Liu’s team conducted the study – use an average of 543,086 gallons per acre, Liu said. Centre pivot irrigation uses only 230,812 per acre.

The new UF/IFAS study is published in the journal Agricultural Water Management.

Published in Research

Sept. 11, 2015, MN – In a deal designed to protect sensitive groundwater and pine forests in central Minnesota, a large regional potato grower has agreed to scale back an ambitious expansion plan in exchange for state regulators dropping their demand for a broad environmental review. The Star Tribune reports. | READ MORE

Published in News

April 28, 2015 - Farmers in Ontario are being offered expanded options to manage their empty seed and pesticide bags this year.

This pilot is part of the agricultural industry's commitment to the responsible management of its products throughout their entire lifecycle and will help determine the feasibility of a permanent program.

"This pilot project will build on the solid agricultural stewardship programming that is already in place in Ontario and provide farmers with more options for managing packaging waste on the farm and contributing to long-term goals of keeping agricultural waste out of landfills," says Barry Friesen, general manager of CleanFARMS.

CleanFARMS will collect, transport and ensure collected bags are safely converted to energy at facilities that have extensive emission controls and meet all necessary provincial and federal approvals. Farmers can contribute to a clean and healthy environment by ensuring that empty seed and pesticide bags end up in the right place.

"The end-of-life stewardship programs that CleanFARMS operates play an important role in our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship," adds Mark Brock, chair of the Grain Farmers of Ontario.

Funding for this pilot program is provided by CropLife Canada, the Canadian Seed Trade Association, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

When
May to September

2015 Collection Sites
Collection sites will be located at participating retailers in Ontario. A list of participating retail collection sites can be found at CleanFARMS.ca.

What

  • Empty pesticide bags: multi-walled paper, plastic and aluminum
  • Empty seed bags: multi-walled paper and polywoven plastic
  • How to return Bags:Obtain free collection bags from select agricultural retailers
  • Ensure that your seed or pesticide bags are empty
  • Place the empty bags in the collection bag

Return your full, tied bags to a participating retailer. Bags will be accepted free of charge and sent for safe disposal.
CleanFARMS is a not-for-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural waste.

For a list of all recycling programs, visit CleanFARMS.ca.

Published in Seed Treatment

November 25, 2014, Toronto, Ont – Ontario is taking action to strengthen bird, bee, butterfly and other pollinator health to ensure healthy ecosystems, a productive agricultural sector, and a strong economy.

Published in Crop Protection

April 9, 2014 – Farm & Food Care Ontario (FFC) has announced that the Water Adaptation Management and Quality Initiative, also known as WAMQI, is set to deliver approximately $1.5 million to 28 eligible projects over the next 12 months.

Funding of the projects, selected from 43 eligible submissions, is provided through the federal-provincial-territorial initiative Growing Forward 2.

"[The initiative] builds on the successful Water Resource Adaptation and Management Initiative [from 2013], says Bruce Kelly, Environment and Program Lead for FFC, in a news release. "[It] will further our efforts to improve agricultural water use efficiency and better our understanding of managing agricultural nutrients."

Successful WAMQI applicants and projects approved for funding include the University of Guelph, ENPAR Technologies, the Ontario Potato Board, the Livestock Research and Innovation Council, and Ontario Pork among others. Approved projects include those pertaining to irrigation, water recycling, soil quality standards, minimization of Nitrogen loss in soil, and creek water conservation. Projects have been chosen that support farm water quality and water quantity objectives and that will benefit Ontario agricultural producers and organizations. Kelly says that he is pleased with the scope and diversity of the applications submitted this year.

Farm & Food Care, and the Canadian and Ontario governments say they hope that this applied research and demonstration program will help to foster pilot projects that showcase innovative technologies and solutions for agricultural water conservation and efficiency. The initiative also supports projects that demonstrate efficient use of nutrients and nutrient management related to water quality.

For further information on the program please contact Bruce Kelly directly at 519-837-1326 Ext 292 or via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Published in Business Management

Jan. 29, 2014, Prince Edward Island – Prince Edward Island potato growers are hoping the new year will bring them a gushing geyser of permits to begin irrigating fields this year from deep water wells, reports FreshPlaza.com. | READ MORE

Published in Soil

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