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What’s new in Canadian potato production?

In her column Tater Tales, published by Spud Smart magazine, Dr Eugenia Banks (Ontario Potato Board) is looking at three aspects of Canadian potato production — the risk of insecticide resistance in Colorado potato beetles (CPBs), “lazy” potato varieties which sprout unevenly, and bio-fumigation for soil health improvement.

Colorado potato beetles have a long history of developing resistance to insecticides, Dr Banks writes. Many growers will remember the early 1990s when there were no effective products available. This changed in 1995 when Admire (imidacloprid), the first neonicotinoid, was registered in Canada. New generations of neonicotinoids continue to provide good control of CPB’s, but resistance may be just around the corner.

Waneta is an important chipping variety in Ontario for potato processing growers and for WD Potato Ltd. in Beeton, ON. Waneta chips well but is a “lazy” variety — it takes time to break dormancy and emergence is uneven.

Mustards are being used by many growers as biofumigants because, like most brassicas, mustards release glucosinolates when chopped. Glucosinolates are converted in the soil into gaseous compounds called isothiocyanates that can suppress or kill Verticillium fungi and root-lesion nematodes.

Read Dr Eugenia Bank’s full article in Spud Smart magazine here.
Photo: Potato grower Charles Emre and Eugenia Banks checking a new mustard variety in Emre’s field. Photo: Charles Emre

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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