Production/Agronomy

Can buckwheat be the new top crop on the rotation block?

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers are encouraging farmers to buck the trend and use buckwheat as a triple threat crop. In addition to its high nutritional value, the fast growing crop is proving to be beneficial in suppressing pests such as wireworms in potatoes, and preventing soil diseases.

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NASA Harvest and CropX partner to support sustainable ag initiatives

NASA Harvest (NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture Program) and CropX, a global leader in soil analytics for agriculture, recently announced a strategic partnership that will give NASA Harvest unprecedented soil insights for its global agricultural monitoring efforts. The partnership will further NASA Harvest’s mission to improve food security and advance sustainable agriculture.

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2Blades Foundation: Collaborative effort to bring a disease-resistant potato variety to market in Africa

Evanston, Illinois based 2Blades Foundation reports in its latest e-mail newsletter on the Foundation’s support for the International Potato Center’s African potato initiative. The Foundation make note in the newsletter that Chris Kennedy, Chairman of Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises, Inc. and Bob Easter, President Emeritus of the University of Illinois, co-wrote a blog on how a collaborative effort to bring a disease-resistant potato variety to market in Africa is helping to build global food security.

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AVR and Dacom Farm Intelligence collaborate to offer field data ‘on a silver platter’

For some time now, AVR has been offering agricultural companies technology for data collection. This data is displayed on the digital platform AVR Connect, offering the farmer improved, real time insights into what is going on inside the machine, how it is operating, and how the process can be made more efficient. This platform has been further developed in collaboration with Dacom Farm Intelligence, allowing for parcel data to be linked to machine data.

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COVID-19 compliance costly for Washington State potato growers, packers

In a recently completed survey by the IMPACT Center at Washington State University, it was found that Washington State farm families’ direct compliance outlays to manage COVID-10 were roughly $2,532 per month. Direct compliance outlays were found to be much higher for those businesses packing potatoes at $4,340 per month.

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The potato soft rot complex in the US is changing: Is this good news?

This past winter, two well known potato pathologists stated that the incidence of Dickeya dianthicola is declining in the U.S., writes Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist at the Ontario Potato Board, in a recent article. Dr. Banks is of the opinion that additional novel and potentially high virulent soft rot species probably remain to be discovered, and this high level of diversity will hinder the development of tolerant potato varieties. “This is not good news!,” Dr. Banks says.

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Standen imports Dutch company Vegniek’s haulm pullers

Following the withdrawal of diquat in Britain, Standen says many potato growers are still seeking an effective solution in haulm destruction of their crop. This has prompted its importing division to start offering Dutch manufacturer Vegniek’s DiscMaster series of precision haulm pullers. The DiscMaster has been developed with a focus on reducing crop damage and ensuring that rows are effectively closed following the pass.

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Australian potato and IPM specialist to present during World Potato Congress webinar

The World Potato Congress is extremely pleased to present its next webinar on Tuesday, April 6, 2021/Wednesday, April 7, 2021 with Dr. Paul Horne, Entomologist and owner and Director of IPM Technologies Pty Ltd., Hurstbridge, Victoria, Australia. The presentation will outline the elements of IPM in any crop but particularly in potatoes. Examples of how pesticides can be chosen based on their IPM fit will be given, using Australian conditions as an example.

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How a tech entrepreneur went from potatoes to Amazon and back again

Two brothers in Western Washington’s Skagit Valley developed an IoT platform that uses sensors and devices placed on “big gun” sprinkler reels and irrigation pumps that can automatically shut off the water when reels stops unexpectedly. Cellular signals share the information to a dashboard that lets a farmer remotely check the sprinklers to solve the problem. They are joining the surge in research and startups in the field of precision agriculture and ag tech.

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Long-term potato storage: Ambient vs refrigeration

Storing potatoes long-term is often challenging and this is especially so if there is a reliance on ambient ventilation. Even in the most favourable seasons, it is seldom possible to hold crops at optimum temperature in ambient stores beyond early May. In this article, specialists at AHDB’s Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research (CSR) facility in the UK explore how refrigeration can help deliver on long-term storage.

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Sustainability for the agriculture industry: The era of precision ag has arrived

In celebrating National Agriculture Week and National Ag Day the past week, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in the US published this article to highlight the role that precision agriculture plays in sustainability for the agriculture industry. “For the environmental benefits of precision agriculture to take shape, farmers need to generate more yield and at least break even from a financial standpoint,” said AEM Senior Vice President of Ag Services Curt Blades. “Technology now affords farmers the ability to do even more — things that could never have happened before.

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New Quantis biostimulant gives relief to heat-stressed potatoes

Syngenta UK has launched its first biostimulant in potatoes, Quantis, that has shown to effectively help crops cope with the impact of heat stress. company said that it had carried out “the UK’s most extensive research field trial of a biostimulant”. Analysis of the data resource had revealed “significantly increased yield for crops that had been under prolonged or extreme heat stress”.

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Idaho potato industry benefits from state program that spurs ag innovations

The Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) program has spurred many agricultural innovations that promise to help the Gem State’s farmers and ranchers improve their bottom lines. IGEM projects are now helping the state’s potato industry remove harmful pathogens in storage and to better scout fields for a disease that’s especially problematic for seed growers, potato virus Y. A third project aims to help the chipping industry reduce levels of acrylamide.

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Moriah Rataczak: Persevering in precision agriculture as a female potato agronomist

It is no surprise that the advancement of technology in agriculture over the last 20 years has shifted how farms operate. In response to these changes, women have continued to rise up and perform in the ag-tech world. Meet Moriah Rataczak, a precision potato agronomist at Gumz Farms in Endeavor, Wisconsin, and an avid Ag Leader fan. As she pursued a career in ag, she found out what it takes to be a woman in precision agriculture: perseverance and belief in yourself.

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Study: ‘Grower knowledge is central to improving PCN management’

It is widely accepted that potato cyst nematodes are a serious threat to the viability of potato production and yet despite efforts to promote better management practices the area of infested land continues to increase. There are many explanations for this trend in the UK, not least the lack of market acceptance to those varieties with good resistance, which is considered essential to reducing populations, but the dwindling supply of clean land is also a serious concern, according to an article by Bayer Crop Science in the UK.

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‘Green Headlands’ boost soil health and fertility

Planting a “Green Headland” on uncropped areas around potato and field vegetable crops can capture nutrients worth £200/ha over the growing season. That will not only help the following crop, but importantly retain those nutrients in the field and minimise environmental losses, according to Syngenta Environmental Initiatives Manager, Belinda Bailey.

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Webinar shows benefits of digital decision support tools for potato growers

Digital decision support tools will play an increasingly important role for potato farmers, that was the message from an industry-focused webinar held recently, hosted by CHAP (Crop Health and Protection Ltd) in the UK. Speakers at the event showed how developing a robust resistance management strategy in potatoes depends on a willingness to plan, the use of alternative modes of action, and the adoption of future technologies.

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Finding the ‘sprightly spud’: HZPC’s search for the secret to seed potato vitality

Since 2018, HZPC and Averis Seeds have been collaborating in the “Flight to Vitality” research project. It is a quest for the factors that influence the germination capacity – and therefore the vitality – of seed potatoes. At the end of 2021, when the practical investigation is completed, the company says it is hoping that the mystery will be solved. The answer to one question has always remained unanswered: how is it possible that seed potatoes sometimes grow much better and faster than at other times?

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Prince Edward Island potato farmers say holding ponds help counter impacts of drought

Some farmers in Canada’s Prince Edward Island have no choice but to use irrigation ponds to counter the impacts of drought conditions like what was experienced on the Island last summer, says the P.E.I. Potato Board. The CBC’s Wayne Thibodeau reports that the board issued a statement Thursday to address what it described as myths by a small group of Islanders that farmers will run streams and wells dry.

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Michigan potato farmer receives MSU award for Distinguished Service

Brian Sackett, of Sackett Potatoes, in Mecosta, Mich., received the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) Distinguished Service Award at the March 12 ANR Awards Program. Sackett, along with his son Tyler, manages Sackett Potatoes, in Mecosta. The Sackett family has been growing potatoes on their family farm in Michigan since 1905. Under Brian’s management over the past 10 years, Sackett Potatoes has grown to a total of 18,000 acres across three states.

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Canadian researcher identifying genes related to potato scabbing

A Prince Edward Island.-based researcher in Canada is unlocking the genetic make-up of potatoes in an effort to develop a variety that is resistant to common scab disease. Bourlaye Fofana, PhD, a molecular biologist and research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Harrington Research Farm, recently completed comparative gene expression profiling between two types of potatoes – Green Mountain, which[Read More…]

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