The Colorado potato beetle has evolved resistance to more than 50 different kinds of insecticides, making the insect a “super pest” that wreaks havoc on potatoes around the world. New research finds that the beetle achieved this feat largely by turning to a deep pool of diversity within its genome, which allowed different populations across the U.S. to quickly evolve resistance to nearly anything humans have thrown at it.
Bayer CropScience has warned that a key ingredient used in its glyphosate herbicides has suffered a “mechanical failure”, which could result in a shortage of production in the coming months. Matt Culley, NFU combinable crops board chairman, said tightening supplies of glyphosate were a “major concern” for UK arable growers.
Potato specialist Dr. Banks is the organizer of the 2022 Ontario Potato Conference. She notes that the Conference will be a virtual event on March 2 and is supported by the Ontario Potato Board. Ian Toth, a global expert on blackleg at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, will update participants on management strategies for blackleg.
According to a survey of potato experts in 10 sub-Saharan African countries in 2018, the most serious threat to the region’s potato crop is bacterial wilt disease. Caused by the soil- and seed-borne bacteria Ralstonia solanacearum – a high-risk, quarantine pathogen in Europe and the Mediterranean – bacterial wilt is responsible for an estimated USD 1 billion of economic loss globally each year.
Four of the most ambitious names in Scottish farming have been revealed as Angus Council partners in a new multi-million pound project which will propel the region to the forefront of agricultural innovation. Agrico UK, Arbikie Distilling, the James Hutton Institute and SoilEssentials Ltd are the businesses which will collaborate to drive forward farm-based sustainable innovation.
British potato growers can create a clean start to crops by switching the foundation of their broadleaved weed control plans to Shark (carfentrazone-ethyl). But, as with diquat, timing is key to success. Capable of controlling weeds typical of a broad range of potato-growing soils and regions, Shark is highly effective when used either alone or in in a mix with other residual herbicides when applied just prior to crop emergence, says Jeff Fieldsend, Commercial Technical Manager at FMC.
Potato pink eye is a disorder that often starts with pink, water-soaked areas around the eyes of the tuber — that’s why it’s called “pink eye,” writes Carrie Huffman Wohleb in this article published by Growing Produce. But as the tuber matures and the skin sets, the pink areas become thickened, corky patches (called bull hide) or show other marks of skin deterioration like flaky scales, or small cracks, or fissures.
ICL Speciality Fertilizers in the UK recently launched a new knowledge hub online to help growers understand the different types of efficiency fertilisers and benefits. The company says in a news post: “precision nutrition is the future”. Controlled release fertilizers use smart technology and provide nutrition at a rate that matches much more closely the availability of nutrients to the plant’s need.
AgroScout is an ag-tech company that aims to improve yield quality and quantity through visual inspection in the field. Representatives from AgroScout attended the recent Washington Oregon Potato Conference 2022 event. They joined by a special guest, Dr. Alan Schreiber, the owner and operator of Agriculture Development Group, Inc., (ADG) an agriculture research and consulting company.
The 2022 Ontario Potato Conference will be hosted as a virtual event on Wednesday, March 2. The annual Conference will be presented by the Ontario Potato Board, and hosted by Potatoes in Canada. The day includes five sessions focused on key topics for potato production. Dr Eugenia Banks is the principle organizer. She shared the Conference program.
The aim of this Field Guide, published by OMFRA in Canada, is to help growers, scouts and crop advisors identify diseases, insects, and other problems found in potatoes. The Guide was edited by potato specialist, Dr. Eugenia Banks. It includes 554 colour photographs.
EarthRenew Inc, a Canadian fertilizer company supporting regenerative agriculture practices, today published positive results from its previously announced field trial collaboration between the company’s subsidiary, Replenish Nutrients, Lethbridge College, and Biome Makers. The company says its product Rebuilder showed in trials to boost the production of healthier potatoes free from common defects.
HZPC says in a recent news article that the company’s growers know it better than anyone: a healthy soil is crucial for good potato growing. But a healthy soil offers more. It contributes to all the main pillars of HZPC in the field of sustainability. The talk HZPC had with grower Pieter Klaas Westerhuis from Usquert in Groningen, the Netherlands confirms this: “We don’t want to leave any problems behind for the next generation to solve”.
Adrian Saenz presented last week during the Potato Business Summit, held in conjunction with Potato Expo 2022. Saenz is currently the Division Business Manager for the John Deere Agricultural & Turf Division within Deere. During his presentation, titled “Ag Technology Outlook”, Adrian Saenz highlighted the importance – and abundance – of data that modern commercial farmers are able to gather via technological means nowadays.
Organised by Scotland’s Rural College, the 23nd annual conference of the SAC Association of Potato Producers (SACAPP) will take place on Wednesday January 26, 2022. The conference will be virtual only due to COVID restrictions, according to the organisers. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Finding a new direction for the potato industry’.
The global potato market is tight on supply and farm-level spud prices for Idaho farmers are up substantially. But so are farm input costs and, with prices for other Idaho crops also up significantly, many Idaho potato farmers may be faced with some tough planting decisions in 2022, writes Sean Ellis of the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation.
Today, Decco U.S. Post-Harvest, Inc. the post-harvest affiliate of UPL Limited, announces the launch of Decco DMN Aerosol at the 2022 Potato Expo in Anaheim. Decco adds the new EPA-registered product to its growing potato storage portfolio available across North America.
“As a conservation farmer, the practices we use on our farm are allowing us to ‘kidnap carbon’ from the atmosphere and store it in our soil. This makes me a better farmer. The practice of carbon farming supports my efforts to grow more food and help the environment at the same time,” writes Andre-Figueiredo Dobashi in this article published by Global Farmer Network. The article is titled “I’m a conservation farmer who kidnaps carbon for good”.
Bayer, Bushel and Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently unveiled Project Carbonview. It is to enable farmers to report, analyze and better assess their end-to-end supply chain carbon footprint. Bayer says that it is a first-of-its-kind technology solution that will help farmers in the United States drive more sustainable supply chains and mitigate the impact agriculture has on the environment by aggregating the carbon footprint of end products.
New, independently-run market research has revealed that growers are committed to growing potatoes in the future, despite the identified challenges of crop protection losses and increased disease and pest pressures. In addition to fungicides and tuber treatments, BASF will be bringing to market a pre-emergence herbicide and a biological for wireworm damage.
A new practical guide to assessing soil carbon promises to answer British farmers’ key questions at a time when many are looking to understand their soil health. The guide lists and answers key questions for robust on-farm monitoring of soil carbon and associated indicators of soil health.
Due to the success of implementing and reporting on marketing activities in previous years, Potatoes USA’s Market Access Program (MAP) funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) increased for the 2022-2023 marketing year. According to a study in 2016, MAP provides $28 in export gains per $1 spent by the government and industry on international market development.
Canadian growers harvested a record potato crop in 2021, as production rose 18.2% year over year to 123.1 million hundredweight, on account of increases in both seeded area and yield, according to a report released by Statistics Canada today. Alberta reported the highest average yield across Canada, followed by New Brunswick (+47.4% to 350.0 hundredweight per acre) and Prince Edward Island (+33.0% to 334.4 hundredweight per acre).
Speaking at BP2021, Eric Anderson, of Scottish Agronomy, warned growers in the Scottish seed potato sector about the challenges presented in 2021 – emphasising that minimising the handling and damage of the seed in grading pre-treatment is always important.
Mike Abram presents an insightful review of three popular so-called whole-farm carbon calculators in an article for Farmers Weekly in the UK . A few farmers tested the overall scope and structure of the calculators, all of which cover arable and livestock enterprises. The tools assessed were: Farm Carbon Toolkit, Agrecalc, and the Cool Farm Tool.
Farming has been recognised for the key role it can play in helping the UK meet its net zero emissions target by 2050, with individual farmers being encouraged to do their bit. There’s no magic bullet or one-size-fits-all approach, say experts, who highlight that we will need a multitude of different options to both reduce emissions and capture or store carbon in soils and woodlands.
North American fertilizer shortage sparks fears of higher food prices, global nitrogen prices 80% higher
A global shortage of nitrogen fertilizer is driving prices to record levels, prompting North America’s farmers to delay purchases and raising the risk of a spring scramble to apply the crop nutrient before planting season, according to a report by The Guardian. Global nitrogen fertilizer sales were worth $53bn in 2020, and prices are at least 80% higher so far this year, according to Argus Media.