Production/Agronomy

Wireworm an increasing threat for British potato growers

Wireworm is an increasing threat for potato growers, and set to be more of a problem with soils in the future, warns Syngenta Technical Manager, Michael Tait. Speaking at this season’s Syngenta Potato Science Soil Pest webinar, he pointed out any current monitoring through pheromone trapping, to lure click beetles – the adult stage of wireworm, principally only identified the three common species Agriotes sputator; A. obscurus and A. lineatus.

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SpudChat podcast: Research entomologist on management of wireworm, other potato pests

In this edition of the SpudChat podcast, Ryan Barrett with the Prince Edward Island Potato Board talks to Dr. Christine Noronha, a research entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Charlottetown. Christine is an expert on wireworm and has been doing a lot of work on wireworm research in cooperation with PEI potato growers for the last more than ten years.

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How to control nematodes in potatoes with a trap crop

Planting a potato cyst nematode (PCN) trap crop can naturally reduce nematode numbers by up to 75%. One group of potato farmers have trialled whether they can be successfully established in the UK. Chemical methods that once effectively controlled the pest are dwindling – the latest loss being the mainstay nematicide Vydate – and growers are now looking at alternative biological control techniques.

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‘Super pest’ Colorado potato beetle has the genetic resources to sidestep our attacks

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.

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Further fears for glyphosate supply as Bayer production hit

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.

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CIP highlights considerable spread of bacterial wilt disease in African countries

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.

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New centre propels Angus to forefront of farm innovation

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.

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Flexible contact herbicide provides a clean start in potato crops

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.

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Potato pink eye: A disorder growers need to watch out for

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.

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‘Precision nutrition is the future’: ICL launches knowledge hub for enhanced efficiency fertilizers

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.

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AgroScout interviews renowned entomologist during conference event

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.

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Conference to tackle key production issues that potato growers face

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.

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EarthRenew: Regenerative products boost plant hormones, production of ‘healthier potatoes’

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.

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HZPC: The importance of healthy soil

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”.

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‘Think of farm data as your biggest ally,’ says John Deere’s Division Business Manager

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.

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Potato prices for Idaho farmers are up, but so are input costs

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.

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The Brazilian conservation farmer who ‘kidnaps’ carbon: ‘This makes me a better farmer’

“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”.

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Bayer to launch industry-first digital carbon footprint measurement solution for agriculture

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.

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Practical guide on monitoring soil carbon launched

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.

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Potatoes USA receives increased export promotion funding from USDA

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.

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