Cultivation/Production

Blight programmes in sharp focus as British growers attempt to unlock yield potential

CPM finds out why potato experts are advocating robust blight programmes after challenging spring planting conditions. Later harvests in some key growing areas are being planned and every effort will be needed to maintain green leaf area to maximise yields where inclement weather delayed planting. At the time of writing it is estimated that as much as 10% of the UK crop is[Read More…]

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Untying the knots: Dutch researchers look at biocontrol of root knot nematodes by increasing soil disease suppressiveness

In organic vegetable cultivation in the Netherlands, root knot nematodes are one of the major problems. According to scientists at Wageningen Plant Research, the problems with root knot nematodes is also increasing in other soil based cultivation systems. The numbers of available and effective chemical control products against soilborne diseases and pests are limited, though. In addition, the combination of different[Read More…]

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Allies in the skies: Drone industry launches into specialty agriculture market

In this well researched, in depth article on the current application of drones in agriculture, Stephen Kloosterman, Assistant Editor at Vegetable Growers News writes that drone scouts are poised to make precision agriculture even more exact as drone technology advances. Seventeen percent of all commercial registered drones in 2017 in the US were used for agriculture, making it the third-highest use for[Read More…]

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Million dollar question: Do some potato-growing soils suppress powdery scab?

A research project in New Zealand is determining if different field soils affect development of powdery scab on potatoes, and whether soil physical, chemical and/or biological characteristics influence this important potato disease. The project is developing new knowledge that may provide a basis for manipulating soil factors to reduce the harmful effects of the powdery scab pathogen. A cross-discipline team is[Read More…]

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Ditch the soil: British company claims 50 times higher potato yields with aeroponics technology

Hawk Energy, a knowledge-based business solutions provider based in Dubai with a research and development branch in London, has partnered with British start-up Airponix, which will harvest its first large crop of potatoes grown without soil, in a promising sign for a technology that claims it can deliver high vegetable yields with minimal costs and environmental degradation. At its new 1000[Read More…]

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Sneaking in: Nanotechnology shown to increase penetration rate of nutrients into plants

An innovative technology developed at the Technion, (Israel Institute of Technology, and Israel’s first university) could lead to significant increases in agricultural yields. Using a nanometric transport platform on plants that was previously utilized for targeted drug delivery, researchers increased the penetration rate of nutrients into the plants, from 1 percent to approximately 33 percent. The findings were recently published in Scientific[Read More…]

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Canada’s Alberta province home to a vibrant potato industry

Most people don’t know it, but Alberta is the third-largest producer of potatoes in Canada, after Prince Edward Island and Manitoba. “Currently we grow about 53,500 acres,” said Terence Hochstein, executive director of the Potato Growers of Alberta. The association’s 150 members have a big economic impact. The farm gate value of their potatoes is about $225 million — and that figure[Read More…]

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High tech farming: There’s an app for that

As agriculture becomes more high tech, a growing number of farmers are using GPS-equipped machinery supported by platforms that collect data on plants, soil, and weather. Termed “precision agriculture,” these technologies help them identify and manage variability within fields. Armed with data, farmers can fine-tune their operations, potentially increasing yields and profits, Kelsey Nowakowski once wrote. New technologies allow farmers to[Read More…]

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All about biostimulants: Prestigious event to focus on trends and developments in the biostimulant industry

ACI’s US Biostimulants Summit 2018 will be taking place in Chicago, IL, USA, on 27th — 28th June 2018. The conference will bring together the leading executives and experts from across the entire value chain (producers of biostimulant and plant nutrient products, farmers and agriculture suppliers, technology providers, research institutes & government representatives) for two days of informative presentations, interactive discussion &[Read More…]

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Your potato crop’s nutritional status: Remove the guesswork

In sporting events, there’s an old saying “it’s hard to know the players without a scorecard.” That’s also true with growing a potato crop. Your crop’s nutritional status is dynamic and requires constant monitoring to ensure the production of high yielding, high quality potatoes that are demanded in today’s market. Many misapplications occur every season when crop advisors and farmers look[Read More…]

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Microbial allies: How soil microbes influence nutrient uptake

Soil is rich with biological diversity and complexity that is not immediately apparent to the un-aided eye. Without a strong microscope, you wouldn’t know that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of organisms in a handful of soil. Bacteria, archaea, algae, and fungi play critical roles in the growth and well-being of plants. I like to think about[Read More…]

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Dutch experts help Indonesia deal with potato pests

Potato cultivation in the highlands of Indonesia is plagued by a number of pests, including Potato Cyst Nematodes and Phytophthora infestans. Dutch experts are now helping their Indonesian counterparts to find the right approach to control these potato pests. In order to further study, best impede and conquer the spread of the PCN, the Agriculture Quarantine Agency (AQA) of the Indonesian Ministry[Read More…]

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US: WSU releases 2018 growing season potato pest alert, probability of late blight relatively high

Washington State University has released their third potato pest alert which included an insect monitoring report and a potato disease report for the 2018 growing season. WSU Potato alerts come in part from the Washington Potato Commission based out of the Columbia Basin. According to the report, beet leafhoppers (BLH) are a continuingly increasing pest in the across the Columbia Basin. Beet[Read More…]

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Biological fungicide targets powdery mildew, fusarium and phytophthora

BioSafe Systems in the US has released PVent Biological Fungicide through a partnership between BioSafe and Lallemand Plant Care. Due to its active ingredient, a 93 percent Gliocladium catenulam strain J1446, BioSafe said the fungicide  has unique adaption traits, meaning that it can thrive across broad ranges of temperature and humidity, both in the soil and on leaf and stem tissue.[Read More…]

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How soil type affects nutrient readings and management

All healthy soils have similar qualities, like good drainage and a sufficient nutrient supply. But improving the health of your soil is much easier if you know and understand your soil type; it affects how farmers measure and manage the nutrients in the ground. Soil type is determined by two factors: soil texture (whether the soil’s particles are mostly sand, silt,[Read More…]

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Blackheart and senescent sweetening: Two serious physiological issues with potato tubers during storage

In the latest issue of AHDB Potatoes’ regular Storage Bulletin, it is noted that potato tubers are living organisms that go through a number of physiological processes during storage, such as respiration and dormancy. These processes are affected by a variety of factors, which determine the quality of your potatoes and their resulting value in your market of choice. It[Read More…]

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UK: Robust potato blight control needed in late planting season

British potato growers are being urged to stay on top of blight disease this season as late spring plantings mean it is even more critical to maintain green leaf area through the summer to maximise yields. In such a late planting season, crop experts say robust blight control will be vital after delayed crop establishment is likely to lead to late[Read More…]

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Ireland’s Keogh’s to help develop potato farming in Ethiopia

The award-winning Keogh’s Farm in north Co Dublin has committed to a three-year partnership with Vita, which will see it become the first Irish food business to go carbon neutral. Developing a sustainable potato cultivation programme for Ethiopian farmers is the aim of the partnership. Vita is the only Irish not-for-profit overseas development agency to deliver a platform for Irish companies to[Read More…]

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Deep down: Late blight’s chemical attack mechanism explained

A team of international researchers headed by scientists from the University of Tübingen in Germany has deciphered the workings of a cytolytic toxin, which is produced by some of the world’s most devastating crop diseases. The cytolysin is manufactured by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi and can wipe out entire harvests if chemical protection is not used. The study — by researchers from Tübingen and[Read More…]

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World Potato Congress event: Company unveils new technology for enhanced monitoring of potato crop development

VITO is an independent Flemish research organisation in the area of clean tech and sustainable development. The company’s WatchITGrow technology is said to allow for better monitoring of potato production leading to increased yields. This tool helps farmers to optimize crop production in a sustainable way. After the so-called “shadow map” which was introduced earlier this year, watchITgrow now unveils a[Read More…]

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Agricultural drones: What farmers need to know

Using drones for agriculture is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as they are sometimes called, are rapidly becoming a core tool in a farmer’s precision equipment mix. Today’s farmers have to deal with increasingly complex concerns. Issues such as water – both quality and quantity, climate change, glyphosate-resistant weeds, soil quality, uncertain[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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