Cultivation/Production

Jersey potato crop hit by worst early season in 40 years

The Island’s potato growers are struggling through one of the worst seasons in 40 years – after heavy rain and then sub-zero temperatures delayed the planting of Jersey’s biggest agricultural export. However, the Jersey Royal Company says its UK competitors are facing the same problems, with other regional early potatoes having been wiped out by severe frost. William Church, sales and marketing[Read More…]

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Potatoes that hurt: Potential injury to potatoes from glyphosate

The High-value Crops Project at North Dakota State University in the US has been evaluating the potential injury to potato from glyphosate for almost 10 years. According to Prof Harlene Hatterman-Valenti – a High-Value Crops Specialist – research results have suggested that red-skinned cultivars were more sensitive to low rates of glyphosate compared to russet cultivars and that low glyphosate rates[Read More…]

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Drones: Toys or tools? Potato farmers share their experience

Drones can take aerial footage of such high quality that the user looks like a National Geographic videographer. But do those images provide any value beyond selling the latest edition of iron? Kate VanderZaag and her husband Peter have been experimenting with a drone on their 1,800 acres of owned and rented land in Ontario, Canada. They share an insightful experience. “We’re[Read More…]

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Agronomist shares insights on specific gravity of processing potatoes

During last week’s International Potato Technology Expo held on Prince Edward Island (PEI) in Canada, the Research Coordinator/Agronomy Lead at the PEI Potato Board, Ryan Barrett, presented on Factors Influencing Specific Gravity in Prince Edward Island Potato Production. “In recent years, achieving higher specific gravity scores has been a priority for PEI processing potato growers,” Barrett said. “Increased value has been[Read More…]

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Sprout control: A Canadian update on the use of MH and CIPC

Use of the growth regulators MH (maleic hydrazide) and CIPC (chlorpropham) are integral to the potato industry, but there is always room for improvement – and even new avenues of use as the chipping industry evolves. According to Mark VanOostrum, potato supply and quality manager at WD Potato Limited in Ontario, growers are generally very careful to apply MH at the right[Read More…]

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UK: Potato research results now available online

Presentations from AHDB Potatoes’ SPot East results day at Newmarket Racecourse on Thursday 11 January have been published online. Some of the subjects covered on the day include:  Herbicide – Graham Tomalin, VCS Ltd; Common Scab – Mark Stalham. NIAB CUF; Nitrogen and Irrigation – Marc Allison, NIAB CUF; Tuber Numbers, Graham Tomalin, VCS Ltd. For a pdf copy of the presentations please click here

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Grower education conference proceedings now available online

The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) has posted the 2018 (and 2017) proceedings of the annual University of Wisconsin Extension (UWEX ) and WPVGA Grower Education Conference online. According to the WPVGA, the organization intends to maintain the site for its meeting proceedings in years to come, with archived proceedings to be added soon. The 2018 Commercial Vegetable Production[Read More…]

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Biological inputs assist in farm health

Third-generation potato farmer Brendon Rockey is showing producers across the globe how to improve farm health with biotic methods. He showed them as a breakout speaker on “Biotic Farming: Fundamentals and Applications,” during the inaugural Soil Health U and Trade Show, held recently at Salina, Kansas. His grandfather founded the farming operation at 6,700 feet of elevation near Center, Colorado, in the[Read More…]

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Cover crops in nitrogen’s Circle of Life

A circle of life—and nitrogen—is playing out in farms across the United States. And researchers are trying to get the timing right. Some cover crops, such as hairy vetch or cereal rye, are not grown to be eaten. Instead, they capture nutrients, including nitrogen, from previous crops, the air and the soil. When cover crops decompose, these nutrients are released. Cash crops[Read More…]

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Costs that are putting pressure on potato production in the UK

After more than a decade of generally sustained cost increases together with the uncertainty of the UK’s future trading status post Brexit it is likely the pressure on margins will continue. Director of Andersons Eastern, Nick Blake, provides an outlook for the main cost headings in potato growing and how they add up to the average cost of production. Driven by[Read More…]

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Enemies of the skin: Expert shares management guidelines on serious potato blemish diseases

Silver scurf and black dot are potato blemish diseases that are growing in prevalence and economic importance. These diseases are challenging to control and require an integrated effort to reduce their impact on potato production. So says Dr Amanda Gevens, Associate Professor & Extension Specialist in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US. Earlier today,[Read More…]

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From farm to robot to fork: How the Internet of Things is moving us towards ‘agriculture 4.0’

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to make big advancements in many fields, but none more so – literally – than in agriculture, according to John Deere’s Richard Johnson. He describes modern agriculture as living in a period he refers to as ‘agriculture 4.0’, much like we talk of industry 4.0 and the amalgamation of every technological advancement within the area of IoT. Right[Read More…]

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The Canadian grower who produces organic potatoes on a commercial scale

Organic potato production on a commercial scale is a challenge, but one Canadian grower in the province of Ontario is meeting it. Isaiah Swidersky offers a careful answer when asked if organic potato production is a risk worth taking. “To some degree it is, but there’s a reason I haven’t expanded it to 200 or 300 acres,” Swidersky says. “It’s a challenge[Read More…]

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Tomato-potato psyllid: Tough times for Western Australian spud growers

West  Australian potato growers are still counting the cost of losing market access to the eastern states a year after the tomato-potato psyllid (TPP) outbreak near Perth. Peak bodies are concerned the restrictions were too harsh, as the associated candidatus liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) bacterium, which TPP can be a vector for, has still not been found. Potato Growers Association chief executive Simon[Read More…]

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Welsh potato growers unite to tackle wireworm

Over 40 potato growers and agronomists met at AHDB Potatoes’ Welsh Potato Day near Haverfordwest on 2 February to exchange technical knowledge aimed at producing the perfect crop. Pembrokeshire is renowned nationally for producing high-quality potatoes using an eco-friendly farming system, where potatoes are usually grown in rotation with grassland. This method has many benefits including maintaining healthy and nutritious soil,[Read More…]

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‘Rooted apical cuttings’: Promising technology with potential to boost quality potato seed production

Seed potato farmers in Kenya’s potato growing regions are adopting promising technology with potential to boost quality seed availability. The farmers are using rooted apical cuttings as starter material for seed production as opposed to certified seed. The cuttings technology has been introduced in Kenya by the International Potato Center (CIP) under a programme funded by the United States Agency for[Read More…]

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New fungicide offers 10 day persistence for potato growers fighting blight

Brand new chemistry to tackle foliar and stem blight in UK and Irish potato crops has been approved. A fungicide called Zorvec Enicade made by DowDuPont has shown strong performance in domestic trials and has delivered robust control across three continents where it is already available to growers. The product delivers 10-day persistence following application, which is three days more than current[Read More…]

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North American fall potato production estimate steady

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Statistics Canada estimate that North American potato growers produced 506 million cwt. in fall 2017. That amount would be a decrease of 1% from 2016, according to the report issued by the organizations Feb. 12. The dip is consistent with the expectation conveyed in the December report on North American potato production. Canadian growers harvested 106 million[Read More…]

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British potato growers provided with improved tools to tackle PCN

The findings from on-farm trials could help combat a deadly potato disease that causes around £26 million worth of damage to crops in the UK each year. According to demonstrations carried out by AHDB Potatoes and Harper Adams University, the use of fluopyram, previously used as a fungicide, as a nematicide provided a yield increase to a range of potato varieties[Read More…]

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Forecasting tool named Product of the Year

For more than 25 years, yield monitors have helped farmers and retailers analyze in-field performance and plan for the next year. But new technologies are driving data-based decisions with much shorter turnaround times. Real-time ag technologies are here and now, and one of those is the R7 Field Forecasting Tool from WinField United in the US. “The R7 Field Forecasting Tool[Read More…]

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Spud growers turn out for 2018 Potato Production Days in Canada

This year’s Potato Production Days saw a range of speakers from 
emerging technology to resistance and regulatory issues. Resistance issues, management strategies and pathogens both new and old. Just a few of the issues that had potato growers’ attention at the 2018 Potato Production Days Jan. 23-25 at Brandon’s Keystone Centre in Canada’s Manitoba province. This year’s speakers tackled disease and damage diagnosis,[Read More…]

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Researchers aim to improve accuracy of potato cyst nematode calculator

A team of Harper Adams University researchers, Dr Matthew Back, Dr Ivan Grove and Bill Watts, are working in collaboration with Leeds University and Barworth Agriculture to improve the accuracy of the ‘AHDB Potatoes potato cyst nematode (PCN) pallida calculator’ which is currently used as an educational forecasting tool for UK potato growers. To help growers to formulate control strategies, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development[Read More…]

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Award winning soil moisture meter said to be a ‘must-have’ for potato growers

Spectrum Technologies, Inc., based in Illinois in the US, brings soil measurement technology to potato farmers with the FieldScout® TDR350. The TDR350 is a highly relevant tool every potato farmer can find useful and affordable in working toward optimal soil management.  “The TDR350 provides farmers with an objective and consistent way to measure soil moisture, and to determine the best strategy for[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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