Cultivation/Production

Experts provide practical guidelines for fertilizer management in irrigated potato production

Optimum potato growth and profitable production depend on many management factors, one of which is ensuring a sufficient supply of nutrients. When the supply of nutrients from the soil is not adequate to meet the demands for growth, fertilizer application becomes necessary. A comprehensive nutrient management program is no doubt essential for maintaining a healthy potato crop, optimizing tuber yield[Read More…]

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Colorado potato beetle genome gives insight into major agricultural pest

The Colorado potato beetle is notorious for its role in starting the pesticide industry – and for its ability to resist the insecticides developed to stop it. Managing the beetle costs tens of millions of dollars every year, but this is a welcome alternative to the billions of dollars in damage it could cause if left unchecked. To better understand this tenacious[Read More…]

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Presentation: ‘The weird and wild world of physiological disorders’

This presentation by Dr Andy Robinson at North Dakota State University (NDSU) shows many physiological disorders of potatoes. These disorders can cause minor or major losses in tuber quality. They can be difficult to identify and replicate. This presentation was given at the recent 2018 Manitoba Potato Production Days meeting in Brandon, Canada. Dr Robinson is Extension Agronomist and Assistant[Read More…]

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North American potato experts share ideas on the importance of healthy seed

Ideal growing conditions, optimum fertility, pest and disease control – all these things are crucial to ensure a high-yielding, healthy potato crop. But before the seed goes in the ground, it’s crucial growers ensure the seed they’re planting is as healthy as possible. Spud Smart magazine gathered 5 expert opinions on why it’s important potato growers plant the best seed they can[Read More…]

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Canada: Upcoming pest management workshops for potato growers in Alberta province

To grow any crop successfully, you need to have a handle of what pests may be threatening that crop and how to identify them, whether it’s insects, diseases, or weeds. And potatoes are no exception. Rob Spencer, commercial horticulture specialist with Alberta Agriculture, says an upcoming workshop will help producers do just that. Watch an interview with Rob Spencer on YouTube (2:11[Read More…]

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US: Zebra chip control costs potato growers nearly $11 million each year

According to a news report by Capital Press, zebra chip disease control costs farmers in major potato-growing areas in the US – in particular the Northwest – nearly $11 million each year, said Gina Greenway, business and accounting assistant professor at the College of Idaho. Greenway is also working to quantify zebra chip’s effects on potato quality and developing a cost-benefit analysis[Read More…]

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Project to improve forecasting of UK’s most damaging potato disease

A collaborative project has been announced to improve forecasting of UK’s most important potato pest. A team of researchers aim to improve the accuracy of a calculator which is used as a forecasting tool for growers to predict potato cyst nematode (PCN). To help growers to formulate control strategies, AHDB Potatoes created the ‘PCN Calculator’ for the most troublesome species, Globodera pallida. The calculator enables[Read More…]

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Herbicide injury in potato an important focus of university extension program

The Potato Extension program at the North Dakota State University (NDSU) / University of Minnesota (U of M) is focused on developing science-based solutions to address potato production management problems by increasing economic and environmental sustainability through improved management practices. One of the major Extension and research interests include working on herbicide injury in potato and developing educational tools to[Read More…]

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Drones and the Digital Future of Agriculture

A growing global population, less available arable land, aging workforces, and climate change, mean that the pressures on producers in agriculture are becoming more complex. Meeting these challenges requires new innovations to optimize production, costs, quality and quantity, while balancing the need for environmental sustainability. An innovation conversation has begun, revolving around the benefits of digitizing the production. This conversation reflects[Read More…]

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US: Nematology expert discusses management practices for corky ringspot in potatoes

In a video aimed at helping potato growers, the Plant Management Network has released a presentation by Michigan State University professor of nematology George W. Bird on management practices for corky ringspot. The disease is caused by the tobacco rattle virus and vectored by stubby-root nematodes. The primary symptoms are characteristic concentric rings on tuber skin and internal tissues. Bird’s presentation is[Read More…]

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The importance of potassium management in potato production

Potatoes use more potassium than any other nutrient, including nitrogen. Potassium is required for nutrient movement in the potato plant. It is essential for the makeup of over 40 different enzymes and is involved in more than 60 different enzyme systems in plants. Potassium is crucial in quality potato formation. Plants lacking in potassium often display various signs of deficiencies, the[Read More…]

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UK: Potato growers ‘must look in dusty corners’ to innovate

Researchers are continuing to make strides in helping UK potato growers to get the best crop with the least environmental impact as a nationally-significant Suffolk farm project reached the end of its second year, farmers were told this week. Elveden Estate farm manager Andrew Francis said forward-thinking growers had already made innovations and were now looking for gains in less obvious[Read More…]

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Research finding: When pests graze certain potatoes, yields double

When some Colombian potato varieties are lightly grazed by a pest, the plants respond by growing larger tubers, at times doubling their yields. Although many types of plants can repair pest damage while maintaining productivity, it’s rare to find species that actually overcompensate and increase productivity. Cornell University and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia researchers first discovered this effect in a[Read More…]

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Smart panels and irrigation monitoring: A perfect pair

Why pair up smart panels and irrigation monitoring? Well, in short, it’s the same reason any pair is formed – to help consumers save resources by increasing product efficiency. If you want a better idea of how smart panels fit into the picture, maybe the best thing to do is to take a look at some other “smart” technologies on[Read More…]

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New bio-fungicide shows strong performance against white molds and soil diseases

Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI), based in the US, recently announced the launch and availability of a high-performance and cost-effective biological fungicide, Amplitude™, in the 2018 growing season. Amplitude is based on a new strain of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, discovered by MBI, that has shown strong performance against white molds and soil diseases such as Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia (pink rot and black scurf of potatoes), and Fusarium, as shown in field[Read More…]

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Managing weight loss in potato storages

By now, potatoes in most of the U.S. and Canada have been in storage two months or longer. The crop is at holding temperatures specific to the cultivar and use. Storages are being monitored for disease development, desired temperature, ventilation and humidity. According to Nora Olsen and Mary Jo Frazier at the University of Idaho, what isn’t as easy to[Read More…]

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US: $105,000 grant will fund research into rotation crops for potato growers

A more than $100,000 grant will fund a project that to explore potential rotation crops for potato growers in the state, according to the Maine Potato Board. Jake Dyer, agronomist for the board, said Thursday that a $105,527 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program will support a two year project to develop “best[Read More…]

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Canadian research looks at the use and loss of nitrogen fertilizer in potato crops

Potato plants need a lot of nitrogen to produce tubers at optimum levels, but with more applied nitrogen comes an increased risk of nitrogen loss to the atmosphere. Guillermo Hernandez Ramirez, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, is studying the use and loss of that fertilizer in potato crops. He is testing various nitrogen fertilizer formulations and biostimulants to[Read More…]

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Aqua-Yield revolutionizes phosphorus retention

With drastically improved phosphorus retention and application rates at only 4 ounces per acre, Aqua-Yield introduces NanoPhos, now available for a worldwide release. Established research and development results indicate what farmers have been waiting for and wanting for years; NanoPhos maximizes crops’ responses to phosphorus utilized in root, flower and general growth. It improves soil structure and organic matter, and[Read More…]

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Data leads to smarter center pivot irrigation

Information is one of the most powerful tools growers have in their arsenal – and the methods we use to gather it are always advancing. These days, growers can gather data about soil moisture, aerial imagery, weather conditions, yield mapping and more. They can enter their data into a program or hub to analyze it, and then use that information to[Read More…]

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British Potato 2017: Latest technical updates from potato event

The latest potato agronomic developments were showcased and industry concerns aired at BP2017, held in Harrogate, North Yorks. More data is needed to assess and respond to the threat posed by the Dark Green 37 blight strain, which has shown resistance to fluazinam. David Nelson, field director, Branston said more understanding of the Dark Green 37 strain was needed. “It is the[Read More…]

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UK: “Potato Lono” fertilizer promises major yield uplift

Levity CropScience has unveiled new research claiming its product Potato Lono can increase potato yields by up to $1,000 per hectare. The UK-based business said that independent three-year field trials held in England, Ireland, the Netherlands and France had proven the uplift in yields. The company announced the results at the British Potato Show in Harrogate. “We’re excited to have revealed this[Read More…]

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ESN “smart nitrogen” controls release rate of nitrogen

Potato growers know their crop doesn’t grow like every other crop out there. When it comes to nitrogen uptake, they’re an entirely different animal from grains, oilseeds and other crops. Potatoes like to have nitrogen in steady supply, but that’s complicated by the fact that each seed piece contains enough nitrogen for the plant for approximately the first 40 days of growth.[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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