Cultivation/Production

Videos: Planting no-till potatoes

Ever wondered if it is indeed possible to plant potatoes the no-till way, and if so, how it’s done? Here are two videos from farms in Pennsylvania in the US which shows how such an operation can indeed be done with specialized equipment and dedicated crew members. The first  is video footage of a potato planting operation at Red Hill[Read More…]

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Developing a fertilizer program for potato production

In a recently published Production Guide, William Lamont, Professor of Vegetable Crops at Penn State University, provides several guidelines related to practical considerations when potato growers plan a fertilizer program for this season’s crop. Lamont focuses on important considerations related to pH, salts and specific nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium). Go here to read this Guide

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Foliar potato diseases: Early blight

In this video, Dr. Jeff Miller of Miller Research in Rupert, Idaho provides a a brief explanation of Early Blight in potato and how to manage the pathogen. Dr Miller says that early blight usually starts at the bottom of the plants and works its way up. He further says that early blight is often closely related to the nutrition of[Read More…]

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Simplot fertilizer recognized by NASA

Simplot’s GAL-XeONE controlled release fertilizer was recognized at the 33rd annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for innovating the way fertilizer nutrients are released in a controlled manner, the J.R. Simplot Company said in a press release. The product uses a polymer coating for its controlled release capability developed by Florikan, LLC and its founder Ed Rosenthal. Simplot purchased the technology[Read More…]

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Videos about potato production

We have recently created a separate category on Potato News Today where our readers will find links to a number of YouTube videos, mostly about matters related to potato cultivation. Please visit this page of our site where you can choose to view videos on crop production; scouting for late blight on potato farms; how farmers apply unmanned aircraft (drones)[Read More…]

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UK: One-pass Grimme potato planters boost output

By going wider and reducing the number of passes, one Lincolnshire grower is seeing the benefits of an all-new potato planting system. Farmers Guardian gets a user’s view of a Grimme GL430T planter. Lincolnshire potato grower Will Gagg of RJ and AE Godfrey’s Eastoft Grange Farm near Scunthorpe operates three Grimme GL430T four-row planters. The original planter with tiller and front mounted[Read More…]

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Research: Can vitamin B-1 supplementation control potato diseases?

A specific group of vitamins, the B group, may offer a new potential strategy to control diseases in crops. Recent laboratory research in tobacco, grapevine, rice and cucumber has shown that application of vitamin B-1 prepares plants to fight off pathogen attacks more rapidly and efficiently. This mechanism is called priming and can somewhat be compared to vaccination in humans. Researchers[Read More…]

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Scotland: Potato growers dig the latest smartphone technology

While the world of high-tech wizardry tends to conjure up images of drones crowding the sky as driverless tractors till the fields below, two of the latest developments in this area for tattie growers require nothing more exotic than a mobile phone. As part of the smart farming project, a software-based potato yield model that has been developed jointly by[Read More…]

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UK: Growers missing out on increased yields that precision farming offers

Growers could be missing out on increased crop yields and improved soil quality if they overlook adopting the latest precision farming techniques. A three year AHDB project, which is now in its final year, has so far revealed UK growers could be benefiting from controlled traffic farming (CTF) techniques, resulting in better soil quality and increased yields. Part of the study assesses the[Read More…]

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Canada: Potato growers on P.E.I. using GPS to plant more efficiently

As potato growers across Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) plant this year’s crop, many are using the latest GPS technology to guide them. “I’d say probably 80 per cent of growers out there would have something like this,” said Will MacNeill, owner of Atlantic Precision Agri-Services, in West Devon, P.E.I. “The most common technology is auto steer, where we steer the tractor and[Read More…]

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Australia: Perfect potatoes go to waste over psyllid pest

Seed potato growers have started dumping the first of their perfectly good potatoes as interstate borders remain closed after the detection of the tomato potato psyllid pest in WA. Albany grower Trevor Barker said he had fed around 60 tonnes to his cattle and had another 250 tonnes which would likely follow in coming weeks. His neighbour, Colin Ayres, who is president[Read More…]

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Potatoes grown from Dutch seeds may save Africa from hunger

Potatoes grown from Dutch seeds yield two to four times bigger harvests for small-scale, poor farmers in East Africa than potatoes grown using local seed potatoes. These findings are the result of initial tests using experimental varieties grown from potato seeds by Wageningen-based agro-tech company Solynta in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As such, potatoes grown from seeds may prove to[Read More…]

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Scotland: Potato producers dig in to cut costs and boost yields

Scotland’s tattie growers could save money and improve both their yields and income by reducing bed tillage and the depth of their de-stoning operations, a commercial-scale trial has shown. Putting recent research findings to the test showed that by moving away from a traditional catch-all approach and adopting reduced cultivation techniques growers could save close to £30 a hectare establishing[Read More…]

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Nitrogen proves healthy for soil

An Iowa State University (ISU) report shows applying nitrogen fertilizer at certain levels to various crops helps maintain carbon in the soil, bringing a range of environmental and production benefits. ISU agronomy professor Michael Castellano co-authored the study and says there’s long been disagreement among scientists and growers over fertilizer’s impact on the soil. “A lot of folks are under the[Read More…]

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US: WSU researcher warns Columbia Basin growers against planting too early

While the calendar may be telling farmers it’s time to plant vegetables across the Columbia Basin, mother nature is telling one potato researcher otherwise. Washington State University commercial vegetable specialist Tim Waters says the wet winter in the Tri-Cities is presenting challenging soil conditions for farmers and they should delay their planting. In addition, one potato farmer in Pasco is[Read More…]

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New webcast helps potato growers avoid devastating powdery scab outbreaks

Powdery scab is a difficult disease to manage and can be potentially devastating to susceptible potato varieties under certain environmental conditions. The Plant Management Network has released a new presentation entitled “Practical Management of Powdery Scab” to help professionals reduce the likelihood of infections with a comprehensive management approach including disease avoidance, cultivar resistance, soil testing, proper irrigation, and chemical[Read More…]

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Canada: New products available for potato growers in 2017

Aprovia fungicide is a new alternative for the control of verticillium wilt. Aprovia Top fungicide combines difenoconazole (FRAC Group 3) with Solatenol (FRAC Group 7) in order to control alternaria-caused early blight and to suppress alternaria-caused brown spot. Potato growers now have access to a new biofungicide called Double Nickel, which controls white mould and early blight as a foliar spray. United Phosphorus[Read More…]

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US: Interpreting post-harvest test results

Seed certification is a quality control program that consists of a number of components intended to ensure that specified quality standards are met. One of the more important of these components is post-harvest testing. Post-harvest testing may consist of an off-season grow-out in the field or greenhouse, laboratory testing, or some combination of these. The vast majority of Idaho seed lots[Read More…]

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UK: PCN picture looks better with ICM approach

Norfolk potato grower, Pete Legge, believes he has finally got a handle on PCN control, with a switch to Nemathorin in combination with a comprehensive ICM agronomy programme that is seeing long-term egg counts declining – along with reduced effects on the growing crop, yield and tuber quality. At the core of the farm’s approach has been a greater focus on soil[Read More…]

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Improving soil testing accuracy and speed with laser technology

A Canadian company based in the province of Quebec, Logiag Inc., recently received government funding to commercialize a laser-based soil analysis system that replaces the more traditional chemical analyses. This funding will allow the company to introduce a laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to the market; a technology that allows for faster and more accurate data at lower cost. The goal is[Read More…]

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After strong growth, South African potato exports down 18%

South Africa is self-sufficient in potatoes. 2015 was an exceptionally good year with a harvest of 250 million 10kg bags, which fell to 214 million 10kg bags in 2016 due to drought and excessive heat. This year it appears as if the area under potatoes is somewhat less, but a better harvest than last year can be expected, says Dr[Read More…]

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Videos of potato crop production

A short film about a potato farmer in East Anglia in the UK who grows ‘early’ potatoes for McCain Oven Chips. Watch video Growing potatoes, from field to supermarket: This film shows the potato growing process, from planting to harvesting, and how the potatoes end up on the supermarket shelf. Watch video For many of us, the potato is a big[Read More…]

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‘Scottish potato growers may be losing small fortune’

Scottish potato growers could be missing out on up to £700 in missed margins per hectare. That was the message from AHDB Potatoes strategy director, Rob Clayton, at the Farming Scotland Conference in Carnoustie. He said AHDB analysis showed that the top 25% of potato producers found that improvements in seed rates and energy efficiency could be worth approximately £37,000 for the[Read More…]

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PotatoEurope 2017 – ‘Precision farming in practice’

With seven months still to go, 50 percent of the exhibition space at PotatoEurope 2017 – the trade show dedicated to the entire potato chain – has already been sold. The theme of this year’s edition – ‘Potatoes feed & meet the world’ – is linked to the potato’s huge potential to feed the world’s growing population. In addition, PotatoEurope[Read More…]

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US: New research lab to study genetics of potatoes to prevent losses while in storage

The University of Nevada Reno’s plant biology tag team, Dylan Kosma and Patricia Santos, are searching for ways to reduce potato crop losses during storage. The University’s Kosma-Santos lab, in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, was recently awarded a $1.37 million grant by the National Science Foundation to investigate the molecular-genetics and biochemistry that underlies potato crop losses[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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