Research

Aspirin-like compound primes plants’ defense against pathogens

Willow trees are well-known sources of salicylic acid, and for thousands of years, humans have extracted the compound from the tree’s bark to alleviate minor pain, fever, and inflammation. Now, salicylic acid may also offer relief to crop plants by priming their defenses against a microbial menace known as “potato purple top phytoplasma.” Outbreaks of the cell-wall-less bacterium in the[Read[Read More…]

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Unlocking blight pathogen’s evolutionary secrets could provide key to better disease control

Scientists say they have discovered vital clues as to how the potato blight pathogen adapted to spread between different plant species. Researchers at Oxford University and The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, looked at how phytophthora infestans evolved to target other plants. The findings could help in the development of new blight-resistant potato varieties. The study is said to be the first[Read[Read More…]

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US: Michigan’s biggest trade show for potato farmers is going on in downtown Bay City

The 2014 Winter Potato Conference, Michigan’s biggest trade show for spud growers, kicked off today in downtown Bay City, informing more than 150 people in attendance about the latest in research and development, legislation and products when it comes to that sector of the agriculture industry. It’s the first time the two-day conference, which draws farmers from all over the[Read[Read More…]

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Researchers: Volunteer plants not a source of in-season spread of zebra chip disease

Volunteer potato plants growing from seed infected with zebra chip are likely too few in number and survive too briefly to contribute to the spread of the crop disease, according to new Oregon State University research findings. According to OSU plant pathology laboratory manager Jordan Eggers, “It looks like volunteers won’t be a source of the bacterium for in-season spread.[Read[Read More…]

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Study shows PVY costs Idaho $34 million

Spud yield losses caused by potato virus Y cost Idaho’s economy about $34 million per year, according to results of a recently completed economic impact study by University of Idaho agricultural economist Chris McIntosh. The estimate includes $6.5 million in lost wages from 184 Idaho jobs that would otherwise be filled if not for PVY. McIntosh estimates direct losses to[Read[Read More…]

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US: Potatoes thrive under higher carbon dioxide levels

Although some plants may suffer under global climate change and increased carbon dioxide levels, potatoes appear to thrive. Under trials that simulated elevated CO2 levels, potato tuber yield was as much as 60 percent greater than from plants growing under current CO2 levels, according to a news release. The studies, conducted by an Agricultural Research Service group led by agricultural[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Scientist warns Prince Edward Island farmers about wireworm

Farmers packed Charlottetown’s Dutch Inn Tuesday to hear the science surrounding wireworms. It’s a tiny pest that’s difficult to eradicate and is a serious threat to the Island’s potato, vegetable and cereal crops. Bob Vernon, an Agriculture Canada scientist, spoke to about 300 farmers. He’s been researching wireworm for 20 years. The tiny pest burrows into crops and leaves holes[Read[Read More…]

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US: Potato Board Chip Committee funds Zebra Chip Variety Research

Dr. Creighton Miller from Texas A&M University has been working with the United States Potato Board (USPB) varieties and the Zebra Chip defect. Dr. Miller is developing a variety testing process to help identify varieties with tolerance to the Zebra Chip Defect. In his first year doing this work for the USPB, it appears three varieties are showing more tolerance[Read[Read More…]

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La posibilidad de rendimientos más altos de patatas como resultado del cambio climático

Resultados de estudios por científicos del Servicio de Investigación Agrícola (ARS) sugieren que las plantas de patata podrían producir rendimientos más altos ante el cambio climático. Ingeniero agrícola David Fleisher y sus colegas con el ARS realizaron estudios para medir la respuesta de las plantas de patata a los niveles elevados del dióxido de carbono atmosférico y las patrones cada[Read[Read More…]

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US: Crop rotations avoid insecticide resistant bugs

A potato beetle researcher recommends farmers alternate crop rotations and insecticides to avoid building up insect populations that are resistant to the chemicals. University of Maine associate professor of applied entomology Andrei Alyokhin shared his tips during the Washington Oregon Potato Conference in Kennewick, Wash. Alyokhin advises using crop rotations and alternating different insecticide applications instead of continuous cropping or[Read[Read More…]

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Potatoes could step up performance under climate change pressure

New research shows that potatoes – often cultivated as a rainfed crop with little or no irrigation – are still the go-to tuber when times get tough. Agricultural Research Service agricultural engineer David Fleisher and colleagues wanted to measure how potato plants would respond to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and the increasingly erratic rainfall patterns expected to result[Read[Read More…]

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Washington State University potato researchers seek new fresh pack varieties

Washington State University researchers are examining new potato varieties as an alternative for the leading fresh pack variety, the Russet Norkotah. WSU research assistant Rhett Spear says newer varieties can offer farmers more disease resistance and improved yields. The Russet Norkotah is fairly uniform with good yields and economic return, said Rhett Spear, Washington State University research assistant. But it’s[Read[Read More…]

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Idaho researcher helps set up Kenyan spud seed test

Jonathan Whitworth spent much of last summer helping one of the major certified potato seed providers in Kenya establish laboratory testing to back up visual field inspections for diseased plants. Now Whitworth, a research plant pathologist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Aberdeen, hopes the Kenyan potato industry will reciprocate by sending breeding cultivars he saw in their fields[Read[Read More…]

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Secrets of potato blight evolution could help farmers fight back

Scientists have discovered vital clues as to how the pathogen responsible for the Irish potato famine adapted to spread between different plant species. Researchers at Oxford University and The Sainsbury Laboratory (Norwich, UK) looked in unprecedented detail at how Phytophthora infestans, a pathogen that continues to blight potatoes and tomatoes today, evolved to target other plants. The study, published today[Read[Read More…]

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Kazakh diet potatoes: A new healthy alternative?

Kazakhstani plant breeders have produced a new type of potatoes, Tengrinews reports. Vladimir Shvidchenko, Director of Astana-based Agrobiological Research Center of the Kazakh Argotechnical University told TengrinewsTV about the properties of the new product. The main difference between the new product and an ordinary potato is its dietary qualities. The breeders call the new diet potato a low calorie potato.[Read[Read More…]

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Are potato crisps a risk to health?

The Belgian consumers’ organisation Test Aankoop has issued a warning in connection with high levels of acrylamide that occur in Belgian food stuffs. The consumers’ organisation warns that acrylamide levels in potato crisps are too high. Test Aankoop examined 46 samples of crisps, 10 samples of crisp bread and 9 portions of home-baked chips. Acrylamide levels were compared with the[Read[Read More…]

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México: Impulsan biólogos veracruzanos cultivo de papa libre de fertilizantes artificiales

Después de varias investigaciones y estudios, biólogos veracruzanos lograron concretar un paquete agrotecnológico para integrarlo en el manejo del cultivo de la papa, por lo que el año pasado se logró retirar, en las siembras experimentales, todos los químicos con los que se suele combatir al nematodo dorado, aproximándose así al objetivo de cultivar el tubérculo de manera orgánica en[Read[Read More…]

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US: Program makes inroads against Zebra chip

Zebra chip infection rates are way down in Idaho, but researchers say they still need more years of data before they can relent on their program to protect growers from the disease. University of Idaho researchers have no plans to scale back on the intensive program they implemented in 2013 to track the tiny, winged insects that spread the crop[Read[Read More…]

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Radio-frequency drying slashes acrylamide in potato chips: Study

Using radio-frequency to dry partially fried potato chips can limit acrylamide formation, finds research. The study published in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture investigated how much impact radio-frequency post-drying had on limiting the potential carcinogen in potato chips. Researchers from two Turkish universities found that frying potato slices partially in hot oil followed by a radio-frequency (RF)[Read[Read More…]

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Dutch lead the way in potato cyst nematode control

Potato nematodes are now a minor pest threat in the Netherlands and one Dutch expert believes British potato growers could learn lessons from their success. Growing potatoes as a trap crop for potato cyst nematodes (PCN), using resistant varieties and rigorous testing for the industry’s most damaging pest have all led to better control. Dutch growers use more robust sampling[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Potato modelling system wins science award

A potato modelling system, which forecasts yield and tuber size won a Practice with Science Award at the Oxford Farming Conference (OFC). Developed by NIAB CUF, the tool can supply valuable data to the entire potato supply chain, to aid in-field and processing practices and reporting. The system’s modeling allows growers to calculate seed rates and a crop’s irrigation needs,[Read[Read More…]

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New approach to combat phytophthora

Fast new techniques for genetic identification enable a more specific control of the potato disease phytophthora; this is the theory of scientists from Wageningen UR in the Netherlands who are working to partner with industry to further analyze the genetic variation of the pathogen and link it to practical recommendations. This will allow potato growers to optimally align their choice[Read[Read More…]

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Dutch lead the way in potato cyst nematode control

Potato nematodes are now a minor pest threat in the Netherlands and one Dutch expert believes British potato growers could learn lessons from their success. Growing potatoes as a trap crop for potato cyst nematodes (PCN), using resistant varieties and rigorous testing for the industry’s most damaging pest have all led to better control. Dutch growers use more robust sampling[Read[Read More…]

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Bayer CropScience reveals insights into U.S. potato industry’s top needs for 2014

According to United States Department of Agriculture’s crop production predictions, average potato yield per acre increased during the 2013 season. In an effort to propel this upward trend into the New Year, Bayer CropScience launched its Potato Perspectives Survey during Potato Expo in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 8-10, 2014. Bayer CropScience collected insights from tradeshow attendees across the food chain[Read[Read More…]

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Radio-frequency drying slashes acrylamide in potato chips: Study

Using radio-frequency to dry partially fried potato chips can limit acrylamide formation, finds research. The study published in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture investigated how much impact radio-frequency post-drying had on limiting the potential carcinogen in potato chips. Researchers from two Turkish universities found that frying potato slices partially in hot oil followed by a radio-frequency (RF)[Read[Read More…]

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