Smart Farming

Can buckwheat be the new top crop on the rotation block?

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers are encouraging farmers to buck the trend and use buckwheat as a triple threat crop. In addition to its high nutritional value, the fast growing crop is proving to be beneficial in suppressing pests such as wireworms in potatoes, and preventing soil diseases.

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AVR and Dacom Farm Intelligence collaborate to offer field data ‘on a silver platter’

For some time now, AVR has been offering agricultural companies technology for data collection. This data is displayed on the digital platform AVR Connect, offering the farmer improved, real time insights into what is going on inside the machine, how it is operating, and how the process can be made more efficient. This platform has been further developed in collaboration with Dacom Farm Intelligence, allowing for parcel data to be linked to machine data.

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Standen imports Dutch company Vegniek’s haulm pullers

Following the withdrawal of diquat in Britain, Standen says many potato growers are still seeking an effective solution in haulm destruction of their crop. This has prompted its importing division to start offering Dutch manufacturer Vegniek’s DiscMaster series of precision haulm pullers. The DiscMaster has been developed with a focus on reducing crop damage and ensuring that rows are effectively closed following the pass.

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Australian potato and IPM specialist to present during World Potato Congress webinar

The World Potato Congress is extremely pleased to present its next webinar on Tuesday, April 6, 2021/Wednesday, April 7, 2021 with Dr. Paul Horne, Entomologist and owner and Director of IPM Technologies Pty Ltd., Hurstbridge, Victoria, Australia. The presentation will outline the elements of IPM in any crop but particularly in potatoes. Examples of how pesticides can be chosen based on their IPM fit will be given, using Australian conditions as an example.

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Sustainability for the agriculture industry: The era of precision ag has arrived

In celebrating National Agriculture Week and National Ag Day the past week, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in the US published this article to highlight the role that precision agriculture plays in sustainability for the agriculture industry. “For the environmental benefits of precision agriculture to take shape, farmers need to generate more yield and at least break even from a financial standpoint,” said AEM Senior Vice President of Ag Services Curt Blades. “Technology now affords farmers the ability to do even more — things that could never have happened before.

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Podcast: Colorado’s Strohauer Farms on adapting to challenging times

The challenging water situation in Northern Colorado in the early 21st century had Strohauer Farms looking to adapt. Today, the longtime potato growers not only grow conventional, but a wide range of organic and specialty potatoes. The father-daughter team of Harry and Amber Strohauer joins “The Potato Field” to share their farm’s evolution in the latest edition of the podcast series hosted by Spudman magazine.

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Lindsay combines advanced agronomy with predictive machine diagnostics to create the first ‘smart pivot’

Lindsay Corporation recently announced the ‘smart pivot’, a new category of mechanized irrigation that moves beyond traditional water application and management to a wide array of crop and machine health capabilities, while also delivering proven water and energy savings. Lindsay’s smart pivot comes to life through two smart streams – FieldNET advanced agronomics and Zimmatic machine health – designed to support healthier crops and more sustainable farming practices.

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Study: ‘Grower knowledge is central to improving PCN management’

It is widely accepted that potato cyst nematodes are a serious threat to the viability of potato production and yet despite efforts to promote better management practices the area of infested land continues to increase. There are many explanations for this trend in the UK, not least the lack of market acceptance to those varieties with good resistance, which is considered essential to reducing populations, but the dwindling supply of clean land is also a serious concern, according to an article by Bayer Crop Science in the UK.

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‘Green Headlands’ boost soil health and fertility

Planting a “Green Headland” on uncropped areas around potato and field vegetable crops can capture nutrients worth £200/ha over the growing season. That will not only help the following crop, but importantly retain those nutrients in the field and minimise environmental losses, according to Syngenta Environmental Initiatives Manager, Belinda Bailey.

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Webinar shows benefits of digital decision support tools for potato growers

Digital decision support tools will play an increasingly important role for potato farmers, that was the message from an industry-focused webinar held recently, hosted by CHAP (Crop Health and Protection Ltd) in the UK. Speakers at the event showed how developing a robust resistance management strategy in potatoes depends on a willingness to plan, the use of alternative modes of action, and the adoption of future technologies.

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New ‘cutting-edge’ system predicts potato pest risk

A free cutting-edge system from Washington State University gives Northwest potato growers site-specific information about insect activity in their fields. The new potato decision aid system parallels WSU’s existing system for tree fruit, said Dave Crowder, associate professor of entomology and interim director of WSU’s Decision Aid System program.

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Canadian govt working with farmers to accelerate adoption of climate-smart best practices

Farmers are on the front lines of worsening climate impacts, and face increasing risk of wildfires and extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts. The best way to build climate resiliency across Canadian agriculture’s diversity of realities and landscapes is by developing and deploying solutions that are tailored for each region, led by farmers and farm groups themselves, the Government of Canada says in a press release.

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Eye on the future: Side Delights family-owned farms celebrate the next generation

The Side Delights Network of family-owned farms is vigilantly integrating the next generation into the potato business. 2021 trends show that “The locally grown produce movement starts to come of age,” as stated in the article on Top Seven Trends for Fresh Produce in 2021. Some of the Fresh Solutions Network farms have been running their businesses for centuries. The most extended generational farming family is Sterman Masser, an eighth generation Pennsylvania farming family.

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UK: New Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm field experiments to focus on growing a quality crop

AHDB Potatoes announced today that L P Ollier & Son, Knutsford, has agreed to host a number of field experiments as part of the 2021 Strategic Potato Farm programme. Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager for the North of England, Graham Bannister said: “This year’s theme has an emphasis on growing a quality crop, based around nutrition, storage and where appropriate, alternative IPM methods.

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Michigan potato farmer receives MSU award for Distinguished Service

Brian Sackett, of Sackett Potatoes, in Mecosta, Mich., received the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) Distinguished Service Award at the March 12 ANR Awards Program. Sackett, along with his son Tyler, manages Sackett Potatoes, in Mecosta. The Sackett family has been growing potatoes on their family farm in Michigan since 1905. Under Brian’s management over the past 10 years, Sackett Potatoes has grown to a total of 18,000 acres across three states.

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On-farm trials in New Zealand target potato tuber moth

Two Pukekawa trials in New Zealand are showing some early promise for potato growers when it comes to greater control of the potato tuber moth. Pukekohe company Inta-Ag has been running a trial on a potato grower’s land at Pukekawa using straw mulch to see what effect it can have on PTM.

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Sprout control: Practical solutions for getting the best out of ethylene and mint oil

Controlling potato sprouting with ethylene and mint oil is requiring a more careful approach to store management, as most potato storage managers know very well after the use of CIPC was banned in the UK. Interested parties are cordially invited to join AHDB Potatoes’ Sutton Bridge team in the UK on the 9th of March for a webinar to hear about the latest research and top tips on how to get the best out of ethylene and mint oil sprout suppressants.

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Soil health: Regenerative techniques to be planned carefully, advises Agrii agronomist

Regenerative agriculture based on the least possible tillage is attracting growing interest across the UK for the opportunities it offers to improve soil health and resilience, increase farmland biodiversity, and cut carbon emissions. However, direct drilling experiences of the past make it essential to introduce regenerative techniques in carefully-planned way if a number of dangerous pitfalls are to be avoided, warns senior Agrii agronomist, Andrew Richards.

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Canadian scientists help to develop new weapon in the war against wireworms

For many years, farmers have struggled with limited options to control wireworms, leading to crop damage and loss. Now, thanks to support efforts from three Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientists, farmers have a new wireworm defence in their arsenal. The AAFC researchers have been assessing the performance of Broflanilide on cereal and potato crops at the Harrington Research Farm in PEI, the Agassiz Research Farm in BC, and with local farmers.

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Post-emergence herbicide faces de-regulation if British growers don’t act

Commonly used on potatoes, beans, peas, linseed, and alliums, the chemistry of BASF’s bentazone post-emergence herbicide is absorbed through the leaves of target plants, disrupting the photosynthesis and causing a reduction in the carbohydrate reserves. However, it is highly soluble in water and mobile in soil. As such, bentazone has been detected in both ground and surface water for many years and whilst BASF and the wider agricultural industry has had a stewardship programme in place from 2014, records show no serious decline in the levels detected.

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Potato Soil Health Project: Webinar now available on demand

In this recorded webinar, hosted by Spudman magazine, you’ll hear from researchers for the USDA/SCRI funded Potato Soil Health Project and learn about what they’ve discovered through research. The panel will introduce three distinct aspects of the program. The webinar is now available to watch at your convenience.

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