Production/Agronomy

AHDB-hosted webinars on post-CIPC potato sprout control coming up soon

The 2020 storage season is the 1st where store managers in Europe cannot apply Chlorpropham (CIPC) in store. AHDB Potatoes in the UK initiated two webinars where growers and store managers will be informed on the latest developments in this regard by experts from Sutton Bridge CSR, Adrian Cunnington and Adrian Briddon. The webinars will focus on storing for the processing and fresh sectors respecctively.

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Dewulf launches new cultivator

Potato and root crop equipment manufacturer, Dewulf, recently announced the launch of the new SC 360 cultivator. This machine follows on the heels of the previously introduced SC 300 and SC Compact, and is the third type in the SC series of cultivators. The SC 360 was developed for growers who plant 4 x 90 cm rows and want perfect planting bed preparation.

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‘The Gamble’ – The Washington potato story

The Gamble is a 60-minute documentary that explores the personal stories of farm families and their heritage. Through the colorful and touching stories of those who have endured the evolution of the industry, we learn firsthand the true grit that it took to survive and prosper. Those working in the farming industry in general around the world, will be able to identify with much of what is recounted in this documentary. Well worth a watch.

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Fight against powdery scab: South African researchers identified two ideal plant species for potato crop rotation

A study by researchers in the Potato Pathology Programme at the University of Pretoria identified oat and soybean as “ideal to be included as trap crops in rotations with potatoes”. This is a first study in southern Africa on alternative weed and cultivated hosts of the cercozoan Spongospora subterraneaf. sp. subterranea, which causes the potato disease powdery scab.

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Maleic Hydrazide as a potato sprout suppressant: A review from the UK

Maleic Hydrazide (MH) is a potato sprout suppressant that was first identified as a plant growth regulator in the 1940’s. In an article published by AHDB Potatoes this week, it is said that the reduction in permitted treatments rate for CIPC have driven an increase in MH use in recent years. Interim data from AHDB at Sutton Bridge has shown that in the absence of CIPC, MH can offer good sprout control and boost efficacy of alternative treatments when used in combination with them.

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Neonicotinoid insecticide resistance: Practical guidelines for growers to test product effectiveness

All commercial potato growers are aware of the fact that some pests have been shown to develop resistance against some of the commonly used insecticides available to combat them. In a recent article published by Spud Smart magazine, renowned potato specialist with the Ontario Potato Board in Canada, Dr Eugenia Banks, provides growers and agronomists with practical guidelines on how to conduct on-site tests to determine product effectiveness against Colorado potato beetles in their area and specific situation.

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Latest Canadian Crop Report: Good potential, but hard work needed to clean up old crop later than normal

The Crop Transition Conference has been held for the past 12 years in Minneapolis. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was held virtually, says Kevin MacIsaac, General Manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). In conclusion it is said that “The crop has good potential, but we are going to need to work hard, to clean up the old crop at a later than normal date, as the new crop transitions in on schedule.”

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Podcast: Tackling disease management and soil health

Disease-suppressive crops work in multiple ways: by not being a crop host to the disease, by actively lowering pathogen levels, and by boosting soil health so the overall growing environment is more resilient to disease. Robert Larkin, USDA-ARS research plant pathologist, joins Potatoes in Canada for this podcast to discuss the different ways crops can lower disease pressure, what farmers in Maine are doing, and all about soil health more broadly.

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Investigative Report: Potato production in Egypt – ‘Export demands increase interest in bio-pesticides’

GROPRO Corp. a US based producer and supplier of biological crop protection products, has recently completed a investigative agricultural tour of Egypt. According to the group of specialists from GROPRO, “We believe that bio crop protection products will play an important role in the near future to assist in developing the Egyptian potato industry – not only to improve the efficiency of crop production in general, but for farmers to attain better quality products and higher yields.”

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Gowan: ‘Unique mode of action in Electis suits late season use’

Hutton periods are now being recorded in England and the focus needs to shift to blight control in potatoes. Recent changes to the UK blight population over the last couple of years have revealed more dominant aggressive strains with higher spore production and faster life cycles. Coupled with the emergence of the fluazinam-tolerant blight strain 37_A2, this makes decisions around[Read More…]

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Nutrisorb2.0 and potato timing of application: Still time

Éco+ is proud to present its bestselling natural biostimulant, Nutrisorb2.0. There is still time to apply Nutrisorb2.0 to potato crops, fresh or processing varieties. Marc Richard, President of Eco+ says. “We all know that timing is everything and now that you have planted, it is important to make the sugar movements reach the tuber in a consistent, stable manner. Nutrisorb 2.0 also helps move calcium in the plant which is difficult at the best of times.”

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Hyperspectral imaging for sustainable, more productive potato crops

Hyperspectral imaging, a growing area in remote sensing, holds the promise of providing a solution for crop monitoring over large areas, and scientists at the James Hutton Institute are working with partners in industry and academia to investigate the potential of the technology to maximise the sustainability and productivity of key food crops. The InnovateUK-funded project “In-field Optical Detection of Potato Disease” primarily explored the utility of aerial imaging (drone captured multispectral and high-res RGB) to detect and differentiate between a selection of economically important potato diseases.

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European potato growers hit with loss of another key seed treatment

Rhizoctonia control is set to become much more difficult for potato growers with news of a second seed treatment being withdrawn, just weeks after the loss of Monceren. EU regulators have recommended the withdrawal of penflufen, a fungicide contained in the powder seed tuber treatment product Emesto Prime DS. It is used to control Rhizoctonia solani, which causes stem and stolon canker and black scurf in potatoes.

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Pale cyst nematode: The USDA takes more comments on potato pest regulations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has re-opened a public comment period on changes to regulations of pale cyst nematode-infested areas, according to a report by Chris Koger of The Packer over the past weekend. Pale cyst nematodes (PCN) affect potato crops. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service took initial comments twice in 2019, and is accepting comments until July 6 “on the science supporting the protocols, including the sources of the methods informing their content,” according to a USDA news release.

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Carbon footprint tool helps farmers reduce their greenhouse gas emissions

A carbon footprint tool, which aims to help farmers reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, has been updated to include a soil sequestration module, according to a report by Tillage & Soils. Agrecalc was developed by SAC Consulting – part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), in response to the growing need for a simple-to-use, accurate and science-driven carbon audit tool.

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Why you should plan early for successful potato late blight control

It is of course already well known that blight is a constant threat and significant cost to potato growers. To offset blight, British potato growers should put plans in place as early as possible with their Basis agronomist to ensure a proactive approach is taken to prevent the disease, according to a report published by the Newsroom at Farming Life. In order to achieve putting less pressure on fungicides it is important that good Integrated Pest Management principles are applied for blight control. The most important thing when spraying to prevent blight is to start your programme early.

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IFA: Potato market in Ireland largely unchanged; drought a concern across Europe

The IFA reports that the market situation remains largely unchanged in Ireland. Early liftings continue this week in the country, with drought conditions hindering yields in many areas. Irrigation is a key concern for all growers at present. Drought is a key concern across Europe. The drought in the Netherlands is seen as worse than that of 1976

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Idaho spore-sampling network features upgrades

Brad Carlson of Capital Press reports that a spore-sampling network designed to detect airborne diseases before they impact southern Idaho crops has been enhanced this year, its third in operation. Faster detection and reporting, and the ability to find more types of disease that could threaten potatoes and other crops, are among the benefits.

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The global impact of coronavirus on potato production: Examples and lessons learnt

One country that has routinely been in the news for their impressive handling of the outbreak is South Korea. In Canada, the closure of the hospitality sector in light of the coronavirus caused a significant threat to potato growers. The potato growers in the USA too have faced significant challenges with accessing markets and oversupply. This issue of excess potatoes is impacting supply chains across Europe too. Belgium is famous the world over for its fries and UNESCO list them as a Cultural Treasure. Given the closure of restaurants, including the ubiquitous fish n’ chip shops of most high streets, potato growers across the UK are struggling to sell their crop.

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Jersey early potato yields down 40% on drought-hit island

Potato yields from the early Jersey Royal crop are down 40% as drought grips the Chanel Islands in bone dry conditions not seen since the drought of 1976. A very wet February was followed by virtually no rain through March and April, and the season on Jersey is running three or four weeks behind the normal lifting schedule.

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Flexible drift retardant designed for use with potato blight fungicides said to reduce drift and maximise coverage

A flexible drift retardant, specifically designed for use with blight fungicides, could play an important role in keeping potatoes disease free this spring, according to adjuvant and biostimulant experts, Interagro. Developed to help tackle the practical problems growers face, Crusade – from Interagro – is a flexible drift retardant specifically designed for use with all potato blight fungicides.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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