Production/Agronomy

British potato growers advised on wireworm damage and control

This season is the first where growers face managing wireworm without the key pesticide Mocap (ethoprophos) that has proved effective for some years in managing the costly pest. This means there will be a greater reliance on less-effective alternatives in combination with with cultural controls to keep the pest in check. Farmers Weekly looks at how growers can best manage wireworm, which in severe cases can lead to crop losses.

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Kiwi potato leadership on display: Zero net emissions by 2050

In February 2020, the Potatoes NZ board adopted a new strategic objective of zero net emissions by 2050. The Sustainable Vegetable Systems Project (SVS) is a multi-stream nationwide project that will transition crop production to more sustainable land management practices while growing resilient communities and economies.

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The 7 habits of highly effective agronomists

The demand for agronomists in the agriculture industry is growing every single day, writes Shane Thomas, Global Digital Ag Lead at FarmersEdge in this interesting article. Thomas says producing profitable crops while minimizing a farmers risk and benefitting their operation in the long term is getting more and more complex every year. Whether it be new crop protection products, agronomic[Read More…]

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Integration of chemical and biologicals the way forward for BASF

BASF are repositioning themselves in the fruit and vegetable sector with this being identified as one out of the four strategic foci for the future. Matthew Goodson, who heads up the speciality crop sector in the UK, explains that the company has laid out its future intentions and has indicated that the fruit and vegetable sector will be considered as a key sector for the company to develop. The company has been working hard to develop biological products in this speciality sector, believing that integration of chemical and biologicals has to be the way forward.

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2019 and 2020 Webinars available on the World Potato Congress website

In a press release issued earlier this week, the World Potato Congress Inc notes that in case you missed one of its webinars, rest assured that they are all available on the World Potato Congress website at www.potatocongress.org.  The following is a list of all past webinars now on the website: 2020: March 18 – Presenter: Dr. Leah Tsror’s, “Powdery Scab[Read More…]

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GRIMME introduces new windrower for vegetables

The agricultural machinery manufacturer GRIMME extends its product range with the new vegetable windrower, named the WV-series. Windrowers are commonly used in a two-phase harvesting process on storable and robust onions. The new windrower for vegetables will be available for the next harvest season with working widths of 1.40 m, 1.65 m and 1.80 m. Crop quality starts with the[Read More…]

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How to manage weeds in potato crops without diquat

There will be no room for complacency in potato weed control strategies in the UK this spring, as British growers embark on their first season without the popular broad-spectrum contact herbicide diquat. Up to now, weed control was pretty simple – many would plant, wait until weeds emerge and sometimes cover up to 40% of the crop, then apply a residual plus diquat mix. However, with diquat’s revocation in the UK, this “casual” approach to weed management in potato crops is no longer sustainable.

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WPC Webinar on powdery scab now available online

The World Potato Congress offered its third Webinar in 2020 on March 18, featuring Dr Leah Tsror, titled ‘Powdery Scab – Integrated disease management for reducing the risk’. The focus of Dr Tsror’s presentation during the Webinar was on the epidemiology of the disease and the integrated management practices for reducing the risk of powdery scab.

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Potato specialists provide guidelines on mitigating early planting risks

It’s really a very simple formula: increase the length of the growing season and increase the potential yield and profits from a potato crop. There isn’t much that can be done to avoid a season-ending frost sometime during the fall, so perhaps the most feasible way to extend the season is to plant the crop early, say potato specialists Mike Thornton and Nora Olsen at the University of Idaho. When making decisions on when to start planting, growers should be aware that there are also some substantial risks involved

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Washington State trial program: Helping potato growers diagnose seed-borne issues

A Washington state trial program highlights the seed-borne diseases impacting potato crops across the region. The Washington Commercial Potato Seed Lot Trial has been conducted for 56 years since 1961. This useful trial also helps individual growers diagnose seed-borne issues that occasionally show up in their crop. Prof Carrie Huffman Wohleb at Washington State University explains how it works in an article published by American Vegetable Grower magazine.

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In India’s Assam state, potatoes are grown with no-tillage; growers receive post-harvest training

As farmers look to grow more food for their families and the marketplace, increasing production sustainably remains a consistent challenge. But a CIP project in Assam state in India has discovered an easy way to produce an annual crop of potatoes with no-tillage and very few additional inputs. For the first time in the State, a day-long training of post-harvest management of potato was recently conducted.

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No diquat: How to plan potato planting for trouble-free crop desiccation

With the absence of desiccant diquat, British potato producers are being advised to pay careful attention to field layout, nitrogen management and blight control strategy before planting this spring, according to an article published in Farmers Weekly. Machinery manufacturers have reported a big increase in topper sales in recent months, suggesting that many growers and contractors are gearing up for this mechanical approach.

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Potato news update from Russia

The Potato Union of Russia and the Russian magazine Potato System recently came to an agreement to collaborate in an initiative to inform the commercial potato industry about important industry and government events, promotion of the achievements of agricultural producers, and more. Other news reported by Potato System magazine the past week relates to the problems and prospects of growing potatoes in the Stavropol Territory

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WPC Webinar – Dr. Leah Tsror on powdery scab

The World Potato Congress is extremely pleased to be offering its third webinar in 2020 on March 18, featuring Dr Leah Tsror. Dr Tsror is a Research Group Leader in the Department of Plant Pathology, Agricultural Research Organization, Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development in Israel. The focus of Dr Tsror’s presentation during the Webinar will be on the epidemiology of the disease and the integrated management practices for reducing the risk of powdery scab.

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Research study shows universally positive effect of cover crops on soil microbiome

Only a fraction of conventional row crop farmers grow cover crops after harvest, but a new global analysis from the University of Illinois shows the practice can boost soil microbial abundance by 27%. The result adds to cover crops’ reputation for nitrogen loss reduction, weed suppression, erosion control, and more. Although soil microbial abundance is less easily observed, it is a hugely important metric in estimating soil health.

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Taking a look at storage costings after CIPC

The removal of CIPC next season has pushed the burden onto other tools in the box. However, how cost effective these treatments are at current market prices is a question on many people’s mind. In this article, analysts at AHDB Potatoes in the UK have estimated a total storage cost per tonne for different sprout suppressant regimes over an 8-month period.

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British potato growers advised to be patient and wait for the right conditions to start planting

It has been one of the wettest winters on record in Britain, with many parts of the country suffering damaging floods, says AHDB Potatoes in a recent article. “In wet areas planting may be many weeks away yet. Patience and risk mitigation now, can help prevent poor results come harvest,” says AHDB’s Graham Bannister. The key message is not to panic, waiting a few days and planting in the right conditions is often better than ‘losing’ a couple of days growing time, according to Bannister.

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Crop rotation: Call in a nurse. A ‘nurse’ crop, that is

Recent years have seen increased attention on the health of the soil used in potato production, and attempts to bring potatoes into longer rotations with other crops, writes Ralph Pearce, CG Production Editor in Country Guide. The challenge across much of Eastern Canada is that some rotational crops such as soybeans and dry beans don’t add much residue to the soil. Aggressive tillage on sandier, porous soils with potato production in the Maritimes also makes it difficult to maintain organic matter.

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US potato acreage expected to climb, lowering returns

The 2019 potato crop delivered lower yields in the Red River Valley and parts of Idaho, but other regions saw growth, reports Tom Karst in The Packer this week. Red, yellow and russet production totaled about 86 million cwt. in 2019, down about 8 million cwt. (9%) from the previous year. Acreage is expected to expand in 2020, but there has been no industry projection so far.

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Agriculture’s new apps: Precision innovation to feed the world

Precision weather tracking, ‘blood pressure monitoring’ for plants and complex nutrient analysis apps are now the must-have tools for modern farmers. With agriculture using 70% of the world’s?freshwater resources and severely degrading one third of the earth’s land through over-fertilisation, such innovations are vital. Video: Meet the Agricultural Scientists changing the way we are fed, one field at a time.

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CIP and partners publish a ‘Manual for seed potato production using aeroponics’

The full title of this new book, authored by scientists working at CIP, INIAP, and CORPOICA in Latin America, is Manual for seed potato production using aeroponics. Ten years of experience in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Aeroponics is a technique for producing potato minitubers (corresponding to the pre-basic seed category) in formal seed systems. aeroponics is part of an integrated proposal of CIP and its partners to manage seed potato degeneration.

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FarmBeats: Microsoft makes a play for the precision agriculture market

The global population is expected to increase by 2.2 billion by 2050, and the world’s farmers will have to grow about 70% more food than is now produced. If you ask Microsoft, the solution lies in technology, writes Kyle Wiggers in an article published in VentureBeat The tech giant’s FarmBeats program, which launched in preview late last year on Azure Marketplace, is a multi-year effort to bring robust data analytics to the agriculture sector.

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Canada to invest millions into Potato Early Dying disease research

The Canadian government pledged over $2.3 million to support research into managing the Potato Early Dying (PED) disease. The horticulture sector contributed an additional $991,918 towards this research, for a total investment of over $3.3 million. The purpose of the project is said to provide potato growers with the knowledge, tools and technologies they need to manage Potato Early Dying.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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