Providing informative and timely information to the Canadian potato producer, from seed to processing to export. Designed to be the voice of potato growers, processors, industry suppliers and policy makers, Spud Smart focuses on the issues that matter most to the potato industry.
The country’s private potato breeders are calling for a bigger say in how new varieties are developed in Canada.
Three years ago, Quebec’s Andre Gagnon and 10 other potato breeders located across the country got together to form the Canadian Private Potato Breeders Network. Their goal — to forge a stronger, collective voice...
While up from the same time in 2013, the supply of stored potatoes going into summer was still tight — which should make for good prices.
The 2014 New Brunswick potato planting season got off to a slower start than normal. A long, cold winter led to soil temperatures not warming up until the second half of May. [Read Full Article]
Fusarium is a major problem for potato growers. The fungi, says Alberta Agriculture plant pathologist Michael Harding, can affect tubers all the way through the production cycle, causing seed piece decay, wilt during the growing season, and dry rot in storage. There are ways, however, to mitigate risk, and should that fail, ways to manage the disease if it does occur. [Read Full Article]
Researchers in China have conducted several studies to improve sweet potato through biotechnology. A recent report called “Sweet Potato Omics and Biotechnology in China” published in Plant Omics Journal summarizes China’s advances in sweet potato biotechnology and suggests directions for future research in this area. [Read Full Article]
CHC WELCOMES NEW LEADER
The Canadian Potato Council has a new leader. The chair of the Potato Growers of Alberta, John Bareman, succeeds Joe Brennan as CPC chair for 2014. Bareman was elected to the position at the Canadian Horticultural Council/CPC meetings held in Kelowna, B.C. in March, following Brennan’s resignation as CPC chair. [Read Full Article]
Statistics Canada’s production estimates for 2014, released this July, identify the total planted acreage in Canada as 348,221 acres. Overall, this represents a reduction of 7,117 acres over last year. As with last year’s crop, the reduction stem from decreases in processing contracts, especially in Manitoba, as well as the long winter and slow start to planting this spring. [Read Full Article]
As researchers warn producers across the country not to underestimate the deceptive new strain currently dominating the late blight pathogen pool, Alberta potato growers are learning more about the enemy at their door. [Read Full Article]
From time to time, new potato diseases may break out, or old diseases and pests may spread into areas where they were, thus far, unknown. Wild potato species and heirloom cultivars represent a great treasure in terms of genetic resistances against current and/or future diseases and pests, and therefore represent a very valuable resource for future generations of potato producers and consumers alike.·[Read Full Article]
When it comes to potato chips, the key to making a good chip is to start with the right potato. That’s why Canadian potato chip manufacturers — who according to the international market data firm Research and Markets could see the value of their industry rise to $1.7 billion by the end of 2016 — are always on the lookout for a better potato. This year, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s potato breeding program is offering two new “chippers” for the potato industry to evaluate. Both were unveiled at the AAFC’s annual accelerated release selections program open house, held Feb. 12 at the Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, N.B. [Read Full Article]
Prince Edward Island research scientist Bourlaye Fofana is confident that potato greening could become be a thing of the past. Research began last year at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Crops and Livestock Research Centre in Charlottetown, P.E.I., to create a potato that will not turn green when exposed to light. [Read Full Article]
Potato mop-top virus, or PMTV, is a disease that is on the rise in the United States, says retired American plant pathologist Jim Crosslin. Since pathogens don’t respect borders, some potato experts believe there’s a chance PMTV could become an issue in Canada, too. [Read Full Article]
In the battle against potato pests, what’s old is becoming new again. Biological pesticides, or biorational pesticides as they are also known, are gaining growing acceptance among farmers, despite the fact that biological pest control technology is anything but new. In fact, this type of pest control — that is, using ‘natural’ substances produced by Mother Nature to combat diseases and insects — is the oldest weapon in a farmer’s arsenal. [Read Full Article]
We are pleased to present the second edition of ROUNDTABLE, Spud Smart’s special series in which we ask growers from different regions of the country for their insights and opinions on Best Management Practices in potato production. Planting season is almost upon us, so we thought growers would benefit from knowing tricks of the trade from other farmers for fertilizing potatoes and getting the 2014 crop off to the best start. [Read Full Article]
As of April 1, it’s the new reality for Canadian seed potato growers shipping tubers domestically. Are farmers ready? Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors will no longer perform grade and quality inspections for seed potato tubers shipped within Canada. Under Ottawa’s newly expanded Seed Potato Tuber Quality Management Program (SPTQMP), seed potato growers or their staff will have to carry out the job themselves, after becoming licensed and registered by CFIA to perform the inspections. [Read Full Article]