MCCAIN NAMES NEW CANADIAN PRESIDENT

McCain Foods Limited has named Shai Altman as its new Canadian president effective Oct. 20. He brings to McCain more than 15 years of leadership experience in both mature and developing markets with expertise in the development and direction of growth strategies. Altman joins McCain from Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, where he held the position of Wrigley Canada president since 2009. Altman replaces Darryl Rowe, the former McCain Foods Canadian president who stepped down last December. [Read Full Article]

As the situation worsens in potato fields in Prince Edward Island and other areas of Canada, the search is intensifying for a chemical replacement for Thimet. Is bifenthrin, the active ingredient in recently registered pesticide Capture, the answer? [Read Full Article]

From Our Desk

The clock is ticking on Thimet 15G, the insecticide of choice for controlling wireworm in potatoes in most areas of Canada. Because Canada’s regulators have decided to phase out Thimet due to environmental concerns, the pesticide will no longer be available for use on potatoes as of Aug. 1, 2015. [Read Full Article]

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Neonicotinoids are becoming less effective in the fight against Colorado potato beetle – a resistance trend that appears to be moving westwards across Canada. [Read Full Article]

Growing and selling fresh, local potatoes is the name of the game for Blair and Irene Lodder, who farm about 125 acres of potatoes in Grand Forks, B.C. “Today I dug potatoes and tomorrow the store will receive them,” Blair says. [Read More]

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Canadian growers are mulling over the results of a recently completed feasibility study on the creation of a National Promotion and Research Agency. The author of the report takes us through the process and shares his views on how a NPRA for potatoes could benefit the industry. [Read Full Article]

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Home-Grown Sweet Potatoes – Cooler temperatures and shorter growing seasons make growing sweet potatoes a challenge in Canada. Research underway in Eastern Canada could prove to be a real game-changer when it comes to producing the popular tubers in this country. [Read Full Article]

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Roundtable: Integrated Pest Management 
Pests in their many forms — rooted, winged or microscopic — are a problem for any potato grower. Eradicating weeds, bugs and diseases in a way that’s environmentally sustainable but also makes economic sense is a primary goal of using an Integrated Pest Management strategy. 

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Equipment & Technology Showcase
The Valley SoilPro 1200 uses advanced technology to collect detailed soil moisture data and to provide practical advice for growers on when and how much to irrigate. [Read Full Article]

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.

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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...[Read Full Article]


Spud Smart
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.
Canada's potato storage holdings as of June 1 were up almost 14 per cent — or just over two million hundredweight — from the year before, according to figures from United Potato Growers of Canada. In Eastern Canada, the storage holdings were up a little more than five per cent, while this figure was considerably higher in Western Canada — just over 27 per cent. [Read Full Article]

Spud SmartThe 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]

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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]


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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]


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Production Projections

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]

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Protecting Genetic Resources

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]

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Stopping Potato Greening

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]

 
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