Latest articles

Seed early and heavily to boost flax

A good start is key to ensuring the crop’s competitiveness

Flax markets are still flat despite demand as a health ingredient in Canada and the U.S., but the crop represents a strong option for western Canadian producers. It’s especially suited to those looking to diversify the rotation, said Dane Froese, Manitoba Agriculture oilseed specialist at this year’s Crop Diagnostic School. “Flax is a non-host for […] Read more

Field peas a strong alternative to soybeans

But you’ll need to remember the rulebook is different

Field pea markets might still be depressed following last year’s trade disputes with India, but the crop represents an opportunity for Manitoba producers in the long term. That’s according to Terry Buss, farm production extension specialist for Manitoba Agriculture. “As you go west and south in Manitoba, the soils are lighter and better drained, and […] Read more

Get your topsoil moving

Landscape restoration can offer immediate yield boosts

If you farm in the Prairie pothole region, you’re dealing with some yield loss due to tillage erosion, says Marla Riekman, land management specialist for Manitoba Agriculture. The good news is there’s a relatively easy way to restore that lost yield potential: simply move the eroded topsoil back up the slope. Riekman was at this […] Read more

To spray or not to spray for fungal disease

You don’t have to just pencil it in and spray anyway — there are tools to help make the decision

To spray or not to spray for fungal diseases? Will the extra yield offset the cost? In practice this decision is often made based on farmers’ comfort levels, but economics should always be considered, said Holly Derksen, field crop pathologist for Manitoba Agriculture, at this year’s Crop Diagnostic School in Carman. “You have to understand […] Read more

What’s the future of Colorado potato beetle control?

Neonics may be losing the beetle battle. What are the alternatives?

An old pest is becoming a new problem, according to Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, director of research and quality enhancement for Peak of the Market. Shinners-Carnelley was at Manitoba Potato Production Days in January to discuss Colorado potato beetle (CPB) control options as neonicotinoid seed treatments begin to lose effectiveness against the potato’s ancient enemy. Since the […] Read more

Dickeya diagnostics available, but could add costs

Growers exporting seed to the U.S. are increasingly being asked for the test

Laboratory testing can detect Dickeya — but is there enough of it present to justify the higher costs? It’s a relatively new threat to North American potato production. The invasive pathogen Dickeya dianthicola — not to be confused with blackleg causing Dickeya solani — was first spotted in Canada in Ontario fields, having come in […] Read more

Fumigation a potential solution for ‘tired potato land’

Not all land will show an effect however, so producers need to consider the strategy carefully

Soil fumigation is a good option for potato acres inflicted by yield-limiting pests, says Andy Robinson, a North Dakota State University extension potato specialist. Fumigation is used south of the border to control buildup of soil-borne pests causing verticillium wilt, potato early dying and other diseases. But fumigation hasn’t been widely adopted in Canada, unlike […] Read more

Managing potato diseases in storage

High-tech solutions can help to find problems before they’ve become critical

Whether it’s fresh or processing potatoes, any issue in storage needs to involve partnership with your end-user,” says Mary LeMere, an agronomy manager with McCain Foods based in Wisconsin. LeMere was at Manitoba Potato Production Days in Brandon, Man. January 24 to 26 to deliver “lightning advice” on three key topics — managing late blight […] Read more

Dicamba drift a new danger for potato growers

Glyphosate has always been an issue, but new Xtend soybeans will likely see more dicamba applied

Crop damage caused by herbicide drift should be a risk on Manitoba potato producers’ radar this year. Soybean producers are gearing up to plant Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans following European Union approval last summer. The soybeans are tolerant to both glyphosate and dicamba herbicides. But dicamba drift can cause irreparable damage in neighbouring potato […] Read more

Canadian potato growers may lose Ridomil for pink rot

Phosphites offer growers a strong alternative control option for pink rot

Canadian potato growers may be destined to lose the use of Ridomil to control pink rot. The issue is most serious in Prince Edward Island, where observers say the active ingredient metalaxyl is on the verge of being rendered ineffective. To some degree it is a looming problem across the country, according to a recent […] Read more