Latest articles


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


Corn borers develop taste for potatoes

Canadian potato growers found a new insect foe in the 2015 season — European corn borer. Ordinarily the pest prefers maize and other grain crops, but when conditions are right it will move on and hit other crops hard, including potatoes. Ian MacRae, an extension entomologist at Minnesota’s Northwest Research and Outreach Center, told Manitoba […] Read more



Biosecurity a good business decision

Getting biosecurity right prevents losing money to disease and pests

Biosecurity should be top of mind for potato growers, according to Prince Edward Island potato producer Gary Linkletter. Linkletter brought his grower’s perspective to a presentation on biosecurity at Manitoba Potato Production Days, held in Brandon, Man. from January 26 to 28. Offering examples from his own experiences on his fourth-generation, 1,700-acre potato operation, Linkletter […] Read more


Use only local seed to slow Dickeya and other pathogens

Europe has been grappling with a similar problem for years and we should learn from its experience

Imported seed bearing new pathogens is a threat to the Canadian potato industry, according to a U.S. researcher. Neil Gudmestad, a distinguished professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University, was in Brandon this January to deliver a lecture on the importance of planting locally produced seed at Manitoba Potato Production Days. “There are […] Read more