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Ontario Potato Field Day a success


August 22, 2016
By Eugenia Banks

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Gary Linkletter from PEI checking some of the varieties that were on display at the Potato Field Day. Eugenia Banks

August 22, 2016, Alliston, Ont – The 2016 Ontario Potato Field Day, hosted on August 18 by HJV Equipment in Alliston, was a very successful event.

Approximately 250 growers, crop consultants and potato-industry personnel gathered in a friendly atmosphere to see the latest potato equipment, new potato varieties and the trade show. Potato growers from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Quebec also attended the event.

More than 100 new potato varieties were on display, including for the fresh, processing and specialty markets. For the fresh market, the variety Actrice (Real Potatoes) caught the attention of many growers because of its attractive tubers with smooth, shiny skin. Actrice is an early, yellow-fleshed variety that is very tasty. Primabelle and Panamera (HZPC Americas) are two yellow-fleshed varieties that got good reviews from potato growers.

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Among the russet potatoes for the French fry market, Alta Strong (Real Potatoes) and Pomerelle Russet (Pommes de Terre Laurentiennes) were well rated by growers. There was interest in Kalmia (La Patate Lac Saint-Jean) a white-fleshed, fresh-market variety that could also be used as a French fryer.

Double Fun (HZPC Americas) had the nicest skin among the purple-fleshed varieties. It also has very good culinary traits.

Among the trade show exhibitors, the Quebec company Lab’eau-Air-Sol demonstrated the use of spore traps for foliar diseases of vegetables. Douglas Ag Services provided the latest information on chloropicrin application to control soil-borne diseases. Displays by Gorman Controls (PEI) and GRB Ag Technologies (Ontario) focused on storage management.

Potato growers attend this important annual event to obtain practical, up-to-date information on varieties and the latest potato production technology. It is also a chance for growers to meet in a friendly, informal setting to discuss problems.