Agronomy Update – July 14th

Hi everyone.  Another lovely day in Prince Edward Island, and a great growing day all around.

I’m very encouraged by how great much of the potato crop looks.  Most of the early-planted fields now have closed between the rows and many fields are flowering.  This means we’re at tuber initiation in many of these fields.  I pulled a few tops today in visits with a few different growers, and all of these plants were just starting tuber initiation.  The great growing conditions are resulting in above average number of tubers so far (see photo attached).  I’m also not seeing any signs of Rhizoctonia or other stem diseases….nice clean and white roots!


Spore Trapping Update:

Spornado Results for Monday, July 12th:  All sites negative for Late Blight

Airspore Results for Monday, July 12th:  All sites negative for Late Blight

Airspore Results for Alternaria/Bortrytis (July 12th)

Location Early Blight
(A. solani)
Brown Spot
(A. alternata)
Bortrytis cinerea
West Prince (ave of 5 sites) 20 10 19
East Prince (ave of 4 sites) 14 20 12
Queens (ave of 4 sites) 9 18 19
Morell/St Peters (1 site) 9 27 49
Eastern Kings (4 sites) 6 2 23

While the number of spores is highly variable from site to site, we see that both early blight and brown spot spores are being found in all areas (the least in Eastern Kings where is has been the wettest).  This should be kept in mind when planning fungicide applications this week.  While there are Bortrytis spores around, I’m not hearing about any concerns about grey mould symptoms.


YEN:  Looking for Participants:

Aaron Mills of AAFC is looking for more participants in the Atlantic Grains Council Yield Enhancement Network.  They are especially interested in established potato producers who are interested in improving grain yields during the rotation years.

The YEN has been growing in PEI since it was started in 2019.  Field specific data are collected and used to model what the yield potential is for each field given the soil type, temperature and precipitation for the growing season.  Awards are given for top yields as well as top percentage of your calculated potential yield for each field.

What is needed to participate:

  • A grain field (minimum 5 ac) – winter wheat, spring wheat or barley
  • Management info to be kept confidential (planting date/rate, variety, inputs)
  • A independently verified yield at the end of the season
  • Permission for AGC to take soil and plant samples from the field
  • A 5 lb. sample taken from the combine after harvest for grain analysis

What you get:

  • Detailed report specific to each field which will include:
    • Soil chemistry data
    • Soil health data
    • Weather data
    • Yield potential
    • Grain yield and quality components
    • Grain and tissue analysis
  • Invitation to the YEN awards ceremony in the winter

Fields can be entered individually at

There are no costs associated with joining the network and participants get access to expertise developed by your fellow farmers.   For more information please contact Doug MacDonald (902-899-2169, or Aaron Mills (902-314-7949, )


SpudChat:  Grower Check-In:

This week’s episode of SpudChat features another Grower Check-In, this time featuring chats with Marshall Smallman, Matt Ramsay and Ben Visser.  You can listen to SpudChat at or wherever you download your podcasts.

In general…the fields that I’ve been in this week looks very healthy and are progressing fast.  Let’s hope we keep up this great trend.  Keep an eye on your fields, and seed growers – keep up the oils!  With the canopy growing so fast, keeping up the oil application schedule is essential.

Have a great rest of the week.