Agronomy Update – May 19

Hi everyone,

Weird, wet weather for a couple of days has slowed down the momentum on planting this week.  Hopefully most folks will be ready to go by tomorrow morning, if conditions are favourable.  Looks like another chance of broken weather the first of next week…here’s hoping for a change in forecast in the meantime.

Lots of folks have been busy getting grains and such planted early and are ready to plant spuds.  I hope you all have a safe and successful planting season for the next couple of weeks.  Pay attention to operator safety and proper rest during what I know is a busy and stressful time.  Doing things right the first time with everyone healthy saves a lot of time and money down the road…

A few small things to pass along…

Emergence Issues Checklist

I was recently provided with a copy of a handy publication from North Dakota State University, prepared by Andy Robinson of NDSU, Steve Johnson of University of Maine, and Eugenia Banks of the Ontario Potato Board, on diagnosing emergence issues in potatoes.  You can find a PDF copy of this factsheet, complete with lots of good photos, on the PEI Potato Agronomy site here.  Keep a copy handy when inspecting your fields this spring and trying to get to the bottom of any emergence issues you may have.


SpudChat – New Episode – Common Scab

Episode #5 of SpudChat went up this morning, this time with Dr. Claudia Goyer of AAFC Fredericton.  We’re talking about common scab, what causes it, past research, and some of the new research that is going on, including some very promising results with a product you’ll all be familiar with.

You can access SpudChat at or wherever you normally download podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, etc).


Soil Conservation for Potato Production Guide

Hopefully many of you will have received your Soil Conservation for Potato Production Guide (2nd edition) in the mail.  The Board mailed out at least one copy to all potato farms last week.  Updating this guide was coordinated by Gwen Vessey under the PEI Agri-Watershed Partnership Project, and Board staff were happy to help review and provide some content for this updated guide.

If you want to download a PDF of the guide so everyone on your management team or staff has a chance to read it, you can access it here.

There are a lot of farms that are putting in a lot of effort when it comes to soil conservation, but I think that every farmer can learn something from this guide, written in a very accessible fashion with up-to-date recommendations.  I encourage you all to take the time to read it…possibly after potato planting is done 😉

All the best for the planting season.  As always, if you have questions or need assistance with anything agronomy/research related, you know how to get in contact with me.  In the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing some more resources on seed management, rotation crop management, and pest control strategies.