The Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) Field Day Open House will take place at the University of Lethbridge on August 17, 2018. The event is an opportunity to showcase potato research activities and tour the university’s new soon-to-be-opened Science and Academic Building (Destination Project). The tour is aimed at potato growers and industry stakeholders.
Cavendish, the PGA, McCain Foods and Lamb Weston fund the research chair and potato program at the university. These groups made a $1 million investment over five years to establish the program.
“We are very grateful to them for their support,” says research chair Dmytro Yevtushenko.
“Potato growers in Alberta are very advanced and very proactive in the scientific approach to growing potatoes, which is very good,” says Yevtushenko.
His research plans include improvement of tuber yields through epigenetic enhancement of current potato cultivars and using innovative methods to amp up the potato breeding process.
Yevtushenko hopes that the program and even the tour itself will entice future students to enroll in potato research at the university.
The lab is currently located in the Alberta Water and Environmental Science Building but will move to the science building next summer. Yevtushenko says his team’s mission is to conduct fundamental studies of potato biology that present practical interest to the potato industry and establish a comprehensive research program in potato research biology for Canada: locally, provincially nationally and internationally.
“In addition, the program is to translate the scientific knowledge into agricultural practices for current potato management,” he says. “The fundamental studies are applicable to across Canada and even globally.”