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Your Seed Potato Partner For North America

Your Seed Potato Partner For North America

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Keep up to date with the latest HZPC news and global potato news.




Potato News

Promotion: Potatoes USA spotlights performance athletes on website

A new feature has launched on the PotatoGoodness.com website, designed to spotlight athletes from around the US potato industry and share how they are fueling their performance with potatoes. The series launched with spotlight features on Christie Wood, Account Director at Sterling-Rice Group, a distance runner who just completed the NYC Marathon.
12/12/2017

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Aviko Announces Agreement with INS Ecosystem to Join Online Grocery Marketplace

INS, the decentralized ecosystem for the grocery market, has announced that leading potato processing company, Aviko intends to be listed on the INS Ecosystem, joining the direct-to-consumer movement. Peter Fedchenkov, INS Founder explained that inequitable pricing, retailer influence and a lack of transparency are all major concerns for both manufacturers and consumers and the direct-to-consumer movement is on the agenda of FMCG companies everywhere. ?A direct marketplace powered by emerging technology brings us ever closer to not only addressing these concerns but solving inherent problems within the grocery sector. We are elated with the interest we have received to date from manufacturers worldwide who also wish to evolve their current processes, strengthening the obvious need for the direct-to-consumer movement. We are both delighted and eager to collaborate with Aviko, a company who is just as passionate about this movement as we are,? added Fedchenkov.
12/12/2017

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US: Russet potato supplies are tight, boosting prices

While potato production nationwide in 2017 fell less than 1 percent, things were very different in the Pacific Northwest. Combined production in Idaho, Washington and Oregon this year fell 6.3 percent on 21,000 fewer planted acres, according to the December crop production report by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
12/11/2017

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USDA reports North American potato production down slightly

The latest estimate for North American fall potato production is 505 million cwt., down 1% from last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Canadian growers harvested 106 million cwt., up slightly from 2016, and U.S. growers are expected to produce 399 million cwt., down 2% from 2016. U.S. growers planted 906,500 acres, down from 923,800 in 2016, and harvested 900,600 acres, down from 909,600 in 2016.
12/11/2017

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How the humble potato helped bring peace in war-split Europe

The humble potato brought centuries of relative calm and prosperity to Europe after its introduction in the 16th century, a new study says. The crop, discovered in Latin America in the 1400s before eventually sweeping through Europe, greatly boosted productivity, helping lower land costs while improving nutrition and raising wages, from peasants up to the ruling classes, according to the study for the National Bureau of Economic Research.
12/11/2017

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Canada: P.E.I. shipping in potatoes to make up for low crop yield

Prince Edward Island has experienced a lower potato crop yield than usual this year and has been forced to ship in spuds from other areas of the country to make up for it.​ The province remains Canada's heaviest hitter in terms of potato production, producing roughly 25 per cent of the country's annual yield. However, dry weather conditions over the summer reduced the Island crop yield by about eight per cent this year ? the largest drop among major growers in Canada.
12/10/2017

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Rocketing potato sales in Wales highlights popularity of homegrown produce

Aldi?s potato sales in Wales have risen by a third since the retailer began sales of Welsh potatoes five months ago, highlighting the popularity of homegrown produce in the country. The discounter began stocking Welsh-grown potatoes in July 2017, thanks in part to a 4.8 million government support package adopted in 2015, which allowed producers to expand their production.
12/7/2017

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UK: Branston field manager scoops AHDB award

Branston?s senior field manager Jim Aitken took home AHDB Potatoes? coveted ?Above and Beyond? award at this year?s BP2017 potato show in Harrogate. The award, which is presented to an exceptional performer or an individual who has made a significant achievement over the past five years, went to Aitken for his work at the potato supplier?s Scottish base in Abernethy, Perth and Kinross.
12/7/2017

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McCain UK opens its own specialty ?Roastaurant? in London

McCain is opening the doors to its own speciality restaurant, the Roastaurant, to celebrate the diversity of one of the nation?s favourite meals. The Roastaurant will provide roast dinner lovers the choice of over 100,000 possible roast combinations as guests choose from a pick ?n? mix style menu. Featuring a unique ?gravy microbrewery? and a giant six metre squared roast potato platter filled with thousands of McCain Roasts, the Roastaurant is set to bring the ultimate roast dinner experience to London.
12/7/2017

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Grimme partners with Tomra to create new integrated grading and sorting solution

GRIMME Group announces that it has joined forces with TOMRA, a global leader in food sorting solutions. The partnership will result in the TOMRA FPS (Field Potato Sorter) being integrated into the RH Combi to create the GRIMME PowerCombi solution. The Field Potato Sorter, FPS, is a sensor based food sorting machine for unwashed potatoes, removing soil clods, stones and foreign material. Through the new partnership, GRIMME will distribute the TOMRA FPS so customers can purchase and deploy a single, integrated grading and sorting solution, including post-sale support.
12/7/2017

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Potato growers make their own chips to fight the big boys

More and more often, potato growers are choosing not to take their products to large processors, because they do their own processing. Besides producing, more and more growers also process their own chips. They enter the processing industry increasingly often nowadays. One of the companies that chose to do things completely differently is Landlust Frites from Moerkapelle in the Netherlands. Derreck Bac is processing his own harvest of Agria and Frieslander into chips for the first time this year. He says it?s going well, although it?s not always easy.
12/6/2017

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US: Kettles?s chip bags track potatoes back to farm where they were grown

Kettle Brand potato chip company has started placing Tater Tracker codes on its chip bags for customers to scan and learn about the farmers who supplied the crops for them. The code can be entered on Kettle?s website. When a customer enters the 10- to 14-digit code, they get to learn about one of the farmers who grew the ingredients for their specific bag of chips. The digital content comes with a brief biography about the farmers and an interactive 360 degree video tour of the farm.
12/6/2017

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USAID: Potato a means to boost farmers? incomes in Kenya

Under the USAid-funded ?Feed the Future Programme? being implemented through the Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises, we ventured into the potato to increase productivity and income for smallholders. Our target was assisting about 500,000 farmers to improve incomes in five years. We picked the potato from our value chain studies, which indicate the tuber is a food security crop number two in Kenya after maize, and is mainly grown by smallholders. A cost benefit analysis shows there is money to be made in potato farming.
12/6/2017

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Canadian research looks at the use and loss of nitrogen fertilizer in potato crops

Potato plants need a lot of nitrogen to produce tubers at optimum levels, but with more applied nitrogen comes an increased risk of nitrogen loss to the atmosphere. Guillermo Hernandez Ramirez, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, is studying the use and loss of that fertilizer in potato crops. He is testing various nitrogen fertilizer formulations and biostimulants to gauge their effect on potato productivity and nitrous oxide emissions.
12/5/2017

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Demand for complete potato processing lines on the increase, expert says

According to Arjan Brouwer, general sales manager at processing equipment manufacturer Kiremko, the demand for complete potato processing lines has increased over the past few years and with an unprecedented amount of new lines installed including green-field projects. Worldwide, a lot of new potato processing lines are being built, not only by existing potato processors in Europe but also by new players in other parts of the world such as Argentina, China and Turkey.
12/5/2017

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Swiss study finds staggering losses of the potato supply from ?field to fork?

Over 50% of the potato harvest is lost from field to fork, and losses occur in the entire chain, from producers and processing wholesalers, to retailers and consumers. This is the conclusion of a Swiss study by Agroscope and ETH Zurich. Optimization of potato cultivation and consumer behavioral change is said to be the solution. The figures are staggering: 53% of the conventionally produced potatoes are lost, and 55% of the organically produced potatoes.
12/5/2017

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New ventilated potato sack helps stop the rot

A jute bag with ?ventilated striping? could help Scottish seed potato exporters minimise bacterial growth during export. European packaging supplier LC Packaging has developed a hessian sack with extra ventilation to prevent seed potatoes from sweating and rotting during transit. The patented LC Vento jute bag, which was developed by the packaging supplier in-house, has looser stitching and ?ventilated striping?, allowing palletised potatoes to respire more and sweat less when exported.
12/5/2017

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Global potato processors wring efficiency from eco-friendly upgrades

European processors have worked to align themselves with the environmental goals passed by their home countries. Their innovative responses to those new rules have led, in some cases, to increased efficiency and greater productivity. One of those companies, Netherlands-based Lamb Weston/Meijer, wanted to know if using drip irrigation would be an economically feasible solution to water issues for some of their growers. Jolanda Soons-Dings, senior manager sustainability, said the company saw the biggest opportunity for drip irrigation in the United Kingdom where water scarcity and stricter legislation, such as water quotas set by local governments, make water a hot commodity.
12/4/2017

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Aqua-Yield revolutionizes phosphorus retention

With drastically improved phosphorus retention and application rates at only 4 ounces per acre, Aqua-Yield introduces NanoPhos, now available for a worldwide release. Established research and development results indicate what farmers have been waiting for and wanting for years; NanoPhos maximizes crops? responses to phosphorus utilized in root, flower and general growth. It improves soil structure and organic matter, and is a critical ingredient in soil microbe populations? health.
12/4/2017

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Data leads to smarter center pivot irrigation

Information is one of the most powerful tools growers have in their arsenal ? and the methods we use to gather it are always advancing. These days, growers can gather data about soil moisture, aerial imagery, weather conditions, yield mapping and more. They can enter their data into a program or hub to analyze it, and then use that information to decide how and where to plant, what to plant, the best time to fertilize, and of course, the best way to irrigate.
12/3/2017

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UK: First SDHI fungicide to control Rhizoctonia said to offer 20% more yield

The first in-furrow SDHI fungicide for potatoes offers farmers another option for controlling Black scurf, caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani, a disease that can slash marketable yields by 30%. (SDHI stands for Succinate DeHydrogenase Inhibitors in the UK). Although growers can successfully control the disease with azoxystrobin, it can prove harsh on plants leading to delayed emergence. However, from next season growers will have an alternative that is less harsh, said Basf campaign manager Matthew Goodson at the recent British Potato event in Harrogate.
12/3/2017

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Potato prices slump in India?s Punjab province

Potato prices in India?s Punjab province have plummeted to abysmally low levels leaving farmers distressed. The crop is being sold in the wholesale market at around Rs 2.5 per kg, sometimes even less. Punjab is staring at a repeat of the 2015 winter when farmers dumped hundreds of tonnes of potatoes onto the streets as a mark of protest amid falling prices. Farmers have now again threatened to throw their crop onto the streets in case the government does not intervene with viable solutions.
12/3/2017

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Chile: Potato producers end a complex season

Potato producers aren?t very happy with how the 2016/2017 season ended. High production and low prices were the keynote of the period, according to The Potato Market 2016/2017 Season, a report published by Javiera Pefaur, of the Department of Market Analysis and Sector Policy of Odepa. ?It has been more than five years since the national average prices to wholesalers have been as low as in this season.? The causes of this decrease in prices aren?t completely clear, but authorities estimate it was caused by the increase in production in the south.
12/3/2017

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US: Potato marketers see lower volumes, firm pricing

Tough growing conditions in some regions ? and a wide range of temperatures during harvest ? led to a U.S. potato crop that marketers describe as about average. ?This year we faced a few obstacles, with frequent springtime rains and higher-than-normal fall temperatures,? said Tim Huffcutt, marketing director with the Bancroft, Wis.-based Russet Potato Exchange Inc.
12/3/2017

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Study shows advantages of locating next North American potato fry plant in Idaho

Any processor planning to build a new frozen fry plant would be wise to locate it in Idaho, according to a recently completed economics study funded by the Idaho Potato Commission. Joe Guenthner, an emeritus University of Idaho economics professor, and Amanda Jaeger, a consultant, compared costs of building and operating a fry plant in eight different locations in the US and Canada, as well as transportation costs from those locations to major fry markets.
11/26/2017

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British Potato 2017: Latest technical updates from potato event

The latest potato agronomic developments were showcased and industry concerns aired at BP2017, held in Harrogate, North Yorks. More data is needed to assess and respond to the threat posed by the Dark Green 37 blight strain, which has shown resistance to fluazinam. David Nelson, field director, Branston said more understanding of the Dark Green 37 strain was needed. ?It is the biggest challenge in blight control since metalaxyl resistance in the 1980s.
11/26/2017

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US: Retail potato sales inch up for third straight month

In September, the total potato category was up 0.08 percent by weight when compared to the same time frame last year according to numbers from Potatoes USA. The total potato category was carried by deli (+2.4 percent), frozen (+1.3 percent) and fresh (+0.6 percent) with dehydrated and refrigerated declining, -0.03 percent and -1 percent respectively.
11/26/2017

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UK: ?Potato Lono? fertilizer promises major yield uplift

Levity CropScience has unveiled new research claiming its product Potato Lono can increase potato yields by up to $1,000 per hectare. The UK-based business said that independent three-year field trials held in England, Ireland, the Netherlands and France had proven the uplift in yields. The company announced the results at the British Potato Show in Harrogate.
11/25/2017

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French potato production up by 21% this year

The French production of potatoes for consumption amounted to 6,180,500 tonnes in 2017, compared to 5,106,500 tonnes in 2016 and 5,226,000 tonnes in 2015. Thus, in 2017, production increased by 21% compared to 2016. The acreage devoted to the crop?s cultivation stands at 131,640 hectares, which is a 5.1% increase compared to last year, after a 5.3% growth two years ago. In 2017, the average yield reached 47 tonnes/hectare, which represents an increase of more than 15% compared to last year.
11/25/2017

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US: Potato researchers gather to find solutions for the blackleg disease

Researchers from all over the world were in Bangor, Maine for the ?2017 Dickeya and Pectobacterium Summit?, organized by the University of Maine Extension. They are trying to find a way to stop the blackleg potato disease that could threaten the potato industry. According to Steven Johnson, UMaine cooperative extension professor: ?This is not an emerging problem. This is an existing one we are trying to get ahead of. The pathogen may rot the tubers in the field. It may produce 20 to 80 percent less yield in the field. It may rot the potatoes in storage.?
11/24/2017

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Simplot partners with Spanish biotech company to enhance nutritional properties of potatoes

Iden Biotechnology ? a Spanish biotechnology company ? and J.R. Simplot Company, a potato processor and developer and marketer of Innate GMO potatoes, recently entered into an agreement to explore the potential for nutritional enrichment of the potato. As part of the agreement, Iden will identify promising genes for potential use in Simplot?s proprietary Innate biotechnology platform.
11/24/2017

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British processed potato exports rising; fresh potato sales continue long-term downward trend

Great Britain processed potato exports are up by 24%, while imports are also up by 5%, according to AHDB GB Potatoes Market Intelligence 2017?2018 report. Net import of fresh potatoes reached 54,000t, up by 22%, while seed exports have increased 3% and exports are down by 60%. ?Although this comes as no surprise, due to the poor yields achieved on the continent in the previous year, seed was in very high demand and was reported to be fetching upwards of EUR/1,000/t for certain varieties,? according to the report.
11/24/2017

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EU potato production trends

High prices in the 2016/17 season have motivated growers in most Western European countries to expand their potato acreage, which in the EU-5 amounted to about 579 thousand hectares in 2017; an increase of 4.6% compared to the previous year. The acreage also grew in the Scandinavian countries. In 2017, the total potato production in the EU-28 has grown from 56.9 to 62.0 million tonnes, up by 9%, largely due to an increase in Poland?s potato production (by about 1 million tonnes).
11/24/2017

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ESN ?smart nitrogen? controls release rate of nitrogen

Potato growers know their crop doesn?t grow like every other crop out there. When it comes to nitrogen uptake, they?re an entirely different animal from grains, oilseeds and other crops. Potatoes like to have nitrogen in steady supply, but that?s complicated by the fact that each seed piece contains enough nitrogen for the plant for approximately the first 40 days of growth. After that, they rely on what can be found in the soil. That means conventional nitrogen that is put down early won?t be used, leaving it to leach into the surrounding environment. Enters ESN ?smart nitrogen?, whose polymer coating prevents nitrogen loss when potatoes are using less, but provides the steady release of nitrogen they crave after that initial 40-day period.
11/21/2017

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Belgium to join Indonesian food expo to boost fries exports

The Belgian Potato Trade and Processing Industry Federation (Belgapom) will take part in the major Indonesian food expo SIAL Interfood 2017 to be held at the Jakarta International (JI) Expo Kemayoran in Central Jakarta from Wednesday to Saturday, in an effort to boost its frozen-potato sales. Belgapom representative Wouter Trybou said it was part of a two-year campaign to boost exports of Belgian fries.
11/20/2017

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GRIMME presents brand new 4-row self-propelled potato harvester

GRIMME presented their brand new 4-row self-propelled VENTOR 4150 potato harvester at the Agritechnica 2017 event, complete with a 15 tonne unloading bunker. The crucial element of this 530 hp harvester is the integration of the proven ?SE-principle? ? a combined separating device, consisting of conveying, lifting and sieving webs, including the separation of vines and weed by a wide-meshed deviner web. This principle is nowadays standard for both 1-row and 2-row potato harvesters.
11/20/2017

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Idaho spud harvest meeting brings mixed message

It was a mixed message of good news and caution that Frank Muir delivered Tuesday to Idaho?s potato growers at the Idaho Potato Commission?s inaugural The Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting 2017. At the top of the list of major news for Idaho?s potato industry is the recent launch by Lamb Weston of frozen retail products called Grown in Idaho. ?I?ve been working with the processors for many years trying to get one of the major processors to do just this,? Muir said.
11/20/2017

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Idaho Potato Commission takes steps to address quality concerns

The Idaho Potato Commission is collaborating with researchers, major buyers, growers and shippers to address recent quality concerns about some of the state?s fresh potato shipments. Much of the discussion during IPC?s Nov. 14 Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting, hosted at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Event Center, focused on the need to reduce bruising and other imperfections in fresh shipments. IPC President and CEO Frank Muir explained the commission is partnering with Walmart and a major food service buyer to learn more about the causes of quality problems, in response to an increasing number of customer complaints since the 2015 harvest.
11/19/2017

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US: Promoting potatoes as athletic fuel

Recently, Potatoes USA received approval to spend money toward research with the goal of launching more proactive campaigns around potato nutrition. Instead of reactively combating negative health claims against potatoes, Potatoes USA will more actively promote potatoes as part of an active lifestyle, including for high-performance athletes.
11/19/2017

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Australia Spud King giving away free potatoes across Perth

Perth?s spud king Tony Galati will be giving away 200 tonnes of potatoes this weekend. Mr Galati says it is his way of thanking Perth families for their support over the potato deregulation decision. ?We?re gonna give away 100 tonnes of spuds each day ? 100 tonnes on Saturday and 100 tonnes on Sunday,? he said. For 20 years, Perth?s potato rebel fought against strict controls on the growing and selling of potatoes, and this time last year the war was won. ?Any grower can grow potatoes, they can grow what varieties they want,? Mr Galati said.
11/18/2017

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UK: AHDB Agronomists? Conference gets more interactive

To encourage dialogue on pressing agronomic challenges, the 2017 AHDB Agronomists? Conference promises to be the most interactive yet. Taking place on 5 to 6 December 2017 at Peterborough Arena, opportunities to discuss new ways of working will be provided and speakers will showcase how research is becoming more connected ? from the lab to the field. For the second year running, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds will combine forces with AHDB Potatoes and the full two-day programme is now available from the conference web pages.
11/18/2017

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Video: New Mexico State University researchers conduct field trials of South American potato, papa criolla

New Mexico State University is collaborating with U.S. Department of Agriculture research geneticist Kathy Haynes to conduct field trials of the South American potato, papa criolla, that she has breed to grow in the United States. White-fleshed potatoes typically grown in the United States are low in carotenoids that act as antioxidants for healthy eyes. The most well-known carotenoid is beta-carotene found in carrots.
11/17/2017

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India: With 40% cold stores in Punjab flooded with old crops, potato glut likely this year too

Potato farmers in Punjab are headed for another season of dwindling profits because the cold storage facilities are still flooded with old crop. Satbir Singh, deputy director of horticulture, said nearly 40% cold stores are filled with old crops at present. With this, farmers are likely to face a glut in the market. The last few years have witnessed a surplus production of potatoes in the state but this has not been promptly transported to other states.
11/17/2017

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Report: Asia-Pacific Processed Potatoes Market

Asia-Pacific Processed Potatoes Market 2017 Research report contains a qualified and comprehensive analysis of the processed potato market. The report provides an overview of the current processed potato business scenario along with an evaluation of the processed potato industry. Geographically, the report split Asia-Pacific into several key Regions (Southeast Asia, Australia, India, Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan), with revenues, sales, market share and growth rate of Processed Potatoes for these regions.
11/17/2017

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New tools for growers to be launched at British Potato 2017

British Potato 2017 is an occasion for launching and introducing working tools for growers. The event takes place in Yorkshire Event Center, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, UK, during November 22-23. For example, Fera, an international center for interdisciplinary in investigation and problem solving across plant and bee health, will present a new in-field diagnostic tool for potato nematodes. On the other hand, AHDB Potatoes will launch a tool which allows growers and those in the supply chain to examine data on price, variety, planted area, market sector and yield.
11/16/2017

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Worst harvests in living memory for Northern Irish potato farmers

Northern Irish potato farmers are experiencing one of the worst harvests in living memory, according to a farming union. The long stretch of wet weather that has blighted Northern Ireland has meant that fields have been virtually inaccessible until recently. Some growers have only been able to get into their fields for the first time this month, explained Ulster Farmers? Union (UFU) potato chairman Robert Sibbett.
11/16/2017

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Canada: How McCain Foods keeps its family-business feeling at global scale

?Would you like some fries with that?? If you said yes?anywhere in the world?odds are one in three you were served a McCain Foods french fry. Not an insignificant accomplishment for a family of potato farmers from the small village of Florenceville, New Brunswick province in eastern Canada, who built the world?s largest manufacturer of frozen potatoes. Founded by Harrison and Wallace McCain, as well as their brothers Andrew and Robert, in 1957, McCain Foods Limited celebrated its 60th anniversary this year by investing more than $1 billion into its plants and facilities.
11/16/2017

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Potato diseases: War and peace, Verticillium style

Insights into the complex relationship between potato plants and this pathogen are helping to advance development of resistance cultivars. Verticillium dahliae, a soil-borne fungus, causes wilt, yellowing, necrosis and early dying in potato. This yield-robbing pathogen is tough to manage, has a broad host range, and is known to survive in the soil for up to about five years. Potato cultivars with improved resistance to Verticillium would be a great tool for growers.
11/14/2017

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Mahindra, Dewulf sign licence agreement for potato planting equipment in India

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M Ltd), part of the USD19 billion Mahindra Group, headquartered in Mumbai, India, today announced a licencing agreement with the Dewulf group in Europe to manufacture and market Dewulf?s potato planting equipment in India. Under the aegis of this agreement, Mahindra will work with the Dewulf Group to bring its potato planting technology to the Indian market. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd President, Farm Equipment Sector Rajesh Jejurikar said, ?Our licencing agreement with the Dewulf Group will allow us to bring the latest planting technology to potato farmers in India.?
11/14/2017

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US: Students dig in to help create new value from potatoes

Sterman Masser is eyeing a new spot in the grocery store?s produce department: the ready-to-eat, precut fruits and vegetables section. The national supplier is building upon its history of innovation to solve several problems. For example, cut potato flesh browns in 10 days ? a fraction of the shelf-life of a raw, whole potato. Students in Penn State?s College of Agricultural Sciences are working on finding solutions to that problem
11/13/2017

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