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




Potato News

Sonar sensors re-purposed to automatically control digging depth during potato harvest

I?m never surprised when a producer takes an existing technology and sees its value in an entirely new way. Such is the case with sonar sensors, originally designed to control boom height on sprayers. About a decade ago, creative farmers began to realize that, with some modification and a slightly different configuration, sonar sensors could be repurposed to automatically control both digging depth during potato harvest and boom height control during truck loading. The technology improves convenience, decreases tuber damage and improves harvest efficiency.
9/4/2017

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Cornell Nematode Quarantine Laboratory gets $400,000 from USDA

Golden and pale cyst nematodes threaten New York?s $65 million potato industry. To help protect the vegetable, as well as soybeans and other crops that could be harmed by invasive nematode species, the USDA is committing $400,000 in federal funding to the Nematode Quarantine Laboratory at Cornell University. The USDA has made a verbal commitment to provide the funding for a new growth chamber, which includes plans for new equipment and blueprints at the new facility. In October 2016, the facility received $1.2 million for upgrades from the state.
9/4/2017

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Idaho Potato Commission details upcoming marketing initiatives

At the annual Idaho Grower Shipper Association convention, held Aug. 30-Sept. 1, the Idaho Potato Commission reviewed its marketing initiatives and laid out plans for the upcoming year. IPC President Frank Muir took the dais at the Aug. 31 industry breakfast, detailing past successes the commission has experienced. The ?Grown in Idaho? seal that appears on packages of fresh Idaho potatoes will make a debut on the frozen side, said Muir, who announced that Lamb Wesson will launch a frozen retail line bearing that seal.
9/4/2017

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What?s in Store for Potato Processors at PACK Expo 2017

Bringing together 2,000+ exhibitors and 30,000 attendees from virtually every vertical market, PACK EXPO Las Vegas is the year?s most comprehensive packaging event on the American continent. In this exclusive interview with Laura Thompson, senior director of expositions at PMMI, managing editor Dan Orehov discusses the highlights of the event and the specific focal points of interest for the potato industry.
9/4/2017

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US potato exports hit record levels

The volume and value of all U.S. potato exports ? including a 9% increase in fresh potatoes ? hit record numbers in fiscal year 2017. Potatoes USA reported the gains from July 2016-June 2017 on Aug. 29. Sales hit $1.76 billion and volume reached 71.84 million cwt. at their fresh weight equivalent, according to a news release from Potatoes USA. Japan is the largest export market for U.S. potatoes, followed closely by Canada. A total of 680,264 metric tons went to Japan in the past fiscal year, and 635,463 metric tons of fresh and processed potatoes were shipped to Canada.
9/1/2017

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US: Acreage reduction means better prices for potato growers

Early season potatoes are being harvested around Hermiston in the state of Oregon, and growers are so far encouraged by what they see. ?It?s going to be a decent year,? said Amstad, owner of Amstad Farms. ?It started out bad and ended up good.? Not only is quality looking good this year for Columbia Basin potatoes, but so is price, according to Amstad. Thanks in large part to a 15,000-acre reduction in neighboring Idaho, Amstad said the fresh market is looking to bring in about $12 per 100 pounds, which is the best he?s seen in three years.
8/31/2017

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UK: Tesco to fund environmentally-friendly technology to help potato growers

Tesco has announced its involvement in a project to help East Anglian potato growers protect the soil on their farms and the wildlife in surrounding waterways. The project, which Tesco is running with the Broads Authority, is designed to improve farmers? yields and protect the environment. One example of new technology to protect the soil is the so-called ?Wonder Wheel?, which the retailer has funded to make parts of the field, such as where the tractor drives, more water-retentive.
8/31/2017

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Tomato potato psyllid: Researcher warns incursion inevitable on the east coast of Australia

A researcher says it?s inevitable a destructive insect that has threatened tomato and potato crops in Western Australia will make it to the east coast. The tomato potato psyllid feeds on tomato, potato, capsicum, chilli, eggplant and sweet potato crops, and was first found in Western Australia in February. Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture PhD candidate Raylea Rowbottom co-ordinated workshops in Queensland to raise awareness about the pest. ?The biggest problem is that they still don?t know how the psyllid got into the Western Australia area so it?s possible it could turn up at any time (on the east coast),? she said.
8/30/2017

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Ireland: Donegal potato grower battles to save his livelihood

A farmer who has battled for days to save his ?300,000 potato crop after the Donegal floods is hoping he has done enough to save his livelihood, writes Stephen Maguire. Seamus Lynch was left devastated when he arrived at his 125 acres of crops at Porthall in Lifford early on Wednesday morning. A combination of a spring tide and the torrential rain which lashed the north-west left many parts of his lands on the banks of the River Foyle waist-high in water. The experienced farmer knew there was no time to waste and set about sourcing water pumps to get the water off his land in a bid to save his crops which also included barley and corn.
8/30/2017

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US: Valley Irrigation introduces new center drive motor for pivot systems

Valley Irrigation introduces a new center drive that delivers the perfect combination of speed and power. The new Valley X-Tec advanced DC drive motor uses FastPass technology and operates up to twice the speed of a standard, high-speed AC center drive motor. The motor design provides constant torque at any speed, providing growers with unmatched control and additional options to maximize crop yields. The patented alignment technology and robust DC motor keep the pivot moving at a smooth, consistent pace, even over varied terrain.
8/30/2017

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National Potato Council awards Academic Scholarship for Potato Research

The National Potato Council (NPC) in the US last week announced that Adrienne Gorny, a fourth-year doctoral student in Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University, is the recipient of the 2017-2018 NPC Academic Scholarship. Gorny?s work focuses on the quantitative epidemiology of Northern root-knot and lesion nematodes in potatoes. Her research is squarely focused on helping the potato industry make informed decisions about nematode control measures
8/28/2017

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US: North Dakota and Minnesota expect good potato harvest

Red River Valley potato growers generally have avoided serious drought and deluge this growing season. That bodes well for the soon-to-begin 2017 harvest. ?The crop is looking really good in Minnesota, and it looks very good in North Dakota. We?re optimistic,? said Chuck Gunnerson, president of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. As of Aug. 20, the last day for which statistics from the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA are available, 60 percent of North Dakota?s potato crop was rated good or excellent, with 23 fair and 17 percent poor or very poor.
8/28/2017

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Canada: Growers advised to ensure accurate soil test results and learn what to do with it

The phrase that advises us never to compare apples to oranges should be taken very seriously in relation to soil tests according to Pat Toner, a soil management specialist with New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture (NBAFA) in Canada. ?A standard test will measure water pH, buffer pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur, but you need to ensure a couple of things are in place for the results to be accurate and useful,? Toner explains. ?You can also have a micro-nutrient analysis done, but these results are harder to relate back to the crop and it?s better to do a tissue analysis for that.?
8/26/2017

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Texas potato researcher plans to pack more value into the crop

A new potato scientist for Texas A&M AgriLife Research plans to pack even more value into the commodity through traditional and molecular breeding. Upon arriving in Texas last January, Dr. Isabel Vales was quick to put down roots both in her greenhouses near the Texas A&M University campus in College Station and hundreds of miles away where potatoes are grown in the northwestern part of the state. Vales said she is nearing a point of developing a plan to help take Texas potato farmers to the next level of production and market efficiency. Vales said consumers also will play a role in her plans, because of their desire for traits such as healthy components and a trendy preference for smaller potatoes.
8/26/2017

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Were McDonald?s fries better before the ?90s?

In February, The Ringer website ranked McDonald?s french fries as the third-best fast food item in America. But some think that McDonald?s fries used to be much, much better. On a recent episode of his podcast Revisionist History, Malcolm Gladwell uncovered a change that McDonald?s made in its fries in 1992. Were the fries better before then? Gladwell and Joe House discussed the change on the latest episode of House of Carbs.
8/26/2017

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Potato Europe 2017: Industry members invited to vote online and choose Innovation Award winner

The Potato Europe 2017 event will take place in Emmeloord, The Netherlands, September 13 and 14. The organizers of the event now invite potato industry members around the world to vote for one of the 5 finalists in the Innovation Award competition. The organizers received a total of 26 entries for the Award and the following 5 were chosen as finalists, based on the criteria of innovation, market potential, inventiveness and sustainability: BASF for 1,4SIGHT, JASA for 2-in-1Pack, Weststrate for MagGrow, Solentum for Solgrader, Tolsma Grisnich for 5M Temperature Sensor.
8/24/2017

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Potatoes South Africa?s annual Congress to focus on value chains

According to Potatoes South Africa, it is of great importance that stakeholders in the food value chain produce that what will satisfy consumers? tastes and preferences at affordable prices ? and that also rings true for the potato industry. During the upcoming Potatoes South Africa Congress, experts in different potato value chains will share ideas on what is required of the potato industry to remain relevant and grow the demand for potatoes and potato products in South Africa. The Congress will be held on September 28 in the OR Thambo Hotel in Gauteng province.
8/24/2017

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UK: Promising weed-control alternative to fill gap when linuron is withdrawn

According to an AHDB press release issued today, early results from a four-year crop protection research project in the UK have identified metobromuron as having potential to fill the gap that will be left for many vegetable growers when the herbicide linuron is withdrawn from use in June 2018. Linuron has been a mainstay of potato production for the past 25 years, with 65% of ware crops receiving treatment according the 2014 Pesticide Usage Survey. Metobromuron is being tested to increase understanding of its use and performance as part of AHDB Horticulture-funded SCEPTREplus trials.
8/24/2017

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Avebe has started up its potato starch plants for another season

The potato season of cooperative Avebe got under way. The start of the season is in line with previous years and the season will continue to around the middle of April 2018. During that period, potatoes from approximately 2,400 Dutch and German members are processed into potato starch and potato protein. These basic ingredients will be processed further into high-grade raw materials for the food sector and industrial applications.
8/22/2017

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Vertical Farming: The farm of the future?

As urban populations continue to rise, innovators are looking beyond traditional farming as a way to feed everyone while having less impact on our land and water resources. Vertical farming is one solution that?s been implemented around the world. Vertical farms produce crops in stacked layers, often in controlled environments such as those built by AeroFarms in Newark, New Jersey. AeroFarms grows a variety of leafy salad greens using a process called ?aeroponics.?
8/22/2017

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Rwanda to set up two new potato processing plants and boost production

It is said to be a new dawn for Irish potato growers in Rwanda following the signing of a multi-million dollar deal between government and a Nigerian firm to develop the country?s Irish potato value chain. The five-year project worth $120 million (Rwf102 billion) involves the building of two potato processing facilities; one for frozen French fries, and another to produce potato products for the export market. The target is a production capacity of 10 million tonnes of potatoes by the fifth year of the project, officials said. When it starts operations, it will process 80,000 to 100,000 tonnes of potatoes making frozen French fries, and potato flakes and crisps.
8/22/2017

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Driverless ?robo-tractors? coming soon to Japanese potato and rice fields

Greying farmers, a rural exodus and low food self-sufficiency have thrust Japan?s biggest agricultural machinery manufacturers into a national race to build a driverless tractor, according to a report by the Financial Times. It is said that the quest to perfect the ?robo-tractor? is strongly encouraged by the Japanese government at the highest level, and is viewed as a way to stem the slowdown of Japanese agriculture. The first commercial generation of these tractors is expected to go on sale to many potato, rice and vegetable farmers on the islands of Hokkaido and Kyushu next year ? at a cost of about 50% more than the cost of regular tractors.
8/21/2017

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What can caterers do to rehabilitate the potato, cash in on its plus points?

In an article written for The Caterer, author Anne Bruce writes: ?The potato may not enjoy the health kudos of other vegetables, but caterers can turn its enormous versatility and widespread popularity to good account by developing premium products that boost consumer spend. Where would a restaurant be without potatoes? ?So what can caterers do to rehabilitate the potato, cash in on its plus points and get maximum value from potato-based products?? Bruce interviewed spokespeople from several leading potato companies in the UK and Ireland on their viewpoints.
8/21/2017

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Ireland: Produce wholesaler signs ?70m potato deal with Aldi

Independent.ie reports that a Kilkenny-based fruit and vegetable wholesaler has signed a deal to provide Aldi with ?70m worth of Irish-grown potatoes over three years. Under the new agreement, Iverk Produce will supply Aldi?s 129 Irish stores with 27,000 tonnes of locally-grown rooster, white and salad potatoes annually, representing a significant increase in the quantities Iverk Produce currently supplies to Aldi?s stores. Based in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, Iverk Produce employs over 190 people from the local community full-time, in addition to a further 30-40 seasonal workers.
8/21/2017

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Applied Research: Ground-penetrating radar could help producers dig potatoes early

Ground-penetrating radar might help the potato industry save water, according to Dr. Dirk Hays, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant geneticist in the soil and crop sciences department at College Station. Hays? latest project utilizes ground-penetrating radar to select early maturing potato cultivars, which can help producers make harvest decisions and increase water-use efficiency. His project is in coordination with AgriLife Research and the department of horticultural sciences potato breeding program conducted by breeders Dr. Creighton Miller and Dr. Isabel Vales, both at College Station. ?We know radar will work on potatoes,? Hays said.
8/20/2017

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Study: Consumers in Spain prefer fresh potatoes; buy potato products also via e-commerce channels

According to a news story published by the Spanish website Argenpapa, consumers in Spain bought a total of 1,32 million kilos of potatoes during March 2016 and March 2017 ? 6.3 million kilos more than in the same time period for the previous year. This translates into an increase of 87 million euros. A study done by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment in Spain found that consumers prefer fresh potatoes, a segment that represents more than 70% of total potato consumption, or 22 kilos per person annually.
8/20/2017

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Idaho growers report ?significantly? lower yields in early harvest

Potato industry officials report yields are down significantly as Western Idaho growers commence with their early harvest of Russet Norkotahs for the fresh market. Growers statewide anticipate having more average production during their general harvest in a few weeks, as the crop will have time to continue progressing, though they don?t expect to approach last year?s record volumes. They expect tuber quality will vary dramatically from field to field, based on site-specific conditions during a prolonged heatwave this summer.
8/20/2017

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Grimme to present new machines at Potato Europe 2017 event

During the Potato Europe 2017 event on 13 and 14 September in Emmeloord, the Netherlands, GRIMME will present a large number of new potato machines developed by the company. For the first time, Grimme will introduce the VARITRON 470 Platinum, a new generation of 4-row self-propelled harvesters powered by a 435 HP engine and equipped with a non-stop 7-ton Bunker hopper. One of the strengths of this machine is the improvement in driving comfort. The new ErgoDrive control concept is said to make direct and quick access to all functions easier.
8/19/2017

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Scottish potato seed sector battles with blackleg

Major players in Scotland?s seed potato industry, as well as myriad public sector organisations and the Scottish Government, are teaming up to fund new research into the devastating crop disease, blackleg. According to Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), blackleg caused the downgrade of 8% of Scottish seed crops in 2011. The disease spurs the soft rot of potatoes and can even kill off entire potato plants. In addition to the Scottish Government, the 242,000 research project has been sponsored by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, with McCain Potatoes Ltd, Greenvale AP, Cygnet Potato Breeders Ltd, Agrico UK Ltd, APS BioControl Ltd, HZPC, Caithness Potatoes Ltd, Branston Ltd, and Techneat Engineering also supporting the study.
8/19/2017

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Research breakthrough: Novel way to convert potato waste into ethanol

Researchers in Penn State?s College of Agricultural Sciences have developed a novel approach to more efficiently convert potato waste into ethanol. This process may lead to reduced production costs for biofuel in the future, and also add extra value for chip makers. Using potato mash made from the peelings and potato residuals from a Pennsylvania food-processor, researchers triggered simultaneous saccharification ? the process of breaking down the complex carbohydrate starch into simple sugars ? and fermentation ? the process in which sugars are converted to ethanol by yeasts or other microorganisms in bioreactors.
8/19/2017

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New report: Global potato processing market worth $30.85 billion by 2022; frozen segment largest share in 2017

According to information published in a new report ?Potato Processing Market ? Global Forecast to 2022?, published by MarketsandMarkets?, the global potato processing market was valued at $22.74 billion in 2016, and is projected to reach $30.85 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period. The market for potato processing is showing a significant growth due to the rise in demand for applications such as snack foods and prepared ready meals, and because of the increase in consumer preferences for convenience foods. The authors of the Report say an increase in the number of retail channels such as hypermarkets and supermarkets; rapid growth of the fast food industry; industrialization policies (such as the FDI and the establishment of Export Processing Zones) adopted by governments of developing economies such as India and China, are also expected to drive the growth.
8/18/2017

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Australia: Potato growers spit chips at ?Galati fight? payout

Western Australia?s potato growers could share in almost $700,000, including a refund of money raised for the since-abandoned legal fight against Tony Galati who grew too many potatoes under the now defunct Potato Marketing Corporation. Primary Industries Minister Alannah MacTiernan said letters had been sent to 74 potato growers outlining their share of $684,316. The figure comprises a legal costs? trust fund worth $484,316, plus $200,000 paid in court costs by Galati Nominees after Mr Galati pleaded guilty to contempt of court.
8/18/2017

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European potato crop progress: Bulgaria crop expected to be down; Poland up

According to a news report published by FreshPlaza, Bulgaria?s potato production will be smaller this year due to adverse weather conditions. Ventsislav Kaimakanov, chairman of the National Association of Potato Producers (NAC), said in an interview with Focus News that ?the potato harvest will be notably reduced because of climatic conditions. Losses have been recorded in many fields, so the production will be smaller than in previous years.? Kaimakanov noted that problems were reported in all major production areas. He also explained that about 450,000 tonnes are needed every year to meet the Bulgarian demand, but even in the best case scenario only 200 to 250,000 tonnes can be produced in the country and the rest need to be imported.
8/18/2017

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Storage Technology: Innovative new sensor nominated for Award

The Tolsma-Grisnich storage technology company developed a unique temperature sensor to measure the temperature at different locations and heights within a bulk potato storage facility. The product, in essence a 5 meter long cable, is said to measure temperature differences quite accurately at different locations, and the developers figure that the device provide storage managers with more fine-tuned control over temperature regulation in a storage facility. More measurements closer to each other can be obtained. It is easy to install multiple sensor cables whilst a storage bin is being filled during loading operations.
8/18/2017

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China Daily: China and Scotland to build 3 million potato laboratory

ChinaDaily.com reports today that Scottish potato experts have joined forces with China?s potato processor Xisen Potato Industry Group to create a 3 million-pound ($3.87 million) potato research facility in Shandong Province. Xisen and the Chinese government will fund the lab which will be run in collaboration with potato scientists from the James Hutton Institute, an agricultural research center based in Dundee, Scotland. The announcement of the new lab follows a visit to the Potatoes in Practice event Scotland last August by Xisen Potato Industry Group founder Liang Xisen.
8/17/2017

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Global demand for french fries growing; processors expand capacity

In a news story published by the Canadian based potato magazine Spudsmart, it is said that ?hot, convenient and delicious fast food? is what?s driving the growing global demand for frozen potato products such as french fries. According to the article, Bruce Huffaker, potato market analyst and publisher of North American Potato Market News, says the biggest current growth markets for french fries are Brazil and several countries in both the Pacific Rim and Middle East. While Europe offers aggressive pricing, good currency value and some transportation advantages, Huffaker says North America?s biggest advantages are quality and consistency.
8/17/2017

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Irish research project funded to develop nanosensors for quick disease detection

Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Dublin City University and Teagasc are teaming up to research crop disease in Ireland. Backed with a ?1m investment from the Department of Agriculture, a number of research institutions are looking to get to the bottom of crop disease. Ireland?s two most important crops are barley and potato, and disease poses a significant challenge to these and many other strands of agriculture. With that in mind, SCOPE, a research project addressing the issue, brings researchers from several institutions together to investigate the problem and develop an antibody-based sensor.
8/17/2017

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UK: Potato marketing company ?driving marketable yield to achieve greater production?

Professional potato growing has never been analysed as much as it is today in order to produce the right varieties for the right markets and understanding soil is paramount. Driving marketable yield to achieve greater production from the same acreage is one of the key planks in Wholecrop Marketing?s strategy to provide greater sustainability for their growers. Last week the potato marketing company, based at Kirkburn near Driffield, held its annual field trials day.
8/16/2017

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Sweden: Good potato crop expected; consumers view potatoes as healthy

Although some areas are more affected than others, Lars Elofson of Svensk Potatis says that generally there was not much damage to potato crops in Sweden due to the cold weather during April / May. Most of the Swedish potato production, around 40%, takes place in the southern region of Skane. According to Elofson, potatoes are of good quality and growers are at present not expecting any serious problems to show up this season. In the last ten years, potato consumption in Sweden has been stable, and even slightly rising, as compared to a majority of countries who saw their potato sales decline.
8/16/2017

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South African potato sales grow by 24%

From January until July this year, a total of 12.9 million 10kg more bags of potatoes were reportedly sold on South African fresh produce markets than were sold at the same time period last year; up 24%. As a result, market prices were 37% lower during the same period. For the 2017 marketing year information for more than 44,000 hectares is already available. Indications are that hectares planted will only decrease slightly for 2017 compared to 2016.
8/16/2017

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US: More than 500 potato growers and retailers unite on sustainability initiative

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced their mutual membership and partnership with the Potato Sustainability Initiative (PSI) to align metrics in measuring sustainability issues in the potato supply chain. TSC and PSI will work together to align sustainability metrics for over 500 potato growers and key retail partners. This partnership will also help streamline reporting by potato growers to retailers by working together to align metrics between PSI and TSC. PSI will join several agriculture initiatives currently TSC has in place to align metrics from farms to manufacturers to retailers.
8/16/2017

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Podcasts of news headlines

The first of future bi-weekly Podcasts was published on Potato News Today, featuring of some of the news headlines for the past two weeks. The narrators for the first Podcast is David from the US, Haley from Australia, and Hazel from the UK. Those of you who might be interested, can listen to it on Soundcloud and also listen/watch on YouTube.
8/15/2017

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New International Potato Center facilities in China said to ?mark new era for root and tuber research in Asia?

The new International Potato Center-China Center for Asia Pacific (CCCAP) facilities were formalized in an official handover ceremony in Yanqing, Beijing last month. The International Potato Center (CIP), based in Peru, and the Chinese government have a long history of cooperation that is fast approaching four decades. CCCAP is the first officially recognized international research institution in China. What started in 1978 as a gift of the hardy CIP-24 potato variety, germplasm well-suited to the needs of Chinese rural farmers, has now grown into a fully-integrated world-class agricultural research.
8/15/2017

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Ebook published: ?Potato virus Y ? Biodiversity, pathogenicity, epidemiology and management?

This Springer publication is said to be a timely overview of several decades of research on PVY, one of the most important plant viruses that will appeal to a broad academic audience (universities, public and private funded institutions) and the wide agri-biotech industry (growers, agronomist, breeders, policy). The authors present the latest data (published and yet unpublished) obtained by collaborating scientists (all known as experts on the PVY pathosystem) from different countries worldwide (i.e. members of the PVY-Wide organization). Experts in the field of virology have gathered to present an exhaustive overview of disease symptoms caused by PVY.
8/15/2017

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Portugal: Potato growers express frustration and desperation because of low producer prices

Many potato growers in Portugal reportedly have their hands in their hair because of the low producer prices currently paid for their potatoes. According to a news story published on the Portuguese language website Jornal da Bairrada, two potato growers from the Vilarinho do Bairro, who were interviewed by Jornal da Bairrada recently, agree that there is a total lack of any price stability or security for potato growers in Portugal, and this often leaves growers at the mercy of market fluctuations and often prices that are below farmers? input cost.
8/13/2017

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Dry weather has Maine potato growers hoping for rain

August is a critical month for the growth of potatoes. With harvest occurring in September, at this time the potato fields already have blossomed and the tubers start to grow from petite new potatoes into full sized ones ? if there?s enough rain, that is. With abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions affecting the state over the last month, especially in northern Maine, the Maine Potato Board said the size of this year?s yield will likely be down from previous years. ?It?s just been really dry,? Don Flannery, executive director of the Maine Potato Board, said.
8/13/2017

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Japanese snack maker Calbee to stabilize output by growing potatoes in rice fields

Japanese snack maker Calbee is increasing the amount of the crop it grows in rice fields. Paddy-field potatoes are mainly grown in Kyushu, Japan?s southernmost main island, but Calbee also plans to start cultivating them in the northern regions of Hokkaido and Tohoku. Potatoes are traditionally grown in dry-soil fields, but the company will now grow more of the crop in better-drained rice fields with higher ridges. Crop yields per area will apparently remain unchanged, despite both rice and potatoes being grown in the same place.
8/13/2017

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British growers warned to stop early season PCN damage to ensure even potato emergence

Potato Cyst Nematode feeding activity on potato crop roots can severely delay emergence and, in pest hot-spots, result in patchy crops that never catch up, warns Syngenta Technical Manager, Douglas Dyas. Demonstrating the effects of delayed emergence at Potatoes in Practice (PiP) near Dundee (10 August 2017), Douglas highlighted that even a few days of difference in emergence can have a lasting legacy on potato crop productivity. Rapid emergence assures the longest possible growing season to achieve high yields, whilst even emergence is important for consistent tuber size and maturity at harvest, he told visitors to PiP.
8/13/2017

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AHDB official: ?Brexit could be a mixed blessing for potato sector?

While the wider potato industry might be much less exposed to some of the post-Brexit trade risks which could be disastrous for other sectors of agriculture, the industry still faces many challenges in the coming years. Speaking at the country?s foremost sector event, Potatoes in Practice (PiP), held outside Dundee yesterday, David Swales, head of strategic insight with the Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), said that, while most other areas of agriculture needed frictionless trade with the EU to remain viable, ?a bit of friction? would actually be good for ware growers.
8/12/2017

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Australia: Simplot?s top potato grower of the year believes in quality over quantity

Keepng things simple but doing it well has proved a winning strategy for potato grower Ian Page. Mr Page was named Simplot?s top potato grower of the year at the company?s annual awards dinner. Potatoes are an important part of Mr Page?s operation on his 110ha property at Lapoinya. He first started growing potatoes about 27 years ago and has stuck to a simple system that includes long pasture phases between crops. ?I was a bit surprised to win because the yields have been up around that sort of 65 to 70 tonnes for a while,? he said.
8/12/2017

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