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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

Unmanned: Drones and robots working together to target weeds

It sounds like a futuristic farming scene, but researchers in central Europe are working on developing an autonomous farming system where drones and robots work together to control weeds. The Flourish Project in Europe is an effort to create an autonomous, robotic system that foresee collaboration between unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and multi-purpose unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). The system utilizes UAV surveillance capabilities to generate a map of the field, capture image data, and identify areas with a high probability of pest concerns, like weeds.
3/31/2018

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Old foe on the attack: British growers warned against new, aggressive fungicide-resistant late blight strain

Potato growers in Britain are being warned to change their blight control strategies this season to combat the spread of an aggressive fungicide-resistant strain of the disease which has reached Suffolk. The dark green 37_A2 form of Phytopthora infestans has quickly spread across Europe, reaching England two years ago when five cases were reported. Around 20 cases were officially recorded in 2017, mainly in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Kent, and more recently in Suffolk.
3/31/2018

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Video: Why your controlled release fertilizer didn?t work as expected

In this video, Nelson Gonzalez, Territory / Key Account Manager at ICL, discusses the top 10 reasons your controlled release fertilizer may not have performed as you expected. Fertilizer displacement? Not choosing the proper longevity? Not using the proper formulation? Not choosing the proper rate? Over irrigation? Too high or too low media pH? Micronutrient package?
3/31/2018

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Injury prone: What dicamba damage does to potatoes, and how to fight it

?We have been gathering data to determine what effect dicamba has on seed tubers and potato plants,? according to Andy Robinson, extension research potato agronomist with North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. Dicamba injury on potato tubers is expressed as elephant hide, smaller tuber, and/or malformed/cracked tubers. ?We typically see greater tuber malformations as a result of herbicide injury when plants are exposed during tuber initiation through early tuber bulking.
3/30/2018

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New biofumigant crop mix: Turning up the heat on potato cyst nematode

A new summer-sown biofumigant plant mix that offers improved suppression of potato cyst nematode, compared with autumn-sown, overwintered varieties, is being launched this season by Agrovista in the UK. Summer Vindaloo is a mix of the hottest mustard varieties and very hot rocket, which grows quickly and develops powerful biofumigation activity within three months of sowing, says Shropshire-based agronomist Andrew Wade. The mix will appeal, especially on trickier land, to growers who prefer or need to complete their deep cultivations before winter sets in, he says.
3/30/2018

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European organizations looking to find alternative markets for surplus potatoes

The organisations UNPT (National Union of Potato Producers, France), ABS (Algemeen Boerensyndicaat, Flanders) and FWA (Walloon Federation of Agriculture, Belgium) launched a project last year with the aim to find alternative markets in the North of France, Wallonia, and Flanders during seasons of an overproduction of potatoes. The Interreg GEPOS project was started last January and is being carried out with the support of the European Regional Development Fund.
3/30/2018

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?Global potato demand up, US market share for frozen products down,? says CEO

Worldwide consumption of potatoes is increasing, according to Blair Richardson, chief executive officer of Potatoes USA. ?We?re seeing a reversal of the downward trend in global potato-product sales that we?ve been in since the 1970s,? Richardson related during a recent meeting of Wisconsin potato growers. ?Not only are we seeing positive growth at the retail level, we?re also seeing significant increases in the food-service sector,? he said.
3/30/2018

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Large organic potato and vegetable project for APH Group in Russia

APH Group with its headquarters in the Netherlands recently concluded a multi-million Euro contract with a Russian enterprise to deliver machines and installations for the organic production of potatoes and vegetables. The project is being implemented in the South of Russia and will be the largest organic potato and vegetable farm in Russia. The customer is a Russian entrepreneur who sees the opportunity to sell biological products in the urban areas of Russia.
3/28/2018

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Canadian potato growers encouraged to participate in Zebra Chip and psyllid monitoring project

The Zebra Chip and Potato Psyllid Survey and Monitoring project in Canada is to survey fields for populations of the potato psyllid, and test captured potato psyllids and symptomatic tubers for the presence of the pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (Lso). It is coordinated by Dan Johnson, Larry Kawchuk, and Scott Meers. Zebra chip is a disease that severely disrupts carbohydrate flow in potato plants, resulting in a striped appearance in tubers.
3/27/2018

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Far more toxic than glyphosate: Copper sulfate, used by organic and conventional farmers, cruises to European reauthorization

Recently, the European Union decided to reauthorize the fungicide copper sulfate, a popular pesticide among organic farmers that has a more toxic rap sheet than glyphosate. Copper sulfate is a widely used pesticide in organic farming but which also is used in some conventional applications, although the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) considered toxicity risks for farmers, birds, mammals and soil organisms, and the chemical?s overall environmental impact.
3/27/2018

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British potato processing company making food safety a priority

The potato processing firm at the centre of a major product recall in Britain in 2015 has ?radically changed its thinking? and now makes food safety ?the priority in all of its decision-making?, according to the man appointed to oversee its transformation. Swancote Foods, which was found to be the source of a metal contamination scare that led to the recall of several own-label ready meals and vegetable dishes, has since undergone both a cultural and operational transformation.
3/27/2018

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US retail shows surprising russet gains; ?mini? potatoes keep climbing in sales

Reversing recent market share erosion, potato category leader fresh russet potatoes showed modest volume gains in July through December. From the middle of 2014 to the middle of 2017, the ?mini? category has almost doubled, reaching nearly 16% of potato category sales, Ralph Schwartz, vice present of sales for Potandon Produce said ?No one is sure what the overall percent of the category it is going to capture but it keeps climbing,? he said.
3/27/2018

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Sneaky disease: Potato seed infected with Dickeya, the ?new blackleg? in Canada

Potato seed infected late in the season with Dickeya (?new blackleg? in Canada) usually does not show symptoms in the field before harvest nor in seed storages, experts say. This is because Dickeya requires high temperatures for the development of visible symptoms. The optimum temperature for Dickeya is above 25 degrees Celcius. By contrast, the ?old blackleg? (Pectobacterium) can develop at cool temperatures (8-10 C), and symptoms are usually visible when cutting seed.
3/25/2018

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Biostimulants: ?Feeding a plant additional amino acid acts like a vitamin drink?

There?s no denying that crop protection is becoming an increasing concern for arable growers. From glyphosate to neonicotinoids many crucial controls have come up against scrutiny lately, leaving farmers in the dark about what may or may not be available in the years to come ? on top of the increasing threat of chemical resistance. As a result, there?s been growing interest in alternative products like biostimulants which offer the potential to increase yields and boost crop health ? reducing the reliance on chemistry that could indeed become limited in supply.
3/25/2018

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Government chips in cash to get West Australia?s potato industry cooking

West Australia?s struggling potato industry is poised for recovery after the State Government chipped in nearly $750,000 towards expanding processing and exports. Four local growers and potato export and processing businesses will receive the money under the Potato Industry Assistance Grants program. Total private investment planned across these four projects is about $2.58 million. Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said most of the projects would source potatoes from other growers, meaning growth in these businesses would have wider benefits.
3/25/2018

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Aviko launches ?hotter, crunchier? new fries

Catering potato supplier Aviko has launched a new line of fries, which it claims stay ?piping hot and crunchier for longer?. The Premium Crunch Fast Food Fries, which cook in just three minutes and are aimed at the quick service market, are available in two varieties: Crunch Shoestring 7mm and Crunch 9.5mm. Aviko?s commerical director for the UK and Ireland, Mohammed Essa, said fast food outlets no longer ?need to be concerned with delivering cold or soggy chips?.
3/25/2018

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British potato packer group hopeful for recovery in potato prices

Produce Investments offered hope for a recovery in UK potato prices from multi-year lows, citing the potential for setbacks to 2018 sowings prospects helping a drawdown in inflated stockpiles. Produce Investments, one of the UK?s biggest potato packers, which counts major supermarket chains among its customers, signalled the potential for a drop in the country?s plantings this year, with a lower demand for seed.
3/23/2018

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Equipment manufacturer Dewulf opens new logistics center in Europe

Dewulf, full-line supplier of potato and root crop equipment, has officially inaugurated its new logistics centre at its headquarters. With the opening of the logistics centre, the company confirms its continued commitment to its roots in Roeselare in Belgium. This project fits with the family company?s strategy for achieving further organic growth and makes it possible to serve customers even better. The construction of the warehouse, with a price tag of around ?10 million, is the company?s largest financial investment since its founding in 1946.
3/23/2018

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Potato seed treatment said to help growers start strong with insect and disease protection

Rhizoctonia solani is a pathogen that is often present in soil or on seed tubers and can have a major impact on young plants. It causes diseases such as black scurf and stem canker. Wet and cold soils favor disease development, and infection can result in major damage underground. If fungal lesions expand too quickly in relation to plant growth, stolons and stems may be girdled and die.
3/23/2018

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Wireworms a growing concern for the Canadian potato industry

Wireworm populations appear to be on the rise in Western Canada. Wireworm, which is the larval stage of the adult click beetle, affects many crops, including cereals and pulses, but they are particularly damaging to potatoes. Holes created by wireworms can render tubers unmarketable and serve as points of entry for potato pathogens. Few chemical controls are available across Canada.
3/23/2018

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Russia blocks two potato shipments imported from Egypt

Russia?s agricultural quarantine authorities flagged two potato shipments from Egypt that were found to be contaminated with potato brown rot. The Ministry of Trade and Industry in Egypt denied the allegation that Russia has imposed bans on potato imports from Egypt due to a lack of quality. He stressed that Russia has not placed a blanket ban on Egypt?s potato exports to Russia.
3/22/2018

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Canada: University of Manitoba seeking candidates to study potato early dying disease

The laboratory for Applied Soil Ecology at the University of Manitoba in Canada is seeking highly motivated and talented candidates for training leading to MSc or PhD degrees. Students will undertake graduate research to limit yield loses from the disease, Potato Early Dying. Field research will be conducted examining treatments including fungicides, green manures, compost, and fumigation to reduce levels of the pathogen, Verticillium dahliae in soil, and farm surveys of disease incidence, yield and pathogens.
3/22/2018

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Posted in All the latest News, News March 2018, Trends Edit Idaho Potato Commission launches new video series: Idaho Potato Life Hacks

The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) has partnered with Ivan Nanney, former member of the Big Idaho Potato Truck?s Tater Team and Cancun.com?s newest Cancun Experience Officer, to create a series of Idaho Potato Life Hack videos showcasing the many uses of Idaho potatoes beyond a recipe ingredient. These DIY (Do It Yourself) tater tricks use Idaho potatoes to increase efficiency, safety, and creativity in everyday life.
3/22/2018

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Spud planting in Great Britain races to catch up after late start to season

Early potato planting along the Suffolk coast is racing ahead to try and catch up from a wet weather-delayed start with tuber numbers and hence yields feared to be down this season. Farm manager Tim Pratt says this is the latest start to planting in the 17 years he has been farming in this early potato producing region due to heavy rainfall since December. The fear is this late start might mean a delayed harvest when early crops from the mild microclimate along this coastal strip of Suffolk look to hit the shops after early potato liftings from Jersey and Cornwall.
3/22/2018

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Broad-spectrum fungicide can now be used to control rhizoctonia in potato

Zoxis, a broad-spectrum fungicide from Arysta LifeScience, has been successfully re-registered for use in the UK & Ireland, and can now be used on a wider range of crops. Benefits of the product, which contains azoxystrobin, include control of diseases such as septoria, fusarium and rust, as well as promoting beneficial physiological and greening effects. It offers translaminar, systemic and protectant activity and is for use in resistance management programmes.
3/22/2018

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Keeping one step ahead of tuber blight: Experts in Great Britain provide latest results and analysis

The aggressive and fit new blight strains 37_A2 and 36_A2 have been detected as tuber blight in stored potatoes in Great Britain. The latest results and analysis will help the sector keep one step ahead on how to best manage this latest threat. Of the genotyped batches of tuber blight samples typed in the storage season to date, the new genotype 37_A2 has been confirmed in six samples, and 36_A2 from two, reveals David Cooke of the James Hutton Institute.
3/21/2018

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PhD opportunity: Applications of machine learning to precision potato blackleg prediction

James Hutton Institute in the UK is now offering a unique opportunity for a PhD student to identify the principle drivers of potato blackleg through GIS analysis of historical soil, climate, and epidemiological datasets, and to design a focused set of plant assay experiments. The successful applicant is expected to apply advanced machine learning techniques to the data to automatically develop a predictive model (decision support tool) that can guide both growers and government to straightforward disease intervention strategies.
3/21/2018

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Studies/Reports Edit Video: Newest Strategic Potato Farm in Great Britain aims to maximise quality in store

RJ & AE Godfrey, a mixed arable farm in North Lincolnshire in the UK is the newest Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm. On-farm events will begin in June. The SPot Farm programme up-scales the research and demonstrates the on-farm implementation of the science related to potato production. The initiative, part of an annual 1m+ AHDB investment in its Farm Excellence network, offers growers an insight into how new systems and practices can be implemented at their own potato enterprise, benefitting their businesses and the wider supply chain as well.
3/20/2018

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For the long haul: South Africas running potato pathology professor chasing after spud diseases

Jacquie van der Waals is not only a professor of potato pathology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa ? she is also a recognized national 10km and cross country runner in that country. Yesterday she came third in her age group during the national sprint triathlon championships in South Africa. Other running achievements include being South African Cross Country Ladies Champion (40 ? 44) in 2014 and 2015. Jacquie is the founder and lead of the Potato Pathology Programme at the university.
3/20/2018

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Data smart: Applying artificial intelligence to the humble spud

?We?re going from precision agriculture to decision agriculture. And we?re trying to drive that revolution,? states Giri Baleri, VP for marketing at Resson, a university spin-out based in the New Brunswick province of Canada. Resson uses imagery combined with farm data to provide a range of analytics to growers. One goal, Baleri explains, is to detect issues like disease and pests before they arrive.
3/20/2018

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British trials show water conservation product can improve potato yields

Trials have proven that using a water conservation agent can significantly increase potato yields, which could bring in an extra 1,100 per hectare while reducing irrigation water use by approximately 25%. These results come at a key time for the agricultural industry as many growers look to consider how they can reduce water consumption and improve farm efficiency. One farmer who has experienced the benefits of a water conservation agent first hand, is Norfolk based Tim Papworth.
3/20/2018

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New World Bank book on Peruvian agriculture highlights native potato value chains

CIP coordinated the Papa Andina Program that brought together public institutions, businesses and NGOs in Peru in a project called INCOPA, in order to tap the potential of the country?s approximately 3,000 potato varieties for reducing rural poverty. Sales of native potatoes increased by more than 70% and prices for them increased 150%. The total value of native potato exports rose from US$821,000 in 2010 to US$2.5 million in 2015, mostly from packaged snacks.
3/19/2018

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Videos: What soil health testing method could work for you?

Soil testing is an important management practice on all farms, whether growing potatoes or pasture for livestock. It?s nearly impossible to determine what a soil needs to be productive, without a soil analysis. Experts view soil testing as an important tool ? although not an absolute science ? that allows producers to make more qualified fertility management decisions. AHDB Horticulture TV in the UK recently uploaded 6 short videos on the different ways you can test your soil health
3/19/2018

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In Victorian Britain, poor rural areas had the best diet and health ? and potatoes were part of it?

It seems counter-intuitive but in the 19th century, the poor were better off than the rich, health and diet wise. A new study found that these rural societies enjoyed a more traditional lifestyle, eating high-quality foods and were overall better fed than their richer, urban counterparts. We often talk about eating like ?the good old days? and most of the time, that?s just us using rose-coloured glasses. This study shows that at least in some instances, doing things the good old way is truly rewarding.
3/17/2018

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US: Wireless irrigation tool now connects with John Deere Operations Center

Lindsay Corporation has partnered with John Deere to provide growers with more irrigation data. Its pivot telemetry tool, FieldNET will now connect with the John Deere Operations Center. FieldNET is a wireless management tool that gives growers the ability to remotely monitor and control entire irrigation systems, regardless of electric pivot brand. The platform delivers real-time status updates and alerts about possible performance issues. FieldNET Advisor gives growers science-based recommendations to make faster, better-informed decisions about when, where and how much to irrigate, according to Lindsay.
3/17/2018

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A blood test for potatoes

Human blood tests were the inspiration for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researcher Dr. Helen Tai to consider a test for nitrogen levels in potatoes. She wondered if a test could be developed that would tell potato growers if the amount of nitrogen in their plants is in the right range for a ?healthy? plant. She took the idea to Dr. Bernie Zebarth, a soil scientist at AAFC, and the two Fredericton researchers began a collaboration that has resulted in a test. Now, they just have to make it accessible for plant ?doctors.?
3/16/2018

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Kenya, Ireland team up to improve potato farming

The Ministry of Agriculture in Kenya and Ireland have launched a programme to improve potato farming in Kenya. The launch on Wednesday was officiated by Ireland Minister for Public Works Kelvin Moran and attended by top Agriculture ministry officials from both countries as well as the Ireland ambassador. The programme seeks to address the entire chain from soil testing, soil management, quality seeds, best husbandry, to marketing.
3/16/2018

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Caught in the act: Potato Virus Y rapid tests provide results within minutes

The ?Wireless Spud? (Wireless Potato Node) is a unique device that helps in the identification of the exact locations where potato damage takes place when potatoes are in motion ? from harvesting to grading to transport. According to the manufacturer, Orka Food Technology, the device provides real-time measures of shock, vibration, rotation, tilting and temperature to which potatoes are subjected. The data generated by the Wireless Spud can assist operators to monitor potatoes during conveying, grading and packing as well as during transportation from farm and packing locations to the final point of sale
3/16/2018

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UK: Water management guide launched with new guidance on common scab control

The updated Seasonal Water Management Guide for Potatoes summarises the latest research findings based on AHDB-funded research projects, and work conducted at Strategic Potato Farms by Dr Mark Stalham of NIAB CUF. The guide is available on the AHDB website now, and includes the latest advice on common scab control, after work completed at SPot Farm East allowed AHDB to enhance information provided on varietal resistance to the disease. The timing of first irrigation is key, and this publication will help you understand the needs based on susceptibility of different varieties and soil type.
3/16/2018

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Video: Large-scale potato operation innovates to reduce soil compaction

Perry Produce is a large-scale irrigated farming operation based in the southern part of the Canadian province of Alberta. The operation produces, amongst others, processing potatoes under contract for McCain and Frito-Lay. The potato division of the operation comprises of 31 center pivot irrigation systems and a year-round storage capacity for 25,000 tonnes of potatoes. The business is managed by fourth generation farmers, brothers Chris and Harold Perry. Chris is also co-founder and President of CKP Farms Ltd. and Grow the Energy Circle Ltd. (GrowTEC), that in recent years commissioned a 633 KW generating capacity anaerobic digester (waste to energy) facility.
3/15/2018

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Soil microbes: Next generation sequencing holds promise for potato sector

?A lot of people are really excited about the work in microbiology because it?s thought that soil microbes could come to our rescue,? said Claudia Goyer, a noted soil scientist and potato researcher with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada?s (AAFC) Fredericton Research and Development Centre in New Brunswick, Canada.
3/15/2018

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Potato production and climate change: Canadian experts have their say

Potato is the most important non-grain crop in the world. So, understanding the potential impacts of climate change on potato production is critical, especially for producers. Throughout its long history, Earth has warmed and cooled time and again. Climate has changed when the planet received more or less sunlight due to subtle shifts in its orbit, as the atmosphere or surface changed, or when the Sun?s energy varied. But in the past century, experts agree that humans have also played a part in influencing the Earth?s climate.
3/14/2018

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Blackleg in potatoes: Rapid and effective haulm destruction key to blackleg control

Scientists are getting closer to discovering the origins of blackleg infection in potato seed crops. CPM magazine finds out the latest research findings and how Scottish seed growers are acting on them. Over the past few seasons, blackleg has been the thorn in the side of Scottish seed producers, with the disease now the number one reason for down-grading or failure of seed stocks. The inevitable question is ?why is this happening??, says Prof Ian Toth, research theme leader at the James Hutton Institute.
3/14/2018

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Potato math: US student wins $250,000 prize for potato blight solution based on mathematical model

According to a CNN report, New York student Benjamin ?Benjy? Firester has won one of the United States? top young science prizes for his research on potato late blight. The 18-year-old senior at Hunter College High School beat 1,800 students in the race to the $250,000 first prize at the Regeneron Science Talent Search, which counts 13 Nobel Prize-winners among its alumni. Firester?s project, titled ?Modeling the Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Phytophthora infestans on a Regional Scale,? mapped disease data and weather patterns to predict where spores that cause potato late blight would spread to next.
3/14/2018

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Potatoes are on an upward trajectory, says Potatoes USA

There are consumers who love potatoes, and Potatoes USA?s fiscal year 2019 will target them. That?s not to say potatoes aren?t popular among all consumers. Board leaders showed how potatoes are consumers? favorite vegetable, and that?s reflected in the board?s mission statement: Strengthen demand of USA Potatoes. At the USA Potatoes annual meeting March 12-15 in Denver, the board started with a review of its domestic marketing plans. It approved FY19 domestic marketing investments of $4.86 million for the July to June fiscal year.
3/14/2018

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APS put spotlight on causal agent of potato zebra chip disease in latest Virtual Issue

The American Phytopathological Society?s latest Virtual Issue focuses on Candidatus Liberibacter, the causal agent of many important plant diseases such as citrus greening and potato zebra chip disease. It includes links to 26 articles published in the APS journals ?Phytopathology?, ?Plant Disease?, and ?Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions? between 2016 and 2018.
3/13/2018

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Pest quest: New program soon to be launched to monitor potato psyllids in Canada

A new monitoring and surveillance program will be launched in the spring of 2018 for potato psyllids in Canada?s Alberta province. Thomas McDade, agricultural director, Potato Growers of Alberta says this plan responds to the discovery of a very small number of potato psyllids that tested positive for the Lso bacteria (the vector for zebra chip disease) in late 2017.
3/13/2018

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Researchers find rotations with Brassicas consistently reduce soil-borne diseases in potatoes and improve yields

If you?re dealing with some tough soil-borne diseases as a potato grower in North America, adding canola, mustard or rapeseed to your potato rotation could help. That important finding emerged from potato rotation studies in Maine, led by Dr. Bob Larkin, a research plant pathologist with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA researchers conducted more than 70 trials to investigate the effects of different rotations on soil-borne diseases in potatoes and on potato yields.
3/13/2018

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Lays-PepsiCo sees huge opportunities for premium potato chips in Argentina

While Argentina?s salted-snack consumption is low at one kilo per person compared with the nine kilos in the US in 2017, the market has plenty of potential, says Pablo Garca, general manager for foods at PepsiCo Argentina. Latin America?s southern cone, comprising Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, has large development when it comes to potato chips and the segment represents half of Argentina?s salted-snack market. ?Our research shows there is a large group of people looking to try new products from wine to ice-cream and salted snacks,? says Garca.
3/13/2018

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West Australia potato farmers pin hopes on negative psyllid tests to regain market access

Potato farmers in West Australia (WA) could see Eastern States? markets reopen in the near future which are still closed to WA following the tomato potato psyllid outbreak last year. Potato Growers Association of WA chief executive officer Simon Moltoni said the potato industry and State Government were working through the Transition to Management Plan, with the aim to reopen market access.
3/13/2018

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