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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

Australia?s ?Big Potato? is up for sale

We know that it?s Christmas and your bank accounts are getting a little dusty, but you guys? The Big Potato is up for sale. Living in the shadow of other large monuments like The Big Pineapple, Banana and Merino, The Big Potato is often undeservingly forgotten. But now, the giant spud could be yours. Located in Robertson, NSW, owners Heather and Neil Tait opened the Family Grocer 27 years ago before buying the land next door just four years ago.
12/27/2017

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South Korea re-opens market for potatoes from Idaho, Washington and Oregon

The South Korean government announced the reopening of its market for table-stock potatoes from the Pacific Northwest states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The market had been closed since July 2012 over technical concerns. Since that time, the U.S. potato industry worked with USDA?s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the South Korean government to address the issues raised by Korea. According to John Keeling, CEO National Potato Council, ?the National Potato Council (NPC) thanks USDA APHIS and their Korean counterparts for their dedication to resolving this issue.?
12/27/2017

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Hershey goes beyond chocolate with acquisition of Tyrrell?s potato chips, SkinnyPop

Hershey Co. is expanding further beyond chocolate, agreeing to buy the owner of SkinnyPop popcorn and Tyrrell?s potato chips for $921 million. The U.S. candy giant agreed to buy Amplify Snack Brands Inc. for $12 a share, a 71 percent premium to Friday?s closing price. The company has about $600 million in debt and has seen its stock value dive since it went public in 2015.
12/27/2017

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US: $105,000 grant will fund research into rotation crops for potato growers

A more than $100,000 grant will fund a project that to explore potential rotation crops for potato growers in the state, according to the Maine Potato Board. Jake Dyer, agronomist for the board, said Thursday that a $105,527 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program will support a two year project to develop ?best management practices for pulse and oilseed crops in the Northeast.?
12/27/2017

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Support available to visit 10th World Potato Congress for delegates of developing countries

Delegates to the 10th World Potato Congress from developing and transitional countries may qualify for financial support from World Potato Congress Inc. (WPC Inc.). David Thompson, President of WPC Inc. said today he is extremely pleased to announce WPC Inc. has agreed to subsidize up to four (4) delegates to the next World Potato Congress to be held in Cusco, Peru from May 27 to 30, 2018. WPC Inc. will provide $1,000 CAD to subsidize each qualifying delegate to Cusco.
12/27/2017

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Lamb Weston announces $250 million investment in additional fry line

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. announced an expansion of french fry processing capacity in North America and an increase in its quarterly dividend. ?The french fry category has been growing at attractive rates around the world, and we believe industry capacity has been challenged in recent years to keep up with continued growth in market demand,? said Tom Werner, President and CEO of Lamb Weston. ?This investment in a new french fry processing line in the Columbia Basin reflects Lamb Weston?s continued commitment to support our strategic partners as they continue to grow their businesses in North America and abroad.?
12/27/2017

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China?s potato production to rebound; demand for french fries and chips stronger

As the largest potato producer in the world, China?s 2017/18 fresh potato production is forecast at 97 million metric tons (MMT), due to an expansion of potato area. During the 2016/17 season, production was forecast to increase 3 percent to 100 MMT, but actually dropped 5 percent to an estimated 92 MMT. This decrease was due to continuing drought in the North and large-scale late blight occurrences in the Southwest. Processing potatoes account for about 15 to 20 percent of total production, and include such products as starch, dehydrated potatoes, chips, and frozen french fries.
12/20/2017

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US: Cape Cod Potato Chip?s parent company sold in billion-dollar deal

Campbell Soup Co. announced on Monday it will buy Snyder?s-Lance Inc., the Charlotte-based parent company of Cape Cod Potato Chips, in an all-cash deal valued at $4.87 billion. The well-known Hyannis-based brand got its start in 1980, when the founders set up a small shop in a storefront in the Cape town. Lance Inc. acquired Cape Cod Potato Chips in 1999. Terms of the deal were not disclosed at the time, although at the time of the acquisition sales at Cape Cod were about $30 million.
12/20/2017

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New insights into potato blight open the door to biological protection

A team of international researchers headed by scientists from the University of Tbingen has deciphered the workings of a cytolytic toxin, which is produced by some of the world?s most devastating crop diseases. The Cytolysin is manufactured by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi and can wipe out entire harvests if chemical protection is not used. The study - by researchers from Tbingen and their partner institutions in Berkeley, Bordeaux, Ljubljana, Lige, and Wako in Japan, as well as Gttingen in Germany - may lead to ways of better protecting crops from such pathogens in the future.
12/20/2017

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UK: NFU calls for better communication in potato sector

Potato packers and processors can drive the sector forward by communicating better with growers about how they can improve their crop, according to a new report by the NFU. Following a series of meetings with the industry, the study highlights producers? desire for clearer information to allow them, and the whole industry, to become more competitive and productive. Earlier this year, the NFU highlighted the need for greater transparency in the potato industry, after growers reported significant payment deductions with little or no explanation.
12/19/2017

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Indian delegation to participate in 10th World Potato Congress

Indian authorities are looking to partake in the 10 World Potato Congress. Today, India ranks as the world?s third largest potato producing nation, with production in 2017 of around 47 million tonnes, according to the National Horticulture Board. The ?aloo? is not primarily a rural staple but a cash crop that provides significant income for farmers: as per the state data, the production in Uttar Pradesh alone is totalled to be approximately 15 million tonnes this year.
12/19/2017

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Researchers deliver first-ever food potato genomes

NRGene, an Israeli company specializing in genomic assembly and analysis, is working with a team of researchers from Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in the Netherlands and leading commercial partners to create multi-genome mapping of commercial food potatoes. The potato genome is complex, NRGene said. It?s an auto-tetraploid, which means that each potato cell contains four nearly identical copies of each chromosome and gene, making the assembly and phasing of the four copies extremely difficult for traditional technologies.
12/19/2017

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Idaho Russet potato market edges tighter

The Russet potato market in Idaho is edging tighter as supplies become stretched. Yields are moderately down in the region, with the State of Idaho issuing a report that indicates Russet numbers are down across the state by between 5%-8%. Suppliers say that reduced acreage is contributing to the shortfall. ?It?s a very active market on Idaho Russet potatoes,? said Colin Gibson, of 20/20 Produce Sales in Idaho.
12/18/2017

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US: Washington State Potato Commission bringing excitement to the industry

There are three primary roles the Washington State Potato Commission plays in assisting its potato growers, but according to Chris Voigt, executive director of the Moses Lake, WA-based organization, coordinating and funding potato research is the most important work it does. ?We dedicate over $1 million dollars to potato research and our investment has made us the state with the highest yields and a consistent high quality,? he said. ?Another important role is our promotional work with our international and domestic customers.
12/18/2017

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NL: Kiremko introduced its own sustainability label

Corporate Social Responsibility has been elevated to a higher level by Kiremko with the introduction of its own sustainability label. Kiremko?s Fair Future label stands for consciously dealing with the environment, and not doing things because you have to, but because it?s the right thing to do. The company from Montfoort, the Netherlands, designs, produces and installs machines and complete production lines for making chips, crisps and various other potato products.
12/18/2017

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Researchers trace the potato?s origins, learn about its untapped potential

A team of researchers has charted the potato's lineage in order to learn how it was domesticated and how its DNA evolved over time. Richard Veilleux, head of the Department of Horticulture in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and his graduate student, Parker Laimbeer, partnered with colleagues at Michigan State University to conduct a plant genome project. ?The results increase our understanding of how the potato was domesticated and what genes are important. We also identified potential genes to improve on in the future and showed how high throughput genome sequencing provides new tools,? Veilleux said.
12/15/2017

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British potato company set to increase pack-out by 73% before Christmas Day

Demand for potatoes in the build up to Christmas will send a British potato factory into overdrive this festive season. More than 2,000 tonnes of potatoes will be packed and distributed at Branston?s factory in the week leading up to Christmas Day ? an increase of 73 per cent on the average week at the site. As demand soars for one of the nation?s favourite components to Christmas dinner, more than 16.2 million packs of potatoes will be sold by retailers nationwide during the week leading up to December 25.
12/15/2017

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Sweden: Scientists are making smoothies with potato milk

Swedish food researcher Eva Tornberg has created potato milk. The plan is to produce and sell the product as an alternative to milk, yoghurt, cream and ice cream. The milk has been tested in the laboratory and in a factory and the hope is it will be commercially available next year. The first product is likely to be a smoothie made of potato milk with apple juice and fruit.
12/15/2017

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Denmark: KMC released potato starch-based cheese

KMC, a Danish based producer of starch and other potato based ingredients, announced that it has released a potato starch-based vegan-friendly cheese called Cheesemaker CF 30, which offers a very ?cheese-like sensation,? despite the fact that there is no milk protein inside it. Darren Wood spoke to KMC?s Hugo Neilsen, CCO business development & Americas, and Neilsen told him about the functionality, texture and taste of the cheese, as well as his views on plant-based protein trends.
12/13/2017

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History of french fries: All about the origins of the world?s favourite potato fritters

Thin, crisp and oh-so indulgent, there is nothing quite as addictive as French fries. The deep fried potato fritters have caught the fancy of foodies for centuries, across continents and have established themselves as the best sidekick to so many dishes. On its own too, French fries could be quite a snack to munch on. Several historians claim that what we enjoy today as French fries, may not be a French creation but a Belgian one.
12/13/2017

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Genes in storage: Husband and wife team dig into what genes lead to longer potato storability

With the help of a $1.37 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), husband-and-wife team Dylan Kosma and Patricia Santos hope to discover, on a genetic level, ways to mitigate?if not eliminate?tuber loss in storage. The current NSF-funded project at the Kosma-Santos lab is focused on understanding the genetic reasons some potato varieties store better, for longer periods of time, than others?a question that has plagued the chip industry for years.
12/13/2017

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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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