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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

Ireland has its first dedicated potato supplier to chippers

Meadowfresh Foods in Tallow, Co. Waterford and O’Shea Farms/Iverk Produce, based in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, have joined forces to become Ireland’s first dedicated fresh chipping potato packer and distributor. Over the past two years, they have engaged with Bord Bia, Teagasc, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and the Irish Farmers Association to support the chipping potato project. They have now proceeded to grow specific crops for the Irish chip shop channel.
10/13/2021

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Lamb Weston’s top and bottom lines heading in different directions

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc.’s top and bottom lines headed in different directions during the first quarter of fiscal 2022. Sales rose 13% as foodservice and institutional businesses recovered around the world, but the company’s net income fell 67% for the quarter. “In the US, we continue to be encouraged by the pace of recovery in restaurant traffic and demand for fries,” Thomas P. Werner, president and chief executive officer said.
10/13/2021

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Tong talks automation and optical sorting at British Potato show

Tong Engineering, a leading potato and vegetable handling equipment manufacturer, and sponsor of the BP2021 British Potato exhibition will be showcasing equipment advances from field to pack, as well as the latest technologies in automation and optical sorting, at the UK’s largest biannual potato event in November.
10/13/2021

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Potatoes in eastern Canada faring well, the west sees yield impact of excessive heat

Potato harvest is well underway in Canada, with varying results from a near-record harvest to too-short in supply. “Moving from east to west, the season is always later. We have more time in the east to allow the crop to get harvested before winter sets in, in a normal year,” says Kevin MacIsaac, of United Potato Growers of Canada. After three years of below average crops in the area due to warm, dry conditions, a good quality crop is welcome for farmers on the East Coast.
10/13/2021

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It’s shaping up to be a banner year for Maine potatoes

Like a good poker player, Don Flannery, president of the Maine Potato Board, is playing it close to the vest in terms of this year’s potato harvest. He’s not about to call it a record year — yet. But with about 80 percent of this season’s potatoes out of the ground, the longtime industry expert said yields are shaping up to be above average.
10/13/2021

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HZPC reports on positives after challenging corona year

HZPC realised that the financial year 2020/2021 would be difficult. Last year, the potato distributor was operating in a global economic recession. With enormous consequences for both multiple corporate sectors and for HZPC. However, there are always positives. Even now. “We have seen a rise in volume sales, we are proud to have started the Connective Growers programme and we are delighted with the efforts made to realise a competitive price for our growers,” says HZPC CEO, Gerard Backx.
10/11/2021

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Essential tips for successful long-term potato storage

Bayer Crop Science in the UK posted an article on their blog earlier this week related to potato storage good practices. The article focuses on five main considerations for growers, saying that there is more to the long-term storage of potatoes than sprout suppressants. These considerations include store hygiene, box stacking, air movement, store intake and tuber diseases.
10/11/2021

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‘Between a rock and a hard place’: Is transporting tare picking your pocket?

Ask any potato producer where rocks belong and they’ll vehemently tell you: “Not in my field.” The cost of machinery, fuel and man-hours today mean driving tare to and from your yard doesn’t make sense. Industry has responded: mobile potato cleaning equipment now allows you to clean potatoes right in the field.
10/10/2021

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‘Root Zero’: Carbon neutral potatoes from Puffin Produce a UK first

The home of the much-loved Pembrokeshire potato has added a new iconic product to supermarket shelves with the launch of the UK’s first carbon neutral potato. ‘Root Zero’ planet friendly potatoes are grown in Pembrokeshire by Puffin Produce. The spuds are certified carbon neutral and grown using sustainable farming practices to remove carbon dioxide, create healthy soil and increase local biodiversity.
10/10/2021

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Packaging: GIC’s continuous motion machines come of age at British Potato show

A British manufacturer of packaging machines will celebrate 18 years of developing continuous motion machines at this year’s British Potato show. Gainsborough Industrial Controls (GIC) are a designer and manufacturer of vertical form fill and seal (VFFS) packaging machine solutions. GIC will be marking the anniversary of its continuous motion machines by displaying its latest GIC3100 model on its stand at the November British Potato show.
10/10/2021

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CIPC in the crossfire: Challenges and possible alternatives

A recent paper in the journal Potato Research highlights the chlorpropham (CIPC) ban and the weaknesses and limited sustainability of global and local systems based on synthetically produced substances. But what are the current alternatives to CIPC? This article summarizes the findings of an Agroscope study of alternative sprout inhibitors.
10/9/2021

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NASS report: Potatoes sold by Pacific Northwest states valued at $1,82bn

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released a report containing detailed statistics on the value of the 2020 crop sold in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, as well as figures related to total yield, quantity of potatoes used for processing, and more. The final value of Idaho’s 2020 potato crop sold was $912 million, down 5 percent from 2019.
10/9/2021

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Haith to launch next generation Rota-tip machine at British Potato 2021

With over 170 machines sold, Haith’s Rota-tip range is the potato industry’s most popular box tippler, and visitors to this year’s British Potato event will be the first to see the next generation of the class-leading machine. The Rota-tip PRO, which has had a patent application granted, will take centre stage on Haith’s stand on 24 and 25 November.
10/5/2021

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U.S. potato sales strong in marketing year ‘unlike any other ever experienced’

The marketing year that ended in June 2021 was unlike any year the potato industry has ever experienced, says Potatoes USA in a news release issued today. “With pandemic restrictions ebbing and flowing from June 2020 to July 2021, sales at foodservice fluctuated while retail purchases remained extremely strong throughout the year,” the industry body says.
10/5/2021

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Deprez’ Maestro XL+S: A unique mobile machine for handling large potato bins

Potato storage in bins offer 100% traceability and are finding more and more advantages for various reasons, resulting in an increasing demand for 2 tonne bins, according to Kristof Vanderhaeghe, sales engineer at Belgium based equipment specialist company Deprez Handling Solutions. Kristof says that Deprez’ Maestro XL+S machine, with a capacity of up to 125 t/h handles potatoes exceptionally gentle, reduces the bin movements by up to 84%. 
10/5/2021

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GRIMME UK promising a British Potato Show to remember

Visitors to this year’s British Potato Show are expected to make a b-line for GRIMME UK’s renowned hospitality (and to find out about the latest innovations in machinery!) As well as having members of its own sales team on-stand, the Gold sponsor will also be joined by sales engineers from Haith Group as part of the two companies strategic working agreement.
10/5/2021

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HZPC’s new online potato calculator offers potato specialists tailor-made variety choices

HZPC customers are the experts of their own environment. They know which circumstances they are dealing with and which potato characteristics are. HZPC developed an online tool with which customers can easily convert their knowledge and experience into tailor-made solutions – a digital calculator that finds the potato variety that gives the highest yield: the new Even Greener tool.
9/30/2021

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AsiaBlight Network takes its expertise to the field

In response to the late blight disease of potatoes, the AsiaBlight Network formed a coalition of farmers, scientists, and government officials to develop an integrated approach to managing, and eventually eradicating, late blight disease with an aim to improve nutrition and food security for billions throughout Asia. Thanks to a massive collaborative research effort, AsiaBlight has developed an evidence-based four-pronged approach to controlling late blight disease.
9/30/2021

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‘No British soil for European potato seed’

The British ban on seed potatoes from the European Union is detrimental to the trade and cultivation in both Europe and the United Kingdom, writes David Stevenson in a news story for Talk Finance. A solution must be found, says Dutch Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Tom Bruijn. The ban on the marketing of seed potatoes is a political choice. It is the result of Brexit and not a technical issue, says Bruijn.
9/30/2021

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McCain to modernize French processing plant

McCain Foods is set to modernize its Béthune plant in Pas-de-Calais, to produce new packaging more suited to mass distribution and to “strengthen its competitiveness”, thanks to an investment of EUR17m. “This investment in Béthune is the first in a series that will be deployed by McCain by 2026” to evolve towards “more modern and sustainable industrial production”, Erwin Pardon, president of McCain Europe, noted.
9/30/2021

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Drought results in smaller Red River Valley potato crop, but rains help with harvest

As Red River Valley dryland potato farmers expected, the 2021 drought reduced their crop’s yields. The dry conditions lowered the Red River Valley dryland potato crop yields, which mostly are fresh and seed varieties, from 20% to 25%, estimated Ted Kreis, Northern Plains Potato Growers Association marketing director. Ann Bailey reports in this news story for AgWeek.
9/30/2021

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Farther Farms developed technology to keep precut fries shelf-stable without freezing or refrigeration

Packaged food startup Farther Farms, backed with $10 million in capital from the National Science Foundation, has created a new food preservation process that it hopes could make the cold chain moot for traditionally frozen or refrigerated packaged food products. The company’s first product, a precut, ready-to-fry French fry, which uses a CO2 food pasteurization technology to keep the fry shelf-stable for months without requiring a freezer or refrigerator.
9/27/2021

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Irish govt wants to help potato growers get their produce into chip shops

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Ireland, Senator Pippa Hackett, has welcomed a new initiative which is aimed at helping Irish potato growers get their produce into Irish chip shops. The Minister said: “Growing chipping potatoes is a specialist operation, and the market for them is valued at approximately €20 million per year. I think the Irish consumer, given the choice, will really appreciate businesses that support local growers.”
9/27/2021

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McCain and The Simple Root use potatoes to create alternatives for dairy based foods

The Simple Root, a new global plant-based brand backed by world leading FMCG McCain Foods, will launch in the UK later this year, harnessing the power of the potato to create delicious alternatives to dairy based foods. Launching in the UK with a global roll out across key markets to follow, the range includes versatile cooking sauces such as bechamel, truffle and cheese, and pesto, cream ‘cheeze,’ and a range of dips such as roasted garlic and herb and smoky chipotle.
9/27/2021

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Key Technology and Exeter Engineering team up to introduce OCULUS digital sorters for potatoes to North America

Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, and Exeter Engineering announce the formation of a sales and service partnership in North America. Under the terms of the agreement, Exeter is appointed the exclusive agent to sell and service Key’s OCULUS digital sorters for fresh market potatoes in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
9/27/2021

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Side Delights steps up to the plate as potato sales rise and consumers choose in-home dining

Side Delights shared industry data showing that retail sales of fresh potatoes alone totaled $3.1 billion for the past year (July 2020-June 2021). “While many shoppers are returning to their busy schedules, many are leaning into the convenience of quick-to-cook products like our Side Delights® Steamables and Bakeables so they can prepare meals easily and cost-effectively in the comfort of their own home,” noted Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network.
9/27/2021

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Frozen French fry production in China expected to increase by 20 percent

According to a recent report issued by the USDA’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN), China’s MY2021/22 frozen French fries production is forecast higher by 20 percent at 420,000 metric tons (MT). According to industry sources, a new french fry production line will be put into production in MY2021/22 in Inner Mongolia. Frozen French fry producers in China are expected to expand their production as much as possible to make up for the reduction of imports.
9/23/2021

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Monitoring project proves successful for potato tuber moth management in South Africa

Potato tuber moth can be a potato producer’s nightmare. InteliGro in South Africa devised an effective monitoring system not only help to control this pest successfully, but allows producers to manage risks and reduce input costs over time. The project has since gained tremendous momentum and is currently an integral part of the service and decision-making support InteliGro offers in South Africa’s Sandveld potato-production region.
9/23/2021

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XAG demonstrates potential of fully autonomous drones for potato farmers

Flying into the Andes mountains of Ecuador, XAG Agricultural Drones are recently introduced to a series of on-farm spray trials for high-altitude specialty crops. The demonstrations on potato fields have presented the high potential of fully autonomous drones in reducing labour cost and agricultural pesticide exposure. The agile agricultural drone would be a powerful tool to promote sustainable farming in Ecuador’s 3.2 million hectares of cultivable soil.
9/23/2021

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‘Nuru’: An AI-powered phone app for African farmers expanded to include potato diseases

Because potato growers need to identify and manage diseases in their fields, the AI-powered mobile app PlantVillage Nuru has been expanded to include them also. More than two million farmers in East Africa who depend on potatoes will be able to point their smartphones at a plant and receive an instant disease diagnosis through the app. It has been expanded to include potato late blight (Phytophthora infestans) and early blight (Alternaria solani).
9/22/2021

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NDSU seeking postdoctoral research associate to investigate agronomic, environmental factors impacting potatoes

The Department of Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University (NDSU) is seeking a postdoctoral research associate to investigate agronomic and environmental factors impacting potato yield and postharvest quality. This position will take a lead in investigating management of new and/or promising new potato varieties during all aspects of potato production.
9/22/2021

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Pepsico’s largest greenfield snack plant in India to double its snack business by 2022

Pepsico last week commissioned the country’s largest greenfield food plant in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. The plant is built at a cost of Rs 814 crore (USD110m), with the aim to fulfill the company’s goal of doubling its snack business by 2022. The plant will cater for the demand of the company’s Lays potato chips business, connecting with over 5,000 local potato farmers.
9/22/2021

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Potato demand improves in Ireland, European markets regain confidence

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reports that retail and consumer demand have improved in the country this week as colder weather has returned and families are back into routines, following the holiday period. The hospitability sector continues to prosper despite the return of schools. European markets continue to regain confidence as economies are almost fully re-opened at this point.
9/22/2021

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Expert advice on operating equipment for harvest and loading into storage

The bulk of harvest is just ahead of us and here are a few reminders on operating equipment for handling the new crop. Regardless of how experienced at operating equipment, a few friendly reminders can always be helpful to minimize bruise, say potato specialists Nora Olsen and Mike Thornton in this article published by Potato Grower magazine.
9/21/2021

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Frozen potato products: A-Insights reports on latest trends

Market and consumer data analytics company A-INSIGHTS has published its latest monthly MarketMonitor report on trends in the Frozen Potato Products industry, titled “June Insights“. Analysts at the company conclude that global trade volume is up 0.5%YTD compared to 2019. Aside from the U.S., France, and New Zealand, all major exporters saw volumes increase compared to 2019. With a monthly import volume of 107.9 thousand tonnes in June, U.S. imports are up 26.2% compared to 2019.
9/20/2021

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Scientists found dried potato powder to be cheaper energy source in animal feed than maize

Scientists at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) in Pakistan have found that dried potato powder can successfully be used as a cheaper energy source in animal feed and can be added up to 30 percent in ruminant concentrates without any negative effect. Due to the high cost of yellow corn, dried potato concentrate had been identified as a low cost alternative and it can easily replace maize.
9/19/2021

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Call for abstract submission for WPC 2022 now open

The 11th World Potato Congress will be held in Dublin, Ireland from 30 May to 2 June, 2022. The call for abstract submission for WPC 2022 is now open and authors are encouraged to submit their abstract online for consideration. A very limited number of submissions will be selected for oral presentation and authors will be notified if their abstract has been accepted for an oral presentation on 20th January 2022.
9/19/2021

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Plans in the making for new representative body for British potato industry

A group of leading potato industry stakeholders has drawn up tentative proposals for a new representative body, provisionally called GB Potatoes. They have distanced themselves from the Growers’ Better Levy Group (GBLG), and say their approach is to bring all sectors together via voluntary subscription and membership. A paper on provisional ideas is currently being circulated to stakeholders.
9/17/2021

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General Manager of United Potato Growers of Canada to retire

Kevin MacIsaac, who has been General Manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada since October 1, 2011 announced he will be retiring this fall. MacIsaac’s diversified career over a 42 year timespan includes dedicated service as an extension agronomist, farmer, industry organizer and a knowledgeable and eloquent advocate. UPGC hopes to have a replacement for the position by this fall and is actively seeking applications for the GM position at this time.
9/17/2021

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MountainKing: Quality of Colorado potato crop ‘extraordinary’

As MountainKing readies for its fall harvest, early tests from its fields in Colorado’s San Luis Valley offer encouraging signs for several of the brand’s gourmet varieties including its yellow-flesh varietals. “The 2021 crop outlook is very bright,” says Andreas Trettin, director of marketing for MountainKing Potatoes. “The quality is extraordinary,” he says.
9/16/2021

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BASF receives registration for Veltyma fungicide with new active ingredient Revysol

BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions has received registration from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) for Veltyma Fungicide. Veltyma contains the unique active ingredient Revysol that provides broader, stronger, and longer control against various diseases. Veltyma is registered for use on multiple crops including potatoes, corn, wheat and soybeans.
9/16/2021

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Australian researchers study whether ‘plant medicines’ could help treat cancer, obesity

“Plant cures” are the key to world-first research by a team of scientists at the University of Queensland (UQ), led by Professor David Craik. “We’re engineering plants into super-efficient producers of next-generation medicines,” Professor Craik said. “So we want to put molecules into, say, potatoes, so that effectively you can have your french fries and not worry about the consequences.”
9/15/2021

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UK agri-tech company secures funding to research early detection of potato diseases and defects

Research scientist Dr Barbara dos Santos Correia, with support of B-hive Innovations, has been successful in her application for a Future Leaders Fellowship and will receive nearly £675,000 to support her TuberSense project – a four-year research programme that aims to detect diseases and defects in potato crops, using volatile biomarkers and innovative gas sensors to reduce food waste across the supply chain.
9/15/2021

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Heat leaves Canada’s prairie potato growers on edge

Producers across Western Canada are optimistic they can still produce a good crop this fall if the weather co-operates, reports Alex McCuaig for The Western Producer. It’s been a reversal of fortunes for Canada’s potato growers this year as last year’s dry season in the East moves west. Not all Manitoba growers have escaped the heat that has plagued producers across the West, especially those farming on dryland.
9/13/2021

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Recyclable and compostable packaging for bite-size potato category

Tasteful Selections recently announced the limited launch of its new 100-percent plastic-free, recyclable and compostable packaging in the US. “This new paper packaging with PaperLock™ technology is a major step forward in sustainable packaging. It offers light protection and natural absorption characteristics that protect our potatoes and help keep plastic out of the waste stream,” said Tim Huffcutt, vice-president, sales and marketing operations.
9/13/2021

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Experts expect high quality Maine potato crop

Agricultural specialists and growers in Maine are predicting a higher quantity and quality of potato crop than was produced in 2020, due to the less severe weather this summer. As Melissa Lizotte reports for Bangor Daily News, last year, severe drought conditions throughout Aroostook County resulted in yields of 20 percent less than the 2019 crop. But despite days of record heat this summer, the overall weather pattern has been much more ideal for the growing season.
9/13/2021

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HZPC pleased with the acquisition of SolEye product by RMA-Techniek

RMA-Techniek acquired the product SolEye on 1 September. SolEye is a product by Solentum B.V. (a former subsidiary of HZPC Holdings). Herman Verveld, Commercial Director at HZPC said: “Here at HZPC we are pleased with this agreement. We could not have found a better company to take over than RMA-Techniek. The company is familiar with the potato business and well known to existing and potential new customers worldwide. Moreover, the use and development of the SolEye will be further expanded”.
9/12/2021

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Greentronics announces new features for well-known tracking product

Greentronics is a company based in Ontario, Canada that designs and manufactures electronic control products for use in agriculture. The company recently added several new features to its well-known RiteWeight in-line conveyor scale product. According to Greentronics founder and owner, Bill Menkveld, the product provides potato growers with an easy and accurate method for tracking loads and weights by date, field, variety, temperature, and cellar.
9/12/2021

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Specialists advise potato growers on crop cleaning prior to storage

Prepping your potatoes for storage depends on smart harvesting and effective cleaning. Engineers at Lockwood Manufacturing in the US say everyone knows digging too warm, too cold and too wet are all bad news for long-term storage, as is allowing your tubers to drop and bruise during harvest. However, they point out that putting your potatoes into storage in less than clean condition is just as costly in the long run. New cleaning options exist.
9/12/2021

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Canadian crop update: Record amounts of rainfall in the east, growers hope early frosts hold off

Weather patterns have continued to influence the outlook for the Canadian potato crop the past couple of weeks, says Kevin MacIsaac in the latest report issued by the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). He says Eastern Canada (particularly Prince Edward Island) has received record amounts of rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The province of Manitoba has also received some rainfall over the past two weeks. High temperatures have broken in Alberta, but it still remains dry. MacIsaac summarizes how the crop looks at this time.
9/11/2021

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