Latest news stories from around the World

Insight in potato crop development during extreme weather conditions

A Belgian project is gaining insight in potato crop development and quality during extreme weather conditions. An agricultural side experiment of the project, coordinated by Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) Remote Sensing, investigates the impact of extreme weather on the cultivation of potatoes. Some 500 smart sensors were installed in 295 potato fields across Flanders.

Idaho Potato Commission names new president and CEO

A marketing expert who was raised in Shelley and has deep roots in the potato industry will be tasked with maintaining Idaho’s reputation for having the world’s top taters. Jamey Higham will become the new president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission beginning in early 2022.

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United Potato Growers of Canada issues final crop report for the season

The United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) has issued its final crop update for the 2021 season today. UPGC General Manager, Kevin MacIsaac, writes in the report that potato harvest is in the final stages across the country. Yields have been below average in the west, above average in the Central provinces, and exceptional in the Eastern region.

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Global trade volumes of frozen potato products stabilize, low priced imports from Belgium gain share in US imports

Market and consumer data analytics company A-INSIGHTS has published its latest monthly MarketMonitor report on trends in the Frozen Potato Products industry, titled “July Insights“. Analysts at the company report that global frozen potato trade volumes have stabilized in July, with the year-to-date volume remaining 0.5% above the pre-COVID levels of 2019. They further report that low priced imports from Belgium gain share in US imports.

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British potato grower makes huge efficiencies with mobile app

An organic vegetable farmer from Shropshire has made efficiency savings of more than 25% while almost doubling the land he manages for potatoes thanks to a new app. As FarmingUK reports, Nick Taylor, who farms at Home Farm, has been instrumental in developing Crop4Sight, and is now using the platform to realise ‘massive efficiencies’ in his business.

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Double L Global promotes Byron Duffin to President

Double L Global (Manufacturing), is pleased to announce the promotion of Byron Duffin to Brand President. Grant Flaharty, CEO of Double L stated, “Byron’s involvement with Double L has helped to rebuild and strengthen the Double L Brand and company. He brings with him three core strengths: a deep background in our industry, strong manufacturing experience and a great tenure in leading people.”

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National Potato Council announces new event: The NPC Washington Summit

U.S. potato growers and industry partners from around the country are invited to the nation’s capital for the new NPC Washington Summit, Feb. 28-March 3, 2022, to help fulfill the National Potato Council’s mission of “Standing Up for Potatoes on Capitol Hill.” The event combines the organization’s Annual Meeting, previously held in January at Potato Expo, and the industry’s grassroots lobbying event, the Potato D.C. Fly-In, held around the beginning of March each year.

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Alberta Potato Conference cancelled

The Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) recently announced that they have made the tough decision to cancel the upcoming Alberta Potato Conference and Tradeshow. It was to be held on November 22nd – 24th in Red Deer. The PGA said in a memo: “Like many other events that are being cancelled, we have made this decision in the best interest of our growers, their families, our industry associates and for everyone that is involved in the undertaking of this event.”

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Food service sector prospers in Ireland, export demand quiet across Europe

The Irish Farmers Association reports that retail demand has eased slightly, although colder weather forecasted should improve trade again in Ireland. The food service sector continues to prosper, despite it traditionally being a quieter period. Prices for the fresh sector in Europe are currently described as holding or slightly easier. Export demand is very quiet.

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Maine’s bountiful potato crop: Farmers need airplane hangars to store it

After nearly three decades of vacancy, the warehouses and airplane hangars of the former Loring Air Force Base in Maine have acquired new tenants — millions of freshly harvested Aroostook County potatoes. While the yield is largely good news, the sheer size of the 2021 harvest is creating new problems for some farmers, who now need to find and then adapt to makeshift storage facilities that aren’t built to preserve the quality of the potatoes.

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Orange oil potato sprout suppressant could help fill CIPC gap

An orange oil product that prevents sprouting in stored potatoes will be available for winter storage to help fill the gap left by the banning of the once widely used chlorpropham (CIPC). The new product, called Argos, comes from agrochemicals group UPL and is made from a natural substance, d-limonene (terpene), which is extracted from orange peel.

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Waitrose signs up to UK’s organic ‘potato pledge’

Waitrose & Partners is set to be the first major retailer to sign up to The UK Robust Potato Pledge, which will see the group move away from the use of copper-based fungicides on organic fresh potatoes in order to combat late blight. According to a report by European Supermarket Magazine, the group aims to achieve this by growing and selling only resistant or ‘robust’ organic fresh potatoes by 2026.

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I-Feeder Technologies: Serving the need for precision irrigation solutions

I-Feeder Technologies, a leader in state-of-the-art dosing systems, has grown to serve the need for integrated precision irrigation technologies in terms of software and hardware solutions. The I-Feeder fertigation system is supplied as a turnkey operational system, meaning no additional sourcing is required and ensures correct installation, designed to be easy and simple.

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New Ag Director at McCain GB to take overall responsibility for potatoes

McCain Foods (GB) recently announced the appointment of James Young, who will be joining the UK senior leadership team as Agriculture Director. In his new role, he will take overall responsibility for McCain’s crucial raw material – potatoes. Young will also continue to develop McCain’s strong relationship with its 250 strong grower community and enhance the integration from field to factory, as well as leading the brand’s sustainable farming efforts.

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‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’: Retailers commit to sustainable potatoes

Several key UK retailers have pledged to sell disease resistant organic potatoes, boosting sustainability and farm resilience for producers. Organic certification body the Soil Association developed its ‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’ in a bid to help growers move away from potatoes that are susceptible to blight. Signees to the pledge have agreed to favour organic spuds that have been bred to be blight resistant.

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Idaho Steel nominated for ‘Coolest Thing Made in Idaho’ honor

Idaho Steel is excited to participate the 2021 ‘Coolest Thing Made in Idaho’ Campaign. In celebration of National Manufacturing Day and Idaho Manufacturing Month in October, the Idaho Manufacturing Alliance (IMA) is presenting a virtual campaign to spotlight some of the great manufacturers in the state. Idaho Steel has been nominated for the Nex-Gem Rotary Former.

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KFC in Japan suspends sale of fries due to import problems

Japan KFC Holdings announced on October 8 that Kentucky French fries and other potato products are temporarily suspended for sale. KFC says in the notice: “Currently, imports of goods are delayed due to the disruption of the global distribution network due to the effects of the new coronavirus infection. Therefore, ‘potato’ may be temporarily suspended at some stores.”

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Philippine potato project supports growers with Canadian seed and training

A project run by Universal Robina Corp (URC) and the Philippine government has provided a valuable boost to the country’s potato growers during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2018 URC partnered with the government to launch the Sustainable Potato Programme to provide growers with quality potato seed, training and research.

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‘Basics of irrigation’ the theme of next World Potato Congress webinar

The World Potato Congress is pleased to announce the resumption of its webinar series. Its first Fall webinar will feature a presentation by Yechiam Gets, Crop Model Agronomist with Netafim. It is scheduled for November 11, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard time (USA/Canada). The presentation is titled “Basics of irrigation for processing potatoes and irrigation scheduling”.

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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.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor & Publisher

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