North America

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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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. Heading into Western Canada, the drought has been detrimental to yields.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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One in 100,000: Breeders in Rhinelander seek the next commercial potato variety

Last Thursday, Jeffrey Endelman stood in a windy field east of Rhinelander and fished a diagram out of his fanny pack. “I’m continuing my selections in family number 91, at the moment, as I round the corner,” he explained to Ben Meyer of WXPR. Endelman was inspecting some of the 170 tillable acres at UW-Madison’s Rhinelander Agricultural Research Station. Over the decades, UW-Madison’s program has become one of the premier potato breeding programs in the country.

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RNA-based biopesticide technology delivers 98% mortality of Colorado potato beetle

Renaissance BioScience Corp., a leading global bioengineering company, is pleased to announce that an independent test of its environmentally safe, RNA-based biopesticide technology conducted on Colorado potato beetle (CPB) larvae resulted in 98.3% mortality and greatly reduced the amount of plant damage caused by the beetle. The proof-of-concept test applied Renaissance’s proprietary yeast-based RNA interference technology.

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Specialist shares views on cover crops, soil health and fertility

On this episode of the SpudChat podcast, Ryan Barrett, Research Coordinator and Project Lead, Agronomy Initiative at the Board talks to Dr. Judith Nyiraneza with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in Charlottetown about some of her research projects, including cover cropping, building soil health and fertility through rotation crops, measuring the effect of manure in potato rotations, and more.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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