Latest potato news from around the World

ProSource Produce and Arrowhead Potato agreement to boost year-round potato packing and sales capacity

ProSource Produce LLC., and Arrowhead Potato Co., announced that they have entered into an exclusive sales and marketing agreement beginning in August of 2021. Arrowhead Potato Co., doing business as Moss Produce LLC., is a family owned and operated farming and fresh potato packing operation located in Rupert, ID. ProSource Produce LLC., is a grower owned and operated sales and marketing company based in Hailey, Idaho.

Lamb Weston posted ‘robust’ fiscal results, expects demand for fries to return to pre-pandemic levels

Lamb Weston Holdings posted robust fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 results, as both top and bottom lines increased year over year. Results were largely aided by demand recovery for frozen potato products, with curbs being lifted and restaurant traffic improving. Demand in Europe and key export markets is likely to improve with the increased availability of vaccines in the regions.

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Latest global potato statistics now updated

Dear Readers, I have updated the latest available FAOSTAT global data for potatoes – related to “production” and “area harvested”, and present the results in this news post. It now includes statistics for 2019. Total world production totalled 370,436,581 metric tonnes, produced on 17,340,986 hectares.

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Texas A&M potato breeding program to show off latest varieties

The annual Texas A&M Potato Breeding and Variety Development Program Field Day, hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Barrett Potato Farms, will be July 28. Isabel Vales, Ph.D., AgriLife Research potato breeder Vales said it has been a challenging year to grow potatoes in Springlake. Potatoes emerged late and had to endure inclement weather. “It is a miracle to see tubers underground,” she said.

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‘How to drink a cold spud’: Two Canadian companies launch potato based beers

Last week, The Establishment Brewing Company announced the release of a new beer called “This Spud’s For You” – an American lager. In its promotional campaign, the company use the slogan “Taters. But not for tots.” Earlier in the year, Holy Whale Brewery in New Brunswick announced “a kind of goofy beer” brewed with Prince Edward Island potatoes.

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Viewpoint: ‘How COVID has altered the future of US agriculture and the role of biotechnology’

The past year has been a doozy. Being locked up for a year and watching half a million Americans die was traumatizing. In the most productive agricultural country in the world, millions of people lined up for food and many Americans died because Covid preferentially attacks people with pre-existing conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. So says Jim Budzynski in an article published by Genetic Literacy Project.

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First Nations chip brand hitting Canadian shelves

Canadian supermarkets are soon to be stocking Indigenous-owned potato chip brand Tomahawk Chips. In just over five years an Indigenous business owner has taken an upstart potato chip business from humble roots in rural Manitoba, to a distribution deal that will now see his chips sold all across the country.

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New Tong mobile washing system creates efficiencies for major UK potato supplier

A new mobile washing facility, featuring Tong’s next generation barrel washer, is bringing increased throughput and a highly flexible washing solution for UK potato supplier Wolds Produce this season. Featuring the latest model of Tong’s popular potato barrel washer, the new mobile washing system is built to handle high throughputs of crop, with a 4m long, 1200m wide barrel washer and integrated destoner for reliable removal of stones from crop prior to washing.

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Expiration of anti-dumping tariffs on fries leaves South African potato industry vulnerable

Anti-dumping tariffs on frozen French fries imported from the Netherlands and Germany have expired, leaving the South African potato industry vulnerable to ‘dumping’. Willie Jacobs, CEO of Potatoes South Africa (Potatoes SA), said “The previous protection mechanism [proved] to be effective in ensuring the sustainability [of the local industry], and there is more than significant case law to suggest it to be necessary.”

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Desiccating potato crops: What are the options in 2021?

With diquat no longer available (Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland), Irish potato growers will have no option but to look at other crop desiccation options over the coming weeks. This issue was the focus of a farm demonstration, hosted by the College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) at its Greenmount farm in Co. Antrim this week, which Agriland’s Richard Halleron went along to.

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‘Small is beautiful’: Technico offers wide range of TechniTuber® potato varieties world wide

The Technico Group of Companies announced today that it is in the process of upgrading and commercialising its award winning TECHNITUBER Seed Potato Technology for suitable application across various geographic regions in the world. According to CEO Dr. Soundar Soundararadjane, “The TECHNITUBER® seed size of approximately 13mm, weighing a mere 1.5 grams, is viable enough to be planted at only approximately 100 kg per hectare. TECHNITUBER seeds are delivered pre-sprouted in ‘field ready’ conditions and are easily transported.

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NPC President: Hoping for foodservice to open up, having live conversations with growers

Nearly halfway through his national potato council presidency, Dominic Lajoie spoke to Newssource8′s Rhian Lowndes about how things are going in this week’s County Ag. “The Delta variant and spikes across the country, it’s concerning,” he says. “We definitely want our schools open, our universities open, our restaurants fully open. You know food service is a big part of the potato industry. If those markets aren’t developed back to where they were, we’re gonna feel a lot more pain.”

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Lamb Weston to invest $415 million in new french fry processing line in Idaho

Lamb Weston Holdings announced yesterday an expansion of french fry processing capacity at its facility in American Falls, Idaho, and the declaration of its quarterly dividend. “This investment in American Falls complements our recently-announced plans to construct a greenfield french fry processing facility in China, as well as capacity expansion in Russia by our European joint venture, Lamb-Weston/Meijer,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO of Lamb Weston.

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India’s WayCool Foods to invest in SV Agri to boost supply of potato seed, storage and processing facilities

WayCool Foods, a fast growing agri-commerce company in India, announced this week that they will be investing USD 5 million into Siddhi Vinayak Agri Processing Pvt. Ltd (SV Agri), one of India’s fully integrated players in the potato supply chain. The investment will allow both WayCool and SV Agri to leverage their strong supply chain eco-systems and boost the quality and supply of potato seed, storage and processing facilities across India.

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Irrigation now in use to maintain potato yields in Ireland

According to Wilson’s Country agronomist Stuart Meredith, up to 30% of potato crops in the Republic of Ireland are now being irrigated in order to maintain yields. The equivalent figure for Northern Ireland is 10%. The continuing warm spell has created significant moisture deficit challenges for most Irish potato crops.

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Research breakthrough creates crops that can grow 50% more potatoes, rice

Manipulating RNA can allow plants to yield dramatically more crops, as well as increasing drought tolerance, announced a group of scientists from the University of Chicago, Peking University and Guizhou University. In initial tests, adding a gene encoding for a protein called FTO to both potato and rice plants increased their yield by 50% in field tests. The plants grew significantly larger, produced longer root systems and were better able to tolerate drought stress.

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Canadian crop update: Good moisture levels in the east, hot and dry in the west

Growing conditions across the country seem to have reversed regionally from a year ago. This year the four main growing provinces in eastern and central Canada have received good moisture levels to date, while the four western provinces have been extremely hot and dry. Kevin MacIsaac, General Manager United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) provides an up to date summary of crop growth across the country.

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Nominations for the 2022 World Potato Congress Industry Awards now requested

The World Potato Congress Industry Award ceremony is an important and prestigious event on the international potato scene. The award recognizes a lifetime of contributions to the potato industry. Typically, three outstanding individuals are recognized during the Industry Awards ceremony at the World Potato Congress. Nominations for the next Congress in Dublin, Ireland, May 30 to June 2, 2022 are now requested.

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1,4Group considering building a $35 million chemical processing plant in Louisiana

An Idaho potato preservative and insect repellent producer is considering building a $35 million chemical processing plant in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. Meridian, Idaho-based 1,4Group was founded in 1992 by a former potato farmer and has grown into a global business with operations in Canada, Mexico and Europe. The proposed complex would potentially replace a Chinese production site and manufacture insect repellent and a potato preservative for global export.

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British farm levy body AHDB announces plans to cut costs by £7.8m

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in the UK plans to axe a number of senior management staff as part of efforts to reduce costs by £7.8 million. The UK farm levy body has also unveiled plans to let levy-paying farmers and agricultural businesses vote on the future direction of its activities in spring next year.

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How to optimize fungicide applications with drones

With the rise of precision agriculture solutions, the farming industry has become increasingly tech savvy. Many growers and producers have embraced GPS-enabled tractors, variable-rate fertilizer applications, and smart platforms that monitor everything from pest populations to yield performance. Emily Carlson, Rantizo Marketing Manager reports.

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Scientists’ view on how to tackle worrying emerging potato blight strains

Breeders in Britain believe they have the tools to stay one step ahead of late blight in potatoes, despite concern about new and more aggressive strains emerging across Europe. Since 2000, researchers have had technology that allows rapid identification of any genetic changes – or new “clones” – in populations of Phytophthora infestans. In the Netherlands, Wageningen-based Solynta’s research team lead Michiel de Vries says it is now up to the breeding companies to develop resistant varieties.

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Wisconsin potato researcher discussing season projects

Potato research and the current crop were the topics of a University of Wisconsin field demonstration day Thursday. Amanda Gevens is a potato & vegetable disease researcher for the University of Wisconsin and the state’s growers. She tells Brownfield the one good thing about a drier than normal June is fewer instances of potato disease. As for research this growing season, Gevens says she’s focused on comparing early and traditional planting dates and also on seed treatment.

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Video: Potato farmers in Maine’s Aroostook county expect a bigger and better year

Last year not a good year for potato farmers in Maine. Dry weather and the pandemic saw to that, but this year things seem to be turning around for them. This year growers are expecting a bigger yield, says University of Maine crop ecology professor Greg Porter. “There’s optimism that there’ll be a good supply here of good quality potatoes and that the market will be there to take those potatoes,” he says.

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Canadian growers planted more potatoes in 2021, although still well below 2003 peak

Statistics Canada released their first estimate of potato acreage in Canada from data obtained with their survey of Canadian potato growers. Kevin MacIsaac, General Manager of the Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) reports that the 2021 potato acreage is estimated at 378,624 acres. This is an increase of 5.3% above 2020. It is still well below its peak of 457,500 acres which occurred back in 2003.

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Annual Report: McCain Foods in Britain impacted by pandemic and poor potato crop

McCain Foods (GB) Ltd is a leading manufacturer of frozen potato products in Great Britain. The company this week released its “Annual Report and Unaudited Financial Statements for the Financial Year ended June 2020”. According to the annual report, McCain saw drop in annual sales and fell to a loss last year as Covid hit its out of home sales and it suffered from a poor potato crop.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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