Latest potato news from around the World

Podcast: NPC Leadership Summit, Academic Scholarship, and political interference in Mexico

In this edition of the National Potato Council (NPC) podcast, Eye on Potatoes, ECOO Mike Wenkel calls in to talk about the upcoming Leadership Institute Alumni Summit, to be held July 13-15, which will virtually bring together graduates of the Potato Industry Leadership Institute to network, refresh skills, and learn new techniques to better position themselves for success in the potato industry. Plus, NPC CEO Kam Quarles joins the podcast for a trade policy discussion, including the ongoing standoff in Mexico’s Supreme Court.

Deadlock: Much concern about seed potato trade with the UK

There seems to be little hope for an imminent agreement between the EU and the UK on mutual trade in seed potatoes. If no agreement is reached on the phytosanitary preconditions for import and export, there is a good chance that the export of seed potatoes from EU countries to the UK will be resolutely closed on 1 July. This is what Dick Hylkema, director of the Dutch Potato Organization (NAO) fears.

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21st EAPR Triennial Conference postponed to 2022

For the sake of the health of conference participants and in consideration of the dynamically changing realities related to the COVID 19 pandemic, EAPR President Jadwiga Śliwka and the organizers have announced today that they have decided to postpone the 21st EAPR Triennial Conference. The new conference dates are now 4-8 July 2022. The Conference will be held in the International Exhibition and Convention Centre EXPO Kraków, former capital of Poland.

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Weed busters: Scottish Agronomy lists best residuals for weeds in potatoes

As the potato season edges closer, growers will be pondering herbicide programmes and asking which strategy is likely to deliver the greatest bang for their buck. Ken Fletcher, Editor of The Scottish Farmer writes that the first decision confronting growers will be whether to use metribuzin, or not? With it, weed control is almost always easier and less expensive, but the long list of varieties sensitive to this substance means many growers have to consider the alternatives.

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PepsiCo to spread regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres, sustainably source all key ingredients

PepsiCo, Inc. today announced a new, impact-driven Positive Agriculture ambition, anchored by a goal to spread regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres, approximately equal to its entire agricultural footprint. The company estimates the effort will eliminate at least 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by the end of the decade. It also aims to improve the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in its agricultural supply chain, and sustainably source all key ingredients by 2030.

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Lamb Weston / Meijer and TOMRA Food: A solid partnership that assures high quality and sustainable products

Fueled by their dedication to innovation and improving efficiency, Lamb Weston / Meijer is a leader in producing high- quality products. To keep the quality of their end products top-shelf and remove defects from raw product processing lines, the best steam peeling equipment and optical sorters are necessary – and for Lamb Weston / Meijer this means TOMRA Food. The 11 TOMRA Steam Peelers operating in seven Lamb Weston / Meijer processing facilities worldwide help the business churn out a whopping 255 tons of potato products every hour.

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EarthFresh awarded for fresh organic potato offering

EarthFresh recently received the Best in Organic Product award in the ‘New Product Showcase’ at the CPMA’s Fresh Week Virtual Trade Show and Conference. “We have expanded our Organic product line up to include our Organic Red, Russet & Golden potatoes in new eye-catching 10-lb. compostable paper bags”, says Stephanie Cutaia, Marketing Director at EarthFresh.

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Standen unveils new Dutch-made potato haulm puller

A Dutch-made potato haulm puller is now available in the UK through Ely-based Standen Imports, offering growers a ‘simple and cost-effective method’ of haulm destruction. Following the withdrawal of chemical desiccant diquat, there has been much discussion over which alternative haulm destruction method, or combination of methods, is best.

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Post-Brexit: Ag minister expects growth in Ireland’s seed potato sector

Both Teagasc and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue are confirming that Brexit will impact negatively on the quantities of seed potato that Irish growers can import from the UK. However, the upside to such a development is the opportunity it will create for new and existing seed potato growers in Ireland to expand their operations.

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Mexican potato farmers vow to ‘keep up fight against US imports’

Mexico’s Supreme Court refused two weeks ago for the second time in six weeks to make a ruling that could allow substantial new access to the Mexican market worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually for U.S. potatoes, fueling the determination of Mexican farmers to continue their fight against the trade.

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Focus on phosphate: Liquid fertiliser offers sustainable choices for potato growers

A recent trial in potatoes in the UK has shown that using smart liquid fertilisers can significantly reduce the amount of phosphate required to generate one tonne of yield when compared to traditional granular fertilisers. Carl Gibbard, Agro-Vital technical manager, explains this insight could pay dividends as growers plan their crop nutrition programme for the upcoming season.

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Post-CIPC: British ag industry groups present position paper to authorities

AHDB’s potato storage research team in the UK has worked closely with industry representatives from the British Potato Trade Association, Fresh Potato Suppliers’ Association, National Farmers Union, National Farmers Union of Scotland and UK Potato Processors’ Association to submit a position paper to the Chemical Regulation Division (CRD) of the HSE.

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‘Dawn of the New Age’: PotatoEurope 2021 trial plot planted with a robot

The organisers of PotatoEurope 2021 say in their latest newsletter that pre-planting preparations have progressed well at the PotatoEurope fields at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) field crops in Lelystad, the Netherlands during the past couple of weeks, and demonstration plots were recently planted. During a first-of-its-kind event, one of the plots was planted with an Agrointelli Robotti, an autonomous robotic machine that was employed to pull a Miedema CP 42 4-row cup potato planter.

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New branded Idaho russet potato packaging launched

If consumers “eat with their eyes first”, you could say that packaging is the main course. As such, communicating your brand through a unique package can be one of the most powerful tools in the produce aisle. Idaho based ProSource Produce is well aware of this and recently released the first images of its new branded Idaho russet potato packaging.

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MountainKing’s COVID relief efforts top 1.6 million pounds of fresh potatoes for Houston Food Bank

One year after making its first COVID-19 relief delivery to the Houston Food Bank, MountainKing has now shipped more than 1.6 million pounds of fresh potatoes to the non-profit organization dedicated to providing nutritious meals to those in need. “For years, MountainKing has been a supporter of the Houston Food Bank and its mission of providing food for better lives,” notes Andreas Trettin, the company’s director of marketing.

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Can buckwheat be the new top crop on the rotation block?

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers are encouraging farmers to buck the trend and use buckwheat as a triple threat crop. In addition to its high nutritional value, the fast growing crop is proving to be beneficial in suppressing pests such as wireworms in potatoes, and preventing soil diseases.

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Averis Seeds and Solynta join forces for hybrid breeding of starch potato varieties

Averis Seeds B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Avebe, will be working together with the hybrid potato breeding company Solynta on the hybrid breeding of starch potato varieties, the companies announced in a press release. Hybrid breeding facilitates significantly faster development of new sustainable potato varieties compared to conventional breeding.

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Protect potato potential with ‘Bridgeway’

Keeping potatoes stress-free is not an easy task, with crops often subject to prolonged stress periods at key growth timings. However, ahead of a new season, an amino acid based biostimulant could be the answer to protecting potential, particularly in the early stages, according to the latest advice from Interagro.

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Pesticides and food: ‘It’s not a black or white issue’

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring drew attention to pesticides and their possible dangers to humans, birds, mammals and the environment. Some of her conclusions and warnings have not held up over time, but Silent Spring produced a movement that changed how the U.S. thought about chemicals and biotechnology.

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IFA: Retail potato demand buoyant in Ireland, lockdowns stifling demand in Europe

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says in its latest weekly report that retail demand was buoyant over the Easter period in Ireland, but the food sector service in the country continues to trade at a minimum. Across Europe, another series of lockdowns is reportedly stifling potato demand and the main processors are keeping their requirements almost solely to contracts.

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NASA Harvest and CropX partner to support sustainable ag initiatives

NASA Harvest (NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture Program) and CropX, a global leader in soil analytics for agriculture, recently announced a strategic partnership that will give NASA Harvest unprecedented soil insights for its global agricultural monitoring efforts. The partnership will further NASA Harvest’s mission to improve food security and advance sustainable agriculture.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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