Dear PNT readers, find below a selection of potato related quotes we picked from news items published on Potato News Today the past couple of weeks. We believe these to be worth taking note of, and remembering…
The government needs to remember we are dealing with a perishable crop. …The longer they delay, the greater the risk of spoilage and the increased chance we have to deal with potato blight in addition to the surplus. …Without government action now, it will devastate a multi-billion industry and all of the jobs — on the farm, in the processing plants and in grocery stores and restaurants — that depend on it.
As soon as foodservice will be starting up again, this will have an effect on consumption patterns. However, the distancing rules and the reluctance for consumers to go out for lunch or dinner will still influence the figures. …we believe that it will take some time until we can talk about a process of a large scale of vaccination, before things can go back to normal. On the other hand, a new lockdown could be devastating for the industry!
New active ingredients have come to the market, many of which have added to the ability to control blight. However with more widespread sexual reproduction the disease now has an increased ability to create new strains and if these new products are not used carefully, resistance could develop very quickly. In order to achieve putting less pressure on fungicides it is important that good Integrated Pest Management principles are applied for blight control. The most important thing when spraying to prevent blight is to start your programme early.
Synthetic pesticides are the obvious solution to pests in the field and post-harvest food spoilage caused by microbes. But with consumers always concerned about pesticide exposure and strict regulations governing the use of these chemicals, farmers and food packagers are increasingly turning to a suite of natural products known as biopesticides, pest control tools derived from plants and microorganisms the EPA considers inherently less risky.
Keeping spray intervals tight is a practice that growers have become familiar with, but it isn’t without its challenges when unfavourable conditions mean spray days are few and far between. Drift is the biggest cause of off-target chemical movement and increases the threat to the crop from late blight where it’s not adequately protected.
God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bails and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets…and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. So, God made a farmer!
This oversupply has impacted both the 2019 and 2020 crop for U.S. family farms that grow potatoes. Some of these farms will have no ability to sell their 2019 or 2020 crop.
My Zoom friends tell me to focus on being grateful, rather than denying or being angry over my loss. While I appreciate their concern and love for me, I’m not there yet. I dared to love deeply, and therefore I grieve deeply. And I must fully feel all the stages of grief if I am ever to love again. Perhaps one day, I will find meaning in the loss. But for today, I grieve.
I’m worried about the growers, the families – the mental stress and the mental strain on the family farms. It’s hard on the spouse, it’s hard on the kids, it’s hard on the workers. That’s where the untold story is – the mental stress and the financial stress on these family farms…
On top of the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australian potato growers already face significant challenges to their businesses due to issues such as the recent drought, water access and ironically the wettest harvest in Tasmania in recent history. Industries such as the Australian processing potato industry, which are vibrant and profitable in normal times, must be protected from dumped European product if the government is serious about food security.
The fortunes of the potato industry over the coming year will not only depend on a return to some sense of normality, but the vagaries of the weather. Conditions are often more reliable in North America where snow melt and irrigation provide enough water for growing plans, but they are more variable in Europe. One of the wettest winters on records is being followed by one of the driest springs and the combination of low yields could leave the continent short of potatoes and firm prices up over coming months.
You’re really looking at what you’ve got in your arsenal to try and control the psyllids. IPM just seemed to make a lot of sense: Why would you want to try and kill all the beneficial insects when they are the workers that are going to do your job for you? We were looking at it from that point of view. Along with trying to control the psyllid, we also use the beneficial insects to help.
Photo above: Wall Street Jounal