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.
Author: Lukie Pieterse
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.
A&L Canada Laboratories Inc. this week announced the formation of a new joint venture (JV) with Deveron Corp. and together they have acquired US based Woods End Laboratories Inc. They are the developer and distributer of the Solvita brand of soil health products.
As Australia’s iconic homegrown potato chip brand Smith’s celebrates its 90th year, parent company PepsiCo has unveiled its installation of Australia’s only high capacity baked potato line to produce a wide range of new ‘better for you’ snacking innovations, including Smith’s Oven Baked potato chips and Red Rock Deli premium crackers.
Brits have fallen back in love with potatoes. So says McCain’s UK & Ireland president Howard Snape, who’s been putting together some retail sales figures at its otherwise deserted UK HQ in Scarborough. He’s feeling buoyant about the findings. Snape believes Covid has “helped to re-energise” the potato.
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.
2Blades Foundation: Collaborative effort to bring a disease-resistant potato variety to market in Africa
Evanston, Illinois based 2Blades Foundation reports in its latest e-mail newsletter on the Foundation’s support for the International Potato Center’s African potato initiative. The Foundation make note in the newsletter that Chris Kennedy, Chairman of Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises, Inc. and Bob Easter, President Emeritus of the University of Illinois, co-wrote a blog on how a collaborative effort to bring a disease-resistant potato variety to market in Africa is helping to build global food security.
The most recent buzz-phrase to grip the rural chattering classes – particularly those of us who like to make a loud noise in the farming glossies or social media – is “regenerative agriculture”, writes Robert Ramsay, a farmer and director at Angus-based SoilEssentials.
At the last minute, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) postponed a debate on two pending appeals banning the import of potatoes from the United States, according to a news report by Leland Griffith, published in Sunday Vision.
This is a condensed version of a more thorough and detailed analysis, involving over a dozen sites between 2019 and 2020. Sites included irrigated low organic matter sands and sandy loam soils in central Minnesota. The study was done by Anez Consulting, based in Little Falls and Paynesville, MN. The article below was authored by Precision Agronomist, Michael Dunn.
For some time now, AVR has been offering agricultural companies technology for data collection. This data is displayed on the digital platform AVR Connect, offering the farmer improved, real time insights into what is going on inside the machine, how it is operating, and how the process can be made more efficient. This platform has been further developed in collaboration with Dacom Farm Intelligence, allowing for parcel data to be linked to machine data.
A team effort led to Alberta being declared Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) free – improving trade prospects for potato producers, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in the province, Devin Dreeshen. He says: “Potatoes are a billion-dollar industry in Alberta. This announcement will help us re-claim market access and will lead to fewer restrictions as we pursue new markets.”
Driving toward a goal of using more sustainable materials in packaging, two Alexia Organic Potatoes brand products from potato producer Lamb Weston will use corn and potato starch in their packaging beginning in April 2021. The new packaging is partially made of potato starches.
Restrain company will host this webinar tomorrow, Thursday, 8 April, 2021. Join this webinar to learn about: The last part of the storage with ethylene; how to preserve the quality of your potatoes; and the do’s and don’ts for Restrain storage management.
In a recently completed survey by the IMPACT Center at Washington State University, it was found that Washington State farm families’ direct compliance outlays to manage COVID-10 were roughly $2,532 per month. Direct compliance outlays were found to be much higher for those businesses packing potatoes at $4,340 per month.
The Manter Clipper M2 is now even smarter by using a new type PLC and HMI (Human Machine Interface). This has set in motion a complete upgrade of this fast and versatile packaging machine, the company says. The result is said to be excellent – the improved Clipper M2 combining the latest technology with even more ease of use.
New Potatoes South Africa awareness campaign highlights resilience, optimism of unsung industry heroes
Potatoes South Africa (PSA) has launched a bold new awareness campaign in a bid to create perspective about the resilience and performance of the potato industry’s stakeholders in the country, especially in the context of South Africa recently marking the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 disruption. Called #WhenHopeWhispers, the campaign aims to highlight the resilient spirit and contributions of various stakeholders from the potato industry.
The ballot on continuation of the AHDB Potatoes levy saw more than 66 per cent of participants vote against. Journalists Alice Dyer and Marianne Curtis gauge reaction and wrote this article, published by Farmers Guardian.
While an official opening might not be possible, the team at GRIMME UK’s new £3m depot have still found a way to celebrate – supplying the 2000th GRIMME de-stoner to one of the country’s leading vegetable growers. A month after moving into the Market Weighton depot, GRIMME UK has supplied a milestone CS 150 Combi-Star separator to one of Yorkshire’s largest root vegetable growers.
Potato consumption in Northern Ireland has boomed on the back of the home cooking experiences enjoyed by so many thousands of people in homes across the region over the last number of months. And the expectation is for this very welcome trend to gain even greater momentum, once new season crops for 2021 are available.
Potatoes in the United States and Canada are a commodity. When selecting varieties, the colour of the skin tends to be the primary consideration. As new managing director of HZPC Americas Corp, Jeff Scramlin sees opportunities to increase market share by highlighting the distinguishing characteristics such as cooking types, flavors and textures. These efforts should help to de-commoditize potatoes, create demand and increase value through the chain in North America.
This past winter, two well known potato pathologists stated that the incidence of Dickeya dianthicola is declining in the U.S., writes Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist at the Ontario Potato Board, in a recent article. Dr. Banks is of the opinion that additional novel and potentially high virulent soft rot species probably remain to be discovered, and this high level of diversity will hinder the development of tolerant potato varieties. “This is not good news!,” Dr. Banks says.
A team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a device that can deliver electrical signals to and from plants, opening the door to new technologies that make use of plants. The NTU team developed their plant ‘communication’ device by attaching a conformable electrode (a piece of conductive material) on the surface of a Venus flytrap plant using a soft and sticky adhesive known as hydrogel. The NTU team is looking to devise other applications using an improved version of their plant ‘communication’ device.
The boards of directors of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh) have reached an agreement in principle to create a new global trade association combining their resources and expertise to enhance member services, increase advocacy before government and the public, help members grow their businesses, and drive consumption of fresh produce.