News January 2021

2021 British potato area set to decline?

The last 12 months have really taken their toll on potato markets. The coronavirus pandemic happened at one of the worst points within the potato growing cycle, and there was not much growers could do to reduce their area. Many growers may be thinking of reducing their area for 2021. How much could the area reduce by?

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Burger King France giving away potatoes to support farmers

In order to support French potato farmers who can no longer sell their produce due to restaurant closures across France, Burger King is giving away bags of potatoes. Since yesterday, Burger King has been giving away a one kilo bag of potatoes to each customer who visits a drive-thru. It comes in a bid to help French potato farmers unable to sell their produce due to widespread restaurant closures across the nation, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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AHDB’s new marketing campaign to feature the jacket potato

AHDB Potatoes will launch a new marketing campaign this February, with the amazing jacket potato at its heart. The versatility and adaptability of baked potatoes is the focal point of the latest wave of marketing activity, with Britons encouraged to extend the teatime favourite to a hot lunchtime alternative.

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EU rejects application to resume British seed potato exports

An application to allow the resumption of British seed potato exports to Europe has been rejected by the European Commission. The UK Government had applied to the European Commission seeking a solution to the Brexit trade deal not including third-country equivalence for seed potatoes. Failure to secure the equivalence status put an end to all GB seed potato exports to Northern Ireland and Europe from January 1 this year.

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IFA: Ware potato export from the UK to Ireland reportedly picking up

IFA reports that growers dependant on the food service sector have been hit once again, with the announcement that level 5 restrictions will remain in place until March 5th and restaurants to remain closed beyond this. Exports of ware potato from the U.K. to Ireland is reported to be picking up as exporters are overcoming issues with documentation. The use of heat-treated pallets is also

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Where is the IPM potential for virus-vectoring aphid pests?

Addressing the increasing virus problem faced by seed potato growers may call for a re-think on how drills are planned and the implementation of effective IPM strategies to help combat the risk of virus-vectoring aphids developing insecticide resistance. Innovative research, led by Eric Anderson of Scottish Agronomy, has shown sowing spring barley around headlands and wildflowers along tramlines of seed potato fields can help to reduce virus incidence.

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Inspiring: Detroit activist turns old potato chip bags into sleeping bags for the homeless

It starts with a pile of used potato chip bags and ends with desperately needed sleeping bags to help Detroit’s homeless face the brutal winter. Environmental activist Eradajere Oleita told CNN’s David Blank how she works her magic. The process is simple: collect bags, cut them open, iron them and then line with plastic. It takes about 150 of them to make a single sleeping bag. Oleita wants to make 60 bags by early February. “I have never been shy of humanitarian work because firstly I am … a human.”

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USDA appoints new board members for Potatoes USA

On January 13, the United States Department of Agriculture appointed 31 new or returning members to serve three-year terms on the National Potato Promotion Board, Dba Potatoes USA. The new members will be sworn in at the organization

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TOMRA Food creates new, unique organization for Fresh Food and Processed Food

TOMRA Food announced today its new organization focused on two business areas, Fresh Food and Processed Food. This change creates a powerful organization, unique in the world, which brings together the most extensive technology portfolio, the widest array of Research & Development skills, and the strongest global footprint in the sector. With the new organization, TOMRA Food announced several appointments.

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CEO National Potato Council: Expectations, implications, and hopes for the US potato industry

With the inauguration of President Biden a week behind us now, the new administration is settling in and gearing up to tackle the issues ahead of them. There has been a lot of speculation on what might be expected from this new administration for the produce industry as a whole. Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council, discussed the expectations, implications, and hopes for the potato industry for the next four years with FreshPlaza’s Annika Durinck.

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SAC Association of Potato Producers Conference: ‘Scottish potatoes in a big world’

Usually at this time of year, many potato industry folks in Scotland head to the Perth Racecourse for a day of potato chat, a mix of forward looking speakers, up to date research and more. This year, it’s not going to be possible to all meet. Instead, there will be an online conference spread over two afternoons, starting today. During these sessions the prospects for the crop in the future will be in the spotlight.

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Kenyan potato farmers increase yields with higher-quality seed and improved agronomic practices

In the village of Meru, in eastern Kenya, farmers are celebrating better potato harvests. In just the past two years, their harvests have increased from 10 tons per hectare to 28, bringing them close to the range of yields in most European countries (between 30-50 tons/ha). Farmers credit the increase to higher-quality seed combined with improved agronomic practices. In the past, farmers used potatoes from the previous season

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Drones on target to deliver nutrients

As the popularity of applying pesticides by UAVs (drones) is increasing at a pace in many countries across the globe, attention is now turning to precisely targeted applications of fertiliser along with micro- and macro nutrients. For precision farmers this really does close the virtuous circle. UAVs can scan the crop, identify and map problem areas and then return with targeted applications of pesticides or nutrients to rectify any deficiencies or treat the disease or pests.

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Report: Global frozen potato trade still down 10% compared to last year

After a good September month, with a stabilization global trade compared to last year, October 2020 proved to be another slow month for the global frozen potato trade according to the information published in the latest Annual Insight Frozen Potato Trade newsletter. Year-to-date (YTD) frozen potato global trade is still down 10% compared to YTD October 2019, despite a relatively strong recovery in the (late) summer months.

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Biological fungicide now available for use on potatoes in Canada

BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions (BASF) recently received Health Canada PMRA label expansion for Serifel. New for the 2021 growing season, Serifel is an innovative biological fungicide with multiple modes of action now available for use on a range of fruiting, leafy, root and cucurbit vegetables, including potatoes. Serifel was previously registered for use in targeting powdery mildew and botrytis in grapes.

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