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Trio of ag friends help Red River Valley grow taller

Three agricultural businessmen in northern Red River Valley have forged an unusual bond of friendship, forged through more than a half-century of ties among generations of families, each blazing trails in their own lanes, writes Mikkel Pates in an article published by The Dickinson Press. The three are based in Grand Forks, N.D., and East Grand Forks, Minn. — three separate stories of agribusiness success by Gregg Halverson, Mike Delisle, and John Botsford,

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PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand appoints new Chief Marketing Officer

PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) has announced the appointment of Vandita Pandey to the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer for both snacks and beverages. Pandey comes from Frito-Lay (a PepsiCo company) in the United States where she has spent the last 11 years in roles that span across marketing, corporate strategy, insights and media. Her latest role was General Manager, Bare Snacks.

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Richard Hackett: ‘Ireland’s potato growers need a new brand and storage flexibility to cut carbon footprint’

Agronomist Richard Hackett writes in a column in the Farming section of Independent that in the broadest terms, reducing carbon footprint means reducing energy use, diesel use and fertiliser use. What can we do in the potato sector to achieve these aims? he asks. He goes on to say that “we have got ourselves in a position where one variety, harvested over a two-month period, supplies practically the entire ware market for 12 months of the year.

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Innovation in the air: How a visionary in Rwanda is growing potatoes sustainably with aeroponics

A Rwandan entrepreneur is pioneering the use of innovative farming technology that, he believes, is set to play a major role in feeding the growing population in his country, amid increasing pressure on arable land. No soil, barely any water, a controlled environment: for Apollinaire Karegeya, the advantages of aeroponics are clear. The young entrepreneur’s vision and actions are described in a recently published news article by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Potato News Today is pleased to republish the article here.

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Another Scotts Evolution Dirt Remover sent to Wyma in New Zealand

A UK manufacturer of vegetable harvesting equipment has seen a surge in demand for its unique vegetable handling machine from customers in New Zealand. Scotts Precision Manufacturing has this month sent its fourth Evolution Dirt Removers to Wyma, which has included the innovative separator in a cleaning line that will be used by a large scale potato packer in Canterbury.

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Seed potato exports from Canada’s Prince Edward Island to the US halted; NPC CEO issues statement

In a media statement, the National Potato Council (NPC) in the US says that on November 27, “the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of potato wart (Synchytrium endobioticum) in two fields on a farm in Prince Edward Island (PEI), according to a pest report issued by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).” In response, the NPC said it supports CFIA’s immediate action to stop all PEI seed shipments into the United States

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Mancozeb remains registered for foliar applications in Canada

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in Canada has returned its decision for the re-evaluation of mancozeb. Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, the PMRA has determined that continued registration of products containing mancozeb is acceptable, with some exceptions and additional risk mitigation measures. Supported uses of mancozeb products, including ground and aerial foliar application to potatoes. Use of mancozeb as a potato seed piece treatment has been cancelled.

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British potato market update

AHDB Analyst Thomma Shepherd reports in the latest Ptoato Weekly report that free-buy markets experienced a downturn in trade this week, with most overall demand met by contracted material. Markets have seen demand dampened by the coronavirus pandemic, with Christmas parties this year restricted by government guidelines. The processing trade has seen quieter levels of demand, with free-buy prices declining slightly from last week. Much of this demand is able to be met using contracted supplies.

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British potato storage expert to retire

Farm Electronics’ Production Director, Paul Jackson, is retiring after almost half a century at the forefront of the business, reports Potato Review. Paul said: “I would like to thank all customers, suppliers and work colleagues past and present for their trust and patience in our dealings over my career. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences in the path of the evolution of Farm Electronics. Time seems to have flown by.”

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TV documentary recalls the horror of the Irish Famine, 175 years on

To mark the 175th anniversary of the Irish Famine, a two-part series, The Hunger: The Story Of The Irish Famine begins on RTÉ1 tonight, Monday November 30, at 9.35pm. Narrated by Liam Neeson, it reveals and develops a challenging analysis of the crisis, and is one of the first occasions that one of the most defining historical moments in national history has been comprehensively shown on television. Today, Ireland is the only country in the western world with a population lower than it had in the 1840s.

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In an age of biofortified food: Study reveals potato’s potential for reducing anemia

Potatoes can be an excellent source of iron. This means potatoes could play an important role in efforts to reduce iron deficiency – the leading cause of anemia, which affects about 2 billion people globally. Whereas people absorb only about 2-10% of the iron in most vegetables, 8% of the iron in pearl millet and less than 10% of the iron in beans, participants in this study absorbed 28% of the iron in the yellow-fleshed potato they ate.

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Possible ban on UK potatoes could impact chip shops, growers in Ireland

A possible post-Brexit ban on the importation of potatoes from the UK could affect supplies in Ireland next year. From 1 January, UK table potatoes and seed potatoes could fall foul of EU food safety rules. When the UK becomes a third country, it will be outside the legal framework of the European Union’s food safety rules. Many service outlets in Ireland, including chip shops, use British potatoes for chips.

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Pandemic pushes Peru’s vital peasant farmers to the brink

Small scale farmers are responsible for the food that lands on 70 percent of Peruvian dinner tables, officials say, but months of pandemic lockdown and a souring economy have left many bankrupt and questioning whether to plant again. Strict quarantines early in the pandemic made transporting beans, potatoes and other crops to markets difficult. Prices plummeted as demand dropped. Official data shows the price for potatoes dropped at least 30 percent between March and July.

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Pandemic impacts Chef endorsed UK potato brand

UK based Linwood Crops was established in 2016 by four potato specialists with over 100 years in combined experience. They set out to create a passionate business dedicated to supplying fresh Potatoes based on taste and purpose. Matt Thory, Linwood’s Commercial Director says it is clear that his passion for the brand has made the decision to agree an exit plan very difficult. Matt states that the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on market values and the closure of the hospitality sectors; unfortunately leaves minimal margins that do not offer the brand’s Royalty requirements to secure the relationship going forward.

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‘Agronomy Week’ will see the launch of the new Potato Variety Comparison Tool and more

The AHDB hosted Agronomy Week will run as a virtual conference from Monday 30 November to Friday 4 December in the UK. It will comprise a series of webinars aimed at agronomists on important issues in contemporary agronomy. Monday and Tuesday will be devoted to cereals and oilseeds During the rest of the week, the event will focus on the potato industry. The new Potato Variety Comparison Tool will be launched on Wedneday.

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Bad news for the Canadian potato industry: Potato wart confirmed in Prince Edward Island

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of potato wart in two fields on a farm in Prince Edward Island (PEI), according to a pest report issued today by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). According to the report, the CFIA has placed the fields under quarantine and is carrying out official control measures under the authority of the federal Plant Protection Act and Plant Protection Regulations.

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Canadian researcher in pursuit of finding potatoes that are resistant to disease, drought and greening

A Prince Edward Island-based Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researcher, Dr. Bourlaye Fofana, grows 814 different genetic lines of potatoes in fields at AAFC’s Harrington Research Farm, all in pursuit of finding potatoes that are resistant to disease, drought and greening. Dr. Fofana is working to develop potato varieties that are resistant to common scab disease, making crops more plentiful and profitable and providing blemish-free produce for consumers around the world.

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MSU’s Natalie Kaiser: Harnessing the power of potatoes, through plant breeding innovation

Natalie Kaiser’s love for plants started as a child growing up around her parents’ organic greenhouse business in upstate New York. She did her undergrad studies in plant science with dreams of starting a career in farm management; but after taking a few courses in genetics, she found her true passion in plant breeding. A PhD candidate at Michigan State University (MSU), Natalie specializes in potatoes – in particular, looking at which genes make certain potatoes naturally resistant to a troublesome potato pest known as the Colorado potato beetle.

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Recording of Potato Soil Health webinar now online

This winter AHDB in the UK is running its Potato Soil Health Campaign – part of the Great Soils Programme. The goal of this campaign is to encourage potato growers to reconsider their current practice when it comes to soil health. You can now watch a re-recording of the AHDB hosted soil health webinar – ‘Potato Soil Health – Why bother?’ online. The webinar was hosted live by AHDB on 19 November.

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Leading US potato processor chooses Tong for advanced grading and washing

A custom-built potato grading and washing solution from Tong Engineering has enabled a leading US potato processor to increase sizing potential of both dirty and washed crop, whilst maximising efficiency and minimising waste across its entire potato processing operation. Based in Warden, in Washington State, Skone & Connors Produce, Inc. grows over 2,500 acres of fresh potatoes for Basin Gold, their sales and marketing group.

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Production estimate: British potato production up despite tough year

The 2020 lifting window has come with its own challenges for the British potato industry, but relative to 2019 it’s certainly been more straightforward for most. As at 10 November 2020, it was estimated that just 2% of the planted area was yet to be lifted. This compares with 11% of the crop estimated to be unlifted as at 12 November 2019. The first official GB production estimate is 5.3Mt. This is based on 75% of the sample and will be updated.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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