New Zealand, Australia

New Zealand offers assistance to develop Fiji’s potato industry

Technical assistance is being offered by the New Zealand Government to develop Fiji’s potato industry. The two countries have signed a bilateral agreement which will see more assistance being given towards Fiji. Biosecurity Authority of Fiji – CEO Hillary Kumwenda says this is an important step for Fiji to ensure the versatile crop is given the best possible platform to thrive. “One of them is[Read[Read More…]

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Key Technology and Heat and Control announce strategic partnership in Australia, New Zealand and India

Key Technology, Inc., a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, and Heat and Control Pty Ltd. announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership to support customers in Australia, New Zealand and India. Under the terms of the agreement, Key has appointed Heat and Control as their exclusive agent to sell and service Key’s digital sorters, vibratory[Read[Read More…]

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West Australia’s spuds set for all-clear to head east again

West Australia’s potato growers could regain access to Eastern States markets by the end of the year, after a big biosecurity effort demonstrated a rare bug found in WA does not carry a damaging bacteria. The tomato potato psyllid was detected in WA 18 months ago, causing Eastern States markets to shut their doors to WA potatoes, a move estimated to have[Read[Read More…]

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New Zealanders take a closer look at ‘the good oil on fish and chips’

While other countries regulate fryer fat use, experts in New Zealand say degraded oils at its favourite chippies is concerning. The key to producing good fish and chips is to use top-quality oil, filter the frying vats each day, regularly change the oil, and cook oils at the right temperature. But industry experts say not all fast food operators are making the health grade, and neighbourhood chippies are some[Read[Read More…]

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Australian drought: Devastating impact of worst drought in living memory across New South Wales

The worst drought ever recorded is sweeping large parts of in particular eastern Australia. The entire Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has been declared in drought after a drier-than-expected June and July.  The entire state of New South Wales is effectively, and now officially, drought-declared. There is virtually no fodder left for livestock. June and July have been much drier than[Read[Read More…]

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McCain Foods Australia being investigated for “unconscionable conduct towards growers”

A Northern Tasmanian farmer has lashed out at McCain Foods (Australia) over contract potato pricing, as the consumer watchdog begins its investigation into the vegetable processor. The farmer, who has a contract with McCain, doesn’t wish to be identified due to potential backlash, said growers were sick of the low prices they were being paid by the processor for their product. “We[Read[Read More…]

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Ways to reduce the impact of black scurf on potatoes

Rhizoctonia solani causes a number of common disease symptoms found in potato crops including black scurf, leading to skin disfiguration, stunted plants and restricted stem and plant growth. Syngenta Technical Services Lead Dave Antrobus in Australia examines the best management practices potato growers can undertake to minimise the damage caused by this disease. Writing in the latest issue of Potatoes Australia, he[Read[Read More…]

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Australian experts underscore importance of certified potato seed for black leg disease control

Around the world, blackleg of potato is caused by several species of bacteria that can be carried and transmitted through seed tubers. Potatoes Australia spoke to Agriculture Victoria Research Scientist Dr Rachel Mann and ViCSPA General Manager Dr Nigel Crump about the identification and management of the blackleg disease. The main causal agent of blackleg in Australia is Pectobacterium atrosepticum although another bacterium known as[Read[Read More…]

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McCain NZ pilot programme puts the power into potatoes

The humble potato is in for a shocking multi-million dollar makeover in New Zealand. An industry pilot programme worth almost $16.8 million, is being trialled at McCain Foods in Washdyke, Timaru, in what has been described as “electrocuting potatoes”. The three month test of the new Pulsed Electric Field Technology (PEF) machine, from Germany, began in Timaru on Wednesday and involves industrial-scale food processing[Read[Read More…]

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‘Electrocuted’: Pilot programme in New Zealand puts the power into potatoes

The humble potato is in for a shocking multi-million dollar South Canterbury makeover. An industry pilot programme, part of the Ministry for Business and Innovation funded Food Industry Enabling Technology (FIET) programme worth almost $16.8 million, is being trialled at McCain Foods in Washdyke, Timaru, in what has been described as “electrocuting potatoes”. The three month test of the new Pulsed Electric Field Technology[Read[Read More…]

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Underhanded down under? Australian wholesaler accused of ‘unfair’ potato contracts

Australia’s largest potato wholesaler, Mitolo, is facing legal action after being accused of entering into unfair contracts with its potato farmer suppliers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Tuesday said it had started Federal Court proceedings against the South Australian-based company – the first legal action taken under the recently introduced Horticulture Code. Mitolo, a major supplier to Woolworths and[Read[Read More…]

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Let’s automate, mate: South Australian potato company partners with automation specialists to bring field to fork

The South Australian Potato Company, founded by the Raschella family in that region, has been supplying potatoes for “every recipe, every occasion and every season for more than 20 years,” they say. Dealing with more than 60, 000 tons of potatoes annually obviously requires quality automation by reliable suppliers to ensure always-on productivity and extreme care with this wholesome produce.[Read[Read More…]

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Low-carb gold: ‘Lotatoes Potatoes’ campaign the winner of PMA Australia-New Zealand award

Produce Plus and PMA Australia-New Zealand are pleased to announce the T&G Global Marketing Team as the winner of the Marketer of the Year Award 2018 for the ‘Lotatoes Potatoes’ campaign. The New Zealand-headquartered company was presented with Australasia’s premier marketing award for the fresh fruit, vegetable and floral industries at the Hort Connections conference and trade show in Brisbane. The presentation took place during the event’s Gala Dinner on[Read[Read More…]

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Western Australia releases latest update on presence of tomato potato psyllid

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Western Australia (DPIRD WA) has released the latest industry update on the presence of the tomato potato psyllid (TPP) in the state. This update, which is available in English or Vietnamese, contains information on a range of related areas, including the wind-up of the transition to management phase for the response, a snapshot of results from[Read[Read More…]

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Chasing after psyllids: Tasmanian tomato potato psyllid research used across Australia

Tomato potato psyllid is considered a serious threat to Tasmania’s potato, tomato and capsicum crops, with research conducted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture used to manage the pest around the country. Tasmanian researchers have conducted a tomato potato psyllid surveillance program in commercial potato crops since 2011. The project, which is funded by North-West Tasmania potato processors Simplot, McCain and Smiths as well as Horticulture[Read[Read More…]

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Rather safe than sorry: Aussies to release Potato Growers’ Biosecurity Manual

The Potato Growers’ Biosecurity Manual is a guide to farm biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of weeds, pests, and diseases impacting production. It was developed by Plant Health Australia (PHA) with consultation from AUSVEG and potato growers across NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The manual is designed for use by potato growers and their staff, as well as contractors, processors,[Read[Read More…]

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Million dollar question: Do some potato-growing soils suppress powdery scab?

A research project in New Zealand is determining if different field soils affect development of powdery scab on potatoes, and whether soil physical, chemical and/or biological characteristics influence this important potato disease. The project is developing new knowledge that may provide a basis for manipulating soil factors to reduce the harmful effects of the powdery scab pathogen. A cross-discipline team is[Read[Read More…]

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McCain Foods Australia wants to ‘shake things up’ with new product launch

The newest frozen chip range (frozen french fries) now launched by McCain Foods Australia – Shake Shake – takes hot potato chips from the side of the plate to the centre of attention, with seasonings never before seen in the frozen chip aisle. According to Simone Formisano, McCain Foods Product Manager, “snack-based dinners that can be enjoyed on the couch or shared[Read[Read More…]

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Australia: Autumn surveillance round for tomato potato psyllid complete

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in West Australia has wrapped up autumn surveillance for the tomato potato psyllid (TPP), with no detections of a damaging plant bacteria associated with the pest. Department acting horticulture director Rohan Prince said it marked completion of the third surveillance round in WA since the pest insect was detected in Perth in February[Read[Read More…]

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Embracing technology key to Australian potato grower’s success

Scott Rockliff knows a thing or two about potato growing. For six generations, the Rockliff family has been growing potatoes along the north-west coast of Tasmania in Sassafras, a 200-year old town renowned for its food and wine production. A lot has changed since Scott Rockliff’s ancestors established the original farm in the 1800s. Nowadays, innovation is a must – understanding the latest in technology required[Read[Read More…]

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Investments boost productivity at Australian seed potato producer

Just a month into harvest and Australia’s biggest potato seed producer, Agronico, is reaping the benefits of recent investments through a 30 per cent increase in productivity. Agronico has invested heavily in its business over the past 12 months through its new coolstore at Spreyton and adding a four-row planter, canopied hoppers and twin-row harvesters to its fleet, chief executive Robert Graham said. “In the first[Read[Read More…]

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Grant offers boost for Australian potato growers

A Yarloop potato grower in Australia says a $150,000 State Government grant for a custom-built washing/grading/packaging line will benefit the South West industry in that country. Fox Farms Pty Ltd owner Patrick Fox said his company had identified an opportunity overseas in Singapore and the Middle East to supply premium washed and brushed potatoes. “We are hoping that will relieve some of[Read[Read More…]

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CropLogic makes potato market splash in Australia

Agronomy service provider and aspiring agribusiness CropLogic has made a rather big splash in the Australian market, by acquiring privately-held company Ag Logic. CropLogic has just recently embarked on a value-accretive acquisition strategy aimed at absorbing productive agriculture technology businesses. Last year, CropLogic acquired US-based Professional Ag Services in order to gain access to approximately 60,000 acres or 30% of the potato[Read[Read More…]

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Government chips in cash to get West Australia’s potato industry cooking

West Australia’s struggling potato industry is poised for recovery after the State Government chipped in nearly $750,000 towards expanding processing and exports. Four local growers and potato export and processing businesses will receive the money under the Potato Industry Assistance Grants program. Total private investment planned across these four projects is about $2.58 million. Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said most of the projects[Read[Read More…]

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Cutting edge: How Australian potato growers stay at the forefront of innovative research

The Australian potato industry continues to be at the forefront of innovative research, with world-leading production practices resulting in increased efficiency and profitability on-farm. The high quality of Australian potato produce is made possible by ongoing investment in research and development, and this is once again highlighted in the latest edition of the publication “Grower Success Stories: Real results from[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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