An investigation into the European dumping of frozen processed potato into the New Zealand market has been deemed as not being a material threat to the country’s potato industry, according to a new report. New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Interim Report said that while dumping had occurred, it did not require tariffs to be applied.
Europe, UK, Ireland
Two agricultural engineering graduates from Warwickshire are preparing to propel the UK into a robotic agricultural revolution, by introducing a new kind of robotic tractor from Denmark. their company is now the UK representative for the Agrointelli Robotti, a versatile autonomous robot, designed for solving multiple tasks in the field throughout the complete farming season.
Mike Renouard, business unit director at The Jersey Royal Company, said that farmers were hoping for a period of rain to help with the growth of their crop. Cool and dry conditions over the last two weeks are slowing down the growing process, forcing farmers to irrigate their fields. This continued dry spell could impact the quantity of potatoes being lifted.
Lambweston / Meijer Sustainability Report: ‘Eat balanced, don’t waste food and care about the climate’
Lamb Weston / Meijer defines 3 key sustainability challenges for 2030: ‘Balanced Diet, Zero Waste and Climate Action’. These are disclosed in its sustainability report 2019-2020, which was published last week. The report shows that most of the 2020 goals are reached. Compared to the reference year 2008, 90% of its frozen products are pre-fried in healthier vegetable oil, low in saturated fat.
New PCN resilient varieties are now available thanks to advancements in potato breeding technologies writes Teagasc’s Denis Griffin and Dan Milbourne and Colm McDonnell of IPM Potato Group Ltd. Potato cyst nematodes (PCN) are increasingly problematic where potatoes are intensively grown. Until recently, very few potato varieties have been available for commercial production with resistance to both species of the pest.
In Belgium’s former coal-mining heartland, locals say the potato industry is the new top polluter. Eddy Wax reports for POLITICO that inhabitants of a small town in the French-speaking province of Hainaut are trying to stop one of the country’s largest potato processors from constructing a gigantic €300 million factory on their doorstep, which the company says will create hundreds of jobs in Belgium’s south, which has been economically hammered by deindustrialization.
With aphid migrations predicted to start imminently in the South of England and two to three weeks later in Scotland, potato growers must adopt a range of integrated pest management measures to minimise the yield and quality-robbing effects of the viruses that these airborne insects transmit, writes Ken Fletcher, editor at The Scottish Farmer, in this article.
KisanHub report: ‘Environmental and financial sustainability in fresh food production – The role technology plays’
Agriculture’s digital revolution has potential to benefit both business and planet, with sustainability quickly becoming a priority in the industry, KisanHub specialists say in a newly released report. They say say this pressure to take action has been increased during the past 12-months, which have shown how global factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, affect our food system and the ‘normal’ way of growing and supplying fresh produce has had to adjust.
Seed potato producers are leaving no stone unturned to slow the proliferation of virus in British stocks, with straw mulches and mineral oils set to compliment systemic insecticides as part of a robust integrated pest management (IPM) strategy this year, write Rob Jones and Lucy de la Pasture in this in-depth article, published by crop production magazine (CPM).
Agronomy expert: ‘Doing nothing is not an option – whole systems approach needed to reduce potato virus’
Writes Eric Anderson, Senior Agronomist at Scottish Agronomy: “We have sprayed ourselves into resistance, and we need to be bolder in adopting natural measures into pest management if we’re to secure the health and quality of seed potatoes in Great Britain. The prevalence of virus in seed stocks is challenging the industry and we are at a tipping point. It’s clear that insecticides are not doing the job on their own anymore and that we need to do something differently.”
Dewulf and Agrointelli have announced that they will be working together to explore the benefits of using autonomous machines in potato cultivation. This joint effort is triggered by a shared vision of broadening the possibilities for potato growers to implement new solutions for more sustainable, efficient, and robust production methods and technologies.
There seems to be little hope for an imminent agreement between the EU and the UK on mutual trade in seed potatoes. If no agreement is reached on the phytosanitary preconditions for import and export, there is a good chance that the export of seed potatoes from EU countries to the UK will be resolutely closed on 1 July. This is what Dick Hylkema, director of the Dutch Potato Organization (NAO) fears.
For the sake of the health of conference participants and in consideration of the dynamically changing realities related to the COVID 19 pandemic, EAPR President Jadwiga Śliwka and the organizers have announced today that they have decided to postpone the 21st EAPR Triennial Conference. The new conference dates are now 4-8 July 2022. The Conference will be held in the International Exhibition and Convention Centre EXPO Kraków, former capital of Poland.
As the potato season edges closer, growers will be pondering herbicide programmes and asking which strategy is likely to deliver the greatest bang for their buck. Ken Fletcher, Editor of The Scottish Farmer writes that the first decision confronting growers will be whether to use metribuzin, or not? With it, weed control is almost always easier and less expensive, but the long list of varieties sensitive to this substance means many growers have to consider the alternatives.
Lamb Weston / Meijer and TOMRA Food: A solid partnership that assures high quality and sustainable products
Fueled by their dedication to innovation and improving efficiency, Lamb Weston / Meijer is a leader in producing high- quality products. To keep the quality of their end products top-shelf and remove defects from raw product processing lines, the best steam peeling equipment and optical sorters are necessary – and for Lamb Weston / Meijer this means TOMRA Food. The 11 TOMRA Steam Peelers operating in seven Lamb Weston / Meijer processing facilities worldwide help the business churn out a whopping 255 tons of potato products every hour.
Both Teagasc and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue are confirming that Brexit will impact negatively on the quantities of seed potato that Irish growers can import from the UK. However, the upside to such a development is the opportunity it will create for new and existing seed potato growers in Ireland to expand their operations.
A recent trial in potatoes in the UK has shown that using smart liquid fertilisers can significantly reduce the amount of phosphate required to generate one tonne of yield when compared to traditional granular fertilisers. Carl Gibbard, Agro-Vital technical manager, explains this insight could pay dividends as growers plan their crop nutrition programme for the upcoming season.
AHDB’s potato storage research team in the UK has worked closely with industry representatives from the British Potato Trade Association, Fresh Potato Suppliers’ Association, National Farmers Union, National Farmers Union of Scotland and UK Potato Processors’ Association to submit a position paper to the Chemical Regulation Division (CRD) of the HSE.
The organisers of PotatoEurope 2021 say in their latest newsletter that pre-planting preparations have progressed well at the PotatoEurope fields at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) field crops in Lelystad, the Netherlands during the past couple of weeks, and demonstration plots were recently planted. During a first-of-its-kind event, one of the plots was planted with an Agrointelli Robotti, an autonomous robotic machine that was employed to pull a Miedema CP 42 4-row cup potato planter.
Averis Seeds B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Avebe, will be working together with the hybrid potato breeding company Solynta on the hybrid breeding of starch potato varieties, the companies announced in a press release. Hybrid breeding facilitates significantly faster development of new sustainable potato varieties compared to conventional breeding.
Keeping potatoes stress-free is not an easy task, with crops often subject to prolonged stress periods at key growth timings. However, ahead of a new season, an amino acid based biostimulant could be the answer to protecting potential, particularly in the early stages, according to the latest advice from Interagro.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.