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.
Europe, UK, Ireland
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.
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.
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.
According to the latest potato market report issued by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), there is a chance that outdoor dining may recommence in May according to the most recent plan to gradually re-open the country. Demand for top quality packing material remains strong. As the weather improves, growers are reminded to ‘grow for their markets’ and to remain cognisant of the current market situation.
AHDB Arable analyst, Thomma Shepherd, provides an analysis of what has driven potato markets over the last few weeks. She says the weekly average price survey, covering all sectors of the industry, shows potatoes have had a depressed few months, lagging behind previous seasons. The 2nd wave of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has killed a lot of demand for potatoes. With the majority of hospitality closed along with schools there has been little optimism within the industry.
Scotts Precision Manufacturing in the UK reports a significant surge in windrower kits and “retro fit” Evolution separator sales. With the potato industry having to adapt to a host of market changes and an increasingly changing weather pattern, potato growers have been looking seriously at their wet weather harvesting capacity.
Following the withdrawal of diquat in Britain, Standen says many potato growers are still seeking an effective solution in haulm destruction of their crop. This has prompted its importing division to start offering Dutch manufacturer Vegniek’s DiscMaster series of precision haulm pullers. The DiscMaster has been developed with a focus on reducing crop damage and ensuring that rows are effectively closed following the pass.
The names for 14 new pesticide active ingredients have been approved by the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) and added to BCPC’s Online Pesticide Manual. The ISO’s Technical Committee of Common Names for Pesticides assign shorter, more distinctive, active ingredient names than their original chemical name for newly approved pesticides.
The final loss of approval of Vydate in the UK on 31 December brings an Innovative Farmers field lab into sharp focus as many potato farmers search for alternatives to control potato cyst nematode (PCN). Farmers in Shropshire and Lancashire further investigate the efficacy of growing trap crops to control the nematode.
It’s a £160million showcase for gardening science and a treasure trove of secrets. Now the Royal Horticultural Society’s new state-of-the-art Hilltop centre is preparing to welcome visitors for the first time. Prized items include a potato plant brought back by Charles Darwin from South America – preserved as a pressing. Darwin collected it on an island off Chile in 1835.
Central Plains Group Ukraine (founded by a group of foreign investors from the UK and Finland) intends to build a potato processing plant in the Lviv region in the Ukraine, according to a report by the press service of the Lviv Regional State Administration. The construction cost is about US$7 million. The group aims to create about 50 jobs at the enterprise, and plans to process 40-50 thousand tons of potatoes a year.
Storing potatoes long-term is often challenging and this is especially so if there is a reliance on ambient ventilation. Even in the most favourable seasons, it is seldom possible to hold crops at optimum temperature in ambient stores beyond early May. In this article, specialists at AHDB’s Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research (CSR) facility in the UK explore how refrigeration can help deliver on long-term storage.
Syngenta UK has launched its first biostimulant in potatoes, Quantis, that has shown to effectively help crops cope with the impact of heat stress. company said that it had carried out “the UK’s most extensive research field trial of a biostimulant”. Analysis of the data resource had revealed “significantly increased yield for crops that had been under prolonged or extreme heat stress”.
As of today, Agrico will be sharing the innovation of its sustainable Next Generation varieties on its online platform agricopotatoes.com. The company says in line with its digital transformation and the current circumstances resulting from the pandemic, it started building an online news platform at the end of last year to support its buyers and growers with important knowledge and information. This platform, Agrico Potatoes, will go live again today.
This week the PotatoEurope organisation has started preparing the potato trial fields at the event location near the city of Lelystad in the Netherlands. The organisers say this annual international potato industry event will offer visitors a glimpse into the future of the potato sector during the exhibition. Fourteen eminent trial fields will create a fascinating source of insight and information regarding current affairs, according to the organisers.
There is generally pressure for potato store managers to closely monitor carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the industry. However, this management tends to be met with mixed views. Storage experts at AHDB’s Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research in the UK are looking to settle the debate in an ongoing storage trial.