Europe, UK, Ireland

New European regulation on acrylamide: What manufacturers should know

A new EU regulation on acrylamide is setting benchmark values in several categories that will affect the bakery and snacks sectors. Peter Müller, technical service manager, Food, at Novozymes examines the upcoming challenges facing manufacturers. The new European regulation on acrylamide reduction will go into effect on April 11, 2018. Acrylamide is a suspected carcinogen that forms when starchy foods are[Read[Read More…]

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Tuber moth control: Higher fines for planting potatoes than for planting marijuana, Spanish grower says

The Guatemalan moth pest, that has hit potato crops in many parts of Asturias, (an autonomous community in north-west Spain) continues to affect growers in the area. The Guatemalan potato tuber moth was introduced into the Canary Islands (1998 – 2000) and caused several outbreaks both in potato fields and stores since. The larval stage is the most devastating. It has no other plant host known besides the potato.[Read[Read More…]

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New product to offer ‘greater efficacy against tuber-borne Rhizoctonia’

At its annual potato agronomists’ conference on 25th January, Bayer launched a new potato tuber treatment – Emesto Prime DS – that will be available for British growers to use on this year’s plantings. Introducing the product Bayer’s campaign manager for root crops Edward Hagues described it as the new, improved tuber treatment. “Compared with Monceren DS – the long-standing[Read[Read More…]

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France: “Potato market is facing challenges”

Touquet Savour is a big player on the French potato market. The company represents 30 producers and annually produces 25,000 tonnes of potatoes. Alexis Dequidt, from Touquet Savour: “Like in the Netherlands, the French potato market has been facing some difficulties this campaign, for different reasons. Firstly, last year’ oversupply has lowered the prices. Secondly, the potato consumption has reached[Read[Read More…]

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Theory to field – Progress in the phosphate puzzle

Phosphate is said to be the most difficult major plant nutrient when it comes to understanding how it behaves in the soil. But problems with the amount of phosphate in water means management of the nutrient needs a rethink. Dr Sajjad Awan, AHDB resource management scientist in the UK, says the AHDB has already funded around £1M of research on[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Latest news from the AHDB’s Fight Against Blight campaign

Click on the video below to hear Rob Clayton and Claire Hodge discuss the latest news from the AHDB’s Fight Against Blight. They provide an overview of the 2017 blight season and look towards plans for the season ahead. For more information on the campaign please go to the Blight section of the AHDB Potatoes website. If you’d like to sign up as[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Crop protection podcast launched by Adama

Adama Agricultural Solutions UK Ltd (Adama) has launched a new podcast aimed at providing UK arable farmers and agronomists with the latest crop protection news and advice. The new ‘ArableAware’ podcast contains a range of topical features, articles and stories including on-farm interviews with farmers, agronomists and other industry experts as well as Adama’s own fungicide and herbicide specialists. “Podcasts are[Read[Read More…]

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Prices versus plantings: A British potato market insight

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) Amber Cottingham analyses the seasonal relationship between price and plantings and asks how potato farmers can apply this knowledge to business planning. Potatoes are one of the most volatile crops grown in the UK, with prices easily shifting £50 a tonne and more within a season, never mind between seasons. When a grower considers[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Recent cold weather threatens to delay potato cultivation

Patience “will be key” this potato season as the recent cold weather threatens to delay cultivation. The recent freezing temperatures caused by the ‘Beast from the East’ coupled with wet soils has delayed ploughing in some areas. Andy Steven, agronomist at Agrovista, explains that there’s still a lot of ground preparation to be done before planting starts in April. He said this will[Read[Read More…]

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The Irish Potato Famine – could it happen again?

Ireland wasn’t always dependent on potatoes, but in the decades leading up to the famine, more farmers started growing potatoes. As a crop, potatoes are inexpensive and high-yielding. As a food, they are packed with calories and nutrients. The Irish potato famine occurred in the mid-1800s, the result of a fungal disease. Let’s look at the scientific factors that contributed[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Tyrrells airs new ‘absurdly good’ ad

Tyrrells has launched a new advertising campaign to showcase its ‘Best Ever Recipes’. The ‘Absurdly Good’ ad goes live today (5 March) and will be aired on TV and VoD until May 2018, with £2m of investment behind it.  It is centred around Tyrrells’ most popular flavours – Lightly Salted, Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar, and Mature Cheddar & Chive. Adam Draper, Marketing[Read[Read More…]

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Potato processor Agristo invests 200 million in french fry factory

Potato processor Agristo has invested 200 million euro in a new French fry factory in Wielsbeke, Belgium. The family business hopes it can break into the global top five this way. “This is the most innovative French fry factory in the world”, Filip Wallays, who runs the company alongside Hannelore Raes told De Tijd. Pretty much everything is automated, which requires only fifteen people per shift,[Read[Read More…]

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New seed potato markets in Africa for the UK

Rwanda and Uganda have been identified as two potential new export destinations for UK seed potatoes. After recent successful trials of GB seed in Kenya, levy body AHDB was invited to visit Rwanda as part of a UK Government trade initiative, during which AHDB’s head of crops trade Rob Burns met with the heads of Rwanda and Uganda’s plant health authorities. “We discussed the[Read[Read More…]

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Faster emergence for rapid potato growth, chemical company in the UK says

Effective control of soil borne pests can ensure potato crops get up and out of the ground faster, with benefits that last right through the season. Results of new trials, presented at Syngenta Potato Science Live events, have shown Nemathorin control of PCN enabled faster and more consistent crop canopy development, with benefits for weed suppression and greater photosynthetic activity[Read[Read More…]

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Talking potatoes: ‘Potato consumption is under pressure, competing with other starch sources’

Consumer focus is critical in all markets – it is very dependent on the demographics and the maturity of the national supply chain, subjectively measured by how quickly and to what extent the regional supply chain can adapt to the changing demands of its consumer base, Abby Kellett, Arable Specialist of Farmers Guardian in the UK reports. The UK has some[Read[Read More…]

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Severe weather impacts British potato industry

Adverse weather has caused disruption across much of Great Britain this week. Some markets have reportedly benefited from consumers staying put at home and relying on cooking for themselves, although others were suffering as demand for out of home eating decreased. For the most part crops are storing fine, however, there were increasing reports of sprouting and some crops starting to[Read[Read More…]

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Potato crops at risk of frost damage in Ireland

Potato crops around Ireland which are still in the ground are at risk of frost damage as low temperatures continue. After days of sustained sub-zero conditions, much of the ground around the country remains frozen. While many farmers used this to their advantage by catching up with late harvest jobs, ground work and early cultivations, potato farmers who still have crops[Read[Read More…]

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First full year of Scottish potato research results to be revealed

Trial results from AHDB’s Strategic Potato Farm Scotland will be revealed at a Results Day to be held next week in Coupar Angus. Having initially started in 2016 with cultivation trials, the work with Bruce Farms was significantly expanded last season to cover nutrition, cover crops, seed spacing and handling and further work on cultivations. AHDB Potatoes knowledge exchange manager Claire Hodge explained:[Read[Read More…]

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Higher potato stocks reported in North-Western European countries

All recent surveys of stock levels in the NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) countries show larger stocks of potatoes than the levels observed last year, or on average over several years. Remember that yields were 11% higher in 2017, and that the area planted to potatoes increased by 6%. Currently, potato stocks and the supply/demand imbalance have a negative impact[Read[Read More…]

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Dutch chips are a hit in South Korea

Phytosanitary rules stipulate that fresh potatoes and potato seeds may not be exported from the Netherlands to South Korea. Only a few regions in Japan, the USA, and Australia are allowed to send fresh potatoes to South Korea. Processed potatoes, such as chips can, however, be freely imported since they do not fall under these same phytosanitary rules. Dutch companies[Read[Read More…]

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Jersey potato crop hit by worst early season in 40 years

The Island’s potato growers are struggling through one of the worst seasons in 40 years – after heavy rain and then sub-zero temperatures delayed the planting of Jersey’s biggest agricultural export. However, the Jersey Royal Company says its UK competitors are facing the same problems, with other regional early potatoes having been wiped out by severe frost. William Church, sales and marketing[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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