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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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New potato processing plant to be built in Russia

The Smolensk region in Russia wants to develop the region’s economy, with a great emphasis on the development of the “Feniks” State Industrial Park. One of the investments that is going to be implemented in this Park is the project to build a plant for the processing of potatoes and the production of natural and modified starch. According to estimates this[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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Potatoes that hurt: Potential injury to potatoes from glyphosate

The High-value Crops Project at North Dakota State University in the US has been evaluating the potential injury to potato from glyphosate for almost 10 years. According to Prof Harlene Hatterman-Valenti - a High-Value Crops Specialist – research results have suggested that red-skinned cultivars were more sensitive to low rates of glyphosate compared to russet cultivars and that low glyphosate rates[Read[Read More…]

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Drones: Toys or tools? Potato farmers share their experience

Drones can take aerial footage of such high quality that the user looks like a National Geographic videographer. But do those images provide any value beyond selling the latest edition of iron? Kate VanderZaag and her husband Peter have been experimenting with a drone on their 1,800 acres of owned and rented land in Ontario, Canada. They share an insightful experience. “We’re[Read[Read More…]

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McCain storage specialist warns growers against using CIPC-treated storages for temporary holding of seed potatoes

John Walsh, Associate Principal Scientist, Potato Storage at McCain Foods, presented on the effects of low levels of CIPC on seed potato performance during last week’s International Potato Technology Expo on Prince Edward Island (PEI) in Canada. Walsh told attendees that CIPC, also known as Chlorpropham, has been an affordable and effective sprout inhibitor of potatoes for more than 60 years.[Read[Read More…]

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Agronomist shares insights on specific gravity of processing potatoes

During last week’s International Potato Technology Expo held on Prince Edward Island (PEI) in Canada, the Research Coordinator/Agronomy Lead at the PEI Potato Board, Ryan Barrett, presented on Factors Influencing Specific Gravity in Prince Edward Island Potato Production. “In recent years, achieving higher specific gravity scores has been a priority for PEI processing potato growers,” Barrett said. “Increased value has been[Read[Read More…]

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Potato-derived prebiotic shows insulin resistance benefits in Canadian study

A recent study conducted in Canada demonstrates a potato-derived resistant starch showed positive results in lowering insulin resistance in elderly subjects. The starch, branded as MSPrebiotic, was developed by a company that goes by the same name (an ‘s’ at the end), which was the outgrowth of a family potato farming operation. It’s a familiar story of innovation in looking for[Read[Read More…]

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Large potato stocks in North-West Europe; lower contract prices expected for coming season

All recent stockpile inventories taken in the NEPG countries (North-Western European Potato Growers) have indicated that real potato stocks are higher compared to last season. They are also higher with regard to the five-year average. With 6% more acreage in the North-West and an 11% higher yield than last year, there are currently too many potatoes. This imbalance between supply and[Read[Read More…]

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Has Calbee’s profit slump put PepsiCo partnership in balance?

Japanese snack giant Calbee posted a profit decline for its third quarter results for fiscal year ending March 31, 2018 due to sharp slowdown in North America, possibly putting its business partnership with PepsiCo on the line. Under the reigns of chairman and CEO Akira Matsumoto, Calbee has consistently posted double-digit profit growth since going public in 2011. However, according[Read[Read More…]

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New Potato Data Centre allows British growers to examine detailed production data

“Feedback following the launch of our new Potato Data Centre (PDC) last November has been encouraging,” says MI Analyst at AHDB Potatoes, Amber Cottingham. PDC allows growers and those in the supply chain to examine data on price, variety, planted area, market sector and yield. The data comes from AHDB’s annual levy return forms, as well as price information from[Read[Read More…]

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Grow your own potatoes anywhere with ‘Paul Potato’, the world’s first professional potato tower

“Paul Potato”, the world’s first professional potato tower that allows anyone to grow their own potatoes anywhere, is live on global crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and trending fast having already raised over $100,000. Growing potatoes can be a difficult task requiring a ton of space and work. Paul Potato is a groundbreaking new planter tower that allows users to grow and enjoy[Read[Read More…]

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Nando’s and McDonald’s admit using McCain frozen chips from Scotland

Nando’s  and McDonald’s has admitted using McCain frozen chips from Scotland in its restaurants. Talk of the fries Nando’s use began when an ex-employee told a local newspaper that not all Nando’s food is fresh. Now the chain has confirmed they use McCain frozen chips claims but insists the chips are not the kind you would cook at home. “Our hugely popular chips are developed[Read[Read More…]

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Sprout control: A Canadian update on the use of MH and CIPC

Use of the growth regulators MH (maleic hydrazide) and CIPC (chlorpropham) are integral to the potato industry, but there is always room for improvement – and even new avenues of use as the chipping industry evolves. According to Mark VanOostrum, potato supply and quality manager at WD Potato Limited in Ontario, growers are generally very careful to apply MH at the right[Read[Read More…]

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West Australian farmers have lost millions one year on from tomato potato psyllid outbreak

Two West Australian farmers say they have each lost more than $1 million and have been forced to downsize their operations in the 12 months since the tomato potato psyllid was discovered near Perth. It has been a year since the Australia-first discovery, which is regarded as one of the most serious bio-security incidents in Western Australia’s horticultural history. A South West potato[Read[Read More…]

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US: RPE chosen as exclusive marketing partner for CSS Farms’ Agri-Pack subsidiary

CSS Farms, a multi-state agriculture company producing onions and chip and specialty potatoes, and RPE – category leader and year-round grower/shipper of potatoes and onions – announce the selection of RPE as exclusive marketing partner of Agri-Pack, a CSS Farms subsidiary and Pasco, WA-based grower-packer-distributor of potatoes and onions. CSS Farms Managing Partner Reagan Grabner said the partnering organizations share a[Read[Read More…]

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Farmers in Bengal trained to produce their own potato seed

In an effort towards making farmers produce potato seeds on their own and use them for cultivation, the West Bengal Agro Industries Corporation Ltd (WBAICL) is providing training to farmers at Simlapal in Bankura district of Bengal. The move by the state is aimed at stopping import of potato seed from Punjab, which is often of inferior quality. “We have[Read[Read More…]

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British seed potatoes impress in Kenyan trials

Four British seed potatoes have yielded well on three Kenyan trials sites, creating potential for a new export market. AHDB and SASA have been working together to open the Kenyan market to British seed since a bilateral agreement was signed by the Scottish and Kenyan governments late in 2016. Of the four varieties involved in the trial, Cara performed best with average[Read[Read More…]

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Eat purple potatoes to cut your colon cancer risk, study finds

Enjoying a diet that includes plenty of vegetables is great for your health, but a daily dose of purple potatoes may help in the prevention colon cancer, according to a new study conducted on pigs. Understanding the compounds found in these foods and how they break down in the digestive tract could be crucial for finding new colon cancer treatments, researchers[Read[Read More…]

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Potato blight app explained

During last week’s NPPGA Research Reporting Conference in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Extension Potato Agronomist Dr Andy Robinson explained the the NDAWN Potato Blight App to attendees. “The purpose of this application is to provide late blight and early blight severity values for potato growers in North Dakota and surrounding areas on their phones,” he said. “The keys for this[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Potato research results now available online

Presentations from AHDB Potatoes’ SPot East results day at Newmarket Racecourse on Thursday 11 January have been published online. Some of the subjects covered on the day include:  Herbicide – Graham Tomalin, VCS Ltd; Common Scab – Mark Stalham. NIAB CUF; Nitrogen and Irrigation – Marc Allison, NIAB CUF; Tuber Numbers, Graham Tomalin, VCS Ltd. For a pdf copy of the presentations please click here You[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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