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Andean potatoes take the world stage, but tough times lie ahead

For the first time in its history, the World Potato Congress will take place in Latin America, the “birthplace” of the potato. From May 27 to 31 of this year, hundreds of people from around the world will descend on Cusco, Peru, to attend the 10th annual event, organized by the not-for-profit World Potato Congress Inc. It’s timely, really, that the World[Read[Read More…]

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From farm to robot to fork: How the Internet of Things is moving us towards ‘agriculture 4.0’

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to make big advancements in many fields, but none more so – literally – than in agriculture, according to John Deere’s Richard Johnson. He describes modern agriculture as living in a period he refers to as ‘agriculture 4.0’, much like we talk of industry 4.0 and the amalgamation of every technological advancement within the area of IoT. Right[Read[Read More…]

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The Canadian grower who produces organic potatoes on a commercial scale

Organic potato production on a commercial scale is a challenge, but one Canadian grower in the province of Ontario is meeting it. Isaiah Swidersky offers a careful answer when asked if organic potato production is a risk worth taking. “To some degree it is, but there’s a reason I haven’t expanded it to 200 or 300 acres,” Swidersky says. “It’s a challenge[Read[Read More…]

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Promotional success story: Potatoes are bought once every second in Irish retailers

Speaking at the National Potato Conference 2018 in Dublin today, Lorcan Bourke, Fresh Produce and Potato Sector Manager of Bord Bia said that a €1 million EU-funded promotional campaign, managed by Bord Bia, had significantly helped to promote the sector in recent years. The figures show potato sales are at their highest level in the last 10 years, with €195m worth of[Read[Read More…]

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Tomato-potato psyllid: Tough times for Western Australian spud growers

West  Australian potato growers are still counting the cost of losing market access to the eastern states a year after the tomato-potato psyllid (TPP) outbreak near Perth. Peak bodies are concerned the restrictions were too harsh, as the associated candidatus liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) bacterium, which TPP can be a vector for, has still not been found. Potato Growers Association chief executive Simon[Read[Read More…]

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Potatoes gain credibility for performance of Olympic athletes

Potatoes as a performance food are gaining notoriety during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, with the newly released Olympian Menu and announcement that performance nutrition is now a critical part of athletes’ strategy to win. The PyeongChang 2018 athlete’s village kitchen has 180 chefs serving 7,000 meals a day at its peak, and two senior sports nutritionists appointed[Read[Read More…]

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Irish Farmers Association: ‘Potato growers get less than 20% of the price consumers pay for spuds’

Potato growers are getting less than one-fifth of the price a consumer pays for their product in the shop, a conference in Dublin today heard. Speaking at the National Potato Conference in Dublin, IFA President Joe Healy outlined how retailers are taking the lion’s share of the margin on potatoes, while farmers bear all of the risk. The conference organised by the[Read[Read More…]

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Welsh potato growers unite to tackle wireworm

Over 40 potato growers and agronomists met at AHDB Potatoes’ Welsh Potato Day near Haverfordwest on 2 February to exchange technical knowledge aimed at producing the perfect crop. Pembrokeshire is renowned nationally for producing high-quality potatoes using an eco-friendly farming system, where potatoes are usually grown in rotation with grassland. This method has many benefits including maintaining healthy and nutritious soil,[Read[Read More…]

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US: Impact of CIPC use under review by the EPA

As a part of a Registration Review process, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in the US is reviewing the data associated with the use of Chlorpropham (CIPC) – the major sprout inhibitor used in the potato industry. The Task Force representing the companies that manufacture and sell CIPC are actively working with EPA to provide any additional data to support[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Albert Bartlett is raising money to help vulnerable people

British potato suppliers Albert Bartlett have signed up to Sport Relief by pledging to donate 5p for every promotional bag of Rooster potatoes sold. [Sport Relief is a biennial charity event from Comic Relief, in association with BBC Sport, which brings together the worlds of sport and entertainment to raise money to help vulnerable people in both the UK and[Read[Read More…]

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‘Rooted apical cuttings’: Promising technology with potential to boost quality potato seed production

Seed potato farmers in Kenya’s potato growing regions are adopting promising technology with potential to boost quality seed availability. The farmers are using rooted apical cuttings as starter material for seed production as opposed to certified seed. The cuttings technology has been introduced in Kenya by the International Potato Center (CIP) under a programme funded by the United States Agency for[Read[Read More…]

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Newly introduced potato varieties set for success in Tanzania

Tanzania has excelled in experimental trials of high yielding and disease resistant potato varieties under a Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) programme of the FAO aimed to improve food security in the country. Three of 14 varieties brought into the country by the International Potato Centre (CIP) for field trials did well and two of them will soon be released. Two of[Read[Read More…]

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‘Chip[s] board’ – An eco-friendly alternative to medium-density fibreboard made from potato peelings

Two Kingston University graduates in the UK have created an environmentally friendly, sustainable and biodegradable alternative to medium-density fibreboard (MDF), and the product was produced from potato peelings. Graduates Rob Nicol and Rowan Minkley are the team behind Chip[s] Board® – a potato-based product turning food waste material from restaurants into a robust ready-to-use chipboard-like sheet. “Unlike its resin based counterparts, Chip[s] Board® is[Read[Read More…]

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Experts push for potatoes to be re-assessed for their ‘clear’ nutritional and health benefits

For decades, potatoes have been branded unhealthy and we have been advised to avoid consuming too many of them. But now, researchers say that consuming the popular tuber is actually good for you. In fact, they claim that you could eat potatoes, and nothing else, for the rest of your life and ‘remain pretty healthy’. In a medical U-turn, scientists who reviewed a[Read[Read More…]

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Scottish seed potatoes said to flourish in Kenyan heat

Scottish seed potatoes sent to Kenya have performed strongly on three trial sites, AHDB has revealed. The farm levy organisation has been working with Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) to open the Kenyan market for GB seed potatoes since a bilateral agreement was signed by the Scottish and Kenyan governments in 2016. Well-known British varieties were exported to Kenya and[Read[Read More…]

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New study published on potato black dot disease

In a new study published in the American Journal of Potato Research on potato black dot disease, entitled “Potato Black Dot – The Elusive Pathogen, Disease Development and Management”, scientists Dennis A. Johnson, Brad Geary and Leah (Lahkim) Tsror say black dot caused by Colletotrichum coccodes was initially considered a mild disease of potato, mainly infecting weakened plants. In the past two decades[Read[Read More…]

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Grower Webinar: Experts share crop nutrition tips for quality potato production

This free webinar with Scott Stuntz, managing editor of Spudman magazine, features YARA’s potato crop manager in North America, Jimmy Ridgway, and the director of agronomic services at YARA in North America, Dr. Steve Petrie. Petrie and Ridgway share insights from extensive crop nutrition research and trials done over the years by YARA. They also discuss technology, tools and services to[Read[Read More…]

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Chep pooled pallets gives Albert Bartlett environmental edge

Leading potato supplier, Albert Bartlett, is enjoying significant environmental savings within its supply chain thanks to the use of Chep’s pooled pallets. The Scottish potato company supplies own label and branded lines of potatoes to retail, wholesale, food service and processing customers, and recently signed a three-year contract renewal with Chep, an international company dealing in pallet and container pooling[Read[Read More…]

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Germicopa expects big growth in potato seed sales

Florimond Desprez, the general director of potato seed and breeding company Germicopa, expects that the company’s seed sales will grow in the near future to reach 80,000 tonnes by 2020/21, up from 63,000 tonnes last year. Germicopa is established in Bretagne, France and part of the Florimond Desprez Group. According to Florimond Desprez, “Traditionally, Germicopa focused on salad potatoes. Examples of this[Read[Read More…]

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Agrico presents its next generation of potato varieties

Agrico was exhibiting at Fruit Logistica in Berlin from Wednesday 7 to Friday 9 February 2018. During this leading international trade fair, Agrico, together with its subsidiaries, showed its future orientated growth power. Many years of intensive breeding efforts have resulted in Agrico being the first company to offer a complete package of phytophthora resistant varieties, the company says in a[Read[Read More…]

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Potato growers rejoice as Indonesia extends Australian seed potato access

The Indonesian market beckons for Australian seed potato farmers, after market access to the South East Asian nation was extended today (16 February Indonesian/Australian time). The deal paves the way for suppliers from Victoria and South Australia to commence trade immediately. â€œThis is a fantastic result for farmers in these two states — as major seed potato producers — and builds on[Read[Read More…]

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‘Potato industry needs to present itself more confidently to consumers’, attendees at German event were told

On 6 February, the German Potato Trade Association welcomed around 500 guests from 16 countries to the traditional International Berlin Potato Evening. In his opening speech, DKHV President Thomas Herkenrath called for more attention to discussions on food and agriculture. “Potatoes are an important staple food and can best meet the high ethical demands of consumers and their desire for a[Read[Read More…]

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Report: Global Potato Chips Market Forecast to 2022

The research study on the Global Potato Chips Market organizes the overall perspective of the Potato Chips industry. This incorporates upcoming flow of the Potato Chips market together with an extensive analysis of recent industry statistics. It describes the Potato Chips market size as well as factors controlling market growth. Likewise, the report explains various challenges which affect the Potato Chips market[Read[Read More…]

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GMO potato can help Bangladeshi farmers cut pesticide use

Bangladesh is the world’s seventh-largest producer of potatoes. Most of the crop is grown by small-holder farmers. To help small-holder farmers, the Feed the Future Biotechnology Potato Partnership based at Michigan State University in the US, is using the tools of biotechnology to develop a genetically engineered potato resistant to late blight disease. The Partnership will develop and bring to market[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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