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New Canadian potato varieties ‘could improve taste of french fries’, breeder says

Potato growers and industry in Canada gathered at the Fredericton Research and Development Centre for the Potato Selection Release Open House on Wednesday to learn about what new varieties are available for trial that could improve yields and taste — including a new variety that could improve the taste of French fries. The annual potato selection event was hosted by Agriculture and[Read[Read More…]

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New fungicide offers 10 day persistence for potato growers fighting blight

Brand new chemistry to tackle foliar and stem blight in UK and Irish potato crops has been approved. A fungicide called Zorvec Enicade made by DowDuPont has shown strong performance in domestic trials and has delivered robust control across three continents where it is already available to growers. The product delivers 10-day persistence following application, which is three days more than current[Read[Read More…]

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Simplot announces $460 million expansion of Canadian based operations

The Manitoba government and J.R. Simplot Company announced a major investment and expansion in the company’s Manitoba-based operations near Portage la Prairie today. Premier Brian Pallister and Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler were joined by ‎Mark McKellar from ‎Simplot to make the announcement. “Our government is excited to join Simplot today to announce a historic investment and expansion of their Manitoba operations,”[Read[Read More…]

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Australia: Turning potatoes into a convenience food

When consumers started to look for more convenient foods traditional staples such as potatoes became less popular. The pasta and rice marketers designed attractive packaging and sold the products well, while the humble potato didn’t really change at all and started to lose market share. “People began to overlook the potato and forget how versatile it really it is,” explains Susie[Read[Read More…]

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US: International Crop Expo returns

The International Crop Expo began 17 years ago and the event returns Feb. 21-22 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. Roughly 4,000 people and 170 exhibitors are expected to attend. It begins at 9 a.m. both days and ends at 5 p.m Feb. 21 and 4 p.m. Feb. 22. Admission and parking are free. “We think there’s a lot[Read[Read More…]

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North American fall potato production estimate steady

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Statistics Canada estimate that North American potato growers produced 506 million cwt. in fall 2017. That amount would be a decrease of 1% from 2016, according to the report issued by the organizations Feb. 12. The dip is consistent with the expectation conveyed in the December report on North American potato production. Canadian growers harvested 106 million[Read[Read More…]

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British potato growers provided with improved tools to tackle PCN

The findings from on-farm trials could help combat a deadly potato disease that causes around £26 million worth of damage to crops in the UK each year. According to demonstrations carried out by AHDB Potatoes and Harper Adams University, the use of fluopyram, previously used as a fungicide, as a nematicide provided a yield increase to a range of potato varieties[Read[Read More…]

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Europe: Potato DNA markers could keep potatoes in storage fresher for longer

EU-funded scientists have discovered genetic markers that could allow potatoes to be selected for their ability to be stored at low temperatures, keeping them fresh and avoiding the use of anti-sprouting chemicals. Potatoes used for crisps and chips are usually stored at eight degrees – a temperature high enough to prevent starch from breaking down into glucose and fructose. To slow[Read[Read More…]

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US: Two potato power houses join forces

Farm Fresh Direct (Monte Vista, CO) and Cal-Ore Produce (Tulelake, CA) have announced they are joining forces to continue to increase both their organic and conventional programs. Farm Fresh will act as the exclusive sales and marketing agent for Cal-Ore and will service the U.S. with cost effective, one-stop shopping solutions, they said. Acording to Jamey Higham, president and CEO[Read[Read More…]

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Potato range a nod to growing convenience sector

The rise in the popularity of convenient and easy to prepare produce items continues to make its presence felt in supermarkets. One potato producer has recognized this trend and has created a number of products to cover almost every aspect of preparing potatoes. Fresh Solutions Network, its members based across the US, created what they have named the “Side Delights” convenience[Read[Read More…]

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US: Potatoes, politics kick off conference

A year after predicting how the new Trump Administration might affect agriculture, National Potato Council Executive Vice President John Keeling was back to give an update on politics and agriculture during the first day of the 2018 Southern Rocky Mountain Agricultural Conference and Trade Fair on Tuesday in Monte Vista. Keeling said he had anticipated that President Donald Trump might act[Read[Read More…]

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Albert Bartlett potato producer receives £4m Scottish Government grant

UK-based potato producer Albert Bartlett has received a £4 million grant from the Scottish Government, which the brand will use to expand its product range and manufacturing capacity. Albert Bartlett has stated that the grant will contribute towards a £17 million investment scheme, which will see the brand install new production equipment at the Firm’s Airdrie plant, facilitating the production of[Read[Read More…]

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British potato stock levels in stores significantly higher

AHDB announced yesterday that GB potato stock levels for the end of November are estimated at 3.6M tonnes, the highest level for this point in the season since 2011/12. Amber Cottingham, Analyst for AHDB Potatoes, said: “Last December we estimated the GB production figures to be up by around 15 per cent, at 6.04 million tonnes, so the increase in stocks held[Read[Read More…]

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Food service opportunities for spuds increasing in the US

As a member of the Colorado delegation to the 2018 Potato Expo in Orlando, FL, Jim Ehrlich, executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee in Monte Vista, said the show provided insight into “some real opportunities in food service.” He said, “More and more people are eating out again due to the improving economy, and the Millennial consumers especially want[Read[Read More…]

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US: Cost of potato production rise compared to 2017

What price do you need to sell last year’s potato crop at to recoup the money you put into producing it, i.e. the break-even price? Work from the University of Idaho shows that many of the inputs that figure into the cost of production rose over the last year. Extension Agricultural Economist Ben Eborn surveyed producers, custom applicators, farm leaders and[Read[Read More…]

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McDonald’s french fries might cure hair loss, study finds

Just in case you needed another excuse to supersize your McDonald’s fries, everyone’s favourite crispy potatoes may actually help treat hair loss. Researchers at Yokohama National University in Japan discovered that an ingredient in McDonald’s crispy potato recipe may help with hair regrowth, Refinery29 reports. The study found that “Dimethylpolysiloxane,” a silicone that’s added to the oil to prevent splashing, can aid in the[Read[Read More…]

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Drones show promise spotting pests in potatoes

In the April 2016 issue of Spudman magazine, Donna Delparte, assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at Idaho State University (ISU) in Pocatello, spoke about her research into using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones, for pest management in potatoes. â€œThey are very much the future, especially when we’re working on trying to expand the technology and look at new[Read[Read More…]

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Aviko doubles french fry capacity in China

Aviko is considerably increasing the processing capacity of its chip (french fry) factory in Chabei, China. The installation of a new processing line more than doubles capacity, and amounts to more than 100,000 tonnes of fries per year. â€œThe chip market is growing remarkably quickly in China,” Dick Zelhorst from Aviko Potato explains. “We want to take maximum advantage of that.[Read[Read More…]

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North America: A new potato variety to replace the Russet Burbank?

The potato industry will have plenty of choices when Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada hosts the annual potato selection event on February 14 at the Fredericton Research and Development Centre in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Fifteen selections from the potato breeding program in Canada are available for trial, offering growers a wide range of promising new potato varieties. There are[Read[Read More…]

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New ‘lady-friendly’ crisps go down like a sack of potatoes…

Doritos has announced plans to create new, quieter crisps especially for women, that will be downsized in order to fit neatly into our handbags. The mind-boggling “lady-friendly” creation, dubbed “Lady Doritos” on social media, is apparently the product of consumer research conducted by PepsiCo, the parent company of Doritos. Speaking to Freakonomics Radio, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said women “don’t like to crunch too loudly in[Read[Read More…]

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Forecasting tool named Product of the Year

For more than 25 years, yield monitors have helped farmers and retailers analyze in-field performance and plan for the next year. But new technologies are driving data-based decisions with much shorter turnaround times. Real-time ag technologies are here and now, and one of those is the R7 Field Forecasting Tool from WinField United in the US. â€œThe R7 Field Forecasting Tool[Read[Read More…]

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Spud growers turn out for 2018 Potato Production Days in Canada

This year’s Potato Production Days saw a range of speakers from 
emerging technology to resistance and regulatory issues. Resistance issues, management strategies and pathogens both new and old. Just a few of the issues that had potato growers’ attention at the 2018 Potato Production Days Jan. 23-25 at Brandon’s Keystone Centre in Canada’s Manitoba province. This year’s speakers tackled disease and damage diagnosis,[Read[Read More…]

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Maine potato industry seeks low-interest loan boost

Senate Democratic Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash has submitted LR 2828, “An Act To Amend the Law Regarding the Interest Rate for State Loans under the Potato Marketing Improvement Fund,” to help the Maine Potato Board offer lower-interest loans to Maine potato farmers. Don Flannery, executive director of the Maine Potato Board, told an Aroostook County-based writer for the Bangor Daily News,[Read[Read More…]

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China to review anti-dumping duties on EU potato starch following local concerns

China will review anti-dumping duties levied on potato starch imported from the EU, which are due to expire on Tuesday, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced on Monday. The review was requested by the China Starch Industry Association over concerns that domestic producers might suffer if the duties are scrapped. During the investigation, which will start on Tuesday and will probably last a year,[Read[Read More…]

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Facebook reach increases 630 percent for Colorado Potatoes

A huge bump in Facebook likes for Colorado Potatoes during the 2017 calendar year has reinforced CP’s commitment to the social media giant for reaching current consumers and engaging new ones as well. According to Marketing Administrative Assistant Savannah Schlaufman of Colorado Potatoes, which is the marketing arm of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, consumer reach through Facebook has been exponential,[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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