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NFU Potato Forum wants to improve relations in British fresh produce sector

The potato supply chain, with its numerous stages on the journey from seed via processing to final customer, has not always been the most transparent. With relations between growers and processors occasionally strained, the sector has found it harder than most to build up trust and confidence throughout the chain. To address the problem, the NFU Potato Forum last month[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Upcoming pest management workshops for potato growers in Alberta province

To grow any crop successfully, you need to have a handle of what pests may be threatening that crop and how to identify them, whether it’s insects, diseases, or weeds. And potatoes are no exception. Rob Spencer, commercial horticulture specialist with Alberta Agriculture, says an upcoming workshop will help producers do just that. Watch an interview with Rob Spencer on YouTube (2:11[Read[Read More…]

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US: Processing expansion impacts demand for Washington and Oregon spuds

Expansion in the processing industry will create new dynamics for Washington and Oregon potato production, the leader of Washington’s potato commission says. â€œWe have incredible growing demand in Asia; we still have growing demand here domestically, and we’ve got to keep up with that,” said Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission. “We’ve had international customers on quotas[Read[Read More…]

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US company sees ‘solid interest’ in organic express-bake potato

Farm Fresh Direct featured its organic “Express Bake PotatOH!” at the inaugural Global Organic Produce Expo Jan. 27, which is presented by The Packer and parent company Farm Journal.. The Monte Vista, Colo.-based company actually launched the product a couple of years ago, but the market was not quite ready, said Lonnie Gillespie, director of organic sales and marketing. With its re-release[Read[Read More…]

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Europatat Congress 2018 registrations now open

Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, confirms the dates for the upcoming annual Europatat Congress are May 3-4. Registrations for the event taking place in Brussels (Belgium) are now open. Under the slogan “Potatoes: a healthy, sustainable and responsible sector”, the congress will focus on the many assets of the sector in both political and technical key areas of health, sustainability[Read[Read More…]

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New smart sensor technology to be unveiled at Fruit Logistica event

As a provider of smart sensor technology for producers and processers of fruit, vegetables and more in the food industry, Canadian based aaggrrii’s SmartSpud and ProduceQC solutions help resolve quality issues in fragile produce by pinpointing damage areas in real time. aaggrrii, a division of Masitek Instruments Inc., will be displaying the updated sensors at the Fruit Logistica Exhibition in Berlin,[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Potato giant weathers poor harvest

Turnover and profits have held firm at Manor Fresh, the Lincolnshire-headquartered supplier of potatoes to retail giant Marks & Spencer, despite a “challenging” market following one of the worst harvests on record. The company, which employs more than 170 staff at its base in Spalding, has reported a slight drop in turnover to £59.2m for the year to 29 April 2017,[Read[Read More…]

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Ireland: Farmer brothers extend massive deal with Tesco to supply 65,000t of potatoes and veg

Country Crest, the north Dublin-based family-owned agri-business, and Tesco Ireland have confirmed a further extension of its almost 20 year relationship until 2020. Owned by Gabriel and Michael Hoey, Country Crest will continue to supply all potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes to Tesco Ireland’s 149 stores and via online shopping in a deal worth over €60m. The 2020 agreement will see[Read[Read More…]

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US: Potato prices strengthening

Tight supplies are pushing potato prices higher, but those better prices probably won’t last long. â€œI think we are coming into a crunch time for potatoes,” said Bruce Huffaker with North American Potato Market News. That’s good news for potato growers who have seen relatively flat prices at near cost of production levels for the last five years. â€œWe are running up against[Read[Read More…]

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Cargill and AKV Langholt plan $22.5m potato starch facility in Denmark

Cargill and its Danish potato starch partner AKV Langholt will invest $22.5 million in a new potato starch production unit at their Langholt facility in Denmark. The potato starches produced at the new facility expand Cargill’s SimPure portfolio of functional native starches. Cargill said that its SimPure starches feature ingredients from a variety of botanical sources, “providing food and beverage manufacturers access[Read[Read More…]

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Idaho potato company wants to bring more organic potatoes to market

Everything Potatoes, Inc. is the brain child of Sandy Bragg, president, and husband Jeff Bragg, vice president, whose mission is to offer a healthier potato option as far and wide as possible while still being involved in every stage of development. The organic potato market has been a growing niche market the last few years as people gravitate towards organics for[Read[Read More…]

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British potato farmer aims to lead vodka revolution

Vodka is the latest example of farmers driven to drink as they seek to make more from their resources in the ground. Gin, beer and wine are already part of Yorkshire agriculture’s burgeoning business romance with alcohol and its latest entrant David Rawlings of Priory Farm, Syningthwaite in North Yorkshire has already distilled success before a bottle has gone on[Read[Read More…]

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Canadian bred potato varieties in the spotlight at annual event

Using a combination of traditional crop breeding techniques, as well as new and emerging technologies, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) releases to the marketplace 10 – 15 new potato selections annually. These annual releases have been carefully chosen from a starting population that may number 120,000 new seedlings. On February 14, these selections will be presented to the Canadian potato[Read[Read More…]

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US: Zebra chip control costs potato growers nearly $11 million each year

According to a news report by Capital Press, zebra chip disease control costs farmers in major potato-growing areas in the US – in particular the Northwest – nearly $11 million each year, said Gina Greenway, business and accounting assistant professor at the College of Idaho. Greenway is also working to quantify zebra chip’s effects on potato quality and developing a cost-benefit analysis[Read[Read More…]

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Duravant to acquire sorting and conveying company Key Technology

Material handling and processing specialist Duravant announced today that it has agreed to acquire Key Technology, which makes digital sorting, inspecting and conveying equipment for the food industry, in a deal worth approximately $175 million. Key Technology’s portfolio includes highly intelligent optical inspection and digital sorting systems, vibratory conveying systems, and process and preparation systems. As well as headquarters in Walla[Read[Read More…]

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HZPC to venture into the export of true potato seed?

According to a news report published yesterday on the Dutch agriculture website Agf.nl, potato seed breeder and supplier of seed and ware potatoes, HZPC, intends to export true potato seed (TPS) in the near future. The company, based in the Netherlands with subsidiaries in several other countries, reportedly see opportunities for the export of true potato seed to countries in[Read[Read More…]

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Scientists create potato starch paint as petroleum-free alternative

Researchers in Germany have derived film formers for paint using potato starch. Although there has been numerous attempts to use “organic” components as a base for paint, none have proved to be at par with industry standards. This step from the science community at Fraunhofer has allowed us to have an insight towards creating true “natural” coating products that leaves[Read[Read More…]

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Project to improve forecasting of UK’s most damaging potato disease

A collaborative project has been announced to improve forecasting of UK’s most important potato pest. A team of researchers aim to improve the accuracy of a calculator which is used as a forecasting tool for growers to predict potato cyst nematode (PCN). To help growers to formulate control strategies, AHDB Potatoes created the ‘PCN Calculator’ for the most troublesome species, Globodera pallida. The calculator enables[Read[Read More…]

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US: Industry cooperation key to progress, potato growers told

The potato industry has had better luck recently in securing federal research dollars due to improved cooperation among its national and state organizations, three industry leaders said Jan. 17 during the Eastern Idaho Potato Conference. The speakers included National Potato Council Executive Vice President and CEO John Keeling; Pat Kole, the Idaho Potato Commission’s vice president of legal and government affairs;[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Seed potato suppliers to retail market see 10-15% sales increase

Taylor’s Bulbs says seed potato sales are 10-15% up following the decision by Westland/Unwins and Thompson & Morgan to pull out of the 2018 garden centre seed potato supply market. Taylor’s director Adam Taylor says seed potato sales have started already. JBA Seed Potatoes completed the outright purchase of the Westlands/Unwins seed potato business as of 8 August 2017. JBA’s Iain Barbour said:[Read[Read More…]

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US: First San Luis Valley Potato Business Summit focused on economics, future strategies and technology

In the first San Luis Valley Potato Business Summit on Monday in Monte Vista, topics focused more on economics, future strategies and technology than varieties, diseases and rotations. Speakers in what organizers hope to be an annual event talked about markets, the economy, digital agriculture and setting goals for the future. Sterling Liddell with Rabobank, the largest global agricultural lender, discussed economic[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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