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PAA Honorary Lifetime Member ‘put his heart into spud research’

It’s been 13 years since Steve Love was involved in potato research and development but his effect has not been forgotten. During last month’s Potato Association of America banquet in Boise, Love, a professor of plant sciences at the University of Idaho’s Aberdeen Research and Extension Center, was recognized with the PAA’s Honorary Lifetime Membership for his work in potato research. These[Read[Read More…]

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France: Historic low potato yields expected

As the early potato season comes to an end in France, early potatoes and the new crops are now taking over. The first available data indicate, for the moment, yields down by about 7% compared to the five-year average. More potatoes were planted: + 3.6% in France and + 1% for the 5 NEPG countries. While average planting dates were later, following[Read[Read More…]

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West Australia’s spuds set for all-clear to head east again

West Australia’s potato growers could regain access to Eastern States markets by the end of the year, after a big biosecurity effort demonstrated a rare bug found in WA does not carry a damaging bacteria. The tomato potato psyllid was detected in WA 18 months ago, causing Eastern States markets to shut their doors to WA potatoes, a move estimated to have[Read[Read More…]

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Dutch and Belgian potato representatives meet to discuss current situation in the potato sector

The extreme weather conditions of recent months caused a commotion in the potato sector in Europe. Many growers suffered damages, resulting in lower yields this year. In various media outlets, the re-negotiation of contracts between growers and the processing industry has recently been mentioned frequently. This is why parties from both the Dutch and Belgian potato sectors came together to[Read[Read More…]

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Tobacco rattle virus in potato explained

Corky ring spot is becoming more economically important across several potato production regions in the U.S. largely due to the spread of tobacco rattle virus (TRV) and because of restrictions on the use of current chemical control options. Potato specialists at NDSU/University of Minnesota recently published a factsheet explaining the influence of TRV on potato production. They note that tobacco rattle[Read[Read More…]

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Does glyphosate cause cancer?

Posted on A year in the Life of a Farmer: “Glyphosate and cancer. This is something we are hearing so much about, seemingly all of the sudden, with major stories breaking in the last week. Just last Friday, a court case in California resulted in a $289 million dollar payment to a man named Dewayne Johnson, who claimed his years[Read[Read More…]

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‘Potatoes less exposed to Brexit risks than many other sectors’

Brexit may provide British potato farmers with an opportunity to substitute imports if trade barriers are imposed by Brussels. As a result, it means the sector could be less exposed than others in the industry. That is the message from David Swales, head of strategic insight at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), who spoke at ‘Potatoes in Practice’ in Dundee[Read[Read More…]

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‘Protecting Potatoes’: New display in Edinburgh highlights the importance of wild potato varieties

‘Protecting Potatoes’ is a new plant display with interpretation for summer 2018 at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. It can be found in the Demonstration Garden and the Temperate Palm House, and has been funded by SEFARI. The aim is to highlight the importance of wild potatoes for the future survival of the domesticated spud. Now, it may not be immediately obvious[Read[Read More…]

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New President at the Potato Association of America

For four days, beginning on Sunday, July 22, more than 300 people, from 16 countries came to the Boise for the 102nd annual meeting of the Potato Association of America (PAA). Shelley Jansky, 2017-2018 PAA president and a research scientist with the USDA-ARS and horticulture professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that attendance was so good that they had[Read[Read More…]

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Hopes for potato farming in Cambodia running high

After determining the best provinces in the country to grow potatoes, Cambodian scientists are now working to figure out what varieties adapt best to the local soil and will have the highest yields, according to a report by Khmer Times. Initial tests conducted by scientists at the Potato Research Institute, a centre in the Royal University of Agriculture, suggest that three[Read[Read More…]

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Heavy rain, humid conditions and threat of potato blight forecast for Ireland

Unsettled weather conditions are in store this week for Ireland with a mixture of sunny spells, heavy rain, rising temperatures and humid conditions expected countrywide, according to Met Eireann. The national meteorological service has reiterated its Status Yellow warning that current conditions are conducive to the spread of potato blight – which it expects is “likely to develop” in parts of west Ulster later today (August[Read[Read More…]

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Trade dispute: China retaliates with tariffs on fries and dehy

The escalating trade war between the U.S. and China increased further as both sides recently announced new multi-billion tariffs on a host of goods. As expected, China included U.S. fries and dehy on their announced retaliation list. The new tariffs are 10% on fries and 25% on dehy. “We’re monitoring this situation in coordination with U.S. trade officials. Our message[Read[Read More…]

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The glyphosate saga: $289 million Roundup cancer verdict sends Bayer shares reeling

Bayer shares plunged on Monday, losing about $14 billion in value, after newly acquired Monsanto was ordered to pay $289 million in damages in the first of possibly thousands of U.S. lawsuits over alleged links between a weedkiller and cancer. After the verdict in favor of a California school groundskeeper with terminal cancer, Monsanto faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across[Read[Read More…]

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New Zealanders take a closer look at ‘the good oil on fish and chips’

While other countries regulate fryer fat use, experts in New Zealand say degraded oils at its favourite chippies is concerning. The key to producing good fish and chips is to use top-quality oil, filter the frying vats each day, regularly change the oil, and cook oils at the right temperature. But industry experts say not all fast food operators are making the health grade, and neighbourhood chippies are some[Read[Read More…]

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Seed export woes: Major British seed potato market could be killed off with no-deal Brexit

A letter circulated to industry stakeholders signed jointly by Defra and Scottish Government has made it clear that exports to EU countries would stop immediately with a no-deal Brexit. It says bluntly: “The European Commission has stated that without an agreement seed potatoes will not be marketable in the EU.” Annual seed potato exports from Scotland are normally stated as totaling between[Read[Read More…]

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Crop alert issued: North-Western European potato crop will be ‘much lower with quality concerns’, says grower group NEPG

In a press release issued today, the grower organization NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) says that it is now becoming clear that the 2018 potato crop will be much lower and quality issues will be a main challenge throughout North-Western Europe. The NEPG represents potato growers in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK. “Extreme record drought conditions and exceptionally high temperatures[Read[Read More…]

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Australian drought: Devastating impact of worst drought in living memory across New South Wales

The worst drought ever recorded is sweeping large parts of in particular eastern Australia. The entire Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has been declared in drought after a drier-than-expected June and July.  The entire state of New South Wales is effectively, and now officially, drought-declared. There is virtually no fodder left for livestock. June and July have been much drier than[Read[Read More…]

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Brazil court rules that licenses for all glyphosate products be suspended

Brazil’s government is contesting a court suspension of licenses for products with glyphosate, one of the most common industrial weedkillers around the world. A federal judge in the capital Brasilia last week ruled that “licenses for all products” with the chemical must be suspended within 30 days. Also in the ban are the chemicals thiram and abamectin. The suspension is to continue until the government sanitary[Read[Read More…]

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303 combines set new Guinness harvest record in Canada

303 combines. That’s the new Guinness World Record for most combine harvesters working simultaneously in a field, following a successful record attempt in southern Manitoba, Canada on August 4th. Organizers of the Harvest for Kids event south of the town Winkler were aiming for 300 combines to raise awareness and funds for the NGO Children’s Camps International (CCI). “It was an amazing day,” notes a[Read[Read More…]

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Blight: Integrated thinking for late blight control

Earlier this spring AHDB in the UK produced comprehensive new guidance on controlling late blight in light of the increase in the aggressive blight strain 37_A2. CPM takes a closer look. There’s been much talk about blight programmes since the 37_A2 late blight genotype emerged in the UK. It’s of particular significance because the new strain appears to be aggressive, highlighted[Read[Read More…]

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Kenyan potato farmers urged to grow certified seed

The Kenyan government says it will provide certified potato seed to farmers in Meru County to assist improve food security. Agriculture and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri expressed fears that the general uptake of certified potato seeds by farmers was still low despite efforts to encourage use of quality seeds. He noted that government and private potato farming experts were willing to[Read[Read More…]

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How Spuddy Buddy and the Big Idaho Potato charmed Seattle

In Idaho, a not-insignificant share of the citizenry is ambivalent about potatoes. Not baked with butter and sour cream, but as their state’s icon. The skeptics don’t like the “Famous Potatoes” license plate, don’t like being represented by a brown vegetable, don’t like the joking from out-of-state relatives. But outside of Idaho? No ambivalence. When the Big Idaho Potato truck rolls into Roosters[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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