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IPM: A powerful tool that offers protection for potato growers

Growers who practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) can positively impact their crop production and their bottom line. Integrated strategies offer the strongest protection for potato growers, who need a complete plan for combating every element that threatens their crop. Managing obvious threats like insects, nematodes, diseases, and weeds are often at the forefront of IPM tactics, but taking steps to monitor[Read[Read More…]

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US: Washington, Oregon potatoes running a little late, but crop development ‘near perfect’

Good potato growing conditions and harvest timing running a few days later than normal are reported by Washington and Oregon potato industry leaders. “I would say we are on the later side of normal (in the Columbia Basin) by a few days,” said Dan Strebin, owner and manager of Troutdale, Ore.-based Strebin Farms LLC. Plant growth through late June was very healthy, and tuber sizing[Read[Read More…]

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Australian experts underscore importance of certified potato seed for black leg disease control

Around the world, blackleg of potato is caused by several species of bacteria that can be carried and transmitted through seed tubers. Potatoes Australia spoke to Agriculture Victoria Research Scientist Dr Rachel Mann and ViCSPA General Manager Dr Nigel Crump about the identification and management of the blackleg disease. The main causal agent of blackleg in Australia is Pectobacterium atrosepticum although another bacterium known as[Read[Read More…]

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Climate change in practice? Potato fields in Scotland under extreme pressure as drought conditions continue

Conditions in Scotland’s potato fields are rapidly approaching those experienced during the  drought of 1976, when yields crashed, scarcity created demand and prices rocketed to an unprecedented £300/tonne. Dr Mark Stalham, a senior research associate at world-leading agronomy institute NIAB CUF, confirmed this is just the second year in four decades when high temperatures and lack of rainfall for more than a month[Read[Read More…]

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Making good better: British scientists boost popular potato variety’s blight resistance

Professor Jonathan Jones from The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, England is investigating ways that Maris Piper potatoes can be genetically modified to develop late blight resistance. According to Professor Jones, genetic modification has real potential to offer growers agronomic benefits, particularly in terms of developing late blight resistance. Against a background of aggressive potato late blight strains, combined with increasing[Read[Read More…]

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South Korean consumers shift toward imported potatoes

Production of fresh potato in Korea is expected to increase in calendar year 2018, to 530,000 tonnes; up 14 per cent from 2017. Despite higher domestic volumes, a USDA Gain report states that consumers continue to shift toward consumption of imported potatoes and potato products. Following the resolution of a phytosanitary issue in the US’ Pacific Northwest, US exports of fresh[Read[Read More…]

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Next best thing after mother’s milk: Potato based infant formula

Nestle has applied for a patent for an infant formula based on potato protein microparticles. The company presents it as a naturally hypoallergenic infant formula that is suitable for infants with cow’s milk protein allergy. The Nestle patent describes an infant formula based on potato protein, which is naturally absent in the major allergens found in milk and soy. Accordingly, the[Read[Read More…]

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Is an imminent oversupply situation looming in the North-Western European potato area?

Based upon the latest NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) estimates, the consumption potato area in the combined 5 North-Western European countries is 595.587 ha, an increase of 1% compared to last season. The British area is still based on a 5 years average. In a press release issued earlier today, the NEPG says that given prevailing market realities measured against a healthy balance[Read[Read More…]

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Global potato industry invited to come and share ‘Ideas, Impulses and Innovations’ at PotatoEurope 2018

PotatoEurope 2018 takes place near Hanover, Germany, September 13-14, expecting 184 exhibitors from 13 countries and over 10,000 visitors from all over the world. PotatoEurope 2018, the event for the international potato industry, is held in Germany every four years. The trade fair, organized by the DLG (German Agricultural Society) in cooperation with the German Potato Industry Union (UNIKA), will again[Read[Read More…]

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Taco Bell wants to ‘Make Potato Great’ again in India

Aloo Jeera, Aloo Gobhi, Aloo Matar, Aloo Palak, Aloo Methi; these are just some of the more typical items you’ll find on most Indian menus. Boiled, mashed, baked, blanched, fried et al, the humble potato, a staple for many, can be served up in so many (many) forms and thus, caters to a wide variety of taste buds. But what[Read[Read More…]

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Popular potato variety in Uganda getting a GMO makeover

Victoria is a popular local potato variety in Uganda. Farmers love it because it is high yielding. However, Victoria is also extremely susceptible to potato late blight disease. With each growing season, these farmers face a threat of 60 to 100 percent yield losses due to Late Blight. Climate related risks have worsened the situation leading to increasingly food insecure households. However,[Read[Read More…]

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PepsiCo attempts health focus in Thailand

PepsiCo Food, a part of Pepsi-Cola Thai Trading Co and the maker of Lay’s potato chips, is shifting to healthier snack options. The company aims to make Sunbites, a multigrain snack, healthy snack brand among Thais. The move is part of Pepsi-Cola’s 2016-25 strategic plan to focus on three core priorities: improving health and well-being through the products it sells, protecting the[Read[Read More…]

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Global demand for controlled-release fertilizers growing

The global market demand for controlled- and slow-release specialty fertilizers is growing significantly. Global demand for these specialty fertilizers (called CRFs or SRFs) is expected to grow to at a rate of nearly six percent during the period of 2017 to 2022, according to the IHS Markit Chemical Economics Handbook: Controlled- and Slow-Release Fertilizers Report. They are more environmentally friendly than conventional[Read[Read More…]

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Belgian potato processor says it responds to consumer demands

In an interview with Dan Orehov or Potato Processing International magazine, the  marketing director of Lutosa, Françoise Saint-Ghislain, discussed trends and innovation in processed potato products. Orehov asked her how she views the current market trends concerning processed potatoes, including french fries, and in particular what consumers prefer. “We noticed a rise in our customer’s demand for organic-based products,” Saint-Ghislain said.[Read[Read More…]

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Idaho potato crop on track following early cool weather

Frequent cool, wet conditions in the northeastern stretch of Idaho potato country finally gave way to some welcome heat as July commenced, pleasing Weston Crapo. “They are growing like crazy. We finally got some weather,” said Crapo, sales specialist with potato grower-shipper Sun-Glo of Idaho in Sugar City, north of Rexburg. “Things are growing really well.” Idaho potato fields looked good as[Read[Read More…]

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Potato growers across Ireland turn to irrigation to protect crops

Potato growers right across Ireland are being forced to irrigate crops in an effort to protect yields. Farmers report that the continuing drought is putting serious pressure on potato crops, and that rain will be needed over the next fortnight to prevent significant yield losses. “Unless potatoes are irrigated, they will be under serious pressure,” claimed Michael Hennessy of Teagasc. “Potato growers are[Read[Read More…]

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In America, millennials eat – potatoes!

Copy editor and designer Amelia Freidline and staff writer Ashley Nickle of The Packer magazine produced a delightful short video in which they discuss the produce age gap for potatoes, which according to Fresh Trends research are purchased much more by older generations than by millennials. Amelia and Ashley talk through the perceived drawbacks to potatoes and suggest marketing angles that[Read[Read More…]

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Mushy no more: Lamb Weston’s solution for the ‘soggy fry’ unveiled

A french fry gets soggy in 5 minutes. Lamb Weston wants to keep it crispy for 60. Its customers, like McDonald’s and Yum Brands, the owner of KFC, are increasingly teaming up with on-demand delivery services. But travel is brutal for French fries, especially when they’re squeezed next to a cold drink and a warm burger in a paper bag. The company’s[Read[Read More…]

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McCain NZ pilot programme puts the power into potatoes

The humble potato is in for a shocking multi-million dollar makeover in New Zealand. An industry pilot programme worth almost $16.8 million, is being trialled at McCain Foods in Washdyke, Timaru, in what has been described as “electrocuting potatoes”. The three month test of the new Pulsed Electric Field Technology (PEF) machine, from Germany, began in Timaru on Wednesday and involves industrial-scale food processing[Read[Read More…]

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‘First of its kind’ programme to collaborate with British farmers to improve soil health

Yorkshire Water and Future Food Solutions have announced plans for a collaborative land-based programme that will see farmers, global food & drink brands, non-government organisations & supply chain partners working together to improve soil quality in river catchment areas around Yorkshire. It is set to be the first of its kind in the UK. Improving soil health is recognised internationally as[Read[Read More…]

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New Chairman of Belgapom calls for better coordination of potato chain, founding of inter-branch organisation

The annual general meeting of Belgapom, the Belgian potato trade and processing industry association, has appointed Marc Van Herreweghe as its chairman. He succeeds Marc Seru who in accordance with the articles of association was not available for re-election after two terms of 3 years. Marc Van Herreweghe is the CEO of the family-owned potato processing company Mydibel in Mouscron. Since the[Read[Read More…]

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Useful publication: Guide to investing in a post-harvest line

If you are considering investing in a post-harvest processing line, this guide will make the process easier. It is not exhaustive, but will help you understand the process so you can find the perfect solution for your business. The Guide is published by Wyma, based in New Zealand. The company designs, manufactures, distributes and services post-harvest vegetable handling equipment and[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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