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UK: Burts Potato Chips snaps up popcorn maker

UK-based Burts Potato Chips is making strides towards its goal of being a leader in snacking with the acquisition of popcorn business Savoury & Sweet Ltd. This is the first acquisition for Burts which is diversifying and expanding its healthy snacking product range to now include popcorn. “The Burts business has grown significantly over the last five years, from £11.4m (US$15.4 million)[Read[Read More…]

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Smart B2B networking platform launched for the potato industry in the Netherlands

BizVibe, a smart B2B networking platform for global B2B buyers and suppliers, announced today the next generation of its B2B networking platform for the potato market in the Netherlands. With the update, BizVibe says in a press release that businesses can establish a faster and more efficient path from company discovery to getting better quotes and building long-lasting profitable business partnerships with[Read[Read More…]

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South Africa: Water shortages could constrain potato plantings

Severe drought conditions are affecting potato plantings in the southern parts of South Africa. Only about a third of the usual plantings in the Koue Bokkeveld (Ceres area) will realise due to water supply constraints. Whether the amount of water from boreholes will suffice to optimally irrigate this season’s potato crop in the southern areas of the country remains to[Read[Read More…]

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Germany: Potato ‘Premieres and Innovations’ to feature at Fruit Logistica 2018

Trade visitors can start gearing up for the Fruit Logistica event, taking place from February, 7-9, in Berlin, Germany, with “Spotlight – Premieres and Innovations at Fruit Logistica 2018”. The 68 Spotlight reports published so far include 23 world premieres and 11 European premieres. Spotlight also includes potato products and equipment for potatoes, such as SmartSpudâ„¢, said to be the industry’s leading smart sensor[Read[Read More…]

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US: Will Taco Bell’s new Nacho Fries affect the french fry supply?

When ordering tacos from a food service outlet, the last thing you might expect would be this phrase: “Would you like fries with that?” Yet, on Jan. 25, across the nation, diners at Taco Bell will be presented with that question when the chain launches Nacho Fries. However, at the Food Institute, another question is asked: how will this affect the prices[Read[Read More…]

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Kenya: Potato farmers turn to growing contracts to earn more money, get better seed

According to a report by, Kenyan potato farmers are increasingly turning to production contracts with food processors in a system known as contract farming through the East African Potato Consortium. By working with the consortium, they reportedly get access to seed that better stand up to harsher local conditions, better fertilisers, and get a guaranteed price for their crop, as long as[Read[Read More…]

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US: Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips launches ‘Its Good To Be Ugly’ campaign to reduce waste and fight hunger

Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips Inc. announced yesterday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show the “It’s Good to be Ugly” campaign aimed at Reducing Waste and Fighting Hunger. Dieffenbach’s introduced its newest brand, Uglies® in 2017 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Unlike any potato chip snack available, Uglies® are made with potatoes that have slight cosmetic imperfections and may otherwise be discarded. More than just a delicious snack, Uglies®[Read[Read More…]

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Scotland: Albert Bartlett potato firm sees profits hit by price pressures

Sales at potato firm Albert Bartlett have climbed 18 per cent to £146m, but operating profit was again impacted by price pressures in the supply chain. In accounts newly filed with Companies House, the Airdrie-based firm said the performance was satisfactory, “given another year of challenging market conditions which continue to put significant pricing pressures on the entire supply chain”. Operating profit[Read[Read More…]

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Potato industry’s biggest annual event kicks off this week in Orlando

This week more than 2,000 growers, suppliers, and experts will converge at the largest conference and trade show for the potato industry held in North America. Potato Expo 2018 kicks off tomorrow in Orlando, Florida. This will mark the 10th anniversary for the event which each year features educational programming covering the top issues facing the potato industry.  It provides countless networking opportunities[Read[Read More…]

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Potatoes USA Seed Export Program underway for 2018

Efforts are underway to plant field trials of U.S. seed varieties in Myanmar, Morocco and Guatemala in early 2018.  Potatoes USA purchases U.S. seed potatoes from U.S. growers in multiple states to provide up to a dozen different varieties to each target market which are suitable for their warm climates and have high resistance to common potato diseases. Funding for[Read[Read More…]

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New potato varieties named in celebration of Canada 150

Two Canadian potato companies are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday by giving newly licensed yellow fleshed potato varieties developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) a link to Canada. The new potatoes – called AAC Confederation and AAC Canada Gold-Dorée – were recently named by Progest 2001 Inc. based out of Sainte-Croix, Quebec, and Canadian Eastern Seed Growers Inc. based out of New Brunswick, respectively. Both company[Read[Read More…]

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Bioinsecticide a sustainable solution for organic control of insects

BioCeres WP is an insect-pathogenic bioinsecticide that makes use of the Beauveria bassiana fungus. This fungus strain is naturally occurring in Canada. BioCeres WP is approved for organic production in North America and is said to be perfectly suited for use in IPM programs as a tank mix with other pesticides as well as in specific, stand-alone uses. The fungus used is found naturally[Read[Read More…]

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China intends to grow potatoes on the dark side of the moon by the end of the year

The moon has been neglected for far too long, and China seems keen on moving fast to cover all the lost lunar ground. The nation’s ambitious space program, among other things, is set on achieving several important milestones. A trifecta, consisting of a lunar probe, lander, and rover, will be deployed to the moon’s orbit and surface respectively. This will be[Read[Read More…]

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World Potato Congress announces Romain Cools as new President and CEO

World Potato Congress Inc. announces Mr. Romain Cools as new President and CEO, as David Thompson steps down from this position. After 17 years on the World Potato Congress Board of Directors, 12 as vice-president and the last five years as president, David Thompson has decided that it was time for a change. He is pleased to announce that effective January[Read[Read More…]

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Tips for applying nutrients to a potato crop

Optimum potato growth and profitable production depend on many management factors, one of which is ensuring a sufficient supply of nutrients. There are 14 soil-derived elements or nutrients considered to be essential for growth of plants. When the supply of nutrients from the soil is not adequate to meet the demands for growth, fertilizer application becomes necessary. Potatoes have a[Read[Read More…]

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Smart panels and irrigation monitoring: A perfect pair

Why pair up smart panels and irrigation monitoring? Well, in short, it’s the same reason any pair is formed – to help consumers save resources by increasing product efficiency. If you want a better idea of how smart panels fit into the picture, maybe the best thing to do is to take a look at some other “smart” technologies on[Read[Read More…]

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Lamb Weston President expects growth in french fry demand ‘to continue in foreseeable future’

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. announced today its second quarter 2018 results and updated its outlook for fiscal 2018. “Our second quarter and first half results were solid,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO. “Our commercial teams have worked through customer contract negotiations, and now that those discussions are largely behind us, we’re focused on our ongoing commitment to deliver industry-leading[Read[Read More…]

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A potato in the mail: ‘Text-a-Potato’ expands into themed potato gifts

British based ‘Text-A-Potato’ is a business that sends personalised, hand written messages on potatoes to anyone in the UK and select European countries. Yes, you read that correctly. The Text-A-Potato team send potatoes with messages in the post. The business has now expanded into themed potato gifts, including spuds for anniversaries, congratulations, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Christmas and even proposals. Text-A-Potato has[Read[Read More…]

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Northern Germany: ‘Wet fields, late crops and mouldy tubers’

Potato traders in northern Germany look back on 2017 with mixed feelings. Although yields were sufficient to meet demand, the quality of stored potatoes is in part poor. At Lünekartoffel-Vertrieb GmbH & Co. KG, located in the middle of the important cultivation area Lüneburg Heath, the wet autumn weather is still resonating. “My gut tells me we’re going to see[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Grimme and Spudnik introduce new potato harvester

Big red Grimme potato harvesters are anything but a common sight here in Canada, but spud growers will likely recognize the name of one of Grimme’s brand subsidiaries, U.S.-based Spudnik, which it acquired in 2003. Spudnik has been a major potato equipment supplier in North America for a long time. The Grimme brand harvesters are generally smaller in capacity than their[Read[Read More…]

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Scientists eye potato starch as bio-based solution for paints and varnishes

If a surface has to be protected against corrosion, in 80 percent of all cases this takes place through coating it with paints or varnishes. When doing so, the proportion of bio-based, environmentally-friendly solutions is extremely small. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP, in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, are[Read[Read More…]

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New bio-fungicide shows strong performance against white molds and soil diseases

Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI), based in the US, recently announced the launch and availability of a high-performance and cost-effective biological fungicide, Amplitudeâ„¢, in the 2018 growing season. Amplitude is based on a new strain of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, discovered by MBI, that has shown strong performance against white molds and soil diseases such as Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia (pink rot and black scurf of potatoes), and Fusarium, as shown in field[Read[Read More…]

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Researchers study potential of “nurse crops” to combat soil erosion

A spring cover crop planted at potato planting time – called a nurse crop – offers a way to reduce soil erosion during the weeks between potato planting and hilling. But what is the optimal way to grow a “nurse crop” to benefit the soil, the potato crop, and the grower’s bottom line? Researchers and growers in New Brunswick in Canada[Read[Read More…]

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NL: Agrico presents record results at members’ meeting

Agrico held its central general members’ meeting last week. At this well-attended meeting, the annual report 2016/2017 was discussed. In a press release, the potato cooperative says the 2016/2017 financial year will be noted as one of the most successful years in Agrico’s history. Never before has Agrico marketed such a high volumes of seed potatoes, and could pay out[Read[Read More…]

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Managing weight loss in potato storages

By now, potatoes in most of the U.S. and Canada have been in storage two months or longer. The crop is at holding temperatures specific to the cultivar and use. Storages are being monitored for disease development, desired temperature, ventilation and humidity. According to Nora Olsen and Mary Jo Frazier at the University of Idaho, what isn’t as easy to[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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