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Underhanded down under? Australian wholesaler accused of ‘unfair’ potato contracts

Australia’s largest potato wholesaler, Mitolo, is facing legal action after being accused of entering into unfair contracts with its potato farmer suppliers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Tuesday said it had started Federal Court proceedings against the South Australian-based company – the first legal action taken under the recently introduced Horticulture Code. Mitolo, a major supplier to Woolworths and[Read[Read More…]

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Following the trend: Californian company goes all-in on organic potatoes

Top Brass Produce, based in Bakersfield, CA, is the official sales agent for Vignolo Farms, which is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. “We have been farming organic grapes and potatoes for several years and are committed to organics,” said Brett Dixon, president of Top Brass. “The largest news this year is that we converted 100 percent of our potato business[Read[Read More…]

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Leafy solution: Why foliar feeding of nutrients is an efficient way to meet crop needs

“In today’s agricultural climate, efficiency is the name of the game. Rising input costs including fuel, seed, pesticides and fertilizer are driving potato growers to utilize technologies that more economically produce strong returns on the dollars invested.” So says Jimmy Ridgeway (Crop Manager -  Potato at Yara North America) in the latest toppotato newsletter. Foliar feeding is a technique of[Read[Read More…]

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Trade spat: Mexican judge bars US potato imports into Mexico

Mexico Daily News reported minutes ago that a federal judge has barred the import of fresh potatoes from the United States today on national security and bio-security grounds. The decision, made by José Francisco Pérez Mier of the Seventh District Court in Los Mochis, Sinaloa — a potato-producing state, overturned a 2016 decision adopted by the Secretariat of Agriculture (Sagarpa) to[Read[Read More…]

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Spud debate: How diverse are the genes of the potato?

The potato is a crop vital to feeding the teeming human species worldwide. When colonialism first disseminated the spud widely from its South American beginnings, it became a staple crop of a booming global population of billions. When it failed, like with fungal blight of the mid-19thcentury in Northern Europe and Ireland, millions died or were displaced. The 21st century implications are clear:[Read[Read More…]

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Winds of change: Is America ready for a new potato?

From the Russet to the red and yellow, to specialty potato varieties, the US is a large producer and consumer of potatoes. In recent years, more people are seeking out new varieties and there is an increasing focus on flavor. One US-based company has been tasked with distributing one of the newest varieties of potatoes – the Huckleberry Gold. Grown[Read[Read More…]

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28,000t of potatoes from a family farm in Ireland

Over the past 45 years, O’Shea Farms has progressed from a family partnership of four brothers – Dick, John, Séamus and Joe O’Shea – to a business with a turnover of €60 million per year. The company processes 28,000t of potatoes each year at its base in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny. Iverk Produce, a sister company, distributes 90% of the potatoes and vegetables produced to[Read[Read More…]

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Scots charging: New and ambitious growth strategy announced for the potato, vegetable and fruit sector in Scotland

A group of leading businesses and organisations in Scotland’s potato, fruit, and vegetable industry have come together for the first time to create an ambitious new growth strategy for the sector. Announced over the weekend, Planting the Seeds of Growth identifies the key recommendations to grow the potato, fruit, and vegetable sector by 2030, bringing not just economic benefits but benefits to the[Read[Read More…]

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Let’s automate, mate: South Australian potato company partners with automation specialists to bring field to fork

The South Australian Potato Company, founded by the Raschella family in that region, has been supplying potatoes for “every recipe, every occasion and every season for more than 20 years,” they say. Dealing with more than 60, 000 tons of potatoes annually obviously requires quality automation by reliable suppliers to ensure always-on productivity and extreme care with this wholesome produce.[Read[Read More…]

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Drone tech in practice: Belgian service provider employs drones to improve assessment of seed varieties

As Belgium’s biggest service provider for agriculture and horticulture, AVEVE is continuously looking for innovative solutions. In plant breeding, specialists are looking to improve the objective quality assessment of new crop seed varieties. With mapEO, a new image processing solution for drone based phenotyping, AVEVE specialists can scale up their seed and agronomy expertise and offer the best possible varieties[Read[Read More…]

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CPB alert: Jersey under threat of invasion by Colorado potato beetle pest, govt warns

Weather conditions for the next four days could enable an invasive insect with the potential to wipe out Jersey’s potato industry to reach the Island’s shores, the Environment Department has warned. The Colorado potato beetle is not established in the Island or the UK but it is prevalent in Normandy, which at its closest point is just 14 miles from Jersey. If[Read[Read More…]

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How fungicide data is helping to combat new potato blight strain

Fungicide use data in the UK reveal that potato growers have already adapted their strategies to manage a new resistant strain of blight, although more needs to be done to combat the threat of tuber blight and further resistance developing in 2018. A strain of the most costly disease of potatoes, Dark Green EU37_A2, has spread to the UK since being[Read[Read More…]

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Potatoes in Canada? Yes indeed, and here’s the latest crop report to prove it

Whether it’s seed, tablestock, processed potato products or technology, customers the world over know they can depend on Canadian potato quality and value, according to the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). Canada is among the top 20 potato producing countries worldwide – potatoes are the most valuable vegetable crop in Canada, where approximately $1 billion worth of potatoes are[Read[Read More…]

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Mancozeb ruling: Good news for Canadian potato growers

On June 21, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) announced that the fungicide mancozeb will no longer be allowed in horticultural crops except for foliar use in potatoes.  A maximum of 10 applications per year will be allowed on potatoes with seven-day application intervals. That’s a relief for potato growers protecting their crops from late blight, but little solace for[Read[Read More…]

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UK a net exporter of fresh potatoes in 2017/18 season so far

Following the large harvest of over 6Mt of potatoes in 2016/17 there has been an abundance of potatoes in GB stores. This has pressured prices domestically with a clear divergence on the basis of quality, especially for white varieties. Increased domestic production last season has translated to an observed reduction in fresh potato imports to the UK so far this[Read[Read More…]

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McCain considers building a new potato processing plant in Idaho

McCain Foods USA, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of frozen potato products, is considering building a facility in Caldwell, Idaho, USA, and bringing as many as 544 jobs to the area. The company received approval Monday night for $400,000 in grants from the Caldwell Urban Renewal Agency. McCain Foods is considering a 17-acre property to build a proposed 164,000-square-foot facility, four[Read[Read More…]

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Spotting airborne foes: Novel spore trap designed to detect and identify key crop pathogens

An automated spore trap has been developed by researchers and industry partners in the UK which is said to have to potential to “revolutionise disease monitoring in agricultural crops.” The device, which was developed as part of an AHDB project led by Rothamsted Research, provides near real-time information on the presence of airborne spores and could potentially help farmers target[Read[Read More…]

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Hutton hits indicate blight risk is building in Britain

Potato crops in Britain are under increasing blight pressure, with repeated hits of Hutton Criteria that indicate infection risks. The Hutton Criteria has now largely replaced conventional Smith periods, since blight outbreaks were still occurring even when a Smith Period had not been triggered, reports Syngenta eastern counties potato specialist, David Wilson. “This season BlightCast disease risk forecasting has already repeatedly triggered[Read[Read More…]

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World Potato Congress: Abstract Book now available online

The Abstract Book, containing abstracts of presentations delivered in May during the 10th World Potato Congress in Cuzco, Peru has been published online, and can now be downloaded as a pdf file from the World Potato Congress Inc website. In the Preface to the 168 page Abstract Book it is said that the themes “Biodiversity, Food Security and Business” represent what[Read[Read More…]

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Spain: New potato prices remain high in the domestic market

The Spanish potato campaign started in late May with the harvest of the first new potatoes from Seville. Frequent rains in the winter and spring not only caused a delay of about a month in the harvest of the first new potatoes, but also resulted in a 40% drop in the volume. “The acreage devoted to ​​potato cultivation has been reduced[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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