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British expert provides timely advice on common scab control with irrigation

Recent dry weather in parts of the UK will mean that more and more growers will be thinking about irrigation, which is a vital time for common scab control. Dr Mark Stalham, Senior Scientist at NIAB CUF whose research, combined with demonstrations held at the Strategic Potato Farm network provided the most up-to-date guidance on common scab control, advises: “Despite late planting,[Read[Read More…]

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Danish growers in the grip of severe drought; millions of Euros at stake

Danish news site ATL reports that Danish farmers are seriously affected by the ceaseless drought. If the drought lasts as long as in 1992, total losses could rise to millions of euros. Precipitation in Denmark is still a no-show, and many experts are already making comparisons with the extreme drought in 1992, when agricultural yields dropped by 23 per cent. According to regional[Read[Read More…]

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Chasing after psyllids: Tasmanian tomato potato psyllid research used across Australia

Tomato potato psyllid is considered a serious threat to Tasmania’s potato, tomato and capsicum crops, with research conducted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture used to manage the pest around the country. Tasmanian researchers have conducted a tomato potato psyllid surveillance program in commercial potato crops since 2011. The project, which is funded by North-West Tasmania potato processors Simplot, McCain and Smiths as well as Horticulture[Read[Read More…]

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Blight programmes in sharp focus as British growers attempt to unlock yield potential

CPM finds out why potato experts are advocating robust blight programmes after challenging spring planting conditions. Later harvests in some key growing areas are being planned and every effort will be needed to maintain green leaf area to maximise yields where inclement weather delayed planting. At the time of writing it is estimated that as much as 10% of the UK crop is[Read[Read More…]

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Survival test: Gardeners in Newfoundland enlisted to put Chilean potato varieties through the hoops

E.W. Gaze Seeds Co. in St Johns Newfoundland and Phytocultures Ltd. based in Prince Edward Island are working together to bring new types of potatoes to Newfoundland and Labrador from Chile in South America. E.W. Gaze Seeds Co. specializes in selling “high-quality vegetable and flower seeds,” according to the company’s website. Recently the store started giving away free samples of Chilean[Read[Read More…]

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US and Indonesia sign market access agreement for US fresh potatoes

On June 5, the United States and Indonesia reached a market access agreement that will allow U.S. fresh potatoes to be exported to Indonesia under a defined set of phytosanitary requirements. The agreement comes after four years of discussions and will include both U.S. chipping potatoes for further processing and table-stock potatoes for direct consumption. Potatoes produced in all U.S. states[Read[Read More…]

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Untying the knots: Dutch researchers look at biocontrol of root knot nematodes by increasing soil disease suppressiveness

In organic vegetable cultivation in the Netherlands, root knot nematodes are one of the major problems. According to scientists at Wageningen Plant Research, the problems with root knot nematodes is also increasing in other soil based cultivation systems. The numbers of available and effective chemical control products against soilborne diseases and pests are limited, though. In addition, the combination of different[Read[Read More…]

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‘Pretty, unique and tasty’: In northern Maine, a new spud rises

One thing you should know about Dr. Gregory Porter — the man behind the University of Maine’s well-regarded potato-breeding program — is that he is not just a researcher of potatoes, he is also a fan. “Oh, I love ’em,” Porter said last week, during a break from working the 35 acres of potato fields he oversees at the Aroostook Research[Read[Read More…]

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Rather safe than sorry: Aussies to release Potato Growers’ Biosecurity Manual

The Potato Growers’ Biosecurity Manual is a guide to farm biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of weeds, pests, and diseases impacting production. It was developed by Plant Health Australia (PHA) with consultation from AUSVEG and potato growers across NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The manual is designed for use by potato growers and their staff, as well as contractors, processors,[Read[Read More…]

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Fries, mash, hash browns, chips, vodka, and now… The art show that’s all potatoes

Consider the humble potato. Linguistically, it’s often used to denigrate. Unimportant things are “small potatoes,” and we all try not to be “couch potatoes.” Nearly alone among vegetables, its nutritional value is questioned by some, making mashed potatoes and french fries something of a guilty pleasure. But to artist and professor Jeffrey Allen Price, potatoes transcend their homely image. Potatoes remain “humble,[Read[Read More…]

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Luther Burbank: A tribute to America’s greatest horticulturist

Luther Burbank was America’s most legendary horticulturist. At the turn of the 20th century, he developed hundreds of new fruit, vegetable, and flower varieties, creating marvels such as the Shasta daisy and the Santa Rosa plum. If America had a national plant, it might be his russet Burbank potato, which alleviated the lingering effects of the Irish famine and makes up[Read[Read More…]

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Allies in the skies: Drone industry launches into specialty agriculture market

In this well researched, in depth article on the current application of drones in agriculture, Stephen Kloosterman, Assistant Editor at Vegetable Growers News writes that drone scouts are poised to make precision agriculture even more exact as drone technology advances. Seventeen percent of all commercial registered drones in 2017 in the US were used for agriculture, making it the third-highest use for[Read[Read More…]

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Breath of Life: How to optimize ventilation in potato storage facilities

“Potatoes in storage are living. It is the job of the storage manager to ensure the crop sustains that life,” writes storage specialist Duane Gorman in the Potatoes in Canada magazine. He points out that after a final holding temperature is achieved in storage, it is important to ventilate properly in order to manage the byproducts of respiration, ensure a[Read[Read More…]

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Pick-a-choose your Big Mac: Burger and fry chain to add more customer choice and variety

As McDonald’s seeks to modernize its business, the company is placing a big bet on mobile and other tech platforms, including mobile phones. McDonald’s has been systematically adding self-service ordering kiosks and table service to stores as it works to “build a better McDonald’s.” “What we’re finding is when people dwell more, they select more,” CEO Steve Easterbrook told CNBC on “Squawk on the Street” on[Read[Read More…]

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Mission accomplished: Kiremko signs agreement with Indian potato fry processor

During a recent Dutch trade mission to India, potato processing equipment manufacturer Kiremko signed a deal with Hyfun Foods, a potato processor headquartered in Mumbai, India. Dutch based Kiremko’s Director, Paul Oosterlaken, and the CEO of Hyfun Foods, Haresh Karamchandani, signed a contract for a potato fry line with a capacity of six tonnes of frozen french fries per hour. Accompanied by Dutch[Read[Read More…]

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Million dollar question: Do some potato-growing soils suppress powdery scab?

A research project in New Zealand is determining if different field soils affect development of powdery scab on potatoes, and whether soil physical, chemical and/or biological characteristics influence this important potato disease. The project is developing new knowledge that may provide a basis for manipulating soil factors to reduce the harmful effects of the powdery scab pathogen. A cross-discipline team is[Read[Read More…]

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Ditch the soil: British company claims 50 times higher potato yields with aeroponics technology

Hawk Energy, a knowledge-based business solutions provider based in Dubai with a research and development branch in London, has partnered with British start-up Airponix, which will harvest its first large crop of potatoes grown without soil, in a promising sign for a technology that claims it can deliver high vegetable yields with minimal costs and environmental degradation. At its new 1000[Read[Read More…]

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Tit-for-tat: Mexico slaps 20 percent tax on US potatoes

In response to President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico, the nation has slapped tariffs on several types of American produce, including a 20 percent tax on potatoes. But the head of the Idaho Potato Commission and the spokeswoman for a new Meridian-based dairy-marketing group say they aren’t worried. “We are going to weather this storm,” said Frank Muir, president and CEO[Read[Read More…]

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Media nonsense exposed: AHDB Potatoes busting myths on potatoes and health in mainstream media

AHDB Potatoes in the UK recently produced a document outlining the truth on the nutritional benefits of the potato. The aim was to ‘cut through the noise’ and ‘bust the myths’ on potatoes and health that appear in the mainstream media. Everything in the document is scientifcally proven, by sources such as nutrition bible McCance and Widdowson’s the Composition of Foods​, and[Read[Read More…]

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Sneaking in: Nanotechnology shown to increase penetration rate of nutrients into plants

An innovative technology developed at the Technion, (Israel Institute of Technology, and Israel’s first university) could lead to significant increases in agricultural yields. Using a nanometric transport platform on plants that was previously utilized for targeted drug delivery, researchers increased the penetration rate of nutrients into the plants, from 1 percent to approximately 33 percent. The findings were recently published in Scientific[Read[Read More…]

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Canada’s Alberta province home to a vibrant potato industry

Most people don’t know it, but Alberta is the third-largest producer of potatoes in Canada, after Prince Edward Island and Manitoba. “Currently we grow about 53,500 acres,” said Terence Hochstein, executive director of the Potato Growers of Alberta. The association’s 150 members have a big economic impact. The farm gate value of their potatoes is about $225 million — and that figure[Read[Read More…]

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A matter of trust: US potato industry supports national standard for accurate product labeling

The National Potato Council (NPC) in the US joined more than 60 organizations, representing farmers, manufacturers, small businesses and retailers in supporting the Accurate Labels Act, introduced today. “The potato industry strongly supports this common-sense legislation. Consumers should be provided with information they can trust about the products they purchase. Verifiable science based information should be the foundation of these disclosures,” said John Keeling,[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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