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High tech farming: There’s an app for that

As agriculture becomes more high tech, a growing number of farmers are using GPS-equipped machinery supported by platforms that collect data on plants, soil, and weather. Termed “precision agriculture,” these technologies help them identify and manage variability within fields. Armed with data, farmers can fine-tune their operations, potentially increasing yields and profits, Kelsey Nowakowski once wrote. New technologies allow farmers to[Read[Read More…]

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Bayer completes $63-billion Monsanto takeover; name to disappear forever

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said Thursday its two-year pursuit of US-based Monsanto over, as the two firms signed off a $63-billion merger deal. “Shares in the US company will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole owner of Monsanto Company,” the German firm said in a statement. In an industry preparing for[Read[Read More…]

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Marketing 101: History’s greatest potato promoter relied on science and stunts

Neither prison food nor Prussian food have a great reputation, but during the Seven Years War, the combination made quite an impression on Antoine-Augustin Parmentier. Born in 1737, he became a pharmacist in the French army and spent three years as a prisoner of war. The prison diet consisted largely of potatoes, which the Prussians cultivated but the French viewed with[Read[Read More…]

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All about biostimulants: Prestigious event to focus on trends and developments in the biostimulant industry

ACI’s US Biostimulants Summit 2018 will be taking place in Chicago, IL, USA, on 27th — 28th June 2018. The conference will bring together the leading executives and experts from across the entire value chain (producers of biostimulant and plant nutrient products, farmers and agriculture suppliers, technology providers, research institutes & government representatives) for two days of informative presentations, interactive discussion &[Read[Read More…]

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Your potato crop’s nutritional status: Remove the guesswork

In sporting events, there’s an old saying “it’s hard to know the players without a scorecard.” That’s also true with growing a potato crop. Your crop’s nutritional status is dynamic and requires constant monitoring to ensure the production of high yielding, high quality potatoes that are demanded in today’s market. Many misapplications occur every season when crop advisors and farmers look[Read[Read More…]

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Elevated: How potatoes went from mountaintops to the moon

The process of freeze drying is easily associated with the space age, thanks to its use in making astronaut food, but it’s older than you might think. The first known use of it dates back to the Incas, who were able to naturally freeze dry their food on mountaintops thanks to cold temperatures and thin air. Potatoes were stomped daily[Read[Read More…]

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New range of potato machinery takes South African market by storm

According to Tinus Prinsloo, CEO of AFGRI Equipment, a leading agricultural services company in South Africa, the Dewulf, Standen and IMAC machinery were the subject of considerable interest at a recent national trade show and conference, so much so that the equipment subsequently went on display again at a farmers’ field day in another part of the country on the 30th of[Read[Read More…]

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US: Northern Plains Potato Growers Association hires new President

The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA) based in East Grand Forks, Minnesota has hired Donavon Johnson to be its new President. Johnson started on June 4th and will be replacing Chuck Gunnerson who is retiring after leading the organization for the past ten years. Johnson brings an extensive background in leading successful businesses and non-profit organizations across the US and[Read[Read More…]

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Misplaced blame: In defense of the potato and other starchy vegetables

Potatoes have a bad reputation in our carb-fearing world, but that’s unnecessary, says Central Texas Food Bank dietitian Mary Agnew. Carbohydrates (which of course is found in potatoes) often get blamed for weight gain, she writes. But most people have a fairly vague understanding of the different types of carbohydrates, she writes. Agnew reviews the facts related to carbohydrates, saying[Read[Read More…]

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Innovative weed management: German companies Neudorff and Zasso create herbicide free solutions

W. Neudorff GmbH KG and Zasso GmbH in Germany intensified their mutual technology cooperation and recently formed a joint venture. With the formation of this joint venture, both companies are breaking new ground in weed management. The joint venture is aimed at developing completely new methods and technologies for weed management without the use of herbicides. With the help of[Read[Read More…]

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Little golden nugget: Univ of Maine releases new gourmet potato variety

Sporting a unique and striking skin pattern, the newly released Pinto Gold potato has been in development for twelve years. Out of 50,000 individual varieties tested at Univ of Maine’s Aroostook Research Farm, the Pinto Gold was selected as the most promising. The potato isn’t destined for large scale chip or french fry manufacturing, but for local gardeners, restaurants, and home cooking. Gregory[Read[Read More…]

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Noteworthy: Potatoes the source of innovation boom in Peru

According to the executive director of Cite Papa and other Andean Crops, Celfia Obregon Ramirez, potatoes have stopped being just an agricultural crop and have become a great source of innovation in Peru – which has the greatest diversity of potatoes in the world and, thus, infinite possibilities to innovate. Peruvian exquisite colored chips continue to surprise the world because they[Read[Read More…]

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Clampdown: European Commission announces neonic ban dates

The European Commission has announced that the sale and supply of neonicotinoid actives clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam for outdoor use will cease by September 19, 2018 at the latest, with the sale, storage and use of seed treated with them ending on December 19, 2018 at the latest, according to the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC). However, it is up to member[Read[Read More…]

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Good news: Dickeya not detected in Scottish seed and ware potato survey

A survey was undertaken in Scotland to monitor seed and ware tuber production in Scotland for the presence of Dickeya spp., in support of Scottish legislation introduced in 2010, which established a “nil” tolerance for Dickeya infections in seed crops. This survey was risk-based and targeted stocks which held the greatest risk of carrying or contracting the disease. This survey was carried out in conjunction[Read[Read More…]

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Microbial allies: How soil microbes influence nutrient uptake

Soil is rich with biological diversity and complexity that is not immediately apparent to the un-aided eye. Without a strong microscope, you wouldn’t know that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of organisms in a handful of soil. Bacteria, archaea, algae, and fungi play critical roles in the growth and well-being of plants. I like to think about[Read[Read More…]

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Come eat me: Some potato varieties yield more when grazed by pests

When some Colombian potato varieties are lightly grazed by a pest, the plants respond by growing larger tubers, at times doubling their yields. Although many types of plants can repair pest damage while maintaining productivity, it’s rare to find species that actually overcompensate and increase productivity. Cornell and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia researchers first discovered this effect in a commercial[Read[Read More…]

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Avebe: Challenges and opportunities of ‘all natural’ and ‘clean label’ trends for food manufacturers

The food industry is facing a rapid increase in demand for “all natural” food. Consumers increasingly ask for “clean label” food. Food manufacturers respond by changing ingredient names, changing ingredients altogether, looking for alternatives to satisfy the consumer. But the all natural trend offers not just challenges; for the observant food manufacturer, there are also plenty of opportunities. Within the food[Read[Read More…]

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Just for fun: Which potato variety resembles your personality best?

And now the folks who run the website claim they can match you up with one of the 5,000+ known potato varieties in the world… In order to determine which one of these fits your particular personality type best, you need to answer 7 basic questions – about your preferences regarding your ideal vacation, your ideal meal, your style, how[Read[Read More…]

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McCain Foods Australia wants to ‘shake things up’ with new product launch

The newest frozen chip range (frozen french fries) now launched by McCain Foods Australia – Shake Shake – takes hot potato chips from the side of the plate to the centre of attention, with seasonings never before seen in the frozen chip aisle. According to Simone Formisano, McCain Foods Product Manager, “snack-based dinners that can be enjoyed on the couch or shared[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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