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Frito-Lay subsidiary in Egypt launches important programme for local potato seed production

Chipsy for Food Industries in Egypt, a subsidiary of Pepsico (Frito-Lay) announced a significant new programme for the local production of potato seed. “This comes as a result of Chipsy’s long journey of conducting scientific research and field trials, which saw it being rewarded for its use of innovative and state of the art technologies,” the company said in a press release. Through this[Read[Read More…]

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Potato growers warned that new late blight strain requires fresh approach to control

Blight control strategies will have to change this season if potato growers are to combat the spread of a new aggressive, fungicide-insensitive/ resistant strain of the disease, leading agronomy firm Hutchinsons in the UK says. The dark green 37_A2 form of Phytopthora infestans has quickly spread across Europe, reaching England two years ago when five cases were reported. Around 20 cases were[Read[Read More…]

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Biofertilizers 2018: Finally making inroads?

Although they may seem like newer entries into the agricultural marketplace, some of the products that are part of the biofertilizers sector have been around for a long time. “Considering some of these products have actually been around for over 20 years, we are just starting to recognize their potential,” observes Dr. Chris Underwood, Chemist and Product Development Manager for[Read[Read More…]

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Maine Potato Board monitoring U.S.-China trade disputes

The Maine Potato Board is keeping a close watch on trade disputes between the United States and China, which is one of the top five export markets for U.S. potato products. The County reported the board is concerned about the possibility of potatoes becoming subject to tariffs if the trade dispute between China and the U.S. extends beyond China’s announced plans to[Read[Read More…]

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Potato power: London marathon runner smashes Guinness World Record running as Mr Potato Head

A Borders runner has smashed a marathon world record dressed as Mr Potato Head. Gala Harrier Bob Johnson completed the London race in a time of 4:59.30 at the weekend – peeling 30 seconds off the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon dressed as a three-dimensional toy. Bob was raising money for the humanitarian charity Afghanaid. This was Bob’s second attempt.[Read[Read More…]

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Science discovery: Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungi

Hidden under your feet is an information superhighway that allows plants to communicate and help each other out. It’s made of fungi. It’s an information superhighway that speeds up interactions between a large, diverse population of individuals. It allows individuals who may be widely separated to communicate and help each other out. But it also allows them to commit new forms[Read[Read More…]

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Hi-tech: New imaging technology to spot diseases and infestations at an earlier stage

A new type of imaging system for use in agriculture, designed to be far less expensive than existing technology and to increase crop yield, is being developed in the UK. Academics and the farming industry have teamed up to develop a new type of hyperspectral imaging (HSI) system. The UK government-funded collaboration has the potential to introduce an affordable spectral imaging technology[Read[Read More…]

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Trending: Biostimulants gaining ground

Consumers have stepped up their demand for food produced more sustainably, with fewer “hard” chemicals and more compounds from nature. Biostimulants are helping increasing numbers of growers answer that call. “Growers are embracing these products rapidly as they search for ‘greener’ options to produce their crops,” says Rad Page, Chief Commercial Officer for PlantResponse. “They’re also demanding that these products have[Read[Read More…]

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The humble potato is exalted in the mountains of Peru

Native to the Andes in Peru and northwest Bolivia, potatoes were domesticated more than 10,000 years ago. And yet new varieties are being discovered all the time. Potato banks — like the one in the Pisac region of the Andes that stores seeds in a climate-controlled vault for 1,300 varieties of potatoes — are always searching for new varieties, as are[Read[Read More…]

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Report: ‘5.4 billion UK meal occasions features fresh potatoes eaten at home; 2.8 billion featuring frozen potato products’

AHDB Potatoes in the UK recently published its latest annual Market Intelligence Report. In this highly informative report, it is noted that the GB market is increasingly influenced by the European potato market. Volatility in potato supply and prices, due to issues such as weather, means that imported European product plays a part in the GB market. In 2016/17, of non-EU countries, the[Read[Read More…]

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Hort expert informs on the importance of calcium for quality potato production

In a recently published factsheet, Professor Jiwan Palta from the Dept of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin, provides growers with an overview of the role that calcium plays in potato development and tuber health. Palta was the recipient of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association Researcher of the Year Award for 2016, and has been studying the role of calcium in[Read[Read More…]

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Wisconsin’s ‘Healthy Grown’ potato program advances growers’ use of bio-intensive IPM

Wisconsin’s “Healthy Grown” potato program has been thriving in advancing innovative, ecologically sound production systems and currently, around 8000 acres of fresh market potatoes are grown under stringent environmental protocols. “Healthy Grown” works to advance growers’ use of biointensive IPM, reduce reliance on high-risk pesticides, and to enhance ecosystem conservation efforts through the high-bar, sustainable potato and vegetable standards. In a[Read[Read More…]

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Focus on Soil: World renowned soil ecologist explains the life-giving link between carbon and healthy topsoil

To the pressing worldwide challenge of restoring soil carbon and rebuilding topsoil, the Australian soil ecologist Dr. Christine Jones offers an accessible, revolutionary perspective for improving landscape health and farm productivity. For several decades, Jones has helped innovative farmers and ranchers implement regenerative agricultural systems that provide remarkable benefits for biodiversity, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, water management, and productivity.  During[Read[Read More…]

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US: Unique potato marketing effort enjoying success

The concept of produce growers banding together for marketing purposes but keeping their own identity is relatively unique, but it is working quite well for eight potato grower-shippers spread out across the United States and Canada. Fresh Network Solutions, LLC and its Side Delights® brand of fresh potatoes are moving into its second decade of existence with a full slate of[Read[Read More…]

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Soil your undies: ‘Healthy soil will eat your underwear if you plant it’

How healthy is your soil? If you want to know all you have to do is bury your underwear, says Canada’s Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) soil management specialist Adam Hayes. Last summer, Hayes helped members of a crop improvement association bury underwear in their fields to determine the amount of biological activity in their soils. They[Read[Read More…]

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Low-carb potatoes on the rise around the world

Low-carb potatoes are getting attention throughout the world. In recent years, a number of varieties were introduced that are lower in carbs than conventional potatoes. Agrico introduced new potato variety Carisma a few years ago, and this contains naturally slowly digestive carbs. When developing the variety, Agrico worked with partners in Australia. Carisma is available at supermarket chains Albert Heijn and[Read[Read More…]

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Late planting: ‘Patience now can result in better potato yields,’ experts in Great Britain say

After watching it rain for six weeks, as your expected planting dates disappear behind you, it can be tempting to jump on the planter at the first break in the weather. Patience and risk mitigation now, can help prevent poor results come harvest – says AHDB’s Claire Hodge.​ The key message is not to panic, waiting a few days and planting[Read[Read More…]

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Factsheet: Best management practices to minimize the spread of PVY

This factsheet is based on recent research done in Canada by Dr. Mathuresh Singh and his team in New Brunswick on PVY, which just concluded in March.  This research has been very successful in identifying which production practices are most associated with reducing the spread of PVY.  At the same time, PVY post-harvest test results in New Brunswick and Prince[Read[Read More…]

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Calculator to help potato growers calculate amount of seed needed for planting

Extension agronomist Andy Robinson, working in extension and research for potato production in North Dakota and Minnesota, recently uploaded a seed calculator to the website of the North Dakota State University website. A pertinent subject for the season is calculating planting rates. Robinson developed a table in xls format that can help you calculate the amount of potato seed needed to[Read[Read More…]

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How do you make potato farming more efficient? A Canadian project aims to find out

A research project at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada aimed at making potato farming more efficient, has received funding from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The project is one part of an initiative involving the Prince Edward Island Potato Board, Cavendish Farms, growers, Agriculture Canada and the province focused on improving yields, profitability and sustainability. Aitazaz Farooque, the[Read[Read More…]

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New potato variety said to have higher proportion of nutritious “slow” carbohydrates

A research group at Mistra Biotech has recently made a major breakthrough: they have developed a new potato variety with a higher proportion of nutritious “slow” carbohydrates. “This is wonderful news. This potato, with its higher content of resistant starch, has many good health characteristics,” says Xue Zhao, a PhD student researching vegetable food at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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