International economist Steven Cerier writes in this article, published by Genetic Literacy Project, that agriculture must become more productive to feed a growing world population. This can only be accomplished by the further application of science and technology, “and not as some suggest by going backwards in time to a much simpler and idealized form of farming that shuns the use of biotechnology and technological advances such as artificial intelligence (AI), drones, robots and microchips…”
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The Fry Factory: Canadian entrepreneur builds specialized potato cutting machines for restaurant chains
Entrepreneur Hamid Sanayie on Canada’s Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) is continuing to make his mark on the french fry world with two new one-of-a-kind potato cutting machines. He has built the world’s first automatic wedge cutting machine for use by restauranteurs, and a second revolutionary machine to create crinkle-cut fries.
The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says in its weekly potato update that digging of early Home Guard and Premier varieties have commenced in the south east this week, with small quantities available in retailers. It is still very dry over much of Northern Europe and there are concerns about development of the early crop.
With many countries around the globe relaxing restrictions and showing signs of recovery from the pandemic, demand for U.S. potato exports is strong in many markets. Potatoes USA says in a news release that during the first three quarters of the marketing year (July 2021-March 2022), overall U.S. potato and potato product exports increased from the same period one year earlier.
HarvestEye – a machine-learning driven crop insights tool – is heading to the World Potato Congress at the end of May, as it continues to showcase on the global agricultural stage the actionable insights it places in the hands of growers. HarvestEye comprises of a patented technology that provides timely insights on root crops as they are lifted – presenting growers with valuable information on the size and count over a whole field that is absent from conventional sampling.
In the third in a series of 11 blogs on commodity market developments, elaborating on themes discussed in the April 2022 edition of the World Bank’s Commodity Markets Outlook, John Baffes and Wee Chian write that fertilizer prices have risen nearly 30% since the start of 2022, following last year’s 80% surge. Urea prices are expected to remain at historically high levels for as long as natural gas and coal prices remain elevated.
The International Potato Center (CIP), the globally active Dutch seed potato company HZPC, and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) recently announced the launch of a second, five-year phase of their partnership to develop climate-resilient potatoes for tropical and subtropical conditions. CIP and HZPC will combine their experience, resources and germplasm to breed and select potato varieties suitable for farmers in tropical and subtropical Asia.
Super-Pufft, one of North America’s largest manufacturers and co-packers of salty snacks for retailers and national brands, has established a new state-of-the-art potato chip processing facility in Alberta. The new $50-million facility will support Alberta potato producers and create more than 100 jobs for the Airdrie area. It will use about 78,000 tonnes of Alberta potatoes each year.
Working to safeguard the food security and livelihoods of vulnerable rural families in Ukraine, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has distributed seed potato kits to 17 740 households from across ten of the country’s oblasts so they can plant food in time for the next harvesting season. Some 46 000 people stand to benefit from the campaign.
The Ceres 450 is AVR’s 4-row trailed potato planter that can be combined with tilling equipment, such as the specially designed AVR GE-Force C ridge cultivator, the basic AVR GE-Force and with other brands. All new Ceres 450 planters can be built optionally with the new ISOBUS link. This allows the planter to communicate with a GPS system via the ISOBUS protocol.
Plants can’t speak up when they are thirsty. And visual signs, such as shriveling or browning leaves, don’t start until it’s too late. Now, researchers have created a wearable sensor for leaves that shares data to a smartphone app and website about the percent of water content lost by the plant.
‘Arch Chips’: First and all-women managed potato chips company established in India’s Uttar Pradesh state
The company ‘Arch Chips’ in the Shikohabad area is not a typical business firm. It has 10 directors and 650 shareholders – all of them women and members of a self help group (SHG) with none having business experience and only a handful whom have studied beyond school. The SHG members contributed Rs 3,000 (about US$38) each while the 10 directors additionally took a loan from a bank to set up the factory in April last year.
Phosphorous is an essential part of the equation for all crops, but particularly for potato growers. But providing P to the crop isn’t always straightforward. Unium Bioscience has recently launched its nutrient-biostimulant product, Luxor, to help growers maximise the availability of P. What exactly is Luxor and how does it work?
Elite Agro (EAG) is a leading UAE producer and distributor of fresh produce. Potatoes are in season at EAG, the UAE’s largest local potato producer. Elite Agro owns and operates a 1,212-hectare farm in Nahel, Al Ain, producing up to 8,400 tons of potatoes this harvest season. EAG potatoes will be sold under its newly rebranded Elite Fresh brand and available at leading retailers including Spinneys and Carrefour, and can be ordered online.
Over 1,000 delegates and 60 guest speakers are set to attend the World Potato Congress (WPC) at the end of the month, which is being hosted in Ireland for the first time. As Megan O’Brian reports for Agriland, the 11th WPC will take place from May 30 to June 2, in Dublin’s RDS, and will hear guest speakers and experts from across the globe share their knowledge and insights on the industry.
McDonald ’s Corp. said it would quit Russia and sell its business there, ending more than three decades in the country over its invasion of Ukraine. As Michael Wright and Dean Seal reports for The Wall Street Journal, the fast-food giant joins a raft of Western companies, from auto makers to oil producers, exiting Russia as the war in Ukraine rumbles on.
Hybrid potato innovator Solynta and seed enhancement company Incotec announced at the International Seed Federation (ISF) congress today they have entered in a collaboration agreement. By combining forces, the group will bring world class seed technology and elite genetics to potato farmers worldwide.
A third of fish and chip shops in Britain could be at risk of closure due to food shortages caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, industry leaders have warned. The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) has called on the Government to “act now” to prevent “long-term damage” to the popular takeaways, Sky News reports.
We might have unknowingly been dumping huge quantities of microplastics on our croplands. It’s all due to the high levels of these particles in sewage-sludge-derived fertilizers, reports Alexandru Micu in an article for ZME Science. According to Micu’s report, researchers at Cardiff University estimate that anywhere between 31,000 and 42,000 tons of microplastics find their way into Europe’s farmlands every year.
The provincial government of Prince Edward Island (PEI) is announcing new funding for a project to support seed potato producers in adapting to ongoing trade suspensions by planting soil-building crops. The “Soil Building for Seed Producers Project” is a $3 million provincial investment into Prince Edward Island’s seed sector.
Destruction and devastation litter the Ukrainian countryside. Farms have turned into battlegrounds as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stretches into another month, as Clinton Griffiths reports for The Scoop. Landmines and munitions (military weapons, ammunition and equipment) now litter fields. Farmers working those fields are wearing flak jackets and helmets.
PepsiCo and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) this week acknowledged and awarded six women potato farmers as part of its ‘Women’s Land Rights and Economic Empowerment’ activity in West Bengal. According to an Agri News Network (ANN) report, the farmers were selected for their extraordinary work in the field of agriculture and for breaking stereotypes in their local communities.
In this “Keeping it Current” video episode produced and published by Potatoes USA, the industry body’s Chief Marketing Officer, John Toaspern discusses the impact of gaining fresh potato access to all of Mexico, the years of effort that went into this, and the continued work that needs be done to keep the market open.
For 14 years, National Potato Council staffer Hollee Alexander has been the driving force behind Potato Expo — the biggest event of the year for the U.S. potato industry. She’s helped successfully steer the event through the pandemic, which required a lot of on-the-go flexibility and changes. For her longtime commitment to the industry, Alexander was named Spudman magazine’s 2022 Spudwoman of the Year.
The new Bosch BASF partnership, Smart Farming, will soon introduce a new “SmartSprayer” that promises to deliver conservation results and save money for farmers in the U.S. and around the world, to the tune of up to 70 percent cost savings on herbicides. The new spraying technology uses cameras and additional lighting sources on sprayer booms to identify weeds in the field.
A New Brunswick company on the cutting edge of the province’s agricultural industry has just closed a $300,000 pre-seed investment round. The money will help Picketa Systems deploy its instant plant nutrient sampling technology into Atlantic Canada’s potato industry. “We’re developing real-time plant tissue analysis to be able to instantly tell farmers what nutrient concentrations their plants are, and what to buy,” founder and CEO Hébert-Couturier told Huddle.
The National Potato Council today welcomed the news that the first shipments of U.S. fresh potatoes crossed into Mexico yesterday, May 11. The successful crossings signal the start of Mexico’s process to restore full market access for U.S. fresh potatoes after decades of disputes and legal obstructions.