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.
Imagine being able to prevent childhood blindness with rice. No, this isn’t a biblical miracle. It’s the reality of genetically modified organisms. A 2015 Pew survey found that a majority of Americans don’t think GMO foods are safe to eat. But the same poll found a notable exception to that trend. 88% of scientists said they were safe to eat. Why?
In a video shared by a Reddit user earlier this week, it is shown how an adorable dog is enthusiastically assisting two men to plant potatoes. “I can help with potatoes too,” reads the caption. The video has since gone viral and accumulated more than 48,000 upvotes on Reddit since it was shared and the numbers are quickly increasing.
Powered by satellite data and powerful analysis models, ‘GeoPotato’ is designed to enable preventive spraying, easier crop protection decisions, and improved farmer incomes. GeoPotato was launched by Bayer as a geodata-driven early warning system for late blight in potatoes, and has entered a full commercial roll-out in Bangladesh. It could potentially reach as many as 1 million smallholder farmers in the coming years.
As the risks from the climate crisis and global conflict increase, roughly 1,700 seed banks are increasingly considered a priceless resource that could one day prevent a worldwide food crisis, write Salomé Gómez-Upegui and Rita Liu in an extensive article published by The Guardian. One of these is the Potato Park, located in Pisac, Peru.
The skyrocketing energy prices in 2022 are a huge challenge for potato growers. After all, ensuring good storage conditions in storage areas with the aid of fans and cooling installations costs a lot of electricity. As a result, the margins of growers are under considerable pressure. What can you do to save energy, Restrain asks a recent blog post.
Rabobank’s RaboResearch – Food & Agribusiness team released this research report recently. They say that higher fertilizer prices and/or a shortage of fertilizer supply resulting from the war in Ukraine will not have an immediate impact on food prices and/or food production. The first crop-growing regions to be ‘at risk’ are India and Latin America. India is partially out of danger, but Latin America is highly exposed.
‘Every Resource Counts’: TOMRA food announces new brand strategy, affirms future direction and role in society
TOMRA Food has unveiled a new brand strategy that highlights the value it creates for customers and food production worldwide, spotlights the ambition it shares with customers, and creates cohesion with past business mergers and acquisitions. To align TOMRA Food’s operations, which have grown over the years with mergers and acquisitions, two businesses acquired by TOMRA in 2018, Compac and BBC Technologies, now adopt the TOMRA Food brand name.
TOMRA, the global provider of advanced collection and sorting solutions, celebrates its 50th anniversary today. Each of the Group’s four divisions – Collection, Food, Recycling and Mining – marked the milestone by declaring a collective mission for the future to “transform how we all obtain, use and reuse the planet’s resources to enable a world without waste.”
Thanks to a collaboration between researchers across the world, including the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, potato breeders will now have a much better toolkit to develop new varieties best suited to their needs in a changing climate. By identifying useful traits—like local adaptability and climate flexibility— in some of the dozens of wild varieties of potatoes, researchers could help breeders cut down on the time and cost to develop new cultivars.
Dear Readers, the FAO updated its FAOSTAT database in February 2022, and it now includes final crop statistics for 2020. Potato News Today extracted the 2020 data for potatoes as it relates to “total production” (metric tonnes) and “total area harvested” (hectares), and present the results for 140 potato producing countries in the tables on this page.
PepsiCo to recover water used in potato chip manufacturing, scale drip irrigation technology across 25,000 acres
This week PepsiCo Inc. announced several new innovations, investments and partnerships to progress against its ambition to be Net Water Positive by 2030. This includes developing a new technology to recover more than 50% of the water used in its potato chip manufacturing and to scale a groundbreaking drip irrigation technology across 25,000 acres.
Potato production in East Africa is under increasing threat from the invasive and highly destructive potato cyst nematode (PCN) Globodera rostochiensis. Researchers have now developed an organic technology from banana plant waste material which might well being a practical solution for potato farmers. Dubbed ‘wrap-and-plant,’ the solution involves enclosing potato seed before planting in a thick absorbent paper made from the fibers of banana plants.
The International Potato Center (CIP) recently celebrated a significant milestone – the 50th anniversary of its founding. In an event entitled Agrobiodiversity for people, the planet and prosperity, friends of CIP gathered virtually worldwide to focus on CIP’s relationship with Peru, the Andes and the region’s important role to play in food systems transitions building on its unique agrobiodiversity.
The Colorado potato beetle has evolved resistance to more than 50 different kinds of insecticides, making the insect a “super pest” that wreaks havoc on potatoes around the world. New research finds that the beetle achieved this feat largely by turning to a deep pool of diversity within its genome, which allowed different populations across the U.S. to quickly evolve resistance to nearly anything humans have thrown at it.
The International Potato Center (CIP) expresses its collective grief to note the passing of Barbara Wells, our Director General and the Global Director of Genetic Innovation for CGIAR. “Through a steadfast commitment to genetic innovation, high-impact research and mentoring female scientists, Dr. Wells helped devise solutions to agriculture’s most pressing challenges and, in the process, bolstered nutrition and food security for millions of vulnerable people around the world.”
Jennifer Brophy is an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, and is working on methods she hopes will be used to alter commercial plant species so they survive harsh conditions. By changing the genome of both commercial crops and soil bacteria, she thinks it may be possible to help plants survive droughts by retaining more water during a dry spell, or growing deeper roots to reach soil that hasn’t dried out yet.
Uncertain potato quality due to harsh weather conditions last summer and suboptimal harvest conditions are expected to lead to an earlier-than-usual demand for imported potatoes as has already been witnessed by growing interest in the produce of Atzmona Potatoes Production L.T.D, a leading Israeli supplier of regular and organic potatoes and carrots.
TOMRA Food has strengthened its leadership team as part of a commitment to deliver even more effective sorting solutions and even more outstanding added value to food processors. The company has appointed four new heads of department in its Processed Food business area, which is the world leader in sorting Potatoes, Nuts, Vegetables, Dried Fruit, Meat and Poultry, Proteins, and Pet Food.
The American Phytopathological Society reports that one possible alternative to control late blight involves utilizing a method known as “spray-induced gene silencing” to control the pathogen. This method was crafted using double-stranded RNA, which is known to trigger a process that removes similar molecules from recipient cells.
ICL Speciality Fertilizers in the UK recently launched a new knowledge hub online to help growers understand the different types of efficiency fertilisers and benefits. The company says in a news post: “precision nutrition is the future”. Controlled release fertilizers use smart technology and provide nutrition at a rate that matches much more closely the availability of nutrients to the plant’s need.
Canadian based MustGrow Biologics Corp. is pleased to announce successful postharvest trials in both disease control and sprout suppression of stored potatoes conducted by a third-party independent laboratory. The company says no combination solutions currently exist that treat both disease and sprouting – making MustGrow’s application unique in addressing both postharvest issues in potatoes simultaneously.
Kiremko and FAM Stumabo have entered into a long-term global partnership. Kiremko is a world leader in the manufacturing of turnkey potato processing lines. FAM Stumabo is known globally for its progressive industrial potato cutting solutions and innovative shapes produced by hydro-cutting technology. Kiremko will exclusively use Stumabo knives in its innovative cutting line and hydro cutters.
In the last couple of months, McDonald’s and KFC outlets in countries across the globe have begun scrimping on French fries and other potato-based products. Writing for Modern Farmer, author Dan Nosowitz pointed to a “lack of versatility” in the global agricultural trade as the root of current problems, as opposed to a shortage of potatoes themselves.
Özbil Agricultural Machinery Ltd was established in 1978 in a region centered on potato farming in Turkey. The company prides itself on producing custom manufactured machines suitable for the soils and the tractors in the region, and says it works closely with customers in the continuous development of its machines. Today, the company sells its equipment in 27 countries on 5 continents.