The World Potato Congress (WPC) highlights global potato industry successes on its website. For example, In Kenya, the potato sector is evolving with increased mechanization, leading to higher yields and reduced losses. In Uganda’s Zombo District, collaborative efforts have introduced advanced agricultural practices, benefiting small-scale farmers. These stories along with others from countries like Ethiopia, the Philippines and Yemen, underscore the importance of collaboration, innovation, and knowledge-sharing in the potato industry.
McCain Foods has launched a podcast, “Hot Potato,” focusing on regenerative agriculture and its role in tackling climate change and reshaping the food industry. The series aims to clarify sustainable farming’s complexities and highlight its importance in addressing climate-related challenges. Max Koeune, CEO of McCain Foods, praised the initiative and its diverse guests. The inaugural episode, “Can we farm without harm?”, discusses the impact of industrial agriculture on climate, biodiversity, and soil health, emphasizing the need for sustainable farming methods.
World Potato Congress Inc.’s President, Peter VanderZaag, welcomes Tuberosum Technologies Inc. as a Silver Sustaining Partner. Tuberosum, a Canadian based potato R&D company, emphasizes efficiency and sustainability in potato production. They run breeding programs in Canada, the Netherlands, and Chile, aiming to develop resilient potato varieties with higher yields and resistance to stresses. These efforts not only benefit growers but also reduce environmental impact. Tuberosum’s goal is to enhance global food supply through traditional breeding methods.
The global frozen potato market is projected to reach $92.63 billion by 2030, up from $65.06 billion in 2022, according to The Insight Partners. This surge is driven by the growing demand for ready-to-eat foods and the popularity of convenience items. Key industry players are expanding through mergers and innovative product launches. The rising number of dual-income families and single households further fuels the demand for frozen potato products.
The GRIMME Group showcased its equipment innovations at the VDMA Information Exchange in Kassel on 26-27 September 2023. They introduced ‘ChangeSep’, a hydraulically interchangeable separator for modern GRIMME harvesters, allowing a swift change between finger web and deflection rollers. This innovation caters to the diverse needs of farms cultivating various crops on different soils. Another highlight was ‘SmartFold’, a patent-pending folding mechanism for mounted windrowers, designed for efficient potato harvesting. Both ‘ChangeSep’ and ‘SmartFold’ received silver medals from the DLG ‘AGRITECHNICA Innovation Award’.
HarvestEye, a crop insights tool, has appointed Harry Tinson as its new general manager. Tinson brings expertise from global B2B sales in engineering and transport. Previously overseeing JCB’s international network and working with Wrightbus, he will now focus on enhancing HarvestEye’s technology and expanding its market presence. HarvestEye offers visibility on crop variability during harvesting. Tinson aims to establish HarvestEye as a global leader in crop insights. Vidyanath Gururajan, HarvestEye’s managing director, highlighted Tinson’s experience as crucial for their growth ambitions.
Researchers at Northeastern Agricultural University in Harbin, China, examined the distribution and growth of potatoes in salt-affected regions. Potatoes face challenges in saline soils, impacting growth and yield. Salinization affects over half of the world’s cropland, leading to significant economic losses. Salt stress in potatoes results in reduced quality and yield. Advances in potato genome research have identified genes and pathways related to salt tolerance. The study emphasizes the need for salt-tolerant potato varieties, especially in regions with saline-alkali conditions.
Crop.zone, a leading innovator in sustainable agtech solutions, has partnered with John Deere to introduce Dual.Volt.24M, a system for electrical and herbicide-free plant care spanning 24 metres. This innovation led to their nomination for the DLG Agrifuture Concept 2023 award. The system’s unique feature is its adjustable applicators and camera-controlled row application, ensuring precise plant care without soil disruption. Their collaboration emphasizes both companies’ dedication to sustainable agtech. Crop.zone will begin pilot testing in 2024, inviting interested farmers to participate.
Agricultural technology influences row crops, specialty crop production, ag retail, and global agribusiness. It impacts the entire food value supply chain. However, with rapid advancements, questions arise about ag tech adoption. On September 27, five ag tech experts will host a free webinar on the State of the Ag Tech Industry, discussing current impacts, future trends, barriers to adoption, and predictions for 2024.
The battle against potato black dot: A comprehensive review of two decades of research and management strategies
Cranfield and Aberystwyth Universities conducted a 20-year study on potato black dot disease management. Their research, spanning pre- and post-harvest strategies, aimed to identify knowledge gaps and improve disease control. The potato, a staple in global agriculture, faces threats from black dot, a fungus causing economic losses. The study emphasizes the importance of technological solutions, like machine learning, for early disease detection and effective intervention.
SwarmFarm Robotics, an Australian based pioneer in Integrated Autonomy, has introduced its innovative “dock and refill” feature, allowing robots to autonomously refuel and restock. This development decouples equipment size from efficiency. Historically, larger farm tools have overshadowed smaller ones in productivity. However, larger equipment has caused soil compaction, reducing yields. SwarmFarm’s new capability ensures continuous operation without manual intervention, promoting sustainable farming and tailored solutions.
Potatoes in South Africa have been affected by soft rot and blackleg due to higher than usual rainfall. These bacterial diseases, first identified in 1988, thrive in anaerobic conditions, especially in wet environments. The bacteria can survive in tubers, plant debris, and various plants but not for long in soil. Infected tubers initially show no symptoms, but under conditions like waterlogging, the bacteria multiply, leading to soft rot. Transmission can occur through infested tubers, water, or mechanical means.
‘Potatoes with the right antennas’: Origin of novel broad resistance to late blight found in wild potato relatives
Researchers from Wageningen University & Research, in collaboration with Tübingen and Norwich colleagues, have advanced our understanding of potato resistance against blight (Phytophthora infestans). Potatoes use receptors to detect and defend against the pathogen. While internal receptors (R genes) are well-understood, external receptors (PRR) need more research. A specific PRR receptor, PERU, shows dynamic evolution, challenging previous beliefs. Studying wild potatoes reveals evolutionary insights, potentially enhancing future potato resistance.
In a recent Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) article, authors Henry Miller and Kathleen Hefferon explore the transformative role of microbiomes in agriculture. They discuss how microbiomes can reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers while boosting crop yields. The article highlights the potential of genetic engineering in optimizing microbial communities and the importance of effective regulatory frameworks.
The global potato snacks market is booming, valued at $92.31 billion in 2023 and expected to grow at a 3.1% CAGR to $125.04 billion by 2033, according to Persistence Market Research. Factors such as rising disposable incomes, increasing population, and urbanization are driving this growth. The market is also influenced by trends like demand for flavored and organic snacks, and innovative packaging. Potato snacks, including chips and fries, have become a staple in global snacking culture.
DJI Agriculture has released its 2022/23 Insight Report, revealing a surge in the adoption of drone technology in global farming practices. The report covers advancements in drone applications, policy trends, and best practices. It emphasizes the role of drones in enhancing food security and environmental sustainability. DJI operates in more than 100 countries.
Dear readers of Potato News Today: I just saw this wonderful piece, and feel to share it with you. It has apparently been circulating online for quite some time by now. Still, it is really worth a read – or a second read (and some thought) for that matter… Apparently there are many versions of it, but credit for the original version goes to former judge and Texas State Legislator Roy English, a popular author of several books featuring his wit and no-nonsense humor.
Crafting a super spud: Researchers set the stage for climate-resistant potatoes poised to enhance nutrition
Scientists have developed a “super pangenome” that encompasses the genetic diversity of multiple potato species to enhance its resilience and nutritional quality. The pangenome includes 296 potato varieties and 60 wild species, making it the most extensive genetic database for potatoes to date. The research team aims to improve potato germplasm for climate resilience and food security.
The National Autonomous University of Mexico conducted a study comparing traditional immersion frying and air frying methods for French fries. The research found that air frying offers benefits like reduced oil consumption by 50-70% and a potential 90% reduction in acrylamide levels, a carcinogen. The study also examined how each method affects the fries’ texture, color, and moisture content, aiming to provide insights for healthier frying alternatives and influence consumer choices.
The U.S. potato export market has achieved record-breaking success, with a 19.05% increase in value to USD 2.2 billion and a 3.85% rise in volume to 3.3 million metric tons. This comprehensive growth spans various potato categories, including frozen, fresh, and dehydrated products. Year-over-year data also shows an 11% increase from the previous year, highlighting the industry’s resilience and potential for future expansion. The report offers valuable insights for stakeholders and policy-makers.
The global potato market is experiencing robust growth, with projections indicating a rise from USD 96.3 billion in 2022 to USD 118.15 billion by 2028, according to 360 Market Updates. Another source, Mordor Intelligence, estimates the market at USD 11.18 billion in 2023. Leading exporters include the Netherlands, Germany, and Canada, while Belgium tops the list of importers. The market is divided into fresh and chilled categories, each with its own trade dynamics.
True Potato Seed (TPS) is a unique method of potato cultivation originating from the Andean highlands of South America, where the region’s diverse microclimates fostered the potato’s evolution. Indigenous Andean communities first utilized TPS, valuing it for both consumption and cultivation. Modern agriculture recognizes TPS for its genetic diversity, aiding in breeding disease-resistant and nutritionally improved varieties. TPS offers advantages like disease resistance and cost-effective transport but faces challenges like labor intensity and genetic variability. Despite its fluctuating popularity, TPS remains crucial in developing nations, addressing infrastructure challenges and promoting socio-economic growth.
Global overview: Low potato harvest and high prices expected in Western Europe, historically high prices in North America
European countries face a potato shortage due to unfavorable weather, high nitrogen fertilizer prices, and past low profitability in potato farming. The Netherlands and Belgium report uncertain harvests, while North Germany sees high potato prices. France’s demand surpasses supply, leading to Spanish potato imports. The UK’s potato sector improves, but inflation affects profits. Scotland’s conditions are positive, but Brexit impacts seed growers. Spain’s early harvest benefits from European demand, while North America anticipates a good crop.
The global frozen potato market is projected to grow from $60.30 Billion in 2021 to $92.70 Billion by 2031, driven by rising disposable incomes, especially in emerging economies. China’s increasing purchasing power and the expansion of fast-food chains in Latin America play significant roles. However, developed countries are witnessing a shift towards healthier food alternatives. The growth of quick-service restaurants offering budget-friendly frozen potato options further propels the market.