New Zealand, Australia

Australian experts underscore importance of certified potato seed for black leg disease control

Around the world, blackleg of potato is caused by several species of bacteria that can be carried and transmitted through seed tubers. Potatoes Australia spoke to Agriculture Victoria Research Scientist Dr Rachel Mann and ViCSPA General Manager Dr Nigel Crump about the identification and management of the blackleg disease. The main causal agent of blackleg in Australia is Pectobacterium atrosepticum although another bacterium known as[Read[Read More…]

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McCain NZ pilot programme puts the power into potatoes

The humble potato is in for a shocking multi-million dollar makeover in New Zealand. An industry pilot programme worth almost $16.8 million, is being trialled at McCain Foods in Washdyke, Timaru, in what has been described as “electrocuting potatoes”. The three month test of the new Pulsed Electric Field Technology (PEF) machine, from Germany, began in Timaru on Wednesday and involves industrial-scale food processing[Read[Read More…]

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‘Electrocuted’: Pilot programme in New Zealand puts the power into potatoes

The humble potato is in for a shocking multi-million dollar South Canterbury makeover. An industry pilot programme, part of the Ministry for Business and Innovation funded Food Industry Enabling Technology (FIET) programme worth almost $16.8 million, is being trialled at McCain Foods in Washdyke, Timaru, in what has been described as “electrocuting potatoes”. The three month test of the new Pulsed Electric Field Technology[Read[Read More…]

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Underhanded down under? Australian wholesaler accused of ‘unfair’ potato contracts

Australia’s largest potato wholesaler, Mitolo, is facing legal action after being accused of entering into unfair contracts with its potato farmer suppliers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Tuesday said it had started Federal Court proceedings against the South Australian-based company – the first legal action taken under the recently introduced Horticulture Code. Mitolo, a major supplier to Woolworths and[Read[Read More…]

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Let’s automate, mate: South Australian potato company partners with automation specialists to bring field to fork

The South Australian Potato Company, founded by the Raschella family in that region, has been supplying potatoes for “every recipe, every occasion and every season for more than 20 years,” they say. Dealing with more than 60, 000 tons of potatoes annually obviously requires quality automation by reliable suppliers to ensure always-on productivity and extreme care with this wholesome produce.[Read[Read More…]

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Low-carb gold: ‘Lotatoes Potatoes’ campaign the winner of PMA Australia-New Zealand award

Produce Plus and PMA Australia-New Zealand are pleased to announce the T&G Global Marketing Team as the winner of the Marketer of the Year Award 2018 for the ‘Lotatoes Potatoes’ campaign. The New Zealand-headquartered company was presented with Australasia’s premier marketing award for the fresh fruit, vegetable and floral industries at the Hort Connections conference and trade show in Brisbane. The presentation took place during the event’s Gala Dinner on[Read[Read More…]

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Western Australia releases latest update on presence of tomato potato psyllid

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Western Australia (DPIRD WA) has released the latest industry update on the presence of the tomato potato psyllid (TPP) in the state. This update, which is available in English or Vietnamese, contains information on a range of related areas, including the wind-up of the transition to management phase for the response, a snapshot of results from[Read[Read More…]

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Chasing after psyllids: Tasmanian tomato potato psyllid research used across Australia

Tomato potato psyllid is considered a serious threat to Tasmania’s potato, tomato and capsicum crops, with research conducted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture used to manage the pest around the country. Tasmanian researchers have conducted a tomato potato psyllid surveillance program in commercial potato crops since 2011. The project, which is funded by North-West Tasmania potato processors Simplot, McCain and Smiths as well as Horticulture[Read[Read More…]

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Rather safe than sorry: Aussies to release Potato Growers’ Biosecurity Manual

The Potato Growers’ Biosecurity Manual is a guide to farm biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of weeds, pests, and diseases impacting production. It was developed by Plant Health Australia (PHA) with consultation from AUSVEG and potato growers across NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The manual is designed for use by potato growers and their staff, as well as contractors, processors,[Read[Read More…]

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Million dollar question: Do some potato-growing soils suppress powdery scab?

A research project in New Zealand is determining if different field soils affect development of powdery scab on potatoes, and whether soil physical, chemical and/or biological characteristics influence this important potato disease. The project is developing new knowledge that may provide a basis for manipulating soil factors to reduce the harmful effects of the powdery scab pathogen. A cross-discipline team is[Read[Read More…]

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Australia: Autumn surveillance round for tomato potato psyllid complete

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in West Australia has wrapped up autumn surveillance for the tomato potato psyllid (TPP), with no detections of a damaging plant bacteria associated with the pest. Department acting horticulture director Rohan Prince said it marked completion of the third surveillance round in WA since the pest insect was detected in Perth in February[Read[Read More…]

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Embracing technology key to Australian potato grower’s success

Scott Rockliff knows a thing or two about potato growing. For six generations, the Rockliff family has been growing potatoes along the north-west coast of Tasmania in Sassafras, a 200-year old town renowned for its food and wine production. A lot has changed since Scott Rockliff’s ancestors established the original farm in the 1800s. Nowadays, innovation is a must – understanding the latest in technology required[Read[Read More…]

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Investments boost productivity at Australian seed potato producer

Just a month into harvest and Australia’s biggest potato seed producer, Agronico, is reaping the benefits of recent investments through a 30 per cent increase in productivity. Agronico has invested heavily in its business over the past 12 months through its new coolstore at Spreyton and adding a four-row planter, canopied hoppers and twin-row harvesters to its fleet, chief executive Robert Graham said. “In the first[Read[Read More…]

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Grant offers boost for Australian potato growers

A Yarloop potato grower in Australia says a $150,000 State Government grant for a custom-built washing/grading/packaging line will benefit the South West industry in that country. Fox Farms Pty Ltd owner Patrick Fox said his company had identified an opportunity overseas in Singapore and the Middle East to supply premium washed and brushed potatoes. “We are hoping that will relieve some of[Read[Read More…]

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CropLogic makes potato market splash in Australia

Agronomy service provider and aspiring agribusiness CropLogic has made a rather big splash in the Australian market, by acquiring privately-held company Ag Logic. CropLogic has just recently embarked on a value-accretive acquisition strategy aimed at absorbing productive agriculture technology businesses. Last year, CropLogic acquired US-based Professional Ag Services in order to gain access to approximately 60,000 acres or 30% of the potato[Read[Read More…]

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Cutting edge: How Australian potato growers stay at the forefront of innovative research

The Australian potato industry continues to be at the forefront of innovative research, with world-leading production practices resulting in increased efficiency and profitability on-farm. The high quality of Australian potato produce is made possible by ongoing investment in research and development, and this is once again highlighted in the latest edition of the publication “Grower Success Stories: Real results from[Read[Read More…]

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Waste not: Potatoes South Australia partners with researchers to produce vodka from potato skins

The transformation of food waste with limited value to a premium product with high value is on the agenda through a project being undertaken by Potatoes South Australia, the University of Adelaide and Adelaide Hills Distillery. While potatoes are traditionally used to make vodka in many parts of the world, these three organisations are partnering to look into the feasibility of making vodka from potato[Read[Read More…]

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West Australia’s potato farmers pin hopes on negative psyllid tests to regain market access

Potato farmers in West Australia (WA) could see Eastern States’ markets reopen in the near future which are still closed to WA following the tomato potato psyllid outbreak last year. Potato Growers Association of WA chief executive officer Simon Moltoni said the potato industry and State Government were working through the Transition to Management Plan, with the aim to reopen market[Read[Read More…]

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Potato industry in New Zealand valued at close to a billion dollars, CEO says

In the latest Strategic Update report issued by Potatoes New Zealand, CEO Chris Claridge writes that the 2017 calendar year values and volumes are now available and the news is very positive. “Our total industry value to Dec 2017 including domestic retail sales, food service such as restaurants takeaway chips and exports, is closing on a Billion dollars per annum,” Claridge[Read[Read More…]

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Australian potato market opens up in Indonesia after trade discussions

Australian potato growers are winning new access to valuable Indonesian markets after a decade-long campaign opened the potential to export up to 85,000 tonnes of seed potatoes with a market value of some $110 million annually. A new agreement to take certified seed potatoes from South Australia and Victoria in Indonesia was made at recent trade discussions in Melbourne, following 10[Read[Read More…]

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West Australian farmers have lost millions one year on from tomato potato psyllid outbreak

Two West Australian farmers say they have each lost more than $1 million and have been forced to downsize their operations in the 12 months since the tomato potato psyllid was discovered near Perth. It has been a year since the Australia-first discovery, which is regarded as one of the most serious bio-security incidents in Western Australia’s horticultural history. A South West potato[Read[Read More…]

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New Zealand potato field day: Spud expert peels UK industry

Both New Zealand and Britain have their challenges when it comes to growing the humble spud, but from one side of the globe to the other they are quite different. Addressing growers at a PotatoesNZ and Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) field day in Mid Canterbury three weeks ago, British potato consultant John Sarup told growers 2017 had been a big[Read[Read More…]

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