Europe, UK, Ireland

New roles for former UK potato storage specialists

Two key members of the Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research team chose British Potato 2021 show to announce their new ventures in the wake of AHDB Potatoes disbanding. As Potato Review magazine reports, specialist in potato store management, Adrian Cunnington, has started his own consultancy entitled Potato Storage Insight Ltd (PSI). Crop Storage senior scientist Adrian Briddon has taken on a new role with Restrain as its Technical Manager, which officially starts on January 10th.

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UPL ranked first for sustainability performance amongst peers for second year running

UPL Ltd. has been ranked by Sustainalytics as the highest performing top-tier global crop protection company for overall sustainability performance in the 2021 ESG Risk Rating. With significant improvements across multiple categories, this achievement recognises the work that UPL is doing to Reimagine Sustainability within the global food system, the company says in a press release.

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How do three main farm carbon calculators compare?

Mike Abram presents an insightful review of three popular so-called whole-farm carbon calculators in an article for Farmers Weekly in the UK . A few farmers tested the overall scope and structure of the calculators, all of which cover arable and livestock enterprises. The tools assessed were: Farm Carbon Toolkit, Agrecalc, and the Cool Farm Tool.

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Towards Net Zero: How to reduce emissions and store carbon

Farming has been recognised for the key role it can play in helping the UK meet its net zero emissions target by 2050, with individual farmers being encouraged to do their bit. There’s no magic bullet or one-size-fits-all approach, say experts, who highlight that we will need a multitude of different options to both reduce emissions and capture or store carbon in soils and woodlands.

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New COVID measures in Belgium, but INTERPOM event to go ahead, organisers confirm

Today, the Belgian government announced new measures to combat COVID-19. Trade fairs are still subject to the health and safety protocol that applies to retailers / businesses and can therefore take place, provided that everyone complies with the strict guidelines imposed by the government. Annick Pycarelle, Exhibition Manager, says in a news flash today: “INTERPOM clearly complies with these guidelines and will therefore go ahead as planned on 28, 29 and 30 November 2021 in Kortrijk Xpo.”

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Scottish seed growers celebrate 50 years of high standards

The ground-breaking organisation first set up by Scottish seed potato growers in the 1970s to encourage the best use of cutting edge seed multiplication technology will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Pre Basic Growers Association, formerly the Virus Tested Stem Cutting Growers Association, is to mark the anniversary with a gala dinner.

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Dutch industry body concerned about rise in potato production cost, ‘approaching 10,000 Euros per ha’

The cost price for the cultivation of ware potatoes has risen explosively, so contract prices have to rise sharply. The costs are approaching 10,000 euros per hectare, according to a report by Fenneke Wiepkema for the Dutch publication Akkerwijzer. Contract prices must therefore rise by at least 5 cents per kg in order to be of interest for growers, says the Dutch Arable Farming Union (NAV).

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UK crisp shortage eases after earlier supply problems

According to a news report by Reuters, fewer shops in Britain have shortages of potato crisps this week than the week before, official figures showed on Thursday, in a sign that supply problems for the popular snack food are easing. Britain’s biggest crisp producer Walkers had to scale back production at the start of the month after problems with an IT systems upgrade, which it warned could take weeks to fix.

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Metos UK unveils new potato tech

A blue, potato-shaped sensor for in-store monitoring of potato crops and an app that estimates your potential crop yield from a photo and a blue mat have been launched by Metos UK at the recent British Potato event. Inside the blue tuber-shaped SolAntenna are sensors to measure and track temperature, humidity and CO2 levels in store.

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Albert Bartlett launches ‘Make It Extraordinary’ ad campaign

Albert Bartlett launched a new national advertising campaign capturing its brand-new theme ‘Make It Extraordinary’.  As Fiona Briggs reports for Retails Times, the advert includes a fantastical representation of the potato picking line and features world-class acrobats to demonstrate the five-star treatment that every one of Albert Bartlett’s potatoes receives.

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Irish potato industry could be mashed by Brexit seed ban, Minister told

Irish farmers’ ability to grow their potato crops could be affected by the post-Brexit ban on importing seed potatoes from Britain, the Government has been warned. In a letter to Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, Scottish seed potato producer John K Lind asked if politicians have “forgotten” the Famine as he outlined the devastation that diseases can cause to a crop.

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Dewulf Enduro to be showcased in-person for the first time at Interpom ’21

Dewulf, full-liner in agricultural machines for the cultivation of potatoes and root crops, will present its Enduro harvester at the Interpom 2021 event on 28 – 30 November. The new 4-row self-propelled harvester was first unveiled to the public during an online event last year. Dewulf is proud to introduce the new Enduro for the first time in person at the international trade fair for the potato sector in Kortrijk (BE).

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Pulsemaster’s PEF systems: Proven to produce long, thin fries from big potatoes

Pulsemaster is a leading provider of Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) systems for the potato processing industry globally. Pulsed electric field treatment of potatoes being processed results in a number of benefits for the customer. Processors using the Pulsemaster’s PEF system obtain their biggest benefit when cutting long, thin French fries from big, raw potatoes, according to Mark de Boevere, Managing director of Pulsemaster.

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New Omnia ‘Carbon Cost of Production’ tool launched

It’s clearly understood that improved farm productivity is good for business and more recently, for carbon. But the challenge has always been how to measure the cost of producing a particular crop with regards to carbon. Hutchinsons’ new Omnia Carbon cost of production tool has been designed to tackle just this,

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‘Nematodes as bio-indicators of Soil Health’ – Fera Science shortlisted for National Potato Industry Award

Fera (Fera Science Ltd) is pleased to announce that it has been named a finalist for the Potato Review’s National Potato Industry Awards under the category of Innovation. This year’s submission focusses on the work that the in-house Nematology team have done to develop a new commercial test that can provide valuable management information on soil health and the wider cropping system.

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Why arable farmers in Britain could soon earn from habitat credits

Farmers in Britain could soon earn money creating new habitats on their farms, as developers look to offset the loss of biodiversity resulting from development such as house building and infrastructure projects. This year saw the launch of carbon trading by companies which has seen interest from regenerative farmers. And next year will see some growers start to earn money by improving biodiversity.

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Tong appoints Sales Directors to drive customer growth worldwide

In line with ongoing business growth objectives, internationally renowned vegetable handling equipment manufacturer Tong Engineering is pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Lee and Charlie Rich as joint Sales Directors. Says Edward Tong, Managing Director at Tong Engineering: “The appointment of two new Sales Directors will allow us to maintain a strong focus on our manufacturing capabilities whilst actively exploring new markets and opportunities for growth.”

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Soil health and regenerative techniques at the forefront at CropTec event

Soil health and regenerative techniques will be to the fore during this year’s CropTec seminars, writes Ken Fletcher in an article for The Scottish Farmer. With growers in the midst of a tumultuous time in British farming, this year’s programme will examine the building blocks for a sustainable arable farming future.

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High-tech potato grading line ups profits for Cornish grower

As Adam Clarke reports in this Farmers Weekly article, potato producers are facing tricky times, with ballooning costs squeezing profits and seasonal staff increasingly difficult to source since the UK left the EU. To make itself more resilient to these issues Cornish producer EW Button & Son recently invested in a state-of-the-art potato-grading line with an optical sorter.

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