Europe, UK, Ireland

HarvestEye to showcase innovative technology tool at World Potato Congress event

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.

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FAO distributes seed potatoes to vulnerable rural families in Ukraine

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.

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AVR’s Ceres 450: The answer to the quest for precision potato planting equipment

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.

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Over 1,000 delegates to attend World Potato Congress in Ireland

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.

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Farmlands in Europe may be the single largest reservoir of microplastics in the world

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.

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Ukrainian farmers dodge landmines and rockets as world’s farmers offer help

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.

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HZPC keeps profit expectations intact despite sales being affected by conflict in Ukraine

Despite the fact that the conflict in Ukraine is affecting HZPC’s sales, HZPC is keeping its profit forecast intact after three quarters in the 2021-2022 financial year. HZPC says it expects the volume of seed potatoes traded by HZPC and its licensees to reach a tonnage just above 900,000 tons, about the same as the tonnage in 2020-2021. For the entire fiscal year, HZPC expects to realize a turnover of 342 million euros (in 2020-2021 this was 314 million euros).

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Alistair Winter joins KisanHub as new Head of Sales

KisanHub, the agri-tech software business, has brought in a well-respected fresh produce manager as its new Head of Sales, marrying agricultural experience with cutting edge software. Alistair Winter, who has spent two decades in the fresh produce industry and comes from a farming background in Lincolnshire, wants to help improve efficiencies and profitability in the entire supply chain from farm to end customer.

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Dry conditions not hindering potato development in Britain, but common scab might be an issue

Potato planting in Britain has got off to a good start this season, with the dry conditions in some areas not expected to affect emergence. Velcourt Advisory Services agronomist Patrick Levinge says soils have been left very dry by the lack of rain, but at this stage, it should not be having a negative impact on crop development. Common scab is likely to be an issue on susceptible varieties.

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On the path to stress-tolerant potatoes

A good source of fibre and full of antioxidants, the potato is one of the most important food crops in the world – a crop that climate change is taking its toll on. How do different potatoes respond to heat, drought and waterlogging stresses? EU-backed scientists are investigating the changes that make potatoes resilient or susceptible.

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Strong presence for Haith at World Potato Congress event

Haith will have a strong presence at the eleventh World Potato Congress in Dublin (30 May – 2 June). As well as having its own trade stand, Haith’s market-leading Rota-Tip S will be featured by Haith’s strategic partner, GRIMME in the potato field event. Delegates visiting Meade Potato Farm, Sam Dennigan and Company, O’Shea’s Farm and Wilson’s Country as part of the congress’ technical tour will see Haith potato washing and grading lines operating at each site.

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Belgium: How PepsiCo used a Lays potato chip plant to help heat neighboring homes

Belgian real-estate developer Ion was looking for sustainable heating alternatives for a new residential area in the city of Veurne when it received a proposal from a surprising source: PepsiCo. The vapor from cooking up to 20 tons of potatoes per hour could heat a water circuit, replacing natural gas with a more environmentally efficient process while simultaneously providing PepsiCo with a valuable carbon offset.

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HZPC: ‘New generation potato varieties promising for more food security worldwide’

The new generation of potato varieties is performing better and better under extreme climate conditions such as drought, according to the recent sustainability report of potato breeder HZPC, which was published on Earth Day (April 22). If the development continues, HZPC believes these innovations will contribute significantly to more food security worldwide, especially in regions where hunger is a real threat.

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Regenerative Agriculture: How to start reducing crop inputs

Cutting inputs and costs is a common goal for growers making the first steps into regenerative farming. Base phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) applications are usually among the first to fall, but the current economic climate and recent price hike means that there is also huge interest in bringing nitrogen (N) rates down. Farmers Weekly spoke to two growers in the UK who are reducing their use of inputs.

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UK: Warning of ‘grave risks’ from illegal potato imports

Urgent government action has been demanded to prevent illegally-imported potatoes bringing a “grave risk” of pests and diseases into East Anglia. Warnings were raised in a national farming magazine last month that 1,000 tonnes of “small ware” Agria potatoes have been imported as uncertified seed potatoes for spring planting in west Norfolk, south Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

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Strong presence for Haith at World Potato Congress

The UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of vegetable handling solutions will have a strong presence at the eleventh World Potato Congress in Dublin (30 May – 2 June). As well as having its own trade stand, visitors to the convention will see Haith’s market-leading Rota-Tip in operation and have an opportunity to see Haith’s equipment in use at some of Ireland’s leading potato processors.

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Albert Bartlett film showcases lifespan of the humble potato with hopes of reducing waste

It takes love and care to grow a potato – but it remains the most thrown out food in the UK, as Gordon Davidson reports for The Scottish Farmer. With hopes of encouraging people to think twice before chucking their spuds in the bin – and to mark Stop Food Waste Day on April 27 – sector giant Albert Bartlett has released a fast motion film showcasing the lifespan of a Scottish potato.

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Video: Cornish potato grower battles rising costs

Costs are up more than 20% for Cornish salad potato grower Phil Rogers of Pengelli Farms. Phil says his farming operation unfortunately incurred an awful lot of extra cost this season, “especially considering the current labour climate and and where the diesel bill is going- so expensive going at the moment”.

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Belgians launch UK processed potato push

A substantial new two-year marketing campaign to promote Belgian processed potatoes is launching for the UK retail and foodservice sectors under initiative of VLAM, the Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board. “Belgian processed potato products are a strong and proven solution for retailers and caterers, with excellent quality in-home and out-of-home options to meet consumer trends, said Katrien De Nul, promotion manager at VLAM.

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North-Western European Potato Growers elects new Chairman

During the last NEPG meeting in Gembloux, the first elected chairman of the organization, Jaap Botma from Friesland in The Netherlands, was replaced by Frenchman Geoffroy d’Evry. He will serve a term of two years. Geoffroy d’Evry is an arable farmer north of Paris and produces potatoes for the starch, crisping, and chipping industries, and is president of the UNPT (Union Nationale des Producteurs de Pommes de Terre).

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