Europe, UK, Ireland

Faster emergence for rapid potato growth, chemical company in the UK says

Effective control of soil borne pests can ensure potato crops get up and out of the ground faster, with benefits that last right through the season. Results of new trials, presented at Syngenta Potato Science Live events, have shown Nemathorin control of PCN enabled faster and more consistent crop canopy development, with benefits for weed suppression and greater photosynthetic activity[Read More…]

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Severe weather impacts British potato industry

Adverse weather has caused disruption across much of Great Britain this week. Some markets have reportedly benefited from consumers staying put at home and relying on cooking for themselves, although others were suffering as demand for out of home eating decreased. For the most part crops are storing fine, however, there were increasing reports of sprouting and some crops starting to[Read More…]

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Potato crops at risk of frost damage in Ireland

Potato crops around Ireland which are still in the ground are at risk of frost damage as low temperatures continue. After days of sustained sub-zero conditions, much of the ground around the country remains frozen. While many farmers used this to their advantage by catching up with late harvest jobs, ground work and early cultivations, potato farmers who still have crops[Read More…]

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First full year of Scottish potato research results to be revealed

Trial results from AHDB’s Strategic Potato Farm Scotland will be revealed at a Results Day to be held next week in Coupar Angus. Having initially started in 2016 with cultivation trials, the work with Bruce Farms was significantly expanded last season to cover nutrition, cover crops, seed spacing and handling and further work on cultivations. AHDB Potatoes knowledge exchange manager Claire Hodge explained:[Read More…]

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Higher potato stocks reported in North-Western European countries

All recent surveys of stock levels in the NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) countries show larger stocks of potatoes than the levels observed last year, or on average over several years. Remember that yields were 11% higher in 2017, and that the area planted to potatoes increased by 6%. Currently, potato stocks and the supply/demand imbalance have a negative impact[Read More…]

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Dutch chips are a hit in South Korea

Phytosanitary rules stipulate that fresh potatoes and potato seeds may not be exported from the Netherlands to South Korea. Only a few regions in Japan, the USA, and Australia are allowed to send fresh potatoes to South Korea. Processed potatoes, such as chips can, however, be freely imported since they do not fall under these same phytosanitary rules. Dutch companies[Read More…]

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Jersey potato crop hit by worst early season in 40 years

The Island’s potato growers are struggling through one of the worst seasons in 40 years – after heavy rain and then sub-zero temperatures delayed the planting of Jersey’s biggest agricultural export. However, the Jersey Royal Company says its UK competitors are facing the same problems, with other regional early potatoes having been wiped out by severe frost. William Church, sales and marketing[Read More…]

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Large potato stocks in North-West Europe; lower contract prices expected for coming season

All recent stockpile inventories taken in the NEPG countries (North-Western European Potato Growers) have indicated that real potato stocks are higher compared to last season. They are also higher with regard to the five-year average. With 6% more acreage in the North-West and an 11% higher yield than last year, there are currently too many potatoes. This imbalance between supply and[Read More…]

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Nando’s and McDonald’s admit using McCain frozen chips from Scotland

Nando’s  and McDonald’s has admitted using McCain frozen chips from Scotland in its restaurants. Talk of the fries Nando’s use began when an ex-employee told a local newspaper that not all Nando’s food is fresh. Now the chain has confirmed they use McCain frozen chips claims but insists the chips are not the kind you would cook at home. “Our hugely popular chips are developed[Read More…]

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British seed potatoes impress in Kenyan trials

Four British seed potatoes have yielded well on three Kenyan trials sites, creating potential for a new export market. AHDB and SASA have been working together to open the Kenyan market to British seed since a bilateral agreement was signed by the Scottish and Kenyan governments late in 2016. Of the four varieties involved in the trial, Cara performed best with average[Read More…]

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UK: Potato research results now available online

Presentations from AHDB Potatoes’ SPot East results day at Newmarket Racecourse on Thursday 11 January have been published online. Some of the subjects covered on the day include:  Herbicide – Graham Tomalin, VCS Ltd; Common Scab – Mark Stalham. NIAB CUF; Nitrogen and Irrigation – Marc Allison, NIAB CUF; Tuber Numbers, Graham Tomalin, VCS Ltd. For a pdf copy of the presentations please click here

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Costs that are putting pressure on potato production in the UK

After more than a decade of generally sustained cost increases together with the uncertainty of the UK’s future trading status post Brexit it is likely the pressure on margins will continue. Director of Andersons Eastern, Nick Blake, provides an outlook for the main cost headings in potato growing and how they add up to the average cost of production. Driven by[Read More…]

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Outside the box: Organic potato and veggie chips startup Chipsbox goes entirely green

German organic potato and veggie chip snack producer Chipsbox has swapped out its plastic packaging for a biodegradable option to further cement its sustainable and natural stance. According to founder and MD Erol Kaynak, Chipsbox is the only brand of potato chips in Germany to have made the switch from plastic to biodegradable packaging.  Last year, the brand bagged a coveted[Read More…]

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Solid roots: Irish minister calls potatoes ‘the bedrock of the horticulture sector’

Speaking at the National Potato Conference on Tuesday (February 20), the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, stated that consumers must “make a conscious choice to buy native Irish vegetables”. He continued: “They’re fresh, they’re in season and they’re wholesome. They’re produced to the highest quality and standards.” The minister complimented recent promotional campaigns for potatoes carried out by Bord Bia[Read More…]

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Promotional success story: Potatoes are bought once every second in Irish retailers

Speaking at the National Potato Conference 2018 in Dublin today, Lorcan Bourke, Fresh Produce and Potato Sector Manager of Bord Bia said that a €1 million EU-funded promotional campaign, managed by Bord Bia, had significantly helped to promote the sector in recent years. The figures show potato sales are at their highest level in the last 10 years, with €195m worth of[Read More…]

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Irish Farmers Association: ‘Potato growers get less than 20% of the price consumers pay for spuds’

Potato growers are getting less than one-fifth of the price a consumer pays for their product in the shop, a conference in Dublin today heard. Speaking at the National Potato Conference in Dublin, IFA President Joe Healy outlined how retailers are taking the lion’s share of the margin on potatoes, while farmers bear all of the risk. The conference organised by the[Read More…]

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Welsh potato growers unite to tackle wireworm

Over 40 potato growers and agronomists met at AHDB Potatoes’ Welsh Potato Day near Haverfordwest on 2 February to exchange technical knowledge aimed at producing the perfect crop. Pembrokeshire is renowned nationally for producing high-quality potatoes using an eco-friendly farming system, where potatoes are usually grown in rotation with grassland. This method has many benefits including maintaining healthy and nutritious soil,[Read More…]

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UK: Albert Bartlett is raising money to help vulnerable people

British potato suppliers Albert Bartlett have signed up to Sport Relief by pledging to donate 5p for every promotional bag of Rooster potatoes sold. [Sport Relief is a biennial charity event from Comic Relief, in association with BBC Sport, which brings together the worlds of sport and entertainment to raise money to help vulnerable people in both the UK and[Read More…]

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‘Chip[s] board’ – An eco-friendly alternative to medium-density fibreboard made from potato peelings

Two Kingston University graduates in the UK have created an environmentally friendly, sustainable and biodegradable alternative to medium-density fibreboard (MDF), and the product was produced from potato peelings. Graduates Rob Nicol and Rowan Minkley are the team behind Chip[s] Board® – a potato-based product turning food waste material from restaurants into a robust ready-to-use chipboard-like sheet. “Unlike its resin based counterparts, Chip[s] Board® is[Read More…]

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Experts push for potatoes to be re-assessed for their ‘clear’ nutritional and health benefits

For decades, potatoes have been branded unhealthy and we have been advised to avoid consuming too many of them. But now, researchers say that consuming the popular tuber is actually good for you. In fact, they claim that you could eat potatoes, and nothing else, for the rest of your life and ‘remain pretty healthy‘. In a medical U-turn, scientists who reviewed a[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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