The Bernard company specializes in the production of seed Potatoes for gardeners, market gardeners, and farmers. The TOMRA 3A optical sorter provides the company with the working power and accuracy to secure operations in the high season and has enabled it to increase its production capacity. The Bernard SME employs 35 people and is almost one hundred years old.
Europe, UK, Ireland
Newtec: Helping companies optimise production through durable weighing, sorting and packing equipment
Newtec’s weighing, sorting and packing solutions offer reliability and efficiency of production for customers in the food industry. With its focus on establishing long-lasting trust with customers globally, Newtec helps companies optimise production through easy-to-use and durable weighing, sorting and packing equipment, minimising giveaway and turning produce into highly competitive end-products.
Europe’s blisteringly hot summer is forecast to result in the smallest potato crop in years, threatening further price rises for popular foods such as fries just as consumers contend with spiralling inflation. Parched conditions in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium – the northwestern belt that accounts for most European Union potato output – could push EU production to its lowest on record, below that seen in similarly drought-hit 2018, according to analysts World Potato Markets.
Plans have been unveiled for a new International Potato Innovation Centre (IPIC) in Scotland. As Ewan Pate reports for Farmers Guardian, it will cost an estimated £40 million, and will be constructed at James Hutton Institute’s (JHI’s) Mylnefield campus. Speaking at the Potatoes in Practice event on August 11 at JHI’s nearby Balruddery Farm, Prof Lesley Torrance, director of science at the institute, said there was a definite need for such a facility.
Hutchinsons root crop specialist advises British potato farmers on managing crops in hot, dry conditions
Unlike most years, 2022 will not be about managing large green haulm to aid skin set and lifting for British potato farmers, but about keeping the crop alive with water or making more challenging strategic decisions, says Hutchinsons root crop technical manager, Darryl Shailes. Mr Shailes believes the best decision for many growers will be to stop the crop even though the yield is only in the low teens per acre.
Haith will present its revolutionary new grading machine – the ProSort – to European farmers at the PotatoEurope 2022 event in September. As well as promoting its new ProSort mobile optical grader, Haith will also be talking about the latest developments in modular washing lines, the ProLine, and Queens Award for Enterprise winning RotaTip box tippler.
UK fresh produce innovators have successfully won major funding towards collaborative research to sustainably change the way that potatoes are grown, stored and transported. The Net Zero Hectare project is led by the nation’s leading potato supplier Branston in partnership with B-hive Innovations, Crop Systems Ltd, The University of Lincoln, David Armstrong Farms, and Arbikie Distillery. The objective of the project is to investigate new methods to contribute towards a net zero carbon supply chain for potato crop.
On 7 and 8 September, exhibitors and visitors will be welcomed at Rittergut Bockerode, near Hannover in Germany where the PotatoEurope 2022 event will be hosted. Dewulf is pleased to announce that the company will be present with a varied selection of its equipment range, including harvesters, planters and storage technology. The company will showcase 9 machines during the event.
Experts at two Midlands universities in the UK are starting a new project to develop a photonic ‘nose’ to monitor crops for pest infestations and plant disease, according to a Wales Farmer report. Aston University is collaborating with Harper Adams University to research and develop technology using light to monitor crop health.
Initial trials by Dyson Farming and Groundswell Agronomy in the UK are highlighting how difficult potato production with zero-tillage is likely to be commercially, as Mike Abram reports for Farmers Weekly. But managing potato crops with reduced tillage, not zero tillage, while embracing other principles of regenerative agriculture is showing more promise.
Plant Health Care PLC on Monday said it has entered a trials agreement with Agrii UK Ltd, under which Agrii will evaluate Plant Health’s PREtec technology, as Sophie Rose reports for Alliance News. “PREtec is a novel class of technology which stimulates a plants’ immune system to defend itself from a variety of abiotic stresses to improve plant health and yield,” the North Carolina-based agricultural products firm explained.
Europe’s most severe drought in decades is hitting homes, factories, farmers and freight across the continent, as experts warn drier winters and searing summers fueled by global heating mean water shortages will most likely become “the new normal,” as Jon Henley and Guardian correspondents report in this news article.
The drought that has been declared for parts of England will result in a poor quality potato crop and significant financial losses, farmers have said, according to a news report by Claudia Rowan for the Independent. She reports that one livestock farmer said the dry conditions will lead to “inevitable” shortages, while a potato farmer said his crops are dying in front of him “every day now”.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 11th World Potato Congress recently held in Dublin, Ireland, and World Potato Congress Inc. (WPC), are pleased to announce that the Congress Presentations and Abstracts/Summaries are now available online. WPC speaker presentations which took place in the RDS concert hall can be viewed on YouTube.
With Europe suffering through an extreme drought worsened by climate change that has dried up rivers and left millions sweltering in triple-digit heat this summer, farmers across the continent are sounding warnings about crop losses, as Melissa Rossi reports for Yahoo News. Nearly two-thirds of the territory in the 27-country European Union is either dealing with drought or is poised to enter one.
According to the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), numerous reports indicate that crops have ‘shut down’ again in Ireland as temperatures soar above 25 degrees, unirrigated crops are stressed and growth rates negligible. Many countries across Europe are reporting that planted acreage is down on 2021. Yields are reduced in many regions in Europe due to the ongoing drought.
1,4SIGHT (1,4-Dimethylnapthalene or DMN), a sprout suppressant for stored potatoes, is now approved for use in Britain, DormFresh has announced. Applied as a hot fog, 1,4SIGHT does not just burn off the sprouts, it will stop their formation and put the tubers into a dormant state. It is suitable for both the fresh and the processing sector, in all storage types and conditions. It is currently approved in 23 European countries, the United States, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Brazil.
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre recently published the “Drought in Europe – July 2022” report, an assessment of Europe’s drought situation based on the European Drought Observatory. The analysis of the evolution and impact of the prolonged drought in the EU shows that a staggering portion of Europe is currently exposed to warning (44% of EU+UK) and alert (9% of EU+UK) drought levels.
The French government activated a crisis unit to deal with the worst drought on record, and warned conditions could get worse, as Samy Adghirni reports for Bloomberg. “This drought is the worst ever recorded in our country,” the office of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Friday.
Farmers in the UK are warning about the crops of potatoes, onions, carrots, and lettuce due to the dry weather. As Maria Daisy reports for Nokia News, conditions are having an impact on already planted crops, which is made worse by government restrictions on irrigation licenses meant to protect the water supply.
Morgan Scale is growing carbon-neutral potatoes in west Wales by using his cover crops and crop rotation to offset greenhouse gas emissions from his spuds and so produce for the UK’s first zero-carbon potato brand. His potatoes and those from five other Pembrokeshire growers are now available under the Root Zero brand throughout the UK.
When businesses behave with sustainability, it’s not only society that benefits – this can also help bring in new business. Stefaan Kennis, Director of Strategy, Market Intelligence and Sustainability at TOMRA Food, explains why – and how technologies can make this easy.
Inka Crops is specialised in the production and marketing of gourmet and alternative snacks of Peruvian origin. In 2019 Inka Crops and Elea started to cooperate, testing PEF applicability on plantain and vegetable chips, as well as Andean snacks, in Elea’s pilot testing facilities. The work has shown the potential to improve raw material slicing and product yield, reduce frying time and temperature, and enhance product texture and colour.
Every two years, several organisations from Wageningen join forces to organise the Potato Demonstration Day in Westmaas, the Netherlands. Dewulf, the full-liner in agricultural machines, will be in attendance on the 13th of August this year. Highlights will include the first international appearance of Dewulf’s latest flagship, the Enduro 4-row potato harvester. Several other Dewulf machines will also be on display.
PCN Action Scotland, a project funded by the Scottish Government are hosting an open day at a PCN trial site near Forfar, Angus on the 16th of August. The event is organised by SAC Consulting Solutions. Attendees will have the opportunity to see a demonstration of Globodera pallida resistant varieties, the difference between tolerance and intolerance to PCN and trap crops, and speak with people from the James Hutton Institute, SRUC and Scottish Agronomy about PCN trials and research.
Tim Papworth is a third-generation British potato farmer and farm accident survivor who “learnt safety by accident”. Some years ago, he was changing a light bulb in a potato store when he slipped, fell and sustained life-changing injuries, which have impacted him mentally and physically. Tim had a titanium plate fitted on one side of his skull, but fortunately made a full recovery apart from impaired hearing in his left ear.
Dutch potato wholesaler Greydanus takes steps to make its washing process more automated and sustainable
Ten years ago, Greydanus invested in a complete water purifying system for washing potatoes using purified water. As a result, this Dutch potato wholesaler uses much less water. And just as importantly, the potatoes’ quality and storability have improved considerably. The current system still works perfectly well and is entirely up-to-date, thanks to the latest technology provided by VAM WaterTech.
Potatoes in Practice, the UK’s largest field event for potatoes and a highlight of the season, brings the sector together to view variety demonstrations, learn about current and new research while viewing trade exhibits in one place. PIP is set to return to Balruddery Farm (Angus, Dundee DD2 5LJ) on Thursday 11th August 2022, when it will focus on new research and current challenges, with the support of event partners James Hutton Institute, Agrii UK, SRUC and Potato Review.