Europe, UK, Ireland

Solynta’s strategic transformation: Embracing a seed-driven future in potato farming

Solynta, a Dutch hybrid potato seed company, has rebranded to ‘Solynta – true potato seeds’ to align with its market strategy. The company, leading in hybrid potato breeding tech, offers seeds that produce disease-resistant potatoes, enhancing sustainability. With global patents and new leadership, Solynta has expanded trials and partnerships in 40 countries, reinforcing its commitment to food security and providing disease-free seeds to farmers worldwide.

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Rain delays and rising prices: The dual challenge facing potato markets in Ireland and Europe

The Irish potato market remains stagnant as wet weather hampers planting and harvesting, causing tight supplies and rising prices, the latest weekly potato market report from the Irish Farmers Association (IFA). This reflects a wider European trend of dwindling potato stocks and increasing costs. Persistent rains particularly hinder early crop planting in coastal regions of Ireland. The industry awaits improved conditions for delayed planting to stabilize the market.

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‘TuberGene’: Innovative new precision breeding project in the UK promises radical solutions

B-hive Innovations leads ‘TuberGene’, a UKRI-funded research to revolutionize the UK’s potato industry through precision breeding and gene editing. The project focuses on reducing food waste by curbing bruising and accelerating cooking times. The initiative reflects responses to consumer demand shifts and strives for sustainable agriculture, with advancements like the “Super Spud” and wider applications in fresh produce farming.

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AVR unveils the future of precision planting with the cutting-edge technology of the Ceres 440 planter

AVR’s Ceres 440 is a mounted four-row cup planter integrating precision and efficiency through its ISOBUS control system and hydraulic drive. The innovative AVR Connect digitally centralizes planting data for optimization. Highlighting precision, it features adjustable planting elements and robust depth control. It supports a wide tool range and has a high-capacity bunker for speed. The Ceres 440 exemplifies advanced, versatile agriculture technology, enhancing productivity.

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Revolutionizing weed control: crop.zone introduces organic solution amid rising herbicide resistance

The agricultural industry is combating the widespread issue of herbicide resistance, impacting 272 weed species globally. Crop.zone offers a sustainable, organic solution that counters resistance, provides competitive pricing, and boasts high application speeds, using 70% less energy than traditional herbicides. They invite stakeholders to demonstration days to observe their technology. Crop.zone’s approach represents a move towards sustainable agriculture, addressing both weed resistance and environmental concerns.

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Haith publishes its 2024 brochure, showcasing a blend of tradition and innovation in agricultural solutions

Haith has launched its 2024 brochure, celebrating 75 years of progress in agricultural technology with an emphasis on potatoes and vegetables. This comprehensive guide not only displays their product range but also underlines their commitment to innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction. More than a product list, the brochure signifies Haith’s dedication to the farming sector, promising reliable and advanced solutions to meet modern agricultural demands.

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Lightning-based fertiliser technology could support farmers, climate and soil health

UK Agri-Tech Centres partner with Debye Ltd. to trial a system that mimics lightning for on-site nitrate fertilizer production, reducing carbon emissions and improving soil health. The technology, created by a former space engineer, uses only air, water, and electricity, aiming to lessen the environmental impact of traditional fertilizers and enhance food security.

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Pulsemaster unveils game-changing PEF technology at Anuga FoodTec 2024: A new era in food processing

Pulsemaster will exhibit its PEF technology at Anuga FoodTec 2024 in Cologne, spotlighting transformative food processing methods. Their system enhances quality, extends shelf life, and optimizes nutrient preservation, offering sustainable, cost-effective solutions. Applications range from improving vegetable oils to potato products, with a focus on energy efficiency and healthier end products. Visitors to stand G020 in Hall 10.1 can experience this innovation’s practical benefits firsthand.

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British farmers issue stark warning they could run out of potatoes

British farmers warn of a potential shortage of potatoes following a record low harvest of 4.1 million tonnes due to heavy rains and storms. Storage supplies may not meet future demand, with prices already up by over 20%. There’s a chance British potatoes might run out by summer, possibly being replaced by Egyptian varieties.

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Scarcity of premium potatoes in Ukraine leads to significant price hike

Ukraine’s potato market is experiencing a shortage of high-quality produce, leading to increased prices, with the current rate at 16-23 UAH/kg, a 14% rise from last week. EastFruit notes that as the supply diminishes and demand grows, even lower quality potatoes are fetching higher prices. Costs are now 2.8 times higher than in early March, with predictions of further hikes as scarcity continues.

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Potato pressure: Ireland and Europe grapple with tightening stocks, seed unavailability and unpredictable weather

The latest IFA weekly potato report highlights increased local potato demand in Ireland due to colder weather, causing price hikes and low stocks. Seed potato scarcity presents a potential crisis for future crops. European potato exports remain high despite rising prices affecting Eastern European sales. The UK’s potato planting is delayed by wet conditions, further complicating the market.

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McCain to sell Dutch chilled potato business CelaVita

McCain is selling its fresh potato subsidiary CelaVita to Nimbus, a Dutch investment group. The financial specifics are undisclosed, as JustFood’s Fiona Holland details. The deal is set to conclude mid-year. Nimbus stated that McCain’s shift from chilled potatoes encouraged the sale, believing CelaVita will thrive independently.

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Europatat 2024 Congress: Shaping the future of the European potato trade

Europatat has opened registration for its annual Congress in Brussels on May 23-24, 2024, focusing on the “European Potato Trade in 2030.” Discussions will tackle the sector’s future challenges and the potential of new innovations. Keynote speaker Rik Vera will address business model evolution amid a transforming industry. The event features a panel discussion, journalistic moderation, and social networking functions, including a gala and farewell drinks.

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‘The margin game’: When lots of little things add up to make a big difference

Emerald Research Ltd advocates for holistic nutritional programmes to help farmers manage unpredictable conditions, by using micronutrients, microbials, and biostimulants that can increase potato yields by 10-25%. Their extensive research emphasizes tailored strategies for different growth stages, sustainable resource use, nutrient optimization, and precise application methods that can significantly reduce environmental impact while boosting crop resilience and marketable yield.

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Combating blight resistance in potatoes: Effective mixing of fungicides as a key solution

Andy Cunningham from Syngenta UK asserts that effective fungicide mixing, particularly with mandipropamid, is crucial for managing blight resistance in potatoes. He cites Denmark’s success in reducing EU 43 blight strain cases by incorporating Revus into their fungicide programs. Cunningham advises UK growers to use Revus with alternative-action fungicides to maintain efficacy and prevent resistance, naming potential mix partners for the 2024 season. The robust resistance breaking strategy of fungicide mixing had been proven in the Eurofins trial.

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New compostable, biodegradable packaging material derived from potato starch

Bio Plast Pom, in collaboration with Gdańsk University of Technology, has developed NOPLA, a compostable and biodegradable material made from potato starch aimed at minimizing environmental harm, CO2 emissions, and energy consumption. This non-synthetic, plastic-free material degrades within 3-6 months, aligns with EU eco-standards, and nourishes marine life rather than causing damage. Bio Plast Pom launched its proprietary production line for NOPLA biogranulate in May 2023.

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The great potato shortage: European processors scramble as supply dwindles and prices surge

Due to poor weather affecting harvests and storability, there’s a tightening supply of free-buy potatoes in the EU, driving up prices. As of February 2024, Dutch processing potatoes hit a record February high of €37.5/100kg. The processing industry is strained, with increased imports and a 10.8% production drop. Losses are estimated at 650 thousand tonnes, heightening competition and prices for remaining stocks.

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European researchers unite to combat potato pest threat at inaugural wireworm workshop

To tackle the growing wireworm threat to potatoes, scientists will convene in Oslo during the 22nd Triennial Conference of the European Association for Potato Research for the European Wireworm Research Network’s inaugural workshop. They aim to develop collaborative strategies for pest management, with a focus on new research, monitoring methods, and sustainable practices to protect potato crops, enhancing food security in Europe and globally.

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Rising prices and tightening stocks: Ireland’s potato situation echoes across the UK and Europe

Ireland’s potato industry is grappling with dwindling stocks and empty grower stores, as highlighted by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA). Difficult harvesting has led to clay-contaminated potato boxes, reducing saleable yields and pushing up prices. This trend is echoed across Europe, with rising processing potato prices and cautious market responses. The U.K.’s planting delays may further strain the tight potato supply and inflate prices, affecting everyone from farmers to consumers.

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Elea to unveil its latest food technology at ANUGA FOODTEC 2024 event

At ANUGA FOODTEC 2024 in Cologne, Elea will exhibit its innovative Pulsed Electric Field systems, including the PEFPilot Dual and the new PEF Advantage B1. These systems enhance food quality, yield, and processing efficiency while conserving energy. Attendees can witness live demonstrations and sample PEF-treated products at Elea’s booth in hall 10.1, further underscoring the event’s role in showcasing advanced food processing technologies.

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GRIMME’s 2024 lineup: Upgraded receiving hoppers that maximize efficiency and crop protection

GRIMME introduces their updated RH series hoppers for 2024, featuring advancements in capacity, crop protection, and convenience. The improved design allows variable hopper floor speed, better handling, and innovative protection features like “Capacity Control” and “Remain Control”. Enhanced soil cleaning functions and user-friendly operation are facilitated by the IBX 300 ISOBUS unit. The range includes the high-throughput RH 28 and the versatile RH 24 XT for potatoes.

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Innovative crop analysis tool HarvestEye secures key distributor in Finland for potato and onion markets

HarvestEye, a machine-learning crop insight tool, has appointed Antti Hintikka of U2 Online Oy as its distributor in Finland for its HarvestEye 2.0 and handheld systems. These systems improve crop data collection and are now integrated into Finland’s potato and onion markets, providing growth opportunities and technological advancements for local agricultural practices. Antti’s collaboration with HarvestEye will enhance precision agriculture and optimize crop management through valuable data insights.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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