Europe, UK, Ireland

Innovating agriculture: HarvestEye to showcase next-gen crop monitoring at Potatoes in Practice event

The HarvestEye team will present its updated machine learning crop insight tool at the UK’s premier potato event, “Potatoes in Practice”, on 10th August in Dundee. The HarvestEye 2.0, launched in February, offers enhanced visibility on root crop characteristics during harvesting and is compatible with potatoes and onions. The updated system ensures quicker crop measurements and increased accuracy.

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‘Unlocking the future of agriculture’: Interview with Solynta’s co-founder & CEO Hein Kruyt

Solynta, a Dutch startup, is revolutionizing agriculture with its development of hybrid true potato seeds. These non-GMO, pest-resilient seeds offer a sustainable alternative to traditional potato farming. Through its innovative technology, Solynta can combine beneficial traits in potatoes, including pest resistance and climate tolerance. The company’s future goals include increasing potato yields, reducing pesticide use, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

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Potatoes in Practice 2023: Showcasing the future of potato crop production

Potatoes in Practice, the UK’s largest field-based potato event, will be held on August 10 in Dundee. Hosted by the James Hutton Institute, SRUC, and Agrii, the event will showcase the future of potato crop production. This year’s focus is ‘Using Evidence to Build Resilience for Potato Crop Production’. The event will feature demonstrations, research, trade exhibits, and expert insights, including from the newly appointed director of the National Potato Innovation Centre, Ian Toth.

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Leading the way in herbicide-free solutions: The Tiemann Landtechnik and collaboration

Tiemann Landtechnik and have partnered to offer herbicide-free solutions in agriculture. The collaboration aims to provide farmers with innovative technology for herbicide-free weed control. has developed a system for professional, residue-free plant control. The Tiemann Group will distribute’s products across all its agricultural technology locations.

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Haith Group appoints first-ever non-executive director

Haith Group has appointed Mark Lloyd as its first non-executive director to bring 40 years of manufacturing experience to its board. The appointment is part of Haith Group’s strategic plan for growth and to gain insights from people with different experiences.

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Tong adds new compact option to popular FieldLoad PRO machine

Tong Engineering has launched a compact version of its FieldLoad PRO machine for vegetable growers needing lower throughput. The new model, suitable for various root crops, maintains the features of the original but in a smaller format. It includes a heavy-duty hopper, crop cleaning units, an inspection cabin, and an efficient onboard generator. It can also be fitted with optical sorting equipment for increased automation.

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The future of machinery trade: GRIMME unveils state-of-the-art digital marketplace for machinery

GRIMME has launched a redesigned digital marketplace for new, used, and rental machinery. Developed with input from customers, partners, and employees, the platform features an enhanced design, advanced search functions, and detailed machine listings. Integrated with the GRIMME Resell App and “Maschinen Park Online” (MPO), the marketplace hosts over 800 ads, positioning itself as a leading platform in root crop technology.

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Mintec: UK crop update

In this market update video from Mintec, pricing analyst for Potatoes, Harry Campbell talks through the high prices in the market, delayed harvest and gives a general update on what market players’ thoughts on the potato industry are. Mr. Campbell says a great number of buyers are currently chasing the new crop. Prices are souring at record levels, with the highest prices ever recorded on the Mintec Analytics platform.

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Weird news: Potato photo by Irish photographer sold for $1 million

Kevin Abosch, a famous Irish photographer renowned for capturing iconic Silicon Valley figures, has sold a picture named “Potato #345 (2010)” for over $1 million. Abosch’s photographs, often featuring his signature black backdrop, command hefty fees, with commercial usage costing up to $500,000. The artist is noted for highlighting the unique individuality shared by humans and potatoes in his work, making his favorite potato portrait one of his most valuable and sought-after pieces.

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‘Designing the low input potato’: ESoLaB’s fight for a resilient potato industry in Ireland and the EU

The ESoLaB project at Teagasc Oak Park in Ireland is tackling the €1 billion-a-year potato late blight problem in the EU. The project is investigating the genetic mechanisms that enable the disease to evolve and adapt. This research could lead to an early warning system for growers and the development of more effective, sustainable control methods, including blight-resistant potato varieties.

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Revolutionising crop yield and sustainability: The role of holistic soil analysis

Soil scientist Simon Fox criticizes Standard Soil Analysis (SSA) for providing limited information to optimize crop yield and sustainability. Fox’s company, OptiYield, developed advanced soil analysis methods that provide a comprehensive view of soil’s nutrient availability. This approach allows for accurate fertilization, balancing profitable food production, environmental sustainability, and soil enrichment, while aiming to break the yield ceiling of major field crops.

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Potato Storage Insight: Sprout suppression and the revival of potato storage research in the UK

The July edition of Potato Storage Insight’s Synopsis bulletin discusses maleic hydrazide’s use for sprout suppression during potato storage, emphasizing its lasting control benefits. It highlights the importance of accurate application and complements the main topic with updates on upcoming potato events and new potato storage research facilities by CSPS consortium at ADAS Boxworth and James Hutton Institute, a significant development since the closure of AHDB’s facility in 2021.

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Precision farming: ABZ Innovation’s drones set to transform UK agriculture

Hungary-based ABZ Innovation is set to introduce its agricultural drone technology to the UK, offering a solution to the country’s farm labour shortage. The drone system, already successful in five European countries, provides a cost-effective and efficient method for spraying fields and orchards, using 90% less water and 50% fewer chemicals than traditional methods. The technology could help UK farmers, who lost £60m of produce in 2022 due to labour shortages.

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Greener horizons: Unpacking Farm Frites’ latest sustainability report

Farm Frites has published its 2022 Sustainability Report, detailing its progress in environmental responsibility and future plans. The report highlights efforts such as installing solar panels, developing sustainable potato varieties, minimizing food waste, and optimizing factory efficiency. With a strong team of over 1,500 employees, the company renews its commitment towards a greener planet, inviting stakeholders to engage with its sustainability mission.

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The end of an iconic era? Scotland’s fish and chip shops at a crossroads due to economic challenges

Scotland’s renowned fish and chip industry in East Neuk of Fife is under threat, with escalating costs forcing cherished shops to close. The war in Ukraine, Brexit complications, and rising energy costs have made it increasingly difficult for these businesses to survive. The National Federation of Fish Friers warns that up to a third of the UK’s 10,500 shops might close, marking a potential “extinction event” for this iconic British industry. As costs continue to rise and economic conditions worsen, the future of the industry remains uncertain.

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IFA: Resilient market trends in Ireland, move away from seed and starch production in Europe

Despite tightening stocks, consumption and sales remain strong in Ireland, particularly for new season Queens potatoes. Over 70% of these have been sold in the southeast, with more expected in the northeast soon. Rooster crops are behind schedule despite recent rainfall. In Europe, old season stock is commanding high prices, and there is reportedly a move away from seed and starch production. In the UK, some crops have “run out of steam”.

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Automating agriculture: The rise of robotic potato farming in Europe

A recent research study from Germany has illuminated the top-performing agricultural robots for potato farming in Europe: the Robotti LR and Robotti 150 D from Danish company AgroIntelli. The advent of agricultural robots introduces new possibilities for automation and enhanced precision for potato farming.

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Revolutionizing potato processing: Kiremko’s cutting edge hydrocutting technology a game changer

Kiremko has revolutionized potato cutting with its hydrocutting technology. This method uses water pressure to cut potatoes into precise strips, outperforming traditional mechanical cutting in efficiency and capacity. Kiremko’s ongoing research and development, including Pulsed Electric Field treatment and water flow optimization, continually enhance this technology. Their KnifeGuard system also monitors knife usage for improved yield, contributing to the broader trend of automation and data-driven decisions in potato processing.

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Europe: NEPG reports slight potato acreage growth amidst challenging growing conditions

The North-Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) reports a 2-3% increase in ware potato acreage, despite challenging early season conditions. Concerns arise over a decrease in seed availability for next spring, potentially impacting 2024’s production. Planting delays due to rainfall and other factors may also affect 2023’s yield. Despite these uncertainties, demand for processed potato products remains strong, with processors keen to secure supplies for the foreseeable future.

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British potato prices remain elevated, year-on-year increases of up to 627% reported

While the old UK potato crop is mostly being traded at higher prices due to limited supply, the new season’s crop trade is also starting to pick up, as Harry Campbell reports for Mintec. However, demand is outpacing supply as freshly harvested crops are quickly bought up. Prices for Grade 1 White Packing Potatoes EXW England are currently priced at £400/mt, up 627% y-o-y.

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Potatoes in Practice 2023: Unveiling latest innovations and trends in the potato industry

Potatoes in Practice, the UK’s largest field-based potato event, will take place on August 10 in Dundee, hosted by the James Hutton Institute, SRUC, and Agrii. The event will focus on evidence-based practices to enhance resilience in potato crop production. Renowned speakers and experts will share their knowledge, while attendees can explore cutting-edge research, trade exhibits, and demonstrations. The event offers valuable insights into the latest developments in the potato industry.

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Precision cleaning: Harnessing the power of the Scotts Evolution Separator for superior potato cleaning

The Scotts Evolution Separator is a cutting-edge potato cleaning system revolutionizing the industry. In a tutorial video, Derek Scott, Managing Director at Scotts Precision Manufacturing, shares valuable insights on optimizing settings for main crop potato cleaning using the separator. Derek emphasizes the importance of adjusting settings one at a time and highlights the machine’s customization options.

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Interconnected machinery: How TOMRA Food is transforming the food processing landscape and accelerate innovative solutions

TOMRA Food is pioneering strategic partnerships to enhance operations and innovation in the era of interconnected machinery. Driven by the philosophy of “trusted togetherness”, these collaborations with companies like ICOEL and Marel are providing tailored solutions, superior support, and advanced technologies to processors and packhouses. The partnerships are simplifying processes, improving efficiency, and enabling faster introduction of new solutions, empowering the food processing industry to achieve its full potential.

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