Europe, UK, Ireland

Scots charging: New and ambitious growth strategy announced for the potato, vegetable and fruit sector in Scotland

A group of leading businesses and organisations in Scotland’s potato, fruit, and vegetable industry have come together for the first time to create an ambitious new growth strategy for the sector. Announced over the weekend, Planting the Seeds of Growth identifies the key recommendations to grow the potato, fruit, and vegetable sector by 2030, bringing not just economic benefits but benefits to the[Read More…]

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Drone tech in practice: Belgian service provider employs drones to improve assessment of seed varieties

As Belgium’s biggest service provider for agriculture and horticulture, AVEVE is continuously looking for innovative solutions. In plant breeding, specialists are looking to improve the objective quality assessment of new crop seed varieties. With mapEO, a new image processing solution for drone based phenotyping, AVEVE specialists can scale up their seed and agronomy expertise and offer the best possible varieties[Read More…]

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How fungicide data is helping to combat new potato blight strain

Fungicide use data in the UK reveal that potato growers have already adapted their strategies to manage a new resistant strain of blight, although more needs to be done to combat the threat of tuber blight and further resistance developing in 2018. A strain of the most costly disease of potatoes, Dark Green EU37_A2, has spread to the UK since being[Read More…]

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UK a net exporter of fresh potatoes in 2017/18 season so far

Following the large harvest of over 6Mt of potatoes in 2016/17 there has been an abundance of potatoes in GB stores. This has pressured prices domestically with a clear divergence on the basis of quality, especially for white varieties. Increased domestic production last season has translated to an observed reduction in fresh potato imports to the UK so far this[Read More…]

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Spotting airborne foes: Novel spore trap designed to detect and identify key crop pathogens

An automated spore trap has been developed by researchers and industry partners in the UK which is said to have to potential to “revolutionise disease monitoring in agricultural crops.” The device, which was developed as part of an AHDB project led by Rothamsted Research, provides near real-time information on the presence of airborne spores and could potentially help farmers target[Read More…]

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Hutton hits indicate blight risk is building in Britain

Potato crops in Britain are under increasing blight pressure, with repeated hits of Hutton Criteria that indicate infection risks. The Hutton Criteria has now largely replaced conventional Smith periods, since blight outbreaks were still occurring even when a Smith Period had not been triggered, reports Syngenta eastern counties potato specialist, David Wilson. “This season BlightCast disease risk forecasting has already repeatedly triggered[Read More…]

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Spain: New potato prices remain high in the domestic market

The Spanish potato campaign started in late May with the harvest of the first new potatoes from Seville. Frequent rains in the winter and spring not only caused a delay of about a month in the harvest of the first new potatoes, but also resulted in a 40% drop in the volume. “The acreage devoted to ​​potato cultivation has been reduced[Read More…]

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Research in action: PCN advisory tool under scrutiny

Four potato varieties not known to be resistant to white potato cyst nematode (Globodera pallida) have given much better yields than eight others in the first year of a two-season SARIC-funded research project in the UK. The latest work aims to improve AHDB’s potato cyst nematode population advisory tool (potatoes.ahdb.org.uk/online-toolbox/pcn-calculator), explains Matthew Back, of Harper Adams University. “We’re working with the University[Read More…]

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Cool move: Albert Bartlett ventures into chilled potato market; set to open new production plant

Albert Bartlett, based in Scotland, is venturing further into the prepared potato market with the development of several chilled potato products. Having already entered the frozen potato market in 2015, the potato supplier is now set to open a new chilled plant at the company headquarters in Airdrie in September. Creating 50 new jobs, the factory will have capability to process 50,000t[Read More…]

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Upcoming AHDB Potatoes event to showcase newest post harvest and storage technologies

AHDB Potatoes and Agri-Tech East are are jointly hosting an event this coming Wednesday 20 June to showcase some of the newest technologies and innovations in post-harvest management and storage. The meeting will be hosted at the Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research, Lincs. From rapid refrigeration to seed cleaning, and from electronic noses to automated environmental control systems, good post-harvest[Read More…]

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Plant disease diagnostic company expands into the US

Pocket Diagnostic® announces the addition of another distributor of its plant disease rapid tests in the United States. Potadaho Seed Services (“Potadaho”) joins the Pocket Diagnostic distributor network having amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in the potato industry in the Pacific Northwest over many years. UK based Pocket Diagnostic plant disease tests have been benefiting the potato,[Read More…]

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Kettle Foods to invest £2.7M in facility upgrades

Kettle Foods, the crisp manufacturer, is to invest £2.7m at its Norwich site in the UK to develop a new potato intake building. The new project will see the relocation and upgrade of Kettle Foods’ entire potato reception process to a new building on spare land adjacent to the existing factory. This will mean that there will be almost no interruption[Read More…]

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British expert provides timely advice on common scab control with irrigation

Recent dry weather in parts of the UK will mean that more and more growers will be thinking about irrigation, which is a vital time for common scab control. Dr Mark Stalham, Senior Scientist at NIAB CUF whose research, combined with demonstrations held at the Strategic Potato Farm network provided the most up-to-date guidance on common scab control, advises: “Despite late planting,[Read More…]

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Danish growers in the grip of severe drought; millions of Euros at stake

Danish news site ATL reports that Danish farmers are seriously affected by the ceaseless drought. If the drought lasts as long as in 1992, total losses could rise to millions of euros. Precipitation in Denmark is still a no-show, and many experts are already making comparisons with the extreme drought in 1992, when agricultural yields dropped by 23 per cent. According to regional[Read More…]

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Blight programmes in sharp focus as British growers attempt to unlock yield potential

CPM finds out why potato experts are advocating robust blight programmes after challenging spring planting conditions. Later harvests in some key growing areas are being planned and every effort will be needed to maintain green leaf area to maximise yields where inclement weather delayed planting. At the time of writing it is estimated that as much as 10% of the UK crop is[Read More…]

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Untying the knots: Dutch researchers look at biocontrol of root knot nematodes by increasing soil disease suppressiveness

In organic vegetable cultivation in the Netherlands, root knot nematodes are one of the major problems. According to scientists at Wageningen Plant Research, the problems with root knot nematodes is also increasing in other soil based cultivation systems. The numbers of available and effective chemical control products against soilborne diseases and pests are limited, though. In addition, the combination of different[Read More…]

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Mission accomplished: Kiremko signs agreement with Indian potato fry processor

During a recent Dutch trade mission to India, potato processing equipment manufacturer Kiremko signed a deal with Hyfun Foods, a potato processor headquartered in Mumbai, India. Dutch based Kiremko’s Director, Paul Oosterlaken, and the CEO of Hyfun Foods, Haresh Karamchandani, signed a contract for a potato fry line with a capacity of six tonnes of frozen french fries per hour. Accompanied by Dutch[Read More…]

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Ditch the soil: British company claims 50 times higher potato yields with aeroponics technology

Hawk Energy, a knowledge-based business solutions provider based in Dubai with a research and development branch in London, has partnered with British start-up Airponix, which will harvest its first large crop of potatoes grown without soil, in a promising sign for a technology that claims it can deliver high vegetable yields with minimal costs and environmental degradation. At its new 1000[Read More…]

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Media nonsense exposed: AHDB Potatoes busting myths on potatoes and health in mainstream media

AHDB Potatoes in the UK recently produced a document outlining the truth on the nutritional benefits of the potato. The aim was to ‘cut through the noise’ and ‘bust the myths’ on potatoes and health that appear in the mainstream media. Everything in the document is scientifcally proven, by sources such as nutrition bible McCance and Widdowson’s the Composition of Foods​, and[Read More…]

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Bayer completes $63-billion Monsanto takeover; name to disappear forever

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said Thursday its two-year pursuit of US-based Monsanto over, as the two firms signed off a $63-billion merger deal. “Shares in the US company will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole owner of Monsanto Company,” the German firm said in a statement. In an industry preparing for[Read More…]

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Innovative weed management: German companies Neudorff and Zasso create herbicide free solutions

W. Neudorff GmbH KG and Zasso GmbH in Germany intensified their mutual technology cooperation and recently formed a joint venture. With the formation of this joint venture, both companies are breaking new ground in weed management. The joint venture is aimed at developing completely new methods and technologies for weed management without the use of herbicides. With the help of[Read More…]

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Clampdown: European Commission announces neonic ban dates

The European Commission has announced that the sale and supply of neonicotinoid actives clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam for outdoor use will cease by September 19, 2018 at the latest, with the sale, storage and use of seed treated with them ending on December 19, 2018 at the latest, according to the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC). However, it is up to member[Read More…]

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