Europe, UK, Ireland

Major German potato trader joins Europatat

One of Germany’s major potato traders, Fritz Jungnickel GmbH & Co. KG has joined Europatat. The company was established more than 100 years ago in the area of Dresden, in the heart of the Ruhr region. Today Fritz Jungnickel is active from the Neuss region in the trade of seed, early and ware potatoes. With a wide knowledge and many[Read More…]

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British potato growers reminded to follow nematicide best practices

Potato growers are being reminded to follow the best practice granular nematicide use protocol this spring to ensure products are used safely and effectively. Nick Winmill, potato technical manager at Agrii and member of the Nematicide Stewardship Programme (NSP), urges growers to visit the NSP website to brush up their knowledge on best practice application of granular nematicides before planting.[Read More…]

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The Seed Potato Story: What goes on behind closed doors

During the winter months the shed doors are firmly closed and all is quiet. However, when you take a look inside you’ll find Dutch seed potato farmers are picking the fruit of their labour. In the video below, you get to see the full seed potato journey on a specialised seed potato farm in the Dutch growing region ‘Wieringermeer’. After[Read More…]

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Scottish researchers to review ways to lower agricultural nitrogen emissions

Scottish climate change researchers are exploring ways that farmers could reduce emissions from nitrogen fertiliser use. Led by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and funded by ClimateXChange, the project forms part of the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan. The plan specifically highlights nitrogen fertiliser as a potential area of improvement and suggests this could be achieved through a combination of improved[Read More…]

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Belgium: Flemish potato area increases again this season; processors demand more raw product

The Flemish potato area will increase by around eight percent in the coming season, according to information released by the Flemish Center for Agriculture and Horticulture (VILT). The Testing Center for Potato Cultivation (PCA) concludes this after an initial survey of its members. It is especially the area of ​​early potatoes that is rising sharply: no less than 20 percent[Read More…]

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Restrictions on water as drought fears mount in the UK

Water restrictions are being imposed on British farmers amid mounting concerns over a lack of significant rain and low river flows. Cumulative rainfall totals for April range from about 18% of the monthly long-term average in East Anglia to 68% in south-west England. River flows range from “below normal” to “exceptionally low” across much of eastern England, from Essex to[Read More…]

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PCN problems building up in Scotland

Although on the surface all seems well in the Scottish potato industry, there is a growing problem lurking in the soil which might affect future prospects, according to a recent report published in The Scottish Farmer. The problem comes from potato cyst nematodes (PCN) that can reduce yields and remove markets for seed potato growers as they require to soil[Read More…]

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Potato prices soar in Eastern Europe

Prices of some vegetables, especially potatoes, in the Czech Republic have been increasing dramatically due to a significant drop in production, a new report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has revealed. According to the information, consumers are paying over 67% more for potatoes, and almost 25% more for vegetables (including lettuce, peas, cucumbers, etc). Potatoes, a[Read More…]

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Trending: Are shipping container farms the future of the industry?

Could shipping containers be the future of farming? According to Cleveland Containers in the UK, they can. The company states that shipping containers could provide an answer to the rapid demand for local produce. According to the company, the trend for local food has risen over the last few years and as a result, the demand for local produce is[Read More…]

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Great Britain’s potato stocks estimated 26% down on last year

Aidan Wright, Analyst at AHDB Potatoes in the UK reports that GB grower-held potato stocks at the end of March 2019 are estimated at 0.98Mt, a fall of 26% (353Kt) on last year and 13% (148kt) below the five season average (2013-2018). Despite a smaller crop this season, stocks remain higher than at the same point in 2012/13 (+162Kt) and are[Read More…]

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The age we live in: Could computer games help farmers adapt to climate change?

Web-based gaming, such as simulation games, can promote innovative communication strategies that engage farmers with scientific research and help them adapt to climate change. Methods employed to tackle climate change, such as, for example, improving drainage systems to cope with increased levels of precipitation, are known as adaptation strategies. “Maladaptation” is the implementation of poor decisions or methods that were[Read More…]

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First signs of resistance found to key herbicide flufenacet

The first signs of ryegrass and blackgrass resistance to the widely used used herbicide flufenacet are being detected, with growers being urged to use other methods of control as well as weedkillers. Ryegrass with so-called enhanced metabolism resistance to the herbicide is now present on a small number of UK farms, while blackgrass is showing reduced sensitively to the herbicide in[Read More…]

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Plans for GM potato trial in the UK under fire

Thirty-one organic and environmental organisations have urged Michael Gove to reject plans by Cambridge scientists for a new open-air field trial of GM potatoes. Groups such as GM Freeze, Organic Research Centre and the Soil Association, are fighting the trial proposal, which they say could risk off-target effects and unintended impacts, such as the accidental spread of the GM crop[Read More…]

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Irish potato market update: Glasshouse potatoes on the market, little planting progress

The cooler weather over the past week has maintained higher potato consumption levels. Irish glasshouse potatoes have made their appearance on the market for the first time this year. There is still a little pressure in the wholesale and peeling markets from ambient store material. On the positive side, some growers in the border area have reported increased orders from[Read More…]

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British potato processing companies fined for safety failings

Potato processor Braegate Produce has been fined £50,000 for health and safety failings, while a separate potato processing line accident has cost one Essex firm more than a £30,000 penalty. Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 5 January 2018, Mr Smith, aged 62, was walking across the middle yard to the maintenance workshop at Braegate’s Tadcaster site. He was struck[Read More…]

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NAK discovers counterfeit seed potato certificates

Inspection service NAK in the Netherlands has reportedly discovered counterfeit seed potato certificates, whereby the non-certified potatoes have been sold under false labels. The NAK, together with the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), is still hunting for the counterfeiters. According to a report published in the Dutch magazine BoerenBusiness, there have been 3 Belgian farmers who have[Read More…]

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New Arable Scotland event planned for this summer

Plans are moving on apace for the brand new Arable Scotland event, planned for this summer on July 2 at Balruddery Farm, Fowlis, by Dundee. This is a brand new annual event for Scotland where the industry can meet, debate, view and review the new innovations that will drive the markets and future sustainability of Scottish arable production. It is[Read More…]

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Warm weather a boost for Cornish earlies

Cornish new potato growers are on course for a good season with favourable weather conditions putting them on track to be the first UK mainland potatoes to hit retailers this year. The earliest Cornish new potatoes, due in May, have been growing under protective fleece and poly-sheets to protect them from the cold since January, and will be the first[Read More…]

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Nestlé, Carrefour work with IBM to track mashed potato brand with blockchain

Switzerland-based food giant Nestlé, French supermarket chain Carrefour and IBM have partnered to use the latter’s blockchain technology to track a famous French convenience food, the companies announced in a press release on April 15. Nestlé and Carrefour, both of which are members of IBM’s Food Trust blockchain platform, will use the technology from today to track the supply chain of Mousline, a well-known brand of instant mashed potatoes. Once it rolls out,[Read More…]

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Turnover tops £25m at Puffin Produce

Revenues have topped £25m at Haverfordwest-based potato, vegetable and flower specialist Puffin Produce, with its board “excited” for future growth opportunities. Puffin supplies own-label potatoes, vegetables and daffodils as well as under its own Blas-y-Tir brand. Accounts filed for the year to 30 June 2018 revealed turnover climbed to £26m from £21.1m 12 months earlier. Pre-tax profits were £2.4m, up[Read More…]

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Syngenta BlightCast launched two weeks ahead of normal in the UK

Syngenta BlightCast has been launched two weeks ahead of normal this season, with reports of early crops in the south west coming under pressure as plastic covers are removed. Whilst planting has been progressing across the country in generally good conditions, cool soil temperatures have slowed development. Now, with forecast temperatures set to warm up, growers and agronomists can be[Read More…]

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Brexit’s bitter harvest for farmers

A no-deal Brexit would drive pig farmers into the red, but potato growers would be even worse off if Britain were to leave the European Union with an agreement, an analysis has suggested. Ministers have been warned that the affordability of British food is at stake after the government-backed Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board projected that average farm profitability would[Read More…]

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EU fails to reach decision on CIPC withdrawal; AHDB in the UK offers support to growers

This past Friday, AHDB in the UK issued a statement titled “CIPC decision looms – here’s how you can access support”, published on its website. AHDB states: “We understand that on 11 April 2019 the European Union’s Health and Food Safety Directorate-General Appeal Committee could not reach a sufficient majority to support the European Food Standard Agency’s (EFSA’s) recommendation to[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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