News November 2021

U.S. chipping potatoes showcased in China for the first time

For the first time ever, a sample of fresh U.S. chipping potatoes arrived in China and was displayed at the Food & Hospitality China Shanghai Global Food Trade Show in early November. This historic event, which is helping to pave the way for commercial shipments of U.S. chip-stock to China, was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and speeches by U.S. government officials and representatives from Potatoes USA.

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CIP: Putting the world’s largest potato collection in the deep freeze

The International Potato Center (CIP) is conserving the future of potato genetic diversity in the world’s largest potato cryobank and setting new standards to transform the way that other priority clonal crops like sweetpotato and yams are held in safe storage. These innovations ensure we have an essential backup collection of the clonal crops that 300 million smallholders in developing countries depend on – for their food security and livelihoods.

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Potatoes NZ building a ‘secure and sustainable industry’: 2021 in summary

The New Zealand potato industry saw supply chain disruptions, changing protocols for health and safety and a polarization of political and health ideologies in the last 21 months of the pandemic response, the industry body says in a recent newsletter. NZ potato growers across the country have been under immense pressure during 2021, but shows continued value growth despite pandemic setbacks in the export market, thanks to a strong domestic market.

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UPL ranked first for sustainability performance amongst peers for second year running

UPL Ltd. has been ranked by Sustainalytics as the highest performing top-tier global crop protection company for overall sustainability performance in the 2021 ESG Risk Rating. With significant improvements across multiple categories, this achievement recognises the work that UPL is doing to Reimagine Sustainability within the global food system, the company says in a press release.

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Potato wart: Government-Industry potato working group assembles to help affected farmers in Prince Edward Island

According to a press release issued by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Government of Canada is working with the Province of Prince Edward Island (PEI) and industry to support PEI farmers following the recent suspension of certification of fresh potatoes from PEI to the United States. The newly formed Government-Industry Potato Working Group met on Wednesday, November 24 for initial discussions.

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How do three main farm carbon calculators compare?

Mike Abram presents an insightful review of three popular so-called whole-farm carbon calculators in an article for Farmers Weekly in the UK . A few farmers tested the overall scope and structure of the calculators, all of which cover arable and livestock enterprises. The tools assessed were: Farm Carbon Toolkit, Agrecalc, and the Cool Farm Tool.

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Towards Net Zero: How to reduce emissions and store carbon

Farming has been recognised for the key role it can play in helping the UK meet its net zero emissions target by 2050, with individual farmers being encouraged to do their bit. There’s no magic bullet or one-size-fits-all approach, say experts, who highlight that we will need a multitude of different options to both reduce emissions and capture or store carbon in soils and woodlands.

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North American fertilizer shortage sparks fears of higher food prices, global nitrogen prices 80% higher

A global shortage of nitrogen fertilizer is driving prices to record levels, prompting North America’s farmers to delay purchases and raising the risk of a spring scramble to apply the crop nutrient before planting season, according to a report by The Guardian. Global nitrogen fertilizer sales were worth $53bn in 2020, and prices are at least 80% higher so far this year, according to Argus Media.

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New COVID measures in Belgium, but INTERPOM event to go ahead, organisers confirm

Today, the Belgian government announced new measures to combat COVID-19. Trade fairs are still subject to the health and safety protocol that applies to retailers / businesses and can therefore take place, provided that everyone complies with the strict guidelines imposed by the government. Annick Pycarelle, Exhibition Manager, says in a news flash today: “INTERPOM clearly complies with these guidelines and will therefore go ahead as planned on 28, 29 and 30 November 2021 in Kortrijk Xpo.”

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Scottish seed growers celebrate 50 years of high standards

The ground-breaking organisation first set up by Scottish seed potato growers in the 1970s to encourage the best use of cutting edge seed multiplication technology will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Pre Basic Growers Association, formerly the Virus Tested Stem Cutting Growers Association, is to mark the anniversary with a gala dinner.

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Dutch industry body concerned about rise in potato production cost, ‘approaching 10,000 Euros per ha’

The cost price for the cultivation of ware potatoes has risen explosively, so contract prices have to rise sharply. The costs are approaching 10,000 euros per hectare, according to a report by Fenneke Wiepkema for the Dutch publication Akkerwijzer. Contract prices must therefore rise by at least 5 cents per kg in order to be of interest for growers, says the Dutch Arable Farming Union (NAV).

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UK crisp shortage eases after earlier supply problems

According to a news report by Reuters, fewer shops in Britain have shortages of potato crisps this week than the week before, official figures showed on Thursday, in a sign that supply problems for the popular snack food are easing. Britain’s biggest crisp producer Walkers had to scale back production at the start of the month after problems with an IT systems upgrade, which it warned could take weeks to fix.

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NPC: Positive steps taken to reopen Mexico for U.S. fresh potatoes

The National Potato Council (NPC) in the U.S. says in its latest industry newsletter that Mexico’s National Service for Agricultural Health, Food Safety, and Agri-Quality (SENASICA) published the Phytosanitary Requirement Sheet for U.S. potato imports to the entirety of Mexico. NPC CEO Kam Quarles told The Packer he is “cautiously optimistic” about progress.

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Metos UK unveils new potato tech

A blue, potato-shaped sensor for in-store monitoring of potato crops and an app that estimates your potential crop yield from a photo and a blue mat have been launched by Metos UK at the recent British Potato event. Inside the blue tuber-shaped SolAntenna are sensors to measure and track temperature, humidity and CO2 levels in store.

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Albert Bartlett launches ‘Make It Extraordinary’ ad campaign

Albert Bartlett launched a new national advertising campaign capturing its brand-new theme ‘Make It Extraordinary’.  As Fiona Briggs reports for Retails Times, the advert includes a fantastical representation of the potato picking line and features world-class acrobats to demonstrate the five-star treatment that every one of Albert Bartlett’s potatoes receives.

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APHIS commends CFIA for voluntarily prohibiting export of seed and fresh potatoes from Prince Edward Island

In a news release issued today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) commends the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for voluntarily prohibiting export of seed and fresh potatoes from Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI) into the United States due to the confirmed presence of Synchytrium endobioticum in that country.

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Prince Edward Island potato industry in limbo as Canada suspends shipments to U.S.

Millions of pounds of potatoes are effectively “not going anywhere” for one Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) farmer following a recent decision by the federal government to suspend shipments of all fresh potatoes from the province to the United States. Like many in the province, Ray Keenan, co-owner of Rollo Bay Holdings Ltd., is trying to understand the rationale behind the suspension, which was made in response to the October discovery of potato wart.

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Prince Edward Island potato growers seek ‘quick’ answers to resolve trade issue with U.S.

The group representing potato farmers on Prince Edward Island says its members need answers quickly from Ottawa on the decision to suspend all shipments of fresh potatoes from the Island to the United States or the industry will face huge financial losses. Prince Edward Island Potato Board general manager Greg Donald says farmers were shocked to learn Monday that Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau had ordered the trade restriction after the recent discovery of potato wart in two P.E.I. fields.

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Irish potato industry could be mashed by Brexit seed ban, Minister told

Irish farmers’ ability to grow their potato crops could be affected by the post-Brexit ban on importing seed potatoes from Britain, the Government has been warned. In a letter to Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, Scottish seed potato producer John K Lind asked if politicians have “forgotten” the Famine as he outlined the devastation that diseases can cause to a crop.

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Prince Edward Island vows to fight federal decision to halt potato exports to U.S. over potato wart

Premier Dennis King said the Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) government will consider all options at its disposal, including legal, to fight the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s suspension of fresh potato exports from the province to the U.S.  King said the federal government’s decision was “extremely disappointing” and will immensely hurt the Island’s economy.

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Dewulf Enduro to be showcased in-person for the first time at Interpom ’21

Dewulf, full-liner in agricultural machines for the cultivation of potatoes and root crops, will present its Enduro harvester at the Interpom 2021 event on 28 – 30 November. The new 4-row self-propelled harvester was first unveiled to the public during an online event last year. Dewulf is proud to introduce the new Enduro for the first time in person at the international trade fair for the potato sector in Kortrijk (BE).

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