News September 2021

Leading Scottish grower chooses next generation Tong Caretaker

When East Lothian-based J. Haig Hamilton & Sons, decided to upgrade their potato grading operations to ensure the most advanced handling of the company’s valuable 550-acre crop, they chose long-standing manufacturing partner Tong Engineering’s flagship Caretaker mobile grader to increase capacity and capability. Based near the beautiful North Berwick coastline, Haig Hamilton farms a total of 3,500 acres of land, including a high-quality crop of potatoes.

Read More

Frozen potato products: A-Insights reports on latest trends

Market and consumer data analytics company A-INSIGHTS has published its latest monthly MarketMonitor report on trends in the Frozen Potato Products industry, titled “June Insights“. Analysts at the company conclude that global trade volume is up 0.5%YTD compared to 2019. Aside from the U.S., France, and New Zealand, all major exporters saw volumes increase compared to 2019. With a monthly import volume of 107.9 thousand tonnes in June, U.S. imports are up 26.2% compared to 2019. Despite a minor decline in exports to Europe, Belgium has surpassed its 2019 export volume by 3.6% in 2021, whilst Dutch exports remain 8.3% than pre-COVID levels.

Read More

Scientists found dried potato powder to be cheaper energy source in animal feed than maize

Scientists at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) in Pakistan have found that dried potato powder can successfully be used as a cheaper energy source in animal feed and can be added up to 30 percent in ruminant concentrates without any negative effect. Due to the high cost of yellow corn, dried potato concentrate had been identified as a low cost alternative and it can easily replace maize.

Read More

PepsiCo UK investing £24 million in Lincoln factory

PepsiCo UK recently announced it is investing £24 million (about US$33 million) in their Lincoln snack factory to upgrade their facilities, meet the growing consumer demand, and secure the  building’s future. The investment will see existing machinery at their long-standing city center site replaced by new equipment – including a compact packaging machine – creating training opportunities for employees including their apprentices, some of whom will be upskilled in using the state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

Read More

Call for abstract submission for WPC 2022 now open

The 11th World Potato Congress will be held in Dublin, Ireland from 30 May to 2 June, 2022. The call for abstract submission for WPC 2022 is now open and authors are encouraged to submit their abstract online for consideration. A very limited number of submissions will be selected for oral presentation and authors will be notified if their abstract has been accepted for an oral presentation on 20th January 2022.

Read More

Plans in the making for new representative body for British potato industry

A group of leading potato industry stakeholders has drawn up tentative proposals for a new representative body, provisionally called GB Potatoes. They have distanced themselves from the Growers’ Better Levy Group (GBLG), and say their approach is to bring all sectors together via voluntary subscription and membership. A paper on provisional ideas is currently being circulated to stakeholders.

Read More

General Manager of United Potato Growers of Canada to retire

Kevin MacIsaac, who has been General Manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada since October 1, 2011 announced he will be retiring this fall. MacIsaac’s diversified career over a 42 year timespan includes dedicated service as an extension agronomist, farmer, industry organizer and a knowledgeable and eloquent advocate. UPGC hopes to have a replacement for the position by this fall and is actively seeking applications for the GM position at this time.

Read More

MountainKing: Quality of Colorado potato crop ‘extraordinary’

As MountainKing readies for its fall harvest, early tests from its fields in Colorado’s San Luis Valley offer encouraging signs for several of the brand’s gourmet varieties including its yellow-flesh varietals. “The 2021 crop outlook is very bright,” says Andreas Trettin, director of marketing for MountainKing Potatoes. “The quality is extraordinary,” he says.

Read More

Kent potato grower latest to take delivery of Haith mobile grading system

Monkton Court Farms in the UK has become the latest potato grower to receive Haith’s next-generation mobile grading system. Philip Smith, who grows Desiree and King Edward potatoes across 60 hectares in East Kent, took delivery of the state-of-the-art grader this month. “The Haith box fillers have never let me down, and I was really impressed with the way the company handled my order and has supported me ever since,” says Philip.

Read More

BASF receives registration for Veltyma fungicide with new active ingredient Revysol

BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions has received registration from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) for Veltyma Fungicide. Veltyma contains the unique active ingredient Revysol that provides broader, stronger, and longer control against various diseases. Veltyma is registered for use on multiple crops including potatoes, corn, wheat and soybeans.

Read More

Australian researchers study whether ‘plant medicines’ could help treat cancer, obesity

“Plant cures” are the key to world-first research by a team of scientists at the University of Queensland (UQ), led by Professor David Craik. “We’re engineering plants into super-efficient producers of next-generation medicines,” Professor Craik said. “So we want to put molecules into, say, potatoes, so that effectively you can have your french fries and not worry about the consequences.”

Read More

UK agri-tech company secures funding to research early detection of potato diseases and defects

Research scientist Dr Barbara dos Santos Correia, with support of B-hive Innovations, has been successful in her application for a Future Leaders Fellowship and will receive nearly £675,000 to support her TuberSense project – a four-year research programme that aims to detect diseases and defects in potato crops, using volatile biomarkers and innovative gas sensors to reduce food waste across the supply chain.

Read More

Double L buyout completed, new management team installed in Idaho

Double L, a prominent manufacturer of farm equipment in the Intermountain West, announced late last week that it has formally concluded its ownership and relationship with the company’s prior management team and Board of Directors. SRM Holding has completed the buyout. The Board of Directors has appointed Grant R. Flaharty as CEO, and he has already installed a new management team in Idaho.

Read More

Scottish potato trials plough on despite AHDB Potatoes’ demise

The team behind Scotland’s seed potato monitor farm near St Cyrus is undeterred by the lights going out at AHDB Potatoes. The four-year SPot Farm project may have been blighted by the imminent demise of the principal funder and the difficulty of industry engagement due to the pandemic, but the partners involved are upbeat and determined to plough on with field-scale trials and research for the original four-year term.

Read More

Heat and smoke impact Idaho potato sizing

Sizing looks to be an issue in new crop potatoes from Idaho this season. Ryan Wahlen of Pleasant Valley Potato in Aberdeen, ID says it’s been in new crop now for just under three weeks. “We started about a week later than normal,” he told Astrid Van Den Broek of FreshPlaza. “The heat we experienced this summer just delayed things. We were hoping to get a little bit more size out of the potatoes so we waited a week. But even with that, the size and the yields weren’t there.”

Read More

Potato and frozen chip brand Koffmann’s receiving good support from top chefs

The UK hospitality sector has been fully open for a few months now. Although not quite back to full capacity, people are enjoying being able to eat out again.“We have seen a massive demand for our brand both in fresh potatoes and frozen chips,” explains Simon Martin from Koffmann’s. “We have put a huge amount of work into this brand and promoting it. We have started supplying the Gordon Ramsey chain of restaurants and have had good support from him and other top chefs through social media.”

Read More

Corteva Agriscience signs agreement with Gaïago to develop and distribute biofungicide solutions globally

Corteva, Inc. and Gaïago, a biotechnology company, announced earlier this week a multi-year agreement to validate, develop and commercialize biofungicides for farmers worldwide. Through the agreement, Corteva Agriscience receives an exclusive, global testing license and associated optional commercial rights for a novel biofungicide technology that can help protect potatoes, grapevines, vegetables, and stone and pome fruits against pathogens such as downy mildew, late blight, powdery mildew and botrytis.

Read More

Scotts’ Evolution Separator sales see an unexpected boost in an uncertain year

The beginning of 2021 has been an unusual time for Scotts Precision Manufacturing Ltd, reports Derek Scott, Managing Director. “We are already into double figures of Evolution upgrades ranging from 3ft wide machines approaching 30 years old, to very modern high capacity 8ft mobile graders. We offer a price point to suit most pockets – but really its all about the performance,” he says.

Read More

NPC updates convention on fight to get U.S. fresh potatoes into Mexico

The fight to get U.S. fresh potatoes into all of Mexico continues amid signs that the  Mexican potato industry is shifting tactics to deflect imports, Kam Quarles told attendees at the Idaho Grower Shippers Association 93rd annual convention on Sept. 3. Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council, also updated attendees on immigration reform, infrastructure legislation, and possible strategies by Democrats to get beyond a very narrow majority in Congress to advance their agenda.

Read More

Heat leaves Canada’s prairie potato growers on edge

Producers across Western Canada are optimistic they can still produce a good crop this fall if the weather co-operates, reports Alex McCuaig for The Western Producer. It’s been a reversal of fortunes for Canada’s potato growers this year as last year’s dry season in the East moves west. Not all Manitoba growers have escaped the heat that has plagued producers across the West, especially those farming on dryland.

Read More

Recyclable and compostable packaging for bite-size potato category

Tasteful Selections recently announced the limited launch of its new 100-percent plastic-free, recyclable and compostable packaging in the US. “This new paper packaging with PaperLock™ technology is a major step forward in sustainable packaging. It offers light protection and natural absorption characteristics that protect our potatoes and help keep plastic out of the waste stream,” said Tim Huffcutt, vice-president, sales and marketing operations.

Read More

How to get paid for taste testing roasted potatoes

A restaurant in the United Kingdom is hiring experts to review their roasted potatoes. The restaurant, named The Botanist, recently took to its Instagram to make an announcement regarding the job profile, writes Somdatta Saha in an article for Food NDTV. According to the post, the food chain is looking for experts to sample their Sunday lunch to ensure its quality.

Read More

Experts expect high quality Maine potato crop

Agricultural specialists and growers in Maine are predicting a higher quantity and quality of potato crop than was produced in 2020, due to the less severe weather this summer. As Melissa Lizotte reports for Bangor Daily News, last year, severe drought conditions throughout Aroostook County resulted in yields of 20 percent less than the 2019 crop. But despite days of record heat this summer, the overall weather pattern has been much more ideal for the growing season.

Read More

HZPC pleased with the acquisition of SolEye product by RMA-Techniek

RMA-Techniek acquired the product SolEye on 1 September. SolEye is a product by Solentum B.V. (a former subsidiary of HZPC Holdings). Herman Verveld, Commercial Director at HZPC said: “Here at HZPC we are pleased with this agreement. We could not have found a better company to take over than RMA-Techniek. The company is familiar with the potato business and well known to existing and potential new customers worldwide. Moreover, the use and development of the SolEye will be further expanded”.

Read More

Lockwood Mfg

Urschel

Solanum International

TOMRA Food