North America

U.S. potato exports show continued signs of recovery

With many countries around the globe relaxing restrictions and showing signs of recovery from the pandemic, demand for U.S. potato exports is strong in many markets. Potatoes USA says in a news release that during the first three quarters of the marketing year (July 2021-March 2022), overall U.S. potato and potato product exports increased from the same period one year earlier.

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Canada: Snack maker establishes new state-of-the-art potato chip processing facility in Alberta

Super-Pufft, one of North America’s largest manufacturers and co-packers of salty snacks for retailers and national brands, has established a new state-of-the-art potato chip processing facility in Alberta. The new $50-million facility will support Alberta potato producers and create more than 100 jobs for the Airdrie area. It will use about 78,000 tonnes of Alberta potatoes each year.

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McDonalds to exit Russia after three decades

McDonald ’s Corp. said it would quit Russia and sell its business there, ending more than three decades in the country over its invasion of Ukraine. As Michael Wright and Dean Seal reports for The Wall Street Journal, the fast-food giant joins a raft of Western companies, from auto makers to oil producers, exiting Russia as the war in Ukraine rumbles on.

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Video: Potatoes USA CMO discusses fresh potato access to Mexico

In this “Keeping it Current” video episode produced and published by Potatoes USA, the industry body’s Chief Marketing Officer, John Toaspern discusses the impact of gaining fresh potato access to all of Mexico, the years of effort that went into this, and the continued work that needs be done to keep the market open.

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NPC’s Hollee Alexander named 2022 Spudwoman of the Year

For 14 years, National Potato Council staffer Hollee Alexander has been the driving force behind Potato Expo — the biggest event of the year for the U.S. potato industry. She’s helped successfully steer the event through the pandemic, which required a lot of on-the-go flexibility and changes. For her longtime commitment to the industry, Alexander was named Spudman magazine’s 2022 Spudwoman of the Year.

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Canadian company to deploy real-time plant nutrient sampling technology into Maritime provinces

A New Brunswick company on the cutting edge of the province’s agricultural industry has just closed a $300,000 pre-seed investment round. The money will help Picketa Systems deploy its instant plant nutrient sampling technology into Atlantic Canada’s potato industry. “We’re developing real-time plant tissue analysis to be able to instantly tell farmers what nutrient concentrations their plants are, and what to buy,” founder and CEO Hébert-Couturier told Huddle.

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U.S. fresh potatoes begin export to Mexico beyond 26-kilometer border zone

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Mexico’s national plant protection organization (SENASICA) announce that the United States has begun exporting potatoes beyond the 26-kilometer border zone that previously marked the limit of their export. The U.S. potato industry estimates that this access for U.S. fresh potatoes to all of Mexico will provide a market potential of $250 million per year, in five years.

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Idaho’s potato industry applauds storage research endowment

Potato storage is one of the backbones of Idaho’s iconic spud industry. After being harvested, more than 80 percent of the state’s potato crop is stored until it’s needed by processors and other customers. Efforts by University of Idaho researchers to improve potato storage technology got a boost recently thanks to a $1 million investment to create an endowed research professorship.

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Canada: The heart of PEI’s economy, potato farmers now face financial chaos and an identity crisis

After potato wart was detected in two Prince Edward Island fields last fall, Canada quickly shut down most shipments of the province’s potatoes to the U.S., in order to dissuade the Americans from imposing their own ban. Farmers on the Island are anxious. Fears that exports could be shut down a second time this year are causing many growers to cut back production and shift to other crops.

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How Herr’s feeds potato chips to cows to help the environment

Herr’s potato chips have been enjoyed by the greater Philadelphia area for more than 75 years. But not every chip is perfect. In fact, some are marked with imperfections and would otherwise become food waste. The concoction of chips, pretzels, popcorn, and more become food for cattle on the adjacent Herr Angus Farm.

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Video: Food fight – The battle over GMOs

Imagine being able to prevent childhood blindness with rice. No, this isn’t a biblical miracle. It’s the reality of genetically modified organisms. A 2015 Pew survey found that a majority of Americans don’t think GMO foods are safe to eat. But the same poll found a notable exception to that trend. 88% of scientists said they were safe to eat. Why?

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The looming threat for Maine’s iconic potato industry

So far, climate change has brought mixed news for farmers in Maine. It is linked to warmer temperatures and drought, but also brings more frequent and intense rainfall that can damage crops with rot or soil erosion. Extra warmth has helped add an extra week to the end of the typically short Maine potato growing season. But it comes with a suite of challenges.

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Govt of Canada announces new measures to support Prince Edward Island potato industry

The Government of Canada will continue to stand up for Prince Edward Island potato farmers, who are vital to their communities and the Canadian economy, according to a press release issued by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (CFIA) yesterday. New measures to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the potato industry on Prince Edward Island were announced.

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WSU hires soil specialist as its first distinguished chair for potato agriculture

Launching Washington State University’s first distinguished program serving potato agriculture, Steve Culman will delve below the surface to keep a $7 billion Washington industry strong. Culman will address priorities in irrigated agriculture, including the need to better understand and protect the soil. Starting Aug. 1, 2022, Culman plans to meet with Washington potato growers, discuss their priorities, and identify short and long-term objectives.

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Lamb Weston reports financial and operating progress during fiscal third quarter 2022

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. announced its fiscal third quarter 2022 results and updated its fiscal 2022 outlook in early April. Tom Werner, President and CEO said in a press release:: “We continued to make financial and operating progress in the quarter through strong execution of pricing actions to manage significant input, manufacturing and supply chain cost inflation.”

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Soft rot in potatoes: Ten planting practices to reduce seed piece decay

“The soft rot bacterium that causes seed piece decay is very common, and it has an extensive host range. It survives in soil and surface waters. Soft rot in potatoes is caused by Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum,” says Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist with the Ontario Potato Board in Canada.

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CFIA to boost staff numbers in effort to ‘accelerate’ potato wart investigation on Prince Edward Island

A $12-million influx of federal dollars will help the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to boost staffing in Prince Edward Island and speed up its investigation into the spread of potato wart that prompted an 18-week lockout of P.E.I. fresh potatoes from the U.S. market. In an email to SaltWire Network on April 15, a representative of the federal agency said the new funding will allow the hiring of 35 new full-time staff.

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