North America

The Kingsman potato: Cygnet PB to expand commercial trials in the U.S. for this high-yielding, climate-resilient variety

Launched in 2017, the potato variety Kingsman has developed quickly in popularity to become Scotland-based potato breeder Cygnet PB Ltd.’s first globally successful variety. After two seasons of field production with CSS Farms, Kingsman exceeded seed crop yield expectations, prompting Cygnet PB Ltd to involve additional partners for commercial trials in 2023.

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‘Hopping into creativity’: The newest Easter trend you have to try – painting potatoes

Families love their tried-and-true Easter traditions, but sometimes, you just need to scramble things up. This year, due in part to skyrocketing food prices, Potatoes USA reports that families are hopping on the newest trend and painting Easter potatoes. As it turns out, there are lots of upsides to brushing up on your spud art. In addition to being an affordable, nutritious pantry staple, potatoes are an excellent canvas for family activities.

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Canadian research solidifies enhanced efficiency fertilizer as a win-win for farmers and the environment

Precision agriculture is helping farmers be more exact with inputs, like fertilizer, to help reduce excess nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing yields. Steve Watts of Genesis Crop Systems recently wrapped up a precision agriculture research project with support from Prince Edward Island (PEI) farmers, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), and researchers from Dalhousie University and the PEI Department of Agriculture and Land.

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HZPC Americas welcomes Dustin Wageman as Product Manager

Dustin Wageman brings with him over 10 years of experience of chemical sales and business management in the Pacific Northwest. “I’m happy to have Dustin join our team. His natural ability to understand the needs of farmers combined with his entrepreneurial approach and passion for potatoes will complement our growing team of seed potato professionals.”, says Jeff Scramlin, President of HZPC Americas Corp.

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Vanmark announces new in-plant vine remover machine for potato processors

Vanmark, an industrial potato and produce processing equipment manufacturer, today announced the launch of its vine remover machine. The new machine removes vines from potatoes as they come in from the field. Potato vines often get caught in receiving and transferring equipment, plugging it up and causing costly downtime for processors.

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Nematicides know-how: Ways to help rid your potato crops of nematodes

Many potato growers rely on nematicides to protect their crops. Following is information you should know about both fumigant and non-fumigant methods. Nematodes absorb fumigant nematicides through their body cavities, so ingestion isn’t necessary. Fumigant nematicides work best when nematodes are exposed to a lethal dose for as long as possible. The efficacy of non-fumigant nematicides largely depends on their solubility in water and persistence in the soil.

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Smoke exposure linked to smaller, misshapen potatoes, according to Univ of Idaho, BSU study

Potato plants exposed to extreme smoke produced lower marketable yields than smoke-free plants, according to preliminary data from a joint University of Idaho and Boise State University study. Results differed based on variety, with heavy wildfire smoke exposure being linked to smaller Clearwater Russets and causing more unusable and misshapen Russet Burbanks. The project involved pumping artificially emulated wildfire smoke onto potato plots covered by plastic.

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Canada: Prince Edward Island Potato Board says it’s filed for judicial review of seed potato ban

A P.E.I. Potato Board application for a judicial review of federal government restrictions prohibiting the export of seed potatoes is scheduled to be heard in Federal Court later this week, as Arturo Chang reports for CBC News. The application asks the court to set aside several ongoing government decisions prohibiting the movement of P.E.I. seed potatoes to other markets since late 2021.

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Optimizing fertilizer timing: The key to healthier potatoes and crispier french fries

For farmers and researchers, a field is often like a giant chemistry set. The timing and amounts of different fertilizers to supply nutrients can interact with each other, the soil, and crops. For example, potassium, an essential macronutrient for crops, is often applied to a field in the form of potassium chloride. Sarah Light, an agronomy farm advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension, led a study on the timing of potassium chloride in potato fields.

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Searching for spuds: Potato farmers in Alberta prepare for french fry facility expansion

McCain Foods announced its largest investment in company history at its Alberta processing plant in Canada. The company is investing $600 million to more than double the size of its workforce at the plant, from 225 to 485, and double the size of its facility and output. Construction on the expansion is expected to start later this year. As Taylor Simmons reports for CBC News, it’s great news for nearby potato farmers. Michel Camps of CP Farms and Mark Miyanaga of Triple M Farms plan to plant more potatoes.

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Potato Sustainability Alliance podcast: ‘Exploring how to tell the story of sustainability’

“For farmers and the industry to tell an accurate and useful sustainability story for potatoes, we need to incorporate additional aspects into our sustainability programs beyond just asking questions and getting answers and scoring them on a scale,” says John Mesko, Executive Director of the Potato Sustainability Alliance (PSA) during the latest episode of the organization’s podcast series.

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‘Enjoy the little things’: The Little Potato Company unveils big brand refresh

The Little Potato Company today unveiled a new brand look and feel, reflecting its commitment to providing busy families with quick and easy meal solutions. The new visual identity features new family-friendly packaging with updated product names, brand characters, a refreshed website and social channels. “We refreshed the brand with a new brand promise, to bring little moments of happiness to busy families,” said Angela Santiago, CEO and co-founder of The Little Potato Company.

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CFIA: Potato wart not detected during national survey in 2022

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced in a news release this week that it has completed its 2022 national survey for potato wart, and confirms that potato wart was not detected in the soil samples tested from the fields where the samples were collected. CFIA says this survey is an important step in the Government of Canada’s efforts to help contain and control the spread of potato wart and reassure domestic and international trading partners.

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McCain Foods makes largest global investment in its history in Canadian processing plant

McCain Foods today announced that it is making a substantial investment in its Coaldale, Alberta processing plant, doubling the size of the facility and its output. “The development in Alberta marks our largest global investment in our 65-year history, totalling $600 million, while underscoring our commitment to the future of agriculture and innovation in Canada,” said Max Koeune, President & Chief Executive Officer, McCain Foods.

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United Potato Growers of Canada pleased to welcome re-joining members

At the recent Ontario Potato Board Trade Show and Conference in Guelph, Ontario, and following the recent meeting of the Ontario Board of Directors, the United Potato Growers of Canada is very pleased to announce that the Ontario Potato Board has voted to rejoin the UPGC as the representative of their potato grower members in the province of Ontario, effectively immediately.

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Export value increases for all U.S. potato types from July – Dec. 2022

With international markets across the globe showing solid signs of recovery, it’s no surprise that the value of U.S. potato exports was up for all potato types July – Dec. 2022, compared with the same six months in 2021. During this time, the volume of U.S. shipments was also up for frozen and dehydrated potatoes but down slightly for fresh potatoes, according to a news report issued by Potatoes USA.

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RJ Andrus of Idaho elected National Potato Council President

The National Potato Council (NPC) installed its 2023 roster of Executive Committee members this week at the organization’s annual Washington Summit. During the Annual Meeting of the Voting Delegates, RJ Andrus of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was elected to serve as the Council’s President for the next 12 months.

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Why Dominic LaJoie is The Packer’s 2023 Potato Person of the Year

It was personalities before policy to kick off the six-day 2023 National Potato Council Washington Summit — and one particular person whose calm, caring and thoughtful demeanor won him recognition he didn’t expect, as Amy Sowder reports for The Packer. As he accepted the award, Dominic LaJoie said how much he appreciated those who helped maintain his family business, LaJoie Growers, and his home while he traveled.

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Lasers, drones and AI: The future of weeding

No-one likes weeding, but new technology is helping farmers around the world tackle weeds in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way, as David Silverberg reports in a news report for BBC News. Deanna Kovar from US farming equipment giant John Deere says that the company’s new tractor-pulled weed sprayer can reduce herbicide use by two thirds. For farmers elsewhere in the world, a number of rival firms, both large and small, have developed similar smart-weeding technologies.

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Report: ‘U.S. potato sector is a driving force of America’s economic prosperity’

The National Potato Council (NPC) today announced the release of “Measuring the Economic Significance of the U.S. Potato Industry,” a comprehensive analysis on the domestic economic impact of potatoes. According to the report, the U.S. potato sector is a driving force of America’s economic prosperity, with an estimated contribution of $100.9 billion in 2021, generating an estimated 714,000 domestic jobs and providing wages of $34.1 billion annually to those employed along its supply chain.

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From pipeline to commercialization: The National Chip Program’s impact on potato breeding

The National Potato Council (NCP) in the U.S. aims to improve potato chipping varieties in the pipeline toward commercialization and has brought more collaboration among potato growers and breeders in different regions. The program also helps enhance the trial process through reduced development time and increased candidates’ strength, Potatoes USA says in its February 2023 newsletter.

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Northeast Potato Technology Forum scheduled for March

After two years of virtual meetings, the Northeast Potato Technology Forum is excited to be back in person for 2023. The meeting will take place on March 21st and 22nd, 2023 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. This two-day event will feature presentations from researchers from the Atlantic Northeast (NB, NS, PEI, QC and ME) working in potato research and agronomy.

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Lamb Weston invests $250 million in Argentina’s potato industry – with an eye on the international processing market

U.S. headquartered Lamb Weston is making significant strides in constructing a big potato processing plant with an investment of $250 million in Argentina, according to a news report by Hector Huergo for Clarin. The construction of the new plant began a year ago and is progressing on schedule in the Mar del Plata Industrial Park. The entire production of the plant will be earmarked for the international market.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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