North America

Late blight alert for eastern Canadian potatoes

High numbers of late blight spores have been found in two spore traps placed near Delhi in Ontario in eastern Canada, triggering an alert for growers to make sure that their crop, especially the new growth is protected. Potato consultant Eugenia Banks says the area “has received enough rain recently to create favourable conditions for disease development.” Some growers here[Read More…]

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Psyllids reportedly show up in some S. Idaho potato fields

Capital Press reports that psyllids carrying the virus that causes Zebra chip disease turned up in some southern Idaho potato fields in mid-July. Totals so far don’t represent a major threat but should prompt growers to stick to integrated pest management plans, researchers said. “They are probably not troublingly high at this point, comparatively,” said Erik Wenninger, an insect specialist[Read More…]

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Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island provide $15.6 million support to potato and horticulture industry

Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, on behalf of Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, and Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King, were at Wilfred MacMillan & Sons’ farm today to announce new support for Island potato growers under the AgriRecovery Framework.  The 2018 Canada-PEI Fall Harvest Recovery Initiative[Read More…]

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Summer of the spud: Virginia potato prices more than double

It’s the Summer of the Potato in Virginia, where ideal growing conditions at home and poor ones elsewhere have conspired to produce a bumper crop for farmers that is fetching unusually high prices on the market. “We had timely rains during planting and growing season, but it turned hot and dry just before harvest,” said Elaine Lidholm, director of communications[Read More…]

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Canadian potato growers increase acres in Manitoba and Alberta

Potato acres are up in Manitoba and Alberta this year as more spuds are needed to supply new and expanded processing plants on the Prairies. Manitoba potato growers seeded 6,000 more acres than 2018 and Alberta acres are up 5,500 acres compared to last year, based on data from a July 17 United Potato Growers of Canada report. Crop development is[Read More…]

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Latest Canadian Potato Crop Report

Prince Edward Island Old crop is getting cleaned up. One of the main customers is still bringing in potatoes to reach the start of new crop. Acreage on the island is expected to be similar to last year. The spring was later, but Growing Degree Days really moved ahead in June with crop growth ahead of, same time last year.[Read More…]

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Bayer lawsuit: Judge cuts punitive damages in glyphosate-cancer case from $75 million to $20 million

A federal judge on [July 15] slashed a damages award Bayer AG owed a California man who blamed Roundup weed killer for his cancer, to $25.27 million from $80.27 million, while rejecting the company’s bid for a new trial. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said evidence against the former Monsanto Co, which Bayer bought last year, supported[Read More…]

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Potato late blight confirmed in Wisconsin today

The Wisconsin Potato Newsletter was released to the potato community today.  In the newsletter, Prof Amanda Gevens writes: “Late blight on potato has been confirmed in Wood County this afternoon. We have a sample on campus in UW- Madison Vegetable Pathology and my technician will type this first thing in the morning so that we have an understanding of the[Read More…]

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Potato late blight found in one field in Washington State

Matthew Weaver of Capital Press reports that potato late blight has been found in one field north of Pasco, Wash., industry researchers say. Blight on the leaves cause lesions that kill parts of the plant that are above ground. Spores can move down into the tubers and cause infection. If those potatoes go into storage, they don’t last very long,[Read More…]

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Global food brands ranked: McCain entered food top ten list first time

Brand Finance’s research revealed the compelling link between strong brands and stock market performance. It was found that investing in highly-branded companies would lead to a return almost double that of the average for the S&P 500 as a whole. Acknowledging and managing a company’s intangible assets taps into the hidden value that lies within it. The latest Brand Finance[Read More…]

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Infrastructure talks should include Idaho’s ag aviation needs

In Idaho, potatoes have long been the staple crop of our agricultural sector and economy. We are responsible for about 30 percent of the country’s total potato production. That production goes a long way in feeding the rest of the country, as potatoes are the leading vegetable crop and the second most consumed food in the United States. The value[Read More…]

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Heat and drought across Canada’s potato planting Ontario province

As heat and drought continue across the province, irrigation has been the order of the day, according to a message sent by Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist in this province of Canada.  Dr Banks says many fields are in the tuber setting stage, a stage that requires adequate soil moisture for an optimum tuber set.  Fields with closed rows and[Read More…]

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New fries with enough crisp to survive a delivery ride

Home-delivered fast food is a booming global business, but when it comes to French fries, there’s a hitch.  They often get soggy on the ride. So now, top fry-makers are racing to perfect a crispy fry that can survive a 15-minute ride with a food delivery service. Companies right here in the Northwest are frying up a crisp solution to[Read More…]

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Idaho Potato Commission awards culinary educators

At the 15th annual CAFÉ Leadership Conference in Charlotte, N.C., Annmarie Chelius (from left), Evelyn Sussman, Edward Tracey (on behalf of Mo Montgomery), accept awards at the 2019 Idaho Potato Commission Leadership Innovation Awards for Excellence in Foodservice Education with the commission’s Alan Kahn. At Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, N.C., three culinary instructors won a 2019 Idaho Potato[Read More…]

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Marketing opportunities in the US abound, potato suppliers say

Potato marketers in the Pacific Northwest of the US have multiple plans for their spuds this year, as usual. “As with most years, our goals are to assist our customers in building their business and helping solve problems by providing the best customer service we can and the highest-quality product we can grow,” said Matt Yeoman, salesman with Mount Vernon, Wash.-based Skagit[Read More…]

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US based Swiss Rösti launches new brand of potatoes

US based Swiss Rösti, a start-up company based in Portland Oregon ( is announcing the nationwide introduction of a new three-item line of frozen Crispy Filled Potato products under its Rösti brand. This new product line is truly an original and authentic cultural food that until now has never been available to the US market. Swiss Rösti partnered with Oregon[Read More…]

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US potato grower-shipper companies form joint venture to consolidate all fresh-packed potato and onion sales

The Mart Group LLC., a potato grower-shipper based in Rupert, ID, and ProSource Inc., a grower-owned-and-operated sales and marketing company based in Hailey, ID, announced an agreement will combine sales teams to consolidate all fresh-packed potato and onion sales and marketing responsibilities. ProSource is currently responsible for all fresh onion sales and marketing for Golden West Produce LLC in Parma,[Read More…]

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Weather turns from foe to ally for US potato growers

Some potato growers in Washington and Oregon had trouble getting their crop in the ground, as wet and cold conditions lingered into planting season. However, once they did, the growing process seemed supercharged, they said. “We were all concerned this spring about the upcoming crop, due to a late planting,” said Chris Voigt, executive director of the Moses Lake-based Washington State Potato Commission. “We[Read More…]

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New microneedle technique speeds plant disease detection

Researchers have developed a new technique that uses microneedle patches to collect DNA from plant tissues in one minute, rather than the hours needed for conventional techniques. DNA extraction is the first step in identifying plant diseases, and the new method holds promise for the development of on-site plant disease detection tools. “When farmers detect a possible plant disease in[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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