North America

Convenience trend: New potato product line ready to “heat and eat”

A new potato line, the Perfect Potato™, is now available in the US from Robinson Fresh® and Albert Bartlett. This product line is said to answer a consumer demand for a flavorful staple with convenient packaging that requires no prep work and is ready to heat and eat. Bite-sized creamer potatoes are grown in California, triple washed and dried. The Perfect Potato line includes bite-sized pre-washed[Read More…]

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Article sheds light on GM potatoes

In a recently published article by Nat Graham, a doctoral candidate in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri Columbia, the author sheds some light on how genetic modification is being used in potato growing operations across the US. In the extensive article, published by, Graham responds to several typical questions related to genetically modified potatoes. One of[Read More…]

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Prince Edward Island potato growers at the mercy of the elements

This is the first fall in 20 years of owning his harvester that David Francis of Prince Edward Island in Canada has had to use the strongest speed to clean his potatoes. Rain and cold temperatures this fall have caused the ground to turn to clay at times, therefore making it more difficult to harvest and clean potatoes. “I don’t think[Read More…]

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Idaho growers expect strong quality on spud crop

The Idaho fresh potato crop features strong quality and a mix of sizes for 2018, with russet norkotahs tending toward larger sizes and russet burbanks showing a mix of sizes. Industry leaders reported increased acreage for processing but reduced acreage for fresh market potatoes. “I’ve been all over the state the last few weeks. And I tell you that the quality looks really[Read More…]

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Idaho potatoes: It’s about the brand

When is a potato more than just a potato? When it’s an Idaho potato. Just ask Frank Muir, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission for the past 15 years. As the commission’s top executive, his job is to convince consumers from Savannah, Ga., to Seattle, Wash., and beyond that the Idaho potato is special. “Were these potatoes grown in[Read More…]

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Canada: Cold, wet weather a challenge for Prince Edward Island potato farmers

The cold, wet October weather on Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada is making for a difficult potato harvest. “This year’s harvest is probably one of the tougher ones,” said Darryl Wallace, chair of the P.E.I. Potato Board. Potatoes don’t store well when they come out of the ground wet, Wallace said. They’ll bruise more easily if they’re too cold and[Read More…]

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Mountain King pushes gold potato promotions

Promoting gold potatoes could grow the entire potato category, says  John Pope, vice president of sales and marketing for Houston-based Mountain King Potatoes. “We’re trying to improve category profitability by promoting gold potatoes,” says Pope. “Gold potatoes right now comprise about 15% of the category;  we feel like if we could push it up to 50% of the sales, it is going[Read More…]

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Important potato fungicide Mancozeb to be banned in Canada?

Health Canada’s leading pesticide regulator is taking another look at its decision to ban a popular fungicide called Mancozeb that is used by many fruit and vegetable growers, including potato growers, after the agency admitted its initial review banning the chemical was incomplete. Multiple industry sources have confirmed officials from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) told them in a meeting[Read More…]

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Innovation: One step and these spuds are done

Steve Ottum, owner and chief operating officer of Potandon Produce, and Carter Bray, director of marketing and new product innovation, showed off the company’s newest product, One Step … Done! microwaveable potatoes, at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2018. The line, launched at Fresh Summit, comes in five flavors – some with red potatoes, some with white – and[Read More…]

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Can Lamb Weston stock keep beating the market?

The stock of Lamb Weston Holdings, one of the world’s largest potato processors, recently hit a new 52-week high after its fiscal 2019 first-quarter earnings report surpassed analyst expectations. Revenue rose 12% to $915 million, driving net earnings 29% higher to $107.8 million. The company beat estimates on the top and bottom lines, marking the eighth consecutive quarter since its spinoff from Conagra Brands in[Read More…]

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Potatoes USA showcases potato ingredient functionality

Food manufacturers are in search of functional, clean-label ingredients that deliver both improved product experience (taste, texture, color, freshness) as well as nutritional benefits. Over one hundred research and development chefs and product formulators gathered at the 11th annual Food Evolution Summit, held in San Diego September 24-26, to learn about and discuss trends and innovations in product formulation. Attendees[Read More…]

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Seed farm to bring new varieties to fields

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board in Canada is using its seed farm in Fox Island on the Island to get new varieties into grower fields quickly and safely. Seed potatoes start in the lab as plantlets grown from tissue culture. They spend the summer in a screen house, before being harvested in the fall. “The priority is to keep everything clean[Read More…]

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Canada’s Little Potato Company revamps packaging

The Little Potato Company, with headquarters in western Canada, is a specialist provider of so-called creamer (small/baby) potato varieties. Driven by consumer feedback, the brand’s Microwave Ready and Oven|Grill Ready Kits have gotten a fresh look, more functional packaging and two new flavors. With a bold new look, the packaging boasts greater functionality; a “freshness” window showcases the fresh Creamer potatoes and enclosed seasoning[Read More…]

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Wyma and Volm to showcase post-harvest equipment at PMA Fresh Summit

The annual PMA Fresh Summit Convention and Expo gets underway tomorrow, October 19 and will run for two days. Wyma is exhibiting from Booth 3643 at the event’s largest ever expo on record, where its Territory Manager from The Americas, Stuart Oldham will be on hand to talk over the Wyma range of post-harvest equipment and solutions. Wyma is a global company, headquartered in New Zealand, and[Read More…]

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New members appointed to Idaho Potato Commission

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter appointed Brett Jensen and Todd Cornelison to the Idaho Potato Commission, effective at the nine-member panel’s Oct. 24 meeting. Otter also reappointed Dan Nakamura. Jensen succeeds James Hoff as a grower-member. Cornelison succeeds Lynn Wilcox as a fresh-pack shipper. Hoff completed one three-year term, Wilcox two. Jensen owns Brett Jensen Farms, a 13,000-acre operation in the Idaho[Read More…]

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Cold, wet weather threatens potato crop in Red River Valley

With low temperatures from last week expected to linger into this week, harvest is not looking good for potato farmers, experts say. About 20 percent of the fresh crop still is in the ground in the Red River Valley, said Ted Kreis, spokesman for the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. “We could easily lose 100 percent of what’s still in[Read More…]

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Ex-Director of J.R. Simplot publishes book on GMO potatoes

The Ex-Director of J.R. Simplot and team leader at Monsanto, Caius Rommens, was interviewed by Sustainable Pulse on the same day that his book ‘Pandora’s Potatoes: The Worst GMOs’ was released on Amazon this week. Rommens previously worked for 26 years as a genetic engineer, saying that he created hundreds of thousands of different GM potato varieties at a direct cost of[Read More…]

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US-Canada trade: US potato growers want “ministerial exemptions” addressed

Although North American leaders have announced they reached a new trade agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, North Dakota industries say there’s still much the pact has left to address. The new deal is referred to as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Some wheat growers, in conjunction with fresh potato growers and steel companies, say the[Read More…]

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Baby potato supplier announces full re-brand

Tasteful Selections, in partnership with RPE Inc., has announced a comprehensive rebrand of its full line of bite-size potatoes to better align its market-leading position with organizational core values while responding to customer and consumer expectations. The US company has been supplying the bite-size potatoes since 2010. “I cannot think of a more exciting time for Tasteful Selections,” said Russell Wysocki,[Read More…]

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California judge will order new trial in Roundup herbicide case

A San Francisco judge said in a tentative ruling Wednesday that she would order a new trial in a $289 million judgment against agribusiness giant Monsanto brought by a school groundskeeper who says Roundup weed-killer caused his cancer. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos issued the ruling ahead of scheduled oral arguments Wednesday. A jury in August awarded Johnson[Read More…]

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Smaller and specialty potatoes earn shelf space in the US

Potatoes may be as familiar as just about anything in produce, but retailers do well to notice how changes within the category are affecting demand in their area and store. “As 86 percent of households purchase potatoes annually — I think the largest in the produce category, tied with bananas, according to recent data — this is a critical category and[Read More…]

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NPC comments on new US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement

Last week Canada was able to come to agreement on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) after certain concessions on dairy and other issues were finalized.  The revised agreement, dubbed the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) by the Administration, is likely to be considered by Congress at some point in the Spring, according to the National Potato Council[Read More…]

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Smart farming keeps Wisconsin potato operation on the leading edge

For Jeremie Pavelski, farming is a mountain of data waiting to be conquered. Every point of production, financial or logistical information can be aggregated and analyzed to create smart and well-calculated decisions. As president of Heartland Farms, Jeremie, 36, is combining two passions: agriculture and technology. The millennial leader is propelling his family’s 145-year-old farm in the US to be a cutting-edge[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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