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Scotts’ Evolution Separator on display at PotatoEurope event

Scotts Precision Manufacturing Ltd will be exhibiting its Evolution Separator at PotatoEurope in Hannover, Germany this week. Attendees will find the company at Exhibition area G, stand D16 on Wednesday and Thursday. “We have been continually developing our industry leading Evolution Separator, best known for its ability to give exceptional cleaning capacity amongst most root crops,” says Derek Scott Managing Director.

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Newtec: Helping companies optimise production through durable weighing, sorting and packing equipment

Newtec’s weighing, sorting and packing solutions offer reliability and efficiency of production for customers in the food industry. With its focus on establishing long-lasting trust with customers globally, Newtec helps companies optimise production through easy-to-use and durable weighing, sorting and packing equipment, minimising giveaway and turning produce into highly competitive end-products.

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Texas potato breeding program targets french fry, chipping, fresh markets

New potato varieties bred by the Texas A&M Potato Breeding Program could enter the french fry market before long, said Isabel Vales, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife potato breeder in the Department of Horticultural Sciences in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. At a recent field day in the southern High Plains near Springlake, Vales discussed the latest potato clones the breeding program has coming through the pipeline.

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The infinite potential of the humble spud: Nautilus releases new potato-based milk beverage

Richard H. Davis, President and CEO of Beverage Marketing USA and Nautilus Mineral Waters of America, states that his company intends to produce and market a “TATORADE” line of potato-based milk beverages. The new probiotic electrolyte-rich sports beverages are made from the juice of raw Idaho grown potatoes. “The natural potato enzymes found in TATORADE Sports Milk acts as a super-catalyst for the conversion of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. The raw potato juice derived catalase is a particularly efficient enzyme,” said Davis.

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Burger with small fries? Scorching summer shrinks Europe’s potato crop

Europe’s blisteringly hot summer is forecast to result in the smallest potato crop in years, threatening further price rises for popular foods such as fries just as consumers contend with spiralling inflation. Parched conditions in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium – the northwestern belt that accounts for most European Union potato output – could push EU production to its lowest on record, below that seen in similarly drought-hit 2018, according to analysts World Potato Markets.

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Great Wrap: Compostable bioplastic clingfilm made from waste potato peels

Australian biomaterials company Great Wrap has created a compostable bioplastic alternative to clingfilm that is made from waste potatoes. Great Wrap film consists of starch extracted from potato peels mixed with other ingredients including used cooking oil and a starchy root vegetable called cassava. The Great Wrap clingfilm can be composted in landfills or home composting systems, where it will break down within 180 days.

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Protect potato crops from pests and disease for strong early-season stands that deliver

Potato plants encounter many threats in the early season, which is a crucial time for establishing plant health. Growers can reduce early-season risk with a management plan that addresses insects and disease at planting. Diseases like Fusarium dry rot and Rhizoctonia can infect seedlings, causing the death of stolons and stems, weakened roots and stunted plant growth. A broad-spectrum fungicide and a neonicotinoid seed treatment helps control insects like the Colorado potato beetle, aphids, potato psyllid and leafhoppers.

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International Potato Innovation Centre planned for Scotland

Plans have been unveiled for a new International Potato Innovation Centre (IPIC) in Scotland. As Ewan Pate reports for Farmers Guardian, it will cost an estimated £40 million, and will be constructed at James Hutton Institute’s (JHI’s) Mylnefield campus. Speaking at the Potatoes in Practice event on August 11 at JHI’s nearby Balruddery Farm, Prof Lesley Torrance, director of science at the institute, said there was a definite need for such a facility.

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Hutchinsons root crop specialist advises British potato farmers on managing crops in hot, dry conditions

Unlike most years, 2022 will not be about managing large green haulm to aid skin set and lifting for British potato farmers, but about keeping the crop alive with water or making more challenging strategic decisions, says Hutchinsons root crop technical manager, Darryl Shailes. Mr Shailes believes the best decision for many growers will be to stop the crop even though the yield is only in the low teens per acre.

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AgroScout teams up with AECI Plant Health across Africa

AgroScout is proud to announce its partnership with AECI through AECI Plant Health. AgroScout solutions aim to give farmers the means to improve crop yields and optimize their use of inputs more sustainably. AECI Plant Health has tested the Agroscout technology on South Africa’s West Coast since the beginning of 2022, and the company is happy to accelerate its operation with AECI Plant Health as partners in all of South Africa.

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FPS Food Process Solutions continues growth expansion with senior appointments

FPS Food Process Solutions, with headquarters in Canada and a global leader in turn-key freezing and cooling equipment, announces internal senior appointments for continued growth expansion. “These appointments are a testament to our continued growth in major markets around the world,” said Jeffrey Chang, President, FPS Food Process Solutions Corp.

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Potatoes USA: Retail sales of potatoes increased in dollar value April – June 2022

Potato retail sales increased in dollar sales and decreased slightly in volume from April – June 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, according to Potatoes USA. The industry body says as prices increased by 13.6%, dollar sales increased by 12.6%. The three categories that comprise the largest percentage of volume sales, which include potato chips, frozen potatoes, and fresh potatoes, all grew in dollar sales but fell slightly in volume sales.

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A sensor that can ‘smell’: Researchers developed new biological sensor to detect soft rot in potato tubers

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel’s Volcani Institute successfully developed a biological sensor for early detection of hidden disease in potato tubers. The sensor relies on smart bioengineering and optics. When the sensor is exposed to an infected potato, a bacterial compound within lights up—with the strength of the luminescence indicating the concentration and composition of potato tuber soft rot.

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PotatoEurope visitors to see latest handling innovations from Haith

Haith will present its revolutionary new grading machine – the ProSort – to European farmers at the PotatoEurope 2022 event in September. As well as promoting its new ProSort mobile optical grader, Haith will also be talking about the latest developments in modular washing lines, the ProLine, and Queens Award for Enterprise winning RotaTip box tippler.

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‘Net Zero Hectare’ project: British potato partners secure £2 million investment funding

UK fresh produce innovators have successfully won major funding towards collaborative research to sustainably change the way that potatoes are grown, stored and transported. The Net Zero Hectare project is led by the nation’s leading potato supplier Branston in partnership with B-hive Innovations, Crop Systems Ltd, The University of Lincoln, David Armstrong Farms, and Arbikie Distillery. The objective of the project is to investigate new methods to contribute towards a net zero carbon supply chain for potato crop.

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Dewulf to showcase and demo harvesters, planters and storage equipment at PotatoEurope 2022

On 7 and 8 September, exhibitors and visitors will be welcomed at Rittergut Bockerode, near Hannover in Germany where the PotatoEurope 2022 event will be hosted. Dewulf is pleased to announce that the company will be present with a varied selection of its equipment range, including harvesters, planters and storage technology. The company will showcase 9 machines during the event.

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Trial throws light on beating destructive potato aphid

Experts at two Midlands universities in the UK are starting a new project to develop a photonic ‘nose’ to monitor crops for pest infestations and plant disease, according to a Wales Farmer report. Aston University is collaborating with Harper Adams University to research and develop technology using light to monitor crop health.

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Are no-till potatoes a pipe-dream?

Initial trials by Dyson Farming and Groundswell Agronomy in the UK are highlighting how difficult potato production with zero-tillage is likely to be commercially, as Mike Abram reports for Farmers Weekly. But managing potato crops with reduced tillage, not zero tillage, while embracing other principles of regenerative agriculture is showing more promise.

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Plant Health Care signs agreement to conduct potato trials with Agrii in the UK

Plant Health Care PLC on Monday said it has entered a trials agreement with Agrii UK Ltd, under which Agrii will evaluate Plant Health’s PREtec technology, as Sophie Rose reports for Alliance News. “PREtec is a novel class of technology which stimulates a plants’ immune system to defend itself from a variety of abiotic stresses to improve plant health and yield,” the North Carolina-based agricultural products firm explained.

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On the 8th day: ‘God made a farmer’

Dear Readers, most of us – whoever we are, and wherever we are located in the world – no doubt live in tumultuous and unprecedented times in the current day and age. Some more so than others, for sure. But still – so do thousands upon thousands of farmers around the world… As an ex-farmer myself, I have so much empathy with them. A speech by radio broadcaster Paul Harvey delivered in 1978 speaks to this. Here then is the text and a video of his speech, titled ‘So, God made a farmer’ – I republish it upon popular request (and it brings tears to my eyes every time I listen…)

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The new normal? How Europe is being hit by a climate-driven drought crisis

Europe’s most severe drought in decades is hitting homes, factories, farmers and freight across the continent, as experts warn drier winters and searing summers fueled by global heating mean water shortages will most likely become “the new normal,” as Jon Henley and Guardian correspondents report in this news article.

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Fact sheet: Managing blackleg in potatoes

This fact sheet on blackleg in potatoes was compiled by Hort Innovation and RM Consulting Group (RMCG) in Australia, and published online by AUSVEG. It provides information on management strategies of blackleg, the bacteria which commonly cause the disease, and what growers can do to prevent and manage it.

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Drought will mean poor quality potato crop and financial losses, British farmers say

The drought that has been declared for parts of England will result in a poor quality potato crop and significant financial losses, farmers have said, according to a news report by Claudia Rowan for the Independent. She reports that one livestock farmer said the dry conditions will lead to “inevitable” shortages, while a potato farmer said his crops are dying in front of him “every day now”.

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‘We need rain’: Mexican farmers ravaged by northern drought

Just 10% of Mexico’s dams are now full, with many seeing levels drop below half or lower, according to official data, as Jose Luis Gonzalez reports for Reuters. July was the second hottest month in Mexico since 1953. Rivers have dried up to reveal cracked beds. Fields that should be teeming are bare. The earth is so dry that young crops are wilting. Surviving cattle are bony, their ribs protruding.

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Thai promise for Australian potatoes

Australia’s potato industry has welcomed to two key commitments realised under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), which are set to improve access to the Thai market. Thailand has now implemented zero tariffs and removed tariff rate quotas that limited the volume of Australian seed and processing potatoes that could access the lower TAFTA tariff.

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‘Very scary’: European agriculture hit hard by climate change and drought

With Europe suffering through an extreme drought worsened by climate change that has dried up rivers and left millions sweltering in triple-digit heat this summer, farmers across the continent are sounding warnings about crop losses, as Melissa Rossi reports for Yahoo News. Nearly two-thirds of the territory in the 27-country European Union is either dealing with drought or is poised to enter one.

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