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APHIS gives green light to new Simplot GMO potato variety

A new modified corn and potato variety have been given the green light by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The potato plant from J.R. Simplot Company was modified to make it resistant to potato late blight and potato virus Y. It was also modified to alter the potato tuber sugar profile and quality.

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Ethiopia approves field trials with GMO potatoes

Ethiopia has given the green light to carry out field trials with genetically modified potatoes that are said to be resistant to blight, a move seen as a further sign of the country’s growing embrace of genetic modification technology, according to a report by Ethiopia Observer. The potato has become the third consumable GMO product to be authorized in Ethiopia for commercial production.

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USDA report on potato wart crisis: Extent of infestation on Prince Edward Island ‘likely larger’, current mitigation measures ‘insufficient’

On October 14, USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service released a comprehensive report on the current status of the potato wart crisis on Prince Edward Island, Canada, stating that PEI’s potato wart infestation is “likely” larger than reported and that the virus is “almost certain to be introduced” to the United States without additional mitigation measures in place.

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PepsiCo launches new online video series, showcasing regenerative agriculture initiatives

PepsiCo last week announced the continuation of its global agriculture accelerator, the Positive Agriculture Outcomes (PAO) Fund, by granting 14 business projects across 11 countries funding to address some of the most intractable challenges facing agriculture today. Projects from the PAO Fund’s inaugural investment are the focus of PepsiCo’s latest, four-part digital video series, “Growing Our Future.”

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High-cost Idaho potato harvest is a wrap, french fry processors to pay farmers 20% more

The end of the Idaho potato harvest was in view when DTN/Progressive Farmer visited Russell Paterson’s farm not far from Burley, Idaho, a community on the Snake River in south-central Idaho and about 40 miles east of Twin Falls. The Idaho native has been in the potato business for 55 years, growing the crop and leasing land to other growers. Dan Miller, Progressive Farmer Senior Editor reports in this news article.

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SAC Consulting: How do you know if potato fields have PCN?

Potato cyst nematodes, or PCN, have been moving up the agenda for Scottish growers for some time now, writes Jane Brisbane of SAC Consulting in an article published by The Scottish Farmer. “These pests have become a serious threat to our tattie industry and it’s not just an issue potato growers need to take seriously, but everyone in arable production, especially those who rent out land for potatoes,” she notes.

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Canadian crop update: Harvest wrapping up with variable yields reported across the country

Potato harvest is in the final stages across Canada, according to United Potato Growers of Canada’s final Crop Update for the season. Most provinces have enjoyed excellent harvest conditions without the high temperatures experienced in early September nor the wet conditions of early spring. Yields have been variable across the country, and even between regions within provinces, with overall production estimated to be slightly lower than 2021.

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Coming soon, the not-so-humble potato with more vitamin C than a lemon

Potatoes with as much vitamin C as a lemon could be grown and sold in England within five years using “game-changing” gene-editing technology, scientists have predicted. Researchers at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee could double the amount of vitamin C in a new strain of potato by snipping out sections of its DNA, as Max Stephens reports for The Telegraph.

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Simplot antique tractors are like ‘national treasures’

The novelty or fun factor associated with the 50 antique tractors that are built into and around the JUMP facility in downtown Boise is not wearing off, writes Sean Ellis in a news article published by Idaho Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). “They’re more popular than they ever were,” says Rob Bearden, the curator of the JUMP facility’s tractors, whose title is literally Tractor Doctor. “The more we promote them, the more and more people show up and see them.”

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Strong Spuds: Idaho’s potato crop is looking good despite challenges

With harvest well underway, the Idaho Potato Commission says this year’s crop looks like a winning one. The Commission says even though the weather has been all over the place, producers are hopeful when it comes to the quality of this year’s potatoes. “The one message that I’m hearing loud and clear from everyone is quality looks very good on our crop this year,” said Jamey Higham, the Idaho Potato Commission’s President.

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Climate change: Specialist warns of future ‘existential threat’ to the British potato industry

The humble potato may struggle to grow in the UK in years to come due to climate change, researchers have warned. The James Hutton Institute (JHI) at Invergowrie, just outside Dundee, is now trying to find varieties that will grow in warmer conditions. Prof Lesley Torrance, the JHI research organisation’s executive director of science, warned that climate change posed an “existential threat” to the potato industry.

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Lamb Weston to acquire remaining interests in European joint venture Lamb-Weston/Meijer

Lamb Weston announced today that it will purchase the remaining equity interests in its European joint venture with Meijer Frozen Foods B.V. for €700 million. Upon completion of the transaction, Lamb Weston will own 100% of Lamb-Weston/Meijer. “Lamb-Weston/Meijer was built over the last 28 years, and we’re grateful to Meijer Frozen Foods for their longstanding partnership,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO of Lamb Weston.

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Potato yields declined by 15 percent in Ireland

Potato yields have declined year on year by approximately 10 to 15% in 2022, Teagasc has confirmed. “In some areas the fall-off in yield has been significantly greater than 15%,” said Shay Phelan, Teagasc potato specialist. “In these cases, the combined impact of the dry weather, lighter soils and little or no access to irrigation systems have all come into play.”

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Idaho potatoes, hurt by smoky skies in wildfire season, give researchers clues to crops’ climate future

As increasing heat makes fire seasons longer and more intense, a team of scientists is looking to this U.S. state to see what might happen to potato yields – and their findings could have huge implications for North America’s food supply. The research group is midway through a two-year study designed to tease out how smoke affects everything from the size of a potato tuber to its chemical composition, from its durability in storage to the colour of the French fries it yields.

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Canada: Govt funds inject promise into afflicted Prince Edward Island potato industry

For Boyd Rose of East Point Potatoes and Ray Keenan of Rollo Bay Holdings in Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI) province, the impacts of having the Canada-US border closed to exports of PEI potatoes last winter are still being felt. But with the recent funding opportunities from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) the two producers, along with seven other PEI potato companies, can bounce back a little easier. The total amount of funding announced is $4.2 million.

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Haith to reveal new mobile water treatment system at Interpom

The UK’s leading manufacturer of vegetable handling solutions will reveal the latest innovation in mobile machinery at next month’s Interpom (27 – 29 November) – a Mobile Water Treatment System. Utilising Haith’s extensive knowledge of designing and installing water treatment systems at factories, the new Mobile Water Treatment System can be used on-farm at strategic locations or at production factories.

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Hot potato! Canadian research into heat-tolerant potatoes builds on award-winning study

Helping producers find potato varieties that are more resistant to the potential disruption to growth caused by extreme heat is critical for ensuring the sustainability and profitability of potato production in Canada. Recognizing this need, Dr. Xiu-Qing Li, an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientist has been studying heat-stress in potatoes for years, leading to a number of breakthroughs in recent years.

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AVR’s Spirit 7200 now equipped with new ‘Clean & Go’ bunker

AVR’s newest Spirit 7200 recently joined the AVR Spirit family as a trailed, two-row offset potato harvester. New for this machine is that it can now optionally be equipped with the new ‘Clean & Go’ bunker. The new Clean & Go bunker provides additional cleaning by means of a cleaning roller mounted between the bunker floor and the elevator. Nonstop harvesting offers huge logistic advantages. With the Clean & Go bunker, AVR combines the best of 2 worlds.

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Side Delights launches new potato packaging designed to ‘stand out’, inform consumers

Side Delights completed a package refresh and will showcase the new line at the IFPA Global Produce and Floral Show in Orlando on October 28-29, 2022. “We designed this packaging refresh using feedback from retailers and consumers, from a wide range of demographics and generations – from Gen Z to Boomers,” noted Kathleen Triou, president and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network.

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USDA approves Toolgen’s reduced-browning GMO potato

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently posted two Regulatory Status Review (RSR) responses under the revised biotechnology regulations at 7 CFR part 340. According to a news release, APHIS reviewed a modified potato from Toolgen, Inc. This potato was modified using genetic engineering to alter tuber quality by reducing browning after cutting or peeling.

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Potato harvest looking up in the Columbia Basin

The state of the taters [in the Columbia Basin] is, well, pretty darn good this year, wrote Joel Martin in a news story published by the Columbia Basin Herald. “The potato harvest is definitely a lighter crop than what we’re historically used to,” said Dale Lathim, executive director of Potato Growers of Washington. “It’s actually a little bit better than last year in terms of yield. But it’s a lot better than last year in terms of quality.”

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