Annual Report 2015/2016: HZPC benefits from European market recovery and international market efforts

The annual report of HZPC Holland B.V. related to financial year 2015/16 was published. As announced in October, the consolidated net turnover of annual year 2015/16  was established at € 289.5 million. The gross margin is € 48.1 million and the net result is € 7.0 million. The dividend on HZPC certificates is set at € 5.75 and this is well above[Read More…]

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US: Maine Potato Board unveils new variety

This weekend, the 6th Annual Maine Harvest Festival rolls into the Cross Center in Bangor. At the center of it all will be a new variety of potato being unveiled by the Maine Potato Board. “It’s not quite as dry as a normal Russet Burbank you’d find in the stores, and it’s got some unique flavor to it. We think it’s going[Read More…]

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Scientists develop nutrient-rich purple potato

Purple potatoes might not be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to increase vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake. However, a group of researchers from Colorado State University have recently developed potato varieties that satisfy these nutritional needs and could act as a preventive measure to several diseases. According to the research team, “There are different colored potatoes such as[Read More…]

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Mahindra HZPC launches aeroponics unit to support seed potato in Mohali

Mahindra HZPC, a 60:40 joint venture of Mahindra Agri Solutions Limited (MASL) and HZPC, opened a  modern aeroponics facility to support the company’s seed potato business in Mohali. Aeroponics is a plant cultivation technique in which the  roots are suspended in the air while nutrient solutions are delivered in a fine mist. The process is known to give the best quality[Read More…]

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Agrico presents four new potato varieties during its annual variety presentation

On Thursday 10 November, Agrico opened its annual varieties and seedlings show at its breeding and research facility, Agrico Research, in Bant. The varieties show, which was also open on Friday 11 November, attracted many interested national and international visitors. During the opening day, Agrico’s managing director Jan van Hoogen presented four promising new varieties that have recently been included in[Read More…]

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AHDB committed to keep the UK Seed Potato Industry healthy

AHDB Potatoes has pledged to work closely with the seed potato sector and Scottish Government to ensure that the industry maintains a low level of the bacterial disease blackleg. Speaking at the Seed Industry event in St Andrew’s, AHDB Potatoes Strategy Director Rob Clayton said that while there are no easy answers when it comes to blackleg, the key to[Read More…]

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Canada: Alberta seed potato acreage may increase

It’s early days yet but the agreement reached on October 31, 2016 that allows Alberta to export to Thailand, is not expecting any challenges for its seed potatoes. “We are looking forward to developing a relationship with Thailand to get our seed over there,” said Deb Hart, Seed Potato Coordinator for Potato Growers of Alberta. “We’re so appreciative of the[Read More…]

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India: Mahindra HZPC opens minituber lab – Aeroponics facility to provide top quality seed potatoes

Last week, MHZPC, a 60/40 joint venture between Mahindra Agri Solutions Limited (MASL) and HZPC Holding BV, started a new, particularly modern, miniature tuber laboratory in Mohali, located in the vicinity of the city of Chandigarh in Punjab, Northern India. This facility has been opened by Mr Stoelinga, Ambassador for the Netherlands in India, in the presence of Mr Ashok[Read More…]

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US: Ag site for potato seed experiments in limbo over nematodes

The future of an agricultural research farm in Powell Butte, Oregon is in limbo as state officials decide what to do with the land. The Bend Bulletin reported the 80-acre site was primarily used by Oregon State University to experiment with potato seeds. But it was shut down in 2010 after nematodes was discovered. The site was a major part of the Tri-State[Read More…]

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Scots seed potato loophole needs closing

A loophole which has seen English seed potato used to grow Scottish ware potatoes needs to be closed off, growers attending this week’s AHDB Seed Potato conference at St Andrews have been told. It has become apparent in recent days that 18 crops of ware potatoes in Scotland this season were grown from seed imported from England. Furthermore, 12 of these crops were[Read More…]

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Agro-techniques for producing a potato crop from True Potato Seed (TPS)

Potato is a high input crop and is traditionally cultivated through seed tubers. About 40-50% of the total cost of production is needed to procure seed tubers. Constraints of poor availability of high-quality seed tubers in adequate quantity and at a reasonable cost, inadequate availability of important inputs like fertilizers, pesticides etc., coupled with a lack of knowledge of improved technologies for[Read More…]

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US: First field trials of Calyxt GMO potato variety completed

Calyxt, Inc., a Minnesota-based company, announced that it has completed the first field trials of its cold-storable potato in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The USDA has recently advised the potato’s developer, Calyxt, that the cultivar is not a “regulated article” under federal law since it doesn’t contain genes from plant pests. Because most commercial biotech crops incorporate genes from plant pests, these potatoes[Read More…]

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US: New GMO potatoes approved, controversy continues

USDA approved commercial planting of two types of GMO potatoes which resist late blight resistance. The approval covers J.R. Simplot Co.’s Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of the company’s second generation of Innate potatoes. The new version will also reduce bruising and black spots, enhance storage capacity, and reduce the amount of a potential carcinogen created when cooked at high[Read More…]

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Dutch farmers launch Potato Valley innovation plan

Farmers and researchers in the north of the Netherlands have joined forces in a new platform to future proof the potato. The alliance, named Potato Valley, targets the 800 potato growers in Groningen and Friesland. Most of these are seed potato growers, but potatoes for consumption and the food industry will also come on board, broadcaster NOS said. In particular,[Read More…]

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Will new GMO potatoes really require fewer pesticides?

Consumers seeking to satisfy their salty snack cravings sans genetically modified ingredients may soon have to get savvier about scouting out chips and other products made without the use of GMO potatoes. This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture formally approved two new types of genetically engineered potatoes, both of which were developed by Simplot, the Idaho-based spud giant. (A[Read More…]

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Cambodia opens first potato research center

Last month, Cambodia’s Agriculture Ministry unveiled a USD 200,000 research center it hopes will research and develop potato varieties most suited to the country. Potato consumption in Cambodia has been steadily growing over the years. Speaking at the ceremony outside the new Potato Research Center, at the Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh, Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon, stressed the increasing[Read More…]

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USDA deregulates two more of Simplot’s Innate varieties

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has deregulated the ranger russet and atlantic varieties of the second generation genetically modified Innate potato developed by J.R. Simplot. They join the Innate second generation russet burbank potato, deregulated last year, according to a news release. The potatoes were modified for late blight resistance — the second generation trait approved — along with the first generation[Read More…]

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US: Calyxt’s bruise-resistant, non-browning GMO potato variety cleared for sale

The USDA has advised the potato’s developer, Calyxt, the cultivar is not a “regulated article” under federal law because it doesn’t contain genes from plant pests. Because most commercial biotech crops incorporate genes from plant pests, they were subject to environmental analysis and a risk assessment from USDA before they were deregulated. In the case of Calyxt’s “PPO_KO” potato, the variety was[Read More…]

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USDA clears Calyxt potato modified to withstand bruising

A new potato variety that’s genetically modified to withstand bruising has been cleared for commercialization without undergoing USDA’s deregulatory process for biotech crops. The agency has advised the potato’s developer, Calyxt, the cultivar is not a “regulated article” under federal law because it doesn’t contain genes from plant pests. Because most commercial biotech crops incorporate genes from plant pests, they[Read More…]

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US: 2016 Upper Peninsula potato variety trial results

Michigan State University Extension conducts multi-location field trials every year to evaluate new potato varieties. The Upper Peninsula location for trials was at TJJ Farms in Cornell, Michigan, operated by Tony and Joe VanDamme. In 2016, 32 different varieties of red, russet and yellow tuber types were planted and compared to industry stand varieties. In the field trial, every variety[Read More…]

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‘Potato breeding is a slow and expensive business’

‘I don’t know much about potatoes anymore.” These were the first words said by Harry Kehoe as I sat down at his kitchen table in Carlow town last week and they are typical of the straight-talking, down-to-earth man described as “one of Europe’s most renowned potato breeders”. Last month, Harry was conferred with an honorary doctorate of science by UCD in[Read More…]

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US: Purple Magic potato running for the Invent Awards

Purple Magic potato variety is now in the running for the INVENT Awards Agri-Science category. Paul Watts, a scientist from the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), explained that the process of obtaining this new variety was very long.  “We made the first cross for Purple Magic back in 2003 – that’s 13 years of research that has gone into this product,”[Read More…]

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India: Gov’t to help set up state-of-the-art potato seed production centre

In the city of Bhubaneswar, in India’s eastern state of Odisha, the government is planning to lease land to Bangalore-based Utkal Tubers India Private Ltd (UTIPL) for the setting up of a state-of-the-art potato seed production centre. The directorate of horticulture has identified 50 acres of land at two places for the company to produce superior quality potato seeds. About 10[Read More…]

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CIP potato variety a success story in China and beyond

In their efforts to improve the food security and livelihoods of farmers around the world, potato breeders at the International Potato Center (CIP) strive to develop marketable, resilient varieties with resistance to viruses and late blight that can be grown in an array of environments. An excellent example of the potential of such a potato is CIP variety No. 392797.22, named[Read More…]

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Universities bolster the US Potato Genebank’s impact

Land-grant universities are collaborating to support the United States Potato Genebank in its endeavors to conduct potato research, support creation of new potato varieties, and conserve specimens to overcome future growing challenges, like droughts, natural disasters, or emerging pests and diseases.  As the most widely grown and consumed vegetable in the US, improving potato varieties will impact everything from agricultural[Read More…]

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International Potato Center looking for potato breeder to be based in Kenya

CIP is searching for a Potato Breeder Scientist who will be based in Nairobi, Kenya, in an international research environment, and is also responsible for supporting breeding and capacity building in other African countries.  The scientist will seek to combine in novel potato varieties multiple characteristics including disease resistance, stress tolerance, nutritional traits and a range of other characteristics which[Read More…]

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