Focus on quality: Agrico launches its new strategy ‘Agrico 2030’

Agrico was exhibiting at Fruit Logistica in Berlin this past week, from Wednesday 6 to Friday 8 February 2019. During this leading international trade fair, Agrico, together with its subsidiaries, launched its new quality strategy. The central message that Agrico wanted to communicate to its international customers is the intensified focus on quality – a focus that is motivated by[Read[Read More…]

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Genomic strategies used in the livestock industry offer insights for potato breeding

Potato breeding doesn’t turn out a lot of winners. A breeder may find something with commercial value in just 1 out of 200,000 plants. Jeffrey Endelman is trying to improve those odds through the same genomic strategies used in the livestock industry. Endelman, who runs the University of Wisconsin’s potato breeding program, spoke at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention[Read[Read More…]

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Podcast: What is wrong with the potato? Why is it so hard to breed?

Because of its genetic complexity, the potato didn’t undergo a “green revolution” like other staple crops. It can take more than 15 years to breed a new kind of potato that farmers can grow. In this special Podcast by Science magazine, host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Erik Stokstad about how researchers are trying to simplify the potato genome[Read[Read More…]

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Solynta expands team with potato innovation professor Peter Kooman

Potato breeding and biotechnology company, Solynta has announced that it has appointed Peter Kooman PhD to lead its product management and agronomy team. Peter brings a wealth of potato experience to Solynta. Being raised at a potato farm, earned his MSc in agriculture at Wageningen University with a focus on potato, received his PhD also at Wageningen University with a[Read[Read More…]

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Anyone with Yukon Gold seed ready for shipment to Dublin?

Dear folks, one of our ardent and loyal readers in Ireland is in dire straights right now, needing 2 tonnes of Yukon Gold potato seed to be shipped to her at Dublin Port as soon as possible? Anyone that can possible help? Most appreciated folks, thank you… Her name is Maria Flynn at Ballymakenny Farm in Ireland. You will find[Read[Read More…]

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Potato scientists unravel genetics of tuber skin and flesh colour

Potato tuber skin and flesh colours are attractive traits for consumers and frequently influence purchase choices. In a new study, scientists of the James Hutton Institute have identified a genetic molecule that regulates the production of anthocyanin, a natural pigment which in turn influences tuber skin and flesh colour. The researchers also identified previously unknown inhibitors of anthocyanin production, offering an[Read[Read More…]

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Potatoes have a form of ‘depression’

Scientists are trying to revolutionise potatoes and, in the process, cure the tubers’ depression, the result of generations of in-breeding. Potato depression is obviously nothing like human depression, of course. Potatoes reproduce through cloning, so their genome is laden with mutations. Those mutations could result in things such as stunted growth or shorter lifespans. A team of Chinese scientists looked[Read[Read More…]

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Gene find unlocks potato colouring

Scientists at The James Hutton Institute have unlocked the genetics of potato skin and flesh colour paving the way for new colourful varieties. A new study identified a genetic molecule that regulates the production of anthocyanin, a natural pigment which influences skin and flesh colour. Researchers also discovered previously unknown inhibitors of anthocyanin, meaning potato breeders could target these genes[Read[Read More…]

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Tyson variety delivering a heavyweight punch for British potato growers

Greenvale Seed, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of seed potatoes has announced it’s intention to exclusively supply UK growers with a new variety of potato. The variety named Tyson lives up to its big name punching above many other varieties on the UK market with its high yielding and disease resistant properties. Greenvale Seed have been supplying UK potato[Read More…]

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Sainsbury Laboratory looking for researcher to clone late blight resistant genes

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher with skills in plant genomics and molecular biology to join the Laboratory of Prof. Jonathan Jones at the Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) with the goal of cloning two blight resistance genes from Solanum americanum,a wild potato relative. The project is a collaboration with Paul Birch and Ingo Hein at JHI, Dundee, with the Kamoun lab[Read[Read More…]

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Experiments find potato that could grow on Mars

The humble potato is a staple food for many cultures across the globe. But it may just be an important food for the future of space exploration. A recent experiment has taken place in the Peruvian capital, Lima. The experiment saw a potato plant growing in conditions similar to what you might find on the surface of Mars. Exciting stuff![Read[Read More…]

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US researchers study popular South American Criolla potato variety

Crossroads at Big Creek is hosting a program where the University of Wisconsin and the USDA Potato Research Project grow and study a promising potato variety from Colombia in South America. The University of Wisconsin and the USDA Potato Research Project are using the greenhouses at Crossroads to grow the potatoes. This is the fifth winter in a row that[Read[Read More…]

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Cornell’s Lamoka ranked #1 chipping potato in the US

A 2018 report on seed potato acreage from the Potato Association of America(PAA) reveals that Cornell’s Lamoka is the chipping potato cultivar most widely planted for seed in the US.  Lamoka, developed by Walter de Jong in the Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, is popular because it fries to an exceptionally light color and maintains its quality in storage. It is also resistant to the golden[Read[Read More…]

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Agrico announces further growth at members’ meeting

Agrico held its central general members’ meeting last Tuesday. At this well attended meeting, the annual report 2017/2018 was discussed. The 2017/2018 financial year was characterised by positives and negatives. Expectations were low at the start of the financial year. The yield in kilograms per hectare of seed potatoes and table potatoes was high, and the prices were under pressure.[Read[Read More…]

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Dutch potato breeding company says it produced hybrid breeding program for good traits

The potato breeding company Solynta in  the Netherlands says it has successfully produced a hybrid breeding program for potatoes which will allow the rapid selection and turnover of favourable traits, traits which could help feed millions of people worldwide.  Potato breeding techniques are lagging far behind those of other popular crops such as rice, maize, and wheat. This is because[Read[Read More…]

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French company Champ’Pom joins Europatat organization

Champ’Pom Export was created 10 years ago in Champagne, at the heart of one of the largest French regions of potato production. Nowadays, this company produces and trades more than 30 potatoes varieties, selling a total of 40000 tons per campaign. 20% of their sales is covered by their own production while the rest is produced by French partner farmers based[Read[Read More…]

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New Peruvian potato variety to help in fight against child anemia

This past Tuesday, the Agriculture Minister in Peru publicly presented a new purple flesh potato variety with higher than normal concentrations of iron and zinc. The potato is believe to become an important help in the fight against child anemia in the Andes. Agriculture Minister Gustavo Mostajo told Peruvian radio station RPP that the new potato was bred and developed[Read[Read More…]

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India: ITC’s Technico signs agreement with Scottish institute for new potato varieties

Technico Agri Sciences, an agri-biotech company owned by diversified Indian conglomerate ITC, has signed an agreement with the James Hutton Institute in Scotland to introduce 16 new potato varieties and 600 potato clones to India. These differentiated varieties, expected to improve yields by 15 to 20 per cent, will undergo trials and evaluation to identify varieties best suitable for cultivation[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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