Equipment/Technology

No more plastic: Meade invests in new compostable, paper-based potato packaging

Global packaging and paper manufacturer Mondi has partnered with Polish compostable packaging producer SILBO to develop paper-based, eco-friendly packaging for potatoes. Created for Irish farm potato business Meade Farm Group, the packaging has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The solution will enable Meade to replace hard-to-recycle plastic with paper in line with its sustainability targets.

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‘Foods that go farther’: Farther Farms closing the French fry gap, revolutionizing food processing, transportation, storage

Today, the French fry. Tomorrow, the global food supply chain. Farther Farms is a high-growth food technology start-up, based in Rochester, NY, working to solve one of society’s greatest challenges: how to make food go farther. The company began by creating the world’s first commercially-available shelf-stable, fresh-cut style French fry that’s never-frozen and ready-to-cook. The French fries have a 90-day shelf life at room temperature – no artificial preservatives added, and no freezing or refrigeration required.

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Valmont to acquire Prospera, creating world’s largest vertically-integrated AI company in agriculture

US-based Valmont Industries, known for its irrigation equipment solutions, including Valley Irrigation, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Prospera Technologies Inc. an Israeli-based AI company. The transaction will create the largest global, vertically-integrated AI company in agriculture. Using the pivot as the digital data hub, this solution brings demonstrated, advanced agronomy to the field enabling the grower to take immediate action to remediate issues.

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Scotts appoints Vegcraft to support Scottish growth

Scotts Precision Manufacturing has extended its distribution network with the appointment of a new sales and service agent to cover Scotland. The Boston manufacturer of vegetable harvesting and cleaning equipment formally appointed Vegcraft Agricultural Engineering this month. Based near Dundee, Angus, Vegcraft will be offering Scotts’ range of Trinity toppers, Microlift Pro fully mounted windrowers and harvesters, Evolution separators and their latest Grimme GT170 Windrower conversion kits.

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The ‘Great Wrap’: Aussie couple goes to market with world first compostable potato-based cling wrap, pallet wrap

A young Australian couple have thrown in their day jobs as an architect and wine maker to tackle ‘the plastic problem’ after being disheartened by the sheer amount of waste in their industries. Julia and Jordy Kay are producing the world’s first compostable cling wrap and pallet wrap which is made out of potato waste. The Melbourne couple sold more than $30,000 of ‘Great Wrap’ in their first week. The next product will be the pallet wrap which will be made from the potato waste as well.

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Wyma Europe and UK: Continued development, innovation and customer success crucial, says general manager

The fresh vegetable industry in Europe and the United Kingdom is undergoing rapid and exciting change at present says Jason Gerrie, General Manager of Wyma Europe and Wyma UK. Having been in the industry almost 20 years, as well as leading Wyma’s companies in Europe and the United Kingdom, Jason is no stranger to development in the industry. But it is the current pace of change that is exciting and highly motivating, especially for a customer-focused company such as Wyma.

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Meet ‘Tom’, a world-first commercial monitoring robot to do non-chemical ‘per plant weeding’

Small Robot Company (SRC), a British agritech start-up for sustainable farming, today announced its first commercial robot, ‘Tom’. SRC’s first service using Tom will be per plant weeding, a world-first milestone. This is now in field trials, with Tom scanning first arable crops to detect weeds, and robot weeding prototype ‘Dick’ then zapping individual weeds with electrical ‘lightning strikes’, using no chemicals.

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Robotti: The UK’s first commercially available robotic tractor in operation on Suffolk farm

Improving technology, coupled with the difficulty of sourcing seasonal labour, has led to a significant investment for Fram Farmers member Home Farm Nacton in Suffolk. The organic fresh produce farm has taken delivery of a Robotti 150D, from Danish manufacturer Agrointelli,which is the first robotic tractor in the UK, and is now fully operational on the farm. Home Farm produces both organic and conventional vegetables including potatoes across 1940ha. The company was looking for ways to adopt more advanced technology into the business.

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HZPC steps away from Solentum, Pessl to acquire ‘SolGrader’ and ‘SolAntenna’

HZPC Holdings B.V. announced last month that it will end the business activities of Solentum B.V.. Pessl Instruments GmbH will acquire some of Solentum’s products as of May 1, 2021, including the products SolGrader and SolAntenna. Herman Verveld, commercial director at HZPC says the company is pleased with the agreement and satisfied that customers can continue to work with Solentum’s products.

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Biologicals: The next agricultural technology revolution

“Biologicals are tools for the sustainable agriculture of the future… Biologicals are a class of agricultural products that include biopesticides, biofertilizers, and biostimulants that are derived from natural materials, such as animals, plants, bacteria, or minerals,” writes Claude Flueckiger in this article published by AgoPages.

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Young duo to introduce Danish autonomous tractors to the UK

Two agricultural engineering graduates from Warwickshire are preparing to propel the UK into a robotic agricultural revolution, by introducing a new kind of robotic tractor from Denmark. their company is now the UK representative for the Agrointelli Robotti, a versatile autonomous robot, designed for solving multiple tasks in the field throughout the complete farming season.

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KisanHub report: ‘Environmental and financial sustainability in fresh food production – The role technology plays’

Agriculture’s digital revolution has potential to benefit both business and planet, with sustainability quickly becoming a priority in the industry, KisanHub specialists say in a newly released report. They say say this pressure to take action has been increased during the past 12-months, which have shown how global factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, affect our food system and the ‘normal’ way of growing and supplying fresh produce has had to adjust.

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Packaging trend: RPE showcases new compostable potato bag

Bancroft, Wis.-based RPE will soon roll out a new compostable bag for its potatoes, according to a report by Ashley Nickle for The Packer. Randy Shell, vice president of business and program development, said at the Southern Exposure event that the company has been testing for about eight months a compostable bag for its potatoes. Shell said RPE has almost perfected the packaging and will be launching it shortly.

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Dewulf and Agrointelli jointly explore autonomous potato planting

Dewulf and Agrointelli have announced that they will be working together to explore the benefits of using autonomous machines in potato cultivation. This joint effort is triggered by a shared vision of broadening the possibilities for potato growers to implement new solutions for more sustainable, efficient, and robust production methods and technologies.

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Can ‘miniature greenhouses’ make vegetable production in Canada’s far north more viable?

AAFC Cold Climate Eco-physiologist Dr. Julia Wheeler and her team is hoping to find that by using bioplastic and other season-extension technology, northern Canadian farmers can extend their growing season and improve the yield, shelf-life, and nutritional quality of their vegetables. They are Dr. Wheeler and her team are installing reusable, half-meter high plastic tunnels over vegetable rows.

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Lamb Weston / Meijer and TOMRA Food: A solid partnership that assures high quality and sustainable products

Fueled by their dedication to innovation and improving efficiency, Lamb Weston / Meijer is a leader in producing high- quality products. To keep the quality of their end products top-shelf and remove defects from raw product processing lines, the best steam peeling equipment and optical sorters are necessary – and for Lamb Weston / Meijer this means TOMRA Food. The 11 TOMRA Steam Peelers operating in seven Lamb Weston / Meijer processing facilities worldwide help the business churn out a whopping 255 tons of potato products every hour.

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‘Dawn of the New Age’: PotatoEurope 2021 trial plot planted with a robot

The organisers of PotatoEurope 2021 say in their latest newsletter that pre-planting preparations have progressed well at the PotatoEurope fields at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) field crops in Lelystad, the Netherlands during the past couple of weeks, and demonstration plots were recently planted. During a first-of-its-kind event, one of the plots was planted with an Agrointelli Robotti, an autonomous robotic machine that was employed to pull a Miedema CP 42 4-row cup potato planter.

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Protect potato potential with ‘Bridgeway’

Keeping potatoes stress-free is not an easy task, with crops often subject to prolonged stress periods at key growth timings. However, ahead of a new season, an amino acid based biostimulant could be the answer to protecting potential, particularly in the early stages, according to the latest advice from Interagro.

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Pesticides and food: ‘It’s not a black or white issue’

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring drew attention to pesticides and their possible dangers to humans, birds, mammals and the environment. Some of her conclusions and warnings have not held up over time, but Silent Spring produced a movement that changed how the U.S. thought about chemicals and biotechnology.

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NASA Harvest and CropX partner to support sustainable ag initiatives

NASA Harvest (NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture Program) and CropX, a global leader in soil analytics for agriculture, recently announced a strategic partnership that will give NASA Harvest unprecedented soil insights for its global agricultural monitoring efforts. The partnership will further NASA Harvest’s mission to improve food security and advance sustainable agriculture.

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AVR and Dacom Farm Intelligence collaborate to offer field data ‘on a silver platter’

For some time now, AVR has been offering agricultural companies technology for data collection. This data is displayed on the digital platform AVR Connect, offering the farmer improved, real time insights into what is going on inside the machine, how it is operating, and how the process can be made more efficient. This platform has been further developed in collaboration with Dacom Farm Intelligence, allowing for parcel data to be linked to machine data.

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Interagro