As Europe moves to reduce its reliance on agrochemicals in the farming system over the next 10 years and beyond, a crucial question emerges: what replaces them? Agricultural biotechnology could provide the answer, writes Farhan Mitha in this insightful article published by Labiotech Insider. The use of agrochemicals — pesticides, fertilizers, and plant growth enhancers — has been crucial to humanity over the last century. Yet, their impact on the environment has become too profound to ignore, and they’re increasingly seen as 20th-century instruments that are ill-suited for 21st-century challenges.
This tractor sprayer that you will see in action in the video below was custom built by Terry Miller and Scott Anderson for Miller Research, based in Rupert, Idaho. The company says the sprayer “is great for applying chemical to our research plots. This video shows the many features of our spray tractors, as well as how we calibrate for our sprays.” The tractor can hold twelve tanks for twelve different treatments. Each slot has a magnet that agitates the product in the tank.
Processing equipment manufacturer Kiremko were awarded the contracts to supply landmark state-of-the art fry lines in North America and North Africa. The company says these totally up-to-date, complete lines were largely constructed in The Netherlands and shipped to their destinations just as the COVID-19 restrictions were being applied. This presented Kiremko with a real opportunity to employ a new way of installing fry lines that had been under development for some time internally and in collaboration with their associates, called the Kiremko Remote Service and uses state-of-the-art “Augmented Reality”.
Talking Biotech: Where did GMOs come from? Former Monsanto scientist Robb Fraley recounts the advent of biotech crops
On the five-year anniversary of the Talking Biotech podcast published on the Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) website, host and plant geneticist Kevin Folta sits down with former Monsanto chief technology officer Robb Fraley. He recalls the race to transform plants and his work as a leader at Monsanto. While the company did important work to advance crop biotechnology, Fraley says, Monsanto made little effort to explain genetic engineering to food companies, the media and consumers and was thus unprepared for the backlash against GMOs in the 1990s.
Since the first research project was initiated there in May 1967, the Biotron Laboratory on the west end of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus has been one of a few research centers in the world capable of simulating a range of environmental variables with precision and control for studying plants, animals, materials and materials. The Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Tissue Culture Laboratory has conducted its research at Biotron.
Late blight is the most destructive potato disease in the world. It affects all potato producers (small-scale, commercial, seed producers, even urban producers) and the annual losses in developing countries are estimated at EUR 10?billion. Toward this end, the International Potato Center (CIP), in partnership with research and development institutions in Ecuador and Peru, has developed a low-tech tool to help farmers optimize fungicide use.
The 2020 storage season is the first where store managers in Europe cannot apply Chlorpropham (CIPC) in store. However, they have an important job to do in reducing CIPC levels left over from previous applications, in order to meet any forthcoming temporary maximum residue level (tMRL) for future crops. AHDB Potatoes expect any tMRL that is announced to be set at a level that is achievable for the industry – but only if a rigorous programme of cleaning is followed.
In this interview, Pepsico Vice President of Sustainability, Christine Daugherty, speaks with demonstration farmer Ketsarin Boonkerd on how PepsiCo is supporting smallholder farmers and helping them flourish. Ms. Boonkerd is a potato farmer in Thailand. By adopting sustainable farming practices such as drip irrigation, with PepsiCo’s support, she grew her yield by 45% and reduced her water use by 28% in just one year. She also increased her income by $1,500 per acre. Today, Ms. Boonkerd helps farmers in her community and beyond to see the value in these more-sustainable farming practices.
The Tuberzone project addresses the benefits of using precision technology to optimise the value of seed potato crops in the UK. Tuberzone partners support the use of Tuberzone software, developed by SoilEssentials, to help farmers make decisions on when to stop tuber growth to maximise yield, quality and value of Gemson seed potatoes.
Sencrop has announced that it has been chosen as a Trimble Select Partner for agriculture. Under the Trimble Select Partner Program, Sencrop’s connected ag-weather stations will be available to customers through the Trimble and Vantage™ distribution networks in the European Union (EU) and in the United Kingdom (UK) as part of Trimble’s marketplace dedicated to precision agriculture. Sencrop is the only fully connected ag-weather ecosystem in Europe.
A beleaguered industry: British potato growers expected to deliver higher quality products with less irrigation water
The British potato industry is under pressure due to increased expectations of potato quality from the supermarkets. Previous studies have shown that irrigation plays a crucial role in reducing common scab, but water resources are less available than before, says AHDB Potatoes in a recent news release. AHDB points out that water resources have diminished over recent years, becoming more expensive and less available due to strict licencing.
Focus on innovative microbial approaches: Yara partners with Boost Biomes in joint development agreement
Yara and US-based startup Boost Biomes announced a joint development agreement between the two companies. Yara is investing USD 3 million in Boost, and Erkki Aaltonen, Director of Venture Investments at Yara, will join its board of directors. “This partnership underlines Yara’s commitment to further developing our biostimulant product range under the BIOTRYG platform, as part of our strategy to promote sustainable farming practices,” said Joacim Christiansen, SVP, Yara Farming Solutions.
The Brussels-based Breeders Trust today signed a major contract with Geo4A, a subsidiary of the Austrian company GeoVille. GeoVille specialises in the data processing of satellite images and is a leader in the field within Western Europe. The idea behind Breeders Trust is that together breeders can act more forcefully against unfair production and commercial practices adopted by the often globally operating rogue companies that discredit the entire sector.
In this video by YouTube content creator, Martijn of the Trainspotter channel, followed planting activities on the arable farming operation L.B. van Nieuwenhuijzen. The operation is located on the island of Goeree Overflakkee in the Netherlands. Farm operators were planting potatoes with a brand new Fendt 940MT vario and 8-row Grimme GL860 planter. Preparing the soil was done using a Fendt 926 vario and a 4.5m wide tilling machine, and hilling was done with two Fendt 720’s with Grimme 4-row rotary hillers.
The Nizhny Novgorod Region in Russia is a region with a long history of cultivating potatoes and vegetables. The region is fully self supporting with potatoes, and this is largely due to several high-end farming enterprises that operate in the area. Latkin LLC (1800 ha under potatoes in 2020) is the largest producer of potatoes in the Nizhny Novgorod region. The farm is located in the village of Kozhino, Arzamas district. For more than 28 years, the company has been led by Evgeny Evgenievich Latkin. Read more about this operation and others.
On June 18 a crop consultant in Alberta told Eugenia Banks, Ontario potato specialist, that spore traps in the province had caught late blight spores. Ontario is going through a wave of hot and dry weather, and out west in Alberta, it’s the opposite with cooler, wet weather. In response to the discovery, of late blight in 2014, the Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) supported a spore-trapping project. In Ontario, Eugenia Banks lead a two-year Ontario Potato Board project evaluating one type of spore trapping technology in order to help growers improve late blight management with good results.
GRIMME product specialist lead to present on global mechanization trends during upcoming WPC webinar
World Potato Congress Inc.’s webinar this Thursday June 25 will feature Mr. Burkhard Kuhlmann of GRIMME, who will be presenting on “Mechanisation Levels for the Global Potato Industry”.Burkhard Kuhlmann is the Team Leader, Product Specialist Potato Equipment worldwide with GRIMME Landmaschinenfabrik. He has visited potato farmers worldwide including Africa, China, India, Russia and all over Europe. During the web inare he will refer to comparitive mechanisation levels in the potato industry from around the world
Potato and root crop equipment manufacturer, Dewulf, recently announced the launch of the new SC 360 cultivator. This machine follows on the heels of the previously introduced SC 300 and SC Compact, and is the third type in the SC series of cultivators. The SC 360 was developed for growers who plant 4 x 90 cm rows and want perfect planting bed preparation.
The Little Potato Company has seen some significant increases in throughput and quality in the eighteen months since Haith helped to modernise the company’s packing facility in Edmonton, Alberta. The company faced a troubled in-feed system for its wash line. The Little Potato Company was relying on a pair of old hydraulic tippers. Haith recommended replacing those two machines with just one Haith Rota-Tip SE. They have since seen their throughput double from ten tonnes to 20 tonnes per hour.
Maleic Hydrazide (MH) is a potato sprout suppressant that was first identified as a plant growth regulator in the 1940’s. In an article published by AHDB Potatoes this week, it is said that the reduction in permitted treatments rate for CIPC have driven an increase in MH use in recent years. Interim data from AHDB at Sutton Bridge has shown that in the absence of CIPC, MH can offer good sprout control and boost efficacy of alternative treatments when used in combination with them.
Investigative Report: Potato production in Egypt – ‘Export demands increase interest in bio-pesticides’
GROPRO Corp. a US based producer and supplier of biological crop protection products, has recently completed a investigative agricultural tour of Egypt. According to the group of specialists from GROPRO, “We believe that bio crop protection products will play an important role in the near future to assist in developing the Egyptian potato industry – not only to improve the efficiency of crop production in general, but for farmers to attain better quality products and higher yields.”
Ten years since introducing its first haulm topper, Scotts has this month launched two new machines, making its range the most comprehensive available. This month, Scotts unveiled the Trinity 36B four row topper and the Trinity 54B. The company also announced plans for an 8 and nine row models, which will be available in 2021.
This is the story of a family farm in the North of France, handed down from father to sons some twenty years ago. Over two decades, the sons have earned a fine reputation in the washed potato business. Having researched the solutions available on the market and having tested his samples at the demo center in Leuven, Olivier Vandaele opted for TOMRA Food’s Sentinel II. Installed last November, the machine already completely revolutionized the working processes.
Since 2004 the in-house exhibition GRIMME Technica has taken place every two years at our headquarters in Damme (Germany). The company says in a press release that due to the uncertain development of the Corona virus crisis and our responsibility to guarantee the greatest possible safety to visitors and staff, GRIMME Technica, which was planned for December 1-4, 2020, has been cancelled. Thanks to the introduction of strict hygiene rules and new working processes, all plants worldwide are able to continue their operations in manufacturing.
Hyperspectral imaging, a growing area in remote sensing, holds the promise of providing a solution for crop monitoring over large areas, and scientists at the James Hutton Institute are working with partners in industry and academia to investigate the potential of the technology to maximise the sustainability and productivity of key food crops. The InnovateUK-funded project “In-field Optical Detection of Potato Disease” primarily explored the utility of aerial imaging (drone captured multispectral and high-res RGB) to detect and differentiate between a selection of economically important potato diseases.