Equipment/Technology

Innovation in the air: How a visionary in Rwanda is growing potatoes sustainably with aeroponics

A Rwandan entrepreneur is pioneering the use of innovative farming technology that, he believes, is set to play a major role in feeding the growing population in his country, amid increasing pressure on arable land. No soil, barely any water, a controlled environment: for Apollinaire Karegeya, the advantages of aeroponics are clear. The young entrepreneur’s vision and actions are described in a recently published news article by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Potato News Today is pleased to republish the article here.

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Another Scotts Evolution Dirt Remover sent to Wyma in New Zealand

A UK manufacturer of vegetable harvesting equipment has seen a surge in demand for its unique vegetable handling machine from customers in New Zealand. Scotts Precision Manufacturing has this month sent its fourth Evolution Dirt Removers to Wyma, which has included the innovative separator in a cleaning line that will be used by a large scale potato packer in Canterbury.

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British potato storage expert to retire

Farm Electronics’ Production Director, Paul Jackson, is retiring after almost half a century at the forefront of the business, reports Potato Review. Paul said: “I would like to thank all customers, suppliers and work colleagues past and present for their trust and patience in our dealings over my career. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences in the path of the evolution of Farm Electronics. Time seems to have flown by.”

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‘Agronomy Week’ will see the launch of the new Potato Variety Comparison Tool and more

The AHDB hosted Agronomy Week will run as a virtual conference from Monday 30 November to Friday 4 December in the UK. It will comprise a series of webinars aimed at agronomists on important issues in contemporary agronomy. Monday and Tuesday will be devoted to cereals and oilseeds During the rest of the week, the event will focus on the potato industry. The new Potato Variety Comparison Tool will be launched on Wedneday.

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Leading US potato processor chooses Tong for advanced grading and washing

A custom-built potato grading and washing solution from Tong Engineering has enabled a leading US potato processor to increase sizing potential of both dirty and washed crop, whilst maximising efficiency and minimising waste across its entire potato processing operation. Based in Warden, in Washington State, Skone & Connors Produce, Inc. grows over 2,500 acres of fresh potatoes for Basin Gold, their sales and marketing group.

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‘TOMRA Visual Assist’ – the new augmented reality tool – mobilizes TOMRA’s global expertise

TOMRA Visual Assist is TOMRA Food’s new Augmented Reality tool that enables remote experts to provide specialist support to a customer or a TOMRA Field Service Engineer on-site – just as if they were standing in front of the machine. It enables TOMRA to solve a broader range of problems of varying degrees of complexity remotely. The result is more uptime and better machine performance for the customers.

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Glyphosate extension to December 2025 likely in Britain

According to a Farmer Weekly news report issued earlier today, the widely used herbicide glyphosate is likely to have its authorisation expiry date extended until 15 December 2025 in Great Britain after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December. According to the report, Darren Flynn, head of active substances delivery for the Chemical Regulation Division (CRD), explained that all active substances due to expire between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2023 would be granted a three-year extension under the new GB pesticides regulation regime.

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TOMRA Food and Ortofrutticola Parma: Selected quality, from the earth to the table

Ortofrutticola Parma has operated a TOMRA sorting machine since 2008 on its potato selection line, where it has processed about 180,000 tons of the company’s flagship product every year. When the time came this year to find a replacement machine that would continue to meet the need for superior tuber production, the company turned once again to TOMRA Food. The solution, which the company put into service at the beginning of May, was a new Sentinel II.

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Dewulf launches the Enduro, their new 4-row self-propelled harvester

Dewulf, full-liner in machines for the cultivation of potatoes and root crops, proudly present their new 4-row self-propelled sieving harvester: the Enduro. This new harvester on tyres is intended for growers and agricultural contractors that harvest potatoes. The Enduro combines new harvesting technologies with existing, proven technologies. The result is a powerful harvester that excels in product-friendliness, capacity and ease[Read More…]

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‘The Potato Field’ podcast: Ben and Alison Sklarczyk on tissue culture and seed potato production

‘The Potato Field’ is an initiative of Spudman magazine in the US. In the latest episode, Ben and Alison Sklarczyk discuss the process of producing plants in their tissue culture lab and then greenhouse before they reach field seed potatoes in disease-free and sterile condition, as well as their recent expansion, trends in seed potatoes and balancing family with their demanding business.

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Researchers say apical rooted cuttings are the solution for cheaper potato seed in India

In a recently published research brief, CIP/CGIAR researchers Samarendu Mohanty, Sampriti Baruah and Ravindranath Reddy explain that the potato sector in India continues to face serious problems accessing good-quality planting materials at affordable prices for small and marginal farmers in many potato-growing states. So, how do we solve the potato seed problem, the researchers ask. They say two things need to happen.

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Storage technology: The ‘Humigator’ said to humidify and also disinfect potato storage facilities

“You can humidify and disinfect a potato storage warehouse’s air using just water and UV. No chemicals,” says Jef Viaene of Jebe bvba in Belgium, a Humigator DFS dealership. “You’ll have two to ten percent higher yields. The potatoes will be disease-free and can be stored for a long time. And do that without using sprout inhibitors.” The Humigator is said to be a world first. The machine was developed in Idaho and was introduced to Europe in 2020.

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Leading Italian potato company opts for TOMRA’s new Sentinel II optical sorting machine

Installing TOMRA’s Sentinel II sorting machine has enabled a Bolognese company to select large quantities of potatoes – its flagship products – with great precision and minimal waste. When the time came this year to find a replacement machine which would continue to meet the need for superior tuber production, the company turned to TOMRA Food. The solution, which the company put into service at the beginning of May, was a new Sentinel II.

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Video: AVR puma 3 potato harvester on tracks

In this YouTube video you will see the Puma 3 in action during potato harvest 2020 in Europe. The video was uploaded today on the YouTube channel of AgroMovie. The video can also be watched directly on YouTube.

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Branston unveils plans for a new potato processing facility

UK based Branston submitted plans for a new processing facility. The company, which supplies own-label products to supermarkets, such as Tesco, as well as selling under its own brand, is seeking the go-ahead for a 10,462 sq ft building. North Kesteven District Council is expected to make a final decision in the coming months. The design of the buildings and the landscaping proposed is said to will help ameliorate the impacts of this development.

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Sustainability in practice: Nature-friendly farming reduces costs for South African potato farmer

Managing plant health and strict water monitoring have paved the way to success for AL 3 Boerdery in South Africa’s Limpopo province. CT van der Merwe spoke to Lindi Botha of Farmers Weekly about the production practices that keep his farming business profitable. Potato production at AL 3 Boerdery is spread across three provinces to ensure a 10-month supply to the markets. Farms in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape provide an annual harvest of between 55 000t and 60 000t, and achieve an average yield of 60t/ha.

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Crop.Zone: A revolutionary, sustainable new solution for weed control and crop desiccation

Crop.Zone develops alternative solutions for weed control and crop desiccation. The German-based company creates chemical-free alternative concepts and products, helping farmers to prepare their fields and get their crops ready for harvest in a sustainable, environmentally sound way. In Europe, this is traditionally done with the aid of chemicals. But the individuals who are the driving force behind Crop.Zone want to change all of that.

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Insort’s third gen Sherlock Safeguard a major development for increased food safety

Insort is proud to announce another major development for increased safety in food production processing plants with the Sherlock Safeguard®. The heart of the machine is the latest generation of the tried and tested Chemical Imaging Technology (CIT® Gen3). This hyperspectral imaging technology, which is now being used for the first time in the further improved 3rd generation, can record the chemical composition of food in real time. This means that not only dangerous foreign bodies such as stones, metals and glass but also all organic and unappetizing foreign bodies.

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Key Technology and Heat and Control form strategic partnership in South Africa and Sub-Saharan

Key Technology, Inc., a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, and Heat and Control Pty Ltd. announce an extension of their existing strategic partnership, supporting customers in Australia, New Zealand and India, to now include the region of South Africa and Sub-Saharan. Under the terms of the agreement, Key has appointed Heat and Control as their exclusive agent in these regions to sell and service Key’s high-performance digital sorters, vibratory conveyors and other automation systems effective immediately.

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The Irish connection: Scotts appoints new dealer in Ireland

Scotts Precision Manufacturing is aiming for growth in Ireland following the appointment of a new dealer. The designer and manufacturer of vegetable cleaning and harvesting equipment has added Quaile Machinery in Ireland to its dealer network. Operating from its headquarters in Dublin, Quaile Machinery will be promoting Scotts’ full range of Trinity haulm toppers, Evolution separators, Microlift fully mounted windrowers, Windrower conversion kits and parts replacement.

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Abertay Univ and Agrico cooperate to develop a better potato using videogaming tech

Videogame technology will be used to help develop the perfect potato as part of a ground-breaking new project involving Abertay University and a major potato seed supplier, reports Richard Mason in a news story published by The National. The university, based in Dundee, has entered into a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Agrico UK Ltd, with the aim of utilising artificial intelligence to shorten what is normally a lengthy and complicated process, taking more than 10 years to breed a new potato variety.

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Potato store cleaning: British company offers specialized solutions

Fenkleen Hygiene Ltd in the UK has been carrying out specialist high level cleaning of potato stores and facilities for the last 35 years in East Anglia. With today’s regulations and accountability on the removal and reduction of CIPCs residue, it’s never been more important to carry the procedure out effectively and safely. Whatever method is being employed to carry out the cleaning, either wet or dry, store managers must take into account other contaminates that may be involved in the equation and its removal and factor that in to the process.

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‘The future is now’: Kiremko Remote Service starts up new Moroccan french fry line remotely

In a new milestone experience for both Kiremko and Moroccan potato processor Fun Fries, the new french fry line that was installed last summer was eventually started up entirely remotely using augmented reality. When the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Kiremko’s engineers from boarding planes, a door was opened for a highly innovative solution that Kiremko developed: the Kiremko Remote Service. This service uses an advanced headset with camera, sound and monitor, an Internet connection and high-quality technicians on both sides of that connection.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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