Two U.S. scientists have won a 1 million euro ($1.18 million) prize for creating a ‘food generator’ concept that turns plastics into protein. The 2021 Future Insight Prize went to Ting Lu, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Stephen Techtmann, associate professor of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University, for their project. It uses microbes to degrade plastic waste and convert it into food.
Farming may be among the last industries to undergo a digital revolution, but the changes are arguably going to be further reaching than anything we’ve seen so far. In this in-depth video by the BBC’s ‘Follow the Food’ program, it is said that farming’s digital revolution has potential for both business and the planet. The aim of the transformation is to produce more food from farming with less.
CropX, the Israel-based company that produced the world’s first and do-it-yourself (“DIY”) farm management platform based on real-time soil data, announced recently that it acquired Dacom, headquartered in Groningen, the Netherlands. CropX says in a news release that this follows its acquisitions in 2020 of Nebraska based CropMetrics and New-Zealand based ReGen. CropX says: “We’re always excited to join new teams and technologies to the CropX family and continue our search in that respect – all with the goal of providing the best value for our customers.”
Haith has this month marked 21 years of working with R S Cockerill. The anniversary coincides with the completion of £3m investment into the Yorkshire potato grower and packer’s site in Dunnington, near York. This latest project – the installation of four new grading lines, has been part-funded by an EU Productivity Grant and is the 42nd order that R S Cockerill has awarded to Haith.
The Spornado, a simple and passive spore catcher, was recently showcased as one of Canada’s top 101 Most Innovative Predictive Analytical Companies by Futurology.life. The Spornado Sampler is described as “an effective, low-cost tool for growers to better predict crop disease, and take preventative action.” The sampler identifies crop disease in the air – long before it’s seen on the crops.
For mass importer and producer of seed potatoes, AR Tarim based in Turkey, the need for stringent quality control became a significant factor in helping them meet their goals. Up to 8000 tons of seed potatoes are imported and around 11,000 tons are locally produced by the company and stored in their 1000-year-old cave storage facility located in Kayseri. The company approached UK crop quality and storage specialists Martin Lishman Ltd for storage solutions.
When they were forming Micron Technology Inc. in the late 1970s, the founders of the Boise, Idaho, maker of semiconductors didn’t seek their initial funding from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. Instead, they sat down with a potato farmer, a rancher and a building contractor in Idaho. One of those three early investors was Allen T. Noble, who died July 18 at his home in Boise. He was 92.
Leading agri-food software developer KisanHub have launched its new Reporting and Analytics Dashboards to provide fast, convenient access to business-critical supply chain data for producer groups in the fresh produce industry. The company says in a news release that the Dashboards aggregate real-time information from KisanHub’s existing range of agri-data solutions to provide a comprehensive overview of crop progress, weather reports, satellite imagery, stock levels, contracts and more.
In an effort to provide growers with predictive, real-time field datato help them better manage their time and resources, EarthScout® GBC is officially entering the precision agriculture field. EarthScout’s founders along with a team of leading agronomists, precision agriculturalists, and technologists worked alongside growers to develop an in-field sensing technology that collects predictive micro-climate and soil data and shares it wirelessly via a mobile app.
GRIMME UK is celebrating the sale of the 1,000th VARITRON self-propelled harvester by offering customers the opportunity to take advantage of several sensational upgrade packages. To mark the milestone, GRIMME has introduced three commemorative models: The VARITRON 470 Edition 1000, VARITRON 470 Platinum TERRA TRAC Edition 1000 and an Edition 1000 two-row harvester.
One of leading potato growers in Cornwall in the UK has become the latest producer to put its trust in Haith Group. In 2020, with demand for homegrown produce soaring, E W Button & Son decided to invest in a brand new, purpose-built grading facility for its early season and ware potatoes.
British farmers could improve production levels by engaging with scientists more on social media, researchers have suggested. FarmingUK reports that farmers and scientists are encouraged to engage with each other on social media to improve the carbon footprint of farms and increase production of crops and livestock.
Key Technology introduces ‘Key Discovery’. This suite of software solutions transforms Key’s digital sorting systems into IIoT connected devices that collect, analyze and share data while sorting product. “The Industrial Internet of Things is a reality in the food processing industry. Key Discovery represents the next-generation of our information analytics software solutions,” said Dave Crewe, Senior Vice President of AIS Engineering at Key Technology.
Researchers unveil innovative technology to treat plant pathogens and pests, including zebra chip disease
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) announced recently that they have found an innovative way to treat pathogens and pests in potato, citrus trees, and tomato plants without the use of antibiotics, zebra-chip disease in potato. They found that plants showed significant reduction of each pathogen or symptom development in response to FANA treatments.
Lamb Weston / Meijer (LW/M) announced plans today to build a new french fry plant, expanding its existing production facility in Kruiningen, the Netherlands. The new plant is designed to process potatoes with a minimum amount of water and energy, fitting Lamb Weston / Meijer’s 2030 Sustainability Agenda.
A new mobile washing facility, featuring Tong’s next generation barrel washer, is bringing increased throughput and a highly flexible washing solution for UK potato supplier Wolds Produce this season. Featuring the latest model of Tong’s popular potato barrel washer, the new mobile washing system is built to handle high throughputs of crop, with a 4m long, 1200m wide barrel washer and integrated destoner for reliable removal of stones from crop prior to washing.
With diquat no longer available (Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland), Irish potato growers will have no option but to look at other crop desiccation options over the coming weeks. This issue was the focus of a farm demonstration, hosted by the College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) at its Greenmount farm in Co. Antrim this week, which Agriland’s Richard Halleron went along to.
The Technico Group of Companies announced today that it is in the process of upgrading and commercialising its award winning TECHNITUBER Seed Potato Technology for suitable application across various geographic regions in the world. According to CEO Dr. Soundar Soundararadjane, “The TECHNITUBER® seed size of approximately 13mm, weighing a mere 1.5 grams, is viable enough to be planted at only approximately 100 kg per hectare. TECHNITUBER seeds are delivered pre-sprouted in ‘field ready’ conditions and are easily transported.
Manipulating RNA can allow plants to yield dramatically more crops, as well as increasing drought tolerance, announced a group of scientists from the University of Chicago, Peking University and Guizhou University. In initial tests, adding a gene encoding for a protein called FTO to both potato and rice plants increased their yield by 50% in field tests. The plants grew significantly larger, produced longer root systems and were better able to tolerate drought stress.
UK potato supplier Branston is creating a new factory dedicated to transforming potatoes into plant-based protein. Vegan Food & Living writes that the £6 million facility will extract high-grade plant protein from potatoes, using potatoes from Branston’s supply. Right now, Branston supplies potatoes in fresh or prepared formats such as ready-made potato fries. However, the company wanted to find more uses for its potato crops.v
Perfect seedbed preparation of the soil is crucial in potato cultivation. For this reason, AVR continues to develop not only its planting and harvesting machines, but also its cultivators. The company is committed to ensure that each new edition to its cultivator range is even better adapted to new conditions and fitted with the latest technology available.
If you’ve been in the potato business for any time at all, you probably have an excellent understanding of your own harvesting equipment. However, because growers are often only familiar with what they themselves use, you may not realize how many money- and effort-saving options now exist in harvesting technology. In this article Lockwood engineers provide a brief overview of new harvesting technologies.
Soil microbes are hard to see and understand, yet we know that they have a significant impact on plant health, your health, and the Earth’s health. New microbial research and technologies are beginning to change how we understand and direct the soil microbiome to increase soil fertility and plant health, which then help our understanding of your microbiome. In an article published by Genetic Literacy Project, Lucy Stitzer discusses four examples of new technologies from specialist companies that make our soil healthier.
Kiremko announces the launch of its new fryer – the CORDA Invicta. This specialist fryer is the result of two years of intensive research, continuous testing and consultation with customers, the company says. “Along with the STRATA Invicta steampeeler, Kiremko is proud to once again introduce a unique product in the processing marketplace,” notes Kiremko Director, Andy Gowing.
Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) have developed a smartphone app for automated disease detection in potato crops using photographs of its leaves. “Automated disease detection can help in this regard and given the extensive proliferation of the mobile phones across the country, the smartphone could be a useful tool for potato farmers in this regard,” said Mr. Joe Johnson, Research Scholar, IIT Mandi.
Unmanned aircraft, or drones, are already used in many areas, but it appears that they may also be assistants in potato cultivation, as researchers from Vidzeme university claim. Initial studies are being carried out, Latvian Radio reports. Vidzeme High School’s scientific assistant, Andis Lapāns, has launched an unmanned aircraft over the potato field of the Priekuļi Research Centre, which will provide detailed information about the crop in the field.