Organizations in the News

Potato prices for Idaho farmers are up, but so are input costs

The global potato market is tight on supply and farm-level spud prices for Idaho farmers are up substantially. But so are farm input costs and, with prices for other Idaho crops also up significantly, many Idaho potato farmers may be faced with some tough planting decisions in 2022, writes Sean Ellis of the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation.

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Chairman of the PEI Potato Board on potato trade ban: ‘This is heartbreaking…’

A convoy of almost 40 trucks, including 16 potato trucks carrying half a million pounds of fresh potatoes, made its way through the streets of Prince Edward Island’s Charlottetown yesterday along with series of heartfelt messages directed at the federal government. “The last four weeks have been horrible for Island farmers, but we’re not giving up,” said John Visser, Prince Edward Island farmer and Chairman of the PEI Potato Board in a press release.

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Mexican officials inspect US potatoes in latest fresh-market access development

The Colorado Potato Administrative Committee (CPAC) recently hosted a site visit by Mexican authorities for the purpose of U.S. exporters fully gaining fresh potato access to Mexico. As Spudman magazine reports, this site visit is one of the final requirements as the Mexican government moves toward restoring market access for U.S. fresh potatoes.

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AHDB Petitioners: ‘Growers best placed to decide own R&D’

The AHDB Petitioners – vegetable, flower and potato growers in the UK who voted to abolish a statutory levy on horticulture and potato production – say that recent comments by the Growers Better Levy Group (GBLG) not only go against the result of two votes on the issue, but are patronising in telling growers how to fill in the current Defra consultation.

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Potato wart: NPC releases statement on today’s meeting with the P.E.I. delegation

Statement issued by Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council (NPC): “We were pleased to sit down with Premier Dennis King and a delegation from Prince Edward Island this morning for a conversation about safely and efficiently restoring trade with this important province for both the U.S. and Canadian potato industries. NPC reiterated that this is a plant health issue, not a trade dispute, and we strongly support the USDA commitment to protect the U.S. potato industry from this devastating disease. …

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Breeders go back to the future to combat the world’s deadliest potato disease

This [email protected] story digs into a new rapid-fire approach to potato breeding that makes farmer-favorite varieties resistant to late blight, which could increase profits by at least 40% wherever potato is cropped. The secret? The latest biotech methods mixed with the oldest breeding trick in the book – harvesting the wild genes of the potato’s distant ancestors. 

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‘Spuds in the cold’: PEI potatoes and supporters take to the streets of Ottawa

A small group of Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI) potato industry representatives, joined by Island Premier Dennis King, gathered today on Parliament Hill to distribute fresh PEI potatoes to some 6,000 passerby. Part of ongoing efforts to reverse a sudden ban on exports of Island potatoes to the U.S., the group, with its many supporters, continues to search and call for a way to lift the ban.

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Potato wart crisis in North America: Opposing opinions and viewpoints from U.S. and Canadian industry bodies

The recent discovery of potato wart disease on Prince Edward Island in Canada made industry headline news the past couple of weeks. On Dec 2, The Packer magazine published an opinion article about the situation authored by the CEO of the National Potato Council (U.S.). On Dec 6, The Packer published a letter it received from the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) and the Canadian Potato Council – in which the industry bodies responded to Mr Quarles’ article.

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Prince Edward Island Potato Board on U.S. border closure: ‘Let our potatoes go’

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board urges all Canadians in a press release to work together to protect potato farmers in the wake of the decision last week by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to suspend potato exports from the Island to its longstanding U.S. customers and partners. The Board warns that potato farmers on the Island will face dire consequences of U.S. border closure decision.

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Potatoes NZ building a ‘secure and sustainable industry’: 2021 in summary

The New Zealand potato industry saw supply chain disruptions, changing protocols for health and safety and a polarization of political and health ideologies in the last 21 months of the pandemic response, the industry body says in a recent newsletter. NZ potato growers across the country have been under immense pressure during 2021, but shows continued value growth despite pandemic setbacks in the export market, thanks to a strong domestic market.

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Scottish seed growers celebrate 50 years of high standards

The ground-breaking organisation first set up by Scottish seed potato growers in the 1970s to encourage the best use of cutting edge seed multiplication technology will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Pre Basic Growers Association, formerly the Virus Tested Stem Cutting Growers Association, is to mark the anniversary with a gala dinner.

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U.S. potato exports continue to improve, strong sales to Mexico

U.S. exports of frozen potato products increased by 30% for the July – September 2021 quarter compared to 2020. These increases were led by a 63% increase to Mexico, continuing exceptionally strong sales to this market throughout 2021. Potatoes USA says in a market update today that exports to Canada and Central America were up 52% and 55%, respectively, with all countries in Central America posting growth.

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NPPGA helping potato growers succeed

The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA) serves more than 200 grower members and 250 potato associate members throughout northwest Minnesota and all of North Dakota, providing legislative, operational and marketing support. “We work in legislative issues, we provide dollars for research and we do marketing for the fresh market,” said Ted Kreis, marketing director for the East Grand Forks, MN-based association.

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British potato producers’ levies to cover costs of winding-down of potato sector

According to a report by Nancy Nicolson, published by The Courier today, potato growers in Britain will be sent bills this week calling for the payment of the full AHDB levy of £42.62 per hectare  – despite the levy board being largely wound down. According to the report. the AHDB says the funds from growers, together with sector reserves, will be used to cover the costs of winding-down all levy-payer activity in the potato sector.

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Idaho Potato Commission names new president and CEO

A marketing expert who was raised in Shelley and has deep roots in the potato industry will be tasked with maintaining Idaho’s reputation for having the world’s top taters. Jamey Higham will become the new president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission beginning in early 2022.

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‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’: Retailers commit to sustainable potatoes

Several key UK retailers have pledged to sell disease resistant organic potatoes, boosting sustainability and farm resilience for producers. Organic certification body the Soil Association developed its ‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’ in a bid to help growers move away from potatoes that are susceptible to blight. Signees to the pledge have agreed to favour organic spuds that have been bred to be blight resistant.

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AsiaBlight Network takes its expertise to the field

In response to the late blight disease of potatoes, the AsiaBlight Network formed a coalition of farmers, scientists, and government officials to develop an integrated approach to managing, and eventually eradicating, late blight disease with an aim to improve nutrition and food security for billions throughout Asia.

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Plans in the making for new representative body for British potato industry

A group of leading potato industry stakeholders has drawn up tentative proposals for a new representative body, provisionally called GB Potatoes. They have distanced themselves from the Growers’ Better Levy Group (GBLG), and say their approach is to bring all sectors together via voluntary subscription and membership. A paper on provisional ideas is currently being circulated to stakeholders.

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General Manager of United Potato Growers of Canada to retire

Kevin MacIsaac, who has been General Manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada since October 1, 2011 announced he will be retiring this fall. MacIsaac’s diversified career over a 42 year timespan includes dedicated service as an extension agronomist, farmer, industry organizer and a knowledgeable and eloquent advocate. UPGC hopes to have a replacement for the position by this fall and is actively seeking applications for the GM position at this time.

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Canadian crop update: Record amounts of rainfall in the east, growers hope early frosts hold off

Weather patterns have continued to influence the outlook for the Canadian potato crop the past couple of weeks, says Kevin MacIsaac in the latest report issued by the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). He says Eastern Canada (particularly Prince Edward Island) has received record amounts of rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The province of Manitoba has also received some rainfall over the past two weeks. High temperatures have broken in Alberta, but it still remains dry. MacIsaac summarizes how the crop looks at this time.

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AsiaBlight Network gathered at the 23rd Chinese Potato Conference

Five years ago, a group of farmers, scientists, and government officials formed the AsiaBlight network to develop an integrated approach to managing, and eventually eradicate, late blight disease with an aim to improve nutrition and food security for billions throughout Asia. Recently the network convened a side event at the 23rd Chinese Potato Conference, held in Yulin City to discuss progress made in the past year.

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Report: Canadian crop progressing well, early harvest under way

The potato crop in Canada is now in the very critical growth stage of tuber bulking. Kevin MacIsaac, General Manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada reports that tuber set has been determined and it is now this phase which will provide yield and determine production for this crop. While there is still considerable time left for many growing regions, the Canadian crop in mid-August appears to have good potential (in many but not in all regions) to meet the needs of industry.

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