RJ Andrus isn’t just in one potato field, he’s in many fields. As the senior manager of raw procurement for Idahoan Foods, Andrus works closely with contract growers to make sure there are always potatoes to process. He’s also a member of the National Potato Council’s executive committee. Andrus talks about his upbringing, challenges facing growers, his advocacy work and what it was like trying to find John Keeling’s replacement.
In the latest Eye on Potatoes podcast, NPC CEO Kam Quarles calls in to discuss how potato growers are accessing $14 billion in aid available through USDA’s new CFAP 2 program and the latest Congressional efforts to fund the government until early December. Kam also provides an update on Potato Expo 2021, currently scheduled for January 6-7 as an in-person and online hybrid event and NPC’s Annual Meeting, moved to coincide with February’s Potato D.C. Fly-In.
Agronomy Week will run from Monday 30 November to Friday 4 December. It will comprise a series of webinars aimed at agronomists on important issues in contemporary agronomy. This years’ conference will be entirely online and free to attend. To help delegates get the most out of this new format we have expanded the event into a week-long programme of digital events called ‘Agronomy Week’. Delegates can register for a series of webinars and interactive discussion sessions covering important issues on contemporary agronomy.
On Friday, Sept. 18, the National Potato Council welcomed the announcement that USDA will implement an expansion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program — CFAP 2 — which will provide an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs due to the government-imposed food service disruptions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. NPC CEO Kam Quarles calls in from DC to react to the breaking news and to thank USDA for taking this additional step toward relief for the members of the potato industry who have experienced significant economic hardships in 2020.
In this edition of the Eye on Potatoes podcast, NPC President Britt Raybould calls in from Idaho to talk about the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), which are currently being drafted by USDA and U.S. Health and Human Services, as well as NPC’s efforts to advocate for the inclusion of potatoes in all forms in the recommendations. It is anticipated that the final DGAs will be published before the end of 2020.
The 2020 meeting of the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) continues! Borlaug Scholar Natalie Kaiser is a Ph.D candidate in the Potato Breeding and Genetics Program at Michigan State University. Kaiser is employing molecular and genomic tools to understand the genetic architecture of host plant insect resistance and to develop Colorado potato beetle (CPB) resistant diploid potato breeding lines.
With growers in the UK no longer able to use diquat to desiccate their potato crops, AHDB Potatoes trialled four different haulm toppers at Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm North. You can also listen to an AHDB hosted podcast titled “Desiccation: solutions for the first season without Diquat”. AHDB Potatoes will be showing the results of trials from this year during two following upcoming webinars.
In the latest edition of Eye on Potatoes: More than 160 participants from EPA, USDA, and throughout the potato industry joined NPC’s virtual Agency Tour in July, gaining a better understanding of the pest challenges faced by potato growers across the nation in growing and delivering potatoes to market. NPC COO Mike Wenkel calls in to discuss the importance of the annual tour. Jim Ehrlich, Executive Director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee also joins the podcast to talk about potato production and crop protection tools utilized in the San Luis Valley.
A new podcast by Eye on Potatoes is now available for listening. At Potato Expo 2020, Eye on Potatoes sat down with some of the industry’s leading researchers and specialists for a discussion on the current research and where future efforts need to focus. Plus, NPC CEO Kam Quarles calls in to provide an update on USDA’s decision to revise the payment rates for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
World Potato Markets travels to Idaho and tries its hand at potato printing in the latest episode of its PlanetPotato podcast. Presenters Anna Lambert and Cedric Porter discuss why Idaho established as the US’s largest potato state with Ross Johnson of the Idaho Potato Commission. Printer Molly Mahon describes why a potato makes an ideal block printer for making patterned paper and fabric.
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.
The latest PlanetPotato podcast urges you to relax with a potato. It whisks you off to the Kartoffel Hotel in Germany where – as well as enjoying dozens of delicious potato dishes – you can be pampered in its potato spa! Chill out and detox with a potato mash wrap or luxuriate in a potato bath and let the cares of the world float away… The podcast also speaks to Elin Tornblad of Swedish start-up Potato Plastics, which is using potatoes to replace a whole range of plastic products from cutlery to cling film.
Disease-suppressive crops work in multiple ways: by not being a crop host to the disease, by actively lowering pathogen levels, and by boosting soil health so the overall growing environment is more resilient to disease. Robert Larkin, USDA-ARS research plant pathologist, joins Potatoes in Canada for this podcast to discuss the different ways crops can lower disease pressure, what farmers in Maine are doing, and all about soil health more broadly.
Food waste plagues both farmers and consumers. Americans throw out much of what we buy at the grocery store—roughly 133 billion pounds of food each year, or $161 billion worth, according to the USDA. On this episode of Science Facts and Fallacies by the Genetic Literacy Project, Jamie Bacher, molecular biologist and co-founder of biotech startup Boost Biomes, joins GLP editor Cameron English to discuss his company’s novel approach to battling pests and promoting sustainable agriculture.
Always working to develop the “perfect” russet, the Potato Variety Management Institute’s main mission is to promote new varieties of potatoes in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and beyond. PVMI Executive Director Jeanne Debons says it’s what they coordinate from their operation based in Bend, Oregon
Eye on Potatoes Podcast: In discussion with Congressman Mike Simpson and NPC CEO Kam Quarles about COVID-19
Congressman Mike Simpson and the entire Idaho Congressional delegation are championing policy solutions to support the nation’s struggling potato industry. National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles calls in from D.C. to discuss the $300 million in additional potato purchases the industry needs to help bring supply and demand back into balance.
With restaurants closed due to COVID-19, the potato industry in Canada has taken a big hit. Lukie Pieterse, editor and publisher of Potato News Today joined guest host Heather Morrison of CBC Saskatchewan to talk about the impact the pandemic has had on the industry.
Canada: The Little Potato Company’s Angela Santiago talks creamer potato demand, online trends, and cross-merchandising
If the food pyramid had a “comfort” category, potatoes would certainly be pictured. “It is a vegetable item that is not as highly perishable as other fresh produce items, and potatoes are familiar. There’s no learning what to do with them,” says Angela Santiago, CEO and Co-Founder of The Little Potato Company. As we discuss the pivot the COVID-19 pandemic demanded of our industry, and of her team specifically, Angela walks me through the impacts of this temporary normal.
The second episode of PlanetPotato, the new podcast from the team that brings you World Potato Markets, has just dropped and is now available to download via Buzzsprout, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Listeners can be beguiled by tales of showbiz connections facilitated by potatoes (including Lauren Bacall), and hear how they can enter the Potato Photographer of the Year competition. Plus we pay a visit to the USA, as Red River Farm Network’s Carah Hart paints a picture of the current potato situation in North Dakota.
The Eye on Potatoes Podcast is brought to you by the National Potato Council. This is the place to tune in for conversations with growers and thought leaders on advocacy, production and all things potatoes. National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles and Eye on Potatoes host Lane Nordlund sat down during this podcast to discuss the latest on COVID-19, its impact on the potato industry, the government response, and how NPC and its state partners are supporting growers in this unprecedented time.
This episode of the Potatoes in Canada podcast series “Tuber Talk” focuses on the practices in Prince Edward Island, one of Canada’s largest potato producing provinces. Ryan Barrett, research coordinator with the P.E.I. Potato Board, shares what crops P.E.I. producers are adding to the rotation to boost soil health. Barrett discusses what they’ve seen with mustards, buckwheat, sorghum sudangrass, Pearl millet, on top of sharing his experiences working on the Island.
Passionate about horticulture and adding value to New Zealand’s primary produce, Chris Claridge founded Claridges Organics, one of New Zealand’s first organic food exporting businesses. In a recent interview with Sarah Perriam, Chris reflects on how the potato industry in New Zealand has suffered from the interruptions to the hospitality sector. He also discusses the NZ potato industry’s target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.