Soil health and potato yield: Cultivating a sustainable future from the ground up

Lukie Pieterse highlights the critical role of soil health in sustainable potato cultivation. Beyond its nutritional value, the versatile potato thrives with nutrient-rich, structured, and disease-suppressing soil, which also aids in water management and carbon sequestration. Incorporating practices like cover cropping, crop rotation, reduced tillage, organic amendments, integrated pest management, and precision agriculture ensures robust yields. These methods, combined with traditional wisdom and modern technology, promise a productive and sustainable future for global agriculture.

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From field to storage: GB Potatoes leads the way in refining potato storage practices with innovative project

GB Potatoes, with Potato Storage Insight and SDF Agriculture, is leading the Strategic SPot storage project to improve potato storage methods for better cost efficiency and product quality. Their approach includes hands-on research and demonstrations. An important event on May 14th at Winters Lane Storage Ltd. will offer expert advice and insights on storage optimizations, cold storage strategies, design improvements, and variety performance. Attendees can also enjoy a showcase of partners and visit a processing store.

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Navigating blight challenges: Insights from Europe to guide UK potato crop protection

In 2023, European potato blight conditions urged UK farmers to seek solutions from their continental peers. The Netherlands suffered a severe outbreak due to fungicide-resistant strains and wet weather, while Denmark’s stringent fungicide use policy proved effective, drastically reducing resistant strain blight. Experts now advise UK farmers to follow Danish practices and FRAC’s updated guidelines to prevent resistance and preserve fungicide efficacy for proactive disease management.

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Eco-friendly farming: Study finds fresh potato cultivation produces much less greenhouse gas emissions than cereal production

The Union of the German Potato Industry (UNIKA) and the German Potato Trade Association (DKHV) have commissioned a significant literature review focused on the carbon footprint associated with potato cultivation and processing. The review showed potatoes have a lower carbon footprint than cereals, with the potential for further reduction. This study found processing increases emissions, and variables like fertilizer use impact the footprint, highlighting the crop’s role in sustainable food production.

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Prince Edward Island potato farmers gear up for planting season despite challenges

As spring nears, P.E.I. farmers in Canada prepare for planting amid challenges like erratic weather, high costs for fertilizer and fuel, and a shortage of skilled labor to handle advanced machinery, as reported by CBC’s Sheehan Desjardins. Rising supply costs and an uncertain climate impact planning, yet farmers are optimistic, diversifying crops, seeking alternatives to costly inputs, and training recruits to surmount these hurdles for a successful planting season.

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AVR celebrates 175 years with limited edition PUMA 4 harvester and a year of festivities

In its 175th year, Belgian company AVR celebrates with a limited edition PUMA 4.0, a blend of tradition and technology. Starting as a small forge in 1849, AVR evolved into a leader in potato harvesting machinery. The anniversary PUMA 4.0 symbolizes this legacy, alongside a series of events thanking its community. With over 550 PUMA harvesters worldwide, AVR’s impact is substantial, promising continued innovation and sustainability for the future.

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British growers warned of dual threat to potato crops: Wireworm risk rises amid wet soils

Growers are warned of increased wireworm damage risks in potato crops due to wet soils, potentially exacerbated by reduced autumn cultivations and cover crops. Syngenta’s Andy Cunningham notes severe weather has limited Integrated Pest Management (IPM) options. Trials show that Nemathorin treatment at planting can significantly reduce wireworm damage and limit Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) multiplication, offering substantial yield increases and financial gains over untreated or alternative treatments.

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1,4GROUP reinforces North American potato industry: Shifts CIPC production to the U.S.

1,4GROUP has relocated chlorpropham production to the US following its European ban, ensuring supply for North American customers. The EPA and PMRA have approved the new US production site, maintaining the availability of this crucial sprout inhibitor. CEO Elfering expresses gratitude to the agencies and reaffirms commitment to quality products for the potato industry.

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Maximize potato yields with Riegogel water-retaining

Riegogel introduces a biodegradable gel that retains water for up to 45 days, boosting potato crop yields by up to 20% and reducing irrigation needs by 50%. It combats drought, enhances soil health, and efficiently utilizes water and nutrients. Proven effective in trials, it offers a sustainable solution for various crops, aligning with climate resilience efforts.

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Unprecedented weather conditions disrupt potato planting in Ireland and across Europe, market gap looms

Extreme weather in Ireland is causing delays in potato planting, impacting the national economy. The Irish Farmers Association reports excessive rainfall leading to minimal progress and potential market shortages. Similar issues are occurring across Europe, constricting current potato stocks with main processors trying to mitigate supply chain disruptions. The situation reflects the strong link between climate and agricultural stability.

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Potato farming under the microscope: The latest in disease detection technologies

Potato farming is integral to global agriculture, ranking fourth in food crops. It faces challenges, notably diseases caused by pathogens like fungi and viruses, leading to economic and food security issues. Innovation in disease detection through AI and deep learning, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), is revolutionizing crop management by enabling early, accurate diagnosis and targeted treatments. Advances in drone and smartphone technology further aid in comprehensive, real-time monitoring, ushering in precision agriculture and sustainability.

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Potato industry in Ireland entering new era of blight management

The Irish potato industry is set to upgrade blight management in 2024 by using two potent fungicides together, as blight quickly develops resistance to current treatments. The worrisome EU43 blight variant, which resists common fungicides and has damaged European crops, has been found in Ireland, necessitating more complex spraying strategies. (Source: Agriland)

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Potato planting in peril: Irish farmers face uncertain future amidst wet weather woes

Irish potato farmers face a crisis as incessant rain delays planting, jeopardizing this year’s crop and market supply. Seasoned growers like Meath’s Ivan Curran and Louth’s Maria Flynn confront the worst conditions in decades, with the crucial weeks ahead being vital for deciding the availability of supermarket and specialty potatoes, such as those used by Tayto crisps.

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Maximizing potato yields with CropSil: A new era in plant nutrition

Nuviatec’s CropSil product is a breakthrough biostimulant for North American potato farmers, offering improved growth, yield, and resistance to pests, diseases, and environmental stresses. This patented mono-silicic acid Si(OH)4 formulation ensures nutrient absorption and optimizes total plant health. Rigorous research confirms its benefits, supporting resilient and sustainable agriculture. Farmers utilizing CropSil report higher-quality crops with reduced input costs, fostering a more eco-friendly approach to potato farming.

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‘Growing smarter potatoes’: The emerging influence and potential impact of generative AI on the potato industry

Generative AI is revolutionizing potato farming by analyzing vast datasets, leading to optimized food production and sustainable agriculture. Embracing this technology promises enhanced yields, eco-friendly practices, and economic benefits, potentially transforming the potato industry into a model of innovation and food security, as Potato News Today editor and publisher Lukie Pieterse explains in this article.

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Your potato story matters: Potato News Today wants to share your projects with the international potato world

Potato News Today calls on industry players to share stories of innovative projects and research to gain global exposure and knowledge sharing within the international potato community. Contributions from researchers, farmers, and enthusiasts are vital to spotlighting advancements and fostering a collaborative future. To participate, send a synopsis and images to editor Lukie Pieterse, and help enrich the industry’s narrative.

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Rethinking soil fumigation: A new study explores its impact on agricultural sustainability

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied the effects of soil fumigation on agricultural sustainability, focusing on potato fields in Wisconsin. The study, which analyzed various indicators of soil health, found that fumigation’s impact varies significantly by soil type, enhancing outcomes in sandy soils but not in loamy soils. The research, published in Field Crops Research, emphasizes the role of soil microbial diversity in agricultural productivity and calls for tailored soil management practices to support sustainable agriculture.

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‘Drip by drip’: Engel Louwes’s innovative approach to sustainable potato farming with drip irrigation

Engel Louwes, a distinguished potato industry consultant, drives sustainability in agriculture through adopting drip irrigation. Specializing with 40 years of experience, Louwes’ career began in the 80s with companies like HZPC. His collaboration with Polish potato farmer Szymon Cena has become a hallmark project. Successfully introducing drip irrigation for potatoes in Poland, Louwes now aims to replicate this in India.

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Sustainable spuds: The EU’s ‘Potatoes Forever!’ campaign champions eco-conscious cultivation

The EU’s “Potatoes Forever!” campaign champions sustainable potato cultivation and consumption in Europe. Funded by the EU for 2024, it targets adults 35-49 through various media, teaching about eco-friendly potato practices from farming to dining, in line with the “Farm to Fork” strategy. This initiative aims to transform the industry and maintain potatoes as a dietary staple, respecting nature and combating climate change.

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Bayer pilots unique generative AI tool for agriculture

Bayer has launched a pilot for a GenAI system, developed with proprietary data and validated by agronomists, to rapidly provide expert agronomic advice. A collaborative effort with Microsoft and EY, this tool offers a quicker response to farmers’ queries compared to current methods. It aims to enhance product development, democratize agronomic knowledge, and improve global food security. Bayer plans to widen the pilot to more users, including direct queries on farm data.

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The TRUTH project: Transforming the future of Britain’s soil health analysis with a farmer-led platform

The TRUTH project, backed by a £1M Defra grant and implemented by BOFIN and others, aims to revolutionize soil and root health understanding through advanced research and sensor technology in the UK. It introduces novel microbial sensing and soil testing tools, establishing a farmer network, the Soil Circle, for knowledge sharing, and equipping ‘Root Rangers’ to enhance sustainable soil management practices.

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Potato farming reimagined: Navigating the future of potato production with advanced technologies

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today, elucidates the agricultural revolution transforming potato farming. The advancement integrates drones and AI, creating a synergy between traditional methods and technology. This modern approach optimizes aspects like irrigation and pest control, leading to sustainable practices and higher yields. Collaborative efforts, including enhanced accessibility and training, are key to overcoming technical and financial hurdles. These innovations promise to redefine the potato industry as we know it.

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Innovative harvesting: John Deere’s electrification kits propel potato farming forward

John Deere has unveiled a transformative technology for potato harvesting highlighted in their video, “Power Offboarding Brings Precision to Potato Harvesting.” This innovation targets the challenges of potato farming in Maine, such as stony soil. The introduction of an electrification kit allows for independent control of the cleaning fan, enhancing harvest efficiency and adaptability. The video underlines a new era in agricultural innovation that could increase profitability and efficiency for farmers.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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