The World Potato Congress Inc. is now calling for proposals from parties interested in hosting the 14th World Potato Congress to be held in 2028. This Congress, once a triennial event, has gained in popularity and as such, will now to be held every two years. World Potato Congress Inc. says this great opportunity to host key players from the global potato value chain can prove to be beneficial to the host country and region.
Weather challenges impact British potato growers’ planting, weed control efforts
Potato growers in the UK are facing challenges in weed control due to delayed planting caused by a wet March, which saw 80% more rainfall than usual, according to a news report by FarmingUK. Corteva Agriscience notes that planting is now in progress, but maincrop potatoes are likely to be drilled later than intended. Persistent April showers may have also disrupted the application of residual herbicides.
‘Potato-LITE’: Delivering novel, sustainable cultivation approaches to minimise tillage intensity throughout the UK
Defra and UKRI, as part of the Farming Innovation Programme, recently announced funding for ‘Potato-LITE’ – a multimillion pound project over four years, that will develop novel machinery and cultivation practices for UK-based potato farms to minimise tillage intensity, improve soil health and lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
The Idaho Pest Monitoring Dashboard: Providing growers with timely data for smarter crop protection decisions
After a year of fine-tuning, University of Idaho Extension is promoting a website launched to offer a “one-stop shop” for Idaho farmers and crop consultants providing data from the various College of Agricultural and Life Sciences pest monitoring programs. The Idaho Pest Monitoring Dashboard debuted last spring and includes data and observations from UI Extension programs that monitor the arrival of potato psyllids, aphids and wind-blown spores to inform farmers in making decisions such as when to apply chemicals.
How a trickle approach can cut potato irrigation energy costs
Last year’s high prices hit potato growers in what was one of the driest summers on record. It may have led some to think about alternative forms of irrigation, such as trickle (also known as drip), which uses less water and energy than its overhead counterparts. But the choice is not straightforward, as Marianne Curtis reports in an article for Farmers Weekly.
A new era in potato production: How advanced GPS and precision technologies are shaping the future
The integration of cutting-edge GPS technology into precision agriculture has ushered in a new era for farmers, giving them unprecedented ability to optimize their practices. With the ability to map their fields, track crop locations, and monitor the spread of pests and diseases, farmers now have access to invaluable information that shapes their decision-making process.
UK: The Potato Partnership – a successful first year, but what’s next?
Clarity of focus coupled with modest, but realistic expectations explain the first-year success of the Potato Partnership, says James Wrinch, director of East Suffolk Produce and a TPP founding partner. “Part of our success owes much to the clarity of purpose that brought us together. We have been clear about our objectives, but just as importantly, we know what we are not about. Our focus is on agronomic trials, not crop marketing or lobbying government,” Mr Wrinch says.
New Act enables scientists to improve crops in England
With the recent Precision Breeding Act passed, England now has the opportunity to capitalise on its world-leading research base in plant sciences and make agriculture more sustainable. Prof. Jonathan Jones FRS, Group Leader at The Sainsbury Laboratory who developed a GM fully late blight resistant PiperPlus potato, says “After many decades researching the science that can make our crops resistant to disease and less reliant on fungicides, I am delighted to finally see changes in legislation that will allow some of these innovations to be applied in the field.
Canadian research solidifies enhanced efficiency fertilizer as a win-win for farmers and the environment
Precision agriculture is helping farmers be more exact with inputs, like fertilizer, to help reduce excess nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing yields. Steve Watts of Genesis Crop Systems recently wrapped up a precision agriculture research project with support from Prince Edward Island (PEI) farmers, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), and researchers from Dalhousie University and the PEI Department of Agriculture and Land.
Nematicides know-how: Ways to help rid your potato crops of nematodes
Many potato growers rely on nematicides to protect their crops. Following is information you should know about both fumigant and non-fumigant methods. Nematodes absorb fumigant nematicides through their body cavities, so ingestion isn’t necessary. Fumigant nematicides work best when nematodes are exposed to a lethal dose for as long as possible. The efficacy of non-fumigant nematicides largely depends on their solubility in water and persistence in the soil.
Smoke exposure linked to smaller, misshapen potatoes, according to Univ of Idaho, BSU study
Potato plants exposed to extreme smoke produced lower marketable yields than smoke-free plants, according to preliminary data from a joint University of Idaho and Boise State University study. Results differed based on variety, with heavy wildfire smoke exposure being linked to smaller Clearwater Russets and causing more unusable and misshapen Russet Burbanks. The project involved pumping artificially emulated wildfire smoke onto potato plots covered by plastic.
Ireland: Intervention needed to prevent ‘mass exodus’ of Donegal potato farmers
Urgent intervention is needed in the farming sector to prevent a ‘max exodus’ of potato farmers, that’s according to Donegal’s IFA Potato Chairman, Donald Logue. Speaking on Highland Radio’s Nine ’til Noon Show yesterday, he said while the cost of production continues to rise, this is not reflected in the marketed prices of potatoes and called for Government to take action.
‘Sometimes soils need doctors too’: FAO’s Global Soil Doctors Programme trains farmers to diagnose and heal soils
To guarantee healthy soils for sustainable agriculture and food production, you first need to know their condition. FAO’s Global Soil Doctors Programme started to do just that —assessing the condition of soils and guiding farmers in remedying soil problems. The educational material and training modules from this programme help farmers to stay vigilant and responsive to soil health, a vital component of their livelihoods.
Optimizing fertilizer timing: The key to healthier potatoes and crispier french fries
For farmers and researchers, a field is often like a giant chemistry set. The timing and amounts of different fertilizers to supply nutrients can interact with each other, the soil, and crops. For example, potassium, an essential macronutrient for crops, is often applied to a field in the form of potassium chloride. Sarah Light, an agronomy farm advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension, led a study on the timing of potassium chloride in potato fields.
NEPG: An uncertain future for the potato industry in western Europe?
Potato growers in the north western European region face several challenges in the upcoming months, according to a news release issued by the North Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) today. Certain developments in the current season have led to a seemingly uncertain future for the potato industry in western Europe, according to the NEPG. The industry organization represents Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and France.
1,4-DMN: Natural bio-control for potato storage set for international regulatory approval
Great news for potato producers! 1,4-dimethylnaphthalene (1,4-DMN), a naturally occurring bio-control that enhances dormancy, controls spouting and encourages field-fresh quality in stored potatoes, is scheduled for review and regulatory approval under the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture (FAO)’s Codex Alimentarius. The review process will take place during 2023.
Lasers, drones and AI: The future of weeding
No-one likes weeding, but new technology is helping farmers around the world tackle weeds in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way, as David Silverberg reports in a news report for BBC News. Deanna Kovar from US farming equipment giant John Deere says that the company’s new tractor-pulled weed sprayer can reduce herbicide use by two thirds. For farmers elsewhere in the world, a number of rival firms, both large and small, have developed similar smart-weeding technologies.
Boosting crop health with tailored nutrition and biologicals: Insights from a British potato grower
A Yorkshire farmer in Britain credits the use of tailored nutrition and some biologicals with boosting the overall health of his potato crop. Richard Smith farms 3,000 acres of combinable crops including 320ha of potatoes. “Biologicals have a part to play in general crop health – keeping them in the mix is important, it’s just vital that you understand where best to use them in your programme,” he says.
Northeast Potato Technology Forum scheduled for March
After two years of virtual meetings, the Northeast Potato Technology Forum is excited to be back in person for 2023. The meeting will take place on March 21st and 22nd, 2023 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. This two-day event will feature presentations from researchers from the Atlantic Northeast (NB, NS, PEI, QC and ME) working in potato research and agronomy.
‘Growing the Potato Crop’: Irish potato manual a ‘game changer’ for East African farmers
Irish international development agency Vita launched the book ‘Growing the Potato Crop’ by former Teagasc stalwart and renowned potato expert John Burke a few years ago. The book, which is expected to be a significant game changer for potato farmers in East Africa, focusses on improving potato productivity in sub Saharan Africa. Iverk Produce has uploaded the 395 page book as a pdf file on its website.
Managing Director at Scottish Agronomy: ‘Finding the balance between saving the planet and feeding the world’
Agriculture is a fundamental part of Scotland’s economy and modern farming activities can have a profound effect on our landscape, communities, and diversity of landscape, writes Adam Christie, Managing Director at Scottish Agronomy in a recent blog post on the farmer-owned cooperative’s website. With the pressure of feeding the eight billion mouths now on the planet, up from three billion as recently as 1960, “the difficulty is going to be finding the balance between saving the planet and feeding the world,” Mr. Christie says.
Canada: Alberta potato operation heading into unexplored territory with livestock, crop rotation
These days farmers are encouraged to be experimental, and to conduct trials on their own land to see what works best for them. What agronomists may not say is just how nerve-wracking it can be. And that goes double when doing something that has rarely, if ever, been done before, writes Jeff Melchior in a news article for AlbertaFarmer Express.
‘The Potato Crop’: Open-access book yields download success
Interest in potatoes is growing as more farmers, scientists, and development professionals realize those tubers can produce more food and income on the same land than most crops. Evidence of this trend can be found in the success of The Potato Crop, a 500-page, open-access book with more than 300,000 downloads since its publication in early 2020 – more than 30 times that of similar books – and frequent mentions across media and social media channels.
Researchers develop affordable biosensor to detect soft rot in potato tubers
Diagnosing latent infections in their early stages is challenging since they do not present any external visual symptoms, making detection, tracking, and control difficult. The existing detection methods are time-consuming, destructive, and have limited sensitivity for detecting early-stage infections. However, a team of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed biosensors that are tailored to detect infected potatoes during storage.
UK: Suffolk’s potato sector shrinks as farmers’ costs rise
Suffolk’s potato growers are in the grip of a crisis of confidence as prices fail to keep pace with the costs they face, as Sarah Chambers reports for eadt.co.uk. Many are choosing to cut their growing areas as market forces combined with disease and weather risks make the crop less viable. “It’s not fun at the moment,” he admitted.