Cultivation/Production

AVR unveils the future of precision planting with the cutting-edge technology of the Ceres 440 planter

AVR’s Ceres 440 is a mounted four-row cup planter integrating precision and efficiency through its ISOBUS control system and hydraulic drive. The innovative AVR Connect digitally centralizes planting data for optimization. Highlighting precision, it features adjustable planting elements and robust depth control. It supports a wide tool range and has a high-capacity bunker for speed. The Ceres 440 exemplifies advanced, versatile agriculture technology, enhancing productivity.

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Revolutionizing weed control: crop.zone introduces organic solution amid rising herbicide resistance

The agricultural industry is combating the widespread issue of herbicide resistance, impacting 272 weed species globally. Crop.zone offers a sustainable, organic solution that counters resistance, provides competitive pricing, and boasts high application speeds, using 70% less energy than traditional herbicides. They invite stakeholders to demonstration days to observe their technology. Crop.zone’s approach represents a move towards sustainable agriculture, addressing both weed resistance and environmental concerns.

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From water to nutrients: Transforming potato production with fertigation

Sheldon Wiebe, a pioneering potato producer in Canada’s Manitoba province, has adapted fertigation on his farm, combining fertilizer distribution with irrigation, enhancing crop production since the 1960s. This method reduces fertilizer leaching, with benefits discussed by Wiebe and fellow farmers at the Potato Production Days event. Fertigation allows delayed nitrogen application, optimizing plant health.

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‘The margin game’: When lots of little things add up to make a big difference

Emerald Research Ltd advocates for holistic nutritional programmes to help farmers manage unpredictable conditions, by using micronutrients, microbials, and biostimulants that can increase potato yields by 10-25%. Their extensive research emphasizes tailored strategies for different growth stages, sustainable resource use, nutrient optimization, and precise application methods that can significantly reduce environmental impact while boosting crop resilience and marketable yield.

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Combating blight resistance in potatoes: Effective mixing of fungicides as a key solution

Andy Cunningham from Syngenta UK asserts that effective fungicide mixing, particularly with mandipropamid, is crucial for managing blight resistance in potatoes. He cites Denmark’s success in reducing EU 43 blight strain cases by incorporating Revus into their fungicide programs. Cunningham advises UK growers to use Revus with alternative-action fungicides to maintain efficacy and prevent resistance, naming potential mix partners for the 2024 season. The robust resistance breaking strategy of fungicide mixing had been proven in the Eurofins trial.

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Innovative crop analysis tool HarvestEye secures key distributor in Finland for potato and onion markets

HarvestEye, a machine-learning crop insight tool, has appointed Antti Hintikka of U2 Online Oy as its distributor in Finland for its HarvestEye 2.0 and handheld systems. These systems improve crop data collection and are now integrated into Finland’s potato and onion markets, providing growth opportunities and technological advancements for local agricultural practices. Antti’s collaboration with HarvestEye will enhance precision agriculture and optimize crop management through valuable data insights.

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Innovative Dutch-Ukrainian project to rebuild potato farming industry amidst conflict

Ukraine’s potato market has declined due to war, increased costs, and climate pressures. Agrico’s “Rebuilding Potato Ukraine” project, funded by the Netherlands, aims to revive the industry with a Climate Smart Potato Demo Center, focusing on production and education for 3,000 farmers, 60% women. It promises to bolster local food security by facilitating an annual production of 53 million kg of potatoes and supports several Sustainable Development Goals while navigating war-related risks.

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Syngenta’s ‘Vixeran’: Revolutionizing crop nutrition with high-efficiency nitrogen fixation

Vixeran, with its nitrogen-fixing bacteria, offers a sustainable alternative to traditional N fertilisers, potentially reducing application needs by up to 30 kgN/ha. Neil Procter and Andy Cunningham from Syngenta emphasise its energy savings, crop yield increase over 10%, and suitability for varied weather conditions. Ideal for regenerative practices, Vixeran enhances soil health and supports efficient, sustainable crop production. Trials show compatibility with other treatments and significant yield benefits in various crops.

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Crop.zone announces advanced potato desiccation applicators for 2024 growing season

As the 2024 growing season nears, Crop.zone invites agri-professionals to its field days, featuring the new potato desiccation applicators—an innovative solution promising 25% increased efficiency and one-pass desiccation. This German-engineered technology facilitates optimal harvesting, operates at high speeds, adheres to organic standards, and has been recognized as a leading European innovation. Attendees can arrange personal meetings with experts by registering online for the event.

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Navigating water scarcity: The promise of drip irrigation for sustainable potato farming

The CHIPS Nov-Dec 2023 issue features an article by Lukie Pieterse on using drip irrigation in water-scarce potato farming. Highlighting the technique’s efficiency in water and nutrient delivery, it offers potential for higher yields and quality produce. Despite higher initial costs, long-term benefits include savings and better production. Challenges like system clogging and soil salinity are noted. The article advocates for farmer education, government support, and technological advances to optimize drip irrigation for potato production.

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New biological foliar treatment to boost nutrient use efficiency, boost crop yields

British farmers are set to gain from the new TARBIS foliar treatment, which enhances nutrient efficiency and crop yields while reducing dependency on synthetic fertilisers. Industry-tested and approved for organic systems, TARBIS, developed by Unium Bioscience, helps plants fix and uptake various nutrients and withstand stresses like drought. Effective in any climate, it could significantly cut fertiliser costs and benefit the environment.

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‘Tiny titans of the farm’: Nanotechnology poised to revolutionize agriculture, but cautious steps needed

Scientists from the School of Biological Sciences, Central University of Kerala anticipate nanotechnology will significantly advance agriculture, as detailed in their review published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Research. Nanotech approaches, like nano-fertilizers, biosensors, and enhanced seeds, aim to improve yields, reduce environmental impact, and combat food insecurity due to climate change and population growth. However, challenges such as potential nanoparticle toxicity, ethical issues related to accessibility, and ecological effects must be addressed responsibly.

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Australia’s potato industry surpasses $1 billion in production value for the first time

Australia’s potato industry has exceeded a $1 billion production value, marking a 24% increase from the previous year. This milestone is attributed to investments in automation and innovation. Annual production remains steady at 1.4 million tonnes. The significant growth, as detailed by ABC Landline, suggests strong and sustained demand, echoed by the experiences of growers like Michael Smith.

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CropX and Reinke introduce groundbreaking water management tool for precision irrigation

CropX Technologies partners with Reinke Irrigation, introducing Reinke Direct ET, an innovative product for precise water management in farming. The device measures Actual Evapotranspiration (ETa) using a sensor affixed to Reinke’s center pivot system, optimizing irrigation via direct field-specific water usage data. This partnership aims to enhance sustainable farming practices and informed decision-making, complementing CropX’s accurate agronomic farm management system and promoting efficient water use globally.

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2024 strategies in potato disease and pest control: Miller Research to hold annual Potato Pest Management Meeting

On February 21, 2024, Miller Research will host its Potato Pest Management Meeting at Rupert’s Wilson Theater, with a virtual attendance option. The event, from 9 AM to 12:30 PM, includes expert talks on bacterial diseases, fungicides, and chemigation, with continuous education credits available for various states. Registration is $20, benefiting the local 4-H after expenses.

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‘Worming their way to the top’: Peat-free ‘living’ compost from Wormganix

Wormganix, in partnership with CHAP, is advancing sustainable agriculture with its Innovate UK EDGE funded vermicompost trials, offering a promising alternative to chemical fertilizers. Produced in a peat-free West Yorkshire wormery, their 100% organic fertilizer is rich in microbes and shows potential for enhanced plant growth and soil health. Current trials at CHAP’s facility assess Wormganix’s effectiveness on various crops. The company also seeks to incorporate recycled materials.

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The dawn of nano-agriculture: How nanotechnology is shaping sustainable farming

A study in Agronomy journal details how nanotechnology, dubbed ‘nanofarming’, can transform agriculture, addressing issues like soil degradation and crop protection. The review discusses nanofertilizers, nanopesticides, and nano-enhanced soil, emphasizing the need to balance the benefits with potential risks like nanopollution. It aligns nanofarming with sustainability goals and advocates for further research to optimize its use, highlighting its role in achieving food security amidst environmental challenges.

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The future of farming: Exploring the realities of regenerative agricultural practices

In “Regenerative Agriculture – Hype or Hope?” by Professor Mario Caccamo, the potential of regenerative farming to improve environmental outcomes is highlighted. Despite its increasing popularity, concerns about its economic feasibility and preliminary lower yields challenge its wider adoption. Integrating precision agriculture, NIAB research under Caccamo advocates for evidence-based practices to realize regenerative agriculture’s promise for sustainable food production amid climate change.

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How Canada’s Prince Edward Island potato farmers combat soil erosion and disease threats

In Prince Edward Island, known for some as the “potato capital of the world”, farmers grapple with soil erosion due to harsh climate conditions, risking agricultural productivity. Techniques like minimal tilling and cover cropping are being adopted. Similarly, the EU faces a €1.25 billion productivity loss from erosion, prompting policy for land management to qualify for aid. Globally, sustainable agriculture is key to combatting climate-related degradation for food security.

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Andean farmers use age-old technique amid climate change to protect potato and quinoa crops

In the Andean plateaus of Puno, Peru and Bolivia, ancient Waru Waru agricultural techniques, dating back 2,000 years, are being revived to combat climate change. These rectangular, raised planting beds, surrounded by water to create microclimates, protect crops like potatoes and quinoa from drought and frost. In 2023, during a severe drought, they enabled farmers to sustain food production and maintain their rural livelihoods.

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EU faces dire potato seed supply challenges for 2024 growing season, prices soar

The EU faces a challenging 2024 for potato cultivation with a seed shortage due to a 10,000-hectare decrease in seed-producing areas. Belpotato.be reports average yields and larger seeds with fewer tubers, compounded by viral issues and poor harvests due to rains. Seed prices are rising sharply, affecting all potato sectors. Producers may need to look for seeds outside traditional channels, while industry-wide efforts are needed to stabilize seed cultivation for sustainability.

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Guelph to host exciting 2024 Ontario Potato Conference: A must-attend event for industry professionals

The 2024 Ontario Potato Conference, organized by Dr. Eugenia Banks and hosted by the Ontario Potato Board, is scheduled for February 29 in Guelph. Garnering significant interest with a sold-out Trade Show and additional exhibitors, the event features expert speakers addressing tailored topics crucial to the industry. The agenda includes sessions on late blight management, soil health, technology advancements, sustainable practices and more, offering insights and networking opportunities. Registration is open online.

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Challenging times for European potato growers: NEPG reports significant losses and uncertain future

The North-Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) reports substantial losses for potato growers in 2023 due to poor weather and high costs, with 11,000 hectares and 650,000 tonnes affected. Despite this, global harvest rose by 5.1%, with varying regional impacts. Growers struggle with production costs, risks, and certified seed shortages, while processing demand remains high. This leaves the sector under stress, seeking a balance between supply and challenging conditions.

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The impact of glyphosate herbicide on potato crops: Insights from potato expert Andy Robinson

Prof Andy Robinson’s bulletin titled “Glyphosate on Potatoes” highlights the risks of glyphosate herbicide on potatoes, a crop particularly vulnerable to it. Low-level exposure can cause decreased yield and quality, with symptoms such as yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and tuber defects. Contamination may arise from drift, tank residues, or misapplication. Robinson underscores the need for proper application techniques and mitigation to prevent glyphosate damage, and suggests testing for residues in suspected cases.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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