The latest global potato statistics provided by the FAO via its FAOSTAT database were updated in December, 2022. We extracted this 2021 data as it relates to “total production” (in metric tonnes) and present the results for 100 potato producing countries in the table below (ranging from most to least). According to the FAO data, a total of 376 million tonnes of potatoes were produced world wide, with China (94 million tonnes) and India (54 million tonnes) the largest potato producing countries in 2021.
PCN and blackleg main topics at Cambridge potato conference
Potato industry challenges posed by PCN and blackleg were among the topics discussed at the recent Cambridge University Potato Growers’ Association (CUPGRA) annual conference, as Ken Fletcher, editor at The Scottish Farmer reports in this news article. Scotland’s seed potato sector has an increasingly serious problem with the potato cyst nematode (PCN) species, globodera pallida, warned specialist potato agronomist, Eric Anderson, of Scottish Agronomy. Prof Ian Toth, of the James Hutton Institute, eld a workshop to discuss his latest research into Root damage by free living nematodes (FLN) as an important factor in blackleg infestation.
Ontario Potato Conference to focus on key grower issues, including soil health, water management, pest and diseases
The 2023 Ontario Potato Conference will be hosted on Thursday, March 2 by the Ontario Potato Board in the Delta Hotel & Conference Center, Guelph. The wide variety of topics to be addressed by speakers were selected from growers’ requests, according to the principal organizer of the Conference, Dr. Eugenia Banks.
Steps to tackle potato cyst nematodes after granular nematicides
The last remaining granular nematicide for potato cyst nematode (PCN) control, Nemathorin (fosthiazate) faces an uncertain future on UK farms, as Mike Abram reports for Farmers Weekly. At the recent Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association (Cupgra) conference, Scottish Agronomy’s senior potato agronomist Eric Anderson highlighted four areas where action is needed, or more research required.
How alternative potato desiccation systems performed in Britain in 2022
Two alternative means of desiccating potato crops were trialled during the 2022 season and both machines offer potential, although more work is planned to optimise use in British conditions, as Adam Clarke reports in an extensive article for Farmers Weekly. In his article, Clarke reports in depth on CropZone’s hybrid electric weeder and the Vegniek Discmaster haulm puller.
Univ of Idaho leading USDA-funded project to help potato farmers combat nematodes
A University of Idaho-led research team has received a $6.8 million U.S. Department of Agriculture award to develop new diagnostic tools, management practices and resources for controlling harmful nematodes in potato fields. The four-year project is funded through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative. Louise-Marie Dandurand, with U of I’s Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology, heads the project, titled “PAPAS: Potatoes and Pests, Actionable Science Against Nematodes.”
UMaine researchers testing lobster shells to thwart potato soil pathogens
Scientists at the University of Maine are evaluating if lobster shells can cultivate beneficial microbial communities that ward off soilborne potato pathogens. The novel shell-to-spud combination may connect two cornerstones of Maine’s food system and enhance the state’s circular economy. Katie Ashley, a plant science Ph.D. student in the lab of Associate Professor Jianjun Hao, is assessing how different concentrations of cooked, dried and ground lobster shells may prevent potato disease.
Modern precision ag: How Black Gold Farms implements Agremo’s AI based drone system to make accurate plant stand counts
Black Gold Farms is one of the U.S.’s large geographically diverse potato producers. Three years ago, the company decided to put Agremo’s AI based drone system for determining accurate plant stand counts to the test. Since 2020, the number of fields surveyed by drones and analyzed by Agremo’s image software has rapidly increased to now include 100% of Black Gold’s potato production acres.
Virtual event: Canadian Potato Summit 2023
Potatoes in Canada magazine will host the Canadian Potato Summit 2023 as a virtual half-day event on January 12, 2023 at 12:00pm ET. The event will include live sessions focused on industry and agronomy updates from prominent leaders in the potato sector. The first presentation will be by Gary Secor, professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University, who will talk about a new potato disease and some old potato diseases that have similar symptoms in storage.
UPGC report: Canada brings in another record potato crop in 2022, despite adverse weather and regional variability
Statistics Canada has estimated Canadian Potato Production in 2022 to be 122,970,000 hundred weight, up 0.8% over 2021. Despite a very cold and wet spring delaying planting and very hot, dry weather in many parts of Canada throughout August and into the harvest, Canada still brought in another record crop compared to the 5-year average, a good supply to match the continually increasing demand for processing potatoes both here in Canada and in the United States, reports Victoria Stamper, General Manager of United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC).
Towards decarbonizing the production of potatoes: Yara wants to turn potato chips climate friendly in Argentina
Yara has signed a memorandum of understanding with El Parque Papas to deliver fossil free green fertilizers to the biggest potato farmer in Argentina. This marks an important step towards making one of the most popular snacks in the country climate friendly, Yara says in a press release. El Parque Papas is the biggest singular potato farmer in Argentina. They supply 14,000 metric tons of potatoes every year to the Argentinian potato industry, including production of some of the most popular chips in the country.
Multimillion dollar programme in New Zealand aims to provide growers with a nitrogen management tool
Sustainable Vegetable Systems (SVS) is a $7.5 million dollar multi-tiered research programme, funded by New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries, led and co-funded by Potatoes New Zealand in collaboration with the Vegetable Research & Innovation Board and Horticulture NZ. SVS provides the data and subsequent modelling of vegetable nutrient uptake and nitrogen leaching. Potatoes New Zealand recently uploaded three videos on its YouTube channel to explain the SVS programme goals and activities.
Study in Canada’s Alberta province looking at rapid detection and early diagnosis of potato diseases
Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) recently announced a project to establish a system for early and rapid diagnosis of all potato diseases, and provide Alberta potato growers a proactive surveillance platform. The outcomes from this project will benefit all Alberta’s potato producers and plant disease researchers.
‘Our second-worst year in 80 years’, says Canadian potato farmer
Variable precipitation had an impact on this year’s potato crop in southwestern Ontario province in Canada, especially if the operator didn’t have irrigation. At Brenn-B Farms in Waterdown, co-owner Shawn Brenn reported that his 750-acre potato crop yield plummeted to about 9 tonnes per acre, down from the usual 15-17 tonnes, as Nelson Zandbergen reports for Farmers Forum.
Sustainability: Nitrogen management in the spotlight for New Zealand’s potato and vegetable sectors
The so-called Sustainable Vegetable Systems Programme (SVS) in New Zealand is in its third year and is making great progress towards improving tools and guidelines for the country’s potato and vegetable sectors’ nitrogen management. Chris Claridge, CEO of Potatoes NZ says the organization is excited to enable a more sustainable approach to vegetable growing with positive impacts on environmental, economic and social outcomes.
NEPG: Total 2022 production down 6%, planted acreage expected to go down in 2023
Production in the North Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) member countries is said to be down by 6% this year compared to last year. Planted acreage is expected to go down in 2023 because of rising production and storage costs in the four member countries – Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands (EU-4). On average in the NEPG zone, between October 2021 and October this year, electricity prices have gone up on average by 280% (ranging from 50 to 500% increase).
Australia ‘very likely’ to face potato shortage in coming months
It’s “very likely” Australia will face a potato shortage in coming months, the vice-president of horticulture at the Victorian Farmers’ Federation has warned. Kathryn Myers from the Victorian Farmers’ Federation says recent wet weather means farmers haven’t been able to plant potato crops. “It’s just not been possible to get tractors on the ground to work up our paddocks to put potatoes in,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell in an interview.
A ‘Star Trek’ for potatoes: Can McCain’s hi-tech farm in Canada save french fries from the climate crisis?
Researchers are reportedly flocking to Canada’s New Brunswick province to test both cutting-edge and bygone methods of spud cultivation to meet a challenging future. McCain’s “Farm of the Future” in the province is one of a series of laboratories the company plans to roll out across the world as it tests what practices are best suited to saving potatoes, while cutting the company’s carbon emissions. The model farm feels like a little like ‘Star Trek’ for potatoes.
Boost to organic production: USDA to invest $300 million in new Organic Transition Initiative
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced details of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) $300 million investment in a new Organic Transition Initiative that will help build new and better markets and streams of income for farmers and producers. USDA says organic production allows producers to hold a unique position in the marketplace and thus take home a greater share of the food dollar.
New Univ of Idaho Extension bulletin focuses on devastating potato disease – bacterial ring rot
University of Idaho Extension has published a new bulletin to help potato farmers recognize the symptoms of bacterial ring rot (BRR) and protect their operations from the devastating crop disease. UI Extension Seed Potato Specialist Kasia Duellman hopes the bulletin will remind commercial and seed potato farmers to maintain good sanitation practices and remain vigilant for symptoms. She warns ring rot “can be an existential crisis for a seed potato grower’s business”.
Managing PCN: 6 key actions for success
Bayer Crop Science in the UK recently published an insightful article on its website, providing potato growers with advice on the management of potato cyst nematodes (PCN). According to information published in the article, the first step to effectively managing potato-cyst nematodes is to sample soils to identify the species present and the population density. This is best done after the potato crop is harvested when test results will be most accurate. Testing pre-planting is also a useful management tool.
PepsiCo Chairman on Positive Agriculture strategy: ‘An incredible start to our transformation journey’
“I’m excited to celebrate the one-year anniversary of pep+,” says Ramon Laguarta, Chairman and Chief CEO at PepsiCo in a LinkedIn post earlier today. “It’s been an incredible start to our transformation journey,” Laguarta posts. PepsiCo Positive (pep+) launched just over one year ago. PepsiCo’s sustainability leaders across the globe share what they learned during the first year of the company’s end-to-end transformation in a news article published on the PepsiCo website earlier today.
INTERPOM 2022 to feature innovations in the potato industry, seminars on climate change, crop protection and sustainability
INTERPOM 2022 will take place on 27, 28 & 29 of November and will once again be the ultimate international meeting place in Kortrijk Xpo (Belgium) for all professionals involved in the potato sector, according to the organizers. The event theme, ‘Towards healthy growth’, is all about cultivation methods, land use, growing in a socially responsible way, but also about sustainable transport and processing, autonomous energy use and sustainable water management.
Glory to the researchers: How multistate research efforts in the U.S. benefit the potato
Potatoes are the most widely grown and consumed vegetable in the United States. But challenges such as climate change, diseases and pests threaten both potato yields and quality. Supported by funding from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, research at Land-grant Universities is helping to make sure we have plenty of potatoes.
Cost of farm inputs in Britain soars ‘eye-watering’ 34% in a year
Farm input inflation has reached unprecedented levels in Great Britain, with seven out of nine categories seeing double-digit cost increases in the past year, threatening the viability of many farm businesses. As Philip Clarke reports for Farmers Weekly, latest figures from the country’s largest buying group, AF, show that, in the 12 months to September 2022, the cost of farm inputs went up by an “eye-watering” 34%.