Canadian growers harvest record potato crop

Canadian growers harvested a record potato crop in 2021, as production rose 18.2% year over year to 123.1 million hundredweight, on account of increases in both seeded area and yield, according to a report released by Statistics Canada today. Alberta reported the highest average yield across Canada, followed by New Brunswick (+47.4% to 350.0 hundredweight per acre) and Prince Edward Island (+33.0% to 334.4 hundredweight per acre).

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How do three main farm carbon calculators compare?

Mike Abram presents an insightful review of three popular so-called whole-farm carbon calculators in an article for Farmers Weekly in the UK . A few farmers tested the overall scope and structure of the calculators, all of which cover arable and livestock enterprises. The tools assessed were: Farm Carbon Toolkit, Agrecalc, and the Cool Farm Tool.

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Towards Net Zero: How to reduce emissions and store carbon

Farming has been recognised for the key role it can play in helping the UK meet its net zero emissions target by 2050, with individual farmers being encouraged to do their bit. There’s no magic bullet or one-size-fits-all approach, say experts, who highlight that we will need a multitude of different options to both reduce emissions and capture or store carbon in soils and woodlands.

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North American fertilizer shortage sparks fears of higher food prices, global nitrogen prices 80% higher

A global shortage of nitrogen fertilizer is driving prices to record levels, prompting North America’s farmers to delay purchases and raising the risk of a spring scramble to apply the crop nutrient before planting season, according to a report by The Guardian. Global nitrogen fertilizer sales were worth $53bn in 2020, and prices are at least 80% higher so far this year, according to Argus Media.

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Dutch industry body concerned about rise in potato production cost, ‘approaching 10,000 Euros per ha’

The cost price for the cultivation of ware potatoes has risen explosively, so contract prices have to rise sharply. The costs are approaching 10,000 euros per hectare, according to a report by Fenneke Wiepkema for the Dutch publication Akkerwijzer. Contract prices must therefore rise by at least 5 cents per kg in order to be of interest for growers, says the Dutch Arable Farming Union (NAV).

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Metos UK unveils new potato tech

A blue, potato-shaped sensor for in-store monitoring of potato crops and an app that estimates your potential crop yield from a photo and a blue mat have been launched by Metos UK at the recent British Potato event. Inside the blue tuber-shaped SolAntenna are sensors to measure and track temperature, humidity and CO2 levels in store.

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New Omnia ‘Carbon Cost of Production’ tool launched

It’s clearly understood that improved farm productivity is good for business and more recently, for carbon. But the challenge has always been how to measure the cost of producing a particular crop with regards to carbon. Hutchinsons’ new Omnia Carbon cost of production tool has been designed to tackle just this,

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Heat takes toll on Columbia Basin spud harvest

While potato farmers in the Columbia Basin could call on all the water they needed during this year’s drought, the heat still posed risks and has left its mark on this year’s potato crop. “Yield is down, and quality is also down,” said Adam Weber of Weber Farms near Quincy. He said the heat was to blame for the drop in yields and quality. “It’s 10% down, though it varies with varieties,” he said.

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‘Nematodes as bio-indicators of Soil Health’ – Fera Science shortlisted for National Potato Industry Award

Fera (Fera Science Ltd) is pleased to announce that it has been named a finalist for the Potato Review’s National Potato Industry Awards under the category of Innovation. This year’s submission focusses on the work that the in-house Nematology team have done to develop a new commercial test that can provide valuable management information on soil health and the wider cropping system.

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Soil health and regenerative techniques at the forefront at CropTec event

Soil health and regenerative techniques will be to the fore during this year’s CropTec seminars, writes Ken Fletcher in an article for The Scottish Farmer. With growers in the midst of a tumultuous time in British farming, this year’s programme will examine the building blocks for a sustainable arable farming future.

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All vines and no taters? A potato grower’s frustration

It takes leaves to make a potato crop, and maximum yields are achieved when potato plants cover the ground as rapidly as possible. This ensures plants capture the greatest amount of solar energy, writes Carrie Huffman Wohleb in this Growing Produce article. But you must strike the right balance between leaf and tuber growth, she says.

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Insight in potato crop development during extreme weather conditions

A Belgian project is gaining insight in potato crop development and quality during extreme weather conditions. An agricultural side experiment of the project, coordinated by Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) Remote Sensing, investigates the impact of extreme weather on the cultivation of potatoes. Some 500 smart sensors were installed in 295 potato fields across Flanders.

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‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’: Retailers commit to sustainable potatoes

Several key UK retailers have pledged to sell disease resistant organic potatoes, boosting sustainability and farm resilience for producers. Organic certification body the Soil Association developed its ‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’ in a bid to help growers move away from potatoes that are susceptible to blight. Signees to the pledge have agreed to favour organic spuds that have been bred to be blight resistant.

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‘Root Zero’: Carbon neutral potatoes from Puffin Produce a UK first

The home of the much-loved Pembrokeshire potato has added a new iconic product to supermarket shelves with the launch of the UK’s first carbon neutral potato. ‘Root Zero’ planet friendly potatoes are grown in Pembrokeshire by Puffin Produce. The spuds are certified carbon neutral and grown using sustainable farming practices to remove carbon dioxide, create healthy soil and increase local biodiversity.

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RNA-based biopesticide technology delivers 98% mortality of Colorado potato beetle

Renaissance BioScience Corp., a leading global bioengineering company, is pleased to announce that an independent test of its environmentally safe, RNA-based biopesticide technology conducted on Colorado potato beetle (CPB) larvae resulted in 98.3% mortality and greatly reduced the amount of plant damage caused by the beetle. The proof-of-concept test applied Renaissance’s proprietary yeast-based RNA interference technology.

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Analysis: Importance of science and technology in modern farming

Scientific discoveries and technological novelties greatly assist agribusiness, making it faster, more accurate, cost-effective, and efficient. At the disposal of present-day farmers, there are eco-friendly techniques, smart machinery and robots, resilient planting materials, and advanced sensors. While scientific and technological advancements improve current farming practices, agricultural challenges nurture scientists’ zest for yet more beneficial contributions in the future.

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Specialist shares views on cover crops, soil health and fertility

On this episode of the SpudChat podcast, Ryan Barrett, Research Coordinator and Project Lead, Agronomy Initiative at the Board talks to Dr. Judith Nyiraneza with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in Charlottetown about some of her research projects, including cover cropping, building soil health and fertility through rotation crops, measuring the effect of manure in potato rotations, and more.

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AsiaBlight Network takes its expertise to the field

In response to the late blight disease of potatoes, the AsiaBlight Network formed a coalition of farmers, scientists, and government officials to develop an integrated approach to managing, and eventually eradicating, late blight disease with an aim to improve nutrition and food security for billions throughout Asia.

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XAG demonstrates potential of fully autonomous drones for potato farmers

Flying into the Andes mountains of Ecuador, XAG Agricultural Drones are recently introduced to a series of on-farm spray trials for high-altitude specialty crops. The demonstrations on potato fields have presented the high potential of fully autonomous drones in reducing labour cost and agricultural pesticide exposure. The agile agricultural drone would be a powerful tool to promote sustainable farming in Ecuador’s 3.2 million hectares of cultivable soil.

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South Korean company EGG Microtubers received PotatoEurope’s Golden Innovation Award

During a special award ceremony on Wednesday September 1st, a professional jury awarded the PotatoEurope Gold Innovation Award to the Microtubers of E Green Global (EGG). Based on three criteria, namely innovativeness, potential impact in the potato market and applicability in the potato sector, the jury came to the decision to declare EGG Microtubers as the winner of the Golden Innovation Award.

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UK importer of seaweed-based biostimulant wants to establish network of regional agronomists

Agronomists interested in finding out more about biostimulants and the effect they can have on UK crops are being encouraged to contact one of Europe’s leading brands of natural fertilisers. The UK importer of seaweed-based biostimulant, Algifol, wants to establish a network of regional agronomists to receive insights and feedback from them and their clients. The company is offering free product to those that get involved.

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Alternative potato crop desiccation technology awarded, the new hybrid electric solution for alternative crop desiccation and weed management, has been voted the most innovative new technology in potato production by potato professionals worldwide. In addition to the Audience Award, NUCROP won the silver medal at the Potato Europe Innovation Awards out of 30 entries. Both prizes were presented on 1 September 2021 in Lelystad, the Netherlands.

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CropX and PepsiCo México to help Latin American potato farmers to improve farm management practices

AgAnalytics company CropX and PepsiCo México expand their collaboration to help PepsiCo’s Mexican potato farmers reduce water and fertilizer consumption, improve soil health, lower greenhouse emissions and improve crop yields. By collaborating with CropX, PepsiCo can now help growers in Latin America improve farm input application efficiency and become environmentally sustainable.

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