Production/Agronomy

US: Wisconsin potatoes enjoying strong start to 2014 season

The weather has been kind, providing Wisconsin potato growers with a very good summer production season. The earliest harvest started well in mid-August. Weather permitting, the growers expect a very good fall harvest. “It’s been a great growing season. It’s gone real well,” said Mike Carter, chief executive officer of Bushmans’ Inc., in Rosholt, WI. Wisconsin’s potato growing season started[Read More…]

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UK: Quality is key for 2014 potato crop

With the potential of a high yielding maincrop potato harvest this season, growers are being advised quality will be key to ensure crops meet buyer specification. Favourable conditions through the growing season have boosted maincrop yield prospects and, although there was a scare with blight earlier in the season, crops look well. According to John Sarup of Spud Agronomy, very[Read More…]

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Australia: Challenges dug up at potato conference

THE 2014 Potato Industry Conference revealed more than just the physical challenges of farming to Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture senior seed certification officer Leonie White. Mrs White was impressed by the younger farmers who stood up and discussed the challenges of working with parents and taking over farm management. One speaker, Professor Gary Secor, of North Dakota State University, discussed[Read More…]

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Australian potato growers feel financial pressure

AUSTRALIAN potato growers are feeling the pinch of financial pressures with recents costs rising and returns falling. According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), potato growers’ returns fell by about 50 per cent – on average – in 2011-12 when comparing to previous years. AUSVEG spokesman Andrew MacDonald said the diminished returns had been driven[Read More…]

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India: McCain, DuPont to empower potato farmers

McCain Foods and DuPont India are collaborating to implement the Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) Farm Assurer Certification Program with McCain contract farmers. The program is designed to equip farmers to follow GAP in order to ensure food, worker and environmental safety in growing potatoes sustainably while enhancing harvest quality and marketability. Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com See on Scoop.it – Potato News

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UK: Preparing your potato harvester – 10 top tips to minimise crop damage

With the main potato harvest fast approaching, and the prospect of a good supply of high-quality potatoes, damage tolerances are expected to be tight. It is therefore important the crop reaches customers in the best possible condition. Stuart Smith of Grimme gives us his 10 top tips for keeping damage to a minimum during harvest. Source: www.farmersguardian.com See on Scoop.it[Read More…]

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Grain aphid threat to Scottish seed potatoes | News

THE grain aphid could become a threat to seed potato crops, visitors to PiP heard. Grain aphids with resistance to commonly-used pyrethroid insecticides have been appearing in increasing numbers across England. Analysis of aphids caught in suction traps revealed the presence of pyrethroid-resistant grain aphids in Scotland in 2012. Source: www.farmersguardian.com See on Scoop.it – Potato News

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UK: Region’s growers play role in record potato exports

The Potato Council has announced that a new British export record was set in seed potatoes over the course of the last export season. During the last 12 years, the UK has grown exports from 70,000 per annum to more than 100,000 tonnes – the new record set in 2013/14. While the majority of seed potatoes exported from Britain are[Read More…]

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UK: Region’s growers play role in record potato exports

The Potato Council has announced that a new British export record was set in seed potatoes over the course of the last export season. During the last 12 years, the UK has grown exports from 70,000 per annum to more than 100,000 tonnes – the new record set in 2013/14. According to the industry body, the success is largely due[Read More…]

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Mildew threatens potato crops in France

Mildew is a big threat to potato farmers in the North of France at the moment due to climate conditions favourable to the disease. “Humidity and temperatures of 20°C favour its spreading.  We have to treat the fields every 3-4 days to avoid the spores reaching the tubers” says Nicolas Courtois.  If this happened the potatoes would be unfit for[Read More…]

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UK: Slug threat concerns over cover crop greening option

The impact of new CAP greening rules, combined with loss of slug pellet active ingredient methiocarb, mean potato growers are facing a double blow to their enterprises in 2015, experts warned at Potatoes in Practice. Speaking at the event, Andy Evans, team leader for the applied practice team at Scotland’s Rural College, said methiocarb had been the most popular active[Read More…]

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India: Odisha govt to tie up with CIP to boost potato production in state

The government will initiate a project ‘Sustainable intensification of potato in rice-based systems in Odisha for increasing productivity and profitability’ with the assistance of CIP to produce improved varieties of potato in regions with warm climatic conditions. Source: odishasuntimes.com See on Scoop.it – Potato News

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US: Potato industry keys in on mop-top

The potato industry is increasing its focus on potato mop-top virus and has proposed to include research on the tuber disease in a five-year, multi-state grant. A team of 29 potato scientists from 11 institutions in nine states has applied to add potato mop-top virus — a crop disease that’s widespread in U.S. fields but has mostly flown under the[Read More…]

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Canada: Leading the way in Potato Research

Potato growers in Canada could soon have some additional tools in their relentless battle against in-season pests and disease, thanks to a comprehensive new research project being co-ordinated by the Canadian Potato Council. The five-year project is being funded by potato producers, industry partners and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. As part of the agri-science cluster project, researchers from across the[Read More…]

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UK: Agrico in cutting-edge research into blackleg and eelworm

Seed potato company Agrico UK is heavily involved in cutting-edge research and trials work which, if successful, could see two of the greatest scourges in the industry called to heel. Speaking at a growers’ day at Ladenford, Forfar, courtesy of Lour Farms, Agrico executive director Archie Gibson pointed to work funded by the Agritechnology Strategy Board along with his own[Read More…]

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UK: Potatoes in Practice delivers broad technical programme

Despite pressure on growers to get combining out of the way before bad weather closed in, Potatoes in Practice (PiP), held on 7 August, saw high visitor numbers with over 650 industry attending. Dr Rob Clayton, Director of Potato Council which sponsors the event, spoke alongside Prof. Iain Gordon, CEO of the James Hutton Institute. Rob told visitors that “We[Read More…]

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US: R.D. Offutt Co cuts pesticide use on Minnesota land

A Fargo-based potato grower is finding that using fewer pesticides is better for business and the environment. R.D. Offutt Co., the nation’s largest potato grower, cut pesticide use by 30 percent last year after installing a new system, Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1q4XsKX ) reported. Automated weather stations and an advanced computer program now help the company predict disease risk[Read More…]

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US potato industry keys in on mop-top virus

The potato industry is increasing its focus on potato mop-top virus and has proposed to include research on the tuber disease in a five-year, multi-state grant. A team of 29 potato scientists from 11 institutions in nine states has applied to add potato mop-top virus — a crop disease that’s widespread in U.S. fields but has mostly flown under the[Read More…]

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UK: Potato growers should rethink speculative planting

Potato growers were urged to reconsider planting outside of contracts, as the GB weekly free-buy potato price hit just £131/t in the week ending 25 July. This was nearly £106/t less than the same week last year, according to figures from the Potato Council. Meanwhile, those on contracts were faring better. Source: www.fwi.co.uk See on Scoop.it – Potato News

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Zimbabwe: ‘Sack potato a flop’

Production of potatoes in sacks has proved to be a non-profitable venture with farmers registering zero to one kilogram per plant, an expert said last week. Planting potatoes in sacks was adopted from Israel and the United States. It was estimated that a farmer got the most out of a single plant and could harvest a maximum of 30kg of[Read More…]

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US: Huge water savings made with ‘remarkable’ new irrigation methods

A Florida-based potato farmer who recently won an award for his sustainable irrigation methods firmly believes all farmers should adopt the system for the good of the planet. Riverdale Potato Farms vice president and third generation family member Bryan Jones, last month received one of the state’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards for the subsurface drip irrigation system he developed with his[Read More…]

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UK: Glyphosate warning for seed potato growers

One of the riskiest activities in the farming world is spraying glyphosate anywhere near a growing crop of seed potatoes. The consequences of spray drift landing on the potato crop can be financially colossal if it results, as it can easily do, in the daughter crop failing. The risk is at its highest right now with cereal and oilseed rape[Read More…]

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Idaho potato growers scale back insecticide use

Some Idaho potato growers have reduced their use of insecticides designed to prevent zebra chip disease. The Capital Press (http://bit.ly/1nNGljU ) reports that growers are putting off spraying for psyllids, winged insects that can spread bacteria that causes potatoes to have dark bands when fried. Source: www.bnd.com See on Scoop.it – Potato News

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Nigeria: Blight disease destroys Irish potato farms

The Plateau State government says it has approved the sum of N68 Million as counterpart fund for potato production. In the wake of the destruction of Irish potato farms by the blight disease, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Hayward Mafuyai, has offered to partner with the Plateau State Government to tackle the disease that has allegedly destroyed[Read More…]

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UK, India: International cooperation to study nematodes

Experts from the United Kingdom and India are working together to identify and develop novel environmentally sustainable strategies to control plant pests, known as plant-parasitic nematodes or eelworms, to ensure global food production and security. The project is funded by the U.K.-India Education and Research Initiative. Plant-parasitic nematodes are thought to cause annual losses to crops in the region of[Read More…]

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US: Potato industry battles declining demand

The potato industry is looking at ways to meet consumer needs in order to address declining consumption trends. The industry will promote unusual sizes, shapes and colors of potatoes — and their healthful benefits — as growers and marketers try to reverse a downward trend in consumer demand. Per-capita consumption has been decreasing since the 1990s at a rate of[Read More…]

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