Cultivation/Production

First fungicide in Canada to curb verticillium wilt in potatoes now cleared

A label expansion for Syngenta’s Aprovia fungicide, to cover additional soil-borne potato diseases, makes it the first fungicide in Canada approved to suppress verticillium wilt in potatoes. Fumigants have been potato growers’ only option against the crop disease until now, Eric Phillips, Syngenta Canada’s fungicides and insecticides product lead, said in a release. Verticillium wilt, the company said, is “one of the[Read More…]

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US: New potato insecticide/fungicide seed treatment announced

Syngenta has announced CruiserMaxx Vibrance Potato insecticide/fungicide seed treatment is now available for purchase, following its registration by EPA. It contains Vibrance fungicide seed treatment, which includes the active ingredient Sedaxane and is a new tool for potato growers. In addition to Sedaxane, the other active ingredients in the seed treatment include Thiamethoxam, Fludioxonil, and Difenoconazole. CruiserMaxx Vibrance Potato combines fungicides to[Read More…]

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Treating soil like the living organism it is would benefit potato yields, experts say

When Eric Giberson was growing up on a potato farm in central Aroostook County in the 1970s, “you grew potatoes in the ground,” he said. “I didn’t grow up thinking that soil was a living organism — it is,” said Giberson, a conservationist with the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service in Fort Kent, at the 32nd annual Maine Potato Conference. The conference,[Read More…]

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Netherlands keen to help Pakistan grow salt-tolerant potatoes

The Netherlands is exploring the possibility of starting a programme to grow salt-tolerant potatoes in Pakistan. Ambassador of the Netherlands Jeannette Seppen met Minister for National Food Sec­u­rity and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan on Thursday and discussed a project which would provide Pakistani potato farmers access to quality Dutch seeds, particularly the high yield ‘paramount’ variety. Mr Bosan informed[Read More…]

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US: Idaho Potato Commission, retailers partner on maintaining spud quality

The Idaho Potato Commission plans to partner with retailers on a program to identify and correct latent quality problems that surface in fresh spuds after they’re packed and shipped. Seth Pemsler, IPC’s vice president of retail and international programs, explained some major retailers have agreed to share information about how they handle potatoes upon receiving them, along with more specific observations[Read More…]

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Rwanda: Farmers push for affordable Irish potato seed

The soaring prices of Irish potato seed has left smallholder farmers lamenting, triggering efforts by different stakeholders to a seek remedy. The prices for seed  are soaring at the time when farmers are getting little from the produce, with the farm price for a kilogramme of Irish potato now down to between Rwf110 and 140, according to farmers from Northern and[Read More…]

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UK: Online calculator helps cut farms’ greenhouse gas emissions

It’s called the Cool Farm Tool (CFT) — an easy-to-use online calculator which helps farmers monitor their emissions of greenhouse gases. The CFT was initially developed by researchers at the University of Aberdeen in the UK in partnership with Unilever and the Sustainable Food Lab. Now managed by a group including academics and food manufacturers called the Cool Farm Alliance, the CFT is free for farmers[Read More…]

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UK: Potato soil pest survey launched

A nationwide potato growers’ surveyis set to evaluate the wider implications of key soil pest issues and assess whether growers are winning the battle against losses, or identify whether problems are getting progressively worse. the survey seeks to evaluate how growers perceive the effectiveness of current integrated pest management (IPM) measures in the field, and the impacts that adopting new practices[Read More…]

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Scottish tatties buck the trend

While there was a 5% drop in overall UK production this season, 2016 was a better year for potatoes in the north. Scottish production was up 9% on 2015, with export figures also looking very healthy; early SASA data shows non-EU seed exports from July to November up by 40%. Scottish yields per hectare were above the GB average this[Read More…]

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UK: Award-winning potato breeder to speak at sector conference

An award-winning potato breeder from the north-east is among the line-up of speakers confirmed for a major potato industry conference next month. Morrice Innes, who alongside his wife Ann grows and maintains nearly 700 varieties of potatoes at his home in Oldtown, Newmachar, will discuss heritage varieties at the annual conference of the SAC Association of Potato Producers (SACAPP). The full-day event[Read More…]

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Australia: Washed ware potato pest report released for comment

The Department of Agriculture and Food has released a draft pest categorisation report for stakeholder consultation, as part of a review of washed ware potato imports from other Australian states and territories. Washed ware potatoes are currently permitted entry into Western Australia from interstate, subject to quarantine measures. The report, which identifies quarantine pests associated with the washed ware potato pathway,[Read More…]

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Increased integration of research with practice making ‘significant’ contribution to UK crop production

This is the general consensus of the tenth AHDB Agronomists’ Conference, which highlighted the value of farmer-led knowledge exchange initiatives and the importance of combining increasingly limited funds and resources. Delegates also heard how major new initiatives have opened up significant opportunities for the UK’s research community to tap into multi-million pound investment programmes. Around 300 agronomists, growers and other members of[Read More…]

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Belgian potato area growing to almost 100,000 hectares

The Belgian potato area is growing significantly each year, and according to the latest prognoses the milestone of 100,000 hectares will be reached in 2017 or 2018. “This year we will reach approximately 90,000 hectares. The step to 100,000 is not much bigger after that, and it will therefore not take very long either,” says Romain Cools. Cools continues: “Fact is[Read More…]

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UK: Smith Period blight alert set to be replaced

Now 60 years old, the current methodology for predicting blight pressure, known as the Smith Period, is set to be replaced by an improved alert system expected to be in place before the 2017 blight risk period. Following research undertaken by the James Hutton Institute and funded by AHDB Potatoes, the newly developed ‘Hutton Criteria’ was described as ‘a significant advancement’[Read More…]

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US: Precision ag drone system creator earns commercial investment

Raptor Maps has grown its drone-based system designed for specialty crop precision agriculture applications into a business worthy of investment. The Commercial Drone Fund, a venture-backed capital fund launched by Airware, has invested an undisclosed amount in the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company. Raptor maps has created a system and software package that can analyze data and provide potential actions to farmers. In Washington,[Read More…]

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Canada: Prairie potato yields continue to rise

Potato storage sheds in Manitoba are full, thanks to blockbuster yields this fall. In fact, yields were so large that a portion of Manitoba’s potato crop is still in the ground. “Some people had yields they were just not anticipating,” said Dan Sawatzky, manager of the Keystone Potato Producers Association. “They ran out of storage space.” Consequently, about 1,300 acres of potatoes weren’t[Read More…]

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App with satellite images for Belgian potato sector

There are many initiatives for precision agriculture. The Belgian potato sector will start using satellite images next year. “We have been busy with this project ‘Watch iT Grow’ for a while now, and in the beginning of February 2017, we will introduce a new app,” says Isabelle Piccard of VITO Remote Sensing, one of the participating organizations. Together with Belgapom,[Read More…]

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Recovery for Swedish table potatoes

The Swedish potato production is estimated at 553 000 tonnes this year. This is 5 percent higher than the 2015 harvest and at the same level as the five-year average. This means a recovery compared with last year’s record low total yield. The main reason for the increased total yield is an increased table potato area. The preliminary area amounted to[Read More…]

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US: Spud officials optimistic about prospects for larger crop

Potato industry leaders are optimistic about demand for a fall 2016 spud crop that recent USDA estimates show was slightly larger than the prior year nationally and significantly bigger in the Pacific Northwest. U.S. production, at 405.172 million hundredweight, was up by 471,000 hundredweight from the 2015 harvest. U.S. growers planted about 20,000 fewer acres this season, but their average yields,[Read More…]

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US: RPE’s Randy Shell highlights Midwest potato market and organic line

With an expanding organic line, a new label, and another potato harvest under its belt, Wisconsin-based grower and shipper RPE, Inc. is putting another banner year in the books. “All new crop potatoes out of Wisconsin are being shipped out of storage with the exception of our bite-sized potatoes in California. These potatoes are harvested fresh five times per year,” said[Read More…]

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UK: Good harvesting conditions but average yields for potatoes

With the potato harvest virtually complete, generally good harvesting conditions enabled many British growers to meet their contracts, however, yields and quality are average following a less than ideal growing season. AHDB market analyst Arthur Marshall says although harvesting had been a week or so behind average, there had been no significant problems with getting the crop lifted. Ben Sykes, who grows[Read More…]

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Report: StatsCan releases data on Canadian potato production, 2016

According to StatsCan, potato production in Canada was 105.2 million hundredweight (4.7 million tonnes) in 2016, up 0.5% from 2015. Production in British Columbia increased 41.8% to 315.0 hundredweight per acre. Ontario, which experienced extreme summer heat and drought, saw production and yield fall 17.2% compared with a year earlier. Harvested area edged down 0.2% from 2015. In 2016, Prince Edward Island represented 24.5% of total potato production and Manitoba 21.3%. Report

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UK potato production dips by five per cent

The 2016 British potato crop is expected to be down five per cent on last year at 5.22 million tonnes, AHDB Potatoes has said. Average yields are also forecasted to have slipped eight percent to just under 45 tonnes per hectare, while planted area is up four per cent to 116,000 hectares. Supply could be even tighter than last year, the body[Read More…]

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Irish potato experts invent new spud to help feed millions in Kenya

Ireland can help provide food security to Kenya through incredible scientific advances in the production of the potato involving Irish experts, it was revealed today. Donegal farmer Derek Roulston has been leading a group of experts from the Donegal Investments’ potato company IPM planting crops 2,000 metres above sea level in the foothills of Mount Kenya. They have developed new breeds of[Read More…]

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Canada: Manitoba potato producers store record crop

Potato producers in Manitoba seem to be getting better with each passing year. That from Carman-area producer Jason Kehler, who grows about 850 acres of the processing variety for Simplot and McCain. 2016 was a record year for many potato growers thanks to cool, wet weather conditions and an early planting season. However, with the large crop, storage has been in issue[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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