Cultivation/Production

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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Canada: Proposed pesticide ban surprises Prince Edward Island Potato Board

Health Canada’s proposal to phase out a pesticide over three years will have a significant impact on Island farmers, says the P.E.I. Potato Board. Health Canada announced the possible measures Thursday for neonicotinoid imidacloprid, which is most commonly sold commercially as Admire. “It is a tool that’s used in the potato industry for managing Colorado potato beetle, which is a chewing insect[Read More…]

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Another neonicotinoid ban in the works: Health Canada proposes a plan to eliminate imidacloprid use across the country

Canadian producers may have to prepare for additional insecticide bans. Health Canada has completed a re-evaluation and is proposing a ban of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. The draft risk assessment “proposes that current use of imidacloprid is not sustainable, and the levels of this pesticide that are being found in waterways and aquatic environments are harmful to aquatic insects, such as mayflies and[Read More…]

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French potato production estimated to reach 5.1 million tons

The National Potato Producers Union and National Interprofessional Potato Committee have estimated that French potato production will see a “slight decrease” of 2.3% this year, reaching 5.1 million tons compared to 5,226 million tons in 2015. The strongest decrease is seen in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais (-6.2%), followed by the Val de Loire (-3.1%) and Picardy (-2.7%). However, growth is strong in the[Read More…]

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Canada: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) coming to a potato field near you

Though unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are just beginning to buzz over Canadian crop fields, experts agree these new ‘eyes in the sky’ are about to fundamentally change how potato farmers see, interact with and manage their crops. Agriculture is on the cusp of a game-changing leap forward in technology. Currently, most agricultural unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used for the technologically[Read More…]

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Jersey: Potato growers take action to reduce level of nitrates

Potato growers have identified two areas where farming practices must change this winter to prevent a repeat of the water pollution that shut Val de la Mare reservoir for five months earlier this year. A month away from the planting of the early crop of the 2017 potato season, the Island’s biggest potato producer, the Jersey Royal Company, is reducing[Read More…]

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UK: AHDB Potatoes’ Next Generation tour the science behind the potato

AHDB Potatoes’ Next Generation headed to see the science behind potato seed on a two-day Scottish tour earlier this month. The group explored pre-basic minituber production on the first morning – the start of the process for the entire £4.8 billlion potato industry in Great Britain. Virtually all seed potato stocks produced in Scotland originate from the in-vitro, pathogen-tested microplant nuclear stock[Read More…]

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Improve late blight control practices with new ‘Focus on Potato’ webcast

Late blight of potato can spread very quickly and has the potential to be extremely destructive if managed improperly. The Plant Management Network has released a new presentation entitled “Late Blight Management Under Semi-Arid Conditions” to help potato growers recognize pathogen hosts, favorable disease conditions, and utilize effective control practices. The webcast, developed by Jeff Miller, President and CEO of Miller Research,[Read More…]

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Seed producer receives the British Potato Industry Award

Jim Cruickshank OBE, one of the most well respected seed producers in the UK, is this year’s winner of the British Potato Industry Award, organised by AHDB Potatoes. Presented to individuals for their outstanding contribution to the industry, Jim is the 20th winner of this prestigious honour. Announcing the winner at this year’s Seed Industry Event in St Andrew’s, AHDB[Read More…]

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Researcher makes first finding of disease strain in Idaho spuds

A researcher has confirmed the Idaho potato industry’s first known infection of a strain of the fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani that thrives in rotations with crops in the brassica family. University of Idaho plant pathologist James Woodhall found the infected tuber while digging spud samples in Ada County, scouting for a bacterial disease affecting potatoes called zebra chip. Woodhall said the potato[Read More…]

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China: ‘New farmers’ focus on green agriculture

Feng Xiaoyan views herself as a “new farmer”, despite being 53 years old. She is contracted to grow organic potatoes on 1,333 hectares of land in her hometown in the northwest province of Shaanxi, and she established her own brand, ‘Sister Potato’, in 2009. “I’m not young, but I think like young people in the internet age,” Feng said at the[Read More…]

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Researchers to keynote Idaho spud conference

When Kasia Kinzer ran the North Dakota State University Plant Diagnostic Laboratory, she had the luxury of having two of the potato industry’s top plant pathologists at her disposal to help her identify especially challenging disease samples. Now, as co-organizer of the 49th Annual Idaho Potato Conference, Kinzer is again tapping the expertise of the pathologists — Neil Gudmestad and Gary[Read More…]

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‘Humigator’ helps potatoes stay disease-free, not shrink

A local invention called a “humigator” is helping potato growers across the country have yearlong control over their potatoes. Garry Isaacs, the creator of the humigator, developed the first prototype in 1985. He said the name is a combination of the words humid and fumigator. Its primary function is to clean the air of potato storage sites, by doing so the[Read More…]

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US: Columbia Basin potato farmers happy with harvest

As fall potato harvest wraps up around the Columbia Basin, farmers are expecting above-average yield and quality thanks to an exceptional growing season. Bill Brewer, CEO of the Oregon Potato Commission, said early spring conditions helped to jump-start the crop’s growth, while summer cooled off enough to avoid stifling the plants. Most farms finished harvesting ahead of schedule, Brewer said, with[Read More…]

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Agro-techniques for producing a potato crop from True Potato Seed (TPS)

Potato is a high input crop and is traditionally cultivated through seed tubers. About 40-50% of the total cost of production is needed to procure seed tubers. Constraints of poor availability of high-quality seed tubers in adequate quantity and at a reasonable cost, inadequate availability of important inputs like fertilizers, pesticides etc., coupled with a lack of knowledge of improved technologies for[Read More…]

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US: Florida’s Jones Potato Farm receives state award for environmental leadership

Jones Potato Farm recently became the third Manatee County farming operation to receive the Florida Ag Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award since it was first presented in 1994. The previous Manatee County recipients were Pacific Tomato Growers of Palmetto in 1999 and Schroeder-Manatee Ranch of Lakewood Ranch in 1995. Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam presented the awards at the Florida Farm Bureau state[Read More…]

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UK: Price boost potential for potato growers

Processing potato prices could provide a boost for British potato exports, according to AHDB. The fall in the pound and issues with supply in Belgium and the Netherlands mean British processing potato prices are lower than their major European competitors. Ex-farm values are about €70–€80/tonne (£63-£72/t) lower than comparable Belgian and Dutch quotes. Arthur Marshall, market intelligence analyst at AHDB, said it was[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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