Belgian potato harvest slow but steady

“Regarding the Belgian potato harvest, it seems as if we can speak more and more of a blessing in disguise. The wet month of July and the dry summer made it was almost impossible to grub up the potatoes. Fortunately, enough rain fell in large parts of Belgium, allowing the grubbing machines and contract workers to work region by region,”[Read More…]

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Belgium: Potato producers are relieved

For a moment, it seemed as if the doomsday scenario was coming true, but this weekend potato producers can finally feel relieved. “At last the weather conditions were in our favour and we could start the harvest. We were beginning to wonder if it would ever rain again. Although, I think it has rained enough for now,” says Bart Nemegheer of[Read More…]

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US: Maine potato growers love what they do and they do it extremely well

Potatoes are the leading vegetable crop in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. The nationwide crop contributes about 15 percent of farm sales receipts for vegetables each year. Annually over 30 billion pound of potatoes are produced in the nation. Before potatoes can bear the red, white and blue State of Maine Quality Trademark[Read More…]

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Improving phosphorus management

With a global population expected by some to reach 9 billion people by 2050, improved management of key essential nutrients such as phosphorus will be necessary to boost crop yields and stay one step ahead of steeply rising food demand. If an applied rate of phosphorus is less than optimum for a crop under existing conditions, and a practice such as fertilizer[Read More…]

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Report: Potato cultivation in danger of disappearing from the Netherlands

The Dutch potato cultivation has a strong position in northwestern Europe because of its good entrepreneurs and strong chain. These Dutch entrepreneurs are also in a leading position in the field of sustainability. At the same time, returns of potato cultivators are increasingly under pressure. There are plenty of opportunities for improving returns, and to continue investing in sustainability and[Read More…]

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2016 Red River Valley red potato crop looks red on paper too

The 2016 red potato crop damage may be the greatest suffered by the Red River Valley industry since 2001, according to Ted Kreis, marketing director of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. The association is based in E. Grand Forks, MN. “I think we possibly lost a third, if not more of the crop,” Kreis estimated as his growers began harvesting[Read More…]

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Research: Potatoes and biochar are not friends

Studies have shown that adding biochar to soil can improve soil fertility, increase nutrient utilisation in plants, improve soil water-holding capacity, increase crop yield and reduce emission of greenhouse gases. However, if you are a potato farmer, your joy may be short-lived. Biochar and potatoes do not go very well together – at least not if you are aiming at saving[Read More…]

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UK: Cultivating better practice

Most potato growers could afford to cultivate at least one inch shallower, according to NIAB research scientist, Mark Stalham, who outlined the benefits of reduced cultivation at the latest AHDB SPot farm walk. The event, held at James Daw’s farm in Staffordshire, identified reduced erosion, better work speeds and reduced costs as just some of the advantages associated with limiting secondary[Read More…]

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Potato farming a ‘bright light’ in UK ag, says Produce Investments

The potato sector will prove a “bright light” of a UK agriculture sector facing weak prices of the likes of grains and dairy, leading packer Produce Investments said, as it unveiled a rise in its own underlying profits. While the main UK potato harvest is still in its early stages – with 38,000 hectares cleared as of last weekend, according to[Read More…]

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Show Review: Over 300 Exhibitors at PotatoEurope 2016

The 300 exhibitors present (25% more than in 2008) were able to meet with their customers, at PotatoEurope, in Villers-Saint Christophe, France, September 14-15. The dynamism of the various sectors, from seed production to trade of consumption tubers (France being the leading European exporter) but also the processing industries, attracted a wide international audience. Foreign participants came mainly from Benelux, Germany and[Read More…]

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Bolivia: Potato planting season begins in Santa Cruz

The late-winter potato harvest has begun in Santa Cruz, according to the Ministry of Rural Development and Land. As part of a programme to strengthen potato production (FYPP) and through the public Decentralised Food Sovereignty Institution (Ipdsa), they had previously transferred 1,500 bushels of seed of the Desiree variety, to benefit the inhabitants of the municipality of Fernández Alonso, in[Read More…]

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Cambodia: Centre eyes potatoes for a changing diet

Cambodia’s first experimental farm and research centre for potato cultivation opened yesterday as experts confirmed that the Kingdom’s soils are suitable for the starchy tuber – raising hopes that local crops could one day satisfy the fast-food cravings that have put potatoes in high demand. The facility is located on the campus of Royal University of Agriculture. Minister of Agriculture Veng Sakhon[Read More…]

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Bad potato harvest in North Korea this year due to flooding

It is a particularly unsuccessful year for North Korean agriculture. An inside source in North Korea has reported that torrenting rains have affected the potato harvest in Unheung and Daehongdan in Ryanggang Province.  “Last year, each province had been able to produce at least half a year’s worth of potatoes in rations for farmers, but the monsoon rain washed away[Read More…]

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NEPG estimate for the 2016 potato harvest: More acres, less production and a lot of uncertainty

The North-western European Potato Growers (NEPG) expect in the 5 covered countries (NL, B, FR, GB, DE) a lower production of potatoes (seed and potatoes.for starch production not included) compared to last season. The production for 2016 is estimated at 24.9 million tons while in 2015 25.9 million ton was harvested. The losses due to the flooding are included in[Read More…]

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Battered and Bruised: Managing bruising during harvest

What can be done to minimize bruises and wounds this harvest season? There are two major components to bruise management: 1) factoring in tuber conditions and variety susceptibility to bruise with a harvest, and 2) running a handling operation designed to minimize physical impact or damage of the tubers. There are two types of harvest bruises: blackspot and shatter. Two events[Read More…]

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US: At harvest time Wisconsin potato crop looks good

The Executive Director of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association based in Antigo says it has been a good weather year for the potato crop and prices are stable. Tamas Houlihan says the crop had a good weather year. “….the last couple of years we’ve had unusual springs where it was either too cold or too wet This year most of[Read More…]

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Pakistan: Outlook for the next potato crop

As potato sowing nears in Punjab, farmers’ early hopes are positive for the crops’ production and trade. After two years of financial grilling, they hope, though still cautiously, to be compensated to some extent in the coming season. Their optimism has reasons. Firstly, hit by a glut in the market for the past two years, many small farmers have opted to sow[Read More…]

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Lower Saxony, Germany: Potatoes too hot for storage

Potato farmers in Lower Saxony, Germany, start the potato harvest with expectations of an average yield. After a difficult growing period with a lot of rain, farmers now have to cope with heat and drought. “With this hot weather, potatoes are too warm to store immediately,” states Thorsten Riggert of Landvolk in Lower Saxony. The quality of the harvest is[Read More…]

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Canada: Growers asked to join the fight against late blight

Potato and tomato growers are being asked to help the effort to restore Alberta’s status of being free of late blight. “Everyone was encouraged to increase early and season-long monitoring of fields, gardens, and greenhouses in order to protect crops from late blight, as well as have a quicker response to any perceived infections,” said Robert Spencer, commercial horticulture specialist with[Read More…]

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US: Rainy summer makes tough times for potato growers

The unusually rainy weather this spring and summer has destroyed portions of potato crops in North Dakota and Minnesota. Chuck Gunnerson, president of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, said northeastern North Dakota appears to have borne the brunt of the damage. By his estimation, some growers have lost up to 30 percent of their total potato crops. The wet soil[Read More…]

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Canada: ‘Attract and kill’ technique controls wireworms in potatoes

Wireworm damage cost Price Edward Island potato growers in Canada around $6 million in 2014. Decades ago the click beetle larvae were successfully controlled with chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides. Those agents were banned in the 1970s and 1980s because of their toxicity to animals and their tendency to build up in the soil. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has developed a new[Read More…]

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