Gordon MP Richard Thomson has warned DEFRA Farming Minister Victoria Prentis that the “clock is ticking” for Scottish seed potato exports as the Irish Government put in place a €3million investment scheme in their domestic potato growers in a bid to capitalise on the ban on imports of Scottish seed potatoes. Irish Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said this presents a timely opportunity for the Irish seed potato sector to develop capacity and expand
Germany has replaced Belgium as the largest buyer of Dutch seed potatoes for the 2021-2022 marketing season, as Ferdinand Woodridge reports for Dividend Wealth. He says this is evident from the final figures for seed potato exports released by the Dutch Potato Organization (NAO). Germany bought 112,300 tonnes of Dutch seed potatoes from the 2021 harvest. This is 14,000 tonnes and 14 percent more than last year.
Gordon MP Richard Thomson has again called on the UK Government to get a deal in place that would see the resumption of exports of Scottish seed potatoes to the EU and Northern Ireland. Currently, as well as losing access to the valuable EU export market, Scottish seed potatoes are unable to be exported to Northern Ireland as a result of the UK’s Brexit deal. “It seems to me that Ministers would be knocking on an open door if they went to Brussels with it,” he said.
A group of nine seed potato growers from across Scotland, along with technical back-up, are putting together a new organisation to support and develop the seed potato sector. The new Seed Potato Organisation (SPO) is starting to take shape. The growers have put together a prospectus with all the details and want to speak to other seed growers this summer.
The ongoing post-Brexit ban on selling seed potatoes to the valuable European market continues to anger and frustrate Scottish growers according to NFU Scotland. As William Kellett reports for Agiland, the union is calling for urgent action from the EU Commission and the UK government to agree a new model for two-way trade in seed potatoes between GB, the EU and Northern Ireland.
At times, potato growers may experience poor emergence of potato plants. There are number of reasons why potato plants may not emerge properly. Potato specialists Andy Robinson, Eugenia Banks and Steven B. Johnson have compiled a list of common problems that can cause poor potato emergence and stand. Utilizing this list can help growers more rapidly identify the cause and improve management of the crop and subsequent crops.
University of Idaho entomology doctoral student Kelie Yoho’s research suggests mineral oils could offer an environmentally friendly tool to help potato seed growers avoid losses to potato virus Y (PVY). U of I master’s student Nathan Gelles has studied promising methods to promote sprouting in freshly harvested potatoes.
In recognition of the value of the horticulture sector in Ireland, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, and Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity with special responsibility for horticulture, Senator Pippa Hackett, today announced the opening of the €3 million scheme of Investment Aid for the Seed Potato Sector. Capital grant aid is available at a rate of up to 40% for all approved investments with qualifying young farmers receiving up to 60% grant aid.
Irish tillage farmers are expected to get €3million to encourage them to grow potatoes again. Following Brexit, EU plant health rules prevent the importation of certified seed from Britain. Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConologue, is taking this opportunity to kickstart the Irish seed potato industry and will seek approval for €3million in funding from Cabinet on Tuesday.
Agrico Potato Services Africa (PSA), producer of Kenyan certified seed potatoes, is proud to communicate another impressive milestone reached. The popularity of their Facebook page continue to grow rapidly in popularity, and the company says over 50,000 Kenyan potato farmers are now digitally connecting with Agrico PSA online via their Facebook page.
One of the world’s largest the National Gene Bank of named after V.Ya. Yuriev National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine, located in Kharkiv, was destroyed during the war. The bank kept more than 160 thousand varieties of plant seeds, and hybrids of agricultural crops worldwide, including seeds that no longer exist in Europe and in the world.
Working to safeguard the food security and livelihoods of vulnerable rural families in Ukraine, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has distributed seed potato kits to 17 740 households from across ten of the country’s oblasts so they can plant food in time for the next harvesting season. Some 46 000 people stand to benefit from the campaign.
Hybrid potato innovator Solynta and seed enhancement company Incotec announced at the International Seed Federation (ISF) congress today they have entered in a collaboration agreement. By combining forces, the group will bring world class seed technology and elite genetics to potato farmers worldwide.
The provincial government of Prince Edward Island (PEI) is announcing new funding for a project to support seed potato producers in adapting to ongoing trade suspensions by planting soil-building crops. The “Soil Building for Seed Producers Project” is a $3 million provincial investment into Prince Edward Island’s seed sector.
Despite the fact that the conflict in Ukraine is affecting HZPC’s sales, HZPC is keeping its profit forecast intact after three quarters in the 2021-2022 financial year. HZPC says it expects the volume of seed potatoes traded by HZPC and its licensees to reach a tonnage just above 900,000 tons, about the same as the tonnage in 2020-2021. For the entire fiscal year, HZPC expects to realize a turnover of 342 million euros (in 2020-2021 this was 314 million euros).
Teagasc, The Agriculture and Food Development Authority of the Republic of Ireland, has urged potato growers to contact seed producers now to organise fresh seed for the 2023 season, as the Brexit impasse shows no sign of easing. Advisers said the supply of seed for many varieties is tight this year.
Urgent government action has been demanded to prevent illegally-imported potatoes bringing a “grave risk” of pests and diseases into East Anglia. Warnings were raised in a national farming magazine last month that 1,000 tonnes of “small ware” Agria potatoes have been imported as uncertified seed potatoes for spring planting in west Norfolk, south Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.
As the risks from the climate crisis and global conflict increase, roughly 1,700 seed banks are increasingly considered a priceless resource that could one day prevent a worldwide food crisis, write Salomé Gómez-Upegui and Rita Liu in an extensive article published by The Guardian. One of these is the Potato Park, located in Pisac, Peru.
The health and success of Idaho’s staple crop is receiving renewed support with the launch of the new University of Idaho Seed Potato Germplasm Laboratory. As Emily Pearce reports for Moscow-Pullman Daily News, the $5.6 million lab opened its doors to the community with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, complete with potato-themed desserts and guided tours of the new space.
Potato is an important food and nutritional security crop in sub-Saharan Africa. However, a quick look reveals a glaring challenge faced by farmers across the continent: limited access to quality seed potato. The situation is no different in Cameroon. But recent success in Kenya – supported by the International Potato Center (CIP) – holds great promise for Cameroon and other SSA countries.
Prince Edward Island potato farmers got a visit from the federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food on Saturday, March 26, who told them seed potato growers will be waiting at least another year for good news on the reopening of the market for exports to the U.S. “…the market will not open this year, and probably not next year as well,” she said.
A meeting of Scottish seed potato growers in Forfar the past week has agreed to set up a co-op to represent the sector. As John Sleigh reports for The Scottish Farmer, the new body, which is as yet unnamed, aims to deliver four outcomes for the seed potato sector; support development of markets; secure economic and environmental sustainability; fund research, innovation and more.
A deal to export 2,000t of Scottish seed potatoes to Russia has been scrapped by PepsiCo following criticism of the arrangement. As Ed Henderson reports for Farmers Weekly, the company said “a couple of lorries” had already left Scottish farms this week, but following discussion with growers, the decision had been made to stop future shipments.
Seed potato exporters have been told “very clearly” they should disinvest from Russia, a minister has said, following reports that 2000 tonnes of Scottish produce will be sent there. As Emer O’Toole reports for The National, Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon, said “We’ve led calls for businesses to disinvest from Russia as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.”
The Scottish government sparked fury after it approved a deal by PepsiCo to send seed potatoes to be planted Russia. In a £600,000 deal with Aberdeen’s Saltire Seed, 2,000 tons of seed potatoes will be delivered to Russian farmers by a convoy of 100 lorries.
Earlier this week (16 March) the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development held an “Exchange of views on the disruption in the EU-GB trade in seed potatoes” to which Europatat was invited to speak. Europatat used this opportunity to highlight the impact of there being no agreement on the European potato supply chain.