According to a report published by The Herald, the government in Zimbabwe, in cooperation with Kutsaga Research Station in the country has embarked on a potato seed multiplication programme – from mini-tuber to commercial seed potato. This programme was launched in response to a critical shortage of seed potatoes which resulted in the country importing 60 percent of its total requirement, mostly from South Africa.
A pilot project that could improve food security in Canada’s North got the green light Monday, according to a report by CBC News. Jackie Milne, president of the Northern Farm Training Institute in Hay River, received $50,000 in funding from the government of the Northwest Territories to work with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists to identify the best potato seeds to produce potatoes in the North.
Potato seed and ware exports from the UK could be interrupted in a Brexit no deal scenario and there are signs that seed potato growers are looking to export potatoes before the transition period ends on December 31, writes Marianne Curtis in an article published by Farmers Guardian. Patrick Hughes, AHDB head of export trade development – potatoes, explains: “At the moment we don’t have third country equivalence and if there is no deal, it will not be in the offing straightaway. This would stop all exports of potatoes to the EU – both seed and ware.”
On August 18, 2020, a meeting was held in Zhaotong city, China. World Potato Congress (WPC) President Roman Cools, Dr. Peter VanderZaag, WPC Secretary and Brian Douglas, General Manager attended virtually. At this meeting, a ceremony was held to recognize Zhaotong as the “Potato Plateau Seed Potato Capital of the World”. Yang Yalin, Party Secretary of the Zhaotong Municipal CPC Committee spoke at the ceremony. Li Zhiping, Deputy Director of the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs also attended the ceremony.
The 2020 meeting of the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) continues! Borlaug Scholar Natalie Kaiser is a Ph.D candidate in the Potato Breeding and Genetics Program at Michigan State University. Kaiser is employing molecular and genomic tools to understand the genetic architecture of host plant insect resistance and to develop Colorado potato beetle (CPB) resistant diploid potato breeding lines.
Zhaotong, a mountainous city in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, has been given an honorary title in recognition of its success in growing potatoes in highland conditions, Xinhua reports. The city was handed the title of “World Mountain Plateau Seed Potato Capital” by the World Potato Congress Inc (WPC) on Tuesday during an award ceremony conducted via video conference. Xinhua reports that the presentation was made by Lu Xiaoping, director of the Asia and the Pacific branch of the International Potato Center, having been entrusted with the task by WPC president Romain Cools.
With the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) having to cut back its inspection programme in the midst of continued COVID pressures, alongside increasing aphid issues, Agrico has upped the level of technical support offered to seed potato growers. For growers in England and Wales, the cutting back of APHA’s inspection programme and restriction of the number of inspections for basic seeds (field generations 3-5) presented problems.
The potato industry in Ulanqab, dubbed the “potato city” of China, has become one of the main industries to help farmers shake off poverty. Located in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Ulanqab is an important national production hub for commercial potatoes and special potatoes for processing. The potatoes here originate from petri dishes in a laboratory. The laboratory can breed 150 million virus-free seedlings every year.
Less quantity of potato seed coupled with higher seed price this year is likely to impact the potato production and farmers’ income in the country during rabi season, according to Samarendu Mohanty, Asia Regional Director of the International Potato Center, Peru. Dr. Mohanty says compared to previous years potato seed storage is 30% less now while the seed price has more than doubled since the last season. Expecting a further hike, seed producers are waiting to fix a higher price as the planting time approaches, he said.
Potato is the second most consumed crop in Kenya after maize. However, majority of the farmers still struggle to access quality clean seed and this has always led to reduced productivity. Using rooted apical cuttings introduced through USAID’s Feed the Future Accelerated Value Chain Development Program (AVCD) is changing this. Cuttings are similar to nursery grown seedlings. They are produced from tissue culture plantlets in a screenhouse and are clean and free from disease.
French Federation of Seed Potato Growers confirms efficient seed certification, despite COVID-19 and high incidence of aphids
In a press release issued by the French Federation of Seed Potato Growers (FN3PT), the organization says that the normal measures are in place to ensure efficient and high quality potato seed certification activities, despite the current COVID-19 situation, as well as an unusual incidence of of virus-transmitting aphids this season. FN3PT says field inspectors are fully mobilized to carry out the inspection work in accordance with the agreement between FN3PT and GNIS/SOC, the official authority for certification and phytosanitary matters for seed potatoes in France.
Potato farmers in northern Benguet in the Phillipines are expected to plant more potato varieties imported as seed from Canada’s Prince Edward Island after completing a successful season during their first trial with these varieties. According to a press release issued by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the Department of Agriculture–Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR), says in a July 1 report that trials with the new potato varieties proved very successful.
Second growth is a physiological potato problem induced by prolonged air temperatures above 280C and water stress, according to Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist working in Ontario, Canada. These 2 factors interact to limit the tuber growth rate, thus causing second growth. Inadequate soil moisture alone does not result in the initiation of second growth.
This year, the total cultivation area for ware potatoes in the Netherlands has declined by nearly 1.8 thousand hectares to 77 thousand hectares (-2.3 percent), according to a report issued this week by Statistics Netherlands. According to information published in the report, areas planted for seed and starch potato use have increased slightly over the past twelve months; both by approximately 1 percent. The share of seed potatoes in the total potato area has continued to rise slightly again over the past year.
During the first three months of 2020 Croatia imported 16,064 tonnes of potato seed, including new and mature table potatoes – all of which worth €8.03 million, almost half of the total value of potatoes imported in 2019, according to an analysis by the Smarter Consultancy company. Smarter Consultancy believes that it is necessary to consolidate farmland devoted to potato cultivation in Croatia, and at the same time increase yields per hectare – and furthermore give the potato crop the status of a special vegetable so as to create possibilities to apply for EU funding.
Increasing food security in areas that are hard to access. This is one of the ideas behind an important potato innovation by HZPC: hybrid potato breeding. This innovation has been under development for many years. And now it’s time for the next step. Seed potatoes from hybrid potatoes grow successfully on the well-known ‘ridges’ and now also in so-called ‘beds’. Flower bulbs are grown in this type of bed too.
The Brussels-based Breeders Trust today signed a major contract with Geo4A, a subsidiary of the Austrian company GeoVille. GeoVille specialises in the data processing of satellite images and is a leader in the field within Western Europe. The idea behind Breeders Trust is that together breeders can act more forcefully against unfair production and commercial practices adopted by the often globally operating rogue companies that discredit the entire sector.
Potato is a popular crop in Uganda with great potential for income generation and improving nutrition. So much so that the Ugandan government has declared potato a key crop for the country. In Uganda, International Potato Center (CIP) partners with the National Agriculture Research Organization (NARO) to release and promote improved varieties of potato and sweetpotato. NARO and CIP have developed a new version of the Victoria variety by adding three resistance genes (3R). The 3R Victoria potatoes are completely resistant to late blight.
Contributions needed to bring new late blight resistant potato variety to smallholder farmers’ fields in East Africa
The 2Blades Foundation, a non-profit research organization based in the Chicago area, is a principal sponsor of a research project that recently completed the development of a potato variety that is completely resistant to late-blight. 2Blades is seeking contributions to help bring this disease-resistant potato variety to market and fight hunger in East Africa.
Kangaroo Island’s seed potato producers were all hit to some degree by the summer’s bushfires. But none more so than Peter Lock, whose home, shed and equipment on Turkey Lane west of Parndana were all totally destroyed by fire, while he lost his nearby potato crops too. “The list goes on and on, it took everything,” he said. The whole Island seed potato industry was set back by the fires and is running about 10 weeks behind schedule.
Rhizoctonia control is set to become much more difficult for potato growers with news of a second seed treatment being withdrawn, just weeks after the loss of Monceren. EU regulators have recommended the withdrawal of penflufen, a fungicide contained in the powder seed tuber treatment product Emesto Prime DS. It is used to control Rhizoctonia solani, which causes stem and stolon canker and black scurf in potatoes.
Caribou County farmer Jason Stoddard is one of many Eastern Idaho seed potato growers who have been stuck with lots of spuds that will never be planted due to the COVID-19 crisis. Commercial potato farmers throughout the state have canceled seed orders, having had their contracts with processors scaled back due to lost food service demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.