Seed

Norway: NordGen potato collection accessions available for distribution

At present the NordGen potato collection consists of 72 varieties, breeding clones and landraces (local strains). For most of the accessions available for distribution, additional information can be found in the Nordic Potato Book (Potatisboken) produced by NordGen. Material from the NordGen in vitro potato collection are distributed on request all year round, depending of supply. The in vitro material is primarily for breeding, research and[Read[Read More…]

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Webcast highlights value of seed potato certification

The Plant Management Network (PMN) has released a new presentation entitled “Seed Potato Certification” to help professionals learn about the basics of certification and its importance for maintaining quality seed stock. The webcast, developed by Robert D. Davidson, Professor and Extension Specialist at Colorado State University, describes how the certification process helps growers. This presentation will help consultants, growers and other practitioners[Read[Read More…]

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Dutch company Solynta claims that it developed blight resistant potato varieties

It is widely reported in the Dutch press today that potato breeding company Solynta in the Netherlands has developed potato varieties that are resistant to potato late blight (Phytophthora). The varieties will be introduced to the public during a field day held by the company at its premises in Wageningen, the Netherlands later this week (Aug 23). Late blight is responsible[Read[Read More…]

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Scottish potato seed sector battles with blackleg

Major players in Scotland’s seed potato industry, as well as myriad public sector organisations and the Scottish Government, are teaming up to fund new research into the devastating crop disease, blackleg. According to Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), blackleg caused the downgrade of 8% of Scottish seed crops in 2011. The disease spurs the soft rot of potatoes and can[Read[Read More…]

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UK: JBA Seed Potatoes takes over Westland/Unwins seed potato business

HorticultureWeek reports that JBA Seed Potatoes have completed the outright purchase of the Westlands/Unwins seed potato business as of 8 August 2017. All of the current 400+ retail customers are receiving a new price list from JBA Seed Potatoes with the blessing of Westlands/Unwins as their preferred supplier to maintain a consistent supply of top quality seed. Jamieson Brothers of Annan who trade[Read[Read More…]

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AHDB official: ‘Brexit could be a mixed blessing for potato sector’

While the wider potato industry might be much less exposed to some of the post-Brexit trade risks which could be disastrous for other sectors of agriculture, the industry still faces many challenges in the coming years. Speaking at the country’s foremost sector event, Potatoes in Practice (PiP), held outside Dundee yesterday, David Swales, head of strategic insight with the Agricultural[Read[Read More…]

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Scottish potato seed exporters set to increase tonnage to Brazil and Kenya

Government representatives from Scotland and Brazil met in July to simplify the import classification requirements for seed potatoes. The game-changing meeting was organised and funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). Brazil produces circa 3.6m tonnes of potatoes a year according to UN figures, however in terms of productivity yields are only two thirds of what is achieved by[Read[Read More…]

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Embattled West Australian potato growers eye Egypt as potential new market after TPP hardship

Seed potato exports to Egypt are being flagged as a new opportunity for West Australian (WA) potato producers hit by tomato potato psyllid trade restrictions. The Potato Growers Association of Western Australia was set to receive $60,000 in State Government funding, chief executive Simon Moltoni said. The money would be used to build up trade relations between the two countries. This would be[Read[Read More…]

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Australia: Persistence pays off for Tasmanian seed-potato producer Agronico

Nothing happens quickly in the seed-potato business, but persistence has paid off for Agronico owner Julian Shaw. Mr Shaw, who describes himself as a mad scientist, started the business in 1985. Back then Agronico was focused more on production agronomy in crops such as onions but over time his interest in seed-potato production grew. Nowadays Agronico is one of the country’s biggest seed-potato[Read[Read More…]

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Australia: Agronico opens new purpose-built coolstore for seed potato storage in Tasmania

The new coolstore at Spreyton can store up to 8000 tonnes of seed potatoes and has the potential to service Australia’s seed potato needs, Agronico believes. Agronico chief executive Robert Graham said the purpose-built facility will benefit Tasmanian potato farmers because it will improve the viability of their produce. “We believe there’s a big opportunity for seed potatoes in Tasmania. We think farmers[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Acreage low, stewardship high for GMO potatoes

This year’s Canadian acreage of J.R. Simplot’s genetically engineered Innate potato will be “very small” to non-existent, according to a company spokesperson. Kerwin Bradley, director of commercial innovation for Simplot, says the company’s marketing strategy for new varieties is based on customer polls and identification of marketing channels. “We don’t plant potatoes, or give seed to growers, until we know that[Read[Read More…]

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British potatoes put roots down in Africa

A potato seed trial in Kenya has passed initial tests and the plants are now growing well in three locations in the country. The trials are the result of a 2016 agreement between the Scottish and Kenyan governments to test 10 potato varieties expected to thrive in hot, dry conditions. These included four free varieties – Hermes, Atlantic, Cara and Russet Burbank[Read[Read More…]

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Hi-tech production to fill demand for quality seed potatoes in India

There is a huge shortage of certified seed in India. The incorporation of hi-tech seed production systems, coupled with advanced virus detection techniques is the only way out in fulfilling the huge demand for quality seed potatoes in the country. Keeping that in view, ICAR-CPRI, Shimla has standardized a number of high-tech seed production systems based on tissue culture and[Read[Read More…]

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‘Challenges’ over Scottish seed potato exports

Seed potato growers who have been confident that crucial trade with Egypt and other non-EU markets would not be disrupted by Brexit may be in for a shock. According to Peter Hardwick, the export chief of levy body AHDB, securing the future of exports such as potatoes and malting barley to third countries is complex and presents “real challenges”. Around 75% of[Read[Read More…]

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Punjab gets new potato centre

Punjab would soon set up a potato center at Dhogri (Jalandhar). The idea is to promote seed potato production. This center will be built under the Indo-Dutch agreement with the help of mission for integrated development of horticulture (MIDH), according to the local press. An official spokesman said that Wouter Verhey, agriculture counselor, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, New Delhi[Read[Read More…]

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Scottish seed potato exporters eyeing new market in Kenya

Scottish seed potato growers may have another export market in the future following successful growing trials in Kenya. It follows a concerted effort by the Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) and Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture to open up the African market. AHDB’s Rob Burns said: “Before commercial growers can access the market, trial seed needs to be tested[Read[Read More…]

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High hopes for British seed potatoes in Kenya

Official potato trial seed sent to Kenya has passed initial lab tests and is now growing well in three locations. AHDB and SASA have been working together to open the Kenyan market to GB seed with a bilateral agreement signed by the Scottish and Kenyan governments late last year. Since then, there has been a significant amount of work behind[Read[Read More…]

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East-West Seed: Public-private partnership seen to boost Thailand’s global seed sector ranking

At a high-level dialogue with government officials including Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives General Chatchai Sarikulya and other key policy makers, leading vegetable seed company East-West Seed expressed support to the Thai government in improving the country’s global seed sector ranking, where it currently holds 32nd place among 62 economies. Mr[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Quebec eyes seed potato export to Latin America and Caribbean

Over the past few decades the Canadian Provinces Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Alberta have exported a considerable amount of seed potatoes from Canada to Latin America and the Caribbean, but this has decreased substantially. More recently, a couple of seed potato companies from Quebec, together with the Centre de Recherche Les Buissons (CRLB) have started an initiative to export[Read[Read More…]

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Research project focused on ideal transport conditions for potatoes

In the export of potatoes, there are many different ways of setting up reefer containers, and each expert has his own vision. But only a few wonder why a certain set-up is chosen. Agroplant in the Netherlands did ask that question. The answer could not be given in just one sentence. “There are so many discussions about the best set-up for[Read[Read More…]

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Battle plans for potato disease management

What is the best approach to disease management at planting — seed treatments or in-furrow applications? Or is this really a question about what crop protectant is being applied to manage certain reoccurring, problematic disease like rhizoctonia or fusarium dry rot? Or is keeping diseases at bay more to do with the variety, quality and health of the seed, the[Read[Read More…]

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Australia: Perfect potatoes go to waste over psyllid pest

Seed potato growers have started dumping the first of their perfectly good potatoes as interstate borders remain closed after the detection of the tomato potato psyllid pest in WA. Albany grower Trevor Barker said he had fed around 60 tonnes to his cattle and had another 250 tonnes which would likely follow in coming weeks. His neighbour, Colin Ayres, who is president[Read[Read More…]

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Potatoes grown from Dutch seeds may save Africa from hunger

Potatoes grown from Dutch seeds yield two to four times bigger harvests for small-scale, poor farmers in East Africa than potatoes grown using local seed potatoes. These findings are the result of initial tests using experimental varieties grown from potato seeds by Wageningen-based agro-tech company Solynta in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As such, potatoes grown from seeds may prove to[Read[Read More…]

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US: Uncertainty for seed growers

By Mike Telford – Chairman, UPGA Seed Division. Commodity prices are in the tank. Fresh table-stock potato returns in the West are a disaster; returns are below production cost for the fifth year in a row. Red and Yellow-potato prices are good but growers generally had a disaster on the farm side like what happened in the Red River Valley with[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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