Gordon MP Richard Thomson has given a cautious welcome to a response from DEFRA Minister of State Richard Benyon confirming the UK Government has acted on his request that it seek the same derogations for Scottish seed potatoes that allowed imports to the EU from some parts of Canada in the early 2000s.
Wilson’s Country: Seed potato ban ‘at crisis point’ for Northern Ireland growers
The ban on UK seed potato exports to the EU and Northern Ireland has reached crisis point for Northern Irish potato growers who depend ”very heavily” on seed imported from Scotland, according to leading Irish potato grower-packer Wilson’s Country. Wilson’s Country CEO Angus Wilson told Northern Ireland Minister of State Steve Baker MP that the ban could severely damage the competitiveness of potato production in Northern Ireland.
Webinar: Potato specialist to present on ‘An Autotrophic Hydroponic System (SAH)‘
The World Potato Congress Inc. is pleased to present its fifth webinar this year on November 17 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard time (USA/Canada) in English followed by the presentation in Spanish. Dr. Marcelo Huarte from Argentina will present on ‘An Autotrophic Hydroponic System (SAH)’. Dr. Huarte will compare this system with the traditional tissue culture (TC) technique, and point out the advantages of SAH over TC.
Solynta and RegenZ partner to bring hybrid potatoes to South Africa
South African seed potato producer RegenZ and European hybrid potato seed innovator Solynta announced today a partnership to bring hybrid true potatoes to the South African farming community. The companies will collaborate in further trials and join forces to facilitate the introduction of Solynta’s ‘climate smart’ and disease-free genetics to the South African farmer.
Potato sprout management: 1,4SIGHT a ‘safe and sustainable’ alternative to CIPC, says product specialists
For over 25 years, 1,4GROUP Inc. has dedicated itself to providing value-added customer solutions in potato storage quality management, innovative application techniques and shelf-life extension through scientifically based product development. “1,4SIGHT is the only true dormancy enhancer on the market,” says 1,4GROUP’s Global Director of Research, Development and Innovation, Bernd Frings.
Microbiome project: Tools to optimize potato microbiome could reduce the use of agrochemicals
A project aimed at developing new tools to predict and optimize potato plant growth by mapping the microorganisms living on seed potatoes has been awarded 940.000 Euro in funding. A promising strategy to reduce the use of these agrochemicals, is to optimize the composition of beneficial microorganisms living on the plant. These microorganisms support growth and strength, creating a natural defense mechanism for potato plants.
Scottish MP continues campaign for seed potato exports post-Brexit
Gordon MP Richard Thomson has continued his campaign to restore access to the export markets in the EU and Northern Ireland for Scottish seed potatoes. Prior to Brexit, Scottish seed potatoes were a crucial import for European markets. However, since January 2021 Scotland’s farmers have been unable to export seed potatoes to the EU, including Northern Ireland, because of changes in trade regulations as a result of Brexit.
Tissue culture tech boosts Kenya’s potato yields
A community project that provides farmers with healthy potato seeds, cultivated using innovative laboratory techniques is significantly increasing yields in Kenya, an agricultural expert says. Kenya’s average potato yield per hectare is around ten tonnes but has the potential to increase to three times that amount with the use of disease-free seed, according to Anthony Kibe, principal investigator of a potato community action research project.
Minnesota company produces elite seed potatoes using ‘in vitro’ technology
Valley Tissue Culture, Inc. is a Red River Valley business that has grown from an experimental concept in the 1980s into a multi-generational potato seed company today. The Aarestad family and their crew raise seed potatoes started in test tubes in the lab, and then grow them out in greenhouses. Valley Tissue Culture sells to 40 customers — primarily in North Dakota and Minnesota, but also in Canada, and as far as the states of Washington and Idaho.
EUROPLANT celebrates 30th anniversary, announces merger with Böhm-Nordkartoffel Agrarproduktion (BNA)
During the recent PotatoEurope event in Germany, more than 300 guests from Germany and abroad met on 7th September 2022 at Gut Rethmar to celebrate the 30th anniversary of EUROPLANT Pflanzenzucht GmbH, and to pay a tribute to Dr Heinrich Böhm, who is retiring. EUROPLANT and Böhm-Nordkartoffel Agrarproduktion GmbH (BNA) announced a merger to come into effect during the new financial year 2023/2024.
UK’s new seed potato organisation ‘quietly making progress’
Development of the UK’s new Seed Potato Organisation is ‘quietly making progress’ and it will be launching in the next few months, as Gordon Davidson, News & Online Editor for The Scottish Farmer, reports. Following a packed-out session at the Potatoes in Practice event, a co-operative is now formally being set up to support the British seed potato sector.
Protect potato crops from pests and disease for strong early-season stands that deliver
Potato plants encounter many threats in the early season, which is a crucial time for establishing plant health. Growers can reduce early-season risk with a management plan that addresses insects and disease at planting. Diseases like Fusarium dry rot and Rhizoctonia can infect seedlings, causing the death of stolons and stems, weakened roots and stunted plant growth. A broad-spectrum fungicide and a neonicotinoid seed treatment helps control insects like the Colorado potato beetle, aphids, potato psyllid and leafhoppers.
‘Clock is ticking’ for Scottish seed potatoes as Ireland capitalises on ban
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 replaces Belgium as largest buyer of Dutch seed potatoes
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.
MP renews call for deal to get Scottish seed potato exports back
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.
British seed potato growers urged to join new organisation to support and develop the sector
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.
Seed potato sale ban continues to ‘anger and frustrate’ Scottish growers
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.
Potato emergence problems: Checklist of common factors that reduce seed emergence
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.
Next generation Univ of Idaho potato researchers awarded scholarships to study PVY, tuber sprouting
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.
Ireland: Brexit Adjustment Reserve funded seed potato scheme now open for applications
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 ag minister to seek €3million funding to boost seed potato sector
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 PSA connecting online with tens of thousands of Kenyan potato farmers
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.
Shameful: Russian invaders destroyed the National Gene Bank of Plants of Ukraine
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.
FAO distributes seed potatoes to vulnerable rural families in Ukraine
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.
Solynta and Incotec announce partnership to optimize performance of hybrid true potato seeds
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.