Seed

HZPC awarded Royal predicate on 125th anniversary: A recognition of its impact on the international potato industry

On Monday 27 February 2023, potato breeder HZPC celebrated its 125th anniversary. For HZPC, this was a day with an extra golden edge. Dr. A.A.M. Brok, Commissioner of the King of the Province of Friesland, also presented HZPC with the certificate for the predicate “Royal” on Monday afternoon in Joure. With the predicate Royal, HZPC has now become “Royal HZPC Group”, including the subsidiaries STET, HZPC, and ZOS.

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Canada: Prince Edward Island seed potato growers hopeful for compensation soon

Seed potato growers who destroyed their crops last year because borders were closed to their sale are hopeful promised compensation from the federal government could come this month, as Kevin Yarr reports for CBC News. “The government has made a commitment to provide compensation to those seed producers,” said Greg Donald, general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board.

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Scottish Potato Conference: Your industry needs you now!

Seed potato growers attending the conference were urged not to ‘sit on the fence’, or ‘play wait and see’, before they joined the independent grower-led membership body, the Seed Potato Organisation (SPO). Dr Philip Burgess, of Scottishpotatoes.org, told the conference: “The organisation needs your support – so don’t put off and sit on the fence – or we might soon find that we’ve no fence to sit on!”

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Scottish seed potato growers fly the flag in Spain

Members of the Pre Basic Growers Association (PBGA) recently visited southern Spain to look at the country’s potato production and help maintain a strong relationship with the Spanish industry. During the visit, the group of 25 Scottish seed potato growers said the need for Scottish seed was highlighted by David Sanchez of local company Pepsur.

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Solynta and FreshCrop sign hybrid potato collaboration agreement in Kenya

Solynta, hybrid potato breeding technology company from The Netherlands and FreshCrop Limited, Kenya’s largest producer of seed tubers, have signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of hybrid true potato innovation in Kenya. By joining forces, the companies will work closely to facilitate future introduction of high quality hybrid potato seed tubers produced from hybrid true potato seeds.

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Climate mapping helps Maine seed potatoes travel thousands of miles

It’s common for farmers to study climatological patterns for planting and harvesting. But as one of the only mail-order seed potato shippers in the country that ships 10 months a year, Wood Prairie Family Farm in Maine has to plot the weather to stay in business. The direct mail order farm ships about 150,000 to 200,000 pounds of certified organic seed potatoes per year.

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New public-private partnership to improve seed potato production in Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has a new partner to improve the efficiency of seed potato production at the Starks Early Generation Seed Potato Farm in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. This fall, a group of four seed potato growers joined together into the Wisconsin Potato Coalition (WPC) to assume operations of planting, growing, and harvesting seed at the Starks Farm for crop year 2023 and beyond. The growers have decades of production and business experience between them.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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‘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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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