EU rejects application to resume British seed potato exports

An application to allow the resumption of British seed potato exports to Europe has been rejected by the European Commission. The UK Government had applied to the European Commission seeking a solution to the Brexit trade deal not including third-country equivalence for seed potatoes. Failure to secure the equivalence status put an end to all GB seed potato exports to Northern Ireland and Europe from January 1 this year.

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The CEO of HZPC explains how he is making his company more sustainable

HZPC’s CEO, Gerard Backx says: “What we can contribute are new varieties that can help to improve environmental impact in the future. We try to develop different disease resistances to make sure that our potatoes can be grown without or with a very reduced amount of pesticides. Of course, yield is important too, because if you can produce more product on the same amount of land with the same amount of energy, then you are more sustainable.”

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How Scottish seed potato exports to the EU got left behind by Brexit

While all eyes have been on arrangements for fishing and livestock exports in the Brexit trade negotiations, few spared a thought for the humble seed potato. This seldom-discussed but valuable Scottish product has not made the list of food exports continuing to the EU having been denied third-country equivalence

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‘No dumb bags anymore’: HZPC leads the way in the development of ‘smart’ bulk bags for potato seed

Potato variety and seed trading company HZPC recently unveiled details about a pilot project – dubbed ‘smart big bags’ – that harnesses the potential of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) to share information about the seed contained in bulk bags, and also track certain variables during the transportation of seed potatoes. The company says in a news article that a total of 1100 big (bulk/tote) bags will be fitted with an intelligent computer chip as part of the implementation of the pilot project.

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Hummingbird demonstrates the value of remote sensing and data analytics for potato seed trials

Many of Hummingbird’s clients have used its remoting sensing technology and data analytic capabilities for numerous crop trials across Europe in the past few seasons. One of Hummingbird’s clients was particularly interested in evaluating the establishment and growth rate differences when planting chitted versus non chitted potato seed in a split field trial. Hummingbird then proceeded to provide the client with high resolution UAV drone analytics at specific growth stages throughout the cropping season.

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INIA and Rustikas to cooperate on the development of new Uruguayan potato varieties

The National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA) in Uruguay recently signed an agreement with the local agrobiotechnology company Rustikas to work together on the selection, evaluation, validation and production of seeds of new potato varieties of Uruguayan origin. The alliance will work towards a continued genetic improvement of new potato varieties. The partners will also strive to bring about an efficient Uruguayan based seed production system and supply a national multiplication network. It will be the first time that a company in Uruguay uses aeroponic technology to offer minitubers to farmers and seed growers.

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Breaking ground: Potatoes USA sent seed potatoes to Cuba for trials

Potatoes USA announced earlier today that it has sent the first shipment of U.S. seed potatoes to Cuba. The mixed load of 10 different varieties will be utilized in trials conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture in Cuba. This trial process must be completed prior to commercial shipments of U.S. seed potatoes occurring. Concurrent to the trial shipment, USDA and the Ministry of Agriculture signed a market access protocol for U.S. seed potatoes to enter Cuba.

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Kenya Netherlands Seed Potato Program: Working together on sustainable potato production in Kenya

The Kenyan highlands have the potential to grow an excellent potato crop. However, the yields (7 – 10 T/ha) have not yet reached their potential. To assist the sector to optimize its production, the Kenya Netherlands Seed Potato Program – financed by the Government of the Netherlands – was started. The program has already led to several positive developments since its launch in Kenya. 34 Dutch varieties are registered for cultivation by potato farmers in Kenya. Several sustainable solutions, such as storage, have been introduced.

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Bad news for the Canadian potato industry: Potato wart confirmed in Prince Edward Island

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of potato wart in two fields on a farm in Prince Edward Island (PEI), according to a pest report issued today by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). According to the report, the CFIA has placed the fields under quarantine and is carrying out official control measures under the authority of the federal Plant Protection Act and Plant Protection Regulations.

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Brexit race on for British seed potato sector

The UK potato industry has been left in no doubt about the frustrations, fears and risk attached to trading high value Scottish seed potatoes as the clock ticks down to a possible no-deal Brexit. With just five weeks left until current trading conditions change forever, Sandy McGowan of Milnathort-based seed export company Cygnet PEP gave delegates at the AHDB

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‘The Potato Field’ podcast: Ben and Alison Sklarczyk on tissue culture and seed potato production

‘The Potato Field’ is an initiative of Spudman magazine in the US. In the latest episode, Ben and Alison Sklarczyk discuss the process of producing plants in their tissue culture lab and then greenhouse before they reach field seed potatoes in disease-free and sterile condition, as well as their recent expansion, trends in seed potatoes and balancing family with their demanding business.

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Researchers say apical rooted cuttings are the solution for cheaper potato seed in India

In a recently published research brief, CIP/CGIAR researchers Samarendu Mohanty, Sampriti Baruah and Ravindranath Reddy explain that the potato sector in India continues to face serious problems accessing good-quality planting materials at affordable prices for small and marginal farmers in many potato-growing states. So, how do we solve the potato seed problem, the researchers ask. They say two things need to happen.

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