Potato fraud in the Netherlands?

Earlier this month, Breeders Trust – an organisation looking after the interest of potato breeders – revealed a major fraud, concerning the switching of at least 200 tons of potatoes meant for consumption, to seed potatoes instead. Seed Company Mts. H. te Luttelgeest  in the Netherlands was reportedly caught red-handed when adding the yield from a lot of consumption potatoes[Read[Read More…]

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Germany: Historic low potato harvest seriously impacts seed, processing sectors until 2020

After completion of the potato harvest in Germany the expected low yield of the crop due to the extreme drought this summer became a reality, the German association of fruit, vegetable and potato processing industry (BOGK) says in a press release today. With only 8.7 million tons of potatoes harvested, the crop quantity reached a historical all-time low level this year,[Read[Read More…]

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HZPC Americas looking for Tissue Culture Laboratory Supervisor

HZPC Americas Corporation, located in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada is the North American seed potato partner of the HZPC Group. HZPC is a world leader in the marketing of seed potatoes for table-potato markets and processing. HZPC has an extensive research and development program as well as localized testing locations, which allows HZPC to[Read[Read More…]

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Agrico showcases new late blight resistant potatoes

“This is my 30th season at Agrico, but I have never experienced something like this.” That is how Jan van Hoogen opened the annual varieties and seedlings presentation at the Agrico Research’s breeding and research station in the Netherlands last week. The Managing Director of Agrico was referring to the driest summer and autumn since 1976. “This is having a[Read[Read More…]

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Threat to Scottish seed potatoes

Scottish Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon this week wrote to Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove to highlight the threat to this premium farm export posed by the replacement of full single market access rights with ‘third country’ status. Conversely, Ms Gougeon noted that the ware potato industry, which is of particular importance to other parts of the UK, had[Read[Read More…]

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Brexit woes: Scottish govt concerned about potato seed imports

The Scottish Government has called on Defra to put measures in place to prevent UK producers from importing European-grown seed potatoes in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Speaking on a farm on the outskirts of Dundee, Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon pointed out that Defra’s current arrangements meant Scotland would become a third country and therefore unable to export[Read[Read More…]

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Seed farm to bring new varieties to fields

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board in Canada is using its seed farm in Fox Island on the Island to get new varieties into grower fields quickly and safely. Seed potatoes start in the lab as plantlets grown from tissue culture. They spend the summer in a screen house, before being harvested in the fall. “The priority is to keep everything clean[Read[Read More…]

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Argentinian company exported seed potatoes to PepsiCo Vietnam

PepsiCo Argentina reports in a press release that Papsud S.A. recently exported a shipment of locally produced seed potatoes to PepsiCo’s subsidiary in Vietnam for the fifth consecutive year. Papasud S.A., based in Mar del Plata in the province of Buenos Aires, is a family owned potato producing company and operated by Juan and Leandro Pérsico. This time a total[Read[Read More…]

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Foreign markets expanding for US seed potatoes

According to Potatoes USA, opportunities for U.S. seed growers to reach international buyers are expanding with foreign market introductions that connect grower-sellers with interested foreign grower-buyers in target markets: Guatemala, Morocco and Myanmar (also known as Burma). The organization says U.S. industry sponsored field trials in these countries help to induce commercial interest in U.S. certified seed and compare U.S.[Read[Read More…]

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CIP, US supported initiative in Kenya boosts clean potato seed production

International Potato Centre (CIP) research scientists are working with private companies in Kenya – that have facilities for tissue culture technology – to produce rooted apical cuttings to sell to potato seed producers. The use of farm-saved seeds by potato farmers in Kenya, which is the common practice throughout the country, comes with many challenges. “Some of them have bacterial seed-borne[Read[Read More…]

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Dutch based Schaap Holland joins Europatat

The European Potato Trade Association (Europatat) announced earlier this week that Schaap Holland B.V. has joined its ranks as the newest member. Founded in 1967, Schaap Holland’s headquarters are located in Biddinghuizen, in the central province of Flevoland in the Netherlands. From there, Schaap not only produces, grades, washes and processes potatoes for the broad industry, foodservice and retail markets, but[Read[Read More…]

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Chinese company’s potato minituber export business booming

According to a report published by the Chinese press agency Xinhua today, a Chinese potato seed producer from the northwest Gansu Province has established a flourishing business exporting small seed potatoes to the Middle East. Li Jinfu reportedly started his potato seed business over 20 years ago. Since 2009, he began to exploit overseas markets. “I had never thought about international deals[Read[Read More…]

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J.R. Simplot and Germany’s KWS founded new potato breeding company

KWS SAAT SE and the J.R. Simplot Company have founded a new joint venture company Aardevo B.V., to deliver top performing potato varieties through hybrid breeding. The JV combines the highly advanced potato growing and processing capabilities of Simplot (Boise/USA) with the wealth of experience and expertise in hybrid plant breeding of KWS (Einbeck/Germany). Aardevo will focus on breeding new potato[Read[Read More…]

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‘Import tariffs would cripple the British potato industry’: Trader

Import tariffs would “cripple” the potato industry and lead to Holland squeezing out Scotland as a competitor, the boss of Strathmore Potatoes in the UK says. The Forfar company exports 6,000 tonnes of seed pots a year, mainly to  Egypt, Morocco, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia and mainland Europe, in particular France. Director Stuart McIntyre said the company feels in limbo but is concentrating on[Read[Read More…]

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Seed Industry Event in the UK to focus on post-Brexit seed trade

After the success of the 2016 event, the Seed Industry Event will return to Fairmont, St Andrews on 15 November this year. The event will have a major theme focusing on how what the future may hold for the seed trade in a post-Brexit world and how to make the most of the global export market opportunities Brexit will present.[Read[Read More…]

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PVY-resistant GMO potato variety approved by Argentine authorities

Argentine authorities have officially approved the commercialization of a genetically modified PVY-resistant potato variety. The transgenic potato, named TIC-AR233-5, will help growers avoid losses from the virus. The virus can result in yield declines of up to 70%, according to Argentina-based Tecnoplant, which holds the marketing license. The potato will also help growers to use fewer agrochemicals in its cultivation, the company said. The Health[Read[Read More…]

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Seed export woes: Major British seed potato market could be killed off with no-deal Brexit

A letter circulated to industry stakeholders signed jointly by Defra and Scottish Government has made it clear that exports to EU countries would stop immediately with a no-deal Brexit. It says bluntly: “The European Commission has stated that without an agreement seed potatoes will not be marketable in the EU.” Annual seed potato exports from Scotland are normally stated as totaling between[Read[Read More…]

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Kenyan potato farmers urged to grow certified seed

The Kenyan government says it will provide certified potato seed to farmers in Meru County to assist improve food security. Agriculture and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri expressed fears that the general uptake of certified potato seeds by farmers was still low despite efforts to encourage use of quality seeds. He noted that government and private potato farming experts were willing to[Read[Read More…]

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Indian-Dutch cooperation to set up centre for excellence for potato seed development

A centre for excellence for potato-seed is all set to become a reality in India’s Gujarat province, through a collaboration between Indian and Dutch companies. The setting up of the centre for excellence is being facilitated by the Netherlands Business Support Office (NBSO), with a view to helping produce better quality potatoes which will help improve the marketable yield of potatoes.[Read[Read More…]

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US seed potato delegation inspects trials in Morocco

A number of US potato growers visited Morocco recently to see how US potato varieties were performing in that country. The growers were convinced that the varieties are doing well in Morocco, and growers are excited to get more official data after the full harvest, which will happen soon. Attendees also visited the fields and storage facilities of several growers[Read[Read More…]

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Tiny but effective: Researchers developed new nano-material as potato sprout inhibitor

In a research paper published recently online in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, scientists from Hefei Institute of Physical Science in China claim they have developed a nano-material that inhibits the sprouting of potatoes. The material is named “hydrophobic nano silica” (H-SiO2) and was developed through the modification of nano silica by amino silicon oil (ASO) – and then applied[Read[Read More…]

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Australian experts underscore importance of certified potato seed for black leg disease control

Around the world, blackleg of potato is caused by several species of bacteria that can be carried and transmitted through seed tubers. Potatoes Australia spoke to Agriculture Victoria Research Scientist Dr Rachel Mann and ViCSPA General Manager Dr Nigel Crump about the identification and management of the blackleg disease. The main causal agent of blackleg in Australia is Pectobacterium atrosepticum although another bacterium known as[Read[Read More…]

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How the Irish peel money off potatoes

Jamie Rankin is one of the largest growers in Ireland. Recently, a Kenyan delegation had visited him to learn how the Irish grow their potatoes, with farmers harvesting up to 50 tonnes per hectare. To grow seeds, he buys tissue-culture seedlings from Tops. Gerry Doherty, a manager at Tops, says with the advancement of science, testing of seed tubers to ensure freedom[Read[Read More…]

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UK seed potato varieties approved for Kenya

The door has been opened for UK seed potato producers to export to Kenya after three British varieties were recommended for release in the country. The announcement follows trials involving AHDB, James Hutton Ltd, SASA and Seeds2B Africa (part of the Syngenta Foundation). Ten potato varieties were tested at three separate farms over two seasons with free variety Cara, and two James[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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