Seed

Survival test: Gardeners in Newfoundland enlisted to put Chilean potato varieties through the hoops

E.W. Gaze Seeds Co. in St Johns Newfoundland and Phytocultures Ltd. based in Prince Edward Island are working together to bring new types of potatoes to Newfoundland and Labrador from Chile in South America. E.W. Gaze Seeds Co. specializes in selling “high-quality vegetable and flower seeds,” according to the company’s website. Recently the store started giving away free samples of Chilean[Read[Read More…]

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Good news: Dickeya not detected in Scottish seed and ware potato survey

A survey was undertaken in Scotland to monitor seed and ware tuber production in Scotland for the presence of Dickeya spp., in support of Scottish legislation introduced in 2010, which established a “nil” tolerance for Dickeya infections in seed crops. This survey was risk-based and targeted stocks which held the greatest risk of carrying or contracting the disease. This survey was carried out in conjunction[Read[Read More…]

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Trade breakthrough: US seed and fresh potatoes can now be exported to Guatemala

U.S. fresh and seed potatoes from all U.S. states are now permitted entry into Guatemala, a welcome expansion of market access from only one permitted state four years ago. On May 14, 2018, the USDA confirmed simplified phytosanitary certificate requirements that eliminate previous state-by-state limitations. Potatoes USA worked closely with the USDA to fully open Guatemala to U.S. table-, chip- and[Read[Read More…]

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Agrico managed to expand in all markets

Dutch potato cooperative Agrico says it has managed to expand its market share “in all markets” as prices for seed potatoes continue to improve towards the end of the current season. With strengthening demand for chipped potatoes (french fries) in north-west Europe and a good balance between supply and demand in overseas markets – despite certain political and financial challenges –[Read[Read More…]

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Frito-Lay subsidiary in Egypt launches important programme for local potato seed production

Chipsy for Food Industries in Egypt, a subsidiary of Pepsico (Frito-Lay) announced a significant new programme for the local production of potato seed. “This comes as a result of Chipsy’s long journey of conducting scientific research and field trials, which saw it being rewarded for its use of innovative and state of the art technologies,” the company said in a press release. Through this[Read[Read More…]

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Factsheet: Best management practices to minimize the spread of PVY

This factsheet is based on recent research done in Canada by Dr. Mathuresh Singh and his team in New Brunswick on PVY, which just concluded in March.  This research has been very successful in identifying which production practices are most associated with reducing the spread of PVY.  At the same time, PVY post-harvest test results in New Brunswick and Prince[Read[Read More…]

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Calculator to help potato growers calculate amount of seed needed for planting

Extension agronomist Andy Robinson, working in extension and research for potato production in North Dakota and Minnesota, recently uploaded a seed calculator to the website of the North Dakota State University website. A pertinent subject for the season is calculating planting rates. Robinson developed a table in xls format that can help you calculate the amount of potato seed needed to[Read[Read More…]

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Canadian breeder brought botanical potato seed to China for variety now worth billions in benefits

In the mid 1980’s, potato breeder and grower Peter VanderZaag, based in Ontario, Canada brought the botanical seed of the Cooperation-88 (C88) potato variety to Yunnan province in China. The C88 variety developed from that seed eventually became one of the most important potato varieties in Asia and it ended up being grown on 1 million acres (200,000 ha) of[Read[Read More…]

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Investments boost productivity at Australian seed potato producer

Just a month into harvest and Australia’s biggest potato seed producer, Agronico, is reaping the benefits of recent investments through a 30 per cent increase in productivity. Agronico has invested heavily in its business over the past 12 months through its new coolstore at Spreyton and adding a four-row planter, canopied hoppers and twin-row harvesters to its fleet, chief executive Robert Graham said. “In the first[Read[Read More…]

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Potato farm with Michigan roots reaching across continents

Sixty percent of the potato chips made in the United States come from potatoes grown in Northern Michigan. It all starts at the Sklarczyk Seed Potato Farm, located in Michigan. “The greenhouse operation is something my father started in the early 80’s and my father grew up on the diversified farming operation and he was looking for a way to make a batter[Read[Read More…]

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Injury prone: What dicamba damage does to potatoes, and how to fight it

Plant injury from dicamba has been in the news for the past two years. In the potato world, there are always concerns of potato plants’ unintended exposure to herbicides. “We have been gathering data to determine what effect dicamba has on seed tubers and potato plants,” according to Andy Robinson, extension research potato agronomist with North Dakota State University and[Read[Read More…]

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Certified seed: Measure seeks to prevent potato diseases in Michigan

Michigan farmers with more than an acre of seed potatoes would face new requirements under a bill passed by the Michigan Senate and House: to plant only certified seed potatoes. The intent is to reduce the possible spread of diseases that could have a major economic impact on the state’s agricultural industry, supporters say. Michigan ranks ninth among the states in potato[Read[Read More…]

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Bayer-Monsanto merger ‘could reshape agriculture’

Seed and chemical giants Bayer and Monsanto said Wednesday that they will merge to become one of the world’s biggest agriculture giants, a $66 billion mega-deal that could reshape the future of farming and enhance their influence over the planet’s food supply. Bayer said it will spearhead the largest all-cash buyout in history in hopes of taking over St. Louis-based Monsanto, the[Read[Read More…]

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Small is beautiful: Innovative technology delivers ‘highest quality early generation seed potatoes’

Having grown to a team of over 150 people and with established global operations in Canada, China, India, Africa and the Middle East, Technico can provide services to its clients wherever they are located. “Our greenhouse operation in New Brunswick, Canada is run by an all-Canadian team of hardworking, mature women,” says Production Supervisor, Darlene Hogan. “We started our greenhouse[Read[Read More…]

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Seeds of Change: True potato seed trialled in Bangladesh

The production of potatoes from “true potato seed” (TPS) is being trialled in Nilphamari, Bangladesh. This method involves allowing potato plants to mature until they produce male and female flowers. With cross-pollination the plants then bear a greenish fruit about the size of a small tomato. The fruit are full of seeds. These “true seeds” can later be planted to[Read[Read More…]

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New product to offer ‘greater efficacy against tuber-borne Rhizoctonia’

At its annual potato agronomists’ conference on 25th January, Bayer launched a new potato tuber treatment – Emesto Prime DS – that will be available for British growers to use on this year’s plantings. Introducing the product Bayer’s campaign manager for root crops Edward Hagues described it as the new, improved tuber treatment. “Compared with Monceren DS – the long-standing[Read[Read More…]

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Australian potato market opens up in Indonesia after trade discussions

Australian potato growers are winning new access to valuable Indonesian markets after a decade-long campaign opened the potential to export up to 85,000 tonnes of seed potatoes with a market value of some $110 million annually. A new agreement to take certified seed potatoes from South Australia and Victoria in Indonesia was made at recent trade discussions in Melbourne, following 10[Read[Read More…]

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New seed potato markets in Africa for the UK

Rwanda and Uganda have been identified as two potential new export destinations for UK seed potatoes. After recent successful trials of GB seed in Kenya, levy body AHDB was invited to visit Rwanda as part of a UK Government trade initiative, during which AHDB’s head of crops trade Rob Burns met with the heads of Rwanda and Uganda’s plant health authorities. “We discussed the[Read[Read More…]

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Farmers in Bengal trained to produce their own potato seed

In an effort towards making farmers produce potato seeds on their own and use them for cultivation, the West Bengal Agro Industries Corporation Ltd (WBAICL) is providing training to farmers at Simlapal in Bankura district of Bengal. The move by the state is aimed at stopping import of potato seed from Punjab, which is often of inferior quality. “We have[Read[Read More…]

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British seed potatoes impress in Kenyan trials

Four British seed potatoes have yielded well on three Kenyan trials sites, creating potential for a new export market. AHDB and SASA have been working together to open the Kenyan market to British seed since a bilateral agreement was signed by the Scottish and Kenyan governments late in 2016. Of the four varieties involved in the trial, Cara performed best with average[Read[Read More…]

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Safe and sound: Arctic seed vault ‘key to future global crops’

A special vault has been built in the Arctic to store thousands of seeds as scientists fear the impact of climate change and prolonged conflicts could have devastating consequences on food crops around the world. The Global Seed Vault has been built inside a mountain, near the town of Longyearbyen on the remote Svalbard Islands. It stores thousands of sample seeds[Read[Read More…]

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To go GMO or no: Study examines question of genetic engineering and risk in varietal selection of potatoes

In a scientific study published this month in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, a research team at Montana State University examines the farm management decision of whether to adopt a new, genetically engineered potato variety, in particular three GMO Innate varieties developed by Simplot and approved for commercial use by the USDA in March 2017. The researchers note that the new[Read[Read More…]

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Playing it cool: University of Idaho installs a CoolBot to avoid fallout with nuclear potatoes

“Would you like fries with that?” Yes, of course you would. And chances are that those fries came from the pre-nuclear seed potatoes grown in the University of Idaho’s greenhouses. The University of Idaho’s Nuclear Seed Potato Program is extremely important to Idaho and the Pacific Northwest potato industry. The University of Idaho’s Nuclear Seed Potato Program is made up of[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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