Canada: Potato processor warns against pink rot as harvest gets underway

One bad potato can spoil the batch, which is why processor J.R. Simplot is reminding producers to beware of pink rot as they begin harvest, as Geralyn Wichers reports for Manitoba Co-operator. “If you know there’s rot in there, tell your harvest operator, ‘when you come to that low spot, pick up the harvester, drive over, and don’t harvest those certain areas,’” said Scott Graham, Simplot’s raw agronomy manager. The fungal disease has been an issue for a number of Manitoba producers in recent years, the company said.

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Avoiding storage pitfalls: The importance of dry, cool, and disease-free potato storage facilities

Adrian Cunnington from Potato Storage Insight (PSI) offers guidance to growers on optimal potato storage. Emphasizing the significance of proper skin set and ventilation, he warns against the risks of blight and blackleg diseases reported pre-harvest. Quick storage with effective drying is crucial, especially amidst disease threats. Managing crop temperatures during loading and avoiding crop moisture are vital to maintain tuber quality and ensure successful storage.

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TOMRA 3A raises the bar: AI-powered precision in potato sorting debuted at Potato Europe 2023

At the Potato Europe exhibition in Tournai, Belgium, TOMRA unveiled its latest-generation 3A sorting machine, enhanced with advanced AI. This machine, already renowned for its sorting efficiency, now offers even greater accuracy in distinguishing between potatoes and foreign materials. Demonstrations were held at TOMRA Food’s booth, where visitors engaged with the company’s potato specialists.

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DOWNS unveils I-CropVision: The next-gen optical potato sorter

DOWNS has launched the I-CropVision, a modular and versatile optical potato sorter that can be integrated into existing installations. Utilizing Artificial Intelligence algorithms, the I-CropVision sorts potatoes based on quality and waste, offering three output options. The new sorter aims to address the increasing global demand for potatoes and labor shortages. It will be showcased at the PotatoEurope trade fair in Belgium and is available in various widths.

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Potato Storage Insight: Sprout suppression and the revival of potato storage research in the UK

The July edition of Potato Storage Insight’s Synopsis bulletin discusses maleic hydrazide’s use for sprout suppression during potato storage, emphasizing its lasting control benefits. It highlights the importance of accurate application and complements the main topic with updates on upcoming potato events and new potato storage research facilities by CSPS consortium at ADAS Boxworth and James Hutton Institute, a significant development since the closure of AHDB’s facility in 2021.

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Canadian researchers discover eco-friendly solution for potato sprouting

Researchers at the University of Quebec in Canada are testing black spruce extract as an alternative to the controversial pesticide, chlorpropham (CIPC), used to prevent potato sprouting. The extract has shown promising results in lab tests, effectively preventing sprouting and demonstrating antimicrobial properties. If approved, this eco-friendly solution could replace CIPC, offering a safer method for potato storage and potentially being manufactured in a new factory in Saint-Félicien, Quebec.

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‘Alternative sprout inhibitors to replace CIPC to ensure the safety of human health’: An AI-guided study of scientific literature

This article explores the use of an AI-driven tool, The Literature, to investigate alternative sprout inhibitors that can replace chlorpropham (CIPC) to ensure human health safety. The tool taps into the PubMed database. A review of the literature suggests alternatives including microorganisms for biodegradation, cyclodextrin complexes, different chemical compounds, and essential oils. However, the article concludes that further research is needed to identify the optimal alternatives.

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Restrain’s new podcast series to offer valuable storage information for potato growers around the world

Restrain company has launched a new podcast series aimed at potato growers and storage managers. The series offers insights on ethylene storage, the Accumulator program, and ripening processes. Restrain, known for using ethylene gas to suppress sprouting in potatoes and onions, is expanding to the US and Canada. The first episode features a discussion on the benefits of Restrain’s unique Accumulator seed treatment for potato storage programs.

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New research facility for potato storage at James Hutton Institute

A new research facility for crop storage has been built at the James Hutton Institute’s Invergowrie site in Scotland. The facility has six units, which each hold four tonnes of crop for testing and research. The facility is currently being tested before it will be used for research and trials and will be managed the Advanced Plant Health Growth Centre.

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Potato sprout control: A look at UPL’s maleic hydrazide product FAZOR

UPL’s product, FAZOR, containing maleic hydrazide, is being used by 90% of British potato growers for sprout control. UPL has recently released new best practice guidelines to optimize its use. FAZOR’s direct crop application is said to make it cost-effective and delays the need for ARGOS application by two to three months. Benefits include reduced secondary growth and internal sprouting, and fewer volunteer potatoes. Correct application timing and methods can enhance crop quality and market prices.

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‘TuberSense’: Transforming root crop monitoring with innovative disease and defect detection technology

Agri-tech company B-hive Innovations is developing TuberSense, a root crop disease and defect monitoring system that uses volatile biomarkers to detect crop diseases and defects in tubers before they compromise the crop’s quality and value. The project has completed its first phase of research and testing, establishing the link between potato diseases and volatile compounds released by tubers.

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Cutting-edge research reveals strategies to reduce acrylamide formation in potato crisps

Researchers at SINTEF, a European research organization, have discovered methods to prevent the formation of harmful acrylamides during the deep-frying of potatoes to make crisps. Factors influencing acrylamide content include potato variety, storage conditions, and the heat treatment process. The research project also focused on measuring sugar content in potatoes to ensure low levels. The use of a glucose meter for measuring glucose concentrations was found to be a quick and more accessible method than more expensive instuments.

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Cellar Insights: A new Canadian agtech venture set to transform long-term potato storage management

Carrot Ventures has launched Cellar Insights, a Canadian AgTech startup focusing on potato health in long-term storage. Utilizing sensor technology and cloud-based algorithms, the company will monitor and predict potential risks, reducing food loss and optimizing crop quality of potatoes in long-term storage facilities. The firm is now recruiting for field trials in the US and Canada this season.

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Canada: Upgraded Manitoba facility will allow for innovative potato storage research

The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing $98,970 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to upgrade the University of Manitoba’s horticulture storage facility so it can conduct innovative potato research, federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson announced today. The upgraded facility will also align with other international research facilities and will be able to create more training and capacity-building opportunities.

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Battling rising storage costs: The importance of using plenums effectively

Potato Storage Insight’s latest bulletin has advice for dealing with the continuing battle against rising storage costs and a reminder of the forthcoming PSI Potato Store Managers’ Course which is attracting interest from across the country and overseas. The latest Synopsis bulletin’s technical insight feature has information on the effective use of plenums in box stores and the importance of them in optimising air flow to help get the best out of every kilowatt of energy expended over the storage period.

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Restrain to exhibit its ethylene storage technology at potato trade show in Manitoba

From January 24 – 26, Restrain will be exhibiting at the Manitoba Potato Production Days Conference & Trade Show in Canada. Restrain is a manufacturer and distributor of ethylene generators. Restrain generators control sprouting in post-harvest potatoes, in a more natural way than any other agri-chemical method. Restrain is a natural sprout inhibitor based on the natural gas ethylene.

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Scottish potato grower drawn to air curtains to help environment, curb energy costs

A Scottish potato grower found that investing in better air flow in his stores, had reaped major benefits for crop quality and energy costs, while also reducing the environmental impact, as John Sleigh reports for The Scottish Farmer. James Fairlie, who grows potatoes at Kirkton of Monikie, in Angus, recently had air curtains fitted to two of his stores and is already noticing a difference in air flow, energy use and quality of his crop.

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Tong appointed UK distributor for Verbruggen palletising solutions

Tong Engineering is pleased to announce its appointment as UK distributor for Dutch palletising solutions manufacturer Verbruggen. “Verbruggen is renowned for manufacturing first-class palletising and stacking solutions with excellent product support. We have successfully collaborated on a number of projects with Verbruggen in the past,” says Simon Lee, Sales Director at Tong Engineering.

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Why a good potato storage facility is worth the investment

“I recently visited a state-of-the-art potato storage in western Manitoba, a very large building with all the bells and whistles,” writes Peter Alder, Appraiser at FFC in this technical article. “I could feel the excitement and pride shared by the owner of this large facility as it promises to deliver everything a pile of potatoes would ever need to make it through the storage season in great condition and deliver a great quality product just-in-time to the processing plant.”

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Virtual event: Canadian Potato Summit 2023

Potatoes in Canada magazine will host the Canadian Potato Summit 2023 as a virtual half-day event on January 12, 2023 at 12:00pm ET. The event will include live sessions focused on industry and agronomy updates from prominent leaders in the potato sector. The first presentation will be by Gary Secor, professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University, who will talk about a new potato disease and some old potato diseases that have similar symptoms in storage.

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IFA: Potato consumption picks up in Ireland and Europe, ambient stores difficult to hold in the UK

Retail demand and household consumption in Ireland have picked up since colder weather has set in, as the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reports. Storage costs are a multiple of last year’s costs and growers must immediately receive an increase at farm gate level to compensate for this, IFA says. In the U.K. ambient stores are difficult to hold while it has been so mild and “wets” in bags are a problem for some growers.

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PSI Potato Store Managers’ Course: Book now for the 2023 course

The PSI Potato Store Managers’ Course is an annual participative course for growers and store managers who are involved in the day-to-day management of potato stores. The course is organised by Potato Storage Insight Ltd in the UK. It will follow a tried and tested format and will include talks, group discussions and practical interactive sessions, focusing on all aspects of potato storage. Tutors will include Adrian Cunnington of PSI (pictured) and Glyn Harper, both formerly of Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research.

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