Jake Blauer is the newly hired post-harvest potato physiologist at Washington State University (WSU). “I’m delighted to be rejoining the potato research team,” Blauer said. “These are amazing people, and I’m excited to be able to contribute to this great industry.” At WSU, Blauer will conduct both in-field and postharvest studies to understand the full picture and to explain how choices during crop production will have significant impacts months later in storage.
According to an Interfax-Ukraine report, the Institute of Agrarian Economics jointly with the Ukrainian Association of Potato Producers have proposed a state-funded program for the development of processing potato growing for 2021-2025, which provides, in particular, for the construction of potato storage facilities with 30% funding from the state.
As part of the company’s ongoing development programme, Tong Engineering has unveiled several updates to its range of vegetable polishing equipment. “As a supplier to the food industry we have been fortunate that demand for advanced and automated vegetable handling equipment has continued to strengthen,” explains Simon Lee, Sales Manager at Tong Engineering. “With this in mind, our product development team not only focus on designing and introducing new equipment to the market, but they are also committed to developing our existing machinery.
Following on from its guide How to reduce the impact of potato bruising on your profitability, Wyma caught up with Leighton Hill, Solution Engineer, to answer some questions about gentle handling, why some fertilizers increase the likelihood of bruising, and the perfect temperature for potato processing.
“We are investing in strengthening our team, providing further expertise, knowledge, and experience to our customers, backed up by investing in our workshop and warehouse facilities at the Works Happisburgh, Norfolk,” says Ray Andrews, Managing Director of Crop Systems Ltd. Andrews says his company recently appointed Tony Barnes as Sales Manager as part of continued expansion plans of Crop Systems. Tony has been involved with the potato industry for the last 25 years.
The corona crisis is causing a decrease in the demand for potatoes for the processing industry. As a result, sprout inhibitors for good safe storage are in the spotlight again. One of the most used sprout inhibitors at the moment is ethylene. What explains its popularity? And what do you need to take into account if you are considering a switch? Fernando Rubio Lòpez, ethylene expert and technical manager at Restrain, explains.
This past Tuesday, January 12, saw the launch of the new DOWNS CropVision – a machine that manufacturer Dubrulle DOWNS calls “the new generation optical grader for unwashed potatoes”. Dubrulle DOWNS is a manufacturer of handling and storage solutions for potatoes based in France. The DOWNS CropVision is fitted with the latest technological innovations that allows for high- speed and high-quality mechanical grading of unwashed potatoes before it enters storage – at a rate of up to 100 tons/h.
Fusarium is one of the most important genera of phytopathogenic fungi, causing potato wilt in the field and potato tuber dry rot during storage. The objectives of a study by researchers from Algeria and Poland were to identify Fusarium species associated with both potato diseases in different growing regions in Algeria, and to assess their pathogenicity.
The World Potato Congress (WPC Inc) is pleased to present its next webinar on January 14, 2021 with Todd Forbush, long-time engineer with Techmark, Inc. Todd’s presentation is titled: “The impact of climate change on removing energy from a potato storage with an ambient air ventilation system”. Todd will inform participants about ambient air potato storage ventilation systems relying on cool outside air to remove energy from the potato storage resulting from both field heat and potato respiration.
A potato store in your pocket: ‘SmartStor’ now comes with sprout suppressant application mode for DMN, mint oil and ethylene
Crop Systems Limited is the UK’s premiere manufacturer and installer of potato and vegetable stores. In the past 25 years it has built an enviable reputation for combining innovative thinking with outstanding engineering and products. Crop System’s latest system – the SmartStor – enables operators to monitor and manage stores remotely, while reducing crop storage costs.
An emergency authorisation (EA) for the use of the as yet unapproved sprout suppressant 1,4-dimethylnaphthalene (DMN) in the UK was secured two weeks ago – following an application from AHDB, supported by the Potato Processors Association (PPA) and approval holders DormFresh. AHDB has prepared a ‘frequently asked questions’ document for store managers who wish to know more.
Australia: Specialists explore effect of sanitisers and drying on post-harvest bacterial soft rot in potatoes
Management of rots, both in the field and post-harvest, is an ongoing challenge for potato producers around the world, also in Australia. The Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) Partnership Network recently hosted a podcast during which two specialists from the US and Belgium discussed a trial that was set up in Australia to explore the effect of sanitisers and/or drying on the development of post-harvest bacterial soft rot in potatoes.
Mint oil has been used successfully in the pre-pack sector in the UK to control sprouting. Its use in warmer storage this season is generally new. Recently, there have been a few reports of product build-up in its liquid form on crops in processing stores in Britain, leading to some localised issues. The key to the effectiveness of mint oil is to keep the active as a fog during application.
Hazel Technologies Inc., a USDA-funded technology company delivering new solutions for fresh produce to extend shelf-life, increase sales, and fight food waste, announces new USDA-funding for a packaging technology which protects the quality of potatoes. The technology, dubbed Hazel Root, is a packaging insert, placed in a bulk box or bin of potatoes or onions during storage following harvest, which prevents the sprouting process from starting prematurely.
With the withdrawal of CIPC now a certainty in the UK, the race is on to plug the sizeable gap left in a potato store manager’s toolkit. Maleic Hydrazide (MH) may already be familiar to growers as a foliar spray used to control volunteers but research has shown in many cases that it should be an integral part of a sprout suppression strategy. In this article, the AHDB Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research Team provides guidelines for the use of MH as a sprout inhibitor.
If crops were treated with Maleic Hydrazide (MH) pre-harvest, in line with best practice recommendations, British potato will now be facing a decision on whether to apply in-store sprout suppressants such as spearmint oil and ethylene, writes Anthony Speight in a report published by AHDB. Speight says some processing crops may have been treated already. But uncertain demand heading into spring poses the question on whether to sell potatoes that are in store at the moment or keep them for longer.
AHDB in the UK has secured an emergency authorisation (EA) for the use of as yet unapproved sprout suppressant 1?4 dimethylnaphthalene (DMN). The approval is limited to the supply chains of some major processors, as the Chemical Regulations Division (CRD) of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) turned down an original wider application made in August.
Richard Hackett: ‘Ireland’s potato growers need a new brand and storage flexibility to cut carbon footprint’
Agronomist Richard Hackett writes in a column in the Farming section of Independent that in the broadest terms, reducing carbon footprint means reducing energy use, diesel use and fertiliser use. What can we do in the potato sector to achieve these aims? he asks. He goes on to say that “we have got ourselves in a position where one variety, harvested over a two-month period, supplies practically the entire ware market for 12 months of the year.
Farm Electronics’ Production Director, Paul Jackson, is retiring after almost half a century at the forefront of the business, reports Potato Review. Paul said: “I would like to thank all customers, suppliers and work colleagues past and present for their trust and patience in our dealings over my career. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences in the path of the evolution of Farm Electronics. Time seems to have flown by.”
A custom-built potato grading and washing solution from Tong Engineering has enabled a leading US potato processor to increase sizing potential of both dirty and washed crop, whilst maximising efficiency and minimising waste across its entire potato processing operation. Based in Warden, in Washington State, Skone & Connors Produce, Inc. grows over 2,500 acres of fresh potatoes for Basin Gold, their sales and marketing group.
“You can humidify and disinfect a potato storage warehouse’s air using just water and UV. No chemicals,” says Jef Viaene of Jebe bvba in Belgium, a Humigator DFS dealership. “You’ll have two to ten percent higher yields. The potatoes will be disease-free and can be stored for a long time. And do that without using sprout inhibitors.” The Humigator is said to be a world first. The machine was developed in Idaho and was introduced to Europe in 2020.
Crop Systems Ltd is a well established company in Norfolk, dedicated to the potato storage industry. The company’s range of equipment includes electronic controllers, refrigeration, humidity and fan systems, are all built at its Happisburgh premises. Ray Andrews, Managing Director of Crop Systems says his company is expanding and is looking for a forward-thinking ambitious individual who can contribute to the success of the business and enjoy being part of a top rate friendly team.
Fenkleen Hygiene Ltd in the UK has been carrying out specialist high level cleaning of potato stores and facilities for the last 35 years in East Anglia. With today’s regulations and accountability on the removal and reduction of CIPCs residue, it’s never been more important to carry the procedure out effectively and safely. Whatever method is being employed to carry out the cleaning, either wet or dry, store managers must take into account other contaminates that may be involved in the equation and its removal and factor that in to the process.
Haith Group has seen a resurgence of interest in its innovative bag filling machine after a video posted on social media was viewed more than one million times. The twenty second video which shows the Haith Supa-Bag 10 mobile bagging trailer filling ten one-ton jumbo bags was posted by the company last month. One week later, video views had exceeded 100,000, and the company had received seven sales enquiries from people in the UK, New Zealand, North America, Brazil and the Czech Republic. The already popular video was later posted by Pro Horizon and viewings rocketed to over one million.
It’s a green light for a temporary Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for the sprout inhibitor, chlorpropham. That level may be 0.4 mg/kg in ware potatoes. A European Union Standing Committee agreed to this in a digital vote. The temporary MRL is expected to take effect around the summer of 2021. The exact starting date depends on further decision-making within the EU. The current 10.0 mg/kg MRL will remain in force. That’s until the temporary MRL comes into effect. The use of Chlorpropham has been banned. But, ware potatoes will still be delivered under the current MRL. That’s in the 2020/2021 season.