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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
Great news for potato producers! 1,4-dimethylnaphthalene (1,4-DMN), a naturally occurring bio-control that enhances dormancy, controls spouting and encourages field-fresh quality in stored potatoes, is scheduled for review and regulatory approval under the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture (FAO)’s Codex Alimentarius. The review process will take place during 2023.
Adrian Cunnington of Potato Storage Insight warns that due to the unprecedented lack of certainty in the UK industry and delays in decision-making, there may potentially be a lot of short-term storage of seed this spring. Therefore, it is crucial not to compromise seed quality by being complacent about how it is handled, even for the shortest periods.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
The upcoming Interpom trade show in Belgium is regarded by many as the most specialised indoor trade fair for the potato sector in Europe where the whole chain is represented. It will be hosted on November 26 to 29 this year. Tolsma-Grisnich is happy to announce that it will be showcasing its product offerings at this event. Along with an independent group of specialists from Interpom, the company will showcase a number of ‘must-see’ innovations that will be featured at the fair throughout the event.
Potato sprout management: 1,4SIGHT a ‘safe and sustainable’ alternative to CIPC, says product specialists
For over 25 years, 1,4GROUP Inc. has dedicated itself to providing value-added customer solutions in potato storage quality management, innovative application techniques and shelf-life extension through scientifically based product development. “1,4SIGHT is the only true dormancy enhancer on the market,” says 1,4GROUP’s Global Director of Research, Development and Innovation, Bernd Frings.
As the UK harvest nears its end, albeit with some wetter weather to deal with now, the key to success in storage this month is to secure control of the store environment, advises Adrian Cunnington of Potato Storage Insight. The processes of drying, curing and pull-down are focused on removal of moisture and heat from the crop as a priority after loading, he says.
With about half of Aroostook County’s potato crop out of the ground, some farmers are already using extra storage they planned after last year’s bumper crop. At least right now, there’s no word of farmers running out of storage space, said Don Flannery, Maine Potato Board executive director. Irving Farms staff in Caribou reported the 2022 crop is exceeding their expectations.
Potato yields in Britain are down significantly this season due to the hot, dry spring and early summer weather, and for growers putting spuds into cold storage there is the double whammy of higher electricity costs along with lower tuber numbers. The cost of electricity was about £21-22/t for long-term storage on the farm last year, says Mark Means in Norfolk. This season prices had reached £82/t.
Leading vegetable handling equipment manufacturer Tong Engineering has announced its latest product development, which will see advanced optical sorting options available on all new models of its popular fieldloader machine, the FieldLoad PRO. Designed to allow growers to effectively clean and load crop in-field and on-farm, the FieldLoad PRO is one of the latest Tong machines on offer with fully-integrated camera sorting facilities.
A Suffolk potato and onion grower is facing eye-watering costs to dry and store his harvested vegetables over winter. Woodbridge farmer James Foskett says potato storage costs will see big increases from about £30/t to £80-90/t for these. “So, the energy charges will really start to bite,” he says. “There’s slightly less energy used in storing potatoes and we don’t store them as long,” he says. Most will go in January to February.