Studies/Reports

Canadian research: Using hyperspectral imaging technology to test potato quality more quickly, efficiently

Currently, the traditional way to find out whether or not a potato is good to go to market is basic and old-fashioned – cut it open and look to see if there are defects. A new research project at Lethbridge College aims to use cutting-edge near-infrared (NIR) hyperspectral imaging technology to test potato quality such as internal defects, greening and specific gravity more quickly and efficiently.

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‘Progress Together’: Lamb Weston issues new sustainability report

Lamb Weston Holdings issued its third annual Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) report today, reporting progress against 2030 ESG goals announced in its last report. “Our teams are committed to working together to make progress against our ambitious 2030 goals,” said Tom Werner, CEO, Lamb Weston. “We’re focused on our long-term future, which means making meaningful changes to reduce our impact on the environment.”

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Sharp increase in packing costs for Idaho potato growers

The cost of packing Idaho’s most famous commodity, potatoes, has risen at least 36 percent over the past two years. That’s according to a new report funded by the Idaho Grower Shippers Association (IGSA), which represents shippers, growers, marketers and processors of Idaho potatoes. “That’s a pretty big increase,” said IGSA President Shawn Boyle. “It’s pretty drastic.”

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McCain Foods India releases second edition of Sustainability Report

McCain Foods has launched the second edition of the India Sustainability Report 2021 – titled ‘Together-Towards Planet-Friendly Food’ earlier this week, highlighting the steps taken by the company towards delivering planet-friendly food, encouraging the use of sustainable practices and helping communities thrive with a sustainable livelihood.

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Univ of Idaho research studies herbicide damage to potatoes caused by heavy rainfall

Farmers throughout southern and eastern Idaho were befuddled by the bizarre symptoms of crop damage that surfaced in their potato fields following a brief period of heavy rainfall in May of 2017. Pam Hutchinson, University of Idaho Extension potato cropping systems weed specialist, has studied the problem – heavy rains prior to potato emergence can move herbicides too deep into the soil, where they’re more accessible by shoots and tuber roots than usual, which could, in turn, cause crop damage.

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Potato planted area in Europe forecast to remain stable amid increased input costs

According to market participants, preliminary estimations show that there is expected to be a marginal growth in the area devoted to potato production, if any, within Europe for the upcoming 2022/23 season. As Mintec reports, growers have faced significant rises in various input costs, including fuel, fertiliser, electricity and labour, and this is expected to have influenced planting decisions for the 2022/23 potato season.

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Thwarting the wart: University of Prince Edward Island study seeks wart-resistant potato variety

Researchers at the University of Prince Edward Island are beginning their search for a potato variety more resistant to potato wart following a provincial economic loss of 300 million pounds of potatoes. Xiuquan (Xander) Wang, a UPEI associate professor working on the project, said the funding from Genome Atlantic will go toward comparing the genes of different potato varieties.

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EuroBlight reports on results of the 2021 European potato late blight monitoring

EuroBlight, a late blight monitoring network for Europe, is continuously examining the ongoing evolution of the European population of the potato late blight pathogen. Euroblight has now released a report detailing the results of the 2021 monitoring activities. Approximately 2500 samples from 26 countries were genotyped. According to the report, blight pressure in 2021 was higher than average across many parts of Europe.

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On the path to stress-tolerant potatoes

A good source of fibre and full of antioxidants, the potato is one of the most important food crops in the world – a crop that climate change is taking its toll on. How do different potatoes respond to heat, drought and waterlogging stresses? EU-backed scientists are investigating the changes that make potatoes resilient or susceptible.

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UK food production to shrink as input inflation hits 24%

Double-digit cost inflation is hitting every single enterprise of British agriculture, casting doubt on the sector’s ability to maintain food supplies in the year ahead. Latest figures from the AF buying group shows that no farming enterprise has been able to avoid the impact of soaring costs, with cereals and oilseed producers seeing the greatest increases at 28%, followed by potatoes, dairy, and beef and lamb producers – all hit by inflation of more than 20%.

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Solar solutions for potato stores

Potato stores require large amounts of energy, so is solar PV an attractive investment? Stephen Robb investigated for Irish Farmers Journal. Robb looks at two example potato farms with cold stores, storage sheds, processing/sorting facilities and packing facilities and analyses how installed solar PV systems impact on their overall operation and cost to maintain and operate.

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Market Analysis: The impact of Russia’s war on the potato industry of Ukraine

February 24, 2022 was a turning point for both Ukraine and the rest of the world, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine has undoubtedly turned the normal world order on its head. In this exclusive article, Fruit-Inform market analyst, Yevhen Kuzin, provides our readers with a bird’s eye view of the current and expected future situation of the potato industry in Ukraine – an industry seriously impacted by Russia’s war against the country.

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Rabobank report: ‘The Russia-Ukraine war’s impact on global fertilizer markets’

Rabobank’s RaboResearch – Food & Agribusiness team released this research report recently. They say that higher fertilizer prices and/or a shortage of fertilizer supply resulting from the war in Ukraine will not have an immediate impact on food prices and/or food production. The first crop-growing regions to be ‘at risk’ are India and Latin America. India is partially out of danger, but Latin America is highly exposed.

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CIP – The quest for certified seed: Cameroon learns seed potato lessons from Kenya

Potato is an important food and nutritional security crop in sub-Saharan Africa. However, a quick look reveals a glaring challenge faced by farmers across the continent: limited access to quality seed potato. The situation is no different in Cameroon. But recent success in Kenya – supported by the International Potato Center (CIP) – holds great promise for Cameroon and other SSA countries.

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Wild relatives and crop breeding: Finding better tools for future-proofing potatoes

Thanks to a collaboration between researchers across the world, including the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, potato breeders will now have a much better toolkit to develop new varieties best suited to their needs in a changing climate. By identifying useful traits—like local adaptability and climate flexibility— in some of the dozens of wild varieties of potatoes, researchers could help breeders cut down on the time and cost to develop new cultivars.

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FAO updates global potato statistics

Dear Readers, the FAO updated its FAOSTAT database in February 2022, and it now includes final crop statistics for 2020. Potato News Today extracted the 2020 data for potatoes as it relates to “total production” (metric tonnes) and “total area harvested” (hectares), and present the results for 140 potato producing countries in the tables on this page.

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Researchers developed organic technology from banana plant waste to combat PCN in East Africa

Potato production in East Africa is under increasing threat from the invasive and highly destructive potato cyst nematode (PCN) Globodera rostochiensis. Researchers have now developed an organic technology from banana plant waste material which might well being a practical solution for potato farmers. Dubbed ‘wrap-and-plant,’ the solution involves enclosing potato seed before planting in a thick absorbent paper made from the fibers of banana plants.

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Max Planck Society: Genome reconstruction opens doors to the transformation of potato breeding

More than 20 years after the first release of the human genome, scientists at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany, have for the first time deciphered the highly complex genome of the potato. Their impressive technical feat, published in Nature Genetics, will accelerate efforts to breed superior varieties.

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Report on pesticide use in British stored potatoes released

A report titled “Potato Stores in the UK” was released yesterday, presenting information on all aspects of pesticide usage during storage of potatoes harvested in 2020 and stored during 2020/2021. Data were collected by the Pesticide Usage Survey Teams at Fera Science Ltd, the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute of Northern Ireland.

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How to control nematodes in potatoes with a trap crop

Planting a potato cyst nematode (PCN) trap crop can naturally reduce nematode numbers by up to 75%. One group of potato farmers have trialled whether they can be successfully established in the UK. Chemical methods that once effectively controlled the pest are dwindling – the latest loss being the mainstay nematicide Vydate – and growers are now looking at alternative biological control techniques.

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