Studies/Reports

NAPSO survey highlights key challenges and focus areas for the potato storage industry

The North America Potato Storage Organization (NAPSO) conducted a survey among potato professionals to identify key storage challenges, including disease management, logistics, and staffing. Findings will shape future initiatives and summits, addressing priorities like best practices and new technologies. The results will guide discussions at the upcoming PAA annual conference. Participants can attend the meeting in person or via a live stream, with details available on NAPSO’s website.

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Driving potato purchases: Key consumer insights revealed in new Potatoes USA study

The ‘Potato Path to Purchase’ study by Potatoes USA, conducted by Nielsen IQ, reveals how consumer behavior and purchase patterns for potatoes are influenced by various factors. Key findings show that 90% of potato purchases are pre-planned, with freshness/quality, price, and quantity as top factors. Retailers can boost sales by focusing on quality, transparent packaging, and eye-catching displays. Pre-shopping factors like meal planning and promotions significantly impact purchasing decisions.

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Tight stocks and weather challenges impact Irish and European potato markets

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reports steady potato demand despite cold, wet weather. New season varieties are slowly hitting the market, but stocks remain tight for another two weeks. Early-planted varieties saw yield reductions due to weather. European factories face delays in new season crops, particularly in Belgium. Despite challenges, some early table varieties are being harvested, and prices have stayed stable.

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Potato protein market expected to gain popularity across the globe

The global potato protein market is set to grow significantly from 2023 to 2031, with an expected CAGR of 6.9%. Growth drivers include rising adoption in food, beverages, animal feed, and cosmetics, a growing vegan population, and increased awareness of the environmental impact of animal farming. North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa will all contribute, with Asia-Pacific leading in growth.

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Weather woes and seed quality impact early summer potato crops across Ireland and Europe

The latest Irish Farmers Association market report highlights mixed outcomes for the potato industry as Ireland enters the holiday season. Despite challenging weather affecting crop quality, potato consumption remains high, especially from the peeling market. Farmers have completed plantings despite adverse conditions, though uneven crop development has been noted. New season potatoes are emerging slowly, with similar issues in Europe due to extended planting seasons and seed quality concerns, necessitating vigilant agronomic practices.

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Global potato starch prices to rise in June amidst strong demand and supply chain challenges

Potato starch prices are predicted to increase globally in June due to higher demand from downstream industries, rising feedstock costs, and supply chain disruptions. As buyers anticipate even greater demand later in the year, they might increase their purchases in June. Additionally, potato harvest season and economic shifts in China and the eurozone contribute to the price rise.

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Potato market update: Strong demand and robust consumption in Ireland, European planting woes amidst weather issues

The latest potato market report from the Irish Farmers Association highlights the robust demand and tight stocks in Ireland, driven by unseasonably cool weather. Despite some new crops entering the market, quantities remain low, increasing demand for available stock. Quality issues like splits and cracks have also emerged. In Europe, planting progress varies, with delays and weather challenges impacting crop establishment, particularly in Belgium and the Netherlands.

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Report: Global processed potato market expected to reach $45 billion growth milestone by 2028

The global processed potatoes market is expected to grow by USD 45 billion between 2024 and 2028, driven by enhanced production capabilities and technological advancements according to Technavio. Key growth factors include investments in advanced technology and infrastructure, especially in North America and Europe. Challenges such as fluctuating raw material prices and regulatory standards persist, but sustainable practices are being adopted. Major players include Lamb Weston, McCain Foods, and The Kraft Heinz Company.

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Wyma champions sustainability in global food production with new comprehensive guide

Wyma, a leader in post-harvest equipment, released a sustainability guide highlighting the urgent need for innovative and efficient food production to address global challenges such as climate change and resource scarcity. By 2050, with an expected 35% population increase, food production must double. The guide emphasizes the importance of aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and underscores key strategies, including water conservation, handling and processing improvements, and sustainable land use, for a sustainable future.

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Europatat Activity Report 2023-2024 highlights unprecedented challenges and key achievements in the potato sector

The Europatat Annual Report 2023 highlights significant activities, achievements, and challenges of the European potato trade sector. Facing market turbulence due to legal changes, conflicts, and environmental factors, Europatat demonstrated resilience and adaptability. The report emphasizes strategic collaborations, policy advocacy, and efforts to promote fresh potatoes. Sustainability initiatives and research on potato stress resilience also feature prominently. The 2024 Congress in Brussels will address future sector challenges.

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Market report: European potato prices rise on prospects of another delayed harvest

The Mintec Benchmark Price for Dutch processing potatoes rose by 26.7% in May to €475/MT, driven by the likelihood of delayed harvests due to wet planting conditions. Planting progress varies across Europe, with Germany nearly complete and Belgium lagging due to weather delays. France has planted over 80% of its area, and the Netherlands is nearly finished. Delays threaten seed potato quality, especially early varieties.

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Potato market update: Firm retail demand amid planting delays across Ireland and Europe

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reports strong retail demand for potatoes in Ireland despite one of the latest planting years, caused by erratic weather. The mixed weather has increased consumer demand, keeping the market robust. Planting delays in Ireland and Europe have pushed prices higher due to tight supply. Early-planted varieties are expected soon, offering some relief. IFA is monitoring the situation closely.

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Robust surge in U.S. potato sales: Across-the-board growth for all potato categories

In the first quarter of 2024, the U.S. retail potato market saw a 5.6% rise in sales volumes and a 4.4% increase in dollar sales, reaching $4.6 billion. Growth spanned all potato categories, led by fresh potatoes with a 7.6% volume increase. Smaller pack sizes gained popularity, while larger ones declined. Insights from Circana reveal strong consumer demand, guiding industry strategies for future growth.

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Weather challenges persist: European and Irish potato farmers struggle with planting delays as demand stays high

The latest Irish Farmers Association report underscores the difficulties Irish potato farmers face due to unpredictable weather, causing planting delays and a potentially late harvest. Despite these challenges, retail demand and home consumption remain strong, pressuring old season stocks and driving up physical prices. This trend is seen across Europe, with weather impacts noted in the Netherlands and the UK.

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Glyphosate under fire: Scientists struggle to find effective alternatives, experts warn of unintended consequences

Amid concerns about glyphosate, the most used herbicide globally, scientists struggle to find safe, effective alternatives, according to a Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) article by Andrew Porterfield and Jon Entine. Their analysis reveals exaggerated health concerns and underscores glyphosate’s proven safety. However, existing substitutes lack efficacy, increasing costs and environmental risks. The authors argue for a balanced, research-driven approach to replacing glyphosate.

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Limited stocks and anticipated harvest delays keep UK potato prices on upward trend

UK potato prices have surged due to a low 2023 harvest and delayed planting, with English White potatoes now at £630/MT, showing a 90% increase, and Maris Piper potatoes at £660/MT, up by 120%. Market analyst Harry Campbell at Mintec writes that despite warmer May weather improving planting, supply constraints continue, leading growers to hold stocks in anticipation of prices reaching beyond £700/MT. The market remains primarily a sellers’ market.

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Unlocking potato plant defenses: Calcium’s role in fighting bacterial wilt in potatoes

Researchers have found that calcium significantly boosts resistance in potatoes against bacterial wilt, a pathogen impacting global potato production with annual losses of $19 billion. The study demonstrates calcium’s potential as soil amendments to counter bacterial wilt. Researchers noted a correlation between calcium levels and disease resistance, suggesting new integrated disease management avenues with focus on calcium enrichment strategies. This could lead to advances in potato breeding and agricultural practices aimed at enhancing disease resistance.

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Ireland and Europe face challenges in potato planting due to unpredictable weather

This week, potato farmers in Ireland and Europe face significant challenges due to erratic weather, affecting planting and crop progress as reported by the IFA. In Ireland, brief dry spells were insufficient for sustaining continuous planting, leading to potential supply issues in summer. Similar issues are observed across Europe, with France and neighboring countries experiencing severe planting delays. The IFA stresses the importance of strategic planning to mitigate weather impacts on agriculture.

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Pioneering study highlights need for climate-resilient potato cultivars amidst global warming

A study by researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, published in Frontiers in Plant Science, reveals significant challenges potato cultivation faces due to climate change. The research team underscores the importance of developing stress-tolerant potato varieties to maintain global food security amid rising temperatures, drought, and increased pest incidences. The study includes advancements in understanding potato plants’ molecular responses to environmental stress, critical for breeding resilient cultivars.

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Value of Scottish potato industry more than just ‘small potatoes’

Potatoes, despite their versatile use in food and non-food sectors, have seen a dramatic 71% decline in UK’s fresh potato demand since the 1970s. According to a report by SRUC, Scotland remains more stable in potato production compared to the entire UK, accounting for significantly higher portions of seed potatoes, crucial due to its disease-free status. Scotland’s seed potato sector, highlighted for its economic importance, supports substantial employment and generates significant economic output.

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New study reveals the complex drivers and barriers affecting best management practices among potato producers

A comprehensive study from the University of Guelph and SunRISE Potato reveals motivators and barriers in adopting best management practices (BMPs) among Ontario’s potato producers. Enhanced by a System Thinking approach, the research indicates that personal values largely drive adoption, yet structural challenges like market access and stringent regulations hinder it. Insights from this study can inform targeted strategies to improve BMP adoption and enhance sustainable agriculture.

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Canadian potato landscape: Record stocks and regional disparities define the market

The United Potato Growers of Canada reported that potato holdings in April 2023 increased by 12.5% from the previous year, totaling 52,393,000 cwt. Stocks are higher than the five-year average, with significant amounts in western provinces, especially in processing. Quebec and Maritime regions saw lower stocks due to a rainy season. Processing sector stocks surged by 24% due to record production. Meanwhile, overall seed sector stocks are slightly down by 5.6%.

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International Potato Center launches ambitious survey to revolutionize potato varieties in the Global South

The International Potato Center, backed by CGIAR, launched a survey to improve food security in the Global South by developing resilient potato varieties. It seeks data from various agricultural stakeholders to tailor breeding programs to regional needs, thus enhancing yield and sustainability. This effort combines market needs analysis, sustainable practice evaluation, and understanding farmer and consumer preferences to address climate impact on food systems.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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