Studies/Reports

COVID-19 compliance costly for Washington State potato growers, packers

In a recently completed survey by the IMPACT Center at Washington State University, it was found that Washington State farm families’ direct compliance outlays to manage COVID-10 were roughly $2,532 per month. Direct compliance outlays were found to be much higher for those businesses packing potatoes at $4,340 per month.

Read More

Feed the Future – Biotechnology Potato Partnership: Annual report released

The Feed the Future – Biotechnology Potato Partnership (BPP) is a five-year, $5.9 million multi-institution cooperative agreement between MSU, USAID, Simplot Company and other global institutions to develop and bring to market improved potato products in farmer- and consumer-preferred varieties in Asian countries. BPP offers biotech potato products with broad-spectrum resistance to late blight. The BPP annual report for FY 2020 is now available.

Read More

‘Thievery’: First known gene transfer from plant to insect identified

A pernicious agricultural pest owes some of its success to a gene pilfered from its plant host millions of years ago. The research finding is the first known example of a natural gene transfer from a plant to an insect. It also explains one reason why the sweet potato whitefly Bemisia tabaci is so adept at munching on crops: the gene that it swiped from plants long ago enables it to neutralize a toxin that some plants produce to defend against insects.

Read More

Canadian researchers pursue anti-virulence strategy in fight against common scab, antibiotic resistant bacteria

In the ongoing war against antibiotic resistant bacteria, a change in battle tactics may prove effective for controlling common scab of potatoes and potentially other toxins that affect humans and animals, according to Canadian Light Source Inc. The approach that Dr. Rod Merrill at the University of Guelph and his research group are pursuing is an anti-virulence strategy – finding or designing small molecules that inhibit the tools bacteria use to colonize the host and create infection.

Read More

Sustainability for the agriculture industry: The era of precision ag has arrived

In celebrating National Agriculture Week and National Ag Day the past week, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in the US published this article to highlight the role that precision agriculture plays in sustainability for the agriculture industry. “For the environmental benefits of precision agriculture to take shape, farmers need to generate more yield and at least break even from a financial standpoint,” said AEM Senior Vice President of Ag Services Curt Blades. “Technology now affords farmers the ability to do even more — things that could never have happened before.

Read More

Study: ‘Grower knowledge is central to improving PCN management’

It is widely accepted that potato cyst nematodes are a serious threat to the viability of potato production and yet despite efforts to promote better management practices the area of infested land continues to increase. There are many explanations for this trend in the UK, not least the lack of market acceptance to those varieties with good resistance, which is considered essential to reducing populations, but the dwindling supply of clean land is also a serious concern, according to an article by Bayer Crop Science in the UK.

Read More

‘Green Headlands’ boost soil health and fertility

Planting a “Green Headland” on uncropped areas around potato and field vegetable crops can capture nutrients worth £200/ha over the growing season. That will not only help the following crop, but importantly retain those nutrients in the field and minimise environmental losses, according to Syngenta Environmental Initiatives Manager, Belinda Bailey.

Read More

Pre-packed potatoes make a comeback during pandemic year in Britain

Throughout 2019, pre-packed potatoes lost out to loose potatoes as consumer concerns around plastic rose. However, as the coronavirus pandemic hit, this reversed, according to a report by Rebecca Gladman, Retail Insight Manager at AHDB. She reports that pre-packed potatoes’ share of volume reached 94.4% in the 12 w/e 21 Feb 2021 – an increase pof 1.6 percentage points on 2020 and the highest level it’s been at for around five years (Kantar).

Read More

Finding the ‘sprightly spud’: HZPC’s search for the secret to seed potato vitality

Since 2018, HZPC and Averis Seeds have been collaborating in the “Flight to Vitality” research project. It is a quest for the factors that influence the germination capacity – and therefore the vitality – of seed potatoes. At the end of 2021, when the practical investigation is completed, the company says it is hoping that the mystery will be solved. The answer to one question has always remained unanswered: how is it possible that seed potatoes sometimes grow much better and faster than at other times?

Read More

Researchers review the spread of late blight across Asia over a century and a half

Researchers Sanjoy Guha Roy, Tanmoy Dey, David E. L. Cooke and Louise R. Cooke recently published this review in the journal Plant Pathology. In a news article for the The British Society for Plant Pathology (BSPP) the research team writes they have scoured the literature to report on the dynamics of Phytophthora infestans (1870-2020) that has shadowed the expansion of potato cropping.

Read More

Climate change study predicts 70% increase of late blight in east Scotland in future

A new study by the Met Office in the UK gives examples of how two of the UK’s most important farming sectors are likely to be impacted by climate change. The study examines the effect of climate change on the dairy and potato farming sectors over the next thirty to fifty years. In the future climate the authors concluded that late blight is likely to occur more often across the UK, with the greatest increases in western and northern regions.

Read More

The ‘Phoenixes’ in our food systems: Women farmers in Peru safeguarding the survival of potato biodiversity

Women farmers are key leaders in the survival of potato biodiversity. During a research trip to Peru hosted by the International Potato Center (CIP) in September 2019, the author of this article – Margaret M. Zeigler – observed how they live and labor in terraced fields at extremely high altitudes, cultivating crops that face threats from frost and pests. They play a central role in native potato conservation.

Read More

Breakthrough research: Wastewater from potato processing plants could be used in the recycling of high-tech devices

Every year, it takes millions of gallons of water to clean, peel and slice Idaho’s potatoes before they’re processed into any number of products from tater tots and animal feed to industrial starch. As a result, Idaho potato processors must treat and dispose of a large amount of wastewater that contains organic matter, silt and sand. But now, new research from Idaho National Laboratory suggests that potato wastewater might serve well as a low-cost food source for a special bacterium that could be used to recycle high-tech devices.

Read More

Webinar – ‘Late Blight: 175 years of experience. What have we learned? An update’

This webinar will be hosted by World Potato Congress Inc, and presented by Albert Schirring of Bayer AG on March 31, 2021 at 09:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. During his presentation, Albert Schirring will discuss the key principles of robust late blight management strategies. He will also focus on the global population dynamics of the late blight pathogen to improve fungicide resistance management strategies.

Read More

Webinar now online: ‘Fighting back against late blight’

Spud Smart magazine in Canada recently hosted its latest Spud Smart Innovation webinar, which was brought to you by the Canadian Potato Council. Across Canada, a group of researchers are working, as part of a national research cluster, to develop a strategy to fight back against this costly potato disease.

Read More

Potatoes USA launches new marketing campaign

A new video campaign has been launched by Potatoes USA to help combat meal fatigue and show consumer the many different meals that can be prepared using potatoes. Retail potato sales saw tremendous growth in 2020 as consumers stocked their pantries in March and beyond.

Read More

On-farm trials in New Zealand target potato tuber moth

Two Pukekawa trials in New Zealand are showing some early promise for potato growers when it comes to greater control of the potato tuber moth. Pukekohe company Inta-Ag has been running a trial on a potato grower’s land at Pukekawa using straw mulch to see what effect it can have on PTM.

Read More

Scottish Government working group outlines plan to combat the plague of PCN

New research to tackle the growing scourge of Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) has been identified by a specialist Scottish Government working group. As Nancy Nicolson reports in The Courier, group member Professor Ian Toth of the James Hutton Institute told a meeting of the Scottish Society for Crop Research (SSCR) yesterday that an initial research programme costing £2.3m could begin within the next five years if funding is found.

Read More

Cold weather, national lockdown dull potato demand in Britain

Throughout February, free-buy and contract demand remained quiet across the board. Cold and snowy weather at the start of February, combined with the national lockdown, curbed many opportunities to eat out-of-home, therefore dulling demand. February saw the release of the GB end of January stocks figures . This pegged grower held stocks at 2.11Mt, 39% of total production. This is 47.36Kt lower than last year but 40.86Kt higher than the 5-year average

Read More

NEPG reports lower processing contract prices and higher production costs for growers

According to the North-Western Potato Growers (NEPG), processing contract prices for the coming season have been published in recent weeks. The industry body says in a press release that contract prices for delivery ex-field in October-November are generally lower than last season – between 5 and 10% . At the end of the season (May-June 2022), the decline is less, and in most cases prices are slightly higher than those for the 2020-2021 season.

Read More

Pandemic slashed Belgian potato sector, processing volume down

No one could miss it in the media last year: the corona pandemic slashed the Belgian potato sector. In the 2019-2020 season, where the free market was in balance, growers and buyers were from one day to the next confronted with a global lockdown and the collapse of the demand for potatoes by the hospitality and food service sectors, says the Belgian potato trade and processing industry association, Belgapom, in a press release.

Read More

Virtual seminar on varieties, fungicide programs now available online

Last week Miller Research in Idaho hosted another of its online potato seminars. Dr Miller offered a virtual tour of Miller Research’s 2020 variety trial , showing the relative susceptibility of common russet cultivars to early blight/brown spot and white mold. He also discussed the strengths of different fungicide programs.

Read More

Potato pathologist discusses the emergence and prevalence of potato mop top virus

In a recent presentation, Dr. Julie Pasche, potato pathologist at North Dakota State University (NDSU), discusses the emergence and prevalence of potato mop top virus (PMTV). Dr. Pasche says in her presentation that potato mop top virus is present in many potato growing countries around the world. Studies that were conducted in the US and Canada looked at about three thousand seed lots and found that approximately four percent of them were positive for PMTV.

Read More

Canadian scientists help to develop new weapon in the war against wireworms

For many years, farmers have struggled with limited options to control wireworms, leading to crop damage and loss. Now, thanks to support efforts from three Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientists, farmers have a new wireworm defence in their arsenal. The AAFC researchers have been assessing the performance of Broflanilide on cereal and potato crops at the Harrington Research Farm in PEI, the Agassiz Research Farm in BC, and with local farmers.

Read More

Lockwood Mfg

JADBio Webinar

Urschel

Spornado

FAM Stumabo