Studies/Reports

Crop rotation: Call in a nurse. A ‘nurse’ crop, that is

Recent years have seen increased attention on the health of the soil used in potato production, and attempts to bring potatoes into longer rotations with other crops, writes Ralph Pearce, CG Production Editor in Country Guide. The challenge across much of Eastern Canada is that some rotational crops such as soybeans and dry beans don’t add much residue to the soil. Aggressive tillage on sandier, porous soils with potato production in the Maritimes also makes it difficult to maintain organic matter.

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Expert Opinion: What could the coronavirus mean for the global potato industry?

The spread and fear of coronavirus has stepped up a gear this week, with more than 110 countries or territories reporting 129,000 cases and more than 4, 000 deaths between them, writes potato market analyst Cedric Porter in this week’s issue of World Potato Markets. The virus is having an impact on the potato industry, Porter says. Some countries are reporting an increase in table potato sales as people stock up on essential goods, but processing potato prices, especially in Europe, have plunged on physical and futures markets. The current crisis is being likened to the economic crisis which began in 2008.

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Report: ‘UK savoury snacks industry is a real success story’

A new report by The Snack, Nut and Crisp Manufacturers Association (SNACMA), estimates the total value of the UK’s savoury snack industry for the coming year at £3.2 billion, a significant increase on last year’s figure of £2.5 billion.. With more than 95 per cent of all potato crisps being made from home grown potatoes, it is claimed that the snack sector is a major supporter of farming jobs.

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EuroBlight issues report with details on the 2019 late blight monitoring results

EuroBlight is continuously examining the ongoing evolution of the European population of the potato late blight pathogen and now reports on the 2019 results. Approximately 1800 samples from 27 countries were genotyped. In general, blight pressure is said to have been low which reduced sample numbers in many regions. However, episodes of high disease pressure resulted in serious outbreaks in other areas such as northern Britain and Denmark.

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Research study shows elevated CO2 and warmer temperature benefit potato growth

Chinese scientists Yubi et al. examined the interactive effects of elevated CO2 and higher temperature on various growth and biomass characteristics of potato. They concluded that all in all, it appears that potato yields will increase in the future due to elevated CO2, elevated temperature or a combination of such factors. Related video: Prof Jacquie van der Waals, Potato Pathology Programme manager at the University of Pretoria on the effect of climate change..

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How the humble potato changed the world

In his 1957 essay collection Mythologies, the French philosopher and literary critic Roland Barthes called chips (la frite), a food that comes from a crop native to the Americas, “patriotic” and “the alimentary sign of Frenchness”. Despite its origins in the Andes, it’s an incredibly successful global food Just a century earlier, a potato disease prompted a famine that halved Ireland’s[Read More…]

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CIP: Studying the potato’s water needs for more efficient irrigation

Water is essential for food production, with farming accounting for about 70 percent of global freshwater use, according to the International Potato Center (CIP). As countries expand agriculture to feed the population of approximately 9.7 billion forecast for 2050, the FAO estimates that irrigated farming will need to increase by more than 50%. Yet climate change is already reducing the supply of[Read More…]

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World Potato Congress: ‘Africa could displace North America as the third largest potato producer’

The world’s potato production growth stagnated in 2018 and couldn’t recover in 2019, according to a recent statement by the World Potato Congress (WPC). It is said that in total, 368,247,000 tons were produced in 2018, according to FAO. Even so, it was the third-highest production after 2017 and 2014. FAO estimated that 158 countries for which it has data[Read More…]

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Researchers find that potato plants are at highest risk of PVY infection during first three weeks of growing season

Potato virus Y is the most economically important and devastating aphid-transmitted virus, affecting both tuber yield and quality. The virus is also a major cause of seed potato degeneration, which leads to regular flushing out of seed potatoes after limited field production cycles. There is no remedy for this virus and once a plant becomes infected, it stays sick for[Read More…]

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US: Success with dollars and volume sales at retail, but russet, red sales down

IRI data for the calendar year 2019 (January through December 2019) showed success with dollars and volume sales for total potato sales at retail, Potatoes USA reports. Total dollar sales increased by 2.2% and volume increased by 0.4%. Potato chips, frozen potatoes, refrigerated potatoes, and dehydrated potatoes increased in sales volume. Refrigerated potatoes saw a 7.0% lift in dollar sales[Read More…]

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Study finds its fine to eat a potato-a-day

Potatoes are the most commonly consumed vegetable in the U.S., yet they often get a bad rap. Most are eaten the form of fries or chips, so many people consider them an unhealthy food. It doesn’t have to be that way. Eating one medium-size potato a day can be part of a healthy diet and doesn’t increase cardiometabolic risk —[Read More…]

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The Peruvian potato: A starchy spud that can adapt to every eco-system

The humble potato was cultivated during the Inca Empire and for thousands of years before. When Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, they encountered the potato and brought it to Europe. Today it is grown almost everywhere and considered a top food staple along with rice, corn and wheat. By the year 2050, the global population is expected to[Read More…]

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CIP in Uganda: Experts expect 40-50% adoption of new blight resistant GMO potato variety Victoria

Stakeholders working within the potato sector in Uganda are confident about the wide adoption of a new bio-engineered late blight resistant potato. Dubbed the “3R Victoria” potato, the yet to be released International Potato Center (CIP) bred variety could help over 300,000 smallholder farmers in Uganda achieve higher yields at a lower cost with less exposure to chemicals, it is[Read More…]

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Specialist: Why the physiological age of potato seed tubers matters

According to Carrie Huffman Wohleb, Associate Professor and Regional Specialist – Potato, Vegetable, and Seed Crops at Washington State University, physiological age is an important concept in potato production. “The physiological age of seed tubers determines when the buds will sprout and how many sprouts will develop from those buds,” she says. “It affects stem numbers and vine growth. It[Read More…]

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No small fry: New MountainKing merchandising program focuses on baby potatoes

As sales of baby Golds, Reds and Medley potatoes continue to climb, MountainKing is embarking on an aggressive program to provide its retail partners with turnkey, display-ready options aimed at driving sales of the smaller, pre-sized variety. “Small potatoes are under-promoted and under-merchandised,” says John Pope, MountainKing vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re working to change that narrative in[Read More…]

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Aberdeen fry trials test processing potential of spud lines

It’s that time of year in Aberdeen when the pungent aroma of deep-fried french fries wafts through the hallways of the Marshall building on the campus of the University of Idaho’s Aberdeen Research & Extension Center, Bill Schaefer reports for Farm & Ranch.

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Researchers recount the importance of effective nutrient management for potato production

Beside other agronomic strategies, an adequate supply of macro- and micro-nutrients is of main importance for achieving a desired potato yield, say scientists at the University of Goettingen and K+S KALI GmbH in Germany. The team published a paper in Potato Research, the journal published by the European Association of Potato Research (EAPR), titled The Importance of Nutrient Management for[Read More…]

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Estonian Crop Research Institute trials newly developed red skinned potato varieties

Early red-skinned potatoes were harvested at a greenhouse in Jõgeva on Thursday, and scientists will now determine which varieties give the best yield and are most resistant to the negative effects of indoor lighting, ERR News reports. On December 13, five newly developed varieties of red-skinned potatoes were planted in pots in the Estonian Crop Research Institute (Eesti Taimekasvatuse Instituut)[Read More…]

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Expert advice: Potato fertilization on irrigated soils

This in-depth and extensive article on the subject of potato fertilization was written by soil and potato specialist and expert, Carl J Rosen, Department Head and Professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN. Prof Rosen wrote that optimum potato growth depends on many management factors, including sufficient supply of nutrients.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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