Sustainability

Interseeding cultivation method shows early promise to reduce nitrate leaching

A two-year project funded through the University of Wisconsin-Water Resources Institute is investigating an interseeding cultivation method for potato cropping that shows early promise to reduce nitrate leaching. Researcher Kevin Masarik from UW-Stevens Point is pursuing what he termed an outside-the-box idea – interseeding rye, oat and millet between the rows of potatoes to create biomass to take up excess nitrates.

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No more plastic: Meade invests in new compostable, paper-based potato packaging

Global packaging and paper manufacturer Mondi has partnered with Polish compostable packaging producer SILBO to develop paper-based, eco-friendly packaging for potatoes. Created for Irish farm potato business Meade Farm Group, the packaging has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The solution will enable Meade to replace hard-to-recycle plastic with paper in line with its sustainability targets.

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‘Foods that go farther’: Farther Farms closing the French fry gap, revolutionizing food processing, transportation, storage

Today, the French fry. Tomorrow, the global food supply chain. Farther Farms is a high-growth food technology start-up, based in Rochester, NY, working to solve one of society’s greatest challenges: how to make food go farther. The company began by creating the world’s first commercially-available shelf-stable, fresh-cut style French fry that’s never-frozen and ready-to-cook. The French fries have a 90-day shelf life at room temperature – no artificial preservatives added, and no freezing or refrigeration required.

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‘Perfecting Potatoes Together’: BASF opens forum for potato growers

Agri-chemical company BASF has launched a new initiative to help UK growers unlock the potential – and the profits – of their potato crop. Titled, ‘Perfecting Potatoes Together’, the initiative provides a platform on which the potato industry can come together to share experience, know-how and passion for developing and perfecting healthy potato crops.

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The ‘Great Wrap’: Aussie couple goes to market with world first compostable potato-based cling wrap, pallet wrap

A young Australian couple have thrown in their day jobs as an architect and wine maker to tackle ‘the plastic problem’ after being disheartened by the sheer amount of waste in their industries. Julia and Jordy Kay are producing the world’s first compostable cling wrap and pallet wrap which is made out of potato waste. The Melbourne couple sold more than $30,000 of ‘Great Wrap’ in their first week. The next product will be the pallet wrap which will be made from the potato waste as well.

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‘Greening the Green’: PepsiCo to make snack packaging 100 percent recyclable, teams up with Clean Up Australia

PepsiCo has strengthened its commitment to tackling plastic waste by becoming the first large food FMCG business in Australia to move to 100 percent recyclable packaging across its entire snacks range. PepsiCo’s portfolio includes some of the most recognisable snack brands in Australia including Smith’s, Red Rock Deli, Sakata, and Doritos. By the end of the year consumers will be able to recycle all of their PepsiCo snack packaging via their home curb side recycling.

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Biologicals: The next agricultural technology revolution

“Biologicals are tools for the sustainable agriculture of the future… Biologicals are a class of agricultural products that include biopesticides, biofertilizers, and biostimulants that are derived from natural materials, such as animals, plants, bacteria, or minerals,” writes Claude Flueckiger in this article published by AgoPages.

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Lambweston / Meijer Sustainability Report: ‘Eat balanced, don’t waste food and care about the climate’

Lamb Weston / Meijer defines 3 key sustainability challenges for 2030: ‘Balanced Diet, Zero Waste and Climate Action’. These are disclosed in its sustainability report 2019-2020, which was published last week. The report shows that most of the 2020 goals are reached. Compared to the reference year 2008, 90% of its frozen products are pre-fried in healthier vegetable oil, low in saturated fat.

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Agronomy expert: ‘Doing nothing is not an option – whole systems approach needed to reduce potato virus’

Writes Eric Anderson, Senior Agronomist at Scottish Agronomy: “We have sprayed ourselves into resistance, and we need to be bolder in adopting natural measures into pest management if we’re to secure the health and quality of seed potatoes in Great Britain. The prevalence of virus in seed stocks is challenging the industry and we are at a tipping point. It’s clear that insecticides are not doing the job on their own anymore and that we need to do something differently.”

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PepsiCo to spread regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres, sustainably source all key ingredients

PepsiCo, Inc. today announced a new, impact-driven Positive Agriculture ambition, anchored by a goal to spread regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres, approximately equal to its entire agricultural footprint. The company estimates the effort will eliminate at least 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by the end of the decade. It also aims to improve the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in its agricultural supply chain, and sustainably source all key ingredients by 2030.

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Lamb Weston / Meijer and TOMRA Food: A solid partnership that assures high quality and sustainable products

Fueled by their dedication to innovation and improving efficiency, Lamb Weston / Meijer is a leader in producing high- quality products. To keep the quality of their end products top-shelf and remove defects from raw product processing lines, the best steam peeling equipment and optical sorters are necessary – and for Lamb Weston / Meijer this means TOMRA Food. The 11 TOMRA Steam Peelers operating in seven Lamb Weston / Meijer processing facilities worldwide help the business churn out a whopping 255 tons of potato products every hour.

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Focus on phosphate: Liquid fertiliser offers sustainable choices for potato growers

A recent trial in potatoes in the UK has shown that using smart liquid fertilisers can significantly reduce the amount of phosphate required to generate one tonne of yield when compared to traditional granular fertilisers. Carl Gibbard, Agro-Vital technical manager, explains this insight could pay dividends as growers plan their crop nutrition programme for the upcoming season.

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Pesticides and food: ‘It’s not a black or white issue’

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring drew attention to pesticides and their possible dangers to humans, birds, mammals and the environment. Some of her conclusions and warnings have not held up over time, but Silent Spring produced a movement that changed how the U.S. thought about chemicals and biotechnology.

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NASA Harvest and CropX partner to support sustainable ag initiatives

NASA Harvest (NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture Program) and CropX, a global leader in soil analytics for agriculture, recently announced a strategic partnership that will give NASA Harvest unprecedented soil insights for its global agricultural monitoring efforts. The partnership will further NASA Harvest’s mission to improve food security and advance sustainable agriculture.

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2Blades Foundation: Collaborative effort to bring a disease-resistant potato variety to market in Africa

Evanston, Illinois based 2Blades Foundation reports in its latest e-mail newsletter on the Foundation’s support for the International Potato Center’s African potato initiative. The Foundation make note in the newsletter that Chris Kennedy, Chairman of Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises, Inc. and Bob Easter, President Emeritus of the University of Illinois, co-wrote a blog on how a collaborative effort to bring a disease-resistant potato variety to market in Africa is helping to build global food security.

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Australian potato and IPM specialist to present during World Potato Congress webinar

The World Potato Congress is extremely pleased to present its next webinar on Tuesday, April 6, 2021/Wednesday, April 7, 2021 with Dr. Paul Horne, Entomologist and owner and Director of IPM Technologies Pty Ltd., Hurstbridge, Victoria, Australia. The presentation will outline the elements of IPM in any crop but particularly in potatoes. Examples of how pesticides can be chosen based on their IPM fit will be given, using Australian conditions as an example.

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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.

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Canadian govt working with farmers to accelerate adoption of climate-smart best practices

Farmers are on the front lines of worsening climate impacts, and face increasing risk of wildfires and extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts. The best way to build climate resiliency across Canadian agriculture’s diversity of realities and landscapes is by developing and deploying solutions that are tailored for each region, led by farmers and farm groups themselves, the Government of Canada says in a press release.

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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.

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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.

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Eye on the future: Side Delights family-owned farms celebrate the next generation

The Side Delights Network of family-owned farms is vigilantly integrating the next generation into the potato business. 2021 trends show that “The locally grown produce movement starts to come of age,” as stated in the article on Top Seven Trends for Fresh Produce in 2021. Some of the Fresh Solutions Network farms have been running their businesses for centuries. The most extended generational farming family is Sterman Masser, an eighth generation Pennsylvania farming family.

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Prince Edward Island potato farmers say holding ponds help counter impacts of drought

Some farmers in Canada’s Prince Edward Island have no choice but to use irrigation ponds to counter the impacts of drought conditions like what was experienced on the Island last summer, says the P.E.I. Potato Board. The CBC’s Wayne Thibodeau reports that the board issued a statement Thursday to address what it described as myths by a small group of Islanders that farmers will run streams and wells dry.

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