Sustainability

Bayer: Promoting sustainability in potatoes

At the 9th World Potato Congress, Bayer CropScience is showcasing its latest innovations and contributions for sustainable potato production. Under the theme ‘Innovating Together for Sustainable Potatoes’ experts from the company will present recent product novelties and new approaches that underline the role of Bayer CropScience as the innovation leader in its field. The 9th World Potato Congress takes place[Read[Read More…]

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UK: AHDB strategic potato farm open event

AHDB Potatoes first Strategic Potato Farm (SPot) is now established in Staffordshire. An open day has been scheduled to take place July 23, allowing growers to take an expert led tour around a comprehensive 20 hectare trial plot. Each SPot farm partners for three years with a technically advanced grower innovator. The aim is to validate to the host business and[Read[Read More…]

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Wisconsin researchers reveal dozen new potato varieties

In an effort to stay a leader in potato production, researchers in Wisconsin are hard at work to develop the best potatoes for your table. Wendesday at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station, producers from around the state were introduced to about a dozen of the latest varieties developed at the facility. These potatoes are engineered to produce higher yields and[Read[Read More…]

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Innovative technology necessary for potato growers to be sustainable

The historic success of U.S. potato growers in providing consumers with safe, abundant, and affordable food, results from the interaction of hard work and the application of innovative technologies. It is vital that growers continue to have access to technologies that meet consumer demand while using less land and conserving soil, water, and energy. This is the opinion of John Keeling, executive[Read[Read More…]

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US: RD Offutt Co transforms land into haven for pollinators

The biggest potato grower in the U.S. has planted the largest Operation Pollinator establishment in the country. R.D. Offutt Company, founded in 1964, has grown to include farming operations that produce more than 60,000 acres of potatoes annually. Its Minnesota farm group recently planted 600 acres with wildflower seeds, selected specifically to attract a variety of pollinators, including monarch butterflies[Read[Read More…]

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US: APHIS won’t use methyl bromide in PCN eradication program

USDA will not use methyl bromide this spring in its pale cyst nematode eradication program in East Idaho and growers affected by the quarantine are now questioning the viability of the program. Methyl bromide is used to fumigate fields infested with PCN and is a major component of the eradication program, which was put in place after the nematode was[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Potato tampering prevention gets $2M investment

The federal and Prince Edward Island governments are investing another $2 million to assist the Prince Edward Island potato industry in its efforts to prevent tampered potatoes from making it to market. Gail Shea, P.E.I.’s representative in the federal cabinet, announced Ottawa’s $1.5-million Monday morning at the P.E.I. Potato Board office in Charlottetown. The money will go to metal detection technology, both on farms and[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Pesticides not leading cause of cancer on Prince Edward Island: professor

Dr. Len Ritter, professor of toxicology, says non-Hodgkin lymphoma rates, the cancer most often associated with pesticides, are lower in Prince Edward Island than anywhere else in Canada. There is no evidence that the safe application of agricultural pesticides causes cancer, says a toxicology professor from Ontario. Dr. Len Ritter, a professor emeritus at the University of Guelph, was in[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Crop sustainability projects secure funding

Government research councils have awarded more than £4m in research funding to six projects to help improve the sustainability of horticultural crops. The funding is the second round of awards from the Horticulture & Potato Initiative (HAPI), developed by Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Natural Environment Research Council and (NERC) the Scottish Government. The Sainsbury Laboratory group leader Professor[Read[Read More…]

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Idaho spud growers expect bad weed year

Crop scientists expect severe weed pressure in Idaho this season, especially in potato fields, following a prolonged wet period throughout the state’s southern and eastern regions. “All of the rain we’ve had may have compromised some of our pre-emergence herbicides. That’s the main thing I’ve noticed so far,” said Jeff Miller, a crop scientist with Rupert, Idaho-based Miller Research. Miller said he’s[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Irrigation Best Practice Guide for potatoes published

The management and efficient use of water is a high priority within the UK Potato industry and the actions of growers will have an impact on future resources, especially as Potato Council data suggests 55% of growers have irrigation equipment and 40% of the total potato crop is grown on land with short term tenancies. However, by changing management practices[Read[Read More…]

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US: Minnesotans protesting potato pesticides turned away from McDonald’s meeting

A group of rural Minnesotans hoping to present their concerns about McDonald’s use of potato pesticides were denied entrance to the company’s shareholder meeting Thursday, they said. Kathy Connell, Larry Heitkamp and Amy Mondloch of the Toxic Taters Coalition said in a news release that they had worked with a McDonald’s shareholder to enter the meeting, but McDonald’s security turned them[Read[Read More…]

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Australia: McCain Foods plant cuts energy and costs

McCain Foods Lisarow plant has reduced energy costs by up to 10 percent and saving over $250,000 a year after undertaking a Federal and State Government grant program. The program started in November 2013 and was completed In October 2014, with a final verification report due by end of April 2015. More You are unauthorized to view this page.

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Lamb Weston / Meijer director’s take on sustainability

Lamb Weston / Meijer, one of the top-3 producers of processed potato products in Europe and the Middle East and Africa, recently published its third sustainability report. The report highlighted the significant progress made with their sustainability agenda between 2012 and 2014, at all stages of the supply chain, from field to fork. The key results were saving direct water[Read[Read More…]

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J.R. Simplot, McDonald’s joint venture in China given ‘record fine’ for water pollution

A McDonald’s joint venture in China supplying its outlets with French fries has been slapped with a record 3.9 million yuan (HK$4.9 million) fine for water pollution, state media reported. The fine levied against Beijing Simplot Food Processing was the largest ever meted out by the city of Beijing for pollution, the state-run Xinhua news agency said, citing the municipal environmental[Read[Read More…]

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US: R.D. Offutt Company’s move into forest land raises water, wildlife concerns

R.D. Offutt Co., the nation’s largest potato grower, has been clear-cutting trees across north-central Minnesota in recent years, making space for potatoes. The massive change in the landscape, fears of groundwater overuse, the risk of nitrogen fertilizer contaminating the drinking water – all this has some locals fuming. Offutt spokeswoman Anne Struthers said turning forests into fields creates room for the company to switch from[Read[Read More…]

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EU to review neonicotinoid ban

It was announced last week that the European Commission will start a review of the European Union (EU) ban on neonicotinoid pesticides imposed in 2013 in response to bee health concerns. The next step will be taken by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), who will publish a “call for evidence” by the end of May. You are unauthorized to[Read More…]

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Bayer and Farm Frites implement sustainable practices in EU potato cultivation

Bayer CropScience and Farm Frites recently started a Food Chain Partnership initiative designed to implement sustainable agricultural practices in potato cultivation in the Netherlands and Belgium. The goal of the partnership is to support a bottom-up approach with potato farmers addressing value-adding sustainable potato-growing practices at individual farm level. This is intended to minimize the environmental impacts of agricultural production[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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