Sustainability

Final countdown to make British potato stores CIPC compliant for 2017

Time is rapidly running out to make sure potato stores comply with new rules on using chlorpropham (CIPC), which require the sprout suppressant to be applied using “active recirculation” at new lower rates. As of July 2017, all spud stores will need to further restrict the maximum CIPC dose that is applied to potatoes to prevent sprouting. From the summer, rates for[Read[Read More…]

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India: Environmentally friendly bags made from potatoes

They look like plastic bags but are made of materials like natural starch and vegetable oil derivatives. If placed in a glass of water at normal temperature, an EnviGreen bag dissolves in a day. And when placed in a glass of boiling water, it dissolved in just 15 seconds! These bags take less than 180 days to biodegrade naturally once[Read[Read More…]

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Pepsico to support potato cultivation in Myanmar

PepsiCo identified Myanmar (Burma) as a potential hub for growing potatoes, thanks to its rich, fertile lands and favorable climate. The company undertook a comprehensive approach to partnering with farmers, training them on sustainable agriculture practices, and guiding them on investments in infrastructure, such as drip irrigation technology that conserves water usage and minimizes the use of fertilizers and chemicals,[Read[Read More…]

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Researchers: ‘Organic farming should embrace blight–resistant genetically engineered potato’

According to researchers Godelieve Gheysen and René Custers in Belgium, the EU regulation on organic farming does not allow the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). “Why obstruct a cisgenic potato crop that can hardly be distinguished from a potato crop that is the result of conventional breeding?,” the scientists ask in a recently published research paper. “Among the reasons why[Read[Read More…]

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Ireland: €1m investigation into in-field sensors for barley and potato disease begins

Backed with a €1m investment from the Department of Agriculture, a number of research institutions are looking to get to the bottom of crop disease. Ireland’s two most important crops are barley and potato, and disease poses a significant challenge to these and many other strands of agriculture. With that in mind, Scope, a new research project addressing the issue, brings Tyndall National Institute,[Read[Read More…]

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US: Potato growers prepare for new sustainability audit

Potato farmers doing business with some of the industry’s largest customers may be selected to complete a new audit this season, delving into sustainability issues such as recycling and how farm practices affect pollinators. A small number of U.S. growers were picked last season for a trial run with the new Potato Sustainability Audit. This season, the Integrated Pest Management[Read[Read More…]

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Scottish institute contributes rare potato seeds to global seed vault

A global seed vault designed to protect resources from future environmental catastrophes has received the first genetic potato material from the UK. The seeds are part of the Commonwealth Potato Collection (CPC) based at the James Hutton Institute near Dundee. The material will be stored at the Global Seed Vault, which is housed in a mountain on an island halfway between mainland[Read[Read More…]

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Sustainability Report: Potato processor Lamb Weston / Meijer continues to innovate

Lamb Weston’s European joint venture, Lamb Weston / Meijer has published its sustainability report for 2015-2016. This sustainability report shows that Potato Processor Lamb Weston / Meijer is well on its way to achieving the sustainability objectives it has formulated for 2020. Over the last two years the company has made a number of significant investments to support those ambitions. Compared to the[Read[Read More…]

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Australia: McCain to move into state-of-the-art robotic cold storage facility in Melbourne

McCain Foods Australia today announced a contract agreement with cold storage provider NewCold. NewCold’s will manage the storage and handling of McCain’s frozen products at the storage provider’s new warehouse in Truganina, Melbourne, as part of a 10-year agreement commencing in July 2017. Louis Wolthers, Regional President for Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India & China at McCain Food said that the[Read[Read More…]

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Bangladesh: GM potato crop ready for release

The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, which has developed the blight resistant (RB) potato, applied on December 29 for the commercial release of the crop. GM crops are those whose DNA has been modified, in most cases, by introducing a new trait to the plant, thereby, giving it extra vigour either to resist diseases or withstand stress conditions. Once released, RB potato[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Online calculator helps cut farms’ greenhouse gas emissions

It’s called the Cool Farm Tool (CFT) — an easy-to-use online calculator which helps farmers monitor their emissions of greenhouse gases. The CFT was initially developed by researchers at the University of Aberdeen in the UK in partnership with Unilever and the Sustainable Food Lab. Now managed by a group including academics and food manufacturers called the Cool Farm Alliance, the CFT is free for farmers[Read[Read More…]

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Jersey: Potato growers take action to reduce level of nitrates

Potato growers have identified two areas where farming practices must change this winter to prevent a repeat of the water pollution that shut Val de la Mare reservoir for five months earlier this year. A month away from the planting of the early crop of the 2017 potato season, the Island’s biggest potato producer, the Jersey Royal Company, is reducing[Read[Read More…]

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AHDB committed to keep the UK Seed Potato Industry healthy

AHDB Potatoes has pledged to work closely with the seed potato sector and Scottish Government to ensure that the industry maintains a low level of the bacterial disease blackleg. Speaking at the Seed Industry event in St Andrew’s, AHDB Potatoes Strategy Director Rob Clayton said that while there are no easy answers when it comes to blackleg, the key to[Read[Read More…]

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US: Florida’s Jones Potato Farm receives state award for environmental leadership

Jones Potato Farm recently became the third Manatee County farming operation to receive the Florida Ag Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award since it was first presented in 1994. The previous Manatee County recipients were Pacific Tomato Growers of Palmetto in 1999 and Schroeder-Manatee Ranch of Lakewood Ranch in 1995. Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam presented the awards at the Florida Farm Bureau state[Read[Read More…]

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Improving phosphorus management

With a global population expected by some to reach 9 billion people by 2050, improved management of key essential nutrients such as phosphorus will be necessary to boost crop yields and stay one step ahead of steeply rising food demand. If an applied rate of phosphorus is less than optimum for a crop under existing conditions, and a practice such as fertilizer[Read[Read More…]

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‘Nederlandse aardappel bevat veel te veel nitraat’

De Nederlandse aardappel bevat meer dan twee keer zoveel nitraat dan goed voor ons is. Dat zegt Anton Nigten, promovendus op het gebied van bemesting, voeding en gezondheid. De Nederlandse aardappel bevat volgens hem meer nitraat dan die uit andere Europese landen. Nigten legt de oorzaak bij de intensieve bemesting en de vorm waarin boeren organische mest aanvoeren. Nigten zegt dat naast[Read[Read More…]

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CIP: ‘Day for Disaster Reduction’ touts root and tuber resilience

Observed annually on October 13, International Day for Disaster Reduction is a celebration of global communities’ resilience in the face of natural or man-made disasters, as well as an attempt to draw attention to steps that need to be taken to bolster food security, infrastructure and more. In the face of more powerful storms resulting from a globally changing climate, potato[Read[Read More…]

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Report: Potato cultivation in danger of disappearing from the Netherlands

The Dutch potato cultivation has a strong position in northwestern Europe because of its good entrepreneurs and strong chain. These Dutch entrepreneurs are also in a leading position in the field of sustainability. At the same time, returns of potato cultivators are increasingly under pressure. There are plenty of opportunities for improving returns, and to continue investing in sustainability and[Read[Read More…]

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South Africa: 2016 Seed Potato Grower of the year announced

During the Seed Potato Grower’s forum in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, JP van den Berg from Northwest was named Seed Potato Grower for 2016 at the Bayer gala dinner. The other finalists for this year’s award were Frans Engelbrecht (North West) and W & K Boerdery (Western Free State). Three years’ certification data (from registration to control results) were used to determine the[Read[Read More…]

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US: Is there a way to revive drought-stricken soil?

In Colorado, potato-farming brothers are saving water by using cover crops innovatively. Among the myriad strategies farmers in Colorado’s San Luis Valley have attempted during a decade-long, soil-wracking drought is planting cover crops: efficient plants that enhance the soil’s ability to hold water. Cover cropping has helped Brendon Rockey slash water use by 40 percent and eliminate synthetic fertilizers. “It’s[Read[Read More…]

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Germany: Use of composts made of biowaste and treated compost in organic potato production

This project, which will be conducted in Lower Saxony in Germany over two years, wants to develop recommendations for the application of composts in organic potato production. Bio-waste compost should be established as a regular fertilizer in organic farming and limitations for the use of composts should be overcome. The project partners bring in their experience and their knowledge about[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Prince Edward Island scientists see potential for sorghum sudangrass as potato rotation crop

You may not have ever heard of sorghum sudangrass but if you live on Prince Edward Island, it could be coming soon to a potato field near you. A team of researchers with Agriculture Canada are growing test plots of the fast-growing grass in Harrington, P.E.I., comparing it side by side to other rotation crops such as red clover. “We are interested[Read[Read More…]

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