Sustainability

Smart farming: Prince Edward Island potato growers using new decision support tools to improve use of crop protectants

A growing number of Prince Edward Island potato farms in Canada are taking advantage of new technology to improve their use of crop protectants, including fungicides used to prevent late blight. Late blight has historically been a major disease effecting potatoes in Prince Edward Island, with the potential to cause millions of dollars in crop losses if there is a[Read More…]

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Agrico demonstrates its contribution to sustainable potato cultivation during Fruit Logistica event

Global potato seed and variety company Agrico exhibited at Fruit Logistica in Berlin last week – Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 February 2020. During this leading international trade event, Agrico and its subsidiaries demonstrated the company’s successful contribution to sustainable potato cultivation for the ‘Next Generation’. Agrico named its strategy for 2020-2030 “good growth“. Their responsibility towards people, the planet[Read More…]

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British expert blasts approach of Dutch potato growers who are acting ‘insane’

Dutch potato producers have been accused of putting the efficacy of the industry’s limited number of fungicides at risk through “irresponsible” practices. Growers attending the SAC Association of Potato Producers conference at Scone heard independent agronomist Denis Buckley describe the Dutch approach to fungicide application as “insane and irresponsible”, even as the industry “hangs on for dear life” to the[Read More…]

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The science of glyphosate: Is glyphosate hazardous to soil health?

There are dozens of conspiracy theories about glyphosate, writes Robert Arnason in an article in The Western Producer. He says one of those theories goes something like this: glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is an antibiotic and it kills all of the beneficial bacteria and fungi in soils. “It makes the soil sterile in some cases leading to less[Read More…]

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Kompuestos unveils potato-based bioplastic

Kompuestos, a producer of sustainable plastic compounds, has developed a bioplastic made entirely from potato starch which reportedly biodegrades in four weeks. The formulation of this bioplastic, which is part of Kompuestos’ Biokomp range, aims to replace traditional supermarket plastic bags for fruit and vegetables and thus significantly reduce carbon footprint. This and three other products of the company’s Biokomp range[Read More…]

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UK: RBR Crops to stop growing potatoes

Hort News reports that Norfolk potato supplier RBR Crops says it will stop growing potatoes in order to concentrate on more profitable merchant, seed, storage and consultancy activities, and that sadly ten jobs will be lost with the changes. The company, which was founded in 1965, says the decision has been driven by continued cost pressures, the price of rented[Read More…]

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Rathenau Institute: 'Hybrid potato breeding offers worldwide opportunities'

Hybrid potato breeding can contribute to environmental sustainability and food security. It also offers opportunities for the global market. Timely steering is essential if these opportunities are to be seized. For example, the Dutch potato sector and authorities must keep innovating and investing in knowledge development. The Rathenau Institute in the Netherlands did some research. This was into the socio-economic[Read More…]

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Potato late blight in Europe: The hard science

Didier Andrivon from INRA delves into the disease that once killed 1.5 million individuals in Ireland: Potato late blight, also known as Phytophthora Infestans It would be easy to think that a disease peaking over one hundred years ago is no longer a problem, but potato late blight continues to evolve and emerge in new places – similarly to the insidious reach of[Read More…]

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US: Potato pest-management seminar to look at trial results

Results of research trials funded by the Northwest Potato Research Consortium and other publicly funded research will be discussed as part of an upcoming potato pest-management seminar, according to a report by Capital Press. Jeff Miller, plant pathologist and principal with seminar host Miller Research LLC, said the trials looked at 13 measurements on eight varieties — including new Teton,[Read More…]

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Optimising combinations and timings could be answer to loss of CIPC

With a new decade of challenges and opportunities ahead in the potato sector, the 30th Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association (CUPGRA) conference at Robinson College in the UK focused on building business resilience. By using combinations of existing sprout suppressant technology and new physiologically-targeted treatments, the possibility to achieve equivalent results to chlorpropham (CIPC) is ‘within reach’, a new study[Read More…]

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Going Dutch: Potato store managers in Britain will need to split the sprout suppression load next year

Store managers may need to consider beyond the direct costs of the remaining approved sprout suppressants and towards adjusting store management strategies to keep the number of applications to a minimum,  and therefore helping to keep costs down, according to a recent news release issued by AHDB in the UK. As sprout suppressant chlorpropham (CIPC) will not have its licence[Read More…]

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Crop management study recommends 3-year rotations for potato production systems

Building and maintaining soil health is essential to agricultural sustainability, long-term productivity, and economic viability. Soil health is defined as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living system that supports biological productivity, to maintain environmental quality, and to promote plant, animal, and human health. Understanding how to maintain soil health is especially important, as agricultural production[Read More…]

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Potato-growing trial in the UK uncovers big savings

Potato growers with AHDB’s Farm Excellence Network in the UK have found a way of saving over £65 per hectare in production costs while increasing yield. Their findings come after a three-year trial programme for the network, and were revealed last week at Guardswell Farm for the Strategic Potato Farm Scotland Results Day. By reducing their cultivation process, as well[Read More…]

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Five cropping tips when improving soil health

The overall aim of improving soil health is to reduce agronomic problems and have better performing crops. Farmers, agronomists and researchers at a Farmers Weekly / Bayer Soil Roundtable in the UK identified five cropping tips when improving soil health. 1. Improve yields on headlands Headlands often see the biggest yield gain when soil health improves because they become less[Read More…]

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Bad weather creating french fry shortage in the US

If you love French Fries, you better eat them while you can; a stretch of poor weather has lead to a significant shortage of potatoes in North America, which could leave your local deep fryer empty of the delicious spuds. Unusually cold and wet conditions in both the United States and Canada destroyed crops, putting a big crunch on the[Read More…]

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Yield10 Bioscience signs research agreement with J. R. Simplot

Yield10 Bioscience, Inc. (Nasdaq:YTEN) today announced that it has signed a research agreement with Boise, Idaho-based J. R. Simplot Company, to evaluate three novel yield traits in potato. Under the agreement with Yield10, Simplot plans to conduct research with these yield traits within its research and development program as a strategy to improve crop performance and sustainability. In addition to[Read More…]

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How Peru’s 'living potato museum' could stave off world food crisis

With a climate changing faster than most crops can adapt to and food security under threat around the world, scientists have found hope in a ‘living museum’ dedicated to a staple eaten by millions daily: the humble potato. High in the Peruvian Andes, agronomists are looking to the ancestral knowledge of farmers to identify genetic strains which could help the[Read More…]

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Non-renewal of CIPC in Europe leaves room for other sprout suppression methods

The non-renewal of CIPC in the European market has left a huge gap in the potato storage sprout suppression market and growers are urgently looking for alternatives for their potato crops. Being aware of the potential for CIPC’s non-renewal, Restrain lead by Global Sales Director Dirk Garos, made significant investments in the business, enabling the company to increase its manufacturing[Read More…]

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Jersey farmers fear losing potatoes stuck in saturated fields

Growers say they have just over a week to harvest their main-crop potatoes before they have to be left to rot. Fears that much of this year’s potato crop will be lost follow one of the wettest Octobers on record, which has resulted in harvesting being delayed by a month. Charlie Gallichan, of Woodside Farms, said that his fields had[Read More…]

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Britain facing potato shortage after failure to dredge rivers led to flooding, NFU says

According to a report published by The Telegraph, Britain could be facing a potato shortage after failure to dredge rivers led to flooding, the leader of the National Farmers’ Union has said, adding that water has been managed in a “disgraceful” way. Minnette Batters, the NFU president said that she had “never seen so little winter planting in [her] working lifetime”.[Read More…]

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Scottish potato industry unites to tackle pest threat

Farmers and growers are joining forces to tackle a threat which some fear could wipe out the Scottish potato industry by 2025. Experts have warned about the potential impact of the spread of potato cyst nematode (PCN). According to a BBC report, the amount of land affected in Scotland has been doubling every six or seven years, and researchers fear[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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