Sustainability

Banned chemical alternatives sought for British potato growers; practical support provided

AHDB’s Strategic Potato Farm network in the UK is carrying out a variety of trials to ensure growers have effective alternatives for banned chemicals such as diquat and CIPC. The trials currently being undertaken on the network of five farms – based in Perthshire, West Suffolk, Shropshire, Somerset and North Lincolnshire – are supported by research funded by AHDB, ensuring[Read More…]

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Scientists: Unless PCN is eliminated, ‘there will be no Scottish potato sector left in 25 years’ time’

Plant scientists have warned that unless the industry unites in its efforts to stop the spread of potato cyst nematode (CPN) there will be no Scottish potato sector left in 25 years’ time. Growers attending yesterday’s Potatoes in Practice event on Balruddery Farm at Invergowrie were bombarded by appeals to do more to prevent yet more soil becoming infested after[Read More…]

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Podcast: Glyphosate, cancer and corporate conspiracies in the Roundup controversy

Bayer faces thousands of lawsuits alleging that glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is a carcinogen responsible for causing Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), a rare cancer whose causes remain elusive. Despite our limited understanding of NHL, misleading news stories and agenda-driven activist groups have left consumers with the impression that glyphosate’s a relatively

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Summer cover crop highlight of San Luis Valley farm tour

As a trailblazer in adapting regenerative, low-input farming practices for the San Luis Valley, Rockey Farms continues to tweak production methods and experiment with new approaches while producing some of the region’s tastiest potatoes. In mid-July, brothers Brendon and Sheldon Rockey hosted a field day for around 100 visitors from across the state and beyond, offering them a chance to[Read More…]

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Bayer lawsuit: Judge cuts punitive damages in glyphosate-cancer case from $75 million to $20 million

A federal judge on [July 15] slashed a damages award Bayer AG owed a California man who blamed Roundup weed killer for his cancer, to $25.27 million from $80.27 million, while rejecting the company’s bid for a new trial. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said evidence against the former Monsanto Co, which Bayer bought last year, supported[Read More…]

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Heat and drought across Canada’s potato planting Ontario province

As heat and drought continue across the province, irrigation has been the order of the day, according to a message sent by Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist in this province of Canada.  Dr Banks says many fields are in the tuber setting stage, a stage that requires adequate soil moisture for an optimum tuber set.  Fields with closed rows and[Read More…]

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Farmer’s open letter to skeptical consumers: ‘We know glyphosate and GMOs are safe, and we need both to fight climate change’

Despite repeated assurances from the mainstream science community that our food supply is safe, many consumers remain highly skeptical of conventional agriculture, mostly due to misinformation about GMO crops and pesticides perpetuated on social media. Farmers recognize how controversial their profession has become and have attempted to dialogue with consumers and assuage their concerns.  On June 10, South Australian farmer John[Read More…]

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EU Commission confirms non-renewal decision on Chlorpropham

Potato News Today learned this morning from reliable sources in the European potato industry that the EU Commission has published it’s IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2019/989 concerning the non-renewal of approval of the active substance chlorpropham. Based on the Regulation, CIPC authorisation has not been renewed. Member States should withdraw authorisations for plant protection products containing chlorpropham as active substance by[Read More…]

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Glyphosate fallout: Bayer to invest $7.5 billion in new herbicides

Reuters — Bayer said it would invest five billion euros (C$7.5 billion) in developing new weedkillers and reducing its environmental impact by 30 per cent by 2030, as it seeks to address the fallout from U.S. class-action litigation over glyphosate. “While glyphosate will continue to play an important role in agriculture and in Bayer’s portfolio, the company is committed to offering[Read More…]

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Potato farmers in five African counties to access certified planting material after Dutch investment

Potato farmers in five African counties can now access certified planting material after a Dutch-based horticultural firm introduced new technology to mass produce high yielding and disease resistant seed varieties in Nakuru, Kenya. Agrico East Africa, located on a 1,300-acre farm at Olrongai in Kenya has already received certification from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) to embark on[Read More…]

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Renowned Idaho researcher protects potato quality

Potato researcher Dr Nora Olsen helps make sure Idaho’s potatoes stay in the best possible shape as they move from field to storage cellar to customer, reports Capital Press. But maintaining the overall quality of Idaho potatoes is a priority area of study for Nora Olsen. Recent findings include that slight changes to growing and harvesting procedures, and to conditions[Read More…]

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Innovation: Biopolymer potato bags are ‘Tater Made’

Anne Marie Mohan, Senior Editor, Packaging World reports that Wada Farms uses a bag made partially from potato starch for its Idaho Potatoes that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, the use of petroleum-based plastics, and excess film gauge. According to company President Kevin Stanger, Wada is always looking for opportunities to promote and provide better, more sustainable packaging for its products[Read More…]

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Australian potato industry recognises importance of standing together on biosecurity

In the first week of May, AUSVEG, Plant Health Australia and RMCG’s Doris Blaesing facilitated an industry consultation workshop with all sectors of the potato industry to understand the who, what and where of the industry’s approach to surveillance of exotic and notifiable pests and diseases. The workshop was one of the first steps towards developing the National Potato Biosecurity[Read More…]

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AHDB Potatoes: ‘Fight Against Blight’ update

Listen to this update below on the changes to AHDB Potatoes Fight Against Blight campaign in the UK. Hear an overview of the 2018 season, with information on A_36 and A_37. See the FRAG guidelines on fungicide resistance on potato late blight here. If you have any questions then please feel free to contact AHDB Potatoes via Twitter @AHDB_potatoes Source: AHDB[Read More…]

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Dry weather drives ‘water savvy’ farming in Britain

Below average rainfall is triggering UK farmers and growers to adopt water savvy techniques early in the year, to be prepared should another agricultural drought hit. The Environment Agency (EA) has already declared irrigation prospects ‘moderate to poor’ in the East of England – in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex – areas reliant upon chalk aquafers for supply. Many other areas are[Read More…]

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Climate extremes, heatwaves explain 18% – 43% of global crop yield variations, study finds

Researchers from Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the US have quantified the effect of climate extremes, such as droughts or heatwaves, on the yield variability of staple crops around the world, according to a news report by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Australia. The researchers found that climate extremes, such as hot and cold temperature extremes, drought and heavy precipitation,[Read More…]

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Nematicide Stewardship Programme in the UK aims to set single industry standard for granular nematicide application

All nematicides require careful handling. Members of the Nematicide Stewardship Programme (NSP) in the UK say the aim of the NSP is to ensure a best practice approach across all aspects of their use, from delivery on farm through to operator handling, machinery set up and maintenance, to application and storage. As a cross industry group, bringing together Certis, Du Pont and Syngenta, NSP[Read More…]

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Potato agronomy: Headlands around crops ‘buzzing with life’

At a time when headlines are warning of an “insect apocalypse”, new research in the UK has found potato and vegetable growers are providing a hugely valuable habitat resource and insect species are thriving. Potato growers are said to help promote biodiversity by planting green headlands around crops. CPM writers Lucy de la Pasture and Rob Jones report the latest[Read More…]

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European Commission proposes higher MRL for neonicotinoid insecticide in imported Canadian potatoes

Freshplaza reports that the European Commission proposes to increase the maximum residue limit for clothianidin in the import of potatoes to the EU from 0.03 milligram to 0.3 milligram per kilo. This proposal was made because clothianidin is allowed in the production of potatoes in Canada. The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has agreed to this proposal on[Read More…]

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Neonicotinoids in Canada: Most uses on potatoes remain unchanged

Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist at the Ontario Potato Board, alerted recipients of her email newsletter today that Health Canada recently released its final pollinator re-evaluation decisions for neonicotinoid pesticides. In a news release, Health Canada says: “After extensive research and review, Health Canada has completed its re-evaluations of the neonicotinoid pesticides clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam in relation to their potential impact on[Read More…]

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British store operators ‘ill-informed on energy use’

Many potato store operators could make significant savings in energy costs if they obtained more usage data to make informed decisions, according to Ray Andrews of Crop Systems Limited in the UK. During an interview with Potato Review magazine, he said: “I don’t think many operators realise how much energy prices vary, or how frequently in any 24-hour period they[Read More…]

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Dry weather drives ‘water savvy’ farming in Britain

According to a news release issued by AHDB, below average rainfall is triggering UK farmers and growers to adopt water savvy techniques early in the year, to be prepared should another agricultural drought hit. According to the news release, the Environment Agency (EA) has already declared irrigation prospects ‘moderate to poor’ in the East of England – in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk[Read More…]

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Potatoes prevent food crisis and restore ‘dignity and hope’ in Ethiopia, Irish aid agency says

Irish potatoes have prevented another major humanitarian food crisis in one of the poorest and most remote parts of Ethiopia, the Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide has said. The humble spud, introduced by Concern Worldwide into the country’s drought-prone northern highland regions in 2007, is credited with a major drop in food shortages and improvements in the local economy. The[Read More…]

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Scottish researchers to review ways to lower agricultural nitrogen emissions

Scottish climate change researchers are exploring ways that farmers could reduce emissions from nitrogen fertiliser use. Led by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and funded by ClimateXChange, the project forms part of the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan. The plan specifically highlights nitrogen fertiliser as a potential area of improvement and suggests this could be achieved through a combination of improved[Read More…]

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Health Canada announces new restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides to protect bees

Earlier this week Health Canada announced in a press release that it has completed its re-evaluations of the neonicotinoid pesticides clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam in relation to their potential impact on bees and other pollinators, and has released the final decisions for each. According to Health Canada, the scientific assessments show varying effects on bees and other pollinators from exposure to each of these pesticides.[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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