Sustainability

US: Potato Pest Treatment Caused Crop Contamination, Officials Say

A pesticide used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to kill a rare potato pest has turned out to have nasty side effects for several eastern Idaho farmers, officials said this week. Methyl bromide, a highly toxic fumigant, was used as part of a treatment plan to eradicate pale cyst nematode, following the discovery of the pest in Bonneville and Bingham[Read[Read More…]

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China: New tech turns potato effluent into fertilizer

Scientists in China have developed a way of making fertilizer from waste water discharged by potato processing plants, solving a pollution problem which has held back China’s potato ambitions. “For years, there has been no technical solution to this problem, forcing environmental authorities to close more than 10,000 small plants, which has hurt the potato market and farmers,” said Liu Gang,[Read[Read More…]

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UK: AHDB fellowship to safeguard critical potato nematology expertise

Dr Jon Pickup, Head of Virology & Zoology at Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) will lead on one of three AHDB Potato Fellowship Awards, specifically seeking to secure critical potato nematology expertise for the future. The three year project, worth a total of £220,000 with 50 per cent of the funds contributed by SASA itself, will ensure continuity[Read[Read More…]

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Newly deregulated GMO potato aims to benefit health, reduce shrink

A new genetically engineered potato has been deregulated. The V11 Snowden was developed by J.R. Simplot Co. and has been engineered to benefit consumer health, improve product quality and reduce culls and pick-outs through low acrylamide potential, reduced black spot bruising and lowered reducing sugars. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service previously reviewed and deregulated these GE[Read[Read More…]

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Idaho grower experimenting with mineral oil in potato seed

Eastern Idaho farmer Clen Atchley is conducting an experiment in his seed potato fields to determine if mineral oil can effectively protect his crops from diseases spread by aphids. He may start using mineral oil routinely if winter seed-certification testing in Hawaii confirms the 130 acres he sprayed this season with the low-cost protectant harbor less virus than his other seed[Read[Read More…]

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US: Minnesota protesters take aim at McDonald’s, RD Offut Co over water use, pesticides

Starting Tuesday, you can buy a McDonald’s breakfast all day long, but you might have to walk past protesters to get it in some Minnesota locations. The Pesticide Action Network and Toxic Taters Coalition plan to gather outside 11 McDonald’s restaurants around the state Tuesday to protest the use of pesticides on potato fields. “I’m not going to criticize a good[Read[Read More…]

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Food company cashes in chips with potato power

One of the UK’s biggest food manufacturers is turning to the power of the potato as it seeks new sources of energy to run its factory. In what it says is a world first, 2 Sisters Food Group has installed a £50m plant that allows surplus mash from its production line to be converted into electricity, in a move that should[Read[Read More…]

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US: Large potato grower scales back expansion in deal with Minnesota DNR to protect groundwater

A large potato grower has agreed to scale back its expansion plans in a deal with regulators to protect sensitive groundwater and pine forests in central Minnesota. The president and CEO of North Dakota-based R.D. Offutt Co., Keith McGovern, said his company will withdraw all but five of the irrigation permit applications it has pending with the Minnesota Department of Natural[Read[Read More…]

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FAO: Ancient Peruvian potato crops preserved for future generations in Arctic seed vault

Varieties of one of the world’s most important staple crops, among them Peruvian potato seeds, have now been stored for perpetuity deep in the Arctic ice, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced on Thursday. José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of (FAO) joined scientific experts and delegations from Peru, Costa Rica and Norway to witness a ceremony that will help[Read[Read More…]

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Wet summer puts dampers on Scottish potato crop

SCOTTISH scientists are warning that the chips could be down later this year due to a combination of dismal summer weather and scaled back potato planting. Potato growers suffered a disastrous financial year in 2014 after a massive surplus of the crop caused prices to plummet. To minimise the risk of being hit again by the same problems many farmers slashed the[Read[Read More…]

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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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