Sustainability

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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UK: Nematicide Stewardship Programme recognised with a new gong at potato awards

THE potato industry’s efforts to husband the use of nematicides has been recognised with a major new award. The Nematicide Stewardship Programme (NSP) has been given a pat on the back by receiving an environmental award at the first ever National Potato Industry Awards, held in Harrogate. Patrick Mitton, chair of the group, said there has been considerable commitment to[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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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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Viewpoint: Developing countries need GMO, gene-edited crops to solve food security challenges

When Norman Borlaug won the Nobel peace prize in 1970 for his life-saving work on plant breeding, he said: “you can’t build a peaceful world on empty stomachs”. With one in every nine people on the planet still considered hungry, Borlaug’s statement has never been more relevant. Using such statistics, biotechnology proponents have said many times that the world must produce more food in[Read More…]

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Scottish seed potato Brexit concerns

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon has written to Minister of State at DEFRA George Eustice seeking urgent clarification and assurance that Scottish seed potatoes can continue to be exported to third countries, such as Egypt, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. This is all the more urgent given that the UK will not be a listed third country[Read More…]

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Do farmers really need neonic insecticides? Study sparks debate over pesticides’ future

New research has found a widely used and increasingly controversial insecticide has “negligible” benefits for commercially grown soybeans. Pesticide makers and farmers disagree. The insecticide, called neonicotinoid, has come under fire in recent years after scientists discovered it might be killing honey bees, monarch butterflies, certain birds and aquatic life. “We’ve documented the costs and the downsides of neonicotinoids,” said[Read More…]

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Aviko to build a new factory in Belgium

The Dutch company, Aviko, is going to build a new factory in Poperinge, Belgium. This facility will be used to produce frozen french fries and potato flakes. Aviko’s parent company, Royal Cosun, took this decision recently. With this move, Aviko is responding to the annual increase in demand for potato products. The global market for frozen potato products grows by[Read More…]

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‘Eco friendly’ packaging for fries made from potato skins

It was widely reported in the media during the end of last year that Italian designers Simone Caronni, Paolo Stefano Gentile and Pietro Gaeli have created an ecological packaging for fries made from recycled potato skins (peels), as a sustainable alternative to paper. We wish to rehash that here… Called “Peel Saver”, the packaging is essentially made of starch and[Read More…]

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DNA soil test service alerts growers to pathogens

The Australian potato industry have invested during the past few years in the development of a unique soil test that extracts DNA – which allows for the determination of the presence and intensity of potato pathogens prior to planting. This service was developed and is provided by the South Australian Research Development Institute (SARDI) to potato growers. Oppressive soil pathogens[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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