Sustainability

Idaho potato grower experiments with commercial crops as natural fumigants

An Idaho potato farmer believes he can cut back on his use of fumigation by raising two specific commercial crops — oriental mustard and a promising new spud variety called Clearwater Russet. John O’Connell reports in the Idaho State Journal that Ritchey Toevs is one of 17 Idaho growers raising oriental mustard for American Falls-based Mountain States Oilseeds. The same[Read More…]

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CIP research benefitted more than 7 million households during 2013 – 2018

The International Potato Center (CIP), based in Lima, Peru says in its recently released Annual Report that between 2013-2018, research for development by CIP has benefitted more than 7 million households. In the foreword to the Report, Barbara H Wells (Director General) and Rodney Cooke (Chair, Board of Trustees) say innovative technologies and dynamic markets can offer women and young[Read More…]

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Event: British potato growers to look at chemical and mechanical alternatives for diquat

During the coming AHDB hosted Strategic Farm North Desiccation Day in North Lincolnshire, potato growers will look at the effects of a number of alternative ag chemicals and mechanical options following the loss of diquat for desiccation. The event will take place on Thursday, 5 September. AHDB says the loss of the popular herbicide has had significant ramifications for multiple[Read More…]

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Climate change is likely to devastate the global food supply. But there’s still reason to be hopeful

The most troubling paradox of the 21st century may be that human population is expected to climb to 9.7 billion by midcentury — yet the global food supply is predicted to plummet, writes Amanda Little in a recent article published by Time magazine. The Special Report on Climate Change and Land released earlier this month by the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate[Read More…]

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Reduction of available pesticides in the spotlight when potato specialists gather for EAPR meeting

The European Association for Potato Research (EAPR) Pathology and Pests Section Meeting 2019 will take place next week the 2nd to the 5th of September 2019 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. The EAPR says on the Symposium website that ‘reducing pesticide use while preserving potato productivity and profitability’ will be an important focus of several presentations during the meeting. It is stated[Read More…]

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Have your say on the future of seed potato standards in Britain

Red Tractor are looking for industry feedback on potential changes to the Safe Haven Standards, the seed potato assurance scheme in the UK. New standards likely to be added to the scheme cover areas such as water use, storage best practice and traceability. The strengthened standards will now mean that the scheme will also cover Brown Rot and Epitrix on top of[Read More…]

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African Potato Association Conference: Potato organizations want to leverage potatoes to address malnutrition in Africa

(Xinhua) — Potato organizations on Monday called for deliberate efforts to increase potato and sweet potatoes production for sustainable nutritious food systems in Africa. They made the call at the opening of the 11th triennial Conference of the African Potato Association (APA) in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda. Potato and sweet potatoes present global opportunities such as enhancing dietary quality[Read More…]

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Chemical loss takes centre stage at potato conference

Scottish potato growers have been warned that there might not be a seed industry in Scotland in 30 years’ time if the spread of potato cyst nematode (PCN) continues at its current rate. As growers gathered to attend the UK’s largest potato conference, Potatoes in Practice – at the James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm, in Invergowrie – there was a[Read[Read More…]

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Late blight ‘kicks off big time’ in Scotland

A wet and warm start to August has heightened the potato blight risk in Scotland. During a week of almost back-to-back Hutton periods, advisory group Scottish Agronomy found a wave of active blight foci across Scottish crops. Conditions were blight conducive throughout Scotland’s potato growing areas for the last week of July, with spores present and active. According to Scottish[Read[Read More…]

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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[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 safe yet effective herbicide – is slowly poisoning our food supply, while Bayer attempts[Read More…]

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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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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