Sustainability

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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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[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 â€˜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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[Read More…]

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4R practices for fertilizer management in potatoes

Phosphorus is a key nutrient for the development of the potato plant and tubers, writes The Fertilizer Institute’s Director of Agronomy Sally Flis on NutrientStewardship.org. The status of P in the plant, deficient or sufficient, is closely related to yield. With the high value of a potato crop and the influence of proper phosphorus nutrition on plant and tuber development,[Read[Read More…]

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Tolsma-Grisnich: ‘Improving your agribusiness in an intelligent way’

Just like your car, tractor or other machines, your storage facility also needs periodic maintenance to ensure trouble-free operation. You are even under a legal obligation to have your cooling installation inspected every year.  Failure to maintain a storage facility properly will also lead to higher costs in the long run. So make sure that your ventilation, cooling installation, electrical[Read[Read More…]

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Groundwater: The resource we can’t see, but increasingly rely upon

People have used groundwater for thousands of years, especially in arid regions such as the Middle East and North Africa, where hand-dug wells and subsurface tunnel systems collected and diverted it for early societies. These ancient methods amounted to skimming the shallow groundwater off the top of massive aquifer systems—the vast stores of invisible groundwater beneath the continents that account[Read[Read More…]

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French parliament opposes imports of Canadian potatoes treated with bee-killing insecticide

The French parliament has strongly opposed the European Commission’s plan to increase the maximum residue limits of several neonicotinoids including clothianidin, an insecticide that kills bees, and haloxyfop-R, a herbicide that is toxic to human health, FreshPlaza reports. This is a way to show their contempt for the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which Europe and[Read[Read More…]

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One-pass potato cultivation cuts costs and improves yields, potato grower finds

Trials by crop consultants Niab Cuf have revealed that intensive cultivations have no benefit on potato yields, tuber size or quality, marking it out as a process that farmers can simplify to cut costs and improve soil structure. Northern Irish grower Richard Orr has put this theory into practice, cutting his establishment costs by £250/ha by switching from a traditional[Read[Read More…]

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Can potato peels become the hot new eco-friendly building material?

We all eat potatoes but often get rid of the skin or peels.  But two UK-based designers Rowan Minkley and Robert Nicoll use waste potato peelings to create an eco-friendly alternative to single-use materials like Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and chipboard – which they named as Chip[s] Board. Shocked by the environmental impact and short lifetime of many readily disposable materials,[Read[Read More…]

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The push to eradicate nematodes from infected potato fields in Japan

In August 2015, the first case of potato ‘white’ cyst nematode Globodera pallida (G. pallida) was detected in the Northeastern parts of Hokkaido, Abashiri. This region in Japan is famous for its starch potato fields and is a contender for being the area where the most potatoes are grown with the highest yield, as well as the largest volume of[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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