Trends

China: Potatoes in rice paddies?

A recent article published by a team of CIP scientists in the American Journal of Potato Research finds that integrating potato into rice farming systems in southern China can yield some benefits for smallholder farmers, but also brings some challenges that must be anticipated for achieving optimal yields. According to the article’s lead author, Lao Yu, a research assistant at the China’s High Latitude Crops Institute, rotating rice and potato crops in paddies generates both economic and ecological benefits.

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IFA: Quality issues arising in Ireland, processing sector on track in Europe

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says in its weekly update that reports from growers indicate indicate that quality issues are emerging around Ireland and saleable yields are significantly reduced as a result. Processing factories are running to capacity and sales of product within and outside Europe are now almost back to pre-Covid levels.

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NASA and NOAA: ‘Warmer now than in at least the past 2,000 years, probably longer’

The numbers are in: Earth is still running a fever. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their annual assessment of global temperatures and found that 2021 was the sixth warmest year on record. “It’s certainly warmer now than at any time in at least the past 2,000 years and probably much longer,” said Russell S. Vose, the climate analysis chief of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

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Opinion: China’s ‘new money’ is the potato, thanks to COVID

“The Digital Yuan is no longer relevant. A new currency has been adopted by the People’s Republic of China. The Potato is its name,” writes Jeff Salle in an opinion piece published by CengNews. Salle writes that according to Charles Burton, a China watcher at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, university students in Xian prefer to pay for tutoring with potatoes rather than cash. Do you need cotton swabs in that 13-million-strong city in central China? The currency is potatoes.

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‘Think of farm data as your biggest ally,’ says John Deere’s Division Business Manager

Adrian Saenz presented last week during the Potato Business Summit, held in conjunction with Potato Expo 2022. Saenz is currently the Division Business Manager for the John Deere Agricultural & Turf Division within Deere. During his presentation, titled “Ag Technology Outlook”, Adrian Saenz highlighted the importance – and abundance – of data that modern commercial farmers are able to gather via technological means nowadays.

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Global supply crisis: A growing shortage of french fries, from Japan to Kenya

As Miriam Berger reports in an article for The Washington Post, a number of popular items, including marmite and cream cheese, have faced scarcities amid supply chain disruptions wrought by the coronavirus pandemic and extreme weather. Potatoes are the latest to join the list, becoming unevenly available in some countries and fast-food chains because of a confluence of factors.

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Lamb Weston confident in strong long-term outlook for the global frozen potato category

Lamb Weston announced its fiscal second quarter 2022 results yesterday and updated its fiscal 2022 outlook. “We remain confident in the strong long-term outlook for the global frozen potato category, and believe that executing on our strategies and ongoing investments in our business will keep us on a path to deliver sustainable, profitable growth and create value for our stakeholders,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO.

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2022 Potato Business Summit: European Market Update

At today’s Potato Business Summit – hosted in conjunction with the Potato Expo 2022 in Anaheim, California – Cedric Porter of World Potato Markets and Liam Glennon of World Potato Congress presented on the European potato market outlook. Mr Porter said it’s clear that processing usage has recovered in the last few months of 2020. The recovery in exports has been very much concentrated in exports outside the the EU, “which is probably a concern for exporters in North America”.

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‘Bud’ the robot fries weeds with lasers instead of chemicals

Like “The Terminator” for weeds, the Carbon Robotics machine, dubbed “Bud,” rolls through farm fields using artificial intelligence to discern weeds from crops and using a high-power laser to kill the weeds. This lets farmers cultivate crops with less herbicide and reduced labor, improving crop yields and saving money.

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Potato prices for Idaho farmers are up, but so are input costs

The global potato market is tight on supply and farm-level spud prices for Idaho farmers are up substantially. But so are farm input costs and, with prices for other Idaho crops also up significantly, many Idaho potato farmers may be faced with some tough planting decisions in 2022, writes Sean Ellis of the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation.

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UK farm business outlook 2022

Potatoes and sugar beet share some agronomic challenges but the structural ones differ. As Robert Harris reports for Farmers Weekly, the balance of margins in the potato sector needs addressing, while a whole-rotation costings approach to the beet crop could help grower decision-making. Many growers will be nursing financial damage or losses from the past two years of potato production.[Read More…]

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Potatoes USA: 2021 foodservice potato menu trends

Potatoes USA has issued a comprehensive research report depicting the potato category’s penetration on menus across different segments, dayparts, cuisines, and much more. According to the report, potatoes have a presence on 82.9% of restaurant menus in the U.S., and fast-casual restaurants are projected to experience the most growth of potatoes, 5%, over the next four years.

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Canadian govt announces $28 million to help P.E.I. potato growers cope with export ban

Today, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) Marie-Claude Bibeau announced $28 million in funding to support Prince Edward Island (PEI) potato farmers affected by trade disruptions. The Government of Canada says in a press release it is taking a Team Canada approach and working collaboratively with the Province of PEI and industry to support potato growers and resume full market access for PEI fresh potatoes.

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CFIA: Potato wart investigation could take until 2023

An official from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the investigation into the discovery of potato wart in two P.E.I. fields could take until 2023 to complete. As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, a group from CFIA made a presentation Friday afternoon to members of the legislature’s standing committee on natural resources. Committee chair Cory Deagle was so taken aback by the mention of 2023 he asked the presenter to repeat what he had just said.

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Going digital: South African potato farmers set to benefit from mobile data sharing app

The potato industry in South Africa is investing in various technologies to improve its sustainability, and is currently in the process of developing a mobile app to improve communication with members. Willie Jacobs, CEO of Potatoes SA the app will allow farmers to identify problem spots and compare production from different areas on their farms, and over time, [and] also [to] compare production with what has been achieved in previous seasons.

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Canadian growers harvest record potato crop

Canadian growers harvested a record potato crop in 2021, as production rose 18.2% year over year to 123.1 million hundredweight, on account of increases in both seeded area and yield, according to a report released by Statistics Canada today. Alberta reported the highest average yield across Canada, followed by New Brunswick (+47.4% to 350.0 hundredweight per acre) and Prince Edward Island (+33.0% to 334.4 hundredweight per acre).

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‘Home compostable’ packaging introduced by Finnish potato supplier

Finnish potato processing company Tuorekartano Oy has announced that its premium La Ratte potatoes will now be available in what it claims is recyclable and biodegradable paperboard packaging. According to an article by Packaging Europe, the paperboard packaging was developed for Tuorekartano Oy by Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group. It is reportedly made of fresh fibres to produce a lightweight paperboard that is “easily” recycled and suitable for home composting, suitable for direct food contact.

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North American fertilizer shortage sparks fears of higher food prices, global nitrogen prices 80% higher

A global shortage of nitrogen fertilizer is driving prices to record levels, prompting North America’s farmers to delay purchases and raising the risk of a spring scramble to apply the crop nutrient before planting season, according to a report by The Guardian. Global nitrogen fertilizer sales were worth $53bn in 2020, and prices are at least 80% higher so far this year, according to Argus Media.

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