Trends

Fresh Trends survey: American consumers turn to potatoes to battle inflation

The Packer’s Fresh Trends 2024 survey reveals that potatoes are a top choice for consumers facing grocery price inflation. According to the survey, 30% of consumers buy more potatoes during inflation, making it a popular choice after bananas (32%) and above apples (23%). Notably, the survey found that lower-income consumers are most likely to buy more potatoes due to inflation.

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Transforming agri-business: Key technological trends to watch in 2024

The agricultural industry is embracing advanced technology amidst extreme weather and supply chain challenges. CEO Ron Baruchi outlines five key trends for 2024 that could transform the industry: Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI), digital twins for field trials optimization, regenerative agriculture innovations, cloud-based technologies, and sustainable packaging solutions. These trends aim to enhance efficiency, sustainability, and productivity as the industry adapts to a growing population and evolving consumer demands.

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Potatoes facing a ‘grainy’ future? Astonishing debate about the vegetable status of the potato challenges common sense

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is actually considering reclassifying potatoes from vegetables to a category alongside rice and grains. This bizarre proposal has sparked debate within the nutritional and agricultural communities. The National Potato Council vehemently opposes the reclassification. Potato News Today firmly stands with the growers, scientists, and consumers who advocate for the potato to remain classified as the nutritious vegetable it rightfully is. We can’t help but wonder how this particular Committee’s idea can become any more absurd. We truly hope not…

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Potato market update: Climatic challenges and rising demand in Ireland, the UK and Europe as Christmas approaches

As the festive season approaches, Ireland is experiencing a surge in potato demand, leading to challenges for farmers. The high clay content in harvested crops is complicating yield predictions and causing storage issues. In the UK, there’s an increase in direct movement of potatoes from farms as buyers prepare for Christmas, leading to firm prices for chipping varieties. Across Europe, efforts are underway to harvest remaining crops amidst challenges like frost damage.

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Tech meets tradition in 2024: AI-enhanced farming and the rise of heritage crops

Nourish Food Marketing’s Trend Report 2024 reveals a shift towards AI-driven insight farming, with a focus on sustainability and water efficiency. The report highlights how AI will enable maximized yields with fewer inputs and decreased environmental impact. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of water as a finite resource, showcasing the need for more sustainable water use in agriculture. The report also discusses the integration of heritage crops and regenerative farming practices in response to changing climates.

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Frito-Lay and Quaker unveil the three food and snacking trends poised to shape 2024

The fifth U.S. Snack Index reveals an evolving relationship between Americans and their food, with factors such as time scarcity impacting meal preparation patterns. By 2024, traditional lines between ‘snacks’ and ‘meals’ could blur and ‘no-prep dinners’ may become the norm. The report highlights upcoming trends, including the Time Crunch Dilemma, the growing integration of snack products into meals, and the rise of the Snack Savant, who enthusiastically experiments with food.

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Sustainable spuds: Making regenerative ag work in potato production

Brendon Rockey, a Colorado potato farmer, is implementing regenerative agriculture to address soil degradation and water scarcity. His farm uses diverse crop rotations, cover crops, and integrates livestock grazing, enhancing soil health and reducing water usage. This approach also involves novel pest management strategies. Manitoba potato farmers are exploring similar paths, The shift towards sustainable practices is influenced by industry demands, with companies like McCain Foods and PepsiCo mandating regenerative methods from their suppliers by 2030.

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From spuds to fuel: Researchers develop hydrogen fuel from potato peelings, waste products

Researchers at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in Canada are developing a sustainable and cost-effective method to produce hydrogen from waste materials, including used plastic and potato peelings. This innovative approach involves using a catalyst to break down waste and release hydrogen gas. The research aims to align with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable energy sources, potentially transforming the energy sector.

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2023: A year of triumphs and challenges, but overall a positive year for Canadian potato growers

In 2023, Canadian potato growers experienced a record-breaking year, with significant highs in seeded and harvested areas, yield, and production, according to Potatoes in Canada. Despite regional obstacles like weather issues and storage problems, the availability of fresh potatoes for domestic markets remained unaffected. Several provinces faced challenges, but most reported good or excellent crops. The Canadian government announced substantial funding for P.E.I. potato farmers, alongside other efforts to modernize and diversify the industry.

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Potato industry navigating the aftermath of Northern Europe’s wet and delayed harvest

A rain-delayed harvest in Europe has increased the potato supply in the market. These lower-quality potatoes, selling directly from field to processor, have suppressed price increases. Hardest hit regions are the Netherlands and Belgium, with 15% and 11% of their crops still uncollected as of late November. Market players anticipate a price surge once these late-harvested potatoes are processed. However, there are concerns about the availability of free-buy potatoes due to the high proportion of early processed crops.

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Mix of challenges and successes in the Irish potato market, weather woes across parts of Europe

The Irish Farmers Association reports a strong demand in the potato market due to the festive season, leading to price adjustments. However, unusual weather conditions have hindered crop harvesting and storage, reducing the saleable yield. The situation extends beyond Ireland into Europe, with parts of France, Belgium, and Holland also facing challenges in harvesting due to cold weather and heavy rainfall.

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Adapting to change: New study sheds light on how European potato farmers confront climate challenges

A study involving 553 farmers across 22 European countries, funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, reveals climate change’s impact on potato farming. Drought and heat, resulting from global warming, could cause potato yields to decrease by 18-32% by 2069. Current farming strategies aren’t sufficient, and effective adaptive methods could halve losses. The research highlights the need for improved potato varieties, better knowledge exchange, and a wider use of climate-resilient strategies.

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Facing a tough potato season: NFU’s Tim Rooke addresses the crisis and calls for industry cooperation, pragmatism

Tim Rooke, chair of the National Farmers Union’s Potato Policy Group, has reported an exceptionally challenging potato lifting season in the UK, the most challenging in living memory due to high rainfall. These conditions have raised concerns about potential potato shortages. However, Rooke reassures the public that supplies should be sufficient for the festive season. He urged the potato sector to utilize every potato, despite shape or size irregularities, and called for an immediate relaxation in potato specifications.

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A bumpy harvest: Irish and European potato markets confront weather woes

The Irish potato market is experiencing a unique set of challenges. Retail demand and consumption in Ireland remain strong and are expected to surge further as Christmas approaches, but despite this, the potato farming community faces uncertainties. The yield dig figures for this year reveal a concerning trend for Ireland’s most popular potato varieties, Rooster and Kerr’s Pink. Both varieties have yielded lower than the five-year average. Across Europe, heavier than expected rainfall has significantly disrupted harvesting activities.

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Global potato markets in flux: Insights from Canada, the U.S., and Europe

The United Potato Growers of Canada’s recent update reveals a complex global potato market. Canada’s stable production contrasts with the U.S.’s surplus and aggressive pricing, especially in Idaho. Europe faces challenges with unprecedented rainfall affecting the harvest. Surpluses in North America and difficulties in Europe present potential market opportunities. The industry is navigating these varied dynamics, with Canada and the U.S. possibly benefiting from the current global situation.

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Crisis in the fields: France’s potato prices surge amid climate change threats

France is grappling with a severe farming crisis, as national inflation has dramatically increased potato prices, affecting various potato-based products. The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) reported a nearly 23% rise in potato prices within a year. The crisis has disrupted the French supply chain, leading to a 50% hike in prices for potato processors buying potatoes from growers. Contracts between growers and manufacturers have become 36% more expensive, with no immediate relief in sight.

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Maine’s potato farmers face ever-rising costs, impact on consumer prices looms

In Maine, potato prices may soon rise due to escalating farming costs. Farmers face higher expenses for electricity, diesel, and labor, impacting their profit margins. Despite current stable prices in grocery stores, the increased production costs, affected by supply chain issues and inflation, could eventually lead to higher prices for consumers. Maine’s potato industry, worth $247 million, is grappling with economic challenges that may affect the market.

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Adapting to crisis: Evolution of the UK potato industry amidst unprecedented challenges

The British potato industry is facing a crisis due to COVID-19, the Ukraine conflict, inflation, and weather issues, leading to a significant drop in production. In response, potato suppliers like Wolds Produce are negotiating longer, more flexible contracts with manufacturers. Despite some support from crisp manufacturers, the sector struggles with reduced seed production and the lowest recorded crop yields, signaling potential price increases and industry consolidation ahead.

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AI transforms Canadian potato farming: A leap towards smart agriculture

Canadian potato growers are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor and predict their crops’ nutritional needs in real time. The new technology involves using a portable optical sensor to quickly assess potato field nutrient values. The technology utilises machine learning algorithms trained on historical data, thereby providing near real-time evaluations of plant nutritional requirements. This method improves fertilizer application efficiency, optimising yield and quality while maintaining environmental balance.

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West European potato production under severe pressure: NEPG highlights extreme weather and seed shortages

Europe’s potato harvest was negatively impacted by heavy rainfall, causing difficulties in harvesting and potential supply shortages in the NEPG countries – Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and France. Though yields were good, the wet weather left about 1.4 million tonnes unharvested, mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium. NEPG warns of increased risks and costs for farmers, deteriorating potato quality, and escalating market prices. Concerns are also rising over seed availability for the Spring 2024 season due to a reduction in seed production.

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IFA reports that potato harvesting woes are ongoing in Ireland and across Europe

The potato market in Europe, including Ireland, is grappling with significant challenges due to adverse weather conditions, despite strong home consumption and retail sales, according to an update from the Irish Farmers Association (IFA). Poor yields and difficult harvesting conditions are widespread, with over 5% of the seed crop in Holland and 20% of the total potato crop still in the ground. Similar issues are prevalent in other major potato-producing countries like Germany, France, and Belgium, where 3.5 to 4 million tonnes of potatoes are yet to be harvested.

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Surplus spuds: U.S. potato harvest hits new highs, causing sharp drop in producer prices

In 2023, US potato production soared by 9% to 20 million tonnes, the first increase since 2017. This surplus led to a significant drop in prices, benefiting food manufacturers. Enhanced growing conditions and expanded acreage in key states like Idaho contributed to this rise. The US, a leading global potato producer, also saw a 6% increase in exports, despite a decline in imports during the July-September period.

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Unprecedented wet weather spells disaster for potato harvest in Scotland

The Scottish Farmer reports on the severe impact of wet weather on potato farmers in Scotland. Devastating storms have led to waterlogged fields, causing significant damage to potato crops. This has forced some farmers to abandon their harvests. The situation is causing concerns about the marketability and storage of potatoes, potentially leading to increased prices and reduced availability. Scottish farmers are struggling with the aftermath, questioning their long-term strategies in the face of such recurrent extreme weather events.

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Global food security and the power of potatoes: World Potato Congress webinar to provide insights

The World Potato Congress Inc. announces a webinar featuring WPC President Dr. Peter VanderZaag and Dr. André Devaux, focusing on the role of potatoes in global food security. The event, scheduled for November 28, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, will highlight the potato’s status as the world’s third most important food crop, its growing significance in developing regions, and the importance of scientific innovation for enhancing yield. Success stories and strategies for international collaboration in potato production will also be discussed.

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Mintec: Wet harvest weighs on UK potato crop, leading to supply shortages and quality issues

In the UK, heavy rainfall during the potato harvest has led to a significant supply shortage and quality issues, causing prices to soar, writes market analyst Harry Campbell in a news story published by Mintec. The Mintec Benchmark Prices for English white packing potatoes and Maris Piper potatoes have risen sharply. Growers are struggling to fulfill contracts and are cautious about selling, leading to limited market activity. There’s also an increase in lower-quality potatoes unsuitable for long-term storage. This situation is expected to worsen into 2024.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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