Potato plants exposed to extreme smoke produced lower marketable yields than smoke-free plants, according to preliminary data from a joint University of Idaho and Boise State University study. Results differed based on variety, with heavy wildfire smoke exposure being linked to smaller Clearwater Russets and causing more unusable and misshapen Russet Burbanks. The project involved pumping artificially emulated wildfire smoke onto potato plots covered by plastic.
Israeli company secures funding for technology to express egg protein in potatoes
The funding will support PoLoPo’s technology platform, starting with replicating ovalbumin, the protein found in egg white. The company says it expects to have prototypes in the coming 18 months, including protein-rich potato tubers and ovalbumin functional samples. PoLoPo says its ovalbumin will be identical to chicken egg ovalbumin in terms of functionality, nutritional value, and protein sequence.
Upcoming WPC webinar to focus on the importance of late blight resistant biotech potatoes in Africa
The World Potato Congress Inc. is pleased to announce its March webinar with Dr. Marc Ghislain and Dr. Eric Magembe. The webinar is scheduled to be presented live on Tuesday March 21, 2023 at 10:00am EST (Canada/USA). The webinar is titled “Deployment of late blight resistant biotech potatoes in Africa”.
The Agricultural Research Service is breeding a better potato for a better potato chip
USDA’s Agricultural Research Service helps ensure that the country always has the perfect potato for frying into chips. ARS’ potato breeding program has already produced some major winners in the potato chip category – one is Atlantic. But potato producers have been ready for an Atlantic replacement for years.
PepsiCo brings hybrid potato seed to Ethiopia
Senselet Food Processing PLC (Senselet), PepsiCo’s Ethiopia-based foods unit, has teamed up with Dutch hybrid potato innovator Solynta to bring hybrid true potato seeds (HTPS) to Ethiopia, as Zachary Sosland reports for Baking Business. PepsiCo already has invested $40 million in Ethiopian potato chip production, and this new partnership makes it the leading Ethiopian potato processing company.
HZPC awarded Royal predicate on 125th anniversary: A recognition of its impact on the international potato industry
On Monday 27 February 2023, potato breeder HZPC celebrated its 125th anniversary. For HZPC, this was a day with an extra golden edge. Dr. A.A.M. Brok, Commissioner of the King of the Province of Friesland, also presented HZPC with the certificate for the predicate “Royal” on Monday afternoon in Joure. With the predicate Royal, HZPC has now become “Royal HZPC Group”, including the subsidiaries STET, HZPC, and ZOS.
From pipeline to commercialization: The National Chip Program’s impact on potato breeding
The National Potato Council (NCP) in the U.S. aims to improve potato chipping varieties in the pipeline toward commercialization and has brought more collaboration among potato growers and breeders in different regions. The program also helps enhance the trial process through reduced development time and increased candidates’ strength, Potatoes USA says in its February 2023 newsletter.
HZPC strengthens presence in China with new potato varieties and strong local partnerships
Ton Frijters has represented HZPC in China for many years, visiting numerous potato growers and experiencing the challenges of strict coronavirus measures in the country recently. Nevertheless, he remains optimistic about the future and is looking forward with enthusiasm to 2023. “The demand for HZPC varieties in China is continuously growing,” Ton affirms.
HZPC expects turnover to grow during 2022/23 financial year
Potato breeding company HZPC, is poised to achieve its expected results for the financial year 2022-2023. HZPC expects its turnover to grow 10% over last year (then 352 million euros) with a gross margin of 66 million euros (during the last financial year it was 63.9 million euros). Says Gerard Backx, CEO of HZPC: “The increase is mainly thanks to areas outside Europe, where licensed cultivation takes place. Mainly in Asia and America.”
The beloved chip: Univ of Idaho Extension part of trials to select varieties for making potato chips
March 14 is National Potato Chip Day, and U of I makes a significant contribution toward filling bags with America’s No. 1 snack food. Frying snack foods for careful evaluation is a recurring chore among the scientists with the U of I and USDA-Agricultural Research Service collaborative potato breeding program based in Aberdeen. The team devotes the bulk of its time toward developing russet potatoes for making French fries, but the pipeline also includes a steady stream of spuds for chipping.
Solynta and FreshCrop sign hybrid potato collaboration agreement in Kenya
Solynta, hybrid potato breeding technology company from The Netherlands and FreshCrop Limited, Kenya’s largest producer of seed tubers, have signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of hybrid true potato innovation in Kenya. By joining forces, the companies will work closely to facilitate future introduction of high quality hybrid potato seed tubers produced from hybrid true potato seeds.
Princesa Amandine potato awarded 2023 Flavor of the Year in Spain
The Princesa Amandine potato has been awarded the ‘Flavor of the Year’ for the second year in a row – a distinction given by consumers in blind testing carried out by independent sensory laboratories. “Obtaining the Flavor of the Year award for the second consecutive year is a confirmation that our Princesa Amandine potato’s fine, rich, and creamy flavor have won over Spanish consumers,” said Jean Michel Beranger, Managing Director of the Princesa Amandine Iberian Association.
‘Johnny Potato Seed’: This farmer wants you to grow a new potato strain
Also known as ‘Johnny Potato Seed’, this small farmer turned a plot of land in Wisconsin into the epicenter of an international potato breeding movement, writes Bevin Cohen in a news article for Modern Farmer. Caravati founded the Kenosha Potato Project (KPP) in 2007. KPP quickly grew into an online community of thousands of both novice and experienced potato growers from around the world.
Scottish scientists discover potato varieties resistant to potato cyst nematodes
The findings of a ground-breaking farm trial investigating potato varieties resistant to crop-destroying potato cyst nematodes (PCN) were revealed last week at the James Hutton Institute (JHI) in Invergowrie. Thanks to scientists from JHI, SoilEssentials, Scottish Agronomy, SRUC and SASA working collaboratively on this Scottish Government-funded project, new varieties of potato have been shown to be both highly resistant to PCN, and suitable for growth in Scotland’s climate.
Blight resistant potatoes: Marketing ploy or real?
This article was written by Amy Skea of Potato House. “As with any industry, research and development is key, and the UK seed potato industry is no exception and is always progressing. We at Skea Organics and Potato House are proud to be involved in this, and this year we hosted some organic potato demonstrations with several of the leading names in the industry involved.”
Harnessing the power of wild potatoes to feed a climate-challenged world, while reducing agrochemical use
Scientists in South America are tapping the power of wild potatoes to breed disease-resistant and resilient varieties. The recent release of the International Potato Center’s (CIP) disease-resistant CIP-Matilde variety in Peru is the result of years of work and investment in conserving and studying potato wild relatives and using them to breed potatoes that combine characteristics that consumers want with the wild potatoes’ ability to cope with diseases and climate extremes.
Video: CIP – Innovations towards sustainable agri-food system transformation
For almost 50 years, the International Potato Center’s (CIP) research and development work in potato and sweetpotato agri-food systems has contributed to greater food and nutrition security, and economic growth, while conserving today’s biodiversity for the future. This video brings together some of the most achievements and impacts for millions of small-scale farmers and resource-poor consumers worldwide.
ADAPT: Field trials conducted in Austria to find stress-tolerant potato varieties
The Horizon 2020 EU project Accelerated Development of multiple-stress tolerAnt PoTato (ADAPT) aims at developing new strategies to make potatoes fit for the challenging growth conditions of the future. A total of 16 varieties were selected for trials in Austria with a focus on representing abiotic stress resistance. Eleven varieties obtained from potato breeders involved in ADAPT, namely HZPC, Solana, Meijer and NOES, are also being tested for drought and heat tolerance in Spain and the Netherlands.
Solynta and RegenZ partner to bring hybrid potatoes to South Africa
South African seed potato producer RegenZ and European hybrid potato seed innovator Solynta announced today a partnership to bring hybrid true potatoes to the South African farming community. The companies will collaborate in further trials and join forces to facilitate the introduction of Solynta’s ‘climate smart’ and disease-free genetics to the South African farmer.
HZPC’s Potato Days 2022: ‘No time to waste’ to ensure future-proof potato production
On 9, 10 and 11 November, HZPC will open its doors in Joure – and online – to anyone with a passion for potatoes. During Potato Days 2022, the company will discuss the challenges of food security and sustainability, now and in the future. And invited guests will further discuss how everyone involved in the global potato industry can make an important contribution together. HZPC will introduce visitors and online participants to its most promising varieties and innovations
APHIS gives green light to new Simplot GMO potato variety
A new modified corn and potato variety have been given the green light by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The potato plant from J.R. Simplot Company was modified to make it resistant to potato late blight and potato virus Y. It was also modified to alter the potato tuber sugar profile and quality.
Climate change: Specialist warns of future ‘existential threat’ to the British potato industry
The humble potato may struggle to grow in the UK in years to come due to climate change, researchers have warned. The James Hutton Institute (JHI) at Invergowrie, just outside Dundee, is now trying to find varieties that will grow in warmer conditions. Prof Lesley Torrance, the JHI research organisation’s executive director of science, warned that climate change posed an “existential threat” to the potato industry.
Teton Russet marks newest potato variety to be used for McDonald’s ‘World Famous Fries’
The Teton Russet potato variety has now been added to the list used for McDonald’s ‘World Famous Fries’, according to a news release issued by the Potato Variety Management Institute (PVMI). With this acceptance, the Teton Russet becomes the ninth variety of potato to be used by McDonald’s in North America. The Teton Russet has already begun rolling out to suppliers/restaurants as early as August.
Fingerling ‘Ozette’ potato variety grown by Indigenous farmers for ‘hundreds of years’
Jacob Beaton reaped a bounty of Ozette potatoes from his Tea Creek Farm in Kitwanga in northwest B.C. last week – but they aren’t the kind of potatoes you’d find at the supermarket. He says they are one of the oldest kinds of potatoes that Indigenous people grew in the coastal areas of what is now British Columbia, and by the Makah Nation in what is now the northwest tip of Washington state.
Univ of Idaho researchers developing nematode resistant potatoes
University of Idaho researchers are introducing genes from a plant in the nightshade family into potatoes, seeking to develop spuds that resist harmful nematodes. The plant, called ‘litchi tomato’, has natural resistance to several species of cyst and root-knot nematodes. “That’s an unusual trait to have such broad resistance,” said Allan Caplan, associate professor in U of I’s Department of Plant Sciences who is involved in the project.
PepsiCo: Why there is an ongoing legal battle over the potatoes used to make Lay’s chips in India
Farmers’ rights activists say the PepsiCo India court case over its registration of a potato variety used to make its Lay’s potato chips, shows how companies which have registered plant varieties use coercive tactics against farmers to protect their interests. An ongoing court case between PepsiCo India and the petitioner, farmers’ rights activist Kavitha Kuruganti, has highlighted the tensions between plant-breeding corporations and farmers’ rights defenders in developing countries.
EUROPLANT celebrates 30th anniversary, announces merger with Böhm-Nordkartoffel Agrarproduktion (BNA)
During the recent PotatoEurope event in Germany, more than 300 guests from Germany and abroad met on 7th September 2022 at Gut Rethmar to celebrate the 30th anniversary of EUROPLANT Pflanzenzucht GmbH, and to pay a tribute to Dr Heinrich Böhm, who is retiring. EUROPLANT and Böhm-Nordkartoffel Agrarproduktion GmbH (BNA) announced a merger to come into effect during the new financial year 2023/2024.
Playing the ‘wild card’: Is it possible that some wild potato relatives can help tame zebra chip disease?
A new study led by Texas A&M AgriLife researchers has revealed some resistance to zebra chip disease among certain wild species of potato. As Paul Schattenberg reports for AgriLife Today, the study of 52 wild potato species — of which one accession was resistant and three were tolerant to the disease — took place as part of an effort to identify novel genetic resistance to the disease, which affects potato production worldwide.
Study to determine impact of wildfire smoke on Idaho potato crops, seeks to identify smoke-resilient varieties
A two-year study by Boise State University and University of Idaho probes how wildfire smoke affects potato crops and seeks to identify smoke-resilient potato varieties. “Observations from industry started all of this. When we have had bad, smoky years, yields are down and processing quality is down. Our hypothesis is smoke exposure causes that,” said Mike Thornton, a professor in U of I’s Department of Plant Sciences.