Varieties

HZPC: The importance of healthy soil

HZPC says in a recent news article that the company’s growers know it better than anyone: a healthy soil is crucial for good potato growing. But a healthy soil offers more. It contributes to all the main pillars of HZPC in the field of sustainability. The talk HZPC had with grower Pieter Klaas Westerhuis from Usquert in Groningen, the Netherlands confirms this: “We don’t want to leave any problems behind for the next generation to solve”.

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Technico Agri Sciences certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’

Technico Agri Sciences Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC Limited, is now a Great Place to Work-Certified company by the Great Place to Work Institute. The Certification is recognized around the world by employees and employers alike and is considered the ‘Gold Standard’ in identifying and recognizing Great Workplace Cultures.

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Breeders go back to the future to combat the world’s deadliest potato disease

This CIP@50 story digs into a new rapid-fire approach to potato breeding that makes farmer-favorite varieties resistant to late blight, which could increase profits by at least 40% wherever potato is cropped. The secret? The latest biotech methods mixed with the oldest breeding trick in the book – harvesting the wild genes of the potato’s distant ancestors. 

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Meet ‘Nemo’ – Branston’s new fast-cooking, best-roasting potato variety

“We were searching for a quicker-cooking potato variety to make crispy, golden roasties that taste deliciously buttery, and this is what we found,” according to Lincolnshire-based potato growing business Branston. Branston says this new variety has been developed through careful crossing between Inca Bella and the popular, red-skinned Salad variety Franceline.

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Opinion: Indian farmers’ rights and Pepsico’s ‘hot potato’

The revocation of registration granted to the global food giant Pepsico by India’s Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights’ Authority (PPV&FRA) further muddies an already unclear picture for the seed and bio-technology innovation sector in India, writes senior journalist R Srinivasan in an article for The Hindu’s Business Line.

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PepsiCo loses rights to Lays potato variety in India

Pepsico’s registration of the FL-2027 variety of potatoes, used in Lays potato chips, has been revoked by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights’ Authority in India. This comes two years after PepsiCo India provoked outrage by suing nine Gujarati farmers for allegedly infringing patent rights by growing its registered potato variety.

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CIP: Putting the world’s largest potato collection in the deep freeze

The International Potato Center (CIP) is conserving the future of potato genetic diversity in the world’s largest potato cryobank and setting new standards to transform the way that other priority clonal crops like sweetpotato and yams are held in safe storage. These innovations ensure we have an essential backup collection of the clonal crops that 300 million smallholders in developing countries depend on.

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Univ of Maine is developing a ‘super potato’ resistant to climate change

For decades, the University of Maine has devoted valuable agricultural research to studying how to improve potato crops, a central element of the state’s agricultural economy. Over the past year, the focus of the program’s mission has ramped up with one particular goal in mind: make potatoes that are resistant to climate change.

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New Red Fox potato a first for Prince Edward Island Potato Board

The new Red Fox potato has a very P.E.I. name —and is also a first in the history of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board. The Potato Board purchased the rights to the new variety from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada breeding program in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and is now bringing it to the commercial market, as Nancy Russell reports for CBC News.

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Agrico presents new varieties during ‘Meet & Greet’ event

On Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 November, Agrico presented two new varieties during an intimate ‘Meet and Greet’ event at its breeding and research farm, Agrico Research in Bant. For many years, Agrico has organized a well-attended varieties show, which takes place in early November, during which it presents its latest growing results to interested parties all over the world.

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The ‘potato custodians’ in the Andes who are safeguarding this crop’s future

In the Peruvian Andes, “potato custodians” are preserving hundreds of varieties of our humble tuber. In this CNN video, aired a couple of days ago, you will meet one of the hundreds of Latin American “custodians” of indigenous potato varieties. There are about 4,000 native potato varieties in the world, and most of them are grown in the Andes. Only a handful are available in supermarkets around the world. Climate change is threatening agricultural systems, making this kind of diversity an insurance policy for our future food security.

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‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’: Retailers commit to sustainable potatoes

Several key UK retailers have pledged to sell disease resistant organic potatoes, boosting sustainability and farm resilience for producers. Organic certification body the Soil Association developed its ‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’ in a bid to help growers move away from potatoes that are susceptible to blight. Signees to the pledge have agreed to favour organic spuds that have been bred to be blight resistant.

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HZPC reports on positives after challenging corona year

HZPC realised that the financial year 2020/2021 would be difficult. Last year, the potato distributor was operating in a global economic recession. With enormous consequences for both multiple corporate sectors and for HZPC. However, there are always positives. Even now. “We have seen a rise in volume sales, we are proud to have started the Connective Growers programme and we are delighted with the efforts made to realise a competitive price for our growers,” says HZPC CEO, Gerard Backx.

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One in 100,000: Breeders in Rhinelander seek the next commercial potato variety

Last Thursday, Jeffrey Endelman stood in a windy field east of Rhinelander and fished a diagram out of his fanny pack. “I’m continuing my selections in family number 91, at the moment, as I round the corner,” he explained to Ben Meyer of WXPR. Endelman was inspecting some of the 170 tillable acres at UW-Madison’s Rhinelander Agricultural Research Station. Over the decades, UW-Madison’s program has become one of the premier potato breeding programs in the country.

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MSU researchers breeding beetle-resistant potato varieties

Potato farmers face many challenges. One tiny, yet devastating, pest is the Colorado potato beetle. It can cause immense damage to potato crops. It’s also notorious for becoming resistant to chemical insecticides. In a new study, published in Crop Science, researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) describe genetic tools to develop potato varieties with improved natural resistance to the potato bug.

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11,000-year-old solution to modern problem: Ancient potato could thrive in changing climate

With drought a persistent problem in the Southwest, Hopi/Tewa seed keeper Valerie Nuvayestewa has eagerly joined the effort to bring back an Indigenous superfood that her ancestors cultivated for 11,000 years. The ‘Four Corners Potato’ can grow under dry conditions and provides triple the protein and twice the calcium of red organic potatoes. It is known scientifically as the Solanum jamesii.

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Scottish treasure trove of rare potato species could hold secrets to potato problems

A priceless living library of rare potato species is being trawled for traits which could offer resistance to pests, diseases, viruses and  the looming issue of climate change. The Commonwealth Potato Collection (CPC), the only potato gene bank in the UK and only one of a handful in Europe, is located at the James Hutton Institute (JHI) campus at Invergowrie, and is regarded by geneticists as  a vital resource for potato breeders.

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‘Red Candy’: Technico’s early maturing red skinned table potato variety

In India, in North Bengal and in the Bihar regions, potato farmers have long awaited an early bulking potato variety with better storability to cater for evolving grower needs. Until now, the absence of such a variety with this unique combination of characteristics has left farmers either to miss the early market opportunity to reap better prices or book higher losses during storage. Red Candy, a new variety launched by Technico Agri Sciences Ltd, aptly addresses the potato growers’ needs and help them to reap the twin benefits of early bulking with better storability.

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‘G+ Tools’: A new gender-responsive toolkit for breeding

In response to the challenges of climate change, growing demands for food, and persistent malnutrition, crop breeders across the Global South are developing more resilient, productive and nutritious potato varieties. The G+ Tools – a new gender-responsive toolkit for breeding developed by the International Potato Center and the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas – promises to address this barrier by advancing a holistic framework to evaluate what traits men and women, farmers and consumers want in their potato, sweetpotato, cassava, and other crop varieties.

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US researchers identify potato cultivars with a low glycemic index

A team of researchers at Montana State University and North Dakota State University recently reported on results of a study into potato varieties thought to have a low glycemic index (GI). The research team evaluated 60 potato cultivars to identify cultivars with low amylopectin – that are thought to have low GI potential. The researchers identified five most promising cultivars.

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Chipping, fresh market and french fry variety lines on display during Ontario open house event

The Elora Research Station in Ontario will host its annual open house event next Wednesday, August 11. Everyone who is interested in potato research is invited to come see the new variety demonstration plots in the field. Chipping, fresh market and french fry lines will be on display. This includes elite selections from the National Potato Breeding Program-AAFC, promising lines from Michigan State, Wisconsin and more.

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A blight-resistant gmo potato variety help farmers in Uganda to defeat late blight and change their fortunes

Successful innovation for agriculture will depend on thorough and careful understanding of the aspirations of beneficiaries and the challenges farmers face. It entails putting them at the center of these innovations, according to this blog post by the International Potato Center (CIP). As part of its work to research solutions addressing hunger and poverty, CIP and partners worked in Uganda to develop and test a new type of blight-resistant potato, which may not need any fungicides.

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The ‘tricot’ approach: How African farmers participate in potato variety selection and dissemination

The “triadic comparisons of technologies” – or tricot – approach is being used in a citizen-science project funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) to identify and scale up best potato and cassava varieties in Rwanda. Farmers are trained to conduct a trial with potato seed and then, at the end of the season, they are asked which variety they consider ‘best’ or ‘worst’ on several characteristics including yield, marketability, plant vigor and more.

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