‘Maara kai’: Re-invigorating Māori Food Sovereignty through potatoes

Māori have lived in New Zealand for around 700 years and were accomplished horticulturalists, bringing seed and tubers from their original homes in other Eastern Pacific Islands. They established ‘maara’ (gardens) in their new home Aotearoa/New Zealand, using sustainable methods, working with the land and climate. They also established trade with neighbouring Australia before colonisation changed the landscape of their[Read More…]

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German potato breeder Solana introduces three new varieties

Breeder and seed supplier Solana GmbH will use the upcoming potato fairs to introduce a total of three new table potatoes. Both the Weuthen Potato Day (August 29, Schwalmtal) and the Potato Europe (September 4 & 5, Tournai / Belgium) will focus on the extended variety spectrum of the company, which has its headquarters in Hamburg. “We will present a[Read More…]

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Chemical loss takes centre stage at potato conference

Scottish potato growers have been warned that there might not be a seed industry in Scotland in 30 years’ time if the spread of potato cyst nematode (PCN) continues at its current rate. As growers gathered to attend the UK’s largest potato conference, Potatoes in Practice – at the James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm, in Invergowrie – there was a[Read[Read More…]

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Can aeroponics be the answer to disease free seed?

Conventional techniques of seed production involves the use of potatoes that are propagated by harvesting and replanting the tuber in the field, and is routinely used by farmers. Although the method is suitable for small scale farmers, it has several disadvantages like disease and pest infestation, labor intensive, time and weather dependent, low yield (8 tubers per plant per growing[Read[Read More…]

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Chinese and Scottish researchers establish collaborative links at Potatoes in Practice 2019

Chinese and Scottish researchers are to work together and explore joint solutions to potato breeding and to pests and diseases that cause major losses to farmers and industry across the world. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, part of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the James Hutton Institute, during Potatoes[Read More…]

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Potandon sees strong growth in yellow and mini potatoes

Potandon Produce LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, one of the largest potato and onion shippers in the United States and the exclusive marketer of the Green Giant brand for fresh potatoes and onions, is seeing significant growth in yellow potatoes and mini-potatoes, according to Carter Bray, vice president/general manager, variety potato division. Growth in the red potato category, whether it[Read[Read More…]

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New Canadian potato variety said to be resistant to common scab

In mid-July, a new variety of potato named Alliston was officially registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, making it the first tater in history to take its name from the potato capital of Ontario. The new variety was developed by a potato breeder from Quebec, Andre Gagnon. Gagnon wanted to create a spud with a round to oval shape,[Read[Read More…]

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PhD funding available: Advancing Genomic Selection for key processing traits in potato

Staff in Cell and Molecular Sciences at The James Hutton Institute in the UK have a distinguished track record of research in plant and crop science, including genetic and genomic analysis. They have contributed to international consortia conducting whole genome sequencing of important crop plants. This knowledge has enabled the identification of genes underlying key traits and provided the underpinning[Read More…]

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How did potatoes adapt to Europe?

The genetics of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) and how they have adapted to European conditions have been studied through reconstruction from historical genomes, including specimens from the Museum’s Sloane Herbarium. Originating from the highlands of the Andes, South America, potatoes were introduced to Europe in the sixteenth century. They were initially popular in Spain because they provided cheap sustenance for the[Read More…]

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Scots scientists hope their super-spud will help end crop devastation

The tatties are small, ­knobbly and tasteless but a rare breed of potato has been revealed as a super-spud. Scientists hope the Solanum x ­edinense – or Edinburgh potato – can help the worldwide battle against blight because it has a genetic immunity to the disease. Experts at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh have now discovered the potato that[Read[Read More…]

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Summer cover crop highlight of San Luis Valley farm tour

As a trailblazer in adapting regenerative, low-input farming practices for the San Luis Valley, Rockey Farms continues to tweak production methods and experiment with new approaches while producing some of the region’s tastiest potatoes. In mid-July, brothers Brendon and Sheldon Rockey hosted a field day for around 100 visitors from across the state and beyond, offering them a chance to[Read More…]

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Wild potatoes key for stronger spuds

Scientists have discovered wild potatoes may be the ‘cure’ in producing disease resistant spuds. New research has suggested limited genetic differences in potato lineages has left British and American spuds vulnerable to the disease that caused the Irish potato famine. Plant scientists at the University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute have revealed that commercial potato crops are under constant threat of[Read More…]

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Rooting out hunger in Malawi through better potato varieties

Near the end of the last potato growing season in Malawi’s district of Dedza, Leonard Mideyo dug up a mound of soil with his hands on his roadside potato plot. This location is strategic, he explained, to show the performance of the different varieties on the plot. Pulling up wilted potato stems from the soil, he spotted a few fresh[Read[Read More…]

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Peru’s Potato: A starchy spud that adapts to every eco-system

In the 1500’s when Spanish conquistadors arrived, they encountered the potato and brought it to Europe. Today it’s grown almost everywhere and considered a top food staple along with rice, corn and wheat. Correspondent Dan Collyns traveled to Potato Park in the Sacred Valley of the Incas to get the lowdown on this versatile vegetable. By the year 2050, the[Read[Read More…]

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Food firm signs UK-wide supermarket deal to supply Ayrshire potatoes

The delicious Ayrshire tattie – now given elevated status by the European Union as a protected geographical food – is available for summer salads and posh picnics throughout the British Isles this summer. This season’s produce is being sold in England as Scotty Brand secures a nationwide listing with Asda for its famous Ayrshire new potatoes. The distinctive new potatoes,[Read More…]

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PepsiCo should pay compensation to potato growers, demand Indian farmer leaders

Farmer leaders on Sunday demanded that PepsiCo India should pay compensation to the Gujarat potato farmers for the harassment and intimidation that they were subjected to. On Sunday, farmer leaders at a conference held in Delhi vowed to ensure that they will not allow another “PepsiCo India Vs Farmers episode” to recur in India. Earlier, food and beverages giant PepsiCo[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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