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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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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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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Scotts’ Evolution Separator: Series of detailed how-to tutorials published as videos online

Scotts Precision Manufacturing Ltd based near Boston, Lincolnshire in the UK has taken a bold and innovative step by producing a series of tutorial videos to assist operators, owners, sales and service technicians of its Evolution Separator. The 9 separate videos on the Scotts YouTube channel explain everything you will ever need to know about this market leading cleaning system. All things including how to set the machine up for all crop types are covered in minute detail.

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Colorado beetle catcher deals with ‘lazy potato pest’

Potato growers and agricultural machine builders in Biddinghuizen in the Netherlands have come up with a way to deal with colorado potato beetles without using pesticides. Infestations by colorado beetles, a North American import, have been increasing in Europe because of rising temperatures. To remove the colorado beetle and its ravenous larvae, all the farmer has to do is to attach a custom built machine with rotating plastic flaps to a tractor and swat them off the plants.

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Kenyan research station banking on high quality potato seed production and distribution

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) is banking on a high quality potato seed production and distribution deal with Syngenta Foundation to increase production five times to 10 million tons annually. The deal involves increasing high quality certified potato seed availability to farmers by 25 percent through rapid multiplication, increased field seed bulking, and capacity building of commercial seed growers in the country.

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2021 San Luis Valley Potato Festival is back

The 2021 Potato Festival will be Saturday, September 11 at Chapman Park in Monte Vista. There is another exciting opportunity available at the Potato Festival to those who want an in-depth look at the potato industry. Hosted by the Executive Director of Colorado Potatoes, Jim Ehrlich, this tour will visit the San Luis Valley Research Center and a local grower’s field. Passengers will get to talk directly with growers and researchers.

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Fascinating: Watch the dog that can sniff out a potato crop disease

Maine potato farmers might have a quicker way to protect their crops from dangerous diseases, thanks to a passionate dog trainer and her charges. When she first heard that no one had ever taught dogs to detect potato diseases through careful, odor-based training, Sanford native Andrea Parish decided to become the first to do it. Her dogs can stiff and detect all three strains of potato virus Y as well as bacterial ring rot.

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Video: ‘The incredible farms being run from space’

Farming may be among the last industries to undergo a digital revolution, but the changes are arguably going to be further reaching than anything we’ve seen so far. In this in-depth video by the BBC’s ‘Follow the Food’ program, it is said that farming’s digital revolution has potential for both business and the planet. The aim of the transformation is to produce more food from farming with less.

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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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Video: Potato farmers in Maine’s Aroostook county expect a bigger and better year

Last year not a good year for potato farmers in Maine. Dry weather and the pandemic saw to that, but this year things seem to be turning around for them. This year growers are expecting a bigger yield, says University of Maine crop ecology professor Greg Porter. “There’s optimism that there’ll be a good supply here of good quality potatoes and that the market will be there to take those potatoes,” he says.

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How to become a ‘potato grad’: Potatoes USA explains

Potatoes USA’s complimentary online curriculum, “Potato University”, is designed for busy foodservice professionals who want to learn more about how to incorporate all types of potatoes – from fresh, to frozen, to dehydrated—into the menu. These online classes are an excellent resource packed with valuable potato insights, and they can be taken any time at one’s own pace. “Anyone interested in learning more about U.S. potatoes can take this self-paced course,” explains Kendra Keenan, Global Marketing Manager, Foodservice at Potatoes USA.

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Blight fungicide and application trials at Eurofins

Michael Tait, Syngenta Technical Manager and Harry Fordham, Syngenta New Farming Technologies Lead present the 2020 Syngenta trials at Eurofins in this video published on the SyngentaUK YouTube channel. Tait and Fordham report on blight fungicide activity and new application advice for the Syngenta 3D90 nozzle, delivering outstanding efficacy, along with 90% drift reduction.

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‘Plant-speak’: Scientists developed device to ‘communicate’ with plants

A team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a device that can deliver electrical signals to and from plants, opening the door to new technologies that make use of plants. The NTU team developed their plant ‘communication’ device by attaching a conformable electrode (a piece of conductive material) on the surface of a Venus flytrap plant using a soft and sticky adhesive known as hydrogel. The NTU team is looking to devise other applications using an improved version of their plant ‘communication’ device.

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Second pandemic wave caused depressed British potato market

AHDB Arable analyst, Thomma Shepherd, provides an analysis of what has driven potato markets over the last few weeks. She says the weekly average price survey, covering all sectors of the industry, shows potatoes have had a depressed few months, lagging behind previous seasons. The 2nd wave of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has killed a lot of demand for potatoes. With the majority of hospitality closed along with schools there has been little optimism within the industry.

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Standen imports Dutch company Vegniek’s haulm pullers

Following the withdrawal of diquat in Britain, Standen says many potato growers are still seeking an effective solution in haulm destruction of their crop. This has prompted its importing division to start offering Dutch manufacturer Vegniek’s DiscMaster series of precision haulm pullers. The DiscMaster has been developed with a focus on reducing crop damage and ensuring that rows are effectively closed following the pass.

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How a tech entrepreneur went from potatoes to Amazon and back again

Two brothers in Western Washington’s Skagit Valley developed an IoT platform that uses sensors and devices placed on “big gun” sprinkler reels and irrigation pumps that can automatically shut off the water when reels stops unexpectedly. Cellular signals share the information to a dashboard that lets a farmer remotely check the sprinklers to solve the problem. They are joining the surge in research and startups in the field of precision agriculture and ag tech.

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New problems arise for crop storage as planet gets warmer

For generations, Brian Sackett’s family has farmed potatoes that are made into chips found on grocery shelves in much of the eastern U.S. About 25% of the nation’s potato chips get their start in Michigan, where reliably cool air during September harvest and late spring has been ideal for crop storage. But with temperatures edging higher, Sackett had to buy several small refrigeration units for his sprawling warehouses. Last year, he paid $125,000 for a bigger one.

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Kenyan potato production expected to surge, farmers encouraged to switch

Kenya’s potato production could hit 2.5 million tonnes in 2021 up from the estimated 2 million tonnes produced in 2020, the industry said last Friday. Wachira Kaguongo, CEO of National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK) told Xinhua in Nairobi that both production and demand were affected last year due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We expect production to rebound in 2021 due to favorable weather as well as increased potato seed distribution to farmers,” Kaguongo said.

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Potatoes USA launches new marketing campaign

A new video campaign has been launched by Potatoes USA to help combat meal fatigue and show consumer the many different meals that can be prepared using potatoes. Retail potato sales saw tremendous growth in 2020 as consumers stocked their pantries in March and beyond.

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AVR’s Ceres 440 planter ‘opens next chapter in advanced precision farming technology’

AVR recently introduced its latest and most advanced planter, the AVR Ceres 440. The absolute highlight of the Ceres 440 is undoubtedly its AVR Connect system, which unites all planting information and remote parameters in one synchronized digital platform for planting and harvesting, since the system is also featured in the AVR Puma 4.0 harvester. With the Ceres 440, AVR invites potato growers to “get ready for the next chapter in AVR

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