The soil-plant connection: A comprehensive guide to soil health and plant vitality

Joel Williams, a plant and soil health educator in the UK, presented “Soils and Nutrition” delving into the complex relationship between soil health and plant nutrition. He emphasized the critical role of soil in supporting healthy plants, discussed global soil degradation, and advocated for a holistic approach to soil management. Williams explained the role of plants in soil health and outlined practical strategies for improvement.

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Soil: ‘The wonder stuff beneath your feet’

A BBC Ideas video underlines the importance of soil, often overlooked despite its crucial role in life on Earth. The soil hosts an estimated 50,000 species of microscopic organisms per gram, forming a complex ecosystem of mutual benefit between creatures like earthworms, microorganisms, and plants. Soil growth is slow, taking over 100 years to form just half a centimeter. Despite being a valuable carbon store and a vital part of Earth’s nitrogen and carbon cycle, it is under threat due to intensive farming, chemical contamination, and urbanization.

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E-Planner: A new tool to help farmers enhance their farm environmental decisions

The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology introduces the E-Planner, a free tool designed to guide farmers in sustainable land decisions. In a video discussion, Marek Nowakowski and developer John Redhead explore the app’s capabilities, from identifying optimal habitats for wildlife conservation to using heat maps for environmental actions. Aiming to merge profitable agriculture with wildlife preservation, the E-Planner offers a promising step towards a greener farming future.

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Potato passion: Unraveling the Germans’ deep-rooted affection for potatoes

The potato, originating from the Andes, has become a cornerstone of German cuisine and culture. In a DW Euromaxx episode, Hannah Hummel explores Germany’s 270 unique potato varieties and their deep-rooted significance. From traditional dishes like roast potatoes and potato salad to the annual consumption of 56 kilos per person, Germany’s adoration for this tuber is unparalleled. Farmers like Sebastian Klass equate harvesting potatoes to discovering “gold nuggets,” symbolizing their treasured status.

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Mintec: UK crop update

In this market update video from Mintec, pricing analyst for Potatoes, Harry Campbell talks through the high prices in the market, delayed harvest and gives a general update on what market players’ thoughts on the potato industry are. Mr. Campbell says a great number of buyers are currently chasing the new crop. Prices are souring at record levels, with the highest prices ever recorded on the Mintec Analytics platform.

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Innovation in European potato production: How modern machines are reshaping the future of potato farming

This article, based on The Engine’s video “How Are 100 Million Tons of Potato Harvested? | Agriculture Technology”, explores the revolution in potato farming in Europe, driven by advanced machinery and technology. It delves into the impact of precision planting, cultivation, care, maintenance, harvesting, and processing on efficiency, productivity, and sustainability.

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Video: ‘How a potato becomes a Lamb Weston fry’

Have you ever wondered how a humble potato transforms into a mouthwatering french fry? Lamb Weston, one of the world’s largest producers of frozen french fries and potato products, provides an answer in a concise YouTube video that traces the journey from the field to your plate.

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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.

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Canada: ‘Hard work and delight’: Ontario potato farm featured in virtual reality tour

Sunrise Potatoes near Alliston in Ontario is one of three farms included in a new virtual reality tour that was filmed earlier this year using 360 degree cameras and virtual reality technology. “It’s wonderful to showcase the hard work and delight that comes from planting and harvesting a successful crop, and to know that so many Canadians will have a chance to take our tour,” said Kevin Brubacher, general manager of the Ontario Potato Board, in a statement.

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Multimillion dollar programme in New Zealand aims to provide growers with a nitrogen management tool

Sustainable Vegetable Systems (SVS) is a $7.5 million dollar multi-tiered research programme, funded by New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries, led and co-funded by Potatoes New Zealand in collaboration with the Vegetable Research & Innovation Board and Horticulture NZ. SVS provides the data and subsequent modelling of vegetable nutrient uptake and nitrogen leaching. Potatoes New Zealand recently uploaded three videos on its YouTube channel to explain the SVS programme goals and activities.

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Webinar: Elea specialists to discuss benefits, ROI of PEF technology for processors

Elea will host a webinar on Tuesday, September 27th during which participants will learn more about the company’s PEF Advantage systems and the benefits of raw product treated with Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) technology. Elea specialists will guide participants through the production process of chips and French fries – with a focus on the numerous benefits of PEF technology during each phase of the process.

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Eagle Eye Produce celebrates trailblazing Idaho potato grower

In the latest edition of its Grower Spotlight feature, Eagle Eye Produce celebrates potato grower Reed Searle in Eastern Idaho. Eagle Eye says on its YouTube channel, “Reed is an integral part of our varietal potato program. When most potato farmers in Idaho were focused on russet potatoes, Reed saw an opportunity to do something different – he focused on growing red and yellow potatoes.

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‘That’s farming’: British potato farmer paralysed after accident in potato store

Tim Papworth is a third-generation British potato farmer and farm accident survivor who “learnt safety by accident”. Some years ago, he was changing a light bulb in a potato store when he slipped, fell and sustained life-changing injuries, which have impacted him mentally and physically. Tim had a titanium plate fitted on one side of his skull, but fortunately made a full recovery apart from impaired hearing in his left ear.

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Video: Potatoes USA CMO discusses fresh potato access to Mexico

In this “Keeping it Current” video episode produced and published by Potatoes USA, the industry body’s Chief Marketing Officer, John Toaspern discusses the impact of gaining fresh potato access to all of Mexico, the years of effort that went into this, and the continued work that needs be done to keep the market open.

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Funny: ‘Let me help you get them spuds safely planted…’

In a video shared by a Reddit user earlier this week, it is shown how an adorable dog is enthusiastically assisting two men to plant potatoes. “I can help with potatoes too,” reads the caption. The video has since gone viral and accumulated more than 48,000 upvotes on Reddit since it was shared and the numbers are quickly increasing.

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Albert Bartlett film showcases lifespan of the humble potato with hopes of reducing waste

It takes love and care to grow a potato – but it remains the most thrown out food in the UK, as Gordon Davidson reports for The Scottish Farmer. With hopes of encouraging people to think twice before chucking their spuds in the bin – and to mark Stop Food Waste Day on April 27 – sector giant Albert Bartlett has released a fast motion film showcasing the lifespan of a Scottish potato.

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Video: Cornish potato grower battles rising costs

Costs are up more than 20% for Cornish salad potato grower Phil Rogers of Pengelli Farms. Phil says his farming operation unfortunately incurred an awful lot of extra cost this season, “especially considering the current labour climate and and where the diesel bill is going- so expensive going at the moment”.

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Video: Ukrainian farmers fight to grow food amid war

Spring sowing has begun across western Ukraine but with raging war in the country, the prospects of completing it successfully look bleak for many Ukrainian farmers. Ukrainian farmer Terras Mansiok owns a family farm near Lviv. In an interview with Reuters, he described the difficulties he and other farmers in Ukraine are dealing with now.

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Maine researchers work on climate-resistant potato

Maine researchers are on their way to creating a climate-resistant potato in order to maintain Maines’s ability to produce potato harvests. This has become a growing threat to Maine as climate change has impacted the growth of potatoes, making their quality go down, and the crop numbers drop dramatically.

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AgroScout interviews renowned entomologist during conference event

AgroScout is an ag-tech company that aims to improve yield quality and quantity through visual inspection in the field. Representatives from AgroScout attended the recent Washington Oregon Potato Conference 2022 event. They joined by a special guest, Dr. Alan Schreiber, the owner and operator of Agriculture Development Group, Inc., (ADG) an agriculture research and consulting company.

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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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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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