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’s precision farming story”.
Efficient use of fertiliser will be the key focus of a new short video series that is being produced by the Fertiliser Association of Ireland (FAI). Set to be rolled out over the coming months, this series has been described as a “key tool” for farmers and advisors by the FAI, with the first video (below) focusing on the importance of taking good soil samples. The video, produced by the fertiliser association, will look at the first steps in starting the fertiliser planning process.
Africa’s first potato farmers were European settlers who introduced the crop in the late 1800s, but few Africans grew it before the mid-1950s. Since then, the tuber has taken off, with more than 25 million metric tons produced in Africa in 2017. According to the International Potato Center (CIP), potato is now the second most important food crop in Kenya after maize, grown by 800,000 small-scale farmers and generating employment for an estimated 2.5 million people along the value chain. Improved potato varieties introduced by CIP have the potential to significantly boost farm incomes.
The first-ever digital Potato Expo is on tap for Jan. 5-7 and the event has plenty to offer the industry, National Potato Council leaders say. Registration for the 2021 Potato Expo event is available online. Earlier this month, the Packer’s Tom Karst visited with Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council and Hollee Alexander, vice president of industry relations and events for the council.
John Toaspern, Chief Marketing Officer at Potatoes USA provides insight from this year’s Sales and Utilization study of US potatoes. “With everything that has occurred this past marketing year, it is very important for us to understand what has happened with the sales of potatoes in the US market and how the crop was utilized based on an analysis of potatoes and products sold at retail and food service and accounting for the volume of US exports and imports,” Toasperm says.
FarmHer began after founder and host, Marji Guyler-Alaniz, took a leap of faith, starting a passion project in 2013 with a mission of shining a light on the women of agriculture. Today the business consists of various entities, all shining a light on women in agriculture. FarmHer has featured over 350 women and creates a diverse set of media offerings, including photography, television, YouTube videos, written word, and podcasts. Each month, over a million people interact and/or experience the brand’s presence in their lives.
The future of farming: Driverless tractors, drones and robots. How is the agriculture industry changing as digital technology develops? Unmanned tractors controlled via GPS; drones that kill vermin in the fields from above; and highly efficient bull sperm used to produce genetically optimized calves. This is not science fiction. It’s the future of farming, today. “Smart farming” is the agricultural industry’s new buzzword, says the producers of this video by Deutsche Welle Documentary.
‘Fight the blight’: CIP developed an app to help potato farmers in developing countries reduce agrochemical use
Late blight disease remains the biggest threat to potato farming globally, causing USD billions of crop loss each year. In most areas, farmers can only grow potatoes if they regularly apply fungicides, which control the highly destructive pathogen but pose risks to the environment, farmers and their families. Scientists at the International Potato Center (CIP) have developed an easy-to-use decision support tool to help farmers optimize their fungicide use.
Last week, key actors from the Republic of Georgia’s potato sector convened virtually to discuss ideas to enhance the country’s potato sector. Dubbed the “Georgia Potato Forum,” the meeting focused on ways to develop value chains to improve market opportunities for farmers while providing markets and consumers with higher-quality potatoes. The Forum was the first in a series that will continue into 2021.
During the recent CropTec show in the UK – which was hosted and presented as a virtual, online event – Prof Alison Stewart from New Zealand shared her experience of developing and implementing IPM on commercial farms. She is the CEO of the Foundation for Edible Research in New Zealand. Prof Stewart says there are a large number of global challenges out there for agriculture in every country in the world, and New Zealand is no different.
The first-ever digital Potato Expo is on tap for Jan. 5-7 and the event has plenty to offer the industry, National Potato Council leaders say. The Packer’s Tom Karst visited Dec. 15 with Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council and Hollee Alexander, vice president of industry relations and events for the council. Registration for the 2021 Potato Expo event is available online. “We’re excited to see what all is going to transpire,” Quarles said.
In a first-of-its-kind study, led by Prof. Yolanda Chen at the University of Vermont (UVM), the research team shows that epigenetic changes, passed to new generations, may solve the paradox of rapid pesticide resistance by the infamous Colorado potato beetle. For more than a 150 years the Colorado potato beetle eventually managed to overcome most every pesticide thrown its way. The UVM study moves dramatically closer to an explanation.
In this endearing film the producers capture how Irish ancestors grew potatoes in Ireland for generations, using horses and then the shift to the use of the tractor in the 1950s. They show each of the stages in potato farming from the preparation of the soil, fertilising, planting and then on to the harvesting. No crop is as associated with Ireland as the potato and the film producers look at its vital role as a food source.
The potato harvest is a highlight for most potato farmers around the world, big and small growers alike. At times it turns out to be the “cherry on the cake” after a long season of sweat and toil, especially when pleasant surprises are unexpectedly unearthed. Other times it might turn out to be a time rife with disappointment and agony – a time best forgotten as soon as possible. However it might turn out to be, harvest time is always marked by a good measure of excitement and anticipation.
This winter AHDB in the UK is running its Potato Soil Health Campaign – part of the Great Soils Programme. The goal of this campaign is to encourage potato growers to reconsider their current practice when it comes to soil health. You can now watch a re-recording of the AHDB hosted soil health webinar – ‘Potato Soil Health – Why bother?’ online. The webinar was hosted live by AHDB on 19 November.
In this video, Kerri Ann Lamb tells the story of her family’s potato-growing business at Wickham Farms, Killarney, Queensland in Australia. Kerri is fourth fourth generation potato farmer. Says Kerri: “Our potatoes are planted in October, so they’ll be ready to harvested in February. It will be harvested and sent to the pack house in February and they’ll be sold fresh n supermarkets as brushed potatoes as well.
It’s been a year since First Coast News started following a local farmer, sharing with you his successes and struggles. When they started this story, First Coast News had no idea the troubles farmers would face because of a pandemic. This is the final installment in this story, showing how the weather is an age-old challenge for farmers and how Covid is something new. With a thousand acres of potatoes, spuds are the main source of income for the Jones family in Florida.
On Nov. 12, the Idaho Potato Commission hosted its annual Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting, open to everyone in the Idaho potato industry. NPC CEO Kam Quarles provided an update on the federal policy victories and activities undertaken by the National Potato Council and its state potato organization partners in 2020, and set the stage for an active 2021. Kam Quarles began by saying that though 2020 isn’t over yet, looking back on it is almost like viewing two entirely separate worlds – “one is pre-Covid. and the other is the world that we’ve been dealing with since the shutdown started.”
This film follows the fortunes of several potato growers throughout Ireland and also gives a short history of the potato, a crop synonymous with Ireland. The producers look at the importance of potato growing in Ireland, showing how the humble spud stills plays a vital role here to this day. This documentary was produced by Thompson Video Productions Co. in Derry, Northern Ireland.
Entomologists at the University of Idaho are leading ten state research projects focused on two viruses that can devastate seed potato farmers, according to a report by RFD-TV. In an interview with RFD-TV, Professor and project leader, Alexander Karasev says that one of their targets is potato mop-top virus, which has been found in six states. According to Karasev, “The second virus is potato virus Y. It can lead to a downgrade of seed potato loads, but also, a potato [infected with potato virus Y] may induce a disease which is called potato tuber necrotic ringspot disease, making fresh market tubers completely unusable.”
Potato has good potential to help the world meet that challenge, since it produces more calories per liter of water than other major staple crops. Scientists at the International Potato Center (CIP) are trying to enhance that potential through the development of digital tools to optimize the use of water in irrigation. A team of researchers led by crop ecophysiologist David Ramírez has used a combination of conventional and thermal cameras to study how potato plants react to water stress. They also developed open-access software called Thermal Image Processor (TIPCIP) to analyze those images.
New trials run by Innovative Farmers Field lab and funded by AHDB in the UK will research the possibility of using brackish water for potato irrigation. Irrigation plays a vital role in potato quality. Growers in areas such as Holbeach Marsh, one of the driest regions in the UK, are facing considerable economic yield losses due to common scab. Under future climate projections AHDB and Innovative Farmers anticipate more unpredictability in rainfall events, increased saline intrusion of groundwater reserves and therefore a more vulnerable freshwater supply, which could impact on potato yields in the area.
The outlook for the Idaho potato season was very promising at the beginning of the year. Then, in the middle of March, with the impact of the Corona virus becoming aparant here in the US and globally, everything changed. “It was fantastic,” says Idaho potato grower Randy Hardy. “Until the virus hit, I was telling people I’ve been farming for 48 years waiting for a year like this, because it was kind of like a perfect storm, you know? It looked like it was going to be a good marketing year…” But then the pandemic put an end to all of this. Bill Schaefer in Idaho produced a video in which the owners and managers of four prominent Idaho potato operations discuss the economic impact of Covid-19.
On the 175th anniversary of the start of the Great Hunger, also sometimes referred to as “the Irish Famine,” the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), the largest and oldest Irish Catholic organization in the US, has released a video commemorating this sad event and noting it’s particular relevance against the backdrop of today’s COVID-19 crisis. September 13, 1845 is considered the precursor of An Gorta Mor, the “Great Hunger.” Over the next five years, Ireland would lose a quarter of its population, over two million people, to death and starvation.
In a recently released YouTube video, GRIMME showcases the development of its Ventor 4150 potato harvester – from design to the final commercial end product. According to GRIMME, the VENTOR 4150 is the first 4-row self-propelled harvester based on the SE-principle (sieving, conveying and haulm separation). The powerful 530 HP machine with its 15 tonne unloading bunker is the first harvester to be fitted with the SE system, which increases productivity significantly when compared to a 2 row harvester.