The European Potato Trade Association (Europatat) is part of an international consortium involved in the research project ADAPT (“Accelerated Development of multiple-stress tolerAnt PoTato”). The project aims to develop new strategies to make potatoes fit for the challenging climatic growth conditions expected in future. It was started in July 2020 and will take place over the next three years with a total budget of 5 million Euro funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Agri-chemical company BASF has launched a new initiative to help UK growers unlock the potential – and the profits – of their potato crop. Titled, ‘Perfecting Potatoes Together’, the initiative provides a platform on which the potato industry can come together to share experience, know-how and passion for developing and perfecting healthy potato crops.
The most common potato variety grown in North America is the Russet Burbank, which is mainly grown in the Pacific Northwest. But as the climate there gets warmer and drier, growing these tubers may become more difficult. To help the industry adapt, Richard Novy, a potato breeder and plant geneticist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Idaho, and other scientists have been developing new, more resilient potato varieties, including the Blazer Russet and Clearwater Russet.
Beleaguered Manitoba potato growers are hoping for a normal crop this year after three consecutive years of adverse weather, unharvested acres, lower-than-expected yields and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Guarded optimism would be the best way to describe growers’ mood as they prepare for the 2021 crop amid weather and market conditions largely beyond their control.
Mike Renouard, business unit director at The Jersey Royal Company, said that farmers were hoping for a period of rain to help with the growth of their crop. Cool and dry conditions over the last two weeks are slowing down the growing process, forcing farmers to irrigate their fields. This continued dry spell could impact the quantity of potatoes being lifted.
AAFC Cold Climate Eco-physiologist Dr. Julia Wheeler and her team is hoping to find that by using bioplastic and other season-extension technology, northern Canadian farmers can extend their growing season and improve the yield, shelf-life, and nutritional quality of their vegetables. They are Dr. Wheeler and her team are installing reusable, half-meter high plastic tunnels over vegetable rows.
NASA Harvest (NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture Program) and CropX, a global leader in soil analytics for agriculture, recently announced a strategic partnership that will give NASA Harvest unprecedented soil insights for its global agricultural monitoring efforts. The partnership will further NASA Harvest’s mission to improve food security and advance sustainable agriculture.
Storing potatoes long-term is often challenging and this is especially so if there is a reliance on ambient ventilation. Even in the most favourable seasons, it is seldom possible to hold crops at optimum temperature in ambient stores beyond early May. In this article, specialists at AHDB’s Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research (CSR) facility in the UK explore how refrigeration can help deliver on long-term storage.
Syngenta UK has launched its first biostimulant in potatoes, Quantis, that has shown to effectively help crops cope with the impact of heat stress. company said that it had carried out “the UK’s most extensive research field trial of a biostimulant”. Analysis of the data resource had revealed “significantly increased yield for crops that had been under prolonged or extreme heat stress”.
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.
Farmers are on the front lines of worsening climate impacts, and face increasing risk of wildfires and extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts. The best way to build climate resiliency across Canadian agriculture’s diversity of realities and landscapes is by developing and deploying solutions that are tailored for each region, led by farmers and farm groups themselves, the Government of Canada says in a press release.
Some farmers in Canada’s Prince Edward Island have no choice but to use irrigation ponds to counter the impacts of drought conditions like what was experienced on the Island last summer, says the P.E.I. Potato Board. The CBC’s Wayne Thibodeau reports that the board issued a statement Thursday to address what it described as myths by a small group of Islanders that farmers will run streams and wells dry.
Claims that the world may have only 60 harvests remaining because of improper soil management are
As the global population approaches 10 billion by 2050, agricultural production will need to increase by 60%. Yet with every 1
US farmers make their living raising crops from the soil each year. Now, some are getting paid for putting something back into their fields: carbon. In an article published by the Wall Street Journal, correspondent Jacob Bunge writes that big agriculture companies including Bayer AG , Nutrien Ltd. and Cargill Inc. are jockeying with startups to encourage crop producers to adopt climate-friendly practices and develop farming-driven carbon markets.
As the impacts of climate change intensify
“What an unusual and variable season 2020 has been,” writes Teagasc potato specialist Shay Phelan in the December issue of the Teagasc potato newsletter. Phelan writes that most growers were able to plant crops earlier than normal, but late frost, followed by severe drought in some areas, excess rainfall in July/August and again in late October made growing the crop very tricky for all growers. Yields recorded show a significant decrease on the 2019 crop and tuber numbers were low.
This research is part of the ADAPT (
Drought costs farmers around the world
This past year has thrown several challenges at Maine potato farmers, leading to decreased production amidst the chaos of a pandemic. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
Canada: Increasing frustration over irrigation water as PEI loses crown for potato production to Manitoba, Alberta
For the first time in recent history, Manitoba and Alberta have overtaken Prince Edward Island in potato production, according to a Statistics Canada report released Friday. “The difference in productivity, the yield, between P.E.I. and those provinces is water, and the lack of ability of farmers to access water here on P.E.I. And that’s reflecting in our production,” said Greg Donald, executive director of the P.E.I. Potato Board.
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.
What a mess: Some British potato growers muddle through harvest after fifth-wettest October since 1862
Potato harvesting has once again been affected by wet weather, with widespread rainfall in recent weeks hampering grower efforts to get the crop out of the ground. According to the Met Office, the UK experienced the fifth-wettest October since 1862 last month. It included the wettest day on record for average rainfall (31.7mm) on 3 October. Key processors McCain and Lamb Weston both spoke of challenging conditions in East Anglia, parts of which saw close to 200% of their usual average rainfall in October.
The race is on to get this year
Canadian potato production will decline this year, possibly by six percent or more. Last year, Canadian farmers produced 106.4 million hundredweight of potatoes. The 2020 crop could be around 100 million cwt.