Weather/Climate

Frost causes heavy damage to potato, vegetable crops in northern India

Potato farmers in the northern parts of the country have suffered heavy crop losses due to ground frost owing to the fall in temperatures in the last week. In some fields, the damage has been between 30-40 per cent. For farmers who planted some of the late varieties, sown in late November or early December, the damage has been as high as 80 per cent of the crop.

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‘A world rapidly warming’: The past eight years were the eight warmest on record for planet

The last eight years have been the eight warmest on record as the growing concentration of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere pushes global temperatures toward a dangerous tipping point, a new report shows. As Ivana Kottasová reports for CNN, an analysis by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service published on Tuesday said that 2022 was the fifth-warmest year for the planet since records began.

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Australian supermarkets place buying limit on frozen chips

Australian supermarket giant Coles has introduced a two-item limit on frozen chips after flooding across the eastern coast impacted the supply of potatoes, according to a report by 1News. A Coles spokesperson told Nine that the limit, beginning on December 15, will likely be lifted within months. “Poor weather in the eastern states has affected supply of some frozen potato products across the industry,” they said.

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Rantizo: Drone crop spraying offers tools to better manage drought, input costs

With input costs encroaching on farmers’ profit potential this year, precision application is a key opportunity to limit expenses and improve yields amidst drought conditions. Zach Hanner, trial manager at Rantizo, says there are several scenarios where farmers can lose yield and revenue during a drought. According to Hanner, producers should consider drone spraying to navigate these drought-related scenarios.

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‘Our second-worst year in 80 years’, says Canadian potato farmer

Variable precipitation had an impact on this year’s potato crop in southwestern Ontario province in Canada, especially if the operator didn’t have irrigation. At Brenn-B Farms in Waterdown, co-owner Shawn Brenn reported that his 750-acre potato crop yield plummeted to about 9 tonnes per acre, down from the usual 15-17 tonnes, as Nelson Zandbergen reports for Farmers Forum.

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ADAPT: Field trials conducted in Austria to find stress-tolerant potato varieties

The Horizon 2020 EU project Accelerated Development of multiple-stress tolerAnt PoTato (ADAPT) aims at developing new strategies to make potatoes fit for the challenging growth conditions of the future. A total of 16 varieties were selected for trials in Austria with a focus on representing abiotic stress resistance. Eleven varieties obtained from potato breeders involved in ADAPT, namely HZPC, Solana, Meijer and NOES, are also being tested for drought and heat tolerance in Spain and the Netherlands.

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Australia ‘very likely’ to face potato shortage in coming months

It’s “very likely” Australia will face a potato shortage in coming months, the vice-president of horticulture at the Victorian Farmers’ Federation has warned. Kathryn Myers from the Victorian Farmers’ Federation says recent wet weather means farmers haven’t been able to plant potato crops. “It’s just not been possible to get tractors on the ground to work up our paddocks to put potatoes in,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell in an interview.

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IFA: Harvest conditions in Ireland ‘very poor’, European growers push for sales to avoid storage costs

Retail sales and consumption have picked up and stabilised in Ireland since the weather has deteriorated. According to the Irish Farmers Association’s (IFA) weekly market report, harvest conditions remain very poor following heavy rainfall. Across Europe in the fresh consumption sector, a good steady demand is reported, with values in Germany edging higher. While markets are currently flat, growers are pushing for sales to avoid storage costs.

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HandWiki article: ‘Climate Change and Potatoes’

In an extensive article published on the HandWiki website, it is said that climate change is predicted to have significant effects on global potato production. Like many crops, potatoes are likely to be affected by changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, temperature and precipitation, as well as interactions between these factors.

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Potato supply in Tasmania impacted by wet harvesting conditions, growers worried about planting season

Supplies of fresh potatoes in Tasmania’s supermarkets are low, with a major grower forced to temporarily halt harvesting as weather conditions make it too wet to get tractors onto paddocks. Meanwhile, Tasmania’s potato chip processors in the state’s north and their growers are feeling nervous about the continuing wet conditions. Farmers growing for big companies Simplot and McCain have about two weeks left to plant if they want good harvests next year.

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Climate change: Specialist warns of future ‘existential threat’ to the British potato industry

The humble potato may struggle to grow in the UK in years to come due to climate change, researchers have warned. The James Hutton Institute (JHI) at Invergowrie, just outside Dundee, is now trying to find varieties that will grow in warmer conditions. Prof Lesley Torrance, the JHI research organisation’s executive director of science, warned that climate change posed an “existential threat” to the potato industry.

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Idaho potatoes, hurt by smoky skies in wildfire season, give researchers clues to crops’ climate future

As increasing heat makes fire seasons longer and more intense, a team of scientists is looking to this U.S. state to see what might happen to potato yields – and their findings could have huge implications for North America’s food supply. The research group is midway through a two-year study designed to tease out how smoke affects everything from the size of a potato tuber to its chemical composition, from its durability in storage to the colour of the French fries it yields.

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Hot potato! Canadian research into heat-tolerant potatoes builds on award-winning study

Helping producers find potato varieties that are more resistant to the potential disruption to growth caused by extreme heat is critical for ensuring the sustainability and profitability of potato production in Canada. Recognizing this need, Dr. Xiu-Qing Li, an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientist has been studying heat-stress in potatoes for years, leading to a number of breakthroughs in recent years.

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Largest grant in Univ of Idaho history to incentivize climate-smart agriculture

University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is set to receive up to $55 million — the largest award in the university’s history — to help Idaho farmers and ranchers combat climate change through agricultural practices. U of I’s grant will directly benefit more than 100 Idaho farmers and ranchers. Research will focus on the state’s staple commodities, such as potatoes, beef, sugar, wheat, barley, hops and chickpeas. The grant will drive climate-smart practices on about 10% of Idaho’s active cropland.

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Shoppers warned of shorter chips after heatwave and drought blights Britain’s potato crops

Farmers warned supermarkets will be selling shorter chips and smaller potatoes after a lack of rain this summer impacted crops. Tim Rooke, chair of the National Farmers Union’s potato forum, said the industry had struggled. He said the summer had been “very difficult” for the industry, with the yield for those who had not been able to irrigate their crops down between 25 percent and 40 percent.

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British potato yields suffer in the dry with high storage costs to come

Potato yields in Britain are down significantly this season due to the hot, dry spring and early summer weather, and for growers putting spuds into cold storage there is the double whammy of higher electricity costs along with lower tuber numbers. The cost of electricity was about £21-22/t for long-term storage on the farm last year, says Mark Means in Norfolk. This season prices had reached £82/t.

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British potato and onion grower hit by eye-watering rises in storage costs

A Suffolk potato and onion grower is facing eye-watering costs to dry and store his harvested vegetables over winter. Woodbridge farmer James Foskett says potato storage costs will see big increases from about £30/t to £80-90/t for these. “So, the energy charges will really start to bite,” he says. “There’s slightly less energy used in storing potatoes and we don’t store them as long,” he says. Most will go in January to February.

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Study to determine impact of wildfire smoke on Idaho potato crops, seeks to identify smoke-resilient varieties

A two-year study by Boise State University and University of Idaho probes how wildfire smoke affects potato crops and seeks to identify smoke-resilient potato varieties. “Observations from industry started all of this. When we have had bad, smoky years, yields are down and processing quality is down. Our hypothesis is smoke exposure causes that,” said Mike Thornton, a professor in U of I’s Department of Plant Sciences.

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Met Éireann: Potato blight warning in place until next week

Met Éireann has said that a Status Yellow warning for potato blight is set to remain in place for Ireland until next week. The national forecaster noted that weather conditions conducive to the spread of the disease will remain across many parts of Ireland through to Tuesday (September 13).

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Heat stress hits British potato yields

British potato crops have paid a heavy penalty as a result of this summer’s record-breaking temperatures and drought. First digs from this year’s Quantis heat-stress biostimulant field trials suggest yields may be over 30% lower in untreated crops. The total tuber numbers in marketable size grades have been on average 34% greater in the treated areas, reported Syngenta Technical Manager, Andy Cunningham.

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The new normal? How Europe is being hit by a climate-driven drought crisis

Europe’s most severe drought in decades is hitting homes, factories, farmers and freight across the continent, as experts warn drier winters and searing summers fueled by global heating mean water shortages will most likely become “the new normal,” as Jon Henley and Guardian correspondents report in this news article.

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Drought will mean poor quality potato crop and financial losses, British farmers say

The drought that has been declared for parts of England will result in a poor quality potato crop and significant financial losses, farmers have said, according to a news report by Claudia Rowan for the Independent. She reports that one livestock farmer said the dry conditions will lead to “inevitable” shortages, while a potato farmer said his crops are dying in front of him “every day now”.

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‘We need rain’: Mexican farmers ravaged by northern drought

Just 10% of Mexico’s dams are now full, with many seeing levels drop below half or lower, according to official data, as Jose Luis Gonzalez reports for Reuters. July was the second hottest month in Mexico since 1953. Rivers have dried up to reveal cracked beds. Fields that should be teeming are bare. The earth is so dry that young crops are wilting. Surviving cattle are bony, their ribs protruding.

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‘Very scary’: European agriculture hit hard by climate change and drought

With Europe suffering through an extreme drought worsened by climate change that has dried up rivers and left millions sweltering in triple-digit heat this summer, farmers across the continent are sounding warnings about crop losses, as Melissa Rossi reports for Yahoo News. Nearly two-thirds of the territory in the 27-country European Union is either dealing with drought or is poised to enter one.

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