Global News

New herbicide approved for control of broadleaf and grass weeds in potato crops in New Zealand

A new herbicide that controls potato weeds, like black nightshade, has been approved by the Environmental Protection Authority for use in New Zealand, subject to certain conditions. Boxer Gold is intended to be used as a herbicide for the treatment of broadleaf and grass weeds in potato crops. Benefits identified in the application process for this product include reduced resistance in weeds, leading to bigger potato crops, and more product choice for farmers.

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Australian family farm has three generations of history with McCain

Callum Murphy is a Ballarat potato grower whose family’s relationship with McCain Foods Ballarat spans three generations. Callum, his father, and his grandfather have worked with McCain for 40 years to streamline production and create a relationship that is mutually beneficial. Callum Murphy of AP Murphy and Sons in Dunstown is proud to uphold his family’s relationship with McCain Ballarat for the third consecutive generation. “The relationship has been solid and it’s reliable to work with McCain. We work with them each year to improve output,” Callum says.

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AVR’s foldable ridger meets demand for mechanical weed control

Mechanical weed control is more and more becoming an essential part of farmers cultivation practices, and is no longer limited to biological cultivation only. For years now, AVR has been successfully designing and selling its combination ridging machine, which consists of a base chassis with a characteristic ‘weight transfer’ system, to which different elements can be added. This way the machine can be used as a speed ridger, hoe-rake ridger or an ‘eco ridger’. AVR introduces a foldable version to be able to remove weeds from even more ridges in one working pass

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World Potato Congress Inc Industry Award Nominations now open

President and CEO of the World Potato Congress Inc. (WPC), Mr. Romain Cools, Belgium and the Chairman of the WPC Industry Awards Committee, Mr. Tamas Houlihan, Executive Director of the Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, Wisconsin, USA are pleased to announce that nominations are now being called for the 2021 World Potato Congress Industry Awards. The World Potato Congress Industry Awards is an important and prestigious event on the international potato scene. Prominent past Industry Award recipients include: Mr. J.R. Simplot and Mr. Harrison McCain.

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Improved market access for Aussie potatoes in Thailand

Australian potato farmers are enjoying improved access to the Thai market with two key commitments now realised under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA). Thailand has now implemented zero tariffs and the removal of tariff rate quotas that limited the volume that could access the lower TAFTA tariff rate for Australian seed and processing potatoes. Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the removal of limits was a boost for potato farmers.

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Resurgence in Northern Ireland’s potato consumption

The latest Kantar figures confirm that Northern Ireland’s potato packing sector has grown by 3.9% over the past year in terms of total turnover. All the sector’s key parameters: including frequency of purchase and volumes purchased per retail visit are all up with one very obvious exception, according to a report by Farming Life. Wilson’s Country managing director Lewis Cunningham takes up the story: “The average price of potatoes in the shops has fallen over the past 12 months.

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PepsiCo to increase investment in India’s Uttar Pradesh

PepsiCo India has decided to increase its investment from Rs 500 crore to Rs 800 crore [approx 106,6 mil USD] in Uttar Pradesh state. This would provide direct and indirect employment to over 1500 people in the state. Siddharth Kalhans of Business Standard reports. The UP MSME and export promotion minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that earlier PepsiCo was to invest Rs 500 crore [approx 66,7 mil USD] in the potato chips plant at Mathura – which has been increased now.

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CIP’s 2019 annual report celebrates a year of discovery, innovation and impact

Technology to accelerate potato breeding in Lima… state of the art tools to diagnose crop diseases in the fields of Uganda… and fresh hearty varieties to boost incomes for smallholder farmers in India. These are just a few of the accomplishments of the International Potato Center (CIP) in 2019, which is commemorating those feats, and others, in its annual report, released this week. The annual report presents compelling snapshots of CIP’s work with 161 partners in 19 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America, telling stories about relief work with sweetpotato in Mozambique and simple storage innovations that are putting more income in the pockets of Ethiopian farmers.

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Potato haulm destruction – take a hybrid approach without diquat

With many seed potato crops around Scotland coming up to size rapidly, potato growers are getting to grips with haulm destruction which will become part of the ‘new norm’ in the post-diquat era. The good news is that there are still viable options to bring down even vigorous canopies, but a change of mindset is needed. The industry standard is now to ‘flail-and-spray’. The canopy is destroyed with a pulveriser and one or more follow-up desiccant sprays are used to finish the job and to prevent regrowth.

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NPC targets Belgium and The Netherlands in its support for US tariff action against EU frozen fry imports

In late July, the National Potato Council (NPC) in the US sent a letter to the General Counsel at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), saying it “strongly supports USTR tariff action against EU frozen fries.” In the letter, NPC says in order to ensure the action is an appropriate enforcement mechanism, it is critically important that such action be broadened to include frozen fries from Belgium and the Netherlands, in addition to those countries already outlined.

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Eye on Potatoes podcast: NPC’s Federal Agency Farm Tour goes virtual

In the latest edition of Eye on Potatoes: More than 160 participants from EPA, USDA, and throughout the potato industry joined NPC’s virtual Agency Tour in July, gaining a better understanding of the pest challenges faced by potato growers across the nation in growing and delivering potatoes to market. NPC COO Mike Wenkel calls in to discuss the importance of the annual tour. Jim Ehrlich, Executive Director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee also joins the podcast to talk about potato production and crop protection tools utilized in the San Luis Valley.

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Crops, farmers on Canada’s Prince Edward Island struggling with dry fields

Farmers on Prince Edward Island are struggling in what they say is a very dry growing season, according to a report by the CBC. The Island has had a lot of hot, dry days and not much rain — in some cases, just 20 per cent of what’s normal. CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland says spring and summer have been very dry, especially in western P.E.I. The potato crop is struggling in some parts of the Island, as rainfall throughout the summer has been spotty.

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Video: Idaho potato growers reflect on the impact of COVID

Idaho’s potato season was promising at the beginning of the year. The Idaho Farm Bureau shows how the coronavirus pandemic changed everything. In a video interview with RFDTV, Randy Hardy with Hardy Farms says: “It was fantastic, clear up until the virus hit. I was telling people I farmed for 48 years waiting for a year like this because it was the perfect storm. …When the country shut down and COVID protocols were set in place, the market and consumer demand shifted….” Grower Merrill Hanny of Hanny Farms in Shelley is also interviewed.

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Spud Scoop: No late blight reported, PVY Risk Index values less than half of last year

The latest Spud Scoop newsletter was published yesterday. Spud Scoop is a growing season publication compiled by specialists at NDSU Extension and University of Minnesota, combining information for potato growers. Potato Extension Agronomist Dr Andy Robinson writes that no late blight has been reported in potato fields, however weather conditions are favorable for late blight. Early blight is becoming more prevalent. Aphid numbers have doubled over last week, causing the PVY Vector Risk Index to more than double this week. The good news is PVY Risk Index values are less than half what they were at this time last year.

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Potato Weekly: Will the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme energise potato trade?

In the August 7 issue of Potato Weekly, AHDB Analyst Anthony Speight writes that once again trade across the week can been described as relatively subdued in the UK. The Government’s new “Eat Out To Help Out” scheme started this week. The scheme is designed to encourage people to visit restaurants, cafes and pubs, which have been badly hit by the lockdown. Diners across the UK will be able to enjoy half-price meals at eat-in food and drink venues on Monday to Wednesdays at more than 72,000 venues. Speight writes that it’s still quite early to see if this will re-energise potato trade.

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Tong opens new manufacturing facility after 90 years in business

Tong Engineering is pleased to announce the completion and operation of its new manufacturing facility in Spilsby in the UK. The £3.6 million first phase building is part of a two-phase project on the seven-acre site and marks a new milestone in the company’s continuing growth and development programme. “At the beginning of the year, we knew that 2020 was set to be a landmark year for Tong. Opening a new factory after 90 years of business and what seems like 90 extensions to our existing factory, was always going to be very exciting,” says Edward Tong, Managing Director at Tong Engineering.

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The technology behind a new agricultural revolution

By 2050, Earth is projected to be home to ten billion people. To feed them, we will need to increase crop production by at least 60 percent, writes Matt Harman in this blog article published by ESRI. Yet climate change, water scarcity, and soil erosion will force us to rethink how we grow crops. And rampant urbanization, with so many people living far away from agricultural areas, will force us to find more efficient ways to distribute food. The third green revolution builds on established precision agriculture practices, while creating a larger picture of the agricultural landscape farmers are operating within.

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Managing waste potato piles

Outgrade potato piles can be a source of blight. In this article AHDB specialists in the UK are discussing blight control methods in outgrade and waste piles as well as best practice and tips for tackling this issue. Blight control does not start in the crop. It starts much earlier. Left uncontrolled, outgrade and waste piles act as a reservoir for blight infection. With ever changing genotypes within the blight populations, outgrade piles and volunteers can be an unwanted host for blight and a source of infection for commercial crops.

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Australia’s Mitolo gets green light to acquire Thomas Foods International potato business

Declining consumption of potatoes in Australia is not enough reason to block the sale of Thomas Foods International’s potato packing business to fellow South Australian-based rival Mitolo, says the national competition regulator. “Feedback from potato growers and other industry participants suggested if Mitolo sought to lower prices it paid growers, most producers would be able to switch to rival packing sheds,” said ACCC deputy chairman Mick Keogh.

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‘Game changer’: New potato variety on track to achieve 2 million tubers/ha

A next generation salad potato variety is on track to achieve 2 million tubers per hectare, bringing with it the potential to become a new market leader. according to a report by FarmingUK. The variety Jacky. developed by Agrico, is said to be on target to produce 2 million tubers per hectare with 65% sized 25-35mm yielding 50tonne/hectare overall. Jacky is a high-yielding second early potato variety. Bred to consistently produce round tubers below 45mm with pale yellow flesh, it is seen as ideal for the UK’s salad market.

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Market upturn in Canada means Cavendish deal now off the table

An agreement reached earlier this spring that would have seen Cavendish Farms receive $4.7 million from Prince Edward Island taxpayers to help store and transport processing potatoes will not be activated due to an uptake in restaurant sales. When the PEI deal was finalized in March, there were approximately 100 million pounds of processing potatoes in storage. Figures released by United Potato Growers of Canada in mid-July showed that figure had been reduced to 3,725 hundredweight (417,000 pounds).

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Market for food service remains flat in Ireland; low tuber numbers in early harvested crops

In the latest IFA potato market report published today, it is said that the market for the food service sector remains very flat as pubs and restaurants are slow to get going again. Retail demand has leveled off but remains positive. The early market is holding quite well and lifting continues along the east coast, however, there are more reports this week that tuber numbers are down. The NEPG expect the EU crop to be slightly higher this year. Plantings have increased by around 0.5%.

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Hi-tech potato industry boosts poverty alleviation in China

The potato industry in Ulanqab, dubbed the “potato city” of China, has become one of the main industries to help farmers shake off poverty. Located in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Ulanqab is an important national production hub for commercial potatoes and special potatoes for processing. The potatoes here originate from petri dishes in a laboratory. The laboratory can breed 150 million virus-free seedlings every year.

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Postdoc development of a decision-support system for potato production

Are you that enthusiastic researcher that likes to work on modelling and programming, and apply it to improve processes in crop production? ‘Yield gap analysis for sustainable potato production’ (Potato Gap NL) is a project funded by NWO and Holland Innovative Potato (HIP), an initiative of 10 companies active in the potato value chain and prominent global players in the fields of potato breeding and processing. Increases in potato yields in the Netherlands have been relatively small compared to other crops.

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Idaho Farm Bureau Federation: Revisions to farm relief program could help some potato growers

The recent revisions that USDA made to its coronavirus farm relief program are expected to provide some relief to potato farmers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Sean Ellis reports for the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation. The federal CFAP program, which was announced April 17, will provide $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers impacted by COVID. The initial parameters of the program meant Idaho spud farmers, as well as most wheat and barley growers, would have received little if any of the funds.

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Registration for the World Potato Congress 2021 in Dublin, Ireland is now open

The World Potato Congress Inc. is pleased to announce that the registration for the WPC 2021 to be held in Dublin, Ireland from May 31 to June 3, 2021 is now open. Individuals, accompanying persons and students can now register for the 2021 congress and view the Programme, Social Events & Tours offered and Sponsors & Exhibitors opportunities available. The registration process also provides accommodation options which can be booked as part of the congress registration. The early bird fee for registration deadline is January 31, 2021.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor/Publisher of Potato News Today


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