Latest news stories from around the World

Idaho Steel nominated for ‘Coolest Thing Made in Idaho’ honor

Idaho Steel is excited to participate the 2021 ‘Coolest Thing Made in Idaho’ Campaign. In celebration of National Manufacturing Day and Idaho Manufacturing Month in October, the Idaho Manufacturing Alliance (IMA) is presenting a virtual campaign to spotlight some of the great manufacturers in the state. Idaho Steel has been nominated for the Nex-Gem Rotary Former.

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KFC in Japan suspends sale of fries due to import problems

Japan KFC Holdings announced on October 8 that Kentucky French fries and other potato products are temporarily suspended for sale. KFC says in the notice: “Currently, imports of goods are delayed due to the disruption of the global distribution network due to the effects of the new coronavirus infection. Therefore, ‘potato’ may be temporarily suspended at some stores.”

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Philippine potato project supports growers with Canadian seed and training

A project run by Universal Robina Corp (URC) and the Philippine government has provided a valuable boost to the country’s potato growers during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2018 URC partnered with the government to launch the Sustainable Potato Programme to provide growers with quality potato seed, training and research.

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‘Basics of irrigation’ the theme of next World Potato Congress webinar

The World Potato Congress is pleased to announce the resumption of its webinar series. Its first Fall webinar will feature a presentation by Yechiam Gets, Crop Model Agronomist with Netafim. It is scheduled for November 11, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard time (USA/Canada). The presentation is titled “Basics of irrigation for processing potatoes and irrigation scheduling”.

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Ireland has its first dedicated potato supplier to chippers

Meadowfresh Foods in Tallow, Co. Waterford and O’Shea Farms/Iverk Produce, based in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, have joined forces to become Ireland’s first dedicated fresh chipping potato packer and distributor. Over the past two years, they have engaged with Bord Bia, Teagasc, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and the Irish Farmers Association to support the chipping potato project. They have now proceeded to grow specific crops for the Irish chip shop channel.

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Lamb Weston’s top and bottom lines heading in different directions

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc.’s top and bottom lines headed in different directions during the first quarter of fiscal 2022. Sales rose 13% as foodservice and institutional businesses recovered around the world, but the company’s net income fell 67% for the quarter. “In the US, we continue to be encouraged by the pace of recovery in restaurant traffic and demand for fries,” Thomas P. Werner, president and chief executive officer said.

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Tong talks automation and optical sorting at British Potato show

Tong Engineering, a leading potato and vegetable handling equipment manufacturer, and sponsor of the BP2021 British Potato exhibition will be showcasing equipment advances from field to pack, as well as the latest technologies in automation and optical sorting, at the UK’s largest biannual potato event in November. Tong will discuss how the latest equipment developments can address the real challenges currently facing vegetable producers, by minimising labour requirements whilst maximising capacity and yield.

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Potatoes in eastern Canada faring well, the west sees yield impact of excessive heat

Potato harvest is well underway in Canada, with varying results from a near-record harvest to too-short in supply. “Moving from east to west, the season is always later. We have more time in the east to allow the crop to get harvested before winter sets in, in a normal year,” says Kevin MacIsaac, of United Potato Growers of Canada. After three years of below average crops in the area due to warm, dry conditions, a good quality crop is welcome for farmers on the East Coast. Heading into Western Canada, the drought has been detrimental to yields.

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McCain Foods Tasmania installs Pulsemaster PEF-tech innovation, reduces water use by more than 100,000 litres per day

McCain Foods has installed proprietary world-leading technology in the form of a Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) generator, as part of the company’s latest upgrade to its Smithton plant in Tasmania. The plant has reduced water usage this year by more than 100,000 litres per day, and the PEF system will also save the plant approximately 276 tonnes of carbon each year, and around 33,000 gigajoules of energy due to the increased efficiency and reduced wastage.

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It’s shaping up to be a banner year for Maine potatoes

Like a good poker player, Don Flannery, president of the Maine Potato Board, is playing it close to the vest in terms of this year’s potato harvest. He’s not about to call it a record year — yet. But with about 80 percent of this season’s potatoes out of the ground, the longtime industry expert said yields are shaping up to be above average.

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HZPC reports on positives after challenging corona year

HZPC realised that the financial year 2020/2021 would be difficult. Last year, the potato distributor was operating in a global economic recession. With enormous consequences for both multiple corporate sectors and for HZPC. However, there are always positives. Even now. “We have seen a rise in volume sales, we are proud to have started the Connective Growers programme and we are delighted with the efforts made to realise a competitive price for our growers,” says HZPC CEO, Gerard Backx.

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Potato prices in South Africa doubled over the past year

Prices for potatoes in South Africa have seen a massive spike over the past year, setting a new record high. Last week, a bag of 10kg potatoes surged 13% and reached a staggering R97.09 ( about US$6,50) due to low supply from farmers. Market analyst Johnny van der Merwe said the cost of potatoes is now as much as 102% higher than this time last year.

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Essential tips for successful long-term potato storage

Bayer Crop Science in the UK posted an article on their blog earlier this week related to potato storage good practices. The article focuses on five main considerations for growers, saying that there is more to the long-term storage of potatoes than sprout suppressants. These considerations include store hygiene, box stacking, air movement, store intake and tuber diseases.

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‘Root Zero’: Carbon neutral potatoes from Puffin Produce a UK first

The home of the much-loved Pembrokeshire potato has added a new iconic product to supermarket shelves with the launch of the UK’s first carbon neutral potato. ‘Root Zero’ planet friendly potatoes are grown in Pembrokeshire by Puffin Produce. The spuds are certified carbon neutral and grown using sustainable farming practices to remove carbon dioxide, create healthy soil and increase local biodiversity.

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Packaging: GIC’s continuous motion machines come of age at British Potato show

A British manufacturer of packaging machines will celebrate 18 years of developing continuous motion machines at this year’s British Potato show. Gainsborough Industrial Controls (GIC) are a designer and manufacturer of vertical form fill and seal (VFFS) packaging machine solutions. GIC will be marking the anniversary of its continuous motion machines by displaying its latest GIC3100 model on its stand at the November British Potato show.

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CIPC in the crossfire: Challenges and possible alternatives

A recent paper in the journal Potato Research highlights the chlorpropham (CIPC) ban and the weaknesses and limited sustainability of global and local systems based on synthetically produced substances. But what are the current alternatives to CIPC? This article summarizes the findings of an Agroscope study of alternative sprout inhibitors.

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NASS report: Potatoes sold by Pacific Northwest states valued at $1,82bn

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released a report containing detailed statistics on the value of the 2020 crop sold in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, as well as figures related to total yield, quantity of potatoes used for processing, and more. The final value of Idaho’s 2020 potato crop sold was $912 million, down 5 percent from 2019.

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Haith to launch next generation Rota-tip machine at British Potato 2021

With over 170 machines sold, Haith’s Rota-tip range is the potato industry’s most popular box tippler, and visitors to this year’s British Potato event will be the first to see the next generation of the class-leading machine. The Rota-tip PRO, which has had a patent application granted, will take centre stage on Haith’s stand on 24 and 25 November.

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U.S. potato sales strong in marketing year ‘unlike any other ever experienced’

The marketing year that ended in June 2021 was unlike any year the potato industry has ever experienced, says Potatoes USA in a news release issued today. “With pandemic restrictions ebbing and flowing from June 2020 to July 2021, sales at foodservice fluctuated while retail purchases remained extremely strong throughout the year,” the industry body says.

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Deprez’ Maestro XL+S: A unique mobile machine for handling large potato bins

Potato storage in bins offer 100% traceability and are finding more and more advantages for various reasons, resulting in an increasing demand for 2 tonne bins, according to Kristof Vanderhaeghe, sales engineer at Belgium based equipment specialist company Deprez Handling Solutions. Kristof says that Deprez’ Maestro XL+S machine, with a capacity of up to 125 t/h handles potatoes exceptionally gentle and reduces the bin movements by up to 84%. 

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One in 100,000: Breeders in Rhinelander seek the next commercial potato variety

Last Thursday, Jeffrey Endelman stood in a windy field east of Rhinelander and fished a diagram out of his fanny pack. “I’m continuing my selections in family number 91, at the moment, as I round the corner,” he explained to Ben Meyer of WXPR. Endelman was inspecting some of the 170 tillable acres at UW-Madison’s Rhinelander Agricultural Research Station. Over the decades, UW-Madison’s program has become one of the premier potato breeding programs in the country.

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GRIMME UK promising a British Potato Show to remember

Visitors to this year’s British Potato Show are expected to make a b-line for GRIMME UK’s renowned hospitality (and to find out about the latest innovations in machinery!) As well as having members of its own sales team on-stand, the Gold sponsor will also be joined by sales engineers from Haith Group as part of the two companies strategic working agreement.

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HZPC’s new online potato calculator offers potato specialists tailor-made variety choices

HZPC customers are the experts of their own environment. They know which circumstances they are dealing with and which potato characteristics are. HZPC developed an online tool with which customers can easily convert their knowledge and experience into tailor-made solutions – a digital calculator that finds the potato variety that gives the highest yield: the new Even Greener tool.

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Potato markets buoyant in Ireland, European yields ‘average at best’

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reports that markets and consumption in Ireland remain buoyant as consumers are back to work and school. Colder weather has also stabilised retail sales. Across Europe, first harvester liftings of maincrop indicate that yields are only going to be average at best and wastage levels are likely to be higher than normal, due to the adverse growing conditions this year.

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RNA-based biopesticide technology delivers 98% mortality of Colorado potato beetle

Renaissance BioScience Corp., a leading global bioengineering company, is pleased to announce that an independent test of its environmentally safe, RNA-based biopesticide technology conducted on Colorado potato beetle (CPB) larvae resulted in 98.3% mortality and greatly reduced the amount of plant damage caused by the beetle. The proof-of-concept test applied Renaissance’s proprietary yeast-based RNA interference technology.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor & Publisher

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