Latest news stories from around the World

Interpom 2022: Dewulf to showcase several potato and root crop machines

Interpom 2022 is just around the corner, and equipment manufacturer Dewulf will display several of its innovative machines during the event from 27 to 29 November. This will be the first time Dewulf will bring the Miedema Structural 4000 Smart-Float to an in person trade fair. Several widely recognised favourites within the harvester range and planting and storage technology will also be heading to the international potato fair in Kortrijk.

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NEPG: Total 2022 production down 6%, planted acreage expected to go down in 2023

Production in the North Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) member countries is said to be down by 6% this year compared to last year. Planted acreage is expected to go down in 2023 because of rising production and storage costs in the four member countries – Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands (EU-4). On average in the NEPG zone, between October 2021 and October this year, electricity prices have gone up on average by 280% (ranging from 50 to 500% increase).

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New AFFI research reveals increased use of frozen foods by foodservice operators

New research finds that more than 90% of foodservice operators use frozen foods in their menus, with the healthcare, convenience store and fast casual categories reporting the greatest increase in use since 2019. Forty percent of foodservice operators surveyed reported purchasing more frozen foods than they did in 2019. A large majority of operators report purchasing frozen vegetables (83% of operators), potato products (78%) and fruits (76%).

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New report on ‘Agricultural Sustainability and Food Production’ released

In collaboration with William Masters at Tufts University, Chris Said from Apollo Academic Surveys asked leaders, fellows, and awardees of the American Society of Agronomy, the American Society of Animal Science, and the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association about their views on agriculture and food production. The results of the survey was publish by Apollo Academic Surveys in a report on October 7, 2022.

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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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After USDA risk assessment, NPC urges increased protections to prevent Prince Edward Island potato wart spread

On Thurs., Nov. 10, the National Potato Council (NPC) in the U.S. and a dozen state potato associations issued a letter to USDA Undersecretary of Marketing and Regulatory Services Jenny Moffitt calling on the department to work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to develop new phytosanitary protocols to prevent the spread of potato wart from Prince Edward Island to U.S. growing areas. USDA concluded the disease is “almost certain to be introduced” to the United States without additional mitigation measures.

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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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RNA-based Colorado potato beetle product hopes for 2023 registration

More help is on the way for U.S. farmers who struggle to control Colorado potato beetle, as Tim Hammerich of the Ag Information Network reports in a ‘Farm of the Future’ report. Greenlight Biosciences has reportedly developed an RNA-based pesticide alternative that chief commercial officer Mark Singleton says is highly targeted, environmentally-friendly, and safe for consumers.

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APHIS posts new PCN Eradication Program report

APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Pale Cyst Nematode (PCN) Eradication Program in Idaho has posted its 2022 third quarter report (July 1 – September 30). The report updates program activities and eradication progress, and provides quarterly and aggregate regulatory, survey, and laboratory data.

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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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Canada: Latest CFIA update on potato wart – 30,000 soil samples and counting

Warm, dry fall weather helped the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to continue soil sampling for potato wart, other than a short delay because of post-tropical storm Fiona. CFIA posts a quarterly update on the investigation into potato wart, and the latest report from October shows the agency has now collected almost 30,000 samples, and analyzed almost 20,000 of them.

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Lamb Weston stock ‘thrives amid economic downturn’, according to investment specialist

Few areas of the stock market have managed to stay above the selling in 2022 outside of the booming energy sector. Lamb Weston stock didn’t just avoid the fall, it has climbed over 30% YTD to hit new 52-week highs recently, as it thrives amid an economic downturn, according to Benjamin Rains, reporting for Zacks.com earlier today. He says the company grew its revenue by 14% year-on-year to $1.13 billion.

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A ‘Star Trek’ for potatoes: Can McCain’s hi-tech farm in Canada save french fries from the climate crisis?

Researchers are reportedly flocking to Canada’s New Brunswick province to test both cutting-edge and bygone methods of spud cultivation to meet a challenging future. McCain’s “Farm of the Future” in the province is one of a series of laboratories the company plans to roll out across the world as it tests what practices are best suited to saving potatoes, while cutting the company’s carbon emissions. The model farm feels like a little like ‘Star Trek’ for potatoes.

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Potato market in the U.S. running hot with holiday demand, shorter crop

Strong demand and higher pricing characterized the potato market in early November, and tight market conditions are expected to continue through the holidays, as Tom Karst reports for The Packer magazine. Lower acreage for fresh market potatoes in Idaho this year, combined with active demand from frozen potato processors, have contributed to higher pricing for this year’s crop. Elevated pricing at both the farm level and at retail are expected in a short crop year.

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Lutosa opens new flakes factory in Belgium with €45 million investment by McCain

On Thursday 3 November 2022, potato processing company Lutosa officially inaugurated its new flakes factory in Leuze-en-Hainaut in Belgium. This new, fully integrated facility represents a €45 million investment by McCain Foods in this strategic segment of the potato industry. 10% of the total investment is dedicated to improving the environmental impact.

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‘Gourmet treats’ in store for potato lovers in Northern Ireland, says Wilson’s Country managing director

Northern Ireland’s potato lovers can look forward to an ongoing treat over the coming months, such is the quality of the 2022 harvest. Wilson’s Country managing director Lewis Cunningham said “the eating quality of the potato is fantastic and we can all look forward to enjoying floury potatoes with exceptional taste and flavour over the coming months.” Kyle Greer, the Executive Chef at Belfast’s Europa Hotel, agreed.

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Webinar: Potato specialist to present on ‘An Autotrophic Hydroponic System (SAH)

The World Potato Congress Inc. is pleased to present its fifth webinar this year on November 17 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard time (USA/Canada) in English followed by the presentation in Spanish. Dr. Marcelo Huarte from Argentina will present on ‘An Autotrophic Hydroponic System (SAH)’. Dr. Huarte will compare this system with the traditional tissue culture (TC) technique, and point out the advantages of SAH over TC.

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Wisconsin father-son team ‘dig in for potato success’

Steve and Andy Diercks recently were presented an Honorary Recognition Award from the University of Wisconsin-College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The father-son team own and operate Coloma Farms of Coloma, Wisconsin. “It’s quite an honor and we’re proud to receive it, but there are a lot of other people who have helped (the industry) just as much,” Steve Diercks said.

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Survey seeks outlook from potato and onion marketers in the U.S.

A survey from The Packer magazine is seeking input for the publication’s Nov. 14 “Potato and Onion Marketing” section, as Tom Karst, Editor Emeritus at The Packer reports. Marketers who handle potatoes and/or onions are encouraged to give their perspectives on their company’s respective market plans and outlook.

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Boost to organic production: USDA to invest $300 million in new Organic Transition Initiative

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced details of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) $300 million investment in a new Organic Transition Initiative that will help build new and better markets and streams of income for farmers and producers. USDA says organic production allows producers to hold a unique position in the marketplace and thus take home a greater share of the food dollar.

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New Univ of Idaho Extension bulletin focuses on devastating potato disease – bacterial ring rot

University of Idaho Extension has published a new bulletin to help potato farmers recognize the symptoms of bacterial ring rot (BRR) and protect their operations from the devastating crop disease. UI Extension Seed Potato Specialist Kasia Duellman hopes the bulletin will remind commercial and seed potato farmers to maintain good sanitation practices and remain vigilant for symptoms. She warns ring rot “can be an existential crisis for a seed potato grower’s business”.

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Managing PCN: 6 key actions for success

Bayer Crop Science in the UK recently published an insightful article on its website, providing potato growers with advice on the management of potato cyst nematodes (PCN). According to information published in the article, the first step to effectively managing potato-cyst nematodes is to sample soils to identify the species present and the population density. This is best done after the potato crop is harvested when test results will be most accurate. Testing pre-planting is also a useful management tool.

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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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PepsiCo invests $40 million in Ethiopian chip production subsidiary

PepsiCo is investing $40 million in Ethiopian subsidiary Senselet, which produces the potato chip brand SUN Chips. The investment will fund the construction of an additional potato chip production line and a new snack production line inside the brand’s existing facilities, as Gloria Cowdin reports for Baking Business.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor & Publisher

Lockwood Mfg

Urschel

PULSEMASTER

GRIMME

Dewulf

ELEA

CROP.ZONE

Restrain

HarvestEye

INTERFRIES

SOLANUM INTERNATIONAL

Volm Companies

Kiremko Strata Invicta

AVR

Wyma Solutions

SCOTTS GT170 Windrower Conversion Kit

Greentronics

Idaho Steel

AgroScout

FAM Stumabo

TOMRA Food

FAM Stumabo

Haith

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