Latest potato news from around the World

Russian potato exports on the up, but imports still exceed exports

Roman Nekrasov, director of the crop production department of the Ministry of Agriculture in Russia reportedly said that in the first nine months of 2020, Russia exported 254,800 tons of potatoes (both table and seed), which is almost 36% more than in the same period last year. Nevertheless. while potato imports are declining, they still exceed Russian potato exports. Over the first nine months of 2020, 293,400 tons were imported into Russia (in 2019 the official figure provided is 298,300 tons). This means that it is necessary to develop the storage capacity of potatoes in Russia.

Read More

British potato packer boosts output with new equipment

One of the UK’s leading potato packers has seen a dramatic increase in productivity after investing in new machinery. Over the last six months, IPL, which is part of the ASDA family, has seen throughput increase by 25%. In February, the company doubled the number of GIC machines operating at its Scottish factory and has since seen productivity increase by 15% and mechanical downtime reduce by 2%. Kirsty Reid, Factory Manager at IPL Inchture, says: “Introducing the two new GIC machines to our line at IPL Inchture in February has been incredibly successful. We now operate four GIC8000s and as a result, the tonnage we can handle each hour has increased.

Read More

‘Potato-smart’: Idaho potato worker becomes Internet sensation and sends Fleetwood Mac sales soaring

When you’re on your way to work and your ride breaks down, you’ve got a couple of options. You can call a tow truck, call an Uber, or, if you’re like Nathan Apodaca, you can grab your bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice and your phone, hop on your longboard—and make a viral video that nearly breaks the Internet. As the old adage goes, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” Rather than miss his shift at the potato processing plant where he works when his 2005 Dodge Durango—with 330,000-plus miles on the odometer— quit on him last month, the 37-year-old father of two took matters into his own hands…

Read More

A changing market landscape in the British potato industry: What behavioural changes has Coronavirus driven?

Following an extraordinary few months for the industry, join the AHDB Retail & Consumer Insight team during a series of webinars, focused on reviewing how the market and consumers have changed during the coronavirus pandemic, and what opportunities and threats this now presents for AHDB sectors. Grace Randall joins Kim Malley for this webinar focused on potatoes, discussing how purchasing and consumption has been impacted by coronavirus, pulling out the opportunities and threats for the category in the future.

Read More

NPC CEO on accessing COVID relief aid; Potato Expo 2021 update

In the latest Eye on Potatoes podcast, NPC CEO Kam Quarles calls in to discuss how potato growers are accessing $14 billion in aid available through USDA’s new CFAP 2 program and the latest Congressional efforts to fund the government until early December. Kam also provides an update on Potato Expo 2021, currently scheduled for January 6-7 as an in-person and online hybrid event and NPC’s Annual Meeting, moved to coincide with February’s Potato D.C. Fly-In.

Read More

All hail the rise of the ‘climate-smart’ potato

The potential of the potato has only just begun to be realized, writes Sandra Cordon in an article published by Landscape News. Sandra writes that some 368 million metric tons of potatoes were harvested globally in 2019, as people from Vietnam to Kenya, the Peruvian Andes to Rwanda produced a wide variety of the root vegetable, helping feed an estimated 1.3 billion people who rely on them as a staple food. In step, researchers around the world are hurrying to find ways to increase the quality and yield from potato production through targeted varieties better suited to local weather and soil conditions.

Read More

Aussie potato squabbles: Good and bad news for Tasmanian potato growers on fresh potato imports

The review of the decision by Biosecurity Tasmania on fresh potato imports comes with a couple of modifications to the original decision which upset Tasmanian potato growers. Biosecurity Tasmania has also been given a slap on the wrist by Primary Industries Minister Guy Barnett for the way in which the decision was made without consultation. And the company which won the approval to bring potatoes into the state says the process to get the go ahead has been a waste of time as none wants to market the spuds.

Read More

India: PepsiCo to set up potato chips processing plant in Uttar Pradesh state

The food processing industry in India’s Uttar Pradesh (UP) is set to get a major boost with PepsiCo announcing a Rs 814 crore (approx 11mil US$) project for production of Lay’s potato chips, according to a report by the IANS news agency, published by Daijiworld.com. The processing plant will reportedly start commercial production by the middle of 2021. The company will also be sourcing potatoes as raw product from local sources and thereby helping local farmers. Once ready, the plant will be providing direct and indirect employment to about 1,500 people.

Read More

Upcoming event: HZPC Potato Days 2020 Live

Potato Days in the Netherlands is an internationally known event on the annual potato industry event schedule. Every year in November, the event is organized by several companies, including potato breeder HZPC. This year the event will be hosted as a virtual event on Wednesday, November 4th. The theme is “Let’s connect!” Professionals from across the potato chain will come together from all corners of the world virtually to experience the latest potato varieties and to network. The digital domain offers potato breeder HZPC many opportunities to help even participants to connect in creative ways.

Read More

Have you spotted Bud the Spud?

Potatoes’ versatility and health benefits have been highlighted during a three-month lockdown marketing campaign by AHDB, reports News Journalist Kelly Henaughen for The Scottish Farmer. From May to July, the levy-funded body brought back its Bud the Spud character to encourage consumers to rethink the way they saw potatoes in a continuation of the ‘More Than a Bit on the Side’ campaign.

Read More

Brexit reality dawns for Ireland’s potato growers

The potato trade in Ireland has been warned to have all seed potatoes for next year’s crop imported from Britain by December 31, according to a report by Declan O’Brien, published in the Independent. A trade notice issued by the Department of Agriculture said imports of “certified seed and ware potatoes” from Britain will be prohibited from the end of 2020 when the UK leaves the EU.

Read More

GROPRO: Providing growers with the efficacy needed for an organic IPM program

The importance of organic production in the USA continues to rise with total sales of organic products in 2019 hitting $55 billion. Currently, it’s the biggest global market for organic products (# 2 is Germany and #3 is France). To meet this growing market demand, GROP. a USA based producer and supplier of bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers, has been approved for 6 OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) listed materials. With these certifications, GROPRO brings a wide and effective portfolio into the organic agricultural market.

Read More

Australia: Former plant protection officer delivers review into potato imports into Tasmania

Approval to grant a South Australian company a licence to import potatoes into Tasmania will remain unchanged following an independent review, according to a report by Caitlin Jarvis of The Exminer. Jarvis reports that former federal chief plant protection officer and plant pathologist Lois Ransom handed her findings into the controversial decision on Monday. Ms Ransom found the decision to approve a conditional import licence for “ware potatoes” – or potatoes for human consumption – to Mitolo Group was technically sound.

Read More

US: Ongoing drought shrinks Aroostook County potato yields

This year’s potato harvest was met with an unrelenting drought that diminished crops and tied up water resources for Aroostook County, Maine farmers. “We’re in trouble,” said Kevin Grass as he steered a 15-ton potato harvester forward while jotting down notes on the crop and monitoring his crew — tasks he’s come to master simultaneously over the last 30 years. “Our yields are way off.” Potato yields at Grass Farms are down a third this year, and its seasoned farmers point to the drought as the driving force. “I’ve seen dry spells but nothing like this,” said Duane Grass, 77, a third-generation potato farmer.

Read More

The Glasgow potato project bringing people together

Ada, husband Martin and their twins Gemma and Mark have spent this strangest of summers taking part in An Empty Gunny Bag Cannot Stand, an ingenious food-growing project dreamt up by Angus Farquhar and Rudy Kanhye of Aproxima Arts. It culminated in a fantastic harvest event, featuring music and performance by Mischief-La-Bas, and free chips. Ada Stewart adds: “This project has been a light of sunshine in months of uncertainty. The team’s determination and hard work to make this happen is a great inspiration for us and the kids.

Read More

Drought dries up potato harvest revenue in Canada’s New Brunswick province

With the harvest season underway, the impact of summer’s drought-like conditions is being unearthed in New Brunswick. Due to a lack of rainfall during the growing season, potato farmers say their yields are down significantly for fall 2020. Like many industries, the potato industry has been hit hard during a most unusual year. The first blow came earlier in the year – caused by COVID-19 and restaurant shutdowns; the second came from Mother Nature with arid weather during the summer months.

Read More

Potato research projects benefit from Idaho ag dept annual specialty crop program

Interest in the Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s annual specialty crop program was up considerably this year compared with last year. Sean Ellis of the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation reports that ISDA has announced it will award a total of $1.8 million this year to 17 different projects that aim to benefit specialty crop growers in Idaho. The University of Idaho, Idaho Potato Commission, and Idaho State University received grants for a variety of projects.

Read More

British planted potato area one of the lowest on record

According to AHDB figures released yesterday, the 2020 GB planted potato area is one of the lowest on record seeing a 2.3% year-on-year drop. In a news report, AHDB says the total 2020 planted GB area (revised estimate) is 117.47Kha. This updated estimate indicates a drop in planted area of 2.3% compared to last year and represents the GB area covered by over 90% of producers. This puts the planted area for 2020 as the third smallest on record, behind only 2016 and 2017. The driving force behind the drop is mainly the processing sector, but also the fresh bags sector with a combined reduction of 4.1Kha.

Read More

Student power: Idaho high school athletes double as farm hands for spud harvest

Wake up in time to get to practice at 6:45 a.m., work up to a 15-hour day harvesting potatoes, and then go to sleep to get up and do it again. That’s the life of a high school athlete in Southeast Idaho for weeks during the potato harvesting season known to locals as spud harvest, writes Koster Kennard of the Rexburg Standard Journal in an article published by Farm and Ranch. He writes that despite the fact that they have to go to practice several times a week, these athletes are some of the local potato farmer’s best employees.

Read More

Pakistan to produce disease-resistant potato tubers using tissue culture technology

Tissue culture technology is being widely used for large-scale plant multiplication and gives a science-based solution for plant propagation, disease elimination and plant improvement, said Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan during an agreement signing ceremony between PARC and UAE-based Green System Pakistan Pvt Limited.

Read More

Family with deep Idaho roots creates ‘Real Idaho Potato Chips’

It’s no secret Idaho is known for its potatoes, but when it comes to potato chips, most are grown somewhere else. That’s something a Treasure Valley family decided to change, reports Karen Lehr for IdahoNews6. Brothers Marc and Kyle Nehring put their heads together a few years ago and set out to create an authentic, savory potato chip made from real Idaho potatoes. Fast forward to present day, and their Idaho “Real Potato Chips” can be found on store shelves across the Treasure Valley.

Read More

British potato farmer stars in new ‘Map my McDonald’s’ campaign

A Suffolk farmer is at the forefront of a promotional campaign by fast food giant McDonald’s highlighting its commitment to UK produce. Andrew Francis, who runs the farm operation at the Earl of Iveagh’s Elveden Estate near Thetford and supplies the chain with potatoes – features in a new Map My McDonald’s interactive tool which allows customers to see some of its army of 23,000 British and Irish farmer suppliers.

Read More

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

Kindly support our Advertisers – they make all of this possible…

Lockwood Mfg

Kiremko Strata Invicta

GRIMME

Tolsma

Agrico

Wyma

Restrain

Parkland

AVR

Kooljet

Volm Companies

Haith

Tomra Food

Greentronics

Receive email notifications when we publish news items on PNT

Please enter your email address below to receive email notifications when new posts are published.

Archive of monthly posts

Follow PNT on Twitter