Latest news stories from around the World

NASA and NOAA: ‘Warmer now than in at least the past 2,000 years, probably longer’

The numbers are in: Earth is still running a fever. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their annual assessment of global temperatures and found that 2021 was the sixth warmest year on record. “It’s certainly warmer now than at any time in at least the past 2,000 years and probably much longer,” said Russell S. Vose, the climate analysis chief of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

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Korea’s E Green Global is using cell ag to change the way the world grows potatoes

When we hear the term ‘cellular agriculture’ these days, our minds typically wander to the production of cultivated meat and dairy. But similar techniques also have a part to play in growing fruits, vegetables, and other crops, writes Jack Ellis in an article published by AgFunder Network news. Ellis writes that South Korea’s E Green Global is starting out by creating potato seedlings from tissue cultures in the lab, and hopes to replicate the method with other crops in the near future.

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HZPC: The importance of healthy soil

HZPC says in a recent news article that the company’s growers know it better than anyone: a healthy soil is crucial for good potato growing. But a healthy soil offers more. It contributes to all the main pillars of HZPC in the field of sustainability. The talk HZPC had with grower Pieter Klaas Westerhuis from Usquert in Groningen, the Netherlands confirms this: “We don’t want to leave any problems behind for the next generation to solve”.

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Adrian Cunnington of Potato Storage Insight to work with Juno and Biox-M

Juno (Plant Protection) Ltd is delighted to announce that Adrian Cunnington, widely respected former head of the Sutton Bridge potato storage research facility, has agreed to work with Juno to support growers, store-keepers, agronomists and foggers in delivering optimum efficacy from the use of Biox-M. Biox-M is 100% spearmint oil, approved for use as a potato sprout suppressant.

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Technico Agri Sciences certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’

echnico Agri Sciences Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC Limited, is now a Great Place to Work-Certified company by the Great Place to Work Institute. The Certification is recognized around the world by employees and employers alike and is considered the ‘Gold Standard’ in identifying and recognizing Great Workplace Cultures.

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P.E.I. potato farmers seek end to trade suspension, but U.S. officials want more data

Farmers on Prince Edward Island say there’s no justification for a suspension of exports of Island potatoes to the United States and it needs to be lifted now, but Canadian officials say the U.S. is demanding more information. “It’s our own government that has the suspension in place. We need that suspension lifted,” P.E.I. Potato Board general manager Greg Donald said in an interview Tuesday. “There’s no science that says our fresh potatoes cannot go.”

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Canada’s ‘Manitoba Potato Production Days’ event cancelled

Manitoba Potato Production Days (MPPD) has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a Jan. 7 announcement says. It had been scheduled to happen Jan. 26 and 27 in Brandon, Manitoba. The Manitoba government announced on Jan. 7 it would be extending current public health orders, which are in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, until Feb. 1. Current public health orders reduce indoor gathering limits to 50 per cent capacity or 250 people, whichever is lower.

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Canada, U.S. officials to meet in bid to resolve potato ban dispute

Canadian and U.S. officials are scheduled to meet this week to see if progress can be made to end a dispute that resulted in Canada suspending all shipments of potatoes from Prince Edward Island to the United States. Officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will meet virtually with their American counterparts on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing trade dispute between Canada and the United States involving potatoes from Prince Edward Island.

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Opinion: China’s ‘new money’ is the potato, thanks to COVID

“The Digital Yuan is no longer relevant. A new currency has been adopted by the People’s Republic of China. The Potato is its name,” writes Jeff Salle in an opinion piece published by CengNews. Salle writes that according to Charles Burton, a China watcher at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, university students in Xian prefer to pay for tutoring with potatoes rather than cash. Do you need cotton swabs in that 13-million-strong city in central China? The currency is potatoes.

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‘A kick in the guts’: Ballarat’s potato crops severely damaged by extreme weather

Up to 95 per cent of the potato crops in the Ballarat agricultural district have been damaged by storms last week, as the state braces for more wild weather. As Jane McNaughton reports for ABC Rural, some farmers in the region were reporting more than 200 millimetres of rain from the weather event. Ballarat Potato Growers Association chairman Chris Stephens said hail defoliated juvenile crops, which were already delayed due to the wet and cold summer.

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‘Think of farm data as your biggest ally,’ says John Deere’s Division Business Manager

Adrian Saenz presented last week during the Potato Business Summit, held in conjunction with Potato Expo 2022. Saenz is currently the Division Business Manager for the John Deere Agricultural & Turf Division within Deere. During his presentation, titled “Ag Technology Outlook”, Adrian Saenz highlighted the importance – and abundance – of data that modern commercial farmers are able to gather via technological means nowadays.

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Govt of Canada created committee to look into Prince Edward Island potato trade ban

The Government of Canada says in a press release it is “committed to restoring market access for PEI fresh potatoes to the United States and supporting PEI farmers impacted by trade disruptions.” To that end, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced the creation of the new Federal Ministerial Coordinating Committee on PEI Potatoes with the objective of “enhancing coordination and collaboration across the federal government to respond to concerns and find solutions.”

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McDonald’s Japan’s French fry rationing extended for about another month

As we approached the end of last year, fast food fans were hit by the news of a French fry shortage in Japan which has most notably affected the chain McDonald’s. For a week the restaurant limited sales to only small-size orders of fries, which are called “Mac Fry Potato” in Japan. At the time, the rationing was attributed to delays caused by the ongoing global supply chain crisis as well as large-scale flooding in British Columbia, Canada, where the potatoes are imported from.

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AgroScout acquires assets of TerrAvion, broadens imagery capabilities in agro-data management

AgroScout agro analytics platform announced today that it acquired the assets of TerrAvion, a market leader in imagery data management for agriculture. The acquisition fuels AgroScout’s high-resolution agriculture aerial imagery capabilities and agro data artificial intelligence for a wide range of crops. Clients will have access to a powerful combination of aerial and satellite imagery products and precision agriculture services for their fields.

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Global supply crisis: A growing shortage of french fries, from Japan to Kenya

As Miriam Berger reports in an article for The Washington Post, a number of popular items, including marmite and cream cheese, have faced scarcities amid supply chain disruptions wrought by the coronavirus pandemic and extreme weather. Potatoes are the latest to join the list, becoming unevenly available in some countries and fast-food chains because of a confluence of factors.

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John Deere reveals fully autonomous tractor

During a press conference at CES 2022, John Deere revealed a fully autonomous tractor that’s ready for large-scale production. The machine combines Deere’s 8R tractor, TruSet-enabled chisel plow, GPS guidance system, and new advanced technologies. The autonomous tractor will be available to farmers later this year.

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Lamb Weston confident in strong long-term outlook for the global frozen potato category

Lamb Weston announced its fiscal second quarter 2022 results yesterday and updated its fiscal 2022 outlook. “We remain confident in the strong long-term outlook for the global frozen potato category, and believe that executing on our strategies and ongoing investments in our business will keep us on a path to deliver sustainable, profitable growth and create value for our stakeholders,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO.

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2022 Potato Business Summit: European Market Update

At today’s Potato Business Summit – hosted in conjunction with the Potato Expo 2022 in Anaheim, California – Cedric Porter of World Potato Markets and Liam Glennon of World Potato Congress presented on the European potato market outlook. Mr Porter said it’s clear that processing usage has recovered in the last few months of 2020. The recovery in exports has been very much concentrated in exports outside the the EU, “which is probably a concern for exporters in North America”.

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‘Bud’ the robot fries weeds with lasers instead of chemicals

Like “The Terminator” for weeds, the Carbon Robotics machine, dubbed “Bud,” rolls through farm fields using artificial intelligence to discern weeds from crops and using a high-power laser to kill the weeds. This lets farmers cultivate crops with less herbicide and reduced labor, improving crop yields and saving money.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor & Publisher

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