Latest news stories from around the World

McCain appoints Anne-Claire Sans as Sustainability Director Continental Europe

McCain Foods, the Canadian-based global leader in frozen potato products, announces the appointment of Anne-Claire Sans as Sustainability Director Continental Europe. Anne-Claire Sans will be responsible for the implementation of McCain’s ambitious sustainability roadmap. McCain is building its Planet Friendly Food program around four pillars: Smart and Sustainable Farming, Resource-efficient operations, Good food and Thriving communities.

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World Potato Congress Inc. launches the Declaration of Dublin to advance UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 through the potato

On the last day of the 11th World Potato Congress (WPC) in Dublin, Ireland, WPC President Romain Cools, called in the WPC Declaration of Dublin upon the global potato value chain to invest in ‘potato solutions’ to advance the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. In his opening address, the WPC President concluded that local food production in general and potatoes more specifically must be intensified to assure food security and reduce dependency from international trade.

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Univ of Idaho research studies herbicide damage to potatoes caused by heavy rainfall

Farmers throughout southern and eastern Idaho were befuddled by the bizarre symptoms of crop damage that surfaced in their potato fields following a brief period of heavy rainfall in May of 2017. Pam Hutchinson, University of Idaho Extension potato cropping systems weed specialist, has studied the problem – heavy rains prior to potato emergence can move herbicides too deep into the soil, where they’re more accessible by shoots and tuber roots than usual, which could, in turn, cause crop damage.

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Potato planted area in Europe forecast to remain stable amid increased input costs

According to market participants, preliminary estimations show that there is expected to be a marginal growth in the area devoted to potato production, if any, within Europe for the upcoming 2022/23 season. As Mintec reports, growers have faced significant rises in various input costs, including fuel, fertiliser, electricity and labour, and this is expected to have influenced planting decisions for the 2022/23 potato season.

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IFA National Potato Chairman: €3m for seed potato sector positive step

IFA National Potato Chairman Sean Ryan said the recent announcement of the €3m scheme for the seed potato sector is a positive first step. The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) met with the Minister earlier this year and have continued to engage with senior Department officials on funding and support options for the development of the potato sector. The area of seed potato crops for certification in Ireland increased to 299 hectares in 2021.  This figure will need to double for domestic demand.

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Canada: Lethbridge College potato research project focused on grower practices, sustainability

Traditionally, potato producers in Canada use the late fall to prep their potato beds for the following spring. The long-established process has its benefits, but also creates concerns, including loss of soil fertility. A new research project at Lethbridge College will work to determine what steps can be taken to ensure the best result for producers, while also moving towards environmentally sustainable agriculture practices.

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How to stop Colorado potato beetles from sacking your spuds

Colorado potato beetle (CPB) populations have an amazing ability to develop resistance to insecticides — including many of the carbamate, organophosphate, pyrethroid, spinosyn, and neonicotinoid insecticides that are used today, writes Carrie Huffman Wohleb in this article. In essence, she says, these beetles are pre-equipped to deal with toxins. It may take only small changes to confer resistance to new toxins.

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Little city creating $69mil solar farm on Canada’s main potato producing province

A new $69 million dollar solar farm is taking shape in Summerside, a little city on Prince Edward Island in Canada – population about 15,000 people. The solar farm is reportedly covering 30 hectares, and, by the end of this year, featuring more than 65,000 solar panels. The project is called Sunbank, and the city is banking on it moving them one step closer to energy self-sufficiency.

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Thwarting the wart: University of Prince Edward Island study seeks wart-resistant potato variety

Researchers at the University of Prince Edward Island are beginning their search for a potato variety more resistant to potato wart following a provincial economic loss of 300 million pounds of potatoes. Xiuquan (Xander) Wang, a UPEI associate professor working on the project, said the funding from Genome Atlantic will go toward comparing the genes of different potato varieties.

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Colorado potato exports to Mexico poised to increase, but drought may create barriers

The day potato farmers in San Luis Valley had been waiting on for more than 25 years finally came as Mexico’s decades long limitation on Colorado-grown potatoes came to an end earlier this month, reports Marianne Goodland for The Gazette. But the degree to which the new agreement benefits the San Luis Valley remains a big question mark, in large part because of drought.

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Farm Credit Canada ready to work with customers affected by widespread flooding in Manitoba

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is prepared to work with Manitoba customers concerned about financial hardship due to the flooding caused by torrential rainfall, snowmelt and waterway ice jams. It has been an extremely challenging time for many producers across southern Manitoba, since many of the same areas also faced adverse growing conditions last year due to drought or a lack of moisture in some regions that reduced yields and created higher input and feed costs for livestock producers.

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‘Leading with purpose, not profit’: Canada’s first plastic-free packaged, organic potato chip company launches

Humble Snacks, Inc., based in Canada’s Ontario province, is disrupting the snack industry with the Humble Potato Chips, Canada’s first plastic-free packaged, organic potato chips. Founded by Jeff and Alicia Lahey, the chips – made from locally sourced, organic potatoes – are traditionally cooked with the skins and lightly dusted with seasoning, as Nithya Caleb reports for Food in Canada magazine.

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Eco-friendly row forming and weed control made easy with AVR’s Combi machine

Shaping beds and preventing weed growth mechanically has never been easier than with AVR’s Combi machine, the company says in a news article. The AVR Combi machine effortlessly combines three functions in one frame: ecoridger, speedridger and weeder. By simply switching components, the machine operator can choose which function to employ.

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Meet Restrain at the World Potato Congress event in Dublin

From May 30 to June 2, Restrain will be exhibiting at the World Potato Congress 2022 (WPC) in Dublin, Ireland. Restrain’s expert team is ready to answer all your questions and show you the solutions that are our contribution to the changing world of the potato. Visit them at stand 57. Restrain is known for their CO2 extractor and their residue-free ethylene anti-sprouting system.

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New eBook from TOMRA Food: ‘When Sorters Become Data Generating Machines’

TOMRA Food has published a new eBook to help food processors and packers enhance efficiencies and profitability by using information gathered by sorting machines. The easy-to-read, 21-page booklet, titled ‘When Sorters Become Data Generating Machines’, explains how businesses can “connect to possibilities” with the TOMRA Insight data platform, and the competitive advantages this gives.

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Irish ag minister to seek €3million funding to boost seed potato sector

Irish tillage farmers are expected to get €3million to encourage them to grow potatoes again. Following Brexit, EU plant health rules prevent the importation of certified seed from Britain. Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConologue, is taking this opportunity to kickstart the Irish seed potato industry and will seek approval for €3million in funding from Cabinet on Tuesday.

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Agrico PSA connecting online with tens of thousands of Kenyan potato farmers

Agrico Potato Services Africa (PSA), producer of Kenyan certified seed potatoes, is proud to communicate another impressive milestone reached. The popularity of their Facebook page continue to grow rapidly in popularity, and the company says over 50,000 Kenyan potato farmers are now digitally connecting with Agrico PSA online via their Facebook page.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor & Publisher

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