Global News

Supply shortage, rise in demand push potato prices in India up by 40% in major cities

In the major metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, potatoes are selling for Rs 30-45 per kg, depending on the variety and quality. In Mumbai, a kg of potato is priced at Rs 35-45, while in Delhi and Kolkata prices are hovering between Rs 30-40 per kg. Potato traders from Uttar Pradesh, the largest producer of potatoes in India, said prices are unlikely to come down until November, when the new crop starts coming in.

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Signs of some recovery in global restaurant fry demand

Major potato processor Lamb Weston and global quick service restaurant chain McDonald’s saw sales fall significantly in the three months to the end of June, but it could have been much worse. There are also some signs of a recovery in restaurant fry sales, although fears over coronavirus remain, according to Cedric Porter, editor of weekly market briefing World Potato Markets. Lamb Weston’s sales were 16% lower in the quarter than the same period last year, with demand from foodservice distributors and smaller restaurant the most affected.

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Sending surplus crops to food banks helping Washington farmers, hungry families

George Ahearn had heard about farmers in Eastern Washington who were giving away potatoes and onions and wanted to know if someone had a truck he could borrow to haul the discarded crops to Western Washington food banks. The response was immediate and dramatic. A convoy of four trucks, including two with trailers, made the trip east, helping provide quite a bounty for local food banks.

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Commission approves €35 million Belgian scheme to support potato growers

The European Commission has approved a €35 million Belgian scheme to support companies active in the potato and floricultural primary production sectors in the Flemish region that are affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The public support will take the form of direct grants. Of the total budget of €35m, €10m is earmarked to support potato growers, and €25m to support ornamental plant growers.

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Scotts sends first Evolution separator to South Africa following Canadian recommendation

A UK manufacturer of vegetable harvesting and handling machinery has supplied its first to order to South Africa thanks to a recommendation from a Canadian company. Scotts Precision Manufacturing has sent one of its Evolution separators to Bestbier South Africa after Allan Equipment in Canada recommended the unique machine. Designed in Boston, Lincolnshire, the Evolution gently separates vegetables from soil and clod and haulm.

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New trials: Trap crop for control of PCN in potato crops

Four group members of The Shropshire Potato Growers Discussion Group in the UK are hosting trials on their farm this year looking at trap crops as a method of PCN control. For potato growers in the UK one of the biggest threats to production and sustainability are the potato cyst nematodes (PCN) (Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis) which can result in significant yield losses.

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Winner of the World’s first International Potato Photography competition: ‘End of lockdown’

Today the organizers of the World’s first international Potato photography competition are thrilled to announce the winner… And the overall winner is: Ray Spence. The competition was inspired in part by the photo of a potato taken by acclaimed photographer Kevin Abosch that sold for $1 million in 2016. It is a splendid photograph and just goes to show there’s an appetite for potato-based photo-art…

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Sri Lanks stopping potato imports

The Prime Minister of Sri lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that the import of potatoes will be halted, following the general election. He mentioned this at a public meeting held in Boralanda, Welimada, last evening, July 26. Rajapaksa said that an era of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is an era where the farmer will become the king. Currently, there is no fair price for vegetable farmers and potato farmers, the Premier pointed out.

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East Anglia potatoes hitting Aldi shelves

A Holbeach producer has launched a range of locally grown potatoes for the supermarket Aldi. AH Worth has worked with Aldi to roll out a new line of its East Anglia Early Potatoes, as part of the supermarket’s Specially Selected range. The fourth-generation family farming business, founded in 1895, expects to supply around 400,000 packs of the early season Maris Peer potatoes to Aldi stores across the east of England.

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Management buyout at Puffin produce

Farmer shareholders at Haverfordwest-based Puffin Produce have relinquished control of the co-operative in a management buyout deal. The potato, vegetable and flower specialist was majority-owned by its growers in Pembrokeshire but they have sold 50 per cent of their stake in the business to managing director Huw Thomas and finance director Jon Langmead.

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Potato growers to benefit as Thailand lifts tariffs on Australian potatoes

AUSVEG, the industry representative for Australia’s vegetable and potato growers, has welcomed the announcement from Agriculture Minister David Littleproud that two key commitments are now realised under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), which will improve market access for Australian potato exporters into the Thai market.

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Only in wonderful Canada: Spuds for charity

On a sweltering Friday morning in Brandon, a town in Canada’s Manitoba province, there were two kinds of fries in the Keystone Centre parking lot: the french fries being handed out, and the volunteers handing them out. With a surplus of potatoes caused by a drop in demand due to COVID-19, McCain Foods partnered with Enns Brothers to clear out their backlog and raise some funds for STARS and Ronald McDonald House, which are splitting the proceeds 50-50. [STARS: Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service Foundation]

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USAID-supported potato development program in Kenya moves ahead despite COVID-19 crisis

In the last three months (April – June), the potato value chain component of the USAID-supported Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD) program has continued implementing field activities, albeit at a slow pace due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Critical field activities such as seed distribution, establishment of learning farms, field crop management, and training of host farmers and farmer group representatives at the learning farms are ongoing though.

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Ukrainian producer and marketer of potatoes plans to build french fry production plant

Potato Agro is a Ukrainian based potato producing company that also markets potatoes under the brand name Bestpotato. According to a report by Potato System, the company is planning build its own processing plant next year. Konstantin Sarnatsky, Business Lead & CEO of Potato Agro, is quoted as saying that “this will be the first, or one of the very first factories for the production of french fries in the Ukraine.”

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‘Water efficiency crucial during prolonged dry summers’

Identifying hotspots and increased use of drip-feed irrigation equipment will be key to increased grower efficiency in the UK, minimising the toll on domestic water supply, and stopping the potential introduction of abstraction reforms, an expert has claimed. According to an article published by UK based trade magazine Potato Review, more than 50% of potatoes produced in the UK are irrigated, and in recent years the country has experienced reduced water availability and increased demand as a result of the hotter, drier summers, which are set to stay for the future.

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This week’s issue of Spud Scoop published

This week’s issue of Spud Scoop was published earlier today. Spud Scoop is a growing season newsletter compiled by specialists at NDSU Extension and University of Minnesota, combining information for potato growers. In the introduction, Dr Andy Robinson, Extension Potato Agronomist at NSDU and the University of Minnesota, says it’s been a week of warming temperatures and more rainfall in many areas. In general, the potato crop seems to be progressing well.

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Latest Canadian potato crop progress report released

The United Potato Growers (UPGC) Board met this week to discuss crop growing conditions, markets, and analysis of the recent potato acreage from Statistics Canada. In a report issued today, UPGC General Manager, Kevin MacIsaac provides a snapshot of crop progress across the country.

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The ‘natural dormancy’ factor: Independent data now available

A number of factors contribute to effective potato sprout suppression and, where possible, strategies should make the best use of all of them. One such factor is dormancy, say specialists at AHDB’s at Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research unit. The current data on varietal dormancy is of variable quality and AHDB has commissioned a trial to generate relative dormancy data from a range of varieties representative of the different end markets for potatoes.

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Automation made easy: Greentronic’s RiteWeight product now comes with enhanced features

Can you use an easy and accurate method for tracking loads and weights by date, field, variety, temperature, and cellar? According to Bill Menkveld at Ontario, Canada-based Greentronics, the company offers a solution. Greentronics recently added several new features to its well-known RiteWeight in-line conveyor scale product. These enhanced features were developed to assist potato growers with an easy process to automate their harvest and storage data recording.

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UK-based Arbikie distillery signs deal to sell first potato vodka in Toronto

Angus sustainable distillery Arbikie has signed a deal to stock Toronto retailer LCBO with its Tattie Bogle Vodka. The family-owned producer’s agreement with Canadian importer SGWS is its first deal in Ontario. Arbikie uses Maris Piper, King Edward and Cultra varieties grown on the family farm between Arbroath and Montrose in Angus to make what it believes is Scotland’s first potato vodka.

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Idahoan Foods donates $37,000 in masks and potatoes

Idahoan Foods donated 10,000 masks to the Idaho Falls community on Thursday. Teaming up with the city of Idaho Falls, the packaged potato company set up a drive-by giveaway. Residents could pull up to the Idahoan Foods headquarters at Snake River Landing to receive free face masks for everyone in the car. The company also donated packages of its “Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes” product that people could pick up along with their masks.

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Bayer launches carbon capture program for U.S. and Brazil farmers

Bayer AG launched a pilot program in the United States and Brazil on Tuesday that will pay farmers for capturing carbon in cropland soils, making it the latest agriculture company to capitalize on environmental initiatives. The company seeks to enroll about 1,200 row crop farmers in its Bayer Carbon Initiative in the first season, scale up in upcoming seasons, and ultimately expand to other countries, company executives said.

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Storage life post-CIPC: AHDB specialists address key grower concerns

Three storage webinars hosted by AHDB in the UK in June were an opportunity for British growers and store managers to hear from the team of storage experts at Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research, as well as cleaning and agronomy specialists. To complement the webinar sessions AHDB answered some frequently asked questions around key topics of potato storage post CIPC in a news release issued today.

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‘Stop cutting out white potatoes – they’re as healthy as sweet ones’, dietitians say

When trying to improve one’s diet, many people think they need to cut out potatoes. White potatoes, some of us have been led to believe, are fattening carb-bombs that should be shunned at all costs, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Well, not quite. Not at all, in fact. Three dietitians explained to Insider how the nutritional profiles of sweet and white potatoes are very similar, and they’re calling for people to stop demonizing the latter.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor/Publisher of Potato News Today


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