Latest potato news from around the World

Good news for potato lovers – especially diabetics

People with type 2 diabetes are often warned against the consumption of high GI foods, such as white potatoes, especially at night as they tend to make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Researchers investigated the impact of potato consumption as part of a mixed evening meal on nocturnal glycemic response. The study concluded that there was no significant difference in glycemic response after eating high GI boiled or roasted potato-based meals compared to low GI basmati rice.

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Opinion: ‘To plant or not to plant potatoes’ in the Netherlands in 2021

In reality, there is no indication at this point in time that most arable farmers in the Netherlands are opting to plant a smaller potato area in 2021, writes industry analyst Haijo Dodde in a recently published article in the Dutch agriculture magazine Nieuwe Oogst. Dodde writes that the North-Western European Potato Growers organization (NEPG) recently called on potato growers in Europe to plant 15 percent fewer potatoes. The question now is to what extent growers are following this advice.

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Researchers say apical rooted cuttings are the solution for cheaper potato seed in India

In a recently published research brief, CIP/CGIAR researchers Samarendu Mohanty, Sampriti Baruah and Ravindranath Reddy explain that the potato sector in India continues to face serious problems accessing good-quality planting materials at affordable prices for small and marginal farmers in many potato-growing states. So, how do we solve the potato seed problem, the researchers ask. They say two things need to happen.

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Video: NPC CEO Kam Quarles provides industry update

On Nov. 12, the Idaho Potato Commission hosted its annual Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting, open to everyone in the Idaho potato industry. NPC CEO Kam Quarles provided an update on the federal policy victories and activities undertaken by the National Potato Council and its state potato organization partners in 2020, and set the stage for an active 2021. Kam Quarles began by saying that though 2020 isn’t over yet, looking back on it is almost like viewing two entirely separate worlds – “one is pre-Covid. and the other is the world that we’ve been dealing with since the shutdown started.”

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Canada: Funding for Prince Edward Island seed potato growers to ease the effects of COVID-19

The government of Prince Edward Island will help the province’s seed potato growers with an assistance program to compensate for the negative effects COVID-19 has had on their industry. The provincial government says in a news release that the Seed Potato Recovery Program is a $1.19 million fund for seed growers who can demonstrate that they have incurred extraordinary costs associated with the pandemic.

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Storage technology: The ‘Humigator’ said to humidify and also disinfect potato storage facilities

“You can humidify and disinfect a potato storage warehouse’s air using just water and UV. No chemicals,” says Jef Viaene of Jebe bvba in Belgium, a Humigator DFS dealership. “You’ll have two to ten percent higher yields. The potatoes will be disease-free and can be stored for a long time. And do that without using sprout inhibitors.” The Humigator is said to be a world first. The machine was developed in Idaho and was introduced to Europe in 2020.

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Leading Italian potato company opts for TOMRA’s new Sentinel II optical sorting machine

Installing TOMRA’s Sentinel II sorting machine has enabled a Bolognese company to select large quantities of potatoes – its flagship products – with great precision and minimal waste. When the time came this year to find a replacement machine which would continue to meet the need for superior tuber production, the company turned to TOMRA Food. The solution, which the company put into service at the beginning of May, was a new Sentinel II.

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Documentary video: Potato farming in Ireland

This film follows the fortunes of several potato growers throughout Ireland and also gives a short history of the potato, a crop synonymous with Ireland. The producers look at the importance of potato growing in Ireland, showing how the humble spud stills plays a vital role here to this day. This documentary was produced by Thompson Video Productions Co. in Derry, Northern Ireland.

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Video: AVR puma 3 potato harvester on tracks

In this YouTube video you will see the Puma 3 in action during potato harvest 2020 in Europe. The video was uploaded today on the YouTube channel of AgroMovie. The video can also be watched directly on YouTube.

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Large Nordic chicken producer invests in potato-based, chicken alternative

Scandi Standard, the largest producer of chicken in Nordic countries, announced this week its partnership and investmentin Veg of Lund, which is a producer of bottled plant-based smoothies. It seems like an unlikely duo, but Veg of Lund has patented its smoothie base of potato and rapeseed oil, which will be used to create the plant-based chicken alternative. The meat producer has[Read More…]

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Researchers found biopesticide to be effective in controlling potato cyst nematode

Abamectin is a mixture of avermectins, acting as an insecticide by affecting the nervous system of and paralyzing insects. A team of researchers from Italy and Moldova took part in a research project to test the efficacy of the biopesticide Abamectin in the control of potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida. The research team concluded that their research shows abamectin to be effective in controlling potato cyst nematode G. pallida on potato crops.

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Doug Niven’s Gleaner column: Gloomy outlook for Scottish potatoes – but wheat on a high

“Winter-sown crops in Scotland continue to look well given recent relatively mild weather, even though we had 100mm, or four inches of rain in October to give a total for the year at the beginning of November of 541mm, or 21 inches,” writes Doug Niven in his column published in The Scottish Farmer today. He points out that there are some quality issues that have been identified recently with pest damage, rot and bruising, which will be a concern for long term storage. Niven asks: Will that see supplies coming onto the market earlier than planned?

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Wildflowers could control aphid-borne viruses in potatoes

Sowing wildflowers into potato crops could reduce aphid-carried viruses and offer an alternative to declining access to insecticides for growers, according to Scottish Agronomy. In Scotland, trials are being carried out to discover the effectiveness of growing flower strips in tramlines and headlands to promote natural predator populations to reduce pests as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy.

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Schaap Holland: The quest for a sustainable potato variety

The corona virus is forcing the potato variety companies to consider a different format for the traditional variety shows this year. A number of companies opted for an event online, others have decided to postpone the shows for a year. In this series on Akkerwijzer, the potato variety companies talk about their showpiece varieties and the challenges that accompany its development. In this article, Sheep Holland reflects on “the traditional breeding work that is under pressure.”

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Branston unveils plans for a new potato processing facility

UK based Branston submitted plans for a new processing facility. The company, which supplies own-label products to supermarkets, such as Tesco, as well as selling under its own brand, is seeking the go-ahead for a 10,462 sq ft building. North Kesteven District Council is expected to make a final decision in the coming months. The design of the buildings and the landscaping proposed is said to will help ameliorate the impacts of this development.

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What a mess: Some British potato growers muddle through harvest after fifth-wettest October since 1862

Potato harvesting has once again been affected by wet weather, with widespread rainfall in recent weeks hampering grower efforts to get the crop out of the ground. According to the Met Office, the UK experienced the fifth-wettest October since 1862 last month. It included the wettest day on record for average rainfall (31.7mm) on 3 October. Key processors McCain and Lamb Weston both spoke of challenging conditions in East Anglia, parts of which saw close to 200% of their usual average rainfall in October.

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Can horsetail weed extract become the source of a new biopesticide to combat late blight?

Scientists from Tyumen State University in Russia took part in a research study on how peptide extracts of medicinal plants affect the development of potato late blight. Horsetail extract is recognized as holding promise for combating it, and might become a main source for the development of a new biopesticide, the press service of Tyumen State University reported on Thursday. The results of the work were published in the journal Plants.

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HZPC Americas Corp seeking key account managers

HZPC Americas Corporation is the North American seed potato partner of the HZPC group. The company is based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Canada’s east coast. HZPC Americas Corporation has an extensive research and development program as well as localized testing locations, which allows HZPC to develop potatoes varieties with direct focus on North American markets. HZPC Americas Corporation recently announced two vacancies: Sales & Key Account Manager – Fresh, and Key Account Manager – Processing.

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Sustainability in practice: Nature-friendly farming reduces costs for South African potato farmer

Managing plant health and strict water monitoring have paved the way to success for AL 3 Boerdery in South Africa’s Limpopo province. CT van der Merwe spoke to Lindi Botha of Farmers Weekly about the production practices that keep his farming business profitable. Potato production at AL 3 Boerdery is spread across three provinces to ensure a 10-month supply to the markets. Farms in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape provide an annual harvest of between 55 000t and 60 000t, and achieve an average yield of 60t/ha.

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WSU creates new endowed chair in soil health to support potato agriculture

Launching new research in support of Washington potato growers, Washington State University is partnering with industry leaders to study healthier, more sustainable and productive soils. Backed by a more-than-$3 million fund created by potato growers, processors, and suppliers, WSU’s newly created Distinguished Endowed Chair in Soil Health for Potato Cropping Systems will address priorities in irrigated agriculture, including the need to better understand and protect the soil we rely on to grow potatoes, a critical part of our global food supply.

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Idaho potato industry bouncing back from COVID challenges

Idaho’s iconic potato industry suffered through a major scare due to the restrictions and shutdowns imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. But major efforts by the industry that were coordinated by the state and national groups that represent it have helped potato producers weather that storm. And one major silver lining of the challenge is that U.S. consumers have learned how important spuds are. That was one of the main messages during the Idaho Potato Commission’s annual, “The Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting,” which was held virtually Nov. 12.

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When Mr Bee’s Queen Bee is named ‘Wonder Woman’…

Everyone could use a hero in these trying times—and West Virginia only potato chip manufacturer Mr Bee’ hero has a tasteful way of saving the day. Mister Bee CEO Mary Anne Ketelsen, the Queen Bee herself, has been honored as one of West Virginia’s 2020 “Wonder Women” by WV Living, the premier lifestyle and travel magazine in the Mountain State. Mr Bee says in a news release there’s a honeycomb of reasons that make Ketelsen deserving of this award, one being her service as a role model for women in production.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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