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Your Seed Potato Partner For North America

Your Seed Potato Partner For North America

News

Keep up to date with the latest HZPC news and global potato news.




Potato News

Can Lamb Weston stock keep beating the market?

The stock of Lamb Weston Holdings, one of the world’s largest potato processors, recently hit a new 52-week high after its fiscal 2019 first-quarter earnings report surpassed analyst expectations. Revenue rose 12% to $915 million, driving net earnings 29% higher to $107.8 million. Those growth rates look solid, but can the stock run higher still?
10/22/2018

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Potatoes USA showcases potato ingredient functionality

Food manufacturers are in search of functional, clean-label ingredients that deliver both improved product experience (taste, texture, color, freshness) as well as nutritional benefits. Over one hundred research and development chefs and product formulators gathered at the 11th annual Food Evolution Summit, held in San Diego September 24-26.
10/21/2018

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President of World Potato Congress Inc to present on satellites and potatoes

During the past few years, a true revolution has taken place in the satellite business, according to Romain Cools, the President / CEO of the World Potato Congress Inc and Secretary General of Europatat in Belgium. Hundreds of Earth Observation satellites have been launched and are in orbit today, taking pictures of our planet on a daily – sometimes hourly.
10/20/2018

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Summer drought to shrink supplies of French spuds

It’s harvest time and the chips are down for potato producers in northern France where a long summer drought could see French spuds shrink in size and volume. The potatoes “first lacked water and then when rain fell in July started growing anew” which means the original plants lost starch and gained too much water, spoiling them, said Regis Dumont, a potato farmer from Warhem near the Belgian border.
10/20/2018

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The potato croquette that is taking Japan by storm

“Korokke” (potato croquette) is a rather common home cooked dish in Japan. One brand  of the croquet that is nowadays becoming very popular in Japan, is the ‘Mishima Croquet’, made from the Mishima Breisho (Breisho translates to potato in Japanese). More from Mariko Kihira in Japan.
10/18/2018

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New members appointed to Idaho Potato Commission

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter appointed Brett Jensen and Todd Cornelison to the Idaho Potato Commission, effective at the nine-member panel’s Oct. 24 meeting. Otter also reappointed Dan Nakamura. Jensen succeeds James Hoff as a grower-member. Cornelison succeeds Lynn Wilcox as a fresh-pack shipper. Hoff completed one three-year term, Wilcox two.
10/18/2018

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New potato harvester from Dewulf

Potato- and root crop manufacturer Dewulf says it has now launched the RA3060 Essential, a standard configuration of its acclaimed self-propelled 2-row sieving harvester. in a press release the company says “This variant of the R3060 is being produced in celebration of the 30th anniversary of this machine. The manufacturer has combined decades of experience building the R3060 with feedback from growers to develop a unique, universal standard configuration.”
10/18/2018

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British potato farmers feel the heat of variable weather

As extreme weather events increase in frequency, Sara Maslowski, senior analyst at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) for potatoes, reviews how this year’s weather conditions have affected the potato crop and prices when compared with a more ‘typical’ growing season.
10/16/2018

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A shortage of beer and fries? Climate change hits Europe where it hurts

Climate change has fueled raging wildfires around the world, bleached coral reefs and intensified hurricanes — and now it’s coming for Europe’s fries. A hot and dry summer has caused low potato yields in Belgium and across Europe, resulting in sad, stubby fries or “frites” — up to an entire inch shorter than the 3-inch norm. The news gets worse...
10/16/2018

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Cold, wet weather threatens potato crop in Red River Valley

With low temperatures from last week expected to linger into this week, harvest is not looking good for potato farmers, experts say. About 20 percent of the fresh crop still is in the ground in the Red River Valley, said Ted Kreis, spokesman for the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. “We could easily lose 100 percent of what’s still in the ground,” Kreis said.
10/15/2018

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Potato growers in Canadian Prairies cautiously optimistic

This year has been a difficult one for potato producers in the Portage region in Canada’s Manitoba province. Shifting weather extremes have made both growing and harvesting difficult at times. Recent bouts of frost have producers concerned for their crops still in the ground.
10/15/2018

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Inspiring: The man who became a millionaire selling potato peelers

Joe Ades was a street peddlar who became a millionaire selling potato peelers in New York city. He was born in Manchester, England and grew up in war torn Britain during the second World War, the youngest of 7 children. After moving to the US as a youngster, started selling $5 potato peelers on street corners in NYC for 60 years, even for long after becoming a millionaire doing that.
10/14/2018

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Baby potato supplier announces full re-brand

Tasteful Selections, in partnership with RPE Inc., has announced a comprehensive rebrand of its full line of bite-size potatoes to better align its market-leading position with organizational core values while responding to customer and consumer expectations. The US company has been supplying the bite-size potatoes since 2010.
10/14/2018

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US-Canada trade: US potato growers want “ministerial exemptions” addressed

Although North American leaders have announced they reached a new trade agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, North Dakota industries say there’s still much the pact has left to address. The new deal is referred to as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Some wheat growers, in conjunction with fresh potato growers and steel companies, say the deal isn’t enough.
10/14/2018

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Study: Precision farming a trend that keeps global innovation execs up at night

Lux Research is a provider of market intelligence solutions, helping global companies identify the tech innovation opportunities that drive growth. In a recent article, the company lists the “top innovation questions your peers are asking about in 2018”.
10/14/2018

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Greenvale’s parent company sees operating profit fall

Produce Investments, known for its Greenvale business in Scotland, has reportedly been blighted by a massive over-supply of potatoes which have dented group profits. The company posted revenues of £188 million, with operating profit of £6.1 million, down from £7.8 million. Promethean Investments LLP is currently in the process of buying Produce Investments.
10/12/2018

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Tesco clamps down on food waste

Potatoes were on the list when Tesco announced in May of this year to  remove “best before” dates from almost 70 fruit and vegetable products in an effort to reduce the amount of usable food being thrown away. Now the supermarket is set to remove the labels on a further 116 items of produce – including own-brand apples, oranges, cabbages and asparagus.
10/12/2018

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Washington state secures funding for potato research, including on potato psyllid

The USDA, through their Specialty Crop Block Grants program, awarded over $600,000 to support three potato research projects to Washington state researchers. Rodney Cooper, of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Wapato, was awarded $215,538 for a project entitled “Gut Content Analysis to Pinpoint the Weed Sources of Potato Psyllid.”
10/12/2018

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12 popular potato chips around the world

Salty and satisfying, what Americans call “potato chips” are universally loved. Whether you call them “chips,” “crisps,” or “pommes chips,” it’s likely you’ve found yourself at the bottom of a bag — and wishing you had more. From Indonesia to South Africa, here’s what potato chip fans around the world love to dig into…
10/11/2018

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Potato virus: More farms put on suspect list in New Zealand

Eighteen farms are now on the suspect list for a new potato virus, Biosecurity New Zealand says, and testing has been widened to the North Island. The Potato Mop-Top Virus, or PM-TV, affected potatoes used to make chips. It was found for the first time in New Zealand on two properties in Canterbury last month.
10/11/2018

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British mailing company now offers potato starch based wrapping solution

Chris d’Entrecasteaux, General Manager at Atlas Direct Mail in the UK announced today that the company is currently running its first potato starch poly wrap job. He says coming soon will be pre-printed poly wrap made of the potato based starch. “Since the SITMA was installed just a few months ago it is in high demand and the number of jobs we put through each week is consistently increasing,” he says.
10/10/2018

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New guide to help growers in the UK test for PCN

AHDB Potatoes has launched a new guide to help growers test for Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) – a pest that costs the industry over £25 million each year.  Potato cyst nematode is the most important potato pest in the UK and has the potential to cause substantial yield losses. The release of PCN: Sampling and laboratory guide draws on AHDB-funded research.
10/10/2018

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Smaller and specialty potatoes earn shelf space in the US

Potatoes may be as familiar as just about anything in produce, but retailers do well to notice how changes within the category are affecting demand in their area and store. “As 86 percent of households purchase potatoes annually — I think the largest in the produce category, tied with bananas, according to recent data — this is a critical category and shopper base, in which to respond with a targeted and diverse assortment to drive overall produce sales,” says Angie Hanson, director of category development at Category Partners, Aurora, CO.
10/10/2018

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NPC comments on new US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement

Last week Canada was able to come to agreement on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) after certain concessions on dairy and other issues were finalized.  The revised agreement, dubbed the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) by the Administration, is likely to be considered by Congress at some point in the Spring, according to the National Potato Council (NPC) in the U.S. “Our first priority was to ensure that the benefits of the original NAFTA were not lost.  We are very pleased that the Administration chose to mend it rather than end it,” said John Keeling, NPC CEO.
10/9/2018

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Japan: New crisp lines launched from Calbee Potato’s own potato variety

Mariko Kihira reports from Japan that Calbee Inc. has launched a new crisp line from a potato variety bred and cultivated by contracted farmers of Calbee Potato Inc. (a company that distributes potatoes, provides agronomy advice to its contracted growers, and also trades and processes some of its potatoes as crisps). Independently from Calbee Inc., it bred its own variety ‘Poroshiri’ for crisp processing for more than 10 years.
10/9/2018

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Jamaican govt promotes ‘climate-smart’ potato production

The Jamaican government has allocated around $100 million to give a boost to crop production of the island nation, in particular potatoes and onions. The minister made the disclosure while addressing stakeholders at the launch of the 2018/2019 Irish Potato Programme at the Christ Church in Christiana, Manchester, on October 4.
10/9/2018

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Christopher Columbus and the potato that changed the world

It was a small round object sent around the planet, and it changed the course of human history. Call it “Spudnik.” It was a potato. On Columbus Day, the country commemorates the grand global changes — discoveries and destruction alike — that unfolded after Christopher Columbus linked the New World and the Old.
10/8/2018

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Smart farming keeps Wisconsin potato operation on the leading edge

For Jeremie Pavelski, farming is a mountain of data waiting to be conquered. Every point of production, financial or logistical information can be aggregated and analyzed to create smart and well-calculated decisions. As president of Heartland Farms, Jeremie, 36, is combining two passions: agriculture and technology.
10/8/2018

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What it takes to make the perfect chip, according to Frito-Lay

“There’s a lot of labor and love that goes into making the potato chips that go into every bag of Lay’s,” the chip producer says on its blog. The company recently followed one of its most experienced potato experts, Stephen Chahanovich, from the Killingly, CT Frito-Lay plant, to get a glimpse into a day in his life both inside and outside of Frito-Lay.
10/7/2018

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Irish farmer selling potatoes from vending machine

An Irish farmer who sells his potatoes from a vending machine has hit out at supermarkets. The Co Louth farmer has claimed stores are making more than 50% profits by selling potatoes. Gerry Finnegan has set up the 24-hour vending machine in the Termonfeckin area of the county, the Irish Mail reports.
10/7/2018

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The Potato Whisperer from Peru

Manuel Choqque Bravo, a fourth generation potato farmer in the Andean highlands of Chinchero, is about to perform a magic show. He lines up multiple deformed tubers, indigenous to the area best known for its proximity to Machu Picchu, and one by one slices them in half, revealing a color spectrum of intense violet and gold hues. “People think the potato has no healthy properties, but the truth is far from that,” he says.
10/7/2018

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Fish and chip shops in Britain to reduce portion sizes, raise prices

A dry summer has shrunk the British potato crop and raised a daunting prospect for Britons: a shortage of chips. Fish and chip shops say they will have to reduce portion sizes and raise prices for the national dish. Potato prices have already doubled this year and could go even higher, said the National Federation of Fish Friers.
10/6/2018

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Canadian potato harvest underway, but marred by cold weather

Kevin MacIsaac, general manager at the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) released the latest crop report on the current Canadian potato crop situation today. From information published in the report it is clear that most provinces are reporting lower than average yields at this stage of harvest, as well as lower tuber sets and in some areas lower size profiles.
10/6/2018

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Today is National Potato Day in Ireland

Today, October 5, is National Potato Day and people across the country are being encouraged to recognise the nutritional value of the potato and experiment with new and recipes from Bord Bia’s potato recipe website Potato.ie. The theme for National Potato Day this year is “Imagine A World Without Potatoes” hence the launch of the Potato Survival Kit.
10/5/2018

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Japan’s Calbee acquires UK potato chips producer Seabrook Crisps

The UK subsidiary of the Japanese snack food giant Calbee has acquired UK potato chips producer Seabrook Crisps for an undisclosed sum to strengthen its presence in Europe. According to Calbee UK, Seabrook’s brand of potato chips, which includes straight cut, crinkle cut and lattice chips, as well as low-calorie snacks, will make a good addition to its own portfolio.
10/5/2018

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Updated report on management of mop-top virus published

A new report on potato mop-top virus (PMTV) was published by Dr Andy Robinson, Potato Extension Agronomist at North Dakota State University/University of Minnesota, and colleagues at NDSU, Prof Neil Gudmestad, Shashi K.R. Yellareddygari and Owusu Domfeh. The latest report includes a table with 63 potato cultivars indicating if they are sensitive to insensitive to infection by the virus.
10/4/2018

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Comprehensive new report on developments in the Canadian potato industry

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in Ottawa (FAS/Ottawa) released its annual report on the Canadian potato industry today. The GAIN report focuses on key aspects of current and expected developments in the Canadian potato situation, including production trends, fresh and processed potato consumption and production, trade, and policy.
10/4/2018

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Australians create ’boutique’ vodka and export puree from potato waste

South Australia produces 80% of the nation’s fresh washed potatoes and Potatoes SA CEO Robbie Davis is leading the charge to find fresh ways to slash the corresponding food waste. Starch left over from producing potato crisps is now being used to make a boutique vodka with help from Adelaide Hills Distillery and the University of Adelaide.
10/3/2018

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High-tech project to monitor British potato crops from space

Rezatec, a provider of geospatial data analytics to the Infrastructure, Forestry and Agribusiness sectors, announced today that it has been working with The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in the UK the past season to demonstrate the effectiveness of using satellite data to map the extent of potato crops in pilot locations across England and Scotland.
10/3/2018

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Lamb Weston posts good results; concerned about European potato crop

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. announced today its fiscal first quarter 2019 results. “We’re pleased with our solid results in the first quarter, with each of our core business segments driving sales growth and expanding product contribution margins,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO. “Our results continue to reflect the strong execution by our commercial, supply chain and support teams.
10/3/2018

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Belgians prepare for “stubbier” fries

Belgian fries — one of this country’s most iconic foods, nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status — are being downsized after an unusually dry and hot European summer stunted potato crops. Crop yields this year are down by 25 percent from normal and the tubers are smaller, Pierre Lebrun, of the Walloon Potato Growers’ Association, told the Sudepresse tabloid. 
10/2/2018

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How the drought has affected European potato yields

Farmers Weekly in the UK reports today that the eating potato crop is forecast to be nearly 20% smaller than last year in north-west Europe because of the summer drought, with tuber size and quality also suffering. Some farmers face the challenge of meeting contract tonnages while others are set to benefit from a stronger free trade price.
10/2/2018

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Major British potato processor loses supply contract

Potato processor Produce Investments is to lose a major contract, with supply to wind down by the end of summer next year. Foodmanufacture.co.uk reports that “the unnamed customer informed the producer of its plans to implement a single supplier strategy. As a result, Produce Investments will not be awarded a new supply contract once the existing agreement expires in August 2019.”
10/2/2018

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The delicious history of Better Made potato chips

The average American eats around four pounds of potato chips per year; Detroiters consume an average of seven. It’s a statistic that the Cipriano family has been a part of shaping since founding Better Made Snack Foods, now a Detroit staple, back in 1930. “At the time, the potato chip was a new snack food that was taking the country over,” said Salvatore Cipriano, CEO of Better Made Snack Foods, whose father started the company.
10/1/2018

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US chip company to comply with trans fat regulations

For more than eight decades, Iowa-based Sterzing Food Co. has stamped a simple “Tri-Some” slogan on its iconic bags of potato chips. After months of struggles to adapt to a government-mandated change to its recipe, president Craig Smith is ready for a new spin on that straightforward message. “How about ‘Tri-Some again?'” he said Thursday, chuckling. “Please.”
9/30/2018

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Import tariffs would cripple the British potato industry: Trader

Import tariffs would “cripple” the potato industry and lead to Holland squeezing out Scotland as a competitor, the boss of Strathmore Potatoes in the UK says. The Forfar company exports 6,000 tonnes of seed pots a year, mainly to  Egypt, Morocco, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia and mainland Europe, in particular France.
9/30/2018

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The future of agriculture requires new thinking

An ecocentric or a technocentric approach? What is the future of agriculture and which of these 2 approaches can feed the world better? Probably a mixture of both, although that is a challenging mission, says Joris Lohman, co-founder of Food Hub. Joris is speaking at the upcoming Global Future Farming Summit.
9/29/2018

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Small potatoes causing problems for McDonald’s Netherlands this year

As a result of the dry weather, potatoes are smaller than usual this year in the Netherlands. Because of the small-sized potatoes, fries will also be shorter this year. This is problematic for fast food chain McDonald’s. “When the fries don’t meet our specifications, it affects the specialised equipment in our kitchens that measure, position and fry our fries,” says Eunice Koekkoek of MacDonald’s Netherlands.
9/29/2018

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Idaho russet prices have halved in six weeks

After a lively start to the Idaho russet potato harvest, the market has fallen dramatically as supplies come on strongly. Prices have fallen by half since the start of August and growers are discounting to help move stock. Quality is excellent however, which has become both a blessing and a problem.
9/28/2018

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US chip producer announced new facility is now live

Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips Inc. in the US announced today that their latest production facility in Pennsylvania is officially live. The multi-million dollar project has been in the works for the past year and a half. The project includes both a new distribution center and additional production lines.
9/28/2018

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