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Your Seed Potato Partner For North America

Your Seed Potato Partner For North America

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




Potato News

Fresher Canadian potatoes coming to Atlanta via $22M distribution center

Canada’s EarthFresh Farms is spending $22 million to open a high-tech packing plant and distribution center near the Atlanta airport in College Park, getting its potatoes to southern customers more quickly. The Burlington, Ontario-based company is the latest food distribution center clustered in Atlanta’s budding Aerotropolis region.
4/21/2019

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Biostimulants and biologicals – what are they?

While fertilizers and pesticides play a significant role in attempting to overcome some of these obstacles, agricultural biologicals are said to make a crucial contribution toward the goal of making intensive agricultural production more successful and sustainable. Biological proponents claim that biologicals makes crops healthier, with improved defenses against diseases and pests, and better able to withstand a-biotic stresses.
4/21/2019

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The Seed Potato Story: What goes on behind closed doors

During the winter months the shed doors are firmly closed and all is quiet. However, when you take a look inside you’ll find Dutch seed potato farmers are picking the fruit of their labour. After planting, crop husbandry, harvesting and storage the show begins. The tubers have to be graded in different sizes, soil, haulm and clods removed. They are inspected by hand and further processed for customers all around the globe.
4/20/2019

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Will a slow start for PNW potato farmers lead to the french fry apocalypse?

Spring is just now beginning to shine in much of eastern Oregon and Washington. A winter of record snowfall left the ground frozen or flooded much later than normal. As a result, farmers are getting a late start on their crops. “We’ve had the longest winter ever,” said Chris Voight, director of the Washington State Potato Commission. He recently spoke with OPB “Weekend Edition” host John Notarianni. “Normally we start planting potatoes the end of February, but this year we weren’t able to start planting until April 1.”
4/20/2019

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Potato prices soar in Eastern Europe

Prices of some vegetables, especially potatoes, in the Czech Republic have been increasing dramatically due to a significant drop in production, a new report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has revealed.
4/19/2019

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US grower responses through online survey on potato disease control challenges

Spudman magazine recently polled readers through an online survey on challenges they’re facing controlling potato diseases. You will find the results on this page of the magazine’s website. Some of the comments made by respondents regarding specific diseases: Common scab - “No feasible control outside planting resistant cultivars.” “There is no control available that actually works.”
4/19/2019

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New variety of zebra chip disease threatens potato production in southwestern Oregon

Named after the dark stripes that form inside potatoes after they are cut and fried, zebra chip disease is a potentially devastating affliction that can result in yield losses up to 100% for farmers. The disease, caused by the bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum,’ has been economically damaging commercial crops, including potato, tomato, and pepper, in the central and western United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand since the early 2000s.
4/18/2019

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NAK discovers counterfeit seed potato certificates

Inspection service NAK in the Netherlands has reportedly discovered counterfeit seed potato certificates, whereby the non-certified potatoes have been sold under false labels. The NAK, together with the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), is still hunting for the counterfeiters.
4/18/2019

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Potato nutrition: Remove the guesswork

We can watch the crop grow all day long and even though we can notice things from a macro-view, without a good regimen of sampling we will probably not know what is really going on in the crop. Soil and tissue sampling gives us the scorecard we need to really understand what is going on and to help us better manage the “players”.
4/18/2019

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Next time you munch on potatoes, ‘remember how lucky you are…’

In an opinion piece written by Peter Kaplinsky and published in The Cornell Daily Sun, the author reflects on how his parents moved their family from the USSR to America many years ago, and in particular how “potatoes were a staple, featured in nearly every dish” in the USSR, saying that “one whiff of the greasy, thick aroma of fried potatoes with mushrooms and I knew I was home.”
4/17/2019

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New Canadian store sells ‘imperfect’ produce for half the price

A new store has opened in the Canadian province of British Columbia, to keep food out of landfills and make sure more local families get fresh fruit and vegetables. ReFresh, a shop that offers produce deemed no longer sellable by grocery stores at lower prices, had its grand opening in the Cowichan Valley city over the weekend. Executive director Judy Stafford said the opening was a big success.
4/17/2019

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‘Ecommerce is growing in importance for McCain Foods,’ says ecommerce lead

McCain Foods has selected ecommerce analytics provider e.fundamentals to help drive sales of its products through retailers’ websites. Nick Sultanti, ecommerce lead at the frozen potato products manufacturer, commented: “Ecommerce is growing in importance for McCain.  We see e.fundamentals as the correct choice of data partner for us due to the simplicity of their platform and the ease of getting to the insights.
4/16/2019

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Syngenta BlightCast launched two weeks ahead of normal in the UK

Syngenta BlightCast has been launched two weeks ahead of normal this season, with reports of early crops in the south west coming under pressure as plastic covers are removed. Whilst planting has been progressing across the country in generally good conditions, cool soil temperatures have slowed development. Now, with forecast temperatures set to warm up, growers and agronomists can be forewarned of conditions conducive to blight.
4/15/2019

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Pepsico sues Indian farmers for allegedly growing exclusive potato variety illegally

The US food and beverages giant PepsiCo has sued three farmers from Gujarat, complaining that they have been illegally growing and selling a variety of potato exclusively registered to Pepsico for the use of producing its Lays potato chips. PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt Ltd has informed the court that it uses the registered variety of potatoes called FL 2027, which is a hybrid of FL 1867 and Wischip varieties, for manufacturing chips for its brand. The company is the registered breeder of FL 2027.
4/15/2019

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Health Canada announces new restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides

Earlier this week Health Canada announced in a press release that it has completed its re-evaluations of the neonicotinoid pesticides clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam in relation to their potential impact on bees and other pollinators, and has released the final decisions for each.
4/14/2019

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‘Plants don’t know what day of the week it is,’ says busy potato grower

Alan Jones, owner of Jones Potato Farms in Parrish, Fl logs about 40,000 miles a year on his pickup and many hours in his office and in the fields or on the road. “I’ve had very few days off in the past couple of months,” said Jones, who has owned the 4,000-acre plus Jones Potato Farm since 1986. “It’s been seven days a week for me,” he said. “Plants don’t know what day of the week it is.”
4/14/2019

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Phytophthora in potatoes becoming more aggressive in Northwest Europe

Phytophthora clone EU-13 was already known for being aggressive and difficult to combat. In recent years, two new clones have been on the rise in northwestern Europe: Eu-36 and EU-37. These clones are supplanting EU-13. The characteristics that caused these two clones to expand has now been researched by Wageningen University & Research. This information allows the combat strategy of phytophthora to be improved.
4/13/2019

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Hot potato with ‘oily’ feel on Canada’s Prince Edward Island

Earlier this week The Guardian newspaper on Prince Edward Island in Canada published the following Editorial on the relationship between Islanders and oil company J.D Irving Limited, owner of Cavendish Farms, producer of processing potatoes on the Island.
4/13/2019

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Prominent US potato researcher, soon to retire, reflects on 45-year career

As the director of Oregon State University’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Phil Hamm has been at the forefront of potato research for decades. All good things must end, however, and the time has come for Hamm to call it a career. He’ll retire in a few months. Hamm has spent his entire 45-year career studying plant disease, including the past 30 years at Oregon State in some capacity.
4/13/2019

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Going without mancozeb in Canada

Currently under review in Canada, mancozeb is a potato industry staple for fighting late blight and early blight. Its proponents fear its loss would spell higher production costs for farmers and would remove a vital tool for managing disease resistance in potatoes. Canadian potato farmers could be facing higher production costs with the potential loss of a key weapon against late blight.
4/11/2019

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Results down for major British potato supplier

Turnover and profits have dropped at one of the UK’s largest potato businesses, according to newly filed accounts. Lincolnshire-headquartered Branston, which supplies own-label products to supermarkets, such as Tesco, as well as selling under its own brand, has reported a turnover of £133.5m for the year to 29 July 2018, down from £143m in the prior 12 months.
4/11/2019

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Scientists zero in on the weed link in zebra chip epidemiology

A major challenge in controlling zebra chip disease of potatoes is our inability to predict which potato fields are likely to be colonized by potato psyllid, the vector of the pathogen that causes zebra chip, according to specialists W. Rodney Cooper, David R. Horton and Eugene Miliczky(USDA-ARS), and Carrie H. Wohleb and Timothy D. Waters at Washington State University.
4/10/2019

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The humble potato now seen as a staple for future food security in China

The potential of potato to provide food security is one reason China has undergone remarkable growth in potato production over the last two decades, and China has become by far the largest producer of potatoes in the world, write authors Wang Su and Jian Wang in a paper published in a special issue of the American Journal of Potato Research on April 9.
4/10/2019

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Equipment manufacturer says potato processors are becoming ‘more demanding’

Dutch based manufacturer of weighing and packaging machines, Manter International, says potato processors are becoming more demanding, as they are looking for complete solutions when it comes to weighing and packaging, and not just simple machines.
4/9/2019

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Acrylamide reduction: Processors under increased pressure

With the EU’s new regulation on the reduction of acrylamide now in force, manufacturers are under increased pressure to reduce the effects of acrylamide – the result of the Maillard reaction that naturally occurs between amino acid and reducing sugars when starchy foods like potatoes are fried at high temperatures.
4/9/2019

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German company to start producing French fries in Zambia this year

According to a report by the Lusaka Times, a German company that will locally produce French fries for both the Zambian and regional export markets is expected to commence operations this year. The announcement was made by Mr. Frank Nordman, German Agri business President earlier last week while on a visit to Zambia’s Ambassador in Germany, Anthony Mukwita, at the embassy offices on Axel Springer Street in Berlin.
4/8/2019

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Upcoming World Potato Congress webinar to focus on seed potato handling from storage to planting

The World Potato Congress (WPC) is pleased to be offering its third webinar in its 2019 series with Dr. Gary Secor. Dr. Secor is a world renowned potato specialist and Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota, USA. Dr. Secor’s webinar presentation “Best Management Practices for Seed Potato Handling from Storage to Planting” will be live on April 25, 2019 at 08:00 a.m. Central Standard Time.
4/7/2019

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AFF’s pesticide residue calculator shows noteworthy results

The Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF), a non-profit organization comprised of both organic and conventional farmers in the US, says health experts and scientists overwhelmingly agree that fresh produce, grown either conventionally or organically, is safe to eat for you and your children. The AFF has developed an online pesticide residue calculator to measure the safety of several of the most popular fruits and vegetables when it concerns pesticide levels.
4/7/2019

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US: Overview of spring planting progress in the Northwest

Some eastern Idaho farmers foresee a slight delay in planting as they wait for snow to melt and their fields to dry. As Idaho farmers begin to decide when to plant, they can expect a warm wet spring. In the Pacific Northwest, the April, May and June precipitation outlook indicates enhanced odds of above-normal seasonal total precipitation, according to the Climate Prediction Center.
4/5/2019

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US: New Vibrance seed treatment product available for potatoes

A one-of-a-kind combination of four active ingredients is said to help build stronger, more robust roots in potatoes. New to the Syngenta Seedcare™ portfolio, CruiserMaxx® Vibrance® Potato insecticide/fungicide seed treatment is now available.
4/4/2019

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British potato planting declarations now online only

Your statutory planting return must be made via the online portal this year. Support will be available to all growers who need it, either over the phone or face to face in your own farm office. Jack Atkins, Levy Assistant, said: “The change will bring several cost savings and benefits. The online system is quick, efficient and is the most secure way to handle personal and financial data.
4/4/2019

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Side Delights: Value-added potatoes offer convenience

Side Delights potato dishes are driving traffic to retail stores, according to Fresh Solutions Network LLC, supplier to the brand. Side Delights cites Nielsen research about consumers who increasingly seek value-added convenience items, and a 2018 Date Check Pro study on millennials’ preference for in-store shopping over online when it comes to fresh produce, according to a news release.
4/4/2019

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Dewulf is fully prepared for a successful future

Dewulf, full-liner in agricultural machines for potatoes and carrots, stands stronger than ever in the market after a capital injection by family shareholders Hendrik Decramer and Thomas Decan, in collaboration with investor Jan Clarebout. In a press release issued earlier today, the company mentions that these three parties now collectively own all the shares of Dewulf Group.
4/3/2019

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Ontario potato grower-marketer expands into the US

EarthFresh Farms is excited to announce their expansion into the Southeastern USA with an advanced technological packing plant and distribution center in Atlanta, GA. The new 140,000 sq. ft. packing plant and distribution center will operate as EarthFresh Atlanta, using the newest available technologies and equipment to serve customers throughout the Southern USA.
4/3/2019

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Explosion of fast-fixing, value-added potatoes adds excitement to this retail category

Serving fresh-cooked potatoes for dinner meant up to an hour’s prep time as little as a decade ago. No longer. Enter fast-fixing, value-added potatoes. “Growers are doing a great job with this category, be it with the choice of potato, flavorings or packaging,” says Richard Stiles, recently retired director of produce and floral for Redner’s Markets, a Reading, PA-chain with 44 markets and 13 quick shoppes in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. “These convenience products have really taken off with consumers.”
3/28/2019

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Practical guides on investing in a post-harvest processing line; prevention of potato bruising

If you are considering investing in a post-harvest processing line, the information included in this guide should make the process easier. It is not overly exhaustive, but will help you understand the process so you can find the perfect solution for your business. Wyma also publish a Guide entitled “Avoid potato bruising and increase profit“. It is said to be a handy guide to help you avoid potato bruising, minimise damage and get the most value from your harvest.
3/28/2019

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Back when Maine potatoes were at the root of a trade war with New Brunswick

Nearly 40 years ago, Maine farmers brought their rotten potatoes to Canada’s New Brunswick border crossings and put them to use. Angry about cheaper potatoes imported from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, they staged protests and blockades, which is where the potatoes came in.
3/27/2019

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Why cultural control is key to keeping potato blight at bay

The strains of blight that potato growers face in protecting their crops are becoming ever more aggressive, as only the fittest survive. A good example is the recent strain 36A2. It is very capable of taking a crop down quickly, and even managed it in the heat of the 2018 summer. All it needs is some leaf wetness. Blight can change very rapidly, meaning these robust new strains are appearing in the wider population on a frequent basis.
3/27/2019

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Researchers report on the effect of diverse compost products on potato yield and nutrient availability

Compost application to agricultural fields can increase soil organic matter content and soil productivity. This study compared diverse compost products with a non-amended control in small plot and on-farm trials for effects on tuber yield and plant nutrient availability under rain-fed potato production in New Brunswick, Canada. 
3/27/2019

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The elements of a good seed potato program

If you talk to a group of potato growers, one issue is almost certain to come up: how to find seed potatoes free of disease, writes Carol Miller – editor of American Vegetable Grower. The U.S. potato seed industry can be difficult to navigate. Each region or state has its own rules for certifying seeds, which creates inconsistency, she writes.
3/25/2019

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The beauty of small potatoes: Canadian company launches new mini potato line

The phrase “small is beautiful” is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more, in contrast with phrases such as “bigger is better”. In the world of potatoes, the WP Griffin company on Prince Edward Island in Canada is inadvertently giving new meaning to this phrase. The company recently launched its new product line dubbed ‘Potato Cuisine Microwaveable Mini Potatoes‘ – a product that comes accompanied by selected spices from around the world.
3/25/2019

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Scientists confirm the anti-inflammatory qualities of potatoes

In a research paper published in the American Journal of Potato Research, scientists Lavanya Reddivari, Tianmin Wang, Binning Wu and Shiyu Li say that some foods promote inflammation and some reduce it. Chronic intestinal inflammation, they say, drives a variety of diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colon cancer, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes, which plagues society today.
3/25/2019

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Canadian research project on common potato scab yielded surprising results

An Ontario research project on common scab in potatoes, supported by the Ontario Potato Board in Canada, has yielded surprising results. The fact that S. stelliscabiei is the most common species and not S. scabiei as expected is a major breakthrough according to Eugenia Banks, consultant to the Ontario Potato Board.
3/25/2019

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Colorado potato beetle management innovations

The most challenging trait of CPB is its uncanny ability to develop rapid resistance to conventional insecticides. CPB can develop rapid resistance due to a variety of mechanisms, including enhanced metabolism, target site insensitivity, reduced insecticide penetration and increased excretion, write Mark Milenski and Manuel Campos, Entomologist at BioSafe Systems.
3/25/2019

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Traceability trend: Kettle’s chip bags now track potatoes back to farm of origin

The Kettle Brand started last year to tag its bags of chips with codes that make it possible for customers to see which farmers where grew the potatoes for them. Interested in learning more about how much work went into a single bag of chips and where the potatoes originated? Kettle Brand potato chip company has started placing so-called Tater Tracker codes on its chip bags for customers to scan and learn about the farmers who grew them.
3/24/2019

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New pest and disease control products in the pipeline for Canadian growers

Potato growers across Canada will soon have a new option for controlling wireworms. BASF has submitted a registration for Cimegra insecticide to Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. It is described a “broad-spectrum insecticide” for controlling chewing insects, according to the company’s crop manager for horticulture Scott Hodgins. The key insect target will be wireworm, he says. 
3/24/2019

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Variable rate technology pays off in the Netherlands

University of Wageningen researcher Corné Kempenaar and his colleagues at the Department of Agro Systems Research conducted a study to assess the cost benefit of adopting five variable rate application (VRA) technologies in potato production, writes Melanie Epp, contributing writer for Spudman magazine in the US.
3/23/2019

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UPGC issues latest Canadian potato crop and market update report

The United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) board of directors met last week in Halifax and reviewed the potato crop and market status across Canada. Overall Potato Stocks for March 1st are down 11.5% or 6.3 million hundredweight compared to March 1 of 2018. Fresh stocks are down 16.6% compared to a year ago and potatoes intended for processing are down 4,287,000 cwt. Seed stocks are 5.6% below one year ago.
3/23/2019

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Expert advises on post-harvest treatment of common potato diseases

Despite best efforts at integrated disease management in the production field, the condition of tubers making their way to storage may require additional inputs to maintain quality in short and long term. In this article, Amanda J. Gevens, Extension Vegetable Pathologist and Associate Professor at UW-Madison addresses treatments of a few of the most common potato diseases that growers can apply at harvest or post-harvest during the storage of the harvested crop.
3/23/2019

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Decline in European potato production the spark for new frozen potato processing plans in Egypt

MENAFN (Daily News Egypt) reported recently that the International Food and Consumable Goods Company (IFCG) is planning to establish a new factory for the production of frozen vegetables after the increased demand, with investments worth EGP 350m. Mohamed Habib, the company’s export manager, said that the trend towards frozen vegetables production came after rise in the global demand for processed potatoes in view of the decline in Europe’s production of potatoes by 25%.
3/21/2019

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