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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

British potato growers provided with improved tools to tackle PCN

The findings from on-farm trials could help combat a deadly potato disease that causes around 26 million worth of damage to crops in the UK each year. According to demonstrations carried out by AHDB Potatoes and Harper Adams University, the use of fluopyram, previously used as a fungicide, as a nematicide provided a yield increase to a range of potato varieties at a farm with very high levels of Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN).
2/14/2018

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US: Two potato power houses join forces

Farm Fresh Direct (Monte Vista, CO) and Cal-Ore Produce (Tulelake, CA) have announced they are joining forces to continue to increase both their organic and conventional programs. Farm Fresh will act as the exclusive sales and marketing agent for Cal-Ore and will service the U.S. with cost effective, one-stop shopping solutions, they said. Acording to Jamey Higham, president and CEO of Farm Fresh Direct.
2/14/2018

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Europe: Potato DNA markers could keep potatoes in storage fresher for longer

EU-funded scientists have discovered genetic markers that could allow potatoes to be selected for their ability to be stored at low temperatures, keeping them fresh and avoiding the use of anti-sprouting chemicals. Potatoes used for crisps and chips are usually stored at eight degrees ? a temperature high enough to prevent starch from breaking down into glucose and fructose. To slow sprouting, potato producers often use a suppressant like chlorpropham, a chemical the EU is looking to phase out due to health concerns.
2/14/2018

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Albert Bartlett potato producer receives 4m Scottish Government grant

UK-based potato producer Albert Bartlett has received a 4 million grant from the Scottish Government, which the brand will use to expand its product range and manufacturing capacity. Albert Bartlett has stated that the grant will contribute towards a 17 million investment scheme, which will see the brand install new production equipment at the Firm?s Airdrie plant, facilitating the production of new product lines for the convenience and chilled potato markets.
2/13/2018

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US: Potatoes, politics kick off conference

A year after predicting how the new Trump Administration might affect agriculture, National Potato Council Executive Vice President John Keeling was back to give an update on politics and agriculture during the first day of the 2018 Southern Rocky Mountain Agricultural Conference and Trade Fair on Tuesday in Monte Vista. Keeling said he had anticipated that President Donald Trump might act differently once he was in office, but he said on Tuesday, ?I haven?t seen anything different. He is who he is.?
2/13/2018

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Potato range a nod to growing convenience sector

The rise in the popularity of convenient and easy to prepare produce items continues to make its presence felt in supermarkets. One potato producer has recognized this trend and has created a number of products to cover almost every aspect of preparing potatoes. Fresh Solutions Network, its members based across the US, created what they have named the ?Side Delights? convenience range and potato kits.
2/13/2018

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Forecasting tool named Product of the Year

Real-time ag technologies are here and now, and one of those is the R7 Field Forecasting Tool from WinField United in the US. ?The R7 Field Forecasting Tool uses high-powered modeling for more precise and efficient management of nitrogen, potassium and water and brings that together with the on-the-ground knowledge of the ag retailer,? says Joel Wipperfurth with WinField United. He says 2017 was the pilot year for the R7 FFT.
2/8/2018

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New ?lady-friendly? crisps go down like a sack of potatoes?

Doritos has announced plans to create new, quieter crisps especially for women, that will be downsized in order to fit neatly into our handbags. The mind-boggling ?lady-friendly? creation, dubbed ?Lady Doritos? on social media, is apparently the product of consumer research conducted by PepsiCo, the parent company of Doritos. Speaking to Freakonomics Radio, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said women ?don?t like to crunch too loudly in public? or ?lick their fingers generously...
2/8/2018

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Aviko doubles french fry capacity in China

Aviko is considerably increasing the processing capacity of its chip (french fry) factory in Chabei, China. The installation of a new processing line more than doubles capacity, and amounts to more than 100,000 tonnes of fries per year. ?The chip market is growing remarkably quickly in China,? Dick Zelhorst from Aviko Potato explains. ?We want to take maximum advantage of that. Prosperity is increasing on the east coast in particular, and western eating habits are starting to appear.?
2/8/2018

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Drones show promise spotting pests in potatoes

Recently, Donna Delparte, assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at Idaho State University (ISU) in Pocatello, gave growers an update on the status of her work, specifically on using an unmanned aerial vehicle to spot PVY infected plants and to record their specific locations for later control measures. In short, the technology works, but while it?s getting closer to being ready for the market, a few challenges still exist. Delparte said her team is conducting more trials and looking at building their own camera that could detect PVY but not carry the $50,000 price tag that a full, hyperspectral camera does.
2/7/2018

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McDonald?s french fries might cure hair loss, study finds

Researchers at Yokohama National University in Japan discovered that an ingredient in McDonald?s crispy potato recipe may help with hair regrowth, Refinery29 reports. The study found that ?Dimethylpolysiloxane,? a silicone that?s added to the oil to prevent splashing, can aid in the regeneration of ?follicle germs? (aka, the spots where new follicles grow out). Dimethylpolysiloxane is an anti-foaming agent made of silicone added to the oil used to cook the famous fries.
2/7/2018

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US: Cost of potato production rise compared to 2017

Work from the University of Idaho shows that many of the inputs that figure into the cost of production rose over the last year. Extension Agricultural Economist Ben Eborn surveyed producers, custom applicators, farm leaders and others to put together a set of figures for the costs involved in production. Those costs included things like fertilizer, trucking, land rent and insurance, and were intended to gauge both the per acre costs of production and costs associated with owning a farm.
2/7/2018

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Grower opinion: Instilling confidence for a successful British potato industry

Confidence throughout the supply chain is key to a sustainable potato industry, but how can growers, processors and packers ensure consistent productivity and regular investment in an ever-changing marketplace? The challenges associated with the UK potato sector are not new; a high turnover of varieties, changing consumer habits and hugely volatile commodity prices all add to the complexity of the industry, not to mention the more recent curveball ? Brexit.
2/6/2018

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Potatoes: Not only eat them, but also drink ?em?

In Ireland, Donegal continues to brew its reputation as one of Ireland?s top producers of fine alcoholic beverages, with a new gin set to be launched this weekend. Behind the new tipple is the Muff Liquor Company, a business recently set up by entrepreneur Laura Bonner and her business partner Tom Russell. They are confident they can entice both novice and seasoned gin drinkers alike with their inventive take on a classic distilled gin. After spending a number of years studying and working in both Dublin and London, Laura revealed how she spotted a niche in the drinks market and decided to establish her own distilled spirits company, specifically producing a potato based spirit.
2/6/2018

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US: Potato CEO sees challenges and success with Trump

John Keeling has spoken about politics to agricultural crowds for 25 years, but he?s never seen a political climate quite like this. ?We?ve seen things over the last year that just have never happened before,? said Keeling, the executive vice president and CEO of the National Potato Council in the US, during his keynote speech at the 28th annual Eastern Shore Agricultural Conference and Trade Show. ?It?s ground we?ve never plowed before. It?s interactions we?ve never seen before.
2/5/2018

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PepsiCo is developing women-only snacks because potato chips are so hard for girls

PepsiCo?s CEO Indra Nooyi has announced a turning point in the history snack foods. In an interview with Freakonomics, Nooyi revealed that the company would be launching lady snacks, finally allowing women everywhere to eat between meals just as men have done for centuries. Were you not aware that crunchy, crunchy chips were secretly, somehow insufficiently feminine? More the fool you. Talking about Doritos, the female executive pointed out that men and women eat the chips very differently.
2/5/2018

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Researchers aim to improve accuracy of potato cyst nematode calculator

A team of Harper Adams University researchers, Dr Matthew Back, Dr Ivan Grove and Bill Watts, are working in collaboration with Leeds University and Barworth Agriculture to improve the accuracy of the ?AHDB Potatoes potato cyst nematode (PCN) pallida calculator? which is currently used as an educational forecasting tool for UK potato growers. To help growers to formulate control strategies, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Potatoes created the ?PCN Calculator? for the most troublesome species, Globodera pallida. The calculator enables PCN population dynamics and potato yields to be forecast for different potato varieties grown under a range of conditions and control strategies.
2/5/2018

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Potatoes: The key to providing food for potential Martian colonists in the future?

Few can call themselves more of a potato enthusiast than the Weather Channel?s science editor, James Crugnale. He, like a growing number of spud science aficionados, believe the potato is the key to providing food for potential Martian colonists in the future. ?Potatoes are one of nature?s most fantastic vegetables,? Crugnale told Inverse at the Inverse Lunar Eclipse Party and Science Fair at Caveat in New York City, where he explained just how hardcore taters can be. ?They can be grown under very harsh circumstances. They?re one of our most versatile vegetables,? he said.
2/5/2018

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Facebook reach increases 630 percent for Colorado Potatoes

A huge bump in Facebook likes for Colorado Potatoes during the 2017 calendar year has reinforced CP?s commitment to the social media giant for reaching current consumers and engaging new ones as well. According to Marketing Administrative Assistant Savannah Schlaufman of Colorado Potatoes, which is the marketing arm of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, consumer reach through Facebook has been exponential, and Pinterest is growing as well.
2/5/2018

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Presentation: ?The weird and wild world of physiological disorders?

This presentation by Dr Andy Robinson at North Dakota State University (NDSU) shows many physiological disorders of potatoes. These disorders can cause minor or major losses in tuber quality. They can be difficult to identify and replicate. This presentation was given at the recent 2018 Manitoba Potato Production Days meeting in Brandon, Canada. Dr Robinson is Extension Agronomist and Assistant Professor at NDSU.
2/2/2018

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Colorado potato beetle genome gives insight into major agricultural pest

The Colorado potato beetle is notorious for its role in starting the pesticide industry ? and for its ability to resist the insecticides developed to stop it. Managing the beetle costs tens of millions of dollars every year, but this is a welcome alternative to the billions of dollars in damage it could cause if left unchecked. To better understand this tenacious pest, a team of scientists from 33 institutes and universities, led by University of Wisconsin-Madison entomologist Sean Schoville, sequenced the beetle?s genome, probing its genes for clues to its surprising adaptability to new environments and insecticides.
2/1/2018

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Award winning soil moisture meter said to be a ?must-have? for potato growers

Spectrum Technologies, Inc., based in Illinois in the US, brings soil measurement technology to potato farmers with the FieldScout TDR350. The TDR350 is a highly relevant tool every potato farmer can find useful and affordable in working toward optimal soil management. ?The TDR350 provides farmers with an objective and consistent way to measure soil moisture, and to determine the best strategy for irrigation tillage, fertilizer application and planting operations,? says Mike Thurow, President & CEO of Spectrum Technologies.
2/1/2018

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Experts provide practical guidelines for fertilizer management in irrigated potato production

A comprehensive nutrient management program is no doubt essential for maintaining a healthy potato crop, optimizing tuber yield and quality, and minimizing undesirable impacts on the environment ? in particular during irrigated crop production. High nutrient demand coupled with relative low native fertility often found in irrigated potato soils, can result in high fertilizer requirements for irrigated potato production. In an in-depth report on this topic, specialists Carl J. Rosen and Peter M. Bierman at the University of Minnesota provide several research based guidelines that will be of interest to growers and agronomists alike.
2/1/2018

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US: Processing expansion impacts demand for Washington and Oregon spuds

Expansion in the processing industry will create new dynamics for Washington and Oregon potato production, the leader of Washington?s potato commission says. ?We have incredible growing demand in Asia; we still have growing demand here domestically, and we?ve got to keep up with that,? said Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission. ?We?ve had international customers on quotas for several years now; we just have not been able to get them enough frozen potato products overseas.?
1/31/2018

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NFU Potato Forum wants to improve relations in British fresh produce sector

The NFU Potato Forum last month published a report, entitled Bridging the Gap, which looked at how relations can be improved in what is a vital area of the British fresh produce sector. Informed by member feedback, the Potato Forum wrote to over 30 packers and processors to highlight concerns over collaboration and communication, following this up with face-to-face meetings.
1/31/2018

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Canada: Upcoming pest management workshops for potato growers in Alberta province

To grow any crop successfully, you need to have a handle of what pests may be threatening that crop and how to identify them, whether it?s insects, diseases, or weeds. And potatoes are no exception. Rob Spencer, commercial horticulture specialist with Alberta Agriculture, says an upcoming workshop will help producers do just that. Watch an interview with Rob Spencer on YouTube (2:11 mins).
1/31/2018

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Company on cutting edge of protecting stored potatoes with ?humigator? technology

In 1985, Garry Isaacs invented a piece of equipment he called a humigator. He patented it and started a company in Blackfoot six years ago called Idaho Hydro Tech (IHT) to manufacture it. The name is a combination of fumigator and humidifier, which describes the two functions of the invention.
1/30/2018

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US: Webinar ? Crop Nutrition for Quality Potato Production

Join Agronomist Steve Petrie and Jimmy Ridgway, Crop Manager-Potatoes Yara North America, for this free webinar as they share insights from extensive crop nutrition research and trials that Spudman magazine partner YARA has conducted. They?ll discuss technology, tools and services to help you grow your best crop yet. Jimmy Ridgway has worked in the crop nutrition business in retail, wholesale and manufacturer representation since 1984. Dr. Petrie has been Director of Agronomic Services for Yara in the western US since 2013.
1/30/2018

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North American potato experts share ideas on the importance of healthy seed

Spud Smart magazine gathered 5 expert opinions on why it?s important potato growers plant the best seed they can get their hands on. ?Seed is the cornerstone of potato production,? notes Steven Johnson, crops specialist and extension professor at the University of Maine. ?The same production costs are put into a crop from poor seed as in a crop from good seed, but the yields can be drastically different.?
1/30/2018

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Idaho potato company wants to bring more organic potatoes to market

Everything Potatoes, Inc. is the brain child of Sandy Bragg, president, and husband Jeff Bragg, vice president, whose mission is to offer a healthier potato option as far and wide as possible while still being involved in every stage of development. The organic potato market has been a growing niche market the last few years as people gravitate towards organics for better health and flavor. Everything Potatoes, Inc. offers a colorful mix of seed potato and fresh potato varieties.
1/30/2018

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Cargill and AKV Langholt plan $22.5m potato starch facility in Denmark

Cargill and its Danish potato starch partner AKV Langholt will invest $22.5 million in a new potato starch production unit at their Langholt facility in Denmark. The potato starches produced at the new facility expand Cargill?s SimPure portfolio of functional native starches. Cargill said that its SimPure starches feature ingredients from a variety of botanical sources.
1/29/2018

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US: Potato prices strengthening

Tight supplies are pushing potato prices higher, but those better prices probably won?t last long. ?I think we are coming into a crunch time for potatoes,? said Bruce Huffaker with North American Potato Market News. That?s good news for potato growers who have seen relatively flat prices at near cost of production levels for the last five years.
1/29/2018

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Ireland: Farmer brothers extend massive deal with Tesco

Country Crest, the north Dublin-based family-owned agri-business, and Tesco Ireland have confirmed a further extension of its almost 20 year relationship until 2020. Owned by Gabriel and Michael Hoey, Country Crest will continue to supply all potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes to Tesco Ireland?s 149 stores and via online shopping in a deal worth over ?60m.
1/29/2018

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US: Zebra chip control costs potato growers nearly $11 million each year

According to a news report by Capital Press, zebra chip disease control costs farmers in major potato-growing areas in the US ? in particular the Northwest ? nearly $11 million each year, said Gina Greenway, business and accounting assistant professor at the College of Idaho. Greenway is also working to quantify zebra chip?s effects on potato quality and developing a cost-benefit analysis of different insecticide spray regimes.
1/28/2018

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British potato farmer aims to lead vodka revolution

Vodka is the latest example of farmers driven to drink as they seek to make more from their resources in the ground. Gin, beer and wine are already part of Yorkshire agriculture?s burgeoning business romance with alcohol and its latest entrant David Rawlings of Priory Farm, Syningthwaite in North Yorkshire has already distilled success before a bottle has gone on sale. Priory Vodka made from a small acreage of David?s potato crop that is otherwise destined for McCain?s and McDonald?s fries won two prestigious Gold awards at the Global Spirits Masters in autumn 201
1/28/2018

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10th World Potato Congress a tribute to Peru, the origin of modern-day potatoes

Potatoes were first taken out of Peru, their Andean region of origin, 458 years ago and introduced to the rest of the world, and then went on to feed the world, according to a news report by the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency. Half a millennium later, potatoes have spread throughout the planet but there are challenges to preserve the crop?s biodiversity as a source of food security, as well as the rights of the peasants who sustain this legacy for humanity in Peru.
1/28/2018

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Scientists create potato starch paint as petroleum-free alternative

Researchers in Germany have derived film formers for paint using potato starch. Although there has been numerous attempts to use ?organic? components as a base for paint, none have proved to be at par with industry standards. This step from the science community at Fraunhofer has allowed us to have an insight towards creating true ?natural? coating products that leaves no bad effects to the environment.
1/26/2018

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Duravant to acquire sorting and conveying company Key Technology

Material handling and processing specialist Duravant announced today that it has agreed to acquire Key Technology. Key Technology?s potato processing equipment includes optical inspection systems, laser sorters, sizing, grading, and packaging conveyors, and unique Automatic Defect Removal (ADR) systems.
1/26/2018

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Project to improve forecasting of UK?s most damaging potato disease

A team of researchers aim to improve the accuracy of a calculator which is used as a forecasting tool for growers to predict potato cyst nematode (PCN). To help growers to formulate control strategies, AHDB Potatoes created the ?PCN Calculator? for the most troublesome species, Globodera pallida. The calculator enables PCN population dynamics and potato yields to be forecast for different potato varieties grown under a range of conditions and control strategies.
1/25/2018

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South African potato grower reaching out for help with serious disease problems

Monique Vlok is a potato grower in the so called Sandveld region in the southwestern part of South Africa, not far from Cape Town. In her area, many potato growers are dealing with an increasing incidence of potato leaf roll virus and powdery scab. ?These diseases became more prevalent in our region over the past decade or so, and are nowadays of serious concern for many potato growers in South Africa, leading to serious crop losses and of course economic headaches in many cases,? she says.
1/25/2018

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UK: Seed potato suppliers to retail market see 10-15% sales increase

Taylor?s Bulbs says seed potato sales are 10-15% up following the decision by Westland/Unwins and Thompson & Morgan to pull out of the 2018 garden centre seed potato supply market. Taylor?s director Adam Taylor says seed potato sales have started already. JBA Seed Potatoes completed the outright purchase of the Westlands/Unwins seed potato business as of 8 August 2017.
1/24/2018

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US: First San Luis Valley Potato Business Summit focused on economics, future strategies and technology

In the first San Luis Valley Potato Business Summit on Monday in Monte Vista, topics focused more on economics, future strategies and technology than varieties, diseases and rotations. Speakers in what organizers hope to be an annual event talked about markets, the economy, digital agriculture and setting goals for the future. Sterling Liddell with Rabobank, the largest global agricultural lender, discussed economic cycles in relationship to the potato industry.
1/24/2018

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US: Industry cooperation key to progress, potato growers told

The potato industry has had better luck recently in securing federal research dollars due to improved cooperation among its national and state organizations, three industry leaders said Jan. 17 during the Eastern Idaho Potato Conference. The speakers included National Potato Council Executive Vice President and CEO John Keeling; Pat Kole, the Idaho Potato Commission?s vice president of legal and government affairs; and Ryan Krabill, director of research with Potatoes USA.
1/24/2018

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Potatoes USA now largest commodity backer of national school salad bar campaign

This week, Potatoes USA announced the latest part of the Let?s Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign, which donates salad bars to school districts in need. The campaign, launched via the United Fresh Start Foundation, has found a major backer in Potatoes USA, which has become the biggest individual commodity donor to the program, donating more than 280 salad bars so far.
1/23/2018

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Tong Engineering appoints new dealer for Scotland

Potato and vegetable handling equipment manufacturer Tong Engineering announced that it has appointed ScanStone potato systems as the company?s new approved dealer for Scotland. Tong Engineering has confirmed its partnership with ScanStone in order to strengthen its relationship with potato and vegetable growers throughout Scotland.
1/23/2018

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Scientists say eating potatoes could help combat dementia

The latest research suggests potatoes can play a significant role in helping combat everything from heart attacks to cancer and strokes and now it seems they could even stave off dementia. Agricultural research scientists from Scotland?s James Hutton Institute (JHI) believe it?s time to put spuds back on the menu as a healthy and nutritious part of a balanced diet.
1/22/2018

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New potato equipment innovations showcased at Agritechnica event

The Agritechnica event in Hanover, Germany is the world?s largest trade fair for agricultural machinery. The German Agricultural Society (DLG) awarded GRIMME (sister company of Spudnik in North America), with a Silver Innovation Award for its new self-propelled four-row potato harvester. Ventor 4150 is the company?s first four-row, self-propelled harvester based on the side elevator concept, said product manager Dirk-Jan Stapel. Another harvester launched at Agritechnica was AVR?s Spirit 5200, a machine designed with simplicity in mind.
1/22/2018

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China sending potatoes, weeds along with humans to the moon

China is planning to send not only astronauts. but also the eggs of silkworms, a tiny weed named Arabidopsis (rockcress), and potato plants to the moon by the end of the year. ?The eggs will hatch into silkworms, which can produce carbon dioxide, while the potatoes and seeds emit oxygen through photosynthesis. Together, they can establish a simple ecosystem on the Moon,? the chief designer of the container, Zhang Yuanxun, told the China Daily.
1/21/2018

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Herbicide injury in potato an important focus of university extension program

The Potato Extension program at the North Dakota State University (NDSU) / University of Minnesota (U of M) is working on herbicide injury in potato and developing educational tools to disseminate scientific findings to growers.
1/21/2018

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US: Spudnik celebrates 60 years

Sixty years after launching, Spudnik is doing well in the potato race. The company, which traces its origins back to two brothers who invented a potato ?scooper? to do the backbreaking, potato-piling labor farmworkers had to do by hand before, employs about 300 people today and makes more than 70 equipment models. ?We are equipment manufacturers. We try to be seen as partners, though,? said marketing specialist Jan Muhle.
1/18/2018

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