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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

Not much movement on Belgian potato market, says owner of potato pool

Last year, potato wholesaler RTL Patat from Menen, Belgium, started the first Belgian potato pool. In the Netherlands, this has existed for a while. Owner Rik Tanghe talks about how things are now. ?Multiple growers have signed up with us now. Our goal is to have higher average daily prices. That?s very tricky this year, due to the low daily prices and difficult market circumstances.
1/17/2018

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Brexit: Jersey Royal potatoes ?could be left rotting in fields? due to lack of EU workers

The largest producer of Jersey Royal potatoes has warned crops may be left to rot in the fields because foreign workers have left ahead of Brexit. Polish workers ? who had previously provided the majority of seasonal labour ? have abandoned Jersey following the EU referendum, according to Charlie Gallichan of Woodside Farms, which grows and exports Jersey Royals, vegetables and flowers. Growers are ?trying to keep their heads above water until they get reinforcements? from Africa and elsewhere, he said.
1/17/2018

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2018 Potato Expo Panelists: ?Potato expectations critical in buy-sell relationship?

Communicating quality expectations clearly is the best way to avoid conflicts in buyer-seller relationships, according to panelists at the 2018 Potato Expo. In a fresh market track workshop called ?Identifying the Source of Quality Issues in the Fresh Potato Supply Chain,? retailers and shippers on Jan. 11 talked about how they sort out quality expectations. The session was moderated by Mac Johnson, president and CEO of Category Partners.
1/17/2018

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UK: Potato growers ?must look in dusty corners? to innovate

Researchers are continuing to make strides in helping UK potato growers to get the best crop with the least environmental impact as a nationally-significant Suffolk farm project reached the end of its second year, farmers were told this week. Elveden Estate farm manager Andrew Francis said forward-thinking growers had already made innovations and were now looking for gains in less obvious areas to boost yields while working more sustainably as researchers revealed latest findings from the project.
1/16/2018

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Peru does not have a potato processing plant, despite increasing demand

Last Tuesday, farmers and producers of white potatoes raised their voices and went on strike because of the fall in tuber prices. According to farmers, prices started to fall because of the import of pre-fried potatoes from countries like the Netherlands and the US. The pre-fried potatoes are white potatoes that are ready to be fried and be used in meals.
1/16/2018

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US: ?Potato Woman for All Seasons? awarded

New York state?s Melanie Wickham has been awarded the 2017 Potato Woman for All Seasons by The Packer and Farm Journal publications. The Packer?s Tom Karst presented the award to Wickham on Jan. 12 at the National Potato Council annual awards banquet. Wickham, executive secretary of the Empire State Potato Growers and manager of Empire State Farm Days, was nominated by several state and national industry leaders for the award. Serving for 33 years with Empire State Potato Growers, Wickham was praised for her tireless work on behalf of the industry both in New York and nationwide.
1/16/2018

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European Potato Trade Association welcomes new Communication & Policy Advisor

The European Potato Trade Association (Europatat) is pleased to announce the appointment of Berta Redondo Benito as the new Communication & Policy Advisor of the association, with effect as of 8th of January. Mrs Berta Redondo (27) is an enthusiastic and creative communication professional specialised in European agricultural policies. She holds a Journalism Degree from the University of Valladolid in Spain, where she is originally from, and she has a strong work experience in radio and European communications related with agricultural topics.
1/15/2018

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The importance of potassium management in potato production

Potatoes use more potassium than any other nutrient, including nitrogen. Potassium is required for nutrient movement in the potato plant. It is essential for the makeup of over 40 different enzymes and is involved in more than 60 different enzyme systems in plants. Potassium is crucial in quality potato formation. Plants lacking in potassium often display various signs of deficiencies, the most common being discoloration of older leaves on the plant as compared to younger leaves on the plant.
1/15/2018

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Expert report: Potatoes optimal for improving performance among endurance athletes

A report about high-quality carbohydrates and physical performance was recently released in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrition Today. The report focuses on commentary that took place during an expert panel. The results of the report suggest that balanced diets high in natural, carbohydrate-rich foods, including nutrient-dense potatoes, may be optimal for improving performance among elite endurance athletes.
1/14/2018

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Nematology expert discusses management practices for corky ringspot in potatoes

In a video aimed at helping potato growers, the Plant Management Network has released a presentation by Michigan State University professor of nematology George W. Bird on management practices for corky ringspot. The disease is caused by the tobacco rattle virus and vectored by stubby-root nematodes. The primary symptoms are characteristic concentric rings on tuber skin and internal tissues. Bird?s presentation is designed to assist growers in understanding and managing corky ring spot.
1/14/2018

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?Supermarket Guru? told Potato Expo attendees to keep up with consumer trends

Keeping up with consumer trends and the breakneck pace of technology may not be easy but it is necessary to thrive, Phil Lempert told 2018 Potato Expo attendees. Lempert, known as the Supermarket Guru, covered his list of top 10 food industry trends of 2018 in Jan. 10 fast-moving talk on the Potato Expo?s first day. ?Consumers needs have changed and evolved and the retail landscape is changing dramatically,? Lempert said.
1/13/2018

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Japan now has french fry ice cream sundaes?

Japanese fast food chain First Kitchen has a bit of an image problem, in that it really doesn?t have much of an image. First Kitchen is often so low-key that it?s easy to overlook the chain, but we?re sure that its newest item, french fry sundaes, will help keep it in people?s minds.
1/13/2018

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Research finding: When pests graze certain potatoes, yields double

When some Colombian potato varieties are lightly grazed by a pest, the plants respond by growing larger tubers, at times doubling their yields. Although many types of plants can repair pest damage while maintaining productivity, it?s rare to find species that actually overcompensate and increase productivity. Cornell University and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia researchers first discovered this effect in a commercial Colombian potato in 2010. Now, a new study by the research group published Dec. 27, 2017, in the journal Ecology investigates whether certain conditions might allow farmers to exploit this response to reduce insecticides and increase productivity.
1/13/2018

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Smart B2B networking platform launched for the potato industry in the Netherlands

BizVibe, a smart B2B networking platform for global B2B buyers and suppliers, announced today the next generation of its B2B networking platform for the potato market in the Netherlands. With the update, BizVibe says in a press release that businesses can establish a faster and more efficient path from company discovery to getting better quotes and building long-lasting profitable business partnerships with leading Dutch potato suppliers.
1/12/2018

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Governor?s proposed budget excludes funding for new Idaho seed potato facility

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter?s proposed fiscal year 2019 budget does not include the $3 million in state funds for a new nuclear seed potato facility sought by the University of Idaho?s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. CALS officials had requested $3 million in state funding to help build a new $5.5 million nuclear seed potato facility, which maintains disease-free germplasm and mini-tubers for seed potato growers and researchers. The rest of the money would come from industry partners.
1/12/2018

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UK: Burts Potato Chips snaps up popcorn maker

UK-based Burts Potato Chips is making strides towards its goal of being a leader in snacking with the acquisition of popcorn business Savoury & Sweet Ltd. This is the first acquisition for Burts which is diversifying and expanding its healthy snacking product range to now include popcorn. ?The Burts business has grown significantly over the last five years, from 11.4m (US$15.4 million) in 2013 to an anticipated 37m (US$50 million) post-acquisition for 2017,? says David Nairn, managing director of Burts, who will lead the newly formed business.
1/12/2018

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South Africa: Water shortages could constrain potato plantings

Severe drought conditions are affecting potato plantings in the southern parts of South Africa. Only about a third of the usual plantings in the Koue Bokkeveld (Ceres area) will realise due to water supply constraints. Whether the amount of water from boreholes will suffice to optimally irrigate this season?s potato crop in the southern areas of the country remains to be seen, says Dr Andr Jooste, CEO of Potatoes SA.
1/12/2018

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Kenya: Potato farmers turn to growing contracts to earn more money, get better seed

According to a report by AllAfrica.com, Kenyan potato farmers are increasingly turning to production contracts with food processors in a system known as contract farming through the East African Potato Consortium. By working with the consortium, they reportedly get access to seed that better stand up to harsher local conditions, better fertilisers, and get a guaranteed price for their crop, as long as they produce good quality potatoes on time.
1/10/2018

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Germany: Potato ?Premieres and Innovations? to feature at Fruit Logistica 2018

Trade visitors can start gearing up for the Fruit Logistica event, taking place from February, 7-9, in Berlin, Germany, with ?Spotlight ? Premieres and Innovations at Fruit Logistica 2018?. The 68 Spotlight reports published so far include 23 world premieres and 11 European premieres. Spotlight also includes potato products and equipment for potatoes.
1/10/2018

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US: Will Taco Bell?s new Nacho Fries affect the french fry supply?

When ordering tacos from a food service outlet, the last thing you might expect would be this phrase: ?Would you like fries with that?? Yet, on Jan. 25, across the nation, diners at Taco Bell will be presented with that question when the chain launches Nacho Fries. However, at the Food Institute, another question is asked: how will this affect the prices of French fries for the industry?
1/10/2018

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Scotland: Albert Bartlett potato firm sees profits hit by price pressures

Sales at potato firm Albert Bartlett have climbed 18 per cent to 146m, but operating profit was again impacted by price pressures in the supply chain. In accounts newly filed with Companies House, the Airdrie-based firm said the performance was satisfactory, ?given another year of challenging market conditions which continue to put significant pricing pressures on the entire supply chain?. Operating profit in the year to May 31 fell again, to 1.8m from 2.1m. In the 2015 financial year, operating profit was 8m, with last year?s fall partly attributed to start-up costs for its frozen foods business.
1/9/2018

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US: Dieffenbach?s Potato Chips launches ?Its Good To Be Ugly? campaign to reduce waste and fight hunger

Dieffenbach?s Potato Chips Inc. announced yesterday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show the ?It?s Good to be Ugly? campaign aimed at Reducing Waste and Fighting Hunger. Dieffenbach?s introduced its newest brand, Uglies in 2017 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Unlike any potato chip snack available, Uglies are made with potatoes that have slight cosmetic imperfections and may otherwise be discarded. More than just a delicious snack, Uglies kettle-cooked potato chips offer a solution to the food-waste problem in America while partnering with farmers in the surrounding areas.
1/9/2018

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China intends to grow potatoes on the dark side of the moon by the end of the year

The moon has been neglected for far too long, and China seems keen on moving fast to cover all the lost lunar ground. The nation?s ambitious space program, among other things, is set on achieving several important milestones. A trifecta, consisting of a lunar probe, lander, and rover, will be deployed to the moon?s orbit and surface respectively. This will be the first time a man-made contraption makes a soft landing on the far or dark side of the moon, a site of renewed interest for many scientists.
1/9/2018

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Bioinsecticide a sustainable solution for organic control of insects

BioCeres WP is an insect-pathogenic bioinsecticide that makes use of the Beauveria bassiana fungus. This fungus strain is naturally occurring in Canada. BioCeres WP is approved for organic production in North America and is said to be perfectly suited for use in IPM programs as a tank mix with other pesticides as well as in specific, stand-alone uses. The fungus used is found naturally in soil and attacks several species of invertebrates. According to the manufacturers of BioCeres WP, BioSafe Systems, this product sticks to insects? cuticle (outer shell) and the resulting infection causes death.
1/8/2018

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Potatoes USA Seed Export Program underway for 2018

Efforts are underway to plant field trials of U.S. seed varieties in Myanmar, Morocco and Guatemala in early 2018. Potatoes USA purchases U.S. seed potatoes from U.S. growers in multiple states to provide up to a dozen different varieties to each target market which are suitable for their warm climates and have high resistance to common potato diseases. Funding for these trials is primarily from USDA grants to promote U.S. agricultural exports to emerging markets.
1/8/2018

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Potato industry?s biggest annual event kicks off this week in Orlando

This week more than 2,000 growers, suppliers, and experts will converge at the largest conference and trade show for the potato industry held in North America. Potato Expo 2018 kicks off tomorrow in Orlando, Florida. This will mark the 10th anniversary for the event which each year features educational programming covering the top issues facing the potato industry.
1/8/2018

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Upcoming event: Idaho Potato Conference and Ag Expo

The 50th annual University of Idaho Extension Potato Conference is an agricultural based trade show and will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 17 and 18 in the ISU Pond Student Union Building. Over 100 exhibitors will take part in the Trade Show. The conference covers a wide range of industry topics ranging from variety development, management practices and economics, marketing and political issues.
1/8/2018

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Scientists eye potato starch as bio-based solution for paints and varnishes

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP, in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, are ldeveloping a cost-effective coating based on renewable raw materials. The focus of the research is on potato starch.
1/7/2018

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Canada: Grimme and Spudnik introduce new potato harvester

Big red Grimme potato harvesters are anything but a common sight here in Canada, but spud growers will likely recognize the name of one of Grimme?s brand subsidiaries, U.S.-based Spudnik, which it acquired in 2003. Spudnik has been a major potato equipment supplier in North America for a long time. The Grimme brand harvesters are generally smaller in capacity than their Spudnik cousins and until now have been better suited to European growers? needs. But at a field day in Germany in September, the company debuted a larger model, the EVO 290.
1/7/2018

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Northern Germany: ?Wet fields, late crops and mouldy tubers?

Potato traders in northern Germany look back on 2017 with mixed feelings. Although yields were sufficient to meet demand, the quality of stored potatoes is in part poor. At Lnekartoffel-Vertrieb GmbH & Co. KG, located in the middle of the important cultivation area Lneburg Heath, the wet autumn weather is still resonating. ?My gut tells me we?re going to see some difficult times,? says managing director Michael Kleinlein. Wet fields, late crops and mouldy tubers.
1/6/2018

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A potato in the mail: ?Text-a-Potato? expands into themed potato gifts

British based ?Text-A-Potato? is a business that sends personalised, hand written messages on potatoes to anyone in the UK and select European countries. Yes, you read that correctly. The Text-A-Potato team send potatoes with messages in the post. The business has now expanded into themed potato gifts, including spuds for anniversaries, congratulations, birthdays, Mother?s Day, Christmas and even proposals.
1/6/2018

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Lamb Weston President expects growth in french fry demand ?to continue in foreseeable future?

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. announced today its second quarter 2018 results and updated its outlook for fiscal 2018. ?Our second quarter and first half results were solid,? said Tom Werner, President and CEO. ?Our commercial teams have worked through customer contract negotiations, and now that those discussions are largely behind us, we?re focused on our ongoing commitment to deliver industry-leading service, drive innovation and service limited time offerings with our customers.?
1/6/2018

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Smart panels and irrigation monitoring: A perfect pair

Why pair up smart panels and irrigation monitoring? Well, in short, it?s the same reason any pair is formed ? to help consumers save resources by increasing product efficiency. If you want a better idea of how smart panels fit into the picture, maybe the best thing to do is to take a look at some other ?smart? technologies on the market. We have smartphones, smart cars and smart homes.
1/5/2018

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Tips for applying nutrients to a potato crop

Potato Grower magazine, published in the US, takes a look at the six most significant nutrients needed by commercially produced potatoes, as well as some?known as micronutrients?needed in much smaller quantities, and the best ways to ensure your potatoes get enough of them during the growing season.
1/5/2018

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World Potato Congress announces new President and CEO

World Potato Congress Inc. announces Mr. Romain Cools as new President and CEO, as David Thompson steps down from this position. After 17 years on the World Potato Congress Board of Directors, 12 as vice-president and the last five years as president, David Thompson has decided that it was time for a change. He is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2018 he is stepping down as President and CEO of the World Potato Congress (WPC) Inc., however he will remain on the board of directors.
1/5/2018

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New bio-fungicide shows strong performance against white molds and soil diseases

Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI), based in the US, recently announced the launch and availability of a high-performance and cost-effective biological fungicide, Amplitude?, in the 2018 growing season. Amplitude is based on a new strain of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, discovered by MBI, that has shown strong performance against white molds and soil diseases such as Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia (pink rot and black scurf of potatoes), and Fusarium, as shown in field trials in the US, Canada and Europe.
1/4/2018

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Managing weight loss in potato storages

According to Nora Olsen and Mary Jo Frazier at the University of Idaho, what isn?t as easy to see is the amount of weight loss, or shrinkage, that is occurring in storage. Stored potatoes will lose weight from respiration (carbon and water loss), transpiration (direct water loss) and disease. Transpiration water loss is the greatest factor in weight loss unless high levels of disease are present ? then that becomes the greatest contributor, especially if caused by any of the water rots.
1/3/2018

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The science behind why chip bags are mostly air

Packaging engineers have studied that it is important to have slack fill in chips bags for two essential reasons: protection during shipping and preservation of product quality. And no, it?s not just any air inside the bags. It?s nitrogen. Such gas, which comprises about 78% of the air we breathe, helps the edibles stay fresh, as confirmed in a study by a trained panel of testers in 1994. It helps prevent combustion, too. Also, if packaging engineers used oxygen, the food would be susceptible to spoilage.
1/3/2018

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Canada: New herbicide for broad-spectrum control of weeds in potatoes

Bayer has announced the launch of Sencor STZ, a powerful and innovative new herbicide for broad-spectrum control of all major annual grass and broadleaf weeds in potatoes. According to a news release, Sencor STZ combines the trusted control of Sencor with a new Group 14 mode of action, providing Canadian potato growers a new weed control option for their field and offering a convenient resistance management tool. As a pre-emergent herbicide, Sencor STZ has uptake through the roots and shoots of weeds, providing early season weed control during critical crop stages.
1/3/2018

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McCain company executive makes predictions for future of potato industry

While he maintains there will be a market for potatoes well into the future, Ghislain Pelletier predicts the future of the industry will bear little resemblance to the past. The global vice-president for agronomy for McCain Foods was one of the keynote speakers at the recent annual meeting of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board in Canada. He noted potatoes are a highly productive crop that can be grown in a number of climates.
12/29/2017

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Idaho spud growers co-op says McCain contract is small potatoes

Idaho farmers who raise potatoes for making frozen fries fear a contract being offered by a Canadian food manufacturer could quash their chances of earning better profits in 2018 and 2019. Chuck Stadick, executive director of Southern Idaho Potato Cooperative, which represents Idaho growers in negotiations with potato processors, said McCain Foods circumvented the grower organization this fall and went straight to farms with an ?unfair? contract.
12/28/2017

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Australia?s ?Big Potato? is up for sale

We know that it?s Christmas and your bank accounts are getting a little dusty, but you guys? The Big Potato is up for sale. Living in the shadow of other large monuments like The Big Pineapple, Banana and Merino, The Big Potato is often undeservingly forgotten. But now, the giant spud could be yours. Located in Robertson, NSW, owners Heather and Neil Tait opened the Family Grocer 27 years ago before buying the land next door just four years ago.
12/27/2017

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South Korea re-opens market for potatoes from Idaho, Washington and Oregon

The South Korean government announced the reopening of its market for table-stock potatoes from the Pacific Northwest states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The market had been closed since July 2012 over technical concerns. Since that time, the U.S. potato industry worked with USDA?s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the South Korean government to address the issues raised by Korea. According to John Keeling, CEO National Potato Council, ?the National Potato Council (NPC) thanks USDA APHIS and their Korean counterparts for their dedication to resolving this issue.?
12/27/2017

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Hershey goes beyond chocolate with acquisition of Tyrrell?s potato chips, SkinnyPop

Hershey Co. is expanding further beyond chocolate, agreeing to buy the owner of SkinnyPop popcorn and Tyrrell?s potato chips for $921 million. The U.S. candy giant agreed to buy Amplify Snack Brands Inc. for $12 a share, a 71 percent premium to Friday?s closing price. The company has about $600 million in debt and has seen its stock value dive since it went public in 2015.
12/27/2017

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US: $105,000 grant will fund research into rotation crops for potato growers

A more than $100,000 grant will fund a project that to explore potential rotation crops for potato growers in the state, according to the Maine Potato Board. Jake Dyer, agronomist for the board, said Thursday that a $105,527 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program will support a two year project to develop ?best management practices for pulse and oilseed crops in the Northeast.?
12/27/2017

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Support available to visit 10th World Potato Congress for delegates of developing countries

Delegates to the 10th World Potato Congress from developing and transitional countries may qualify for financial support from World Potato Congress Inc. (WPC Inc.). David Thompson, President of WPC Inc. said today he is extremely pleased to announce WPC Inc. has agreed to subsidize up to four (4) delegates to the next World Potato Congress to be held in Cusco, Peru from May 27 to 30, 2018. WPC Inc. will provide $1,000 CAD to subsidize each qualifying delegate to Cusco.
12/27/2017

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Lamb Weston announces $250 million investment in additional fry line

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. announced an expansion of french fry processing capacity in North America and an increase in its quarterly dividend. ?The french fry category has been growing at attractive rates around the world, and we believe industry capacity has been challenged in recent years to keep up with continued growth in market demand,? said Tom Werner, President and CEO of Lamb Weston. ?This investment in a new french fry processing line in the Columbia Basin reflects Lamb Weston?s continued commitment to support our strategic partners as they continue to grow their businesses in North America and abroad.?
12/27/2017

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China?s potato production to rebound; demand for french fries and chips stronger

As the largest potato producer in the world, China?s 2017/18 fresh potato production is forecast at 97 million metric tons (MMT), due to an expansion of potato area. During the 2016/17 season, production was forecast to increase 3 percent to 100 MMT, but actually dropped 5 percent to an estimated 92 MMT. This decrease was due to continuing drought in the North and large-scale late blight occurrences in the Southwest. Processing potatoes account for about 15 to 20 percent of total production, and include such products as starch, dehydrated potatoes, chips, and frozen french fries.
12/20/2017

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US: Cape Cod Potato Chip?s parent company sold in billion-dollar deal

Campbell Soup Co. announced on Monday it will buy Snyder?s-Lance Inc., the Charlotte-based parent company of Cape Cod Potato Chips, in an all-cash deal valued at $4.87 billion. The well-known Hyannis-based brand got its start in 1980, when the founders set up a small shop in a storefront in the Cape town. Lance Inc. acquired Cape Cod Potato Chips in 1999. Terms of the deal were not disclosed at the time, although at the time of the acquisition sales at Cape Cod were about $30 million.
12/20/2017

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New insights into potato blight open the door to biological protection

A team of international researchers headed by scientists from the University of Tbingen has deciphered the workings of a cytolytic toxin, which is produced by some of the world?s most devastating crop diseases. The Cytolysin is manufactured by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi and can wipe out entire harvests if chemical protection is not used. The study - by researchers from Tbingen and their partner institutions in Berkeley, Bordeaux, Ljubljana, Lige, and Wako in Japan, as well as Gttingen in Germany - may lead to ways of better protecting crops from such pathogens in the future.
12/20/2017

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