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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

Grocerants and Gen Z: Looking for the future for potatoes

You may not have heard of a ?grocerant,? but you?re almost certainly among the growing number of Americans who have eaten in one. It?s part of a fundamental change in eating patterns, and one the U.S. potato industry is well positioned to benefit from, an industry official said. ?More people are eating out, at bars and restaurants (and other establishments), more so than at supermarkets,? Rachael Lynch said. ?It?s a huge opportunity for us.?
3/6/2018

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Silver scurf: Great name, but bad for spuds

Fans of colorful, alliterative language may like ?silver scurf.? Not Red River Valley potato growers; they see the crop disease as a growing threat. ?I?m getting more questions about it at harvest,? said Andy Robinson, Fargo, N.D.-based potato extension agronomist for both North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. He helped to organize potato educational sessions during the recent International Crop Expo in Grand Forks, N.D., and brought in Amanda Gevens to speak on the crop disease on Feb. 22.
3/6/2018

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Potato processor Agristo invests 200 million in french fry factory

Potato processor Agristo has invested 200 million euro in a new French fry factory in Wielsbeke, Belgium. The family business hopes it can break into the global top five this way. ?This is the most innovative French fry factory in the world?, Filip Wallays, who runs the company alongside Hannelore Raes told De Tijd. Pretty much everything is automated, which requires only fifteen people per shift, with five shifts in total, to operate the plant.
3/6/2018

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The Irish Potato Famine ? could it happen again?

Ireland wasn?t always dependent on potatoes, but in the decades leading up to the famine, more farmers started growing potatoes. As a crop, potatoes are inexpensive and high-yielding. As a food, they are packed with calories and nutrients. The Irish potato famine occurred in the mid-1800s, the result of a fungal disease. Let?s look at the scientific factors that contributed to the spread of the fungal disease, and how such a tragedy can be prevented in the future.
3/6/2018

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Eat purple potatoes to cut your colon cancer risk, study finds

Enjoying a diet that includes plenty of vegetables is great for your health, but a daily dose of purple potatoes may help in the prevention colon cancer, according to a new study conducted on pigs. Understanding the compounds found in these foods and how they break down in the digestive tract could be crucial for finding new colon cancer treatments, researchers say. Scientists at Pennsylvania State University found that a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables may prevent or stop colon cancer and bowel inflammatory diseases in pigs.
3/1/2018

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US: RPE chosen as exclusive marketing partner for CSS Farms? Agri-Pack subsidiary

CSS Farms, a multi-state agriculture company producing onions and chip and specialty potatoes, and RPE ? category leader and year-round grower/shipper of potatoes and onions ? announce the selection of RPE as exclusive marketing partner of Agri-Pack, a CSS Farms subsidiary and Pasco, WA-based grower-packer-distributor of potatoes and onions. CSS Farms Managing Partner Reagan Grabner said the partnering organizations share a collaborative mindset, strategic approach and entrepreneurial spirit, noting RPE and CSS Farms have worked effectively together since 2010 as joint venture partners in Tasteful Selections.
2/28/2018

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West Australian farmers have lost millions one year on from tomato potato psyllid outbreak

Two West Australian farmers say they have each lost more than $1 million and have been forced to downsize their operations in the 12 months since the tomato potato psyllid was discovered near Perth. It has been a year since the Australia-first discovery, which is regarded as one of the most serious bio-security incidents in Western Australia?s horticultural history. A South West potato grower has halved operations and is restructuring his business after being forced to dump more than $1.1m of potatoes that could not leave the state.
2/28/2018

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Sprout control: A Canadian update on the use of MH and CIPC

Use of the growth regulators MH (maleic hydrazide) and CIPC (chlorpropham) are integral to the potato industry, but there is always room for improvement ? and even new avenues of use as the chipping industry evolves. According to Mark VanOostrum, potato supply and quality manager at WD Potato Limited in Ontario, growers are generally very careful to apply MH at the right time, but he says there is a tendency to be too late with MH application timing compared with too early. ?That curbs the potential benefits, often due to the fact we usually time our MH with a fungicide application on a seven-day interval,? he explains.
2/28/2018

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Reach for your pocket: Rapid tests provide cost-effective solution for potato disease diagnosis

Getting a definitive confirmation of the presence of which disease is affecting a crop is important in preventing a pathogen from becoming a bigger problem. ?An easy way of getting a confirmation of the presence of a potato disease is by using rapid tests such as those from Pocket Diagnostic,? says the company?s Sales and Marketing Executive, Malcolm Briggs. ?Rapid tests use the same lateral flow immunoassay technology as pregnancy tests and are a cost-effective option for potato disease diagnosis?.
2/26/2018

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Potato Market Update: Lay of the land in Canada

In an interview with Spudsmart magazine, the general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC), Kevin MacIsaac, says that J.R. Simplot?s $40 million processing plant expansion plans in Manitoba province will have a big impact on the industry and is ?fantastic news for Manitoba growers?. As for Canada?s potato storage holdings on Feb. 1, he says that there isn?t a surplus of potatoes on the fresh side, and ?based on the pricing that we see in most areas, we are matched very well in terms of the fresh sector.? However, he notes that ?there?s a lot less seed then we?ve seen in other years.?
2/26/2018

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Enemies of the skin: Expert shares management guidelines on serious potato blemish diseases

Silver scurf and black dot are potato blemish diseases that are growing in prevalence and economic importance. These diseases are challenging to control and require an integrated effort to reduce their impact on potato production. So says Dr Amanda Gevens, Associate Professor & Extension Specialist in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US. Earlier today, she addressed attendees at the 2018 International Crop Expo in Grand Forks, ND.
2/26/2018

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Fighting fit: US spud industry going on offensive, think ?performance vegetable?

The U.S. potato industry likes to describe its product as ?America?s favorite vegetable.? But the industry acknowledges that critics have put potato marketing efforts ?on the defensive,? causing ?us to say that it?s OK to eat potatoes,? said Blair Richardson, president and CEO of Potatoes USA, the nation?s potato marketing agency. Now, his group is close to approving a marketing push that would put potatoes ?on the offensive,? with ?us saying that you should be eating potatoes,? he said. The push will encourage consumers ? who sometimes use the term ?couch potato? now ? to focus on potatoes? nutritional properties and think of spuds as a ?performance vegetable,? Richardson said.
2/25/2018

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Safe and sound: Arctic seed vault ?key to future global crops?

A special vault has been built in the Arctic to store thousands of seeds as scientists fear the impact of climate change and prolonged conflicts could have devastating consequences on food crops around the world. The Global Seed Vault has been built inside a mountain, near the town of Longyearbyen on the remote Svalbard Islands. It stores thousands of sample seeds from dozens of different countries. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the largest collection of agricultural biodiversity in the world.
2/25/2018

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Outside the box: Organic potato and veggie chips startup Chipsbox goes entirely green

German organic potato and veggie chip snack producer Chipsbox has swapped out its plastic packaging for a biodegradable option to further cement its sustainable and natural stance. According to founder and MD Erol Kaynak, Chipsbox is the only brand of potato chips in Germany to have made the switch from plastic to biodegradable packaging. Last year, the brand bagged a coveted spot amongst the top three innovations in the ISM New Product Showcase for its novel snack combos that are air-dried, not fried. The added advantage now is the elimination of plastic.
2/25/2018

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Fake scare: Your french fries may not be so deadly after all!

On June 13, 2017, AARP (the American Association of Retired Persons) released an article titled ?Your Fries May Be Deadly,? by Cheryl Bond-Nelms, stating that a recent study links frequent consumption of french fries to a higher mortality risk. The study, which analyzed the dietary habits of 4,400 people, ages 45 to 79, focused on how often participants ate potatoes, fried or not. But, as Joe Kertzman, managing editor of Badger Common?Tater magazine in Wisconsin points out in an article published this month, several sources have taken issue with the article and the original study itself, published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
2/25/2018

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Slippery character: The potato disease that evades consistent control

?Common scab is notoriously difficult to consistently manage with chemical or biological treatments ? varietal resistance needs to be a fundamental strategy in building an integrated management approach for successful control,? dr Amanda Gevens told a gathering of industry people who attended the Potato Session at the International Crop Expo in Grand Forks, North Dakota yesterday. Dr Gevens is Associate Professor & Extension Specialist in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
2/24/2018

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Eyes in the Sky: ARS scientist on the use of UAV?s for potato research

In this video, Shelley Jansky, USDA ARS research geneticist and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, discusses how she is utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles in her research. She says there are many directions that researchers can go with UAV;s, although they need first of all learn to use them efficiently and effectively. The main use for her right now is with a visible light camera, monitoring crop development in plots during the season to see if there are differences related to several aspects such as nutrient stress, or perhaps water stress and heat stress.
2/24/2018

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US potato exports set record in 2017

Global sales of U.S. potatoes hit a record high in 2017. U.S. potato and potato product exports grew 4.58% in volume and 4.63% in value in 2017 compared to 2016, according to Potatoes USA. Fresh potato exports were up 6% in 2017 while frozen and chip exports up 1%, according to a news release. Exports of all U.S. potatoes and potato products reached a record $1.76 billion for the July 2016-June 2017 marketing year
2/24/2018

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The takeaway from Ireland?s National Potato Conference

The 2018 National Potato Conference, organised by IFA in association with Bord Bia and Teagasc took place in Dublin, the 20th of March. Here are some of the things participants said they learned on the day. The Potato Promotion Campaign, running since 2015, is working ? Irish potato sales are at their highest level in the last 10 years. When potatoes are included in the basket, grocery trips are worth ?27.90 more than the average shop.
2/23/2018

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Courting consumers: Albert Heijn promotes fresh potatoes with new products and packaging

Dutch retailer Albert Heijn has introduced a new in-store layout for its potato section, as well as new products, packaging, and detailed information cards ? all in a bid to promote the sale of fresh potatoes. The retail group says that Dutch consumers eat potatoes three to four times a week on average, and are always looking for new ways to prepare and cook them.
2/23/2018

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Andean potatoes take the world stage, but tough times lie ahead

For the first time in its history, the World Potato Congress will take place in Latin America, the ?birthplace? of the potato. From May 27 to 31 of this year, hundreds of people from around the world will descend on Cusco, Peru, to attend the 10th annual event, organized by the not-for-profit World Potato Congress Inc. It?s timely, really, that the World Potato Congress is meeting in this part of the world at this time.
2/23/2018

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The Canadian grower who produces organic potatoes on a commercial scale

Organic potato production on a commercial scale is a challenge, but one Canadian grower in the province of Ontario is meeting it. Isaiah Swidersky offers a careful answer when asked if organic potato production is a risk worth taking. ?To some degree it is, but there?s a reason I haven?t expanded it to 200 or 300 acres,? Swidersky says. ?It?s a challenge to grow organic potatoes. But I?m optimistic. It?s a good challenge.?
2/22/2018

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Irish Farmers Association: ?Potato growers get less than 20% of the price consumers pay for spuds?

Potato growers are getting less than one-fifth of the price a consumer pays for their product in the shop, a conference in Dublin heard. Speaking at the National Potato Conference in Dublin, IFA President Joe Healy outlined how retailers are taking the lion?s share of the margin on potatoes, while farmers bear all of the risk. The conference organised by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in association with Bord Bia and Teagasc, heard that pre-pack potatoes are retailing at up to ?1,400 per tonne while growers receive less than one-fifth of that.
2/22/2018

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Promotional success story: Potatoes are bought once every second in Irish retailers

Speaking at the National Potato Conference 2018 in Dublin, Lorcan Bourke, Fresh Produce and Potato Sector Manager of Bord Bia said that a ?1 million EU-funded promotional campaign, managed by Bord Bia, had significantly helped to promote the sector in recent years. The figures show potato sales are at their highest level in the last 10 years, with ?195m worth of potatoes sold last year, and a 20% increase in potato sales volume since 2013. Research shows potatoes are bought once every second in Irish retailers.
2/22/2018

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Tomato-potato psyllid: Tough times for Western Australian spud growers

West Australian potato growers are still counting the cost of losing market access to the eastern states a year after the tomato-potato psyllid (TPP) outbreak near Perth. Peak bodies are concerned the restrictions were too harsh, as the associated candidatus liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) bacterium, which TPP can be a vector for, has still not been found. Potato Growers Association chief executive Simon Moltoni said it had been a ?devastating? year for farmers
2/22/2018

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