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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

UK: Three years of potato research at Elveden Estate aims to spark a ‘quantum leap’ in farming

A three-year research project at an East Anglian farm has shown growers a myriad of small improvements which could spark a “quantum leap” in potato production – and taught some broader lessons about communication and knowledge-sharing. More than 100 farmers, agronomists and suppliers gathered at Rowley Mile Racecourse in Newmarket to hear the results of trials undertaken at the Elveden Estate, near Thetford, as part of the Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm East initiative.
1/12/2019

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Gene find unlocks potato colouring

Scientists at The James Hutton Institute have unlocked the genetics of potato skin and flesh colour paving the way for new colourful varieties. A new study identified a genetic molecule that regulates the production of anthocyanin, a natural pigment which influences skin and flesh colour. Researchers also discovered previously unknown inhibitors of anthocyanin.
1/12/2019

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How the potato industry can tackle blackleg

Blackleg is a costly disease in potatoes caused by several pectolytic bacteria that have the ability to infect and break down plant tissue, leading to storage losses and crop rejections. Symptoms in the field range from mild wilting of plants in the heat of the day to more severe internal necrosis of stems and the distinctive blackening of the stem base that gives the disease its name. Tuber infection can occur via ingress from the stolon or through tuber lenticels, causing soft rots.
1/11/2019

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How a dedicated Chinese potato extension agent turned a ‘desert into land of fortune’

A dry, rainless desert is a nightmare for most farmers, but adequate light and heat that come with it is a blessing for potato growers. And Zhu Hexiang sees it. Zhu is an official at the commerce department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. A year ago, she was tasked with assisting poverty alleviation work in a village under Yopurga County, some 1,500 km away from the regional capital of Urumqi.
1/9/2019

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Specialists suggest strategies for managing frost-damaged potato tubers

In the December issue of the Badger Common’Tater magazine out of Wisconsin in the US, an article is featured in which specialists Paul Bethke and Troy Fishler tackle the matter of frost-damaged potatoes. No one wants to see another harvest like 2018, but perhaps there is value in reviewing the causes and consequences of frost damage and discussing strategies for managing frost-damaged potatoes before we put 2018 to rest and begin making plans for 2019.
1/9/2019

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CIPC alternative: Biological sprout inhibitor could stop fungal growth

Given increased global regulation, there has been a search for alternatives to CIPC. One such alternative sprout inhibitor is the biologically derived molecule 1,4-Dimethylnaphthalene (DMN), which is naturally found within potatoes. The chemical has been used for several years and is the active ingredient of commercially available sprout inhibitors including those from Meridian, Idaho-based 1,4 Group.
1/8/2019

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Tong showcases equipment advances at LAMMA 2019

Further to recent advancements and developments in Tong’s wide range of potato and vegetable washing, grading and handling equipment, which have most recently seen the launch of a new, compact Fieldloader machine, the FieldLoad PRO, Tong is set to meet growers and packers to discuss the latest innovations and advanced handling systems for 2019.
1/8/2019

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New Canada Food Guide expected to recommend shift towards plant-based foods

An overhaul of the Canada Food Guide is set to be released soon, a highly anticipated makeover that will do away with the rainbow visual many Canadians associate with the dietary guide commonly used in hospitals and daycares. One of the major changes expected in the new Food Guide is a focus on plant-based sources of proteins.
1/7/2019

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Lamb Weston reports another quarter of strong sales

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. yesterday announced its fiscal second quarter 2019 results and updated its full year outlook. “We delivered another quarter of strong sales, earnings and cash flow growth,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO. “We’re executing well across the organization and continue to expect the operating environment in North America to remain generally favorable for the remainder of fiscal 2019.
1/6/2019

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New CEO takes helm at potato processor Aviko

Former Brakes UK and Grampian Food Group chief executive Ton Christiaanse has been appointed interim CEO of potato processor Aviko. Christiaanse, who stood down as Brakes UK CEO in October 2017, takes over at Dutch-owned foodservice specialist Aviko from Piet Hein Merckens, who stood down at the end of last year.
1/6/2019

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Are 100t/ha potato crops possible?

Potato yields in the UK appear to be faltering. While AHDB figures show the 2018 potato crop averaged 41.7t/ha, NIAB CUF head David Firman points to the huge variation between crops, with some yielding above 80t/ha. Looking around the world, Washington state in the USA is a standout performer, with an average above 70t/ha. And triple-digit yields have already been seen in the UK.
1/5/2019

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US: Early season potato herbicide considerations

Weeds are a grower’s enemy, so tackling them head on early in the season can make a world of difference later. Because there are a limited number of post-emergence broadleaf herbicides available for use in potatoes, using herbicides before the crop emerges is the best approach to ensure adequate protection of growers’ fields from aggressive nightshade and other broadleaf weeds.
1/4/2019

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Sainsbury Laboratory looking for researcher to clone late blight resistant genes

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher with skills in plant genomics and molecular biology to join the Laboratory of Prof. Jonathan Jones at the Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) with the goal of cloning two blight resistance genes from Solanum americanum,a wild potato relative. The project is a collaboration with Paul Birch and Ingo Hein at JHI, Dundee, with the Kamoun lab at TSL and with the Vleeshouwers lab in Wageningen.
1/3/2019

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Experiments find potato that could grow on Mars

The humble potato is a staple food for many cultures across the globe. But it may just be an important food for the future of space exploration. A recent experiment has taken place in the Peruvian capital, Lima. The experiment saw a potato plant growing in conditions similar to what you might find on the surface of Mars. 
1/3/2019

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Third glut in row, Indian potato farmers reap heavy losses

Sacks of potatoes line both sides of the road at Alwalpur village in Jandu Singha. Distressed by a glut for the third consecutive season, farmers are unable to find buyers for the produce. In sheer desperation, they are giving away sacks of potatoes for free. At least 12  of them have stopped cultivating the crop. “Either we let the crop rot on village streets or give it away to Gujjars for free,” says a local farmer.
1/3/2019

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This Canadian french fry plant is fueled by potato scraps

What goes around comes around at Cavendish Farms in New Annan, on Canada’s Prince Edward Island province, where potato scraps from the french fry plant are used at a nearby biogas facility to fuel the fry factory they came from. According to the company, generating biogas allowed it to reduce its dependency on fuel oil by 30 per cent, reducing greenhouse gases by about 35,000 tonnes — the equivalent of taking 7,300 cars off the road for one year.
12/30/2018

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First GMO modified, PVY resistant potato goes on sale in 2019 in Argentina

After 20 years of biotechnological research, the first GMO potato that is resistant to the PVY virus is said to go on sale to the public next year in Argentina. The potato’s productive and economic benefits are estimated at 45 million dollars per year in the Argentine market alone. This transgenic potato is the result of an achievement by Technoplant, a subsidiary of the Sidus group of companies.
12/29/2018

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Hundreds of British farmers pulling out of potato production, industry organization says

The fall in planted area the past season in Britain has been paired with a long-term rationalisation in the number of registered growers, AHDB Potatoes says in its annual Market Intelligence report for 2018/19. This season, the number of registered growers fell to 1,751 – a reduction of no less than 715 growers since 2000. Meanwhile, the average area per grower has been steadily rising during this period.
12/28/2018

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British potato group Bartlett sees drop in profits

A decline in own-label fresh potato sales has been blamed for a drop in turnover and profits at one of Scotland’s most well-known potato companies. Accounts for Albert Bartlett Holdings Ltd, which runs the popular Albert Bartlett potato brand, reveal the group posted a 9.6% decrease in turnover to £154.502 million for the year ended May 31 2018. Pre-tax profits were also down 12.8% to £6.123m, from £7.022m before.
12/27/2018

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Market analyst provides insights into potato product innovations that work

Kim Malley is a Senior Analyst with AHDB in the UK. She says that as potato retail volumes grow, smaller categories such as crisps and chilled are increasing at the fastest rate. According to Ms Mallay, this is reflected in the innovations we see in the category, with significant degrees of diversification in terms of new flavours and formats. Conventional oven chips are no longer the overwhelming force in terms of new product development within the category.
12/27/2018

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Is the British crisp industry heading for a Brexit crunch?

At the moment crisp maker and exporter Kettle Foods pays no tariffs on any of its exports to Europe – exports which account for 15% of its total production of crisps. Should there be a no-deal Brexit and the UK faces having to pay EU tariffs, that means paying 10% on every pack of crisps.
12/26/2018

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Photo gallery: The warm heartbeat of a family run potato farm on Prince Edward Island

Morgan Smallman owns and operates a family farming operation that specializes in the production of potatoes on Prince Edward Island in Canada. The Smallman operation is typical of the traditional family farm where several generations of a particular family are not only playing an active role in the day to day management of business, but where the youngest generation is brought up with a sense of pride and love for the operation.
12/26/2018

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‘Alberta could become Canada’s potato capital’

According to Diego Flammini, Staff Writer at Farms.com, Alberta province in Western Canada could dethrone Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) as the country’s top potato-producing region. Flammini writes that annual spud production figures for Alberta and P.E.I. both sit around 2.23 billion pounds. This is according to a new report from ATB Financial. The report tracks potato production in both provinces since 1998 and found two significant changes.
12/25/2018

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Global french fry shortage looming, says market analyst

Fry exports from Europe have become a huge part of the global market growing from under 500 million pounds in 2003 to 3.661 million pounds for the marketing year ending June 30, 2018. But given the production losses, those exports could be down 360 million lbs. next year. At the same time, demand is projected to increase 360 million pounds. That could create a shortfall of 720 million pounds in the coming year.
12/25/2018

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North Western European potato crop down 18%, says industry group

The total harvest estimate in the five NEPG countries has now been established at 24.3 million tonnes. These countries are Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The expected final harvest is 18% lower than last season and nearly 8% lower than the five-year average, says the North Western European Potato Growers organization (NEPG) .
12/24/2018

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Early potatoes from Bosnia and Herzegovina marketed successfully

Producers of early potato from Ljubuški associated under the brand ‘Ljubuški rani’ have improved their product quality and in 2018, for the first time, Ljubuški rani found its way to supermarkets in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Early potatoes from Ljubuški are famous in the region for its quality and early maturing, and has recently become known and branded as “Ljubuški rani”.
12/24/2018

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Why wonky spuds will be back in Britain for Christmas

The worst growing conditions in more than 40 years have brought misery for Britain’s potato farmers this year. Freezing spring temperatures in parts of the country, followed by the summer drought – the worst since 1976 – have hit growers across the country and threatened to put some out of business altogether. Now, however, comes a rare piece of good news for the industry. Tesco is relaxing its stringent guidelines.
12/23/2018

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Canada: Potato supply will be tight this year, says farm group

Newer retail customers may see some of their potato orders coming up short come summer, says the United Potato Growers of Canada. A poor harvest in many parts of Canada has led to a smaller supply of potatoes in the country. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of United Potato Growers, said long-term customers will be the priority, and new customers may be out of luck.
12/23/2018

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US: Marketers pleased with Red River Valley fresh crop shipping season

In the latest issue of the Potato Bytes newsletter, issued by Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA), Ted Kreis writes: “As we near the halfway point of the Red River Valley fresh crop shipping season, marketers are pleased, especially when comparing this year to last year.” The good fortune started early in the season when a heavy snowcover protected about 4,000 acres of unharvested potatoes from the very cold temperatures that settled in for a few days after the snowstorm.
12/22/2018

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European potato market said to be ‘lazy and expensive’

According to Bram Werkman of potato wholesaler Landjuweel, the current potato market can be best described as lazy and expensive. “We are actually in a special situation, because as far as price is concerned not much is happening, even though the supply is there. There are a reasonable amount of parties that are ready to sprout and that don’t have an optimal shelf life.”
12/21/2018

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Swiss potato processor bought by German investor

Swiss Potato Processor Kadi AG gets new ownership as German private equity investor Paragon Partners has agreed to sell its majority share shares in the company to Invision, an investment company in Zug (CH), thereby securing KADI’s long-term, independent perspective as leading supplier of premium potato products in Switzerland.
12/21/2018

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Climate change could hit potato industry hard, researchers find

Potato crops do not perform well in high temperatures, according to a new research paper, and that could be a problem as the weather warms with climate change. Om Rajora, one of the authors of the study, said they tested 55 different varieties, or cultivars, of potatoes, including russet Burbank, a workhorse of the potato industry. The study was published earlier this month in Canadian Science Publishing’s Botany journal.
12/20/2018

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French company Champ’Pom joins Europatat organization

Champ’Pom Export was created 10 years ago in Champagne, at the heart of one of the largest French regions of potato production. Nowadays, this company produces and trades more than 30 potatoes varieties, selling a total of 40000 tons per campaign. 20% of their sales is covered by their own production while the rest is produced by French partner farmers based in the northern half of France.
12/19/2018

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‘2018 was one of the worst British potato harvests in recent years’

Figures published this week by AHDB Potatoes confirm that 2018 was one of the worst Great Britain potato harvests in recent years, with volumes significantly lower than average and processors noting a direct impact on the quality of available raw materials.
12/18/2018

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Potato sales in China not likely to pick up in the short term

The potato market has recently been fairly depressed in China as far as sales are concerned. The supply from major production areas and wholesale markets are slow and does not show any improvement at this time. Data from Sublime China Information (SCI) indicates that the price of potatoes from cold storages in Shandong continues to fall currently.
12/18/2018

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Overview of the 2018 North American potato seed crop

The December 12th issue of North American Potato Market News analyzed the 2018 seed crop in the US and Canada. Ted Kreis, editor of Potato Bytes, a weekly newsletter published by the Northern Plains Potato Grower Association (NPPGA), notes the following interesting facts from that issue...
12/18/2018

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Turmoil ahead for global potato markets

Widespread crop failure in Europe’s potato fields this past growing season is going to have markets scrambling for french fries and dehydrated potato flakes. What’s happening globally will have a big impact on potato markets this year and next year as well, Bruce Huffaker, publisher of North American Potato Market News, said during the University of Idaho outlook seminar Dec. 12.
12/17/2018

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Scotland bucks the spud slump

BRITAIN’S potato harvest was the lowest since 2012, according to newly published figures, which also revealed that Scottish yields held firm against that slump. Despite the ‘challenging’ growing season, potatoes grown north of the border enjoyed a 3% increase in yield against last year to 49.2 tonnes per hectare, while the total British potato harvest was 13% down on the five year average of 5.6m tonnes at 4.9m tonnes.
12/17/2018

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Nutrition prof in deep fat over French fries comments

On the not-quite sixth day of Christmas, a researcher gave to “we” … six lousy french fries — and a salad grown organically. Eric Rimm, professor of the departments of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and real-life Grinch recently was quoted in a New York Times story, “You Don’t Want Fries With That.” According to the article, “Of Americans’ appetite for fries, Dr. Rimm said, ‘It’s too bad in this country you’ll pry them from my cold dead hand.'”
12/17/2018

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Historic low production of table potatoes in Sweden

Statistics Sweden and the Swedish Board of Agriculture report that the Swedish potato production is estimated at 449 000 tonnes. This is lower than record low levels in modern times in 2006, 2007 and 2015, and also lower than the years of crop failures in 1867 and 1899.
12/17/2018

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Coming to terms with Fusarium dry rot in potato storages

Potato specialists in the US recently published an information fact sheet on Fusarium dry rot in potato storages in which they provide practical tips on how potato growers can deal with this all too familiar problem that is no doubt known to many potato growers in North America. The bulletin was published in the Northwest Potato Research Consortium’s newsletter Potato Progress.
12/16/2018

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Why British potato farmers should rethink blight fungicide plans

Fungicide sensitivity testing of British late potato blight strains suggests an emerging genotype is very aggressive and more difficult to control with several common fungicides. The laboratory discovery prompted a warning against complacency when formulating future blight control strategies to help prevent the loss of other fungicides. The AHDB commissioned work to test a range of fungicide groups active against potato disease phytophthora infestans.
12/16/2018

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Global potato facts and figures

The potato is regarded as the third most important food crop in the world after rice and wheat in terms of human consumption. According to the International Potato Center (CIP) in Lima, Peru, more than a billion people worldwide are estimated to eat potatoes – about one in seven. In an article in the launch issue of the new print magazine, Global Potato News, the latest FAOSTATdata is published related to the top 25 potato producing countries in the world, and also the top 20 global exporters of frozen potatoes.
12/15/2018

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‘Potato production hits lowest level since 2012, but healthy outlook for British spud eaters’

British potato farmers were hit by drought in 2018, leaving the total volume of spuds harvested at the lowest level since 2012, and the fourth smallest since 1960, AHDB Potatoes says in a recent report. The British potato harvest is 13% down on the five-year average of 5.6m tonnes at 4.9m tonnes, according to our annual estimate.
12/15/2018

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Spanish potato production down by 15-20%

The FEPEX Potato Committee, which met this week in Madrid, confirmed that this year’s production will be between 15% and 20% smaller than last year’s. The Committee also analyzed the prospects for the next season, in which the price of seed will be decisive, and it prepared the sector’s participation in coming international meetings.
12/15/2018

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Potato Growers of Canada comments on latest harvest figures

The Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) issued a report in which the organization comments on the latest potato harvest estimates by Statistics Canada, released yesterday. “Given the late harvest in the country, and the amount of acres left in the field, it was difficult for Statistics Canada to gather the appropriate information from growers at a normal time,” according to Kevin MacIsaac, General Manager of the Potato Growers of Canada.
12/14/2018

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Farm Frites issues first global sustainability report

Plans on reducing the impact of potato growing and manufacturing on the environment have been outlined in Farm Frites’ first global sustainability report. The report looks at the sustainable measures the company is taking and how pubs can promote the environmental and ethical credentials of the potato firm. It outlines nine areas where the company is accountable on both ethical and sustainable issues.
12/14/2018

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‘Potato production hits lowest level since 2012, but healthy outlook for British spud eaters’

British potato farmers were hit by drought in 2018, leaving the total volume of spuds harvested at the lowest level since 2012, and the fourth smallest since 1960, AHDB Potatoes says in a recent report. The British potato harvest is 13% down on the five-year average of 5.6m tonnes at 4.9m tonnes, according to our annual estimate.
12/14/2018

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Handy online carbon emissions calculator indicates low climate footprint of potatoes

The BBC has published an online carbon emissions calculator tool which can be used by anyone to calculate the climate footprint of different common food groups, including potatoes. When one activates the calculator to determine the footprint of potatoes as a food source, it becomes clear that potatoes are and remain one of the most environmentally friendly, low carbon additions to anyone’s  evening meal.
12/14/2018

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Algeria to stop seed potato imports in 2021, minister says

In Algeria, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries Abdelkader Bouazghi is reported as saying on Saturday that “Algeria will stop the import of potato seeds in 2021.” In a statement the minister indicated that this farm has “greatly” succeeded in the technical mastery of the production of quantities of seed potatoes of first generation (G1) allowing the production of second generation G2 plants and “meeting the national needs for Super Elite seeds”.
12/12/2018

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