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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

Eco friendly: Packaging for fries made from potato skins

Italian designers Simone Caronni, Paolo Stefano Gentile and Pietro Gaeli have created an ecological packaging for fries made from recycled potato skins, as a sustainable alternative to paper. Called Peel Saver, the packaging is made of starch and fibre components that, after maceration and natural dying, bond with each other and harden.
9/28/2018

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New Frito Lay plant in the works for India?

According to a report published today by the Odisha Sun Times in India, PepsiCo is planning to build a potato processing plant in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. PepsiCo is going to establish a potato chip production unit in the city of Koraput, the headquarters of Koraput district. According to the report, an MoU will be signed between the Odisha State government and PepsiCo soon.
9/27/2018

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Japan’s Calbee pulls out of Philippine potato chip venture

Japanese snackmaker Calbee on Wednesday said it would pull out of its potato chip venture in the Philippines with food and beverage group Universal Robina after it failed to make money. Calbee said it was selling its 50% stake in the joint venture to its Filipino partner for around 170 million pesos ($3.13 million).
9/27/2018

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European drought: Avebe braces for “historically low potato harvest”

Avebe is increasing the advance payment for potatoes to €67 a ton to mitigate the impact of extreme drought and high temperatures. The Dutch potato starch manufacturer is bracing itself for a substantially lower than usual harvest this season as drought and high temperatures have battered potato yields all over Europe which will lead to a decline in the availability of potato products.
9/27/2018

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NZ govt and industry on the case with potato virus

Biosecurity New Zealand is investigating how potato mop-top virus (PMTV) could have entered the country. The agency was working with Potatoes New Zealand after the crop disease was discovered in potato tubers in Mid Canterbury, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) incident controller David Yard said.
9/27/2018

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North-Western Europe: Official estimate of lower harvest; quality, processing concerns

The North-Western European Potato Growers Association (NEPG) estimates the upcoming harvest of the potato crop destined for fresh consumption to be 18% below last year’s total, and 8% under the 5 year average. This, in spite of the fact that the total area planted this season was 8,4% more than the average area planted during the last 5 seasons.
9/26/2018

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East Idaho farmers report smoke may be factor in spud harvest

Early in potato harvest, area farmers are concerned heavy wildfire smoke throughout much of the growing season likely hindered crop development, especially in Eastern Idaho north of Blackfoot. Farmers statewide have been pleased by the “exceptional quality” of their spuds.
9/26/2018

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Experts shed light on pink eye disease of potatoes

According to scientists Yi Wang, UW-Horticulture and Amanda Gevens, UW-Madison Plant Pathology in the US, pink eye of potato is characterized by a short-lived external pink color that is often, but not always, found around the potato eyes of freshly harvested tubers. Eyes at the bud ends of tubers (i.e., those farthest from where tubers are attached to stems) more commonly show pink eye symptoms.
9/24/2018

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Deadline for ad space in Canada’s Potato Calendar 2019

Canada’s Potato Calendar is the leading choice for event and crop deadlines in the North America industry. This industry specific publication will be closing advertising space reservations for the 2019 print edition on October 5. There is one spot/month to fill at this time. Reach 3,000 decision makers via the print issue as well as numerous others online.
9/23/2018

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Idaho’s 2017/18 fresh potato prices raise national average

Sales of table stock potatoes in the 2017-18 season totaled 107 million cwt., a 6% drop from the previous year, but the national average price-per-cwt. rose $1.13, to $11.73, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA released its annual summary of the previous season on Sept. 13.
9/22/2018

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Late blight update issued for the UK

According to Dr James Cooke at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, having experienced one of the driest seasons since the Fight Against Blight began – clearly the weather has had a major impact. “After some early appearances on discard piles in Kent in mid-April, we have received very few recorded outbreaks compared to previous years", he says.
9/22/2018

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British chips to become much shorter

Britons will be served up shorter chips this year as potato farmers across Europe struggle to cope with the worst summer drought for decades. Britain eats 1.75 million tonnes of frozen chips every year and is, alongside the US, the world’s largest importer of the product.
9/22/2018

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Managing moisture was key for Red River Valley potato growers

Black Gold Farms will be harvesting in the fields of the Red River Valley and said it is anxious to begin shipping red and yellow potatoes to their customers. Harvest will run for about four weeks with much of the crop stored, packed and shipped out of Black Gold Farm’s packing facility in East Grand Forks, MN through the spring of 2019. 
9/18/2018

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Heat, smoke not expected to diminish Oregon potato harvest

Months of intense heat and smoky skies are not expected to diminish Oregon’s potato crop, with farmers across the state predicting average to above-average yields heading into the bulk of harvest. Bill Brewer, CEO of the Oregon Potato Commission, said the overall impact of wildfire smoke is yet to be determined in spuds.
9/18/2018

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Idaho’s Norkotah crop looks good, Burbank crop may be lighter

The 2018 Idaho potato harvest got under way with Russet Norkotahs in early August, and by the first week in September, most growers in the state had started digging Norkotahs. While there is always variation from one field to another, growers were generally reporting good volumes with a good size structure and very good quality.
9/18/2018

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Bord Bia gears up for Ireland’s National Potato Day 2018

Bord Bia has announced the details of this year’s National Potato Day which takes place on Friday, October 5. The annual celebration honours Ireland’s most loved crop and encourages consumers to recognise its nutritional value and experiment with new and exciting recipes.
9/18/2018

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International potato sales highest ever for the United States

According to a press release issued by Potatoes USA today, the value of total U.S. exports of potatoes and potato products increased by 2.37% for the July 2017 – June 2018 marketing year compared to the previous marketing year. The $1.8 billion in international potato sales is the highest ever for the United States.
9/17/2018

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Austria’s potato harvest 2018 turning out far below expectations

This year, decision-makers from the Austrian potato industry again gathered in Roseldorf/Lower Austria at the end of August to discuss the state of the national and international potato markets, reports AgrarMarkt Austria. All provided various contributions and evaluated the current situation in Austria’s potato industry.
9/17/2018

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Only in Canada: Alberta farmers fret over late-summer snowfalls

Some Alberta farmers in Canada are concerned about their crops after a late-summer snowfall blanketed parts of the province, with more flurries expected in the forecast. Early season snow can squash crops that grow upright, like wheat and barley, make them harder to harvest and decimate their quality. For some farmers, the snow provided a little relief.
9/17/2018

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UK Potato Weekly report: Lifting continues, albeit off the pace

AHDB Potatoes in the UK published its Potato Weekly report on Friday. According to the report, lifting across the UK has continued this week although it remains behind normal levels. Growers continue to wait for tubers to gain bulk and for skins to set, following the drought and subsequent rains. For many, secondary growth is a concern, particularly for non-irrigated crops.
9/17/2018

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Trade issues: US senator calls for probe of alleged Canadian potato dumping

US and Canadian trade negotiators might need to add spuds to a list that already includes cheese, steel and softwood lumber, according to a news report published by the Cochrane Times-Post. A Republican senator has reportedly asked his government to investigate allegations by American farmers that Canadians are illegally dumping potatoes into their market.
9/15/2018

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San Luis Valley potato growers expect good 2018 crop

Cooperative weather during the growing season has San Luis Valley potato industry members anticipating a good crop. Companies expected solid quality and about the same volume as in 2017, with demand also holding steady. Jim Ehrlich, executive director for the Monte Vista-based Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, said there are about 52,000 acres planted this year.
9/15/2018

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Tereos to start potato campaign in France

Tereos has started its potato campaign in France which will be spread over 160 days with almost 9,600 hectares of starch potatoes expected to be exported. To ensure the competitiveness of this cooperative sector, Tereos has invested a total of €25 million (US$28.9 million) over the last three years and is taking further steps to enlarge the company’s total storage capacity.
9/14/2018

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How to manage pink rot in potatoes

This pathogen thrives in saturated soils, so the disease is often associated with low spots in the field or in areas of poor drainage. Disease incidence is greatest at temperatures between 70°F and 85°F. You may not notice pink rot until harvest or when the tubers are in storage, but it starts in the field. Infections often originate at the stolon attachment but also may occur at the eyes or through wounds.
9/14/2018

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Below average potato crop expected for Canada’s largest potato producing province

It is getting late in the growing season, and the Prince Edward Island Potato Board says without some rain soon the harvest will come up short. According to a CBC report, board general manager Greg Donald says “it’s been relatively dry, and since August we’ve had spotty rainfalls across the province and above normal temperatures and wind, and that’s created dry conditions.” 
9/14/2018

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Unfair trade practices by Canada blamed for rise of potato imports to the US

The latest numbers show that potato imports to the U.S. continue to rise. That’s according to numbers from Trade Stats Northwest. The largest source of fresh imports continues to be Canada. Growers in the Red River Valley argue that continued growth may be the result of unfair trade practices put in place by the Canadian government, and they want U.S. lawmakers to begin thinking about a response.
9/12/2018

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British potato company agrees to £52.95mln cash takeover offer

One of the UK’s leading potato producers Produce Investments PLC has agreed to around a £52.95mln recommended cash takeover offer from a Jersey company ultimately owned and controlled by funds managed by Promethean Investments LLP.
9/12/2018

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Europe: French fries feel the pinch as hot summer frazzles potato market

Whether you call them chips, frites or French fries, it’s shaping up to be a bad year for potato lovers. The record-breaking heatwave and lack of rain across Europe has hurt potato crops, with prices tripling in the UK in August from a year earlier. That’s forced fish and chip shops to charge more for a portion of fries that form one half of the traditional British staple. 
9/12/2018

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Taking potato storage seriously pays dividends

British potato growers are being advised by AHDB Potatoes to put as much effort into storage planning as they do into the rest of the growing season. Ewan Stark, Director of Taygrow, delivered the message at a recent AHDB potato storage event held in Perth. This message was echoed by storage experts from AHDB’s Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research facility.
9/11/2018

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US: Colorado potato growers expect good 2018 crop

Cooperative weather during the growing season has San Luis Valley potato industry in the US Colorado members anticipating a good crop. Companies expected solid quality and about the same volume as in 2017, with demand also holding steady. Jim Ehrlich, executive director for the Monte Vista-based Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, said there are about 52,000 acres planted this year.
9/11/2018

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Increased contract volumes, but yields down in Canada’s Prairie provinces

The potato acreage may have increased this year in Western Canada, but it doesn’t look like it will be the same story for yields. “I think overall it’s too early to tell because we haven’t started the main harvest, but we are not expecting as big of yield as the last couple of years,” said Dan Sawatzky, manager of Keystone Potato Producers Association in Manitoba. Behind Prince Edward Island, the Prairie provinces of Manitoba and Alberta are the top potato producers in Canada.
9/10/2018

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Harvesting potatoes: Resources for quality improvement now available online

Harvesting a quality crop is an important topic on every potato grower’s mind for the upcoming season. Blackspot bruise and shatter bruise, or open wounds such as of nicks, cuts and abrasions are quality issues to focus on and minimize at harvest. Most potato handling operations are performed by equipment, but there is almost always a human factor involved in managing that equipment in a way that minimizes bruising.
9/9/2018

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Diquat doomed: The loss of this important desiccant in Europe

Despite significant dissent from some Member States, a recent ‘no opinion’ position in a Brussels Appeal Committee reviewing proposals for the non-renewal of approval for diquat (Reglone) looks set to result in the loss of this important desiccant next year. This is according to information published in the latest AHDB Storage Bulletin in the UK.
9/9/2018

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United Potato Growers of Canada releases latest crop update

The General Manager of United Potato Growers of Canada, Kevin MacIsaac, released a report today on the current potato crop situation in the country. The summer is reported to have been extremely dry on Prince Edward Island (PEI). However, the province did experience two significant rain events in August. Unfortunately the area in the extreme western part of the province received much smaller amounts.
9/8/2018

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10 ways to improve potato storage management

Storage is a crucial part of the potato production cycle, helping growers meet the demand for their crops throughout the year, but if carried out poorly it can be economically disastrous. Done well, potatoes will come out of store in perfect condition meeting processor specifications. However, done badly, tubers can spoil or even rot in stores with losses rapidly mounting up.
9/8/2018

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Heatwave expected to play havoc on size and variety of potato chips across Europe and UK

Snack, confectionery and potato producer associations have warned that British and European consumers can expect smaller potato chips this year. The European Snacks Association (ESA) has been tracking the issue throughout the summer, according to Bakeryandsnacks.com.
9/7/2018

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European drought: Potato starch company Emsland warns of ‘dramatic’ cost increases

The European potato harvest will be at a historically low level this year and present a massive challenge for growers, processors and their customers. Due to the crop failures in potato fields, some of which were total failures, the availability of potato products will be significantly reduced. According to the Raw Materials Procurement Department of the Emsland Group, potato fields of the contract farmers of the group are in dire conditions.
9/6/2018

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After first assault, zebra chip still a dangerous foe in the US

When zebra chip burst onto the scene in the U.S. in the 2000s, it came as a nasty surprise for many growers and cost producers millions of dollars. A little over a decade later, is zebra chip still as serious of a threat as it was then, and do researchers have a better handle on how the disease works and how to fight it? 
9/6/2018

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European drought: Growers’ association confirms potato yield drop of at least 20% in the Netherlands

According to a report issued today by the Dutch growers association VTA (Verenigde Telers Akkerbouw), it is now clear that the potato and onion harvest in the Netherlands will be considerably lower than normal this year, following abundant rainfall in the beginning of the season and severe drought in the last couple of months. This is apparent from the first test digs in growers’ fields middle of August.
9/6/2018

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Specialists urge Canadian potato growers to mind soil management

Soil advocates want potato growers to bump soil management up their priority list. Marla Riekman, soil management specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, pitched soil management principles to growers and agronomists at Carberry’s Canada-Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre potato tour in the province of Manitoba, Aug. 14.
9/5/2018

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Dewulf to bring two new machines and several familiar favourites to Potato Europe ‘18

During PotatoEurope 2018 next week in Germany, Dewulf, machine manufacturer for the cultivation of potatoes and root crops, will not only present several familiar favourites. but also two new machines. The first new offering is the recently announced Field Loader 240, an efficient transfer combi that excels in ease of use and capacity. The CP 22 Farmer, a light, mounted 2-row cup planter for potato growers with smaller acreage will also be on display.
9/5/2018

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Potatoes USA change the spud story as new ‘fuel for athletes’

Potatoes are no longer just those beige, lumpy things you were served up as a kid. A new marketing campaign focusing on real science is attempting to change the spud story by billing it as a vital ingredient to your workout/diet plan and a fuel for athletes. Potatoes USA, an organization for America’s 2,500 commercial potato growers, teamed up with Sterling Rice Group (SRG) to develop a series of short digital spots touting the tagline: “Potatoes. Real Food. Real Performance.”
9/5/2018

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The current global potato market: A brief overview

In Europe, the time has come for potato growers to harvest their potato crops. Estimates point to a smaller harvest and very disappointing yields. Is there pessimism? How are things going in Europe? And what is the situation in South Africa, the United States, Australia and New Zealand?
9/4/2018

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The story and pride behind Lay’s potato chips

It’s an American-made classic by an American inventor that has become a summertime staple for any barbecue table: Lay’s potato chips. H.W. Lay was a traveling salesman during the Great Depression when he started peddling chips out of the back of his Model A in 1931. It was how he made a living across the Southeast, said Chris Quinn, senior vice president of sales at Frito-Lay.
9/4/2018

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Threat of crop failures in Germany to impact potato varieties destined for crisp market

The heat wave in Germany also affects the harvest of potato varieties needed to make potato crisps. Due to the extreme climatic situation this summer, there is the threat of up to 30 percent crop failures in the country. Furthermore, the expected smaller tuber sizes will mean that more potatoes are needed to produce a single bag of potato crisps than in years with an average harvest.
9/4/2018

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The importance of knowing the difference between seed genetics and traits

Since genetically modified, or GM, seed showed up on the market, farmers have been inundated with expensive advertising explaining how important trait packages could be to their operations, writes Ron Wulfkuhle in FBN Network. And it was easy to see the appeal: Who wouldn’t want seed that could fend off corn borers, stand up to RoundUp or survive a dose of Liberty?
9/4/2018

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Walmart helps Idaho tackle cause of rejected potato loads

University of Idaho researchers are working with Walmart to look at the reasons behind rejected or downgraded potato loads at the chain’s distribution centers. Nora Olsen, professor and extension specialist at the University of Idaho, and Mike Thornton, professor of plant science at the university, explained their efforts in a Aug. 29 session at the Idaho Grower Shippers Association annual meeting.
8/31/2018

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Washington’s potatoes benefiting from hot summer

Over the next few weeks, harvesting will be the main activity in Skagit Valley’s potato fields in Washington State. As the season gets underway, producers are looking at a good quality crop with a well spread size profile, much of that due to the warm and dry summer. “The harvest is gradually starting with some growers already out picking potatoes,” said Jack Wallace of G&D Wallace in the Skagit Valley.
8/31/2018

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US: Wada-Genesis partnership bringing year-round organic potatoes

Wada Farms Marketing Group has strategically partnered with premier organic packer Genesis Organics located in southern Idaho. This new exclusive partnership provides new avenues for growth in the organic potato category with most notable being a longer supply availability to service all retail and foodservice industries on a year-round basis. “The demand for organic produce continues to grow in an exponential fashion. Customers are asking for more organic options when it comes to potatoes, and we are proud to be able to respond to that demand,” said Kevin Stanger, president of Wada Farms Marketing.
8/30/2018

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Certis UK appoints new potato product manager

Crop protection firm Certis has welcomed recently-appointed UK potato product manager Nick Badger to its business. Badger has worked in previous roles as North Europe potato portfolio manager with Syngenta, while also having worked for the UK fresh potato packer, MBM Produce. He explained that his key focus at Certis will be to promote quality crop protection solutions.
8/29/2018

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