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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

Tesco clamps down on food waste

Potatoes were on the list when Tesco announced in May of this year to  remove “best before” dates from almost 70 fruit and vegetable products in an effort to reduce the amount of usable food being thrown away. Now the supermarket is set to remove the labels on a further 116 items of produce – including own-brand apples, oranges, cabbages and asparagus.
10/12/2018

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Washington state secures funding for potato research, including on potato psyllid

The USDA, through their Specialty Crop Block Grants program, awarded over $600,000 to support three potato research projects to Washington state researchers. Rodney Cooper, of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Wapato, was awarded $215,538 for a project entitled “Gut Content Analysis to Pinpoint the Weed Sources of Potato Psyllid.”
10/12/2018

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12 popular potato chips around the world

Salty and satisfying, what Americans call “potato chips” are universally loved. Whether you call them “chips,” “crisps,” or “pommes chips,” it’s likely you’ve found yourself at the bottom of a bag — and wishing you had more. From Indonesia to South Africa, here’s what potato chip fans around the world love to dig into…
10/11/2018

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Potato virus: More farms put on suspect list in New Zealand

Eighteen farms are now on the suspect list for a new potato virus, Biosecurity New Zealand says, and testing has been widened to the North Island. The Potato Mop-Top Virus, or PM-TV, affected potatoes used to make chips. It was found for the first time in New Zealand on two properties in Canterbury last month.
10/11/2018

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British mailing company now offers potato starch based wrapping solution

Chris d’Entrecasteaux, General Manager at Atlas Direct Mail in the UK announced today that the company is currently running its first potato starch poly wrap job. He says coming soon will be pre-printed poly wrap made of the potato based starch. “Since the SITMA was installed just a few months ago it is in high demand and the number of jobs we put through each week is consistently increasing,” he says.
10/10/2018

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New guide to help growers in the UK test for PCN

AHDB Potatoes has launched a new guide to help growers test for Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) – a pest that costs the industry over £25 million each year.  Potato cyst nematode is the most important potato pest in the UK and has the potential to cause substantial yield losses. The release of PCN: Sampling and laboratory guide draws on AHDB-funded research.
10/10/2018

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Smaller and specialty potatoes earn shelf space in the US

Potatoes may be as familiar as just about anything in produce, but retailers do well to notice how changes within the category are affecting demand in their area and store. “As 86 percent of households purchase potatoes annually — I think the largest in the produce category, tied with bananas, according to recent data — this is a critical category and shopper base, in which to respond with a targeted and diverse assortment to drive overall produce sales,” says Angie Hanson, director of category development at Category Partners, Aurora, CO.
10/10/2018

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NPC comments on new US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement

Last week Canada was able to come to agreement on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) after certain concessions on dairy and other issues were finalized.  The revised agreement, dubbed the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) by the Administration, is likely to be considered by Congress at some point in the Spring, according to the National Potato Council (NPC) in the U.S. “Our first priority was to ensure that the benefits of the original NAFTA were not lost.  We are very pleased that the Administration chose to mend it rather than end it,” said John Keeling, NPC CEO.
10/9/2018

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Japan: New crisp lines launched from Calbee Potato’s own potato variety

Mariko Kihira reports from Japan that Calbee Inc. has launched a new crisp line from a potato variety bred and cultivated by contracted farmers of Calbee Potato Inc. (a company that distributes potatoes, provides agronomy advice to its contracted growers, and also trades and processes some of its potatoes as crisps). Independently from Calbee Inc., it bred its own variety ‘Poroshiri’ for crisp processing for more than 10 years.
10/9/2018

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Jamaican govt promotes ‘climate-smart’ potato production

The Jamaican government has allocated around $100 million to give a boost to crop production of the island nation, in particular potatoes and onions. The minister made the disclosure while addressing stakeholders at the launch of the 2018/2019 Irish Potato Programme at the Christ Church in Christiana, Manchester, on October 4.
10/9/2018

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Christopher Columbus and the potato that changed the world

It was a small round object sent around the planet, and it changed the course of human history. Call it “Spudnik.” It was a potato. On Columbus Day, the country commemorates the grand global changes — discoveries and destruction alike — that unfolded after Christopher Columbus linked the New World and the Old.
10/8/2018

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Smart farming keeps Wisconsin potato operation on the leading edge

For Jeremie Pavelski, farming is a mountain of data waiting to be conquered. Every point of production, financial or logistical information can be aggregated and analyzed to create smart and well-calculated decisions. As president of Heartland Farms, Jeremie, 36, is combining two passions: agriculture and technology.
10/8/2018

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What it takes to make the perfect chip, according to Frito-Lay

“There’s a lot of labor and love that goes into making the potato chips that go into every bag of Lay’s,” the chip producer says on its blog. The company recently followed one of its most experienced potato experts, Stephen Chahanovich, from the Killingly, CT Frito-Lay plant, to get a glimpse into a day in his life both inside and outside of Frito-Lay.
10/7/2018

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Irish farmer selling potatoes from vending machine

An Irish farmer who sells his potatoes from a vending machine has hit out at supermarkets. The Co Louth farmer has claimed stores are making more than 50% profits by selling potatoes. Gerry Finnegan has set up the 24-hour vending machine in the Termonfeckin area of the county, the Irish Mail reports.
10/7/2018

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The Potato Whisperer from Peru

Manuel Choqque Bravo, a fourth generation potato farmer in the Andean highlands of Chinchero, is about to perform a magic show. He lines up multiple deformed tubers, indigenous to the area best known for its proximity to Machu Picchu, and one by one slices them in half, revealing a color spectrum of intense violet and gold hues. “People think the potato has no healthy properties, but the truth is far from that,” he says.
10/7/2018

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Fish and chip shops in Britain to reduce portion sizes, raise prices

A dry summer has shrunk the British potato crop and raised a daunting prospect for Britons: a shortage of chips. Fish and chip shops say they will have to reduce portion sizes and raise prices for the national dish. Potato prices have already doubled this year and could go even higher, said the National Federation of Fish Friers.
10/6/2018

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Canadian potato harvest underway, but marred by cold weather

Kevin MacIsaac, general manager at the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) released the latest crop report on the current Canadian potato crop situation today. From information published in the report it is clear that most provinces are reporting lower than average yields at this stage of harvest, as well as lower tuber sets and in some areas lower size profiles.
10/6/2018

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Today is National Potato Day in Ireland

Today, October 5, is National Potato Day and people across the country are being encouraged to recognise the nutritional value of the potato and experiment with new and recipes from Bord Bia’s potato recipe website Potato.ie. The theme for National Potato Day this year is “Imagine A World Without Potatoes” hence the launch of the Potato Survival Kit.
10/5/2018

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Japan’s Calbee acquires UK potato chips producer Seabrook Crisps

The UK subsidiary of the Japanese snack food giant Calbee has acquired UK potato chips producer Seabrook Crisps for an undisclosed sum to strengthen its presence in Europe. According to Calbee UK, Seabrook’s brand of potato chips, which includes straight cut, crinkle cut and lattice chips, as well as low-calorie snacks, will make a good addition to its own portfolio.
10/5/2018

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Updated report on management of mop-top virus published

A new report on potato mop-top virus (PMTV) was published by Dr Andy Robinson, Potato Extension Agronomist at North Dakota State University/University of Minnesota, and colleagues at NDSU, Prof Neil Gudmestad, Shashi K.R. Yellareddygari and Owusu Domfeh. The latest report includes a table with 63 potato cultivars indicating if they are sensitive to insensitive to infection by the virus.
10/4/2018

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Comprehensive new report on developments in the Canadian potato industry

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in Ottawa (FAS/Ottawa) released its annual report on the Canadian potato industry today. The GAIN report focuses on key aspects of current and expected developments in the Canadian potato situation, including production trends, fresh and processed potato consumption and production, trade, and policy.
10/4/2018

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Australians create ’boutique’ vodka and export puree from potato waste

South Australia produces 80% of the nation’s fresh washed potatoes and Potatoes SA CEO Robbie Davis is leading the charge to find fresh ways to slash the corresponding food waste. Starch left over from producing potato crisps is now being used to make a boutique vodka with help from Adelaide Hills Distillery and the University of Adelaide.
10/3/2018

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High-tech project to monitor British potato crops from space

Rezatec, a provider of geospatial data analytics to the Infrastructure, Forestry and Agribusiness sectors, announced today that it has been working with The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in the UK the past season to demonstrate the effectiveness of using satellite data to map the extent of potato crops in pilot locations across England and Scotland.
10/3/2018

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Lamb Weston posts good results; concerned about European potato crop

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. announced today its fiscal first quarter 2019 results. “We’re pleased with our solid results in the first quarter, with each of our core business segments driving sales growth and expanding product contribution margins,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO. “Our results continue to reflect the strong execution by our commercial, supply chain and support teams.
10/3/2018

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Belgians prepare for “stubbier” fries

Belgian fries — one of this country’s most iconic foods, nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status — are being downsized after an unusually dry and hot European summer stunted potato crops. Crop yields this year are down by 25 percent from normal and the tubers are smaller, Pierre Lebrun, of the Walloon Potato Growers’ Association, told the Sudepresse tabloid. 
10/2/2018

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How the drought has affected European potato yields

Farmers Weekly in the UK reports today that the eating potato crop is forecast to be nearly 20% smaller than last year in north-west Europe because of the summer drought, with tuber size and quality also suffering. Some farmers face the challenge of meeting contract tonnages while others are set to benefit from a stronger free trade price.
10/2/2018

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Major British potato processor loses supply contract

Potato processor Produce Investments is to lose a major contract, with supply to wind down by the end of summer next year. Foodmanufacture.co.uk reports that “the unnamed customer informed the producer of its plans to implement a single supplier strategy. As a result, Produce Investments will not be awarded a new supply contract once the existing agreement expires in August 2019.”
10/2/2018

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The delicious history of Better Made potato chips

The average American eats around four pounds of potato chips per year; Detroiters consume an average of seven. It’s a statistic that the Cipriano family has been a part of shaping since founding Better Made Snack Foods, now a Detroit staple, back in 1930. “At the time, the potato chip was a new snack food that was taking the country over,” said Salvatore Cipriano, CEO of Better Made Snack Foods, whose father started the company.
10/1/2018

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US chip company to comply with trans fat regulations

For more than eight decades, Iowa-based Sterzing Food Co. has stamped a simple “Tri-Some” slogan on its iconic bags of potato chips. After months of struggles to adapt to a government-mandated change to its recipe, president Craig Smith is ready for a new spin on that straightforward message. “How about ‘Tri-Some again?'” he said Thursday, chuckling. “Please.”
9/30/2018

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Import tariffs would cripple the British potato industry: Trader

Import tariffs would “cripple” the potato industry and lead to Holland squeezing out Scotland as a competitor, the boss of Strathmore Potatoes in the UK says. The Forfar company exports 6,000 tonnes of seed pots a year, mainly to  Egypt, Morocco, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia and mainland Europe, in particular France.
9/30/2018

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The future of agriculture requires new thinking

An ecocentric or a technocentric approach? What is the future of agriculture and which of these 2 approaches can feed the world better? Probably a mixture of both, although that is a challenging mission, says Joris Lohman, co-founder of Food Hub. Joris is speaking at the upcoming Global Future Farming Summit.
9/29/2018

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Small potatoes causing problems for McDonald’s Netherlands this year

As a result of the dry weather, potatoes are smaller than usual this year in the Netherlands. Because of the small-sized potatoes, fries will also be shorter this year. This is problematic for fast food chain McDonald’s. “When the fries don’t meet our specifications, it affects the specialised equipment in our kitchens that measure, position and fry our fries,” says Eunice Koekkoek of MacDonald’s Netherlands.
9/29/2018

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Idaho russet prices have halved in six weeks

After a lively start to the Idaho russet potato harvest, the market has fallen dramatically as supplies come on strongly. Prices have fallen by half since the start of August and growers are discounting to help move stock. Quality is excellent however, which has become both a blessing and a problem.
9/28/2018

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US chip producer announced new facility is now live

Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips Inc. in the US announced today that their latest production facility in Pennsylvania is officially live. The multi-million dollar project has been in the works for the past year and a half. The project includes both a new distribution center and additional production lines.
9/28/2018

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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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