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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

US scientists identified new mefenoxam resistant late blight strain

According to Amanda J. Gevens, Associate Professor & Extension Vegetable Plant Pathologist at the Dept. of Plant Pathology, UW-Madison, a new late blight strain type, US-25 has recently been identified in New York State. According to Prof Gevens, this strain has, to this point, been found only on tomato.
8/28/2018

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Seed potato planting to be in the spotlight at PotatoEurope 2018 event in Germany

In the run-up to PotatoEurope 2018, Dr. Rolf Peters from PotatoConsult UG in Germany describes the challenges and technology developments in planting seed potatoes. Demonstrations of planting technology will take place at the event, at Bockerode, near Hanover, on 12/13 September. According to Dr Peters, the planting of seed potatoes has developed into a highly complex step in crop cultivation.
8/28/2018

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Higher consumer prices expected for potatoes in India, says trader

According to Mr S.K. Gautam, CEO of NR Tradewind Services Pvt Ltd in Delhi, higher consumer prices for potatoes can be expected during the next four months in India. Mr Gautam says this trend is confirmed by several market sources and is indicative of the current scenario caused by heavy rains and floods across many regions in India.
8/28/2018

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Germany: ‘Losses on Saxon potato fields significantly increase prices’

This year’s yields of the East German potato fields will be significantly lower than usual. Due to the drought, the local producers are already expecting losses of around one third, said a spokesman for the agricultural cooperative Langenchursdorf in an interview with the local press.
8/27/2018

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Funding for spud research in the US could benefit Maine growers

The Maine potato industry and growers across the nation could benefit from a financial victory that U.S. Sen. Susan Collins secured in the fiscal year 2019 Appropriations Minibus that recently passed in the Senate. Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, advocated legislation that will include $2.75 million in funding for potato research and $20 million for the USDA’s Integrated Pest Management Program, which supports the work of the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension Potato IPM Program.
8/27/2018

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University of Idaho potato expert shares information on vine kill methods and timing

Long ago and far away, most potato growers relied on mechanical vine kill – flailing/chopping and rolling with heavy tires or other implements to break the stems, says Pamela J.S. Hutchinson, Associate Professor at the University of Idaho Aberdeen Research and Extension Center. Late blight and other reasons, such as need for faster kill, have changed grower practices, she writes.
8/27/2018

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Key factors to successful storage and preventing common potato diseases

According to Industrial Ventilation Inc (IVI), storage technology company based in Nampa, Idaho, the two critical environmental factors involved in properly storing potatoes and preventing common potato diseases are temperature and humidity. Adequate and unrestricted air movement is also necessary to maintain constant temperature and humidity throughout the storage pile.
8/27/2018

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New Zealand, Fiji discuss potato trade, varieties and knowledge transfer

New Zealand’s potato industry governing body  has made a commitment to ensure the quality of potatoes imported from NZ by Fiji will be of top quality. Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ) says it wanted to see Fiji’s potato industry grow. Its chief executive Chris Claridge made the comments during a bilateral meeting with the NZ Ministry for Primary Industries (NZMPI) in Nadi on Tuesday.
8/26/2018

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Annual Potato Field Day: Northern Plains region ‘would benefit from rain’

It’s too late for much of the area’s potato crop, but many spud fields would benefit from a good rain, and soon. “If it’s in a day or two days or five days — rain would help,” said Andrew Robinson, Fargo, N.D.,-based extension potato specialist with both North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. Weeks of warm, dry weather have stressed non-irrigated potatoes, and a shot of late-summer precipitation would boost less-advanced spuds. Rain also would soften fields and make them easier to dig for harvest, Robinson and others say.
8/26/2018

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Key Technology celebrates 70 years of innovation

Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, is celebrating their 70th anniversary. “In an era marked by rapid technological change, Key’s strategy has remained remarkably consistent over our 70-year history. We attract exceptionally talented people, inspire teamwork and create close collaborative partnerships with our customers to identify and solve their unique production challenges,” said Jack Ehren, President of Key Technology.
8/25/2018

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Potatoes fight back: Despite recent reports to the contrary, British consumers still love potatoes

This week, media reports surfaced that ‘potato consumption is down 5%’. This is simply not the case, says industry organization AHDB Potatoes. The latest figures from Kantar WorldPanel, which covers data from all retailers, shows a 2.6% rise in consumption of potatoes since 2015, the organization says.
8/25/2018

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Nemathorin: Online calculator assists British growers with date check for potato harvest interval

Potato maincrop harvesting is set to get underway in Britain, following a season of extreme heat and drought. Where establishment was significantly delayed, growers are being reminded to check the pre-harvest interval from the date of planting, to desiccation and lifting, advocates Syngenta Potato Technical Manager, Michael Tait.
8/25/2018

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International Trade Secretary signs major deal allowing export of UK seed potatoes to China

China’s developing taste for chips and crisps will soon be fueled by British produce, as International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP secures a deal which enables the UK to export seed potatoes to China. According to a press release issued earlier today, the deal is expected to bring major benefits to Scotland, with around 70% of the 100,000 tonnes of seed potatoes exported annually from the UK coming from Scottish farms.
8/24/2018

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New Zealand offers assistance to develop Fiji’s potato industry

Technical assistance is being offered by the New Zealand Government to develop Fiji’s potato industry. The two countries have signed a bilateral agreement which will see more assistance being given towards Fiji. Biosecurity Authority of Fiji – CEO Hillary Kumwenda says this is an important step for Fiji to ensure the versatile crop is given the best possible platform to thrive.
8/23/2018

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McCain Foods appoints new President of Canadian division

McCain Foods announces the appointment of Danielle Barran to country president, McCain Foods (Canada), a division of McCain Foods Limited. Ms Barran assumed full responsibility for the Canadian commercial business, effective August 20, 2018. Reporting to Jeff DeLapp, President, North America, Ms Barran will lead McCain Foods Canada’s next stage of strategic development.
8/23/2018

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‘The Global Potato: Food Futures of the Past’

Cailey Hall, a PhD student at UCLA, writes in this article that the English author John Foster published a pamphlet in 1664 whose long title begins, “Englands happiness increased, or, A sure and easie remedy against all succeeding dear years by a plantation of the roots called potatoes.” Although the potato has been cultivated in Europe for less than a century at this point — after making its way from the Andes on the ships of Spanish conquistadors — the tuber represents European imperial hopes for better food futures. It also makes many more individual futures, in the form of population growth, possible.
8/22/2018

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Potato industry in Bavaria expecting only ‘slightly below-average harvest’

While the catastrophic climatic conditions in northern Germany are becoming increasingly clear, potato growers and marketers in southern Germany expect only a slightly below-average harvest. In Bavaria in particular there were only occasional weather extremes in recent weeks, which is why crop development was not significantly affected.
8/22/2018

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Crispr: Why gene editing is the next food revolution

Zachary, Lippman, a professor of genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory created plants using gene editing, a technology—based on a natural process—that allows researchers to cut out certain bits of DNA in order to control traits. The cell’s genetic structure then repairs itself automatically, minus the targeted gene. His tomatoes are now programmed to produce double the number of branches and, as a result, twice the tomatoes.
8/21/2018

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Washington Potato Commission exec: ‘We’re out of acres’

Potatoes from the European Union have cut into Washington potatoes’ market share on the Pacific Rim, Voigt said. “We’re starting to see a lot of European french fries showing up in Japan, China and places where we normally didn’t run across as much of them,” he said. “We’re actually hoping there’s a way we can grow or plant more potatoes here in Washington, because we know there is demand in the Pacific Rim, but we’re out of acres,” executive director of Washington State Potato Commission, Chris Voigt said.
8/21/2018

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‘Challenge is to guarantee quality of potatoes,’ says trader in Belgium

The potato market in Europe is still under pressure because of the dry weather. “The rain that fell in recent days, is a bit too late. The damage has been done. Some varieties will recover somewhat, but yields will be low. Yields are between 15 and 30 tonnes, and that’s very disappointing,” says Bart Nemegheer of De Aardappelhoeve in Belgium. It’s difficult to fulfil the contracts on the market, because growers don’t have the potatoes.
8/21/2018

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Key Technology and Heat and Control announce strategic partnership in Australia, New Zealand and India

Key Technology, Inc., a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, and Heat and Control Pty Ltd. announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership to support customers in Australia, New Zealand and India. Under the terms of the agreement, Key has appointed Heat and Control as their exclusive agent to sell and service Key’s digital sorters, vibratory conveyors and other automation systems in Australia, New Zealand and India, effective immediately.
8/21/2018

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Understanding soil microbes could boost potato yields

Soil is sometimes considered the last knowledge frontier because so little is known about the microbial and fungal communities that live within it. What we do know is that in just a small handful of dirt live thousands upon thousands of microorganisms, some helpful to plant production, some not. Soil health and crop production go hand in hand, which is why scientists, like Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Claudia Goyer, are working hard to better understand it.
8/19/2018

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Tobacco rattle virus in potato explained

Corky ring spot is becoming more economically important across several potato production regions in the U.S. largely due to the spread of tobacco rattle virus (TRV) and because of restrictions on the use of current chemical control options. Potato specialists at NDSU/University of Minnesota recently published a factsheet explaining the influence of TRV on potato production.
8/19/2018

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Dutch and Belgian potato representatives meet to discuss current situation in the potato sector

The extreme weather conditions of recent months caused a commotion in the potato sector in Europe. Many growers suffered damages, resulting in lower yields this year. In various media outlets, the re-negotiation of contracts between growers and the processing industry has recently been mentioned frequently. This is why parties from both the Dutch and Belgian potato sectors came together to discuss this and to voice their worries.
8/18/2018

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West Australia’s spuds set for all-clear to head east again

West Australia’s potato growers could regain access to Eastern States markets by the end of the year, after a big biosecurity effort demonstrated a rare bug found in WA does not carry a damaging bacteria. The tomato potato psyllid was detected in WA 18 months ago, causing Eastern States markets to shut their doors to WA potatoes, a move estimated to have cost local growers tens of millions of dollars.
8/18/2018

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France: Historic low potato yields expected

As the early potato season comes to an end in France, early potatoes and the new crops are now taking over. The first available data indicate, for the moment, yields down by about 7% compared to the five-year average. More potatoes were planted: + 3.6% in France and + 1% for the 5 NEPG countries. While average planting dates were later, following the adverse weather conditions during the spring for a number of weeks, the general growth of potatoes were negatively affected.
8/18/2018

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PAA Honorary Lifetime Member ‘put his heart into spud research’

It’s been 13 years since Steve Love was involved in potato research and development but his effect has not been forgotten. During last month’s Potato Association of America banquet in Boise, Love, a professor of plant sciences at the University of Idaho’s Aberdeen Research and Extension Center, was recognized with the PAA’s Honorary Lifetime Membershipfor his work in potato research. These days Love is Idaho’s consumer horticulturist specialist helping develop the native plant program at the Aberdeen center.
8/18/2018

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‘Potatoes less exposed to Brexit risks than many other sectors’

Brexit may provide British potato farmers with an opportunity to substitute imports if trade barriers are imposed by Brussels. As a result, it means the sector could be less exposed than others in the industry. That is the message from David Swales, head of strategic insight at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), who spoke at ‘Potatoes in Practice’ in Dundee on Thursday, August 9.
8/15/2018

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Trade dispute: China retaliates with tariffs on fries and dehy

The escalating trade war between the U.S. and China increased further as both sides recently announced new multi-billion tariffs on a host of goods. As expected, China included U.S. fries and dehy on their announced retaliation list. The new tariffs are 10% on fries and 25% on dehy. “We’re monitoring this situation in coordination with U.S. trade officials. Our message to all parties has not changed.
8/15/2018

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New President at the Potato Association of America

Succeeding Jansky as PAA president was Rich Novy, USDA-ARS research geneticist at the Aberdeen, Idaho facility. Novy said that he wants to continue the PAA’s role continuing to develop collaboration among researchers and the industry and encourage young researchers to stay involved in the potato industry during his one-year term as president. “One thing that we’re looking at is trying to facilitate new researchers, graduate students, keep their interest in being involved in potato and continuing their research role to help the industry,” Novy said.
8/15/2018

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North-Western European potato crop will be ‘much lower with quality concerns’, says grower group NEPG

In a press release issued yesterday, the grower organization NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) says that it is now becoming clear that the 2018 potato crop will be much lower and quality issues will be a main challenge throughout North-Western Europe. The NEPG represents potato growers in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK. “Extreme record drought conditions and exceptionally high temperatures are at the order of the day all over the main potato growing countries in Europe,” the organization says in the release.
8/14/2018

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Major British seed potato market could be killed off with no-deal Brexit

A letter circulated to industry stakeholders signed jointly by Defra and Scottish Government has made it clear that exports to EU countries would stop immediately with a no-deal Brexit. It says bluntly: “The European Commission has stated that without an agreement seed potatoes will not be marketable in the EU.”
8/14/2018

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Plants use calcium to send internal warning of attacking aphids

Scientists at the John Innes Centre have discovered how plants send internal warning signals in response to an attack by aphids. They found that when the insect feeds on a leaf it triggers the plant to admit calcium into the damaged cells. This small flux of calcium prompts the plant to signal that an attack is underway, and a larger amount of calcium is then mobilized from within the cell.
8/14/2018

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New Zealanders take a closer look at ‘the good oil on fish and chips’

While other countries regulate fryer fat use, experts in New Zealand say degraded oils at its favourite chippies is concerning. The key to producing good fish and chips is to use top-quality oil, filter the frying vats each day, regularly change the oil, and cook oils at the right temperature. But industry experts say not all fast food operators are making the health grade, and neighbourhood chippies are some of the worst offenders. Chemist Dr Laurence Eyres, a specialist in oils and fats, says the prevalence of fast food outlets using old degraded oils is concerning.
8/14/2018

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Heat wave in North America: Podcast on ‘keeping your potatoes happy and healthy during the summer heat’

Fertilizer company Yara North Americarecently launched a podcast initiative to provide growers with updated agronomic advice, production and market insights, and more. In the latest podcast, specialists from Yara discuss how the potato crop is dealing with the current heat wave experienced in North America at this time. In this podcast,
8/13/2018

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Blight: Integrated thinking for late blight control

Earlier this spring AHDB in the UK produced comprehensive new guidance on controlling late blight in light of the increase in the aggressive blight strain 37_A2. CPMtakes a closer look. There’s been much talk about blight programmes since the 37_A2 late blight genotype emerged in the UK. It’s of particular significance because the new strain appears to be aggressive, highlighted by its relatively rapid increase in the blight population last season (from 3 to 24% of samples tested).
8/13/2018

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Australian drought: Devastating impact of worst drought in living memory across New South Wales

The worst drought ever recorded is sweeping large parts of in particular eastern Australia. The entire Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has been declared in drought after a drier-than-expected June and July.  The entire state of New South Wales is effectively, and now officially, drought-declared. There is virtually no fodder left for livestock. June and July have been much drier than expected, resulting in failing crops, water shortages and a diminishing supply of fodder to sustain stock.
8/13/2018

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Potato industry to sell spuds as performance-boosting

The US potato industry is making a strong statement about potatoes to demonstrate the performance-boosting benefits of America’s favorite vegetable. Potatoes USA, a Denver-based national marketing group representing 2,500 growers and handlers, worked with its members to identify a nutrition-based lifestyle benefit that challenges consumers’ preconceived notions about potatoes.
8/12/2018

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UK: Emergency approval granted for organic potato blight product

A breakthrough emergency authorisation for Cuprokylt (copper oxychloride) provides the only fungicide available to organic potato growers in Britain for the control of late blight, at a key time of the season. The Extension of Authorisation for Minor Uses (EAMU) was driven by industry leading stakeholders, including Certis, Agrii, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), National Farmers’ Union and several organic growers associations.
8/12/2018

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US: Range of potato experiments underway at Maine’s Aroostook Research Farm

Farmers, researchers and members of the public gathered at the University of Maine’s Aroostook Research Farm in Presque Isle Wednesday to learn about the latest in potato research. “There’s a tremendous number of experiments going on,” said Greg Porter, a University of Maine agriculture professor. Attendees at the field day learned about a range of trials underway at the farm, including research into different fertilizer applications, fungicide treatments for late blight, beneficial soil fungi, and the relatively new potato pathogen known as dickeya.
8/12/2018

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Research report: Promising outlook for global potato chips market

The Global Potato Chips Market reached 26.5bn Euros by the end of 2017, with an average annual volume percent growth of 5.9% over the 2012-2017 period. According to Alan Deane, founding partner of research company Food for Thought (FFT): “At the top end of the market on a per capita basis in 2017, Ireland leads at 4.4 kgs per capita, followed by the United Kingdom (3.5) and Canada (3.4). This then drops rapidly for Spain (2) and the USA (2.32).
8/11/2018

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Canada: Potato Growers of Alberta open field day to showcase potato research activities

The Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) Field Day Open House will take place at the University of Lethbridge next week, August 17, 2018. The event is an opportunity to showcase potato research activities and tour the university’s new soon-to-be-opened Science and Academic Building (Destination Project). The tour is aimed at potato growers and industry stakeholders. Cavendish, the PGA, McCain Foods and Lamb Weston fund the research chair and potato program at the university.
8/11/2018

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European-wide drought threatens harvests from Sweden to the Czech Republic

For farmers in central and northern Europe, this summer’s unusually high temperatures aren’t just uncomfortable, they are putting their harvests at risk, The Guardian reported. The drought, caused by high temperatures and low rainfall since May 2018, is the worst in recent memory for the region, according to The Guardian. “Older families around me are comparing this to 1976,” 25-year-old Dutch farmer Iris Bouwers told The Guardian.
8/11/2018

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CPB in world history: ‘The battle of the potato beetles’

In the summer of 1950, during the early days of the Cold War, the farmers in then communist East Germany were told by their government that American planes were dropping Colorado potato beetles over their potato fields to try and sabotage their crops. Farmers reportedly saw low flying American planes constantly dropping something from the air, and shortly after the farmers would notice large numbers of new beetles in their potato fields.
8/10/2018

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Nutrition 101: The role of calcium in potato quality, production

Calcium plays an important role in the growth and development of plants, says Jiwan P. Palta, professor, Department of Horticulture University of Wisconsin, Madison. Palta writes in a factsheet that cell membrane health is very crucial to the survival and health of the plant cell.
8/10/2018

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The drought issue: Tension developing between Dutch potato farmers and french fry processors

Dutch potato growers and potato processing companies will start talks on Friday to determine who is to pay for the problems with this year’s harvest due to the consequences of the drought, broadcaster NOS (Nederlandse Omroep Stichting) reports. Farmers want processors to share in the cost of irrigation. Some 80% of the Dutch potato crop is sold under contract to potato processors, in particular the french fry processors...
8/10/2018

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The drought issue: Smart irrigation becoming more attractive option for spuds

A sustained dry period, changes in water licences and shortage of labour are making ‘smart irrigation’ systems more attractive to potato farmers, according to Andrew Howseman of Howseman Agriculture in the UK. “Even farmers that have never needed irrigation before are considering it after this June,” says Andrew. “We’ve got people who’ve been irrigating for at least 50-60 days non-stop, which is completely unheard of.
8/9/2018

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Protecting potatoes: Unearthing Scotland’s story

Max Coleman, Science Communicator, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), recently told Sefari more about our much loved tatties. Coleman says Scotland is a global leader in the research and cultivation of one of our favourite foods, the potato. The Commonwealth Potato Collection (CPC), based at the James Hutton Institute) in Invergowrie, contains around 1500 samples of wild potato species that collectively form a valuable genetic resource that helps to safeguard the future development of the potato.
8/9/2018

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The drought issue: Potato growers in Ireland facing unprecedented sprouting problem

The consequences of the extreme temperatures and moisture deficits experienced earlier in the year have become evident this week as significant areas of potato crops are now sprouting. Substantial stress was placed on potato crops during the hot weather, which limited both canopy development and tuber bulking. 
8/9/2018

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Wisconsin potato crop outlook rebounds after rough start

With cool and wet weather in April and May, unseasonably hot weather around Memorial Day and dry weather in July, Mother Nature has given Wisconsin potato growers a challenging season. But balancing all the factors, suppliers anticipated a near average crop for 2018. “We’ve had some areas that did better than otherwise,” said Tamas Houlihan, executive director of the Antigo-based Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Association.
8/8/2018

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