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Keep up to date with the latest HZPC news and global potato news.




Potato News

Grimme opens potato equipment production plant in China

Franz, Christine und Christoph Grimme recently inaugurated the modern Grimme plant in Tianjin, China. With an investment in excess of ‎? 13 million (USD 15.7 million) GRIMME China is the largest single investment in the 150-year history of the company outside of Germany. Initially the production will be focused on a range of equipment for potato cultivation developed specifically for the Chinese market. This includes planters, harvesters and equipment to store the harvested potatoes.
5/11/2018

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Potato storage builders offer exclusive advice

What factors can help potato improve storage conditions and reducing loss as much as possible? Potato Business Digital spoke with specialists from Tolsma and Agrovent to find out. When designing a new cold storage one should think about the following things, Jan van Maldegem, marketing manager at Tolsma-Grisnich, explains that different varieties with different storage temperatures (for example creating independent climate zones depending on the susceptibility of varieties for sugar accumulation or different respiration levels); logistics (limiting fork lift traffic so this will improve efficiency and limit the labor and heat production of the fork lift in the cold storage.
5/11/2018

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Late blight: Specialist warns US growers to be on lookout for genotype US-8

According to Amanda J. Gevens, Associate Professor & Extension Vegetable Plant Pathologist, UW-Madison, http://usablight.org is again up and running for 2018 in an effort to support the detection and characterization of late blight on tomato and potato crops from the U.S. Already this year, late blight has been confirmed on potato and tomato in Florida, she says. In all cases reported to the usablight website, the pathogen genotype was US-23.
5/10/2018

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Alberta poised to topple Prince Edward Island as Canada?s spud king

At the moment, Alberta province is processing more spuds than ever before. Last year, potato production in this province reached a record 907,184 tons. ?We?ve seen potato production in Alberta more than double over the last 20 years or so, and we?re just actually right behind Prince Edward Island and Manitoba in third spot for potato production,? said Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial.
5/10/2018

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UK: Guidance on reduced fluazinam sensitivity in late blight populations

In July 2017, AHDB notified its blight network about reports of the spread of EU_37_A2, a strain of blight first discovered in the Netherlands in 2013 which has shown reduced sensitivity to Fluazinam, a common fungicide used to tackle blight and other diseases. As a result, you can find the two below links to guidelines on how the potato industry should respond to reduced fluazinam sensitivity in late blight populations.
5/10/2018

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More potatoes expected to be planted in Northwestern Europe despite low prices

Despite low prices during this campaign, it?s expected more potatoes will be planted for the harvest of 2018 in Northwestern Europe. The NEPG, or North-West European Potato Growers, estimates the growers in the five most prominent potato countries will plant 0.4 per cent more potatoes than last year. The stocks of the current harvest are still high, but because the potatoes will be planted later and the early varieties are expected to be harvested later, the NEPG expects a longer production season than usual for the processing industry.
5/10/2018

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Mahindra & Mahindra joins McCain Foods and Monsanto Growth Ventures as strategic partners in Canadian Resson

Resson, a predictive analytics company for the agricultural industry, announced a $14 million financing deal that welcomed Mahindra & Mahindra as a strategic partner, joining existing strategic partners McCain Foods and Monsanto Growth Ventures as well as existing investors Build Ventures, Rho Canada, BDC Capital, East Valley Ventures and the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. Resson uses machine learning, big data analytics and computer vision to help growers of crops like potatoes, spinach and grapes make better-informed decisions about crop management.
5/9/2018

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Mouth sensor can measure the salt in every potato chip you eat

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have invented a flexible electronic sensor that can be embedded in a dental retainer for real-time monitoring of sodium intake. The device, which they described in the journal PNAS, could send info to your phone, giving you instant data about whether you?re busting your low-sodium diet.
5/9/2018

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German potato packing firms fined for price fixing

Bundeskartellamt, the German competition authority, imposed fines totalling Euro 13.2m on Hans-Willi Buhmer Verpackung und Vertrieb GmbH Co. KG and Kartoffel-Kuhn GmbH. Andreas Mundt, president of the Bundeskartellamt, said: ?For years the companies concerned have agreed on an important parameter in the calculation of their weekly offers to Metro. By aligning their purchase prices used in the calculation, the two major suppliers of the Metro group virtually eliminated any price competition between them.
5/9/2018

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European potato sector concludes successful Europatat Congress

Last Friday 4 May, the European potato community gathered in Brussels for the Europatat Congress 2018. Under the slogan ?Potatoes: a healthy, sustainable and responsible sector?, the annual event focused on the many assets of the sector in the areas of health, nutrition, sustainability and social corporate responsibility, and how they feed into the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations. The keynote speaker in the morning session, digital strategist and reputation management specialist Christophe Ginisty, gave to the participants an insight about social media trends and the most looked after consumers, known as millennials.
5/9/2018

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US: Monte Vista Potato Growers continues steady growth curve

With 2018?s crop being planted in late April and 2017 potatoes running until the end of July, Monte Vista Potato Growers near Monte Vista continues to expand in volume and in shipments, particularly to Mexico. General Manager Jason Tillman said in mid-April the cooperative now is made up of 11 growers, and he said volume has increased 35 percent in the past year as a result of good yields and the additional acreage.
5/9/2018

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PepsiCo to introduce Australian deli potato chips to US consumers

PepsiCo is set to bring the Australian potato chip brand Red Rock Deli to the US for the first time. The US Red Rock Deli brand will join PepsiCo?s Frito-Lay division, and the brand?s initial product range will include three flavours of potato chips. Made with rough-cut potatoes and cooked in sunflower oil, the snacks contain no artificial colours or flavours and are non-GMO project verified. Stuart Beck, senior marketing director for Frito-Lay North America, said: ?Red Rock Deli is a brand that is rooted in a philosophy of unique and elevated flavour experiences.
5/8/2018

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Australia: Autumn surveillance round for tomato potato psyllid complete

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in West Australia has wrapped up autumn surveillance for the tomato potato psyllid (TPP), with no detections of a damaging plant bacteria associated with the pest. Department acting horticulture director Rohan Prince said it marked completion of the third surveillance round in WA since the pest insect was detected in Perth in February last year. TPP is a tiny sap-sucking insect that affects a range of plants including tomato, potato, capsicum, chilli, eggplant and tamarillo.
5/8/2018

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Potato beetle resistance brewing in Canada

The battle against Colorado potato beetle is becoming more difficult every season. It?s not a new problem. As early as 2014, producer groups were already warning that Colorado potato beetles were becoming increasingly resistant to neonicotinoids. Four years later, the problem has not gone away and, in some patches of the province, has arguably got worse. High beetle populations made their way into last year?s insect summary for the Canadian province of Manitoba.
5/8/2018

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Sped-up spuds to fit modern, busy, on-the-go lifestyles

Tasteful Selections LLC, a specialty potato brand consisting of family growers from California, Nevada, and Arizona, aims to contemporize potatoes to fit modern, busy, on-the-go lifestyles. Since its inception in 2010, Tasteful Selections has sought to push potatoes into the 21st century. For instance, its bite-sized baby and fingerling potatoes are pre-washed, don?t require peeling, and have faster cook times than traditional Russet potatoes.
5/8/2018

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Why one nutritionist calls potatoes nature?s diet pill

Nutritionist JJ Virgin and Dr. Oz in the US reveal what science says about spuds and why the humble tater isn?t as bad as you may think. While we have been taught for so long that potatoes are the enemy when it comes to keeping the weight off, today?s experts suggest that may not be the case. Potatoes are actually quite nutrient dense and can help balance blood sugar, improve your mood and sleep, and help you maintain a healthy gut. One potato has 150 calories and is full of nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc while help the body maintain bone structure, strength, balance, and produce and maintain collagen
5/8/2018

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UK: AHDB looking to expand Knowledge Exhange team

AHDB is expanding its arable team and has created new Knowledge Exchange (KE) and Knowledge Transfer (KT) roles. If you are passionate about arable farming and would enjoy working with potato growers and the supply chain to ensure useful information is receieved by those who need it, then AHDB would love to hear from you.
4/2/2018

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Funeral potatoes are not as grim as they sound?

Walmart has been advertising to my friend Terry in his Facebook feed. He showed me screenshots of the ads. They were all strange but the first one was particularly odd, one neither one of us had ever heard of before: funeral potatoes. The name made me curious, of course. I needed to learn more. The first thing I discovered is that they?re are a Utah thing, usually served after Mormon funerals (hence the name).
4/2/2018

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Washington Potato Commission searching for ?early adopters? of alternative farming

The Washington State Potato Commission (WSPC) is looking for growers who are embracing alternative methods. ?How can we enhance pest control and potato production while decreasing off-farm impacts?? the group said. ?The WSPC wants to learn what ?early adopters of alternative farming methods? are doing.? The WSPC is interested in unconventional or inventive techniques.
4/2/2018

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Dutch company Farm Frites to build $165m potato processing facility in Kazakhstan

It is reported from Kazakhstan that Dutch based Farm Frites will open a potato processing facility in the Almaty region of the country in 2019. Kazakhstan?s investment promotion company Kazakh Invest is said to have organized a number of meetings between managers of the Dutch company Farm Frites, Simon Quist and Jos den Boer, and highly placed authorities in Kazakhstan, including the Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Umirzak Shukeyev.
4/2/2018

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Unmanned: Drones and robots working together to target weeds

It sounds like a futuristic farming scene, but researchers in central Europe are working on developing an autonomous farming system where drones and robots work together to control weeds. The Flourish Project in Europe is an effort to create an autonomous, robotic system that foresee collaboration between unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and multi-purpose unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). The system utilizes UAV surveillance capabilities to generate a map of the field, capture image data, and identify areas with a high probability of pest concerns, like weeds.
3/31/2018

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Old foe on the attack: British growers warned against new, aggressive fungicide-resistant late blight strain

Potato growers in Britain are being warned to change their blight control strategies this season to combat the spread of an aggressive fungicide-resistant strain of the disease which has reached Suffolk. The dark green 37_A2 form of Phytopthora infestans has quickly spread across Europe, reaching England two years ago when five cases were reported. Around 20 cases were officially recorded in 2017, mainly in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Kent, and more recently in Suffolk.
3/31/2018

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Video: Why your controlled release fertilizer didn?t work as expected

In this video, Nelson Gonzalez, Territory / Key Account Manager at ICL, discusses the top 10 reasons your controlled release fertilizer may not have performed as you expected. Fertilizer displacement? Not choosing the proper longevity? Not using the proper formulation? Not choosing the proper rate? Over irrigation? Too high or too low media pH? Micronutrient package?
3/31/2018

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Injury prone: What dicamba damage does to potatoes, and how to fight it

?We have been gathering data to determine what effect dicamba has on seed tubers and potato plants,? according to Andy Robinson, extension research potato agronomist with North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. Dicamba injury on potato tubers is expressed as elephant hide, smaller tuber, and/or malformed/cracked tubers. ?We typically see greater tuber malformations as a result of herbicide injury when plants are exposed during tuber initiation through early tuber bulking.
3/30/2018

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New biofumigant crop mix: Turning up the heat on potato cyst nematode

A new summer-sown biofumigant plant mix that offers improved suppression of potato cyst nematode, compared with autumn-sown, overwintered varieties, is being launched this season by Agrovista in the UK. Summer Vindaloo is a mix of the hottest mustard varieties and very hot rocket, which grows quickly and develops powerful biofumigation activity within three months of sowing, says Shropshire-based agronomist Andrew Wade. The mix will appeal, especially on trickier land, to growers who prefer or need to complete their deep cultivations before winter sets in, he says.
3/30/2018

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European organizations looking to find alternative markets for surplus potatoes

The organisations UNPT (National Union of Potato Producers, France), ABS (Algemeen Boerensyndicaat, Flanders) and FWA (Walloon Federation of Agriculture, Belgium) launched a project last year with the aim to find alternative markets in the North of France, Wallonia, and Flanders during seasons of an overproduction of potatoes. The Interreg GEPOS project was started last January and is being carried out with the support of the European Regional Development Fund.
3/30/2018

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?Global potato demand up, US market share for frozen products down,? says CEO

Worldwide consumption of potatoes is increasing, according to Blair Richardson, chief executive officer of Potatoes USA. ?We?re seeing a reversal of the downward trend in global potato-product sales that we?ve been in since the 1970s,? Richardson related during a recent meeting of Wisconsin potato growers. ?Not only are we seeing positive growth at the retail level, we?re also seeing significant increases in the food-service sector,? he said.
3/30/2018

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Large organic potato and vegetable project for APH Group in Russia

APH Group with its headquarters in the Netherlands recently concluded a multi-million Euro contract with a Russian enterprise to deliver machines and installations for the organic production of potatoes and vegetables. The project is being implemented in the South of Russia and will be the largest organic potato and vegetable farm in Russia. The customer is a Russian entrepreneur who sees the opportunity to sell biological products in the urban areas of Russia.
3/28/2018

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Canadian potato growers encouraged to participate in Zebra Chip and psyllid monitoring project

The Zebra Chip and Potato Psyllid Survey and Monitoring project in Canada is to survey fields for populations of the potato psyllid, and test captured potato psyllids and symptomatic tubers for the presence of the pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (Lso). It is coordinated by Dan Johnson, Larry Kawchuk, and Scott Meers. Zebra chip is a disease that severely disrupts carbohydrate flow in potato plants, resulting in a striped appearance in tubers.
3/27/2018

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Far more toxic than glyphosate: Copper sulfate, used by organic and conventional farmers, cruises to European reauthorization

Recently, the European Union decided to reauthorize the fungicide copper sulfate, a popular pesticide among organic farmers that has a more toxic rap sheet than glyphosate. Copper sulfate is a widely used pesticide in organic farming but which also is used in some conventional applications, although the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) considered toxicity risks for farmers, birds, mammals and soil organisms, and the chemical?s overall environmental impact.
3/27/2018

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British potato processing company making food safety a priority

The potato processing firm at the centre of a major product recall in Britain in 2015 has ?radically changed its thinking? and now makes food safety ?the priority in all of its decision-making?, according to the man appointed to oversee its transformation. Swancote Foods, which was found to be the source of a metal contamination scare that led to the recall of several own-label ready meals and vegetable dishes, has since undergone both a cultural and operational transformation.
3/27/2018

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US retail shows surprising russet gains; ?mini? potatoes keep climbing in sales

Reversing recent market share erosion, potato category leader fresh russet potatoes showed modest volume gains in July through December. From the middle of 2014 to the middle of 2017, the ?mini? category has almost doubled, reaching nearly 16% of potato category sales, Ralph Schwartz, vice present of sales for Potandon Produce said ?No one is sure what the overall percent of the category it is going to capture but it keeps climbing,? he said.
3/27/2018

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Sneaky disease: Potato seed infected with Dickeya, the ?new blackleg? in Canada

Potato seed infected late in the season with Dickeya (?new blackleg? in Canada) usually does not show symptoms in the field before harvest nor in seed storages, experts say. This is because Dickeya requires high temperatures for the development of visible symptoms. The optimum temperature for Dickeya is above 25 degrees Celcius. By contrast, the ?old blackleg? (Pectobacterium) can develop at cool temperatures (8-10 C), and symptoms are usually visible when cutting seed.
3/25/2018

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Biostimulants: ?Feeding a plant additional amino acid acts like a vitamin drink?

There?s no denying that crop protection is becoming an increasing concern for arable growers. From glyphosate to neonicotinoids many crucial controls have come up against scrutiny lately, leaving farmers in the dark about what may or may not be available in the years to come ? on top of the increasing threat of chemical resistance. As a result, there?s been growing interest in alternative products like biostimulants which offer the potential to increase yields and boost crop health ? reducing the reliance on chemistry that could indeed become limited in supply.
3/25/2018

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Government chips in cash to get West Australia?s potato industry cooking

West Australia?s struggling potato industry is poised for recovery after the State Government chipped in nearly $750,000 towards expanding processing and exports. Four local growers and potato export and processing businesses will receive the money under the Potato Industry Assistance Grants program. Total private investment planned across these four projects is about $2.58 million. Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said most of the projects would source potatoes from other growers, meaning growth in these businesses would have wider benefits.
3/25/2018

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Aviko launches ?hotter, crunchier? new fries

Catering potato supplier Aviko has launched a new line of fries, which it claims stay ?piping hot and crunchier for longer?. The Premium Crunch Fast Food Fries, which cook in just three minutes and are aimed at the quick service market, are available in two varieties: Crunch Shoestring 7mm and Crunch 9.5mm. Aviko?s commerical director for the UK and Ireland, Mohammed Essa, said fast food outlets no longer ?need to be concerned with delivering cold or soggy chips?.
3/25/2018

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British potato packer group hopeful for recovery in potato prices

Produce Investments offered hope for a recovery in UK potato prices from multi-year lows, citing the potential for setbacks to 2018 sowings prospects helping a drawdown in inflated stockpiles. Produce Investments, one of the UK?s biggest potato packers, which counts major supermarket chains among its customers, signalled the potential for a drop in the country?s plantings this year, with a lower demand for seed.
3/23/2018

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Equipment manufacturer Dewulf opens new logistics center in Europe

Dewulf, full-line supplier of potato and root crop equipment, has officially inaugurated its new logistics centre at its headquarters. With the opening of the logistics centre, the company confirms its continued commitment to its roots in Roeselare in Belgium. This project fits with the family company?s strategy for achieving further organic growth and makes it possible to serve customers even better. The construction of the warehouse, with a price tag of around ?10 million, is the company?s largest financial investment since its founding in 1946.
3/23/2018

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Potato seed treatment said to help growers start strong with insect and disease protection

Rhizoctonia solani is a pathogen that is often present in soil or on seed tubers and can have a major impact on young plants. It causes diseases such as black scurf and stem canker. Wet and cold soils favor disease development, and infection can result in major damage underground. If fungal lesions expand too quickly in relation to plant growth, stolons and stems may be girdled and die.
3/23/2018

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Wireworms a growing concern for the Canadian potato industry

Wireworm populations appear to be on the rise in Western Canada. Wireworm, which is the larval stage of the adult click beetle, affects many crops, including cereals and pulses, but they are particularly damaging to potatoes. Holes created by wireworms can render tubers unmarketable and serve as points of entry for potato pathogens. Few chemical controls are available across Canada.
3/23/2018

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Russia blocks two potato shipments imported from Egypt

Russia?s agricultural quarantine authorities flagged two potato shipments from Egypt that were found to be contaminated with potato brown rot. The Ministry of Trade and Industry in Egypt denied the allegation that Russia has imposed bans on potato imports from Egypt due to a lack of quality. He stressed that Russia has not placed a blanket ban on Egypt?s potato exports to Russia.
3/22/2018

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Canada: University of Manitoba seeking candidates to study potato early dying disease

The laboratory for Applied Soil Ecology at the University of Manitoba in Canada is seeking highly motivated and talented candidates for training leading to MSc or PhD degrees. Students will undertake graduate research to limit yield loses from the disease, Potato Early Dying. Field research will be conducted examining treatments including fungicides, green manures, compost, and fumigation to reduce levels of the pathogen, Verticillium dahliae in soil, and farm surveys of disease incidence, yield and pathogens.
3/22/2018

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Posted in All the latest News, News March 2018, Trends Edit Idaho Potato Commission launches new video series: Idaho Potato Life Hacks

The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) has partnered with Ivan Nanney, former member of the Big Idaho Potato Truck?s Tater Team and Cancun.com?s newest Cancun Experience Officer, to create a series of Idaho Potato Life Hack videos showcasing the many uses of Idaho potatoes beyond a recipe ingredient. These DIY (Do It Yourself) tater tricks use Idaho potatoes to increase efficiency, safety, and creativity in everyday life.
3/22/2018

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Spud planting in Great Britain races to catch up after late start to season

Early potato planting along the Suffolk coast is racing ahead to try and catch up from a wet weather-delayed start with tuber numbers and hence yields feared to be down this season. Farm manager Tim Pratt says this is the latest start to planting in the 17 years he has been farming in this early potato producing region due to heavy rainfall since December. The fear is this late start might mean a delayed harvest when early crops from the mild microclimate along this coastal strip of Suffolk look to hit the shops after early potato liftings from Jersey and Cornwall.
3/22/2018

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Broad-spectrum fungicide can now be used to control rhizoctonia in potato

Zoxis, a broad-spectrum fungicide from Arysta LifeScience, has been successfully re-registered for use in the UK & Ireland, and can now be used on a wider range of crops. Benefits of the product, which contains azoxystrobin, include control of diseases such as septoria, fusarium and rust, as well as promoting beneficial physiological and greening effects. It offers translaminar, systemic and protectant activity and is for use in resistance management programmes.
3/22/2018

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Keeping one step ahead of tuber blight: Experts in Great Britain provide latest results and analysis

The aggressive and fit new blight strains 37_A2 and 36_A2 have been detected as tuber blight in stored potatoes in Great Britain. The latest results and analysis will help the sector keep one step ahead on how to best manage this latest threat. Of the genotyped batches of tuber blight samples typed in the storage season to date, the new genotype 37_A2 has been confirmed in six samples, and 36_A2 from two, reveals David Cooke of the James Hutton Institute.
3/21/2018

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PhD opportunity: Applications of machine learning to precision potato blackleg prediction

James Hutton Institute in the UK is now offering a unique opportunity for a PhD student to identify the principle drivers of potato blackleg through GIS analysis of historical soil, climate, and epidemiological datasets, and to design a focused set of plant assay experiments. The successful applicant is expected to apply advanced machine learning techniques to the data to automatically develop a predictive model (decision support tool) that can guide both growers and government to straightforward disease intervention strategies.
3/21/2018

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Studies/Reports Edit Video: Newest Strategic Potato Farm in Great Britain aims to maximise quality in store

RJ & AE Godfrey, a mixed arable farm in North Lincolnshire in the UK is the newest Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm. On-farm events will begin in June. The SPot Farm programme up-scales the research and demonstrates the on-farm implementation of the science related to potato production. The initiative, part of an annual 1m+ AHDB investment in its Farm Excellence network, offers growers an insight into how new systems and practices can be implemented at their own potato enterprise, benefitting their businesses and the wider supply chain as well.
3/20/2018

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For the long haul: South Africas running potato pathology professor chasing after spud diseases

Jacquie van der Waals is not only a professor of potato pathology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa ? she is also a recognized national 10km and cross country runner in that country. Yesterday she came third in her age group during the national sprint triathlon championships in South Africa. Other running achievements include being South African Cross Country Ladies Champion (40 ? 44) in 2014 and 2015. Jacquie is the founder and lead of the Potato Pathology Programme at the university.
3/20/2018

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Data smart: Applying artificial intelligence to the humble spud

?We?re going from precision agriculture to decision agriculture. And we?re trying to drive that revolution,? states Giri Baleri, VP for marketing at Resson, a university spin-out based in the New Brunswick province of Canada. Resson uses imagery combined with farm data to provide a range of analytics to growers. One goal, Baleri explains, is to detect issues like disease and pests before they arrive.
3/20/2018

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