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Your Seed Potato Partner For North America

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




Potato News

Kettle Foods to invest 2.7M in facility upgrades

Kettle Foods, the crisp manufacturer, is to invest 2.7m at its Norwich site in the UK to develop a new potato intake building. The new project will see the relocation and upgrade of Kettle Foods? entire potato reception process to a new building on spare land adjacent to the existing factory. This will mean that there will be almost no interruption to current manufacturing, the company said.
6/16/2018

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Spud think tank: Roundup of the World Potato Congress event in Peru

Tubers were the talk of the town in Cusco, Peru during the week of May 27, when the 10th World Potato Congress (WPC) and the 28th Congress of the Latin American Potato Association (ALAP) were held together for the first time. The event drew more than 800 participants from 50 countries to the potato?s center of origin for four days of scientific presentations, networking, field trips and celebration of the potato?s cultural and economic importance. The role that potatoes can play in improving the lives and health of the world?s population was a major theme of the gathering.
6/15/2018

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King of the vegetable tribe in the US: The Spud. Of course?

According to the USDA/ERS (Economicc Research Service) food availability data, Americans consumed an average of just over 156 pounds of fresh and processed vegetables per person in 2015. The loss-adjusted food availability data series takes per capita supplies of food available for human consumption and adjusts for some of the spoilage, plate waste, and other losses in restaurants, grocery stores, and the home to more closely approximate consumption. Potatoes claimed the #1 spot at nearly a third of the total ? just more than 48 pounds per person.
6/15/2018

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McCain trialling multi-species cover crop blend for rotation in Canada?s potato province

Soil organic matter (SOM) has become a popular topic of discussion in the past year in Canada. On Prince Edward Island, still Canada?s largest potato producing province, the issue of low SOM levels is also a concern. During the 2018 International Potato Technology Expo this past February, soil health was one of the topics for presentation and discussions, as much of a concern among industry stakeholders as it is for growers. One of the surprising sights at the 2018 Potato Expo was at the McCain booth, where attendees could view a slide presentation on the company?s introduction of a multi-species cover crop blend, with a bag of the seed mix on display.
6/15/2018

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Old foe, new offspring: What do we know about the new, emerging clones of Phytophthora Infestans in Europe?

In an insightful and important article published earlier this week on the EuroBlight website, late blight expert Dr Jens Gronbech Hansen in Denmark asks: What do we know at this time about the new clones of all potato growers? arche enemy, Phytophthora Infestans? Hansen says that over the last five years EuroBlight has undertaken and coordinated an extensive survey of European populations of the late blight pathogen, P. infestans. The most recent data from the EuroBlight monitoring initiative highlighted the emergence of three new clonal lineages, named EU_36_A2, EU_37_A2 and EU_41_A2, in different parts of Europe.
6/15/2018

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Rather safe than sorry: Aussies to release Potato Growers Biosecurity Manual

The Potato Growers? Biosecurity Manual is a guide to farm biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of weeds, pests, and diseases impacting production. It was developed by Plant Health Australia (PHA) with consultation from AUSVEG and potato growers across NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The manual is designed for use by potato growers and their staff, as well as contractors, processors, researchers, and consultants working in the potato industry. It gives specific advice on what potato producers need to be aware of, and what measures they should be taking on their farm to reduce biosecurity risks.
6/14/2018

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Untying the knots: Dutch researchers look at biocontrol of root knot nematodes by increasing soil disease suppressiveness

In organic vegetable cultivation in the Netherlands, root knot nematodes are one of the major problems. According to scientists at Wageningen Plant Research, the problems with root knot nematodes is also increasing in other soil based cultivation systems. The numbers of available and effective chemical control products against soilborne diseases and pests are limited, though. In addition, the combination of different pathogens can be a problem in soil-based cultivation.
6/14/2018

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US and Indonesia sign market access agreement for US fresh potatoes

On June 5, the United States and Indonesia reached a market access agreement that will allow U.S. fresh potatoes to be exported to Indonesia under a defined set of phytosanitary requirements. The agreement comes after four years of discussions and will include both U.S. chipping potatoes for further processing and table-stock potatoes for direct consumption. Potatoes produced in all U.S. states are included in the agreement. U.S. potato growers and exporters will need to follow the requirements in the protocol to ensure Indonesia?s quarantine security, according to a June 12 press release issued by Potatoes USA.
6/13/2018

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Luther Burbank: A tribute to America?s greatest horticulturist

Luther Burbank was America?s most legendary horticulturist. At the turn of the 20th century, he developed hundreds of new fruit, vegetable, and flower varieties, creating marvels such as the Shasta daisy and the Santa Rosa plum. If America had a national plant, it might be his russet Burbank potato, which alleviated the lingering effects of the Irish famine and makes up most of McDonald?s potato fries today.
6/13/2018

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Allies in the skies: Drone industry launches into specialty agriculture market

In this well researched, in depth article on the current application of drones in agriculture, Stephen Kloosterman, Assistant Editor at Vegetable Growers News writes that drone scouts are poised to make precision agriculture even more exact as drone technology advances. Seventeen percent of all commercial registered drones in 2017 in the US were used for agriculture, making it the third-highest use for the machines.
6/13/2018

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Breath of Life: How to optimize ventilation in potato storage facilities

?Potatoes in storage are living. It is the job of the storage manager to ensure the crop sustains that life,? writes storage specialist Duane Gorman in the Potatoes in Canada magazine. He points out that after a final holding temperature is achieved in storage, it is important to ventilate properly in order to manage the byproducts of respiration, ensure a uniform temperature and an ideal environment for the duration of the storage period, which will maximize the value of the crop.
6/13/2018

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Pick-a-choose your Big Mac: Burger and fry chain to add more customer choice and variety

As McDonald?s seeks to modernize its business, the company is placing a big bet on mobile and other tech platforms, including mobile phones. McDonald?s has been systematically adding self-service ordering kiosks and table service to stores as it works to ?build a better McDonald?s.? ?What we?re finding is when people dwell more, they select more,? CEO Steve Easterbrook told CNBC on ?Squawk on the Street? on Monday.
6/12/2018

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Ditch the soil: British company claims 50 times higher potato yields with aeroponics technology

Hawk Energy, a knowledge-based business solutions provider based in Dubai with a research and development branch in London, has partnered with British start-up Airponix, which will harvest its first large crop of potatoes grown without soil, in a promising sign for a technology that claims it can deliver high vegetable yields with minimal costs and environmental degradation. At its new 1000 m2 greenhouse in Norfolk, Airponix has ditched soil to grow potatoes using a nutrient-rich ?fog? sprayed out of modified inkjet printers down long polythene tunnels of crops.
6/12/2018

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Mission accomplished: Kiremko signs agreement with Indian potato fry processor

During a recent Dutch trade mission to India, potato processing equipment manufacturer Kiremko signed a deal with Hyfun Foods, a potato processor headquartered in Mumbai, India. Dutch based Kiremko?s Director, Paul Oosterlaken, and the CEO of Hyfun Foods, Haresh Karamchandani, signed a contract for a potato fry line with a capacity of six tonnes of frozen french fries per hour. Accompanied by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Kiremko joined a delegation of 131 Dutch companies that visited Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore during the 4 day trade mission to India from May 22 to 25, 2018.
6/12/2018

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Million dollar question: Do some potato-growing soils suppress powdery scab?

A research project in New Zealand is determining if different field soils affect development of powdery scab on potatoes, and whether soil physical, chemical and/or biological characteristics influence this important potato disease. The project is developing new knowledge that may provide a basis for manipulating soil factors to reduce the harmful effects of the powdery scab pathogen. A cross-discipline team is working in the project, including plant pathologists, soil scientists and molecular biologists
6/12/2018

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High tech farming: There is an app for that

As agriculture becomes more high tech, a growing number of farmers are using GPS-equipped machinery supported by platforms that collect data on plants, soil, and weather. Termed ?precision agriculture,? these technologies help them identify and manage variability within fields. Armed with data, farmers can fine-tune their operations, potentially increasing yields and profits, Kelsey Nowakowski once wrote. New technologies allow farmers to harness data to increase their lands? productivity.
6/11/2018

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?Good potential market?: British seed potato growers look to Cuba to export

British seed potato producers are considering Cuba as an export destination after recent meetings with government officials in the country. While British producers are technically able to export to Cuba they have not been able to take advantage of this market due to a lack of awareness on how to get products into the country. However, fresh discussions have led to the development of a clear process for exporting product into Cuba.
6/11/2018

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Canada?s Alberta province home to a vibrant potato industry

Most people don?t know it, but Alberta is the third-largest producer of potatoes in Canada, after Prince Edward Island and Manitoba. ?Currently we grow about 53,500 acres,? said Terence Hochstein, executive director of the Potato Growers of Alberta. The association?s 150 members have a big economic impact. The farm gate value of their potatoes is about $225 million ? and that figure more than quadruples once those spuds are processed. But it?s the sector?s growth that recently caught the attention of ATB Financial.
6/10/2018

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A matter of trust: US potato industry supports national standard for accurate product labeling

The National Potato Council (NPC) in the US joined more than 60 organizations, representing farmers, manufacturers, small businesses and retailers in supporting the Accurate Labels Act, introduced today. ?The potato industry strongly supports this common-sense legislation. Consumers should be provided with information they can trust about the products they purchase. Verifiable science based information should be the foundation of these disclosures,? said John Keeling, Executive VP and CEO of the NPC.
6/10/2018

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Beware the impersonator: Late blight look-alike spotted in southern US

Jean Ristaino, a professor at North Carolina State University with emphasis in research on Phytophthora infestans, provided University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension a report on a late blight look-alike from tomato and potato in North Carolina. The southeastern U.S. has been experiencing very high precipitation levels over the past week or so, Ristaino said, and growers are having ?big problems with P. nicotianae this season in eastern North Carolina on potatoes.
6/10/2018

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Sneaking in: Nanotechnology shown to increase penetration rate of nutrients into plants

An innovative technology developed at the Technion, (Israel Institute of Technology, and Israel?s first university) could lead to significant increases in agricultural yields. Using a nanometric transport platform on plants that was previously utilized for targeted drug delivery, researchers increased the penetration rate of nutrients into the plants, from 1 percent to approximately 33 percent. The findings were recently published in Scientific Reports and are scheduled to be presented in Nature Press.
6/9/2018

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Media nonsense exposed: AHDB Potatoes busting myths on potatoes and health in mainstream media

AHDB Potatoes in the UK recently produced a document outlining the truth on the nutritional benefits of the potato. The aim was to ?cut through the noise? and ?bust the myths? on potatoes and health that appear in the mainstream media. Everything in the document is scientifcally proven, by sources such as nutrition bible McCance and Widdowson?s the Composition of Foods​, and Public Health England. AHDB Potatoes also created a bank of Twitter and Facebook graphics.
6/9/2018

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Your potato crop?s nutritional status: Remove the guesswork

Your crop?s nutritional status is dynamic and requires constant monitoring to ensure the production of high yielding, high quality potatoes that are demanded in today?s market. Many misapplications occur every season when crop advisors and farmers look at a plant that is off-colored or stunted and say ?I think the problem MIGHT BE?? A nutrition program based on critical growth stages of your potato crop is a good start; however, every season is different and latent deficiencies that are misdiagnosed can cause economic loss despite our best efforts.
6/8/2018

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Elevated: How potatoes went from mountaintops to the moon

The process of freeze drying is easily associated with the space age, thanks to its use in making astronaut food, but it?s older than you might think. The first known use of it dates back to the Incas, who were able to naturally freeze dry their food on mountaintops thanks to cold temperatures and thin air. Potatoes were stomped daily to get the moisture out, and sublimation took care of the rest, making for lighter, more lasting food called chuos (which is still made today).
6/7/2018

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Potato Expo 2019 alert: Innovation Hub now open and accepting abstract submissions

Following a highly successful launch at Potato Expo 2018 in January, the Innovation Hub for Expo 2019 is not officially open and abstracts of presentations can be submitted for review. Potato Expo 2019 will take place Jan 9 ? 10 in Austin, Texas. The Expo is the largest conference and trade show for the potato industry held in North America drawing 2,000 attendees and featuring more than 90,000 square feet of exhibit space in the trade show.
6/7/2018

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From afar: Remote sensing in potatoes actively investigated for its value

Remote sensing in potatoes is being actively investigated for its value in ensuring a high-yielding, healthy crop. Although in its relatively early stages in Canada, data collection through remote means and the related data analysis is developing at a swift pace. Spud Smart magazine gathered several Canadian experts to report on the remote sensing tech being used in potatoes, the present value of the information collected and where the future is headed. How is remote sensing in agriculture currently defined?
6/7/2018

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Marketing 101: History?s greatest potato promoter relied on science and stunts

Neither prison food nor Prussian food have a great reputation, but during the Seven Years War, the combination made quite an impression on Antoine-Augustin Parmentier. Born in 1737, he became a pharmacist in the French army and spent three years as a prisoner of war. The prison diet consisted largely of potatoes, which the Prussians cultivated but the French viewed with disdain. Once freed, he made the potato his obsession. While the spud had crossed the Atlantic (from its native South America) in the late 1500s, it was viewed with suspicion in many European countries.
6/7/2018

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Microbial allies: How soil microbes influence nutrient uptake

Soil is rich with biological diversity and complexity that is not immediately apparent to the un-aided eye. Without a strong microscope, you wouldn?t know that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of organisms in a handful of soil. Bacteria, archaea, algae, and fungi play critical roles in the growth and well-being of plants. I like to think about these millions of microbes under our feet as workers at recycling plants, mining operations, and refineries.
6/6/2018

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Good news: Dickeya not detected in Scottish seed and ware potato survey

A survey was undertaken in Scotland to monitor seed and ware tuber production in Scotland for the presence of Dickeya spp., in support of Scottish legislation introduced in 2010, which established a ?nil? tolerance for Dickeya infections in seed crops. This survey was risk-based and targeted stocks which held the greatest risk of carrying or contracting the disease. This survey was carried out in conjunction with the annual tuber surveys for Clavibacter michiganensis ssp. sepedonicus (potato ring rot) and Ralstonia solanacearum (brown rot) to comply with EU Commission Directives 2006/56/EC and 2006/63/EC, which requires member states to survey their potato production for the presence of these bacterial quarantine pathogens.
6/6/2018

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UK Spud Watch: Warm May lead to rapid crop growth; blight risk increases

What a difference a month makes ? and if it is dry and relatively sunny, it?s even more pronounced. There has been a flurry of activity all along the Moray firth and after a later start, all the seed and ware crops are in the ground, and in pretty good order. With the heat now in the ground ? soil temperatures of more than 19C were recorded on several days and this year?s average for May is 3C higher than last year ? the crops are emerging fast. Agronomists and sprayer operators have been working hard to keep up with the growth.
6/6/2018

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How soil type affects nutrient readings and management

All healthy soils have similar qualities, like good drainage and a sufficient nutrient supply. But improving the health of your soil is much easier if you know and understand your soil type; it affects how farmers measure and manage the nutrients in the ground. Soil type is determined by two factors: soil texture (whether the soil?s particles are mostly sand, silt, clay, or a mixture of at least two of the three, which is labeled on a gradient and called loam or loamy) and soil structure (the shape the soil particles take when bound together).
6/5/2018

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European Commission announces neonic ban dates

The European Commission has announced that the sale and supply of neonicotinoid actives clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam for outdoor use will cease by September 19, 2018 at the latest, with the sale, storage and use of seed treated with them ending on December 19, 2018 at the latest, according to the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC). However, it is up to member states how they wish to implement the ban and some may go for an earlier date, says AIC head of crop protection Hazel Doonan
6/5/2018

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Noteworthy: Potatoes the source of innovation boom in Peru

According to the executive director of Cite Papa and other Andean Crops, Celfia Obregon Ramirez, potatoes have stopped being just an agricultural crop and have become a great source of innovation in Peru ? which has the greatest diversity of potatoes in the world and, thus, infinite possibilities to innovate. Peruvian exquisite colored chips continue to surprise the world because they are very exotic, she added, but young Peruvian entrepreneurs have already created other products that may be attractive for the international market, such as the 14 Inkas potato vodka
6/5/2018

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Posted in Europe, UK, Ireland, Fresh/ Table, News June 2018 Edit Russia lifts ban on Egyptian potato exports from 8 regions

Egypt?s Minister of Trade and Industry Tariq Qabeel said that the Russian authorities have agreed to lift the ban on Egypt exports of potatoes from 8 agricultural areas and to allow the export of these crops starting from June 6. The minister said in a statement on Saturday that the decision comes as a culmination of the negotiations held in Russia on the sidelines of the activities of the Egyptian-Russian Joint Committee held in Moscow in late May.
6/5/2018

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NL: Newly appointed Managing Director to focus on Nedato?s strategic plan

Dutch potato packer Nedato has appointed Carel van Buchem as Managing Director effective May 28, 2018. Carel van Buchem has broad national and international experience as general and commercial manager in the field of nutrition, retail and raw material streams. He has worked at various companies including Van Dijk Delft, Aalsmeer Flower Auction, Nedalco and Cargill.
6/4/2018

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Biological fungicide targets powdery mildew, fusarium and phytophthora

BioSafe Systems in the US has released PVent Biological Fungicide through a partnership between BioSafe and Lallemand Plant Care. Due to its active ingredient, a 93 percent Gliocladium catenulam strain J1446, BioSafe said the fungicide has unique adaption traits, meaning that it can thrive across broad ranges of temperature and humidity, both in the soil and on leaf and stem tissue. Further, the company said PVent has a natural symbiotic relationship with the rhizosphere microbiome, with part of its adaptive success coming from an enzyme it produces to specifically target pathogenic fungi.
6/4/2018

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Tolsma-Grisnich secures order for potato packaging line in China

Equipment manufacturer Tolsma-Grisnich participated in a Dutch trade mission to China during April of this year. One of the highlights of the trip for Tolsma-Grisnich was the signing of an order for a 30 tonnes per hour potato packaging line with Heilongjiang (Keshan) Fumin Agriculture Development Co. Ltd. This business is located in the north-eastern part of China, where local authorities are determined to increase potato production and to add more value to potato crops.
6/4/2018

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McCain Foods Australia wants to ?shake things up? with new product launch

The newest frozen chip range (frozen french fries) now launched by McCain Foods Australia ? Shake Shake ? takes hot potato chips from the side of the plate to the centre of attention, with seasonings never before seen in the frozen chip aisle. According to Simone Formisano, McCain Foods Product Manager, ?snack-based dinners that can be enjoyed on the couch or shared around the coffee table are trending, so we wanted to create an easy-to-prepare and shareable product that promotes a social and stress-free eating experience with family and friends.
6/3/2018

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Lamb Weston saves energy with installation of modern refrigeration equipment

Potato processor Lamb Weston recently implemented new refrigeration equipment in its Hermiston plant in the US, which company executives said will save 12 million kilowatt hours annually. Project manager Brian Jackson said the new equipment has been operational for about a year, and similar technology will be implemented at the new facility, currently being built in Hermiston. According to Project Manager, Brian Jackson: ?It?s a state-of-the art engine room and refrigerating system.
6/3/2018

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Dutch experts help Indonesia deal with potato pests

Potato cultivation in the highlands of Indonesia is plagued by a number of pests, including Potato Cyst Nematodes and Phytophthora infestans. Dutch experts are now helping their Indonesian counterparts to find the right approach to control these potato pests. In order to further study, best impede and conquer the spread of the PCN, the Agriculture Quarantine Agency (AQA) of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture through the Agriculture Department of the Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta collaborates with the Netherlands government (NVWA and NAK) to conduct a specific training on Detection and Identification of Potato Cysts Nematodes.
6/3/2018

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Avebe: Challenges and opportunities of ?all natural? and ?clean label? trends for food manufacturers

The food industry is facing a rapid increase in demand for ?all natural? food. Consumers increasingly ask for ?clean label? food. Food manufacturers respond by changing ingredient names, changing ingredients altogether, looking for alternatives to satisfy the consumer. But the all natural trend offers not just challenges; for the observant food manufacturer, there are also plenty of opportunities.
6/3/2018

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Deep down: Late blight?s chemical attack mechanism explained

A team of international researchers headed by scientists from the University of Tbingen in Germany has deciphered the workings of a cytolytic toxin, which is produced by some of the world?s most devastating crop diseases. The cytolysin is manufactured by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi and can wipe out entire harvests if chemical protection is not used. The study ? by researchers from Tbingen and their partner institutions in the U.S., France, Slovenia, Belgium and Japan, as well as Gttingen in Germany ? may lead to ways of better protecting crops from such pathogens in the future.
5/31/2018

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Sustainability: Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) technology helps potato processors to cut down on water usage

The Pulsemaster Pulsed Electric Field PEF technology and equipment used in potato processing plants, are said to improve food quality and food safety, optimise process efficiency, and reduce energy costs. In a Vimeo video ? https://vimeo.com/pulsemaster2 ? viewers will notice how Pulsemaster?s Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) Conditioner is used in practice for the production of frozen french fries without a pre-heater.
5/31/2018

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World Potato Congress event: Company unveils new technology for enhanced monitoring of potato crop development

VITO is an independent Flemish research organisation in the area of clean tech and sustainable development. The company?s WatchITGrow technology is said to allow for better monitoring of potato production leading to increased yields. This tool helps farmers to optimize crop production in a sustainable way. After the so-called ?shadow map? which was introduced earlier this year, watchITgrow now unveils a groundbreaking image processing technology called CropSar.
5/31/2018

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Digital trade: The market is ready for online potato auction, Dutch trader says

As a potato trader, Jan Anco Wijk is missing a digital platform in the potato trade. This led to Dutch Seed Potatoes 5 years ago, a platform for seed potatoes. He has now developed this concept further into the trade platform www.potatoauction.com. ?The auction has been a proven concept over the years, in which the market can do its job. We want to bring together sellers and traders at this trade site, which is unique for the potato trade...
5/30/2018

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Blight research: GM potato, IPM can reduce environmental impact of potato production by over 95%

Researchers with Teagasc in Ireland have concluded their field study which investigated both the environmental and agronomic impact of a GM potato variety genetically engineered to resist late blight disease, caused by Phytophthora infestans. Potato late blight can rapidly destroy potato crops with growers commonly having to resort to spraying their crops with fungicides on a near weekly basis.
5/30/2018

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Detecting fungal pathogens: Idaho potato growers benefit from improved spore sampling technology

Potato growers in Idaho will now have the opportunity to learn about the presence of damaging fungal pathogens much earlier, thanks to the efforts of research staff at the University of Idaho. The research team, led by James Woodhall, have placed 14 spore samplers in potato fields across the Snake River Valley. Trials have been running for some time, and the first ?official? results will begin from this week, just in time for the potato season. ?The spore samplers collect air samples over 24 hours for a period of seven days,? Woodhall explained.
5/30/2018

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Spud celebration: Royal potato growers celebrate milestone anniversary

Jersey?s potato growers are celebrating a special anniversary this year to mark the moment an ingenious farmer turned a few misshapen potatoes into a premium British crop. This spring marks the 140th anniversary of Jersey Royal potatoes, an agricultural icon with a quintessentially Jersey heritage. It is the only stem vegetable in the British Isles with Protection Designation of Origin status, like Parma ham, champagne and the Cornish pasty.
5/30/2018

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Summer Toolbox for British potato growers: Resources available from AHDB Potatoes

?Things are really steaming ahead in many in parts of the country, and growers will be working fast to adapt to the various challenges of the season? said AHDB Potatoes Knowledge Exchange Manager, Claire Hodge. The skilled team at AHDB Potatoes provides growers with a range of helpful resources to help them react to what?s coming down the line...
5/28/2018

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Packaging supplier Volm expands to Colorado potato area with Atech purchase

Packaging and equipment supplier Volm Cos. Inc. has acquired Atech Inc., Monte Vista Colo., focused on serving San Luis Valley potato grower-shippers. Atech has worked with Volm in the past, with the Colorado company representing the Volmpack line of equipment in a local sales and service role and distributing packaging for Volm in the area, Atech?s 7,200-square-foot warehouse will be occupied by Volm, and will serve companies in the San Luis Valley in Colorado and beyond.
5/27/2018

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