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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

21st EAPR Triennial Conference postponed to 2022

For the sake of the health of conference participants and in consideration of the dynamically changing realities related to the COVID 19 pandemic, EAPR President Jadwiga Śliwka and the organizers have announced today that they have decided to postpone the 21st EAPR Triennial Conference. The new conference dates are now 4-8 July 2022. The Conference will be held in the International Exhibition and Convention Centre EXPO Kraków, former capital of Poland.  
4/20/2021

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EarthFresh awarded for fresh organic potato offering

EarthFresh recently received the Best in Organic Product award in the ‘New Product Showcase’ at the CPMA’s Fresh Week Virtual Trade Show and Conference. “We have expanded our Organic product line up to include our Organic Red, Russet & Golden potatoes in new eye-catching 10-lb. compostable paper bags”, says Stephanie Cutaia, Marketing Director at EarthFresh.
4/20/2021

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Mexican potato farmers vow to ‘keep up fight against US imports’

Mexico’s Supreme Court refused two weeks ago for the second time in six weeks to make a ruling that could allow substantial new access to the Mexican market worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually for U.S. potatoes, fueling the determination of Mexican farmers to continue their fight against the trade.
4/20/2021

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Focus on phosphate: Liquid fertiliser offers sustainable choices for potato growers

A recent trial in potatoes in the UK has shown that using smart liquid fertilisers can significantly reduce the amount of phosphate required to generate one tonne of yield when compared to traditional granular fertilisers. Carl Gibbard, Agro-Vital technical manager, explains this insight could pay dividends as growers plan their crop nutrition programme for the upcoming season.
4/20/2021

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Post-CIPC: British ag industry groups present position paper to authorities

AHDB’s potato storage research team in the UK has worked closely with industry representatives from the British Potato Trade Association, Fresh Potato Suppliers’ Association, National Farmers Union, National Farmers Union of Scotland and UK Potato Processors’ Association to submit a position paper to the Chemical Regulation Division (CRD) of the HSE.
4/19/2021

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‘Dawn of the New Age’: PotatoEurope 2021 trial plot planted with a robot

The organisers of PotatoEurope 2021 say in their latest newsletter that pre-planting preparations have progressed well at the PotatoEurope fields at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) field crops in Lelystad, the Netherlands during the past couple of weeks, and demonstration plots were recently planted. During a first-of-its-kind event, one of the plots was planted with an Agrointelli Robotti, an autonomous robotic machine that was employed to pull a Miedema CP 42 4-row cup potato planter.
4/19/2021

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New branded Idaho russet potato packaging launched

If consumers “eat with their eyes first”, you could say that packaging is the main course. As such, communicating your brand through a unique package can be one of the most powerful tools in the produce aisle. Idaho based ProSource Produce is well aware of this and recently released the first images of its new branded Idaho russet potato packaging.
4/16/2021

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Can buckwheat be the new top crop on the rotation block?

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers are encouraging farmers to buck the trend and use buckwheat as a triple threat crop. In addition to its high nutritional value, the fast growing crop is proving to be beneficial in suppressing pests such as wireworms in potatoes, and preventing soil diseases.
4/16/2021

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Protect potato potential with ‘Bridgeway’

Keeping potatoes stress-free is not an easy task, with crops often subject to prolonged stress periods at key growth timings. However, ahead of a new season, an amino acid based biostimulant could be the answer to protecting potential, particularly in the early stages, according to the latest advice from Interagro.
4/15/2021

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Pesticides and food: ‘It’s not a black or white issue’

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring drew attention to pesticides and their possible dangers to humans, birds, mammals and the environment. Some of her conclusions and warnings have not held up over time, but Silent Spring produced a movement that changed how the U.S. thought about chemicals and biotechnology.
4/14/2021

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New company to offer enhanced range of soil health, precision ag products and services

A&L Canada Laboratories Inc. this week announced the formation of a new joint venture (JV) with Deveron Corp. and together they have acquired US based Woods End Laboratories Inc. They are the developer and distributer of the Solvita brand of soil health products.
4/14/2021

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‘Better for you’: PepsiCo unveils Australia’s only high capacity baked potato line

As Australia’s iconic homegrown potato chip brand Smith’s celebrates its 90th year, parent company PepsiCo has unveiled its installation of Australia’s only high capacity baked potato line to produce a wide range of new ‘better for you’ snacking innovations, including Smith’s Oven Baked potato chips and Red Rock Deli premium crackers.
4/13/2021

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Spud sales have been ‘re-energised’ by Covid, says McCain’s UK & Ireland president

Brits have fallen back in love with potatoes. So says McCain’s UK & Ireland president Howard Snape, who’s been putting together some retail sales figures at its otherwise deserted UK HQ in Scarborough. He’s feeling buoyant about the findings. Snape believes Covid has “helped to re-energise” the potato.
4/13/2021

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NASA Harvest and CropX partner to support sustainable ag initiatives

NASA Harvest (NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture Program) and CropX, a global leader in soil analytics for agriculture, recently announced a strategic partnership that will give NASA Harvest unprecedented soil insights for its global agricultural monitoring efforts. The partnership will further NASA Harvest’s mission to improve food security and advance sustainable agriculture.
4/12/2021

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Opinion: Regenerative agriculture is simply ‘proper farming’

The most recent buzz-phrase to grip the rural chattering classes – particularly those of us who like to make a loud noise in the farming glossies or social media – is “regenerative agriculture”, writes Robert Ramsay, a farmer and director at Angus-based SoilEssentials.
4/12/2021

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Mexican court postponed debate on appeals banning the import of potatoes from the US

At the last minute, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) postponed a debate on two pending appeals banning the import of potatoes from the United States, according to a news report by Leland Griffith, published in Sunday Vision. In a plenary session held on Wednesday it was announced, following the instructions of Minister Alfredo Gutierrez Ortiz Mina, the spokesperson in the case, that the file had been removed from the list of issues to be discussed on Wednesday.
4/12/2021

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Canada’s Alberta province officially declared PCN-free

A team effort led to Alberta being declared Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) free – improving trade prospects for potato producers, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in the province, Devin Dreeshen. He says: “Potatoes are a billion-dollar industry in Alberta. This announcement will help us re-claim market access and will lead to fewer restrictions as we pursue new markets.”
4/8/2021

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Lamb Weston heading towards more sustainable materials in potato packaging

Driving toward a goal of using more sustainable materials in packaging, two Alexia Organic Potatoes brand products from potato producer Lamb Weston will use corn and potato starch in their packaging beginning in April 2021. The new packaging is partially made of potato starches.
4/8/2021

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COVID-19 compliance costly for Washington State potato growers, packers

In a recently completed survey by the IMPACT Center at Washington State University, it was found that Washington State farm families’ direct compliance outlays to manage COVID-10 were roughly $2,532 per month. Direct compliance outlays were found to be much higher for those businesses packing potatoes at $4,340 per month.
4/7/2021

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Manter’s Clipper M2 machine now even smarter

The Manter Clipper M2 is now even smarter by using a new type PLC and HMI (Human Machine Interface). This has set in motion a complete upgrade of this fast and versatile packaging machine, the company says. The result is said to be excellent – the improved Clipper M2 combining the latest technology with even more ease of use.
4/7/2021

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New Potatoes South Africa awareness campaign highlights resilience, optimism of unsung industry heroes

Potatoes South Africa (PSA) has launched a bold new awareness campaign in a bid to create perspective about the resilience and performance of the potato industry’s stakeholders in the country, especially in the context of South Africa recently marking the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 disruption. Called #WhenHopeWhispers, the campaign aims to highlight the resilient spirit and contributions of various stakeholders from the potato industry.
4/6/2021

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Milestone machine leaves GRIMME UK’s Yorkshire depot

While an official opening might not be possible, the team at GRIMME UK’s new £3m depot have still found a way to celebrate – supplying the 2000th GRIMME de-stoner to one of the country’s leading vegetable growers. A month after moving into the Market Weighton depot, GRIMME UK has supplied a milestone CS 150 Combi-Star separator to one of Yorkshire’s largest root vegetable growers.
4/6/2021

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HZPC: ‘Ready to grow in North America’

Potatoes in the United States and Canada are a commodity. When selecting varieties, the colour of the skin tends to be the primary consideration. As new managing director of HZPC Americas Corp, Jeff Scramlin sees opportunities to increase market share by highlighting the distinguishing characteristics such as cooking types, flavors and textures. These efforts should help to de-commoditize potatoes, create demand and increase value through the chain in North America.
4/4/2021

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New Potatoes USA Chairman will work ‘to restore demand for potatoes back to pre-pandemic levels’

Potatoes USA, the marketing and promotion board for the U.S. potato industry, elected new leadership during the Annual Meeting on March 11, 2021. The newly elected Chairman and Executive Committee will lead the Board through 2021-2022. As chairman, Raybould will prioritize restoring demand for potatoes back to pre-pandemic levels.
4/4/2021

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Farmer-led field project in Britain looks at potential of trap crops to control PCN

The final loss of approval of Vydate in the UK on 31 December brings an Innovative Farmers field lab into sharp focus as many potato farmers search for alternatives to control potato cyst nematode (PCN). Farmers in Shropshire and Lancashire further investigate the efficacy of growing trap crops to control the nematode.
4/4/2021

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‘Cut and fried’: Northwest spud farmers take a deep hit on their processing contracts

The Northwest farmers who grow potatoes for your French fries are themselves plenty fried. The three massive agribusiness companies that make much of the world’s frozen fries, tots and hashbrowns are going to pay Northwest potato farmers less this year. “It really is a punch in the gut,” says Adam Weber, a 27-year-old, third-generation grower in Quincy in Washington’s Columbia Basin. Farmers like Weber say they’ve already taken a hit from the pandemic and higher fertilizer costs.
4/4/2021

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Canadian researchers pursue anti-virulence strategy in fight against common scab, antibiotic resistant bacteria

In the ongoing war against antibiotic resistant bacteria, a change in battle tactics may prove effective for controlling common scab of potatoes and potentially other toxins that affect humans and animals, according to Canadian Light Source Inc. The approach that Dr. Rod Merrill at the University of Guelph and his research group are pursuing is an anti-virulence strategy – finding or designing small molecules that inhibit the tools bacteria use to colonize the host and create infection.
4/3/2021

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Idaho Potato Commission president announces retirement plans

Frank Muir, who has been president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission since July 2003, announced that he would be retiring in six months. When Muir took the helm at the IPC 18 years ago, farm gate revenues for Idaho potatoes were at a 15-year low. Nationally, the famous and once highly regarded Idaho russet had lost much of its sheen. Muir was brought aboard, he said, “to turn this thing around,” and turn it around he did.
4/3/2021

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Lamb Weston to build new potato processing plant in China

Lamb Weston has announced an expansion of french fry processing capacity in China. “The french fry category is poised for growth globally, and China continues to be a critical market for us,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO of Lamb Weston. “This investment of in-country production for the China market is a clear example of our commitment to our strategic customers and supporting their growth plans well into the future.”
4/3/2021

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How a tech entrepreneur went from potatoes to Amazon and back again

Two brothers in Western Washington’s Skagit Valley developed an IoT platform that uses sensors and devices placed on “big gun” sprinkler reels and irrigation pumps that can automatically shut off the water when reels stops unexpectedly. Cellular signals share the information to a dashboard that lets a farmer remotely check the sprinklers to solve the problem. They are joining the surge in research and startups in the field of precision agriculture and ag tech.
4/3/2021

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UK horticultural centre features pressing of potato plant collected by Darwin in South America

It’s a £160million showcase for gardening science and a treasure trove of secrets. Now the Royal Horticultural Society’s new state-of-the-art Hilltop centre is preparing to welcome visitors for the first time. Prized items include a potato plant brought back by Charles Darwin from South America – preserved as a pressing. Darwin collected it on an island off Chile in 1835.
4/2/2021

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Potato processing plant to be built in Ukraine

Central Plains Group Ukraine (founded by a group of foreign investors from the UK and Finland) intends to build a potato processing plant in the Lviv region in the Ukraine, according to a report by the press service of the Lviv Regional State Administration. The construction cost is about US$7 million. The group aims to create about 50 jobs at the enterprise, and plans to process 40-50 thousand tons of potatoes a year.
4/2/2021

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Australia’s oldest and most iconic chip brand, Smith’s celebrates 90th birthday

For many Aussies, it’s hard to believe there was a moment in time when Smith’s chips didn’t exist. With 90 years of rich Australian history, there’s no better time to celebrate those that have made Smith’s the nation’s favourite chip brand for almost a century. Danny Celoni, Chief Executive Officer of parent company PepsiCo ANZ, said this year marks a significant milestone for the brand. As a category leader, Smith’s continues to innovate by extending into new formats and segments as consumers continue to seek new flavours and experiences.
4/1/2021

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Long-term potato storage: Ambient vs refrigeration

Storing potatoes long-term is often challenging and this is especially so if there is a reliance on ambient ventilation. Even in the most favourable seasons, it is seldom possible to hold crops at optimum temperature in ambient stores beyond early May. In this article, specialists at AHDB’s Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research (CSR) facility in the UK explore how refrigeration can help deliver on long-term storage.
4/1/2021

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Sustainability for the agriculture industry: The era of precision ag has arrived

In celebrating National Agriculture Week and National Ag Day the past week, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in the US published this article to highlight the role that precision agriculture plays in sustainability for the agriculture industry. “For the environmental benefits of precision agriculture to take shape, farmers need to generate more yield and at least break even from a financial standpoint,” said AEM Senior Vice President of Ag Services Curt Blades. “Technology now affords farmers the ability to do even more — things that could never have happened before.
4/1/2021

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Prince Edward Island potato growers optimistic, but worries around markets and seed supply

Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI) potato growers say they’re optimistic for the 2021 season, after the roller-coaster ride of 2020, which included the COVID-19 pandemic, and a hot, dry summer that cut into yields. “Potato growers today are a little better off than they were a year ago, because a year ago, we were in total chaos,” said Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada.
4/1/2021

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New problems arise for crop storage as planet gets warmer

For generations, Brian Sackett’s family has farmed potatoes that are made into chips found on grocery shelves in much of the eastern U.S. About 25% of the nation’s potato chips get their start in Michigan, where reliably cool air during September harvest and late spring has been ideal for crop storage. But with temperatures edging higher, Sackett had to buy several small refrigeration units for his sprawling warehouses. Last year, he paid $125,000 for a bigger one.
3/29/2021

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New herbicide solution for Canadian potato growers

BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions (BASF) recently received registration for the label expansion of Zidua SC on potatoes. This label expansion adds to the use application of Zidua SC which includes providing activity on key annual grasses and broadleaf weeds for several crops. Zidua SC’s Group 15 chemistry delivers control of tough weeds, including resistant redroot pigweed, kochia, waterhemp, green and yellow foxtail with a wide window of application from early pre-seed to early post-emergence in multiple registered crops.
3/29/2021

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2020 a year of demand uncertainty for the potato processing industry in Australia

Like many industries, 2020 brought a year of demand uncertainty for the potato processing industry with food service deeply affected in several states of Australia. Although the demand for crisps was strong, the processors of French fries were at times eagerly searching for frozen storage space as lockdowns and restrictions saw a rapid drop in consumption.
3/28/2021

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Double L acquired by Idaho investors, secures growth capital

Double L, a prominent manufacturer of farm equipment in the Intermountain West, announced today it has reached a definitive agreement to be acquired by a group of Idaho investors. The strategic investors include Teton Management Group, Pickett Equipment, and the Idaho Legacy Fund, all of whom are headquartered in Idaho and led by individuals who have experience in the agriculture industry.
3/28/2021

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Colorado’s Strohauer Farms on adapting to challenging times

The challenging water situation in Northern Colorado in the early 21st century had Strohauer Farms looking to adapt. Today, the longtime potato growers not only grow conventional, but a wide range of organic and specialty potatoes. The father-daughter team of Harry and Amber Strohauer joins “The Potato Field” to share their farm’s evolution in t
3/28/2021

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PotatoEurope 2021: Preparations of trial fields for the event kicked off

This week the PotatoEurope organisation has started preparing the potato trial fields at the event location near the city of Lelystad in the Netherlands. The organisers say this annual international potato industry event will offer visitors a glimpse into the future of the potato sector during the exhibition. Fourteen eminent trial fields will create a fascinating source of insight and information regarding current affairs, according to the organisers.
3/28/2021

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Storage matters: Does carbon dioxide have an impact on potato fry colour?

There is generally pressure for potato store managers to closely monitor carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the industry. However, this management tends to be met with mixed views. Storage experts at AHDB’s Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research in the UK are looking to settle the debate in an ongoing storage trial.
3/25/2021

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Idaho potato industry benefits from state program that spurs ag innovations

The Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) program has spurred many agricultural innovations that promise to help the Gem State’s farmers and ranchers improve their bottom lines. IGEM projects are now helping the state’s potato industry remove harmful pathogens in storage and to better scout fields for a disease that’s especially problematic for seed growers, potato virus Y. A third project aims to help the chipping industry reduce levels of acrylamide.
3/25/2021

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Potential for an increased potato area in Ireland this year?

As we approach April, we are at a critical time for the industry in relation to the upcoming season, says the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in its weekly market report. The organisation says there are reports that some growers are planning to plant increased acreage this year. “If this is the case, the supply and demand plateau will be disrupted,” the IFA says in its report.
3/24/2021

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National Potato Council, ag industry groups raise alarm on U.S.-Mexico trade relationship

The National Potato Council (NPC) and 26 leading food and agriculture associations yesterday sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai yesterday communicating growing concerns over the rapid deterioration of the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship. The letter calls attention to alarming recent developments with regard to food and agriculture trade relationship with Mexico and urges action to address these challenges.
3/24/2021

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‘Establishing roots’: Idaho farm family starts potato chip business

From field to bag to front door, an Aberdeen, ID farm family has recently launched a potato chip business that focuses on being involved in all parts of the potato’s journey from seed to the customer’s palate. Roots Potato Chips, which was started in late February, is an endeavor that Aberdeen farmer Ladd Wahlen and his wife Zoey decided to pursue after experimenting with the concept in 2020.
3/24/2021

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Prince Edward Island seed potatoes cleared for export to the U.S. after no more wart found

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has lifted its voluntary suspension of export certification for P.E.I. seed potatoes, allowing trade to the United States to resume. The suspension was lifted as of March 11, 2021, the agency said in a statement emailed to CBC News. The P.E.I. Potato Board confirms there have already been shipments of seed potatoes from P.E.I. to the U.S. since the CFIA announcement.
3/23/2021

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British growers welcome ‘No’ vote on AHDB potato levy

Campaigners against the compulsory Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) levy on potatoes have welcomed the conclusive ‘no’ vote against its continuation, with 66.4 per cent of voters opposed to the continuation of the levy. Lincolnshire potato and vegetable grower John Bratley said, “This clear vote shows that, like their colleagues in horticulture, potato growers across the UK have had enough of this expensive compulsory levy body.
3/23/2021

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NEPG reports lower processing contract prices and higher production costs for growers

According to the North-Western Potato Growers (NEPG), processing contract prices for the coming season have been published in recent weeks. The industry body says in a press release that contract prices for delivery ex-field in October-November are generally lower than last season – between 5 and 10% . At the end of the season (May-June 2022), the decline is less, and in most cases prices are slightly higher than those for the 2020-2021 season.
3/15/2021

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