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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

America braces for possible french fry shortage after poor potato harvest

Potato processors are rushing to buy supplies and ship them across North America in order to keep French fries on the menu after cold, wet weather damaged crops in key producers in the U.S. and Canada. Cool conditions started to hit growing regions in October, lashing potatoes with frost. Farmers in Alberta and Idaho were able to dig up some damaged crops for storage. But growers in Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota received snow and rain, forcing them to abandon some supplies in fields.
12/4/2019

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Good export prospects reported for European finished potato products

The European export of fries increased slightly this past September compared to September 2018. In the 12 months from October to September, the total volume exported by the European Union to third world countries reached 1.64 million tons, which is 5.2% less, due to the lack of availability of products during the recent season, according to a report published by FreshPlaza. The decrease is said to be the strongest towards Asia and South America. However, trade to North America progressed sharply with more than 100,000 tons of fries exported (almost a 50% increase!). The 2019 North American production is expected to be much lower (-1 to 1.5 million tons) due to rains and frost of the past couple of months. As a consequence, the prospects for the export of European products are rather favorable. European shipments to central America also increased (73,000 tons, or +17%) This is a region usually supplied by the American factories.
12/4/2019

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Pepsico launches Lay's BIO onto the Spanish market, its first organic potato chips

PepsiCo is launching its first 100% organic potato chips: Lay’s BIO onto the Spanish market. The new product has the European certification that guarantees the organic cultivation of its ingredients, as well as the absence of additives. This new product is made with locally-grown potatoes and high quality organic sunflower oil. This, together with a careful production process, results in a crunchy texture and a delicious flavor.
12/3/2019

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Reasons why Idaho farmers do not grow sweet potatoes

Potatoes are in Idaho’s DNA. But for all the Gem State’s spud supremacy, the sweet potatoes on your Thanksgiving table almost certainly didn’t come from here. Sweet potatoes — which aren’t actually potatoes — and regular potatoes require very different growing conditions. Idaho’s agricultural strength often stems from its hot days and cool nights. Sweet potatoes tend to do better in more tropical environments.
12/2/2019

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Weather hits British potatoes hard

Recently published figures from AHDB Potatoes confirm that, despite the wettest harvest year since 2012 and the third worst autumn on record, GB growers were able to successfully battle through and lift up to 89% of the 2019 potato harvest. However, whilst the AHDB headline appears positive, the picture is very different across potato sectors and regions. GB potato processors and their growers remain extremely concerned. Since the report’s publication on 15 November weather conditions have worsened, with much of the remaining crop still in field and not able to be lifted.
12/1/2019

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Reducing chemical use: British growers asked to help developing a new potato variety comparison tool

The pressure on growers to reduce their use of herbicides and pesticides continues to grow. One of the most effective tools in the arsenal of any grower is exploiting the variety of a crop for its genetic resistance to disease, according to AHDB in the UK. “We are developing a brand new tool to help you review the varieties you use in order to reduce chemical use, or to react to the loss of an active,” AHDB says on its website.
12/1/2019

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Australian potato supply drops as farmers struggle to grow crops on little water allocation

Australian potato prices have risen sharply in some sections of the fresh market on the back of falling supply as many growers across NSW struggle to get a crop in due to drought, low water allocations and high water prices. Chris Cope of Sydney Produce Surveyors said prices for 20 kilograms of large, washed whites had gone from around $30, to $45 and could go higher into summer. “The drought has just reduced the ability for growers to produce the quality and quantity we usually get,” Mr Cope said.
11/29/2019

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Non-renewal of CIPC in Europe leaves room for other sprout suppression methods

The non-renewal of CIPC in the European market has left a huge gap in the potato storage sprout suppression market and growers are urgently looking for alternatives for their potato crops. Being aware of the potential for CIPC’s non-renewal, Restrain lead by Global Sales Director Dirk Garos, made significant investments in the business, enabling the company to increase its manufacturing capacity at its production facility in The Netherlands and therefore ensuring that it has the capacity needed to fill the gap left by CIPC.
11/29/2019

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How Peru’s 'living potato museum' could stave off world food crisis

With a climate changing faster than most crops can adapt to and food security under threat around the world, scientists have found hope in a ‘living museum’ dedicated to a staple eaten by millions daily: the humble potato. High in the Peruvian Andes, agronomists are looking to the ancestral knowledge of farmers to identify genetic strains which could help the tubers survive increasingly frequent and intense droughts, floods and frosts.
11/29/2019

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Report: Frozen Potato Fries Market Trends 2019 to 2025

The global size of the Frozen Potato Fries Market is expected to show a strong CAGR during the 2019 to 2025 forecast period.  A market research study on Global Frozen Potato Fries uses SWOT analysis and Porter’s Five Forces analysis to expose the advantages, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the market. The Frozen Potato Fries Report provides an overview and estimate of important industry growth, market size and share. 
11/29/2019

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‘A polerovirus, Potato Leafroll virus, alters plant‐vector interactions using three viral proteins’

Potato leafroll virus (PLRV), genus Polerovirus, family Luteoviridae, is a major pathogen of potato worldwide. PLRV is transmitted among host plants by aphids in a circulative non‐propagative manner. Previous studies have demonstrated that PLRV infection increases aphid fecundity on, and attraction to, infected plants as compared to controls. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating this relationship are still poorly understood.
11/28/2019

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Analyst Insight: British climate leaves 2019 potato production uncertain

Prospects for the 2019 potato crop were looking promising in the late summer after swift spring planting and much more favourable growing season after the drought of 2018. After such a hard season in 2018, and with a tight seed market, it was unsurprising that a lot of the industry was cautious with planting decisions. Planted area remained stable at 118,953 hectares a slight increase on the year, but still one of the lowest on record.
11/28/2019

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Lamb Weston offers new potato product in food service

Consumers love a twist on a classic comfort item. So, Lamb Weston is serving up something unexpected. Introducing Lamb Weston Waffled Hash Browns – a unique take on Belgian-style waffles, these savory waffles are made with real Idaho shredded potatoes and can be baked or fried to crispy perfection. The Waffled Hash Browns are easy to add to any menu as a creative breakfast item, a handheld snack, a sandwich carrier or in a creative appetizer application.
11/27/2019

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Chips and fries boost exports of fresh US potatoes

U.S. potato growers shipped 34% more fresh potatoes to Canada from July through September, but they were not destined to be sold as fresh, according to a quarterly report from Potatoes USA. Most were sent to Canadian processors to be turned into frozen products, such as French fries, according to the promotion group’s first-quarter 2019-20 report. Overall exports of fresh potatoes saw a 17% increase when compared to the same period last year, mostly due to the bump in shipments to Canada.
11/27/2019

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Processed potato product market to grow, driven by convenience food trend

The processed potato products market has witnessed significant growth in the past few years, and will reach $67 billion by the end of 2019. Driven prominently by the thriving convenience food trend, the market will continue its growth at a stable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of four per cent dring the forecast period of 2019-2029. These were the findings of a report on the processed potato products market by Persistence Market Research.
11/27/2019

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Canada: Manitoba potato growers face 2nd year of losses as weather forces farmers to leave crop in the ground

For a second year in a row, Manitoba potato farmers are facing major losses at the hands of Mother Nature. Dan Sawatzky, manager at the Portage la Prairie-based Keystone Potato Producers Association, said 27 per cent of this year’s crop remains underground thanks to heavy fall rain and an early dump of snow. “In the end we left quite a few more acres in the ground then we did the previous year,” Sawatzky, whose association represents more than 50 growers in Manitoba, told CBC News on Tuesday.
11/27/2019

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Crisp production in the UK threatened by poor potato harvest

Crisp manufacturers in the UK are at risk of losing access to vital raw materials, after wet weather prohibited the harvest of potatoes destined for food processors.
11/27/2019

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Jersey farmers fear losing potatoes stuck in saturated fields

Growers say they have just over a week to harvest their main-crop potatoes before they have to be left to rot. Fears that much of this year’s potato crop will be lost follow one of the wettest Octobers on record, which has resulted in harvesting being delayed by a month. Charlie Gallichan, of Woodside Farms, said that his fields had been turned into ‘bogs’ by the wet weather, meaning he has been unable to use tractors to lift his crop.
11/27/2019

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Weather cuts potato acreage in the US, production dips 6%

Growers have fewer potatoes to sell compared with a year ago but they are getting more money for what they do have. U.S. production of potatoes is down 6% this year, according to the first forecast of the season from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Total production for 2019 is forecast at 422 million cwt., down 6% from 2018, according to the USDA. The harvested acreage for 2019 is estimated at 938,900 acres, down 7% from 1.01 million acres last year. The yield forecast, at 450 cwt. per acre, is up 7 cwt. compared with the 2018 crop.
11/15/2019

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Minimizing early weight loss key in limiting potato pressure bruise

Pressure bruise is a major defect and source of economic losses in potatoes for all market classes. In bulk storage, potato tubers are subjected to pile pressure that can damage and deform the potato, which over time could result in flattened or sunken areas, according to Sastry Jayanty and Nora Olsen, Potato Association of America. In an article published in Spudman magazine, Jayanty and Olsen say that these flattened areas are considered to be a pressure bruise if there is a grey/black discoloration under the depression.
11/15/2019

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Report: Global Frozen Potato Fries Market Analysis

The Global Frozen Potato Fries Market Research Report 2020 provides an accurate investigation of the different models and parameters affecting the industrial growth of the Frozen Potato Fries market at a global level. An evaluation of the impact of the current conditions and trends in the market is additionally included to provide an overview of the market’s future position.
11/14/2019

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Canada: Manitoba potato producers reflect on difficult harvest

It’s been two years in a row that Manitoba potatoes have been left in the ground during harvest. Manitoba Agriculture is estimating that about 25 per cent of this year’s potato crop is unharvestable. In an interview with Pembina Valley Online, Keystone Potato Producers Manager Dan Sawatzky explained what happens if farmers can’t meet their contract obligations. “It is a volume contract, there is ‘Act of God’ in there so if growers come up short it makes it difficult for the processors as well,” he said. “They try to replace some of the volume from outside of the Manitoba growing area and this year unfortunately there isn’t a lot of extra to be had.”
11/14/2019

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Research suggests fumigants have very low long-term impact on soil health in potato fields

It started with curiosity. How does a fumigant, commonly used for nematode management in potato cropping systems, influence soil microbial communities? To explore this question, scientists at Colorado State University and Oregon State University used high-throughput sequencing techniques to investigate changes in soil bacterial and fungal community structure in response to the application of 1,3-Dichloropropene (1,3-D) in Pacific Northwest potato production fields. Their research found that the fumigant had very minor effects.
11/13/2019

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US retail potato sales increased

Retail potato sales increased by 2.6% in dollar value and 1.1% in volume in the July-September quarter, the first of the marketing year. Potatoes USA reported volume increases for chips, frozen and refrigerated potatoes. Dehydrated and canned potatoes, and deli-prepared sides, declined in sales value. Deli dropped slightly in volume. Fresh-potato sales dropped slightly while dollar value rose. Reds dropped in volume and value. Russet volume increased.
11/13/2019

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The Peruvian farmer who crafts ‘wine’ from high-altitude heirloom potatoes

Choqque, the so-called “potato whisperer,” is the country’s most renowned farmer of the beloved native crops, which are called “uqa” in the indigenous Quechua language. Varying in size, shape, and color from bright yellow to deep purple, oca can be sliced and fried into addictive potato chips, simmered in stews, and slow-cooked with corn to make a sweet and creamy dessert custard. But beyond their expected culinary applications, oca are now finding their way into the glass, as enterprising farmers like Choqque use their crop to create wine-esque beverages called vino de oca.
11/13/2019

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Canada: Manitoba potato harvest comes up short

Winter weather has ended this year’s potato harvest in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Vikram Bisht with Manitoba Agriculture says about 25 per cent of the crop is remaining in the field or has been damaged, according to a report published by Pembina Valley Online. “Final numbers have not come out but it could be anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 acres of potatoes in total which may not have been harvested or would have had serious frost injury,” he commented. Bisht notes potatoes in the ground will most likely remain there until spring.
11/13/2019

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Spore monitoring program helps Idaho farmers contain potato late blight

The Paul-area late blight outbreak wasn’t much of a story among the state’s potato farmers in 2019. University of Idaho Extension researchers say that fact may be due largely to their new network of 15 spore trappers, strategically placed near Idaho farm fields from Parma through Tetonia, according to a report by Idaho State Journal. The network — intended to provide growers early warning when important fungal pathogens arrive in the area — was launched in 2017, in participation with industry partners and commodity organizations. There’s also a spore trapper in Oregon and machines in Washington’s Skagit County and Pasco areas.  Furthermore, UI shares data with Colorado researchers, who run their own spore trapping network. “We are starting to get known around the world as one of the leaders in doing spore trapping,” said the project’s lead researcher, James Woodhall, a UI assistant professor of plant pathology stationed at the Parma Research & Extension Center. “We’re doing it on a scale that perhaps they’re not doing anywhere else in the world.”
11/13/2019

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Scottish potato industry unites to tackle pest threat

Farmers and growers are joining forces to tackle a threat which some fear could wipe out the Scottish potato industry by 2025. Experts have warned about the potential impact of the spread of potato cyst nematode (PCN). According to a BBC report, the amount of land affected in Scotland has been doubling every six or seven years, and researchers fear the pest will cost the industry millions. It can take 30 years before potatoes can be grown again on infected land.
11/13/2019

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World Potato Congress announces date for next meeting

Adelaide, South Australia has been named as the host city for the 2023 World Potato Congress (WPC), the first time this globally significant biennial business event has been held in Australia. Apart from highlighting the destination’s business events offering including accessibility, world class venues, hotels and connectivity, the successful bid, led by the Adelaide Convention Bureau and Potatoes South Australia, ultimately focused on an ‘Old World Meets New’ theme given the historical status of the potato as a food staple, the innovation and technology applied to its production today.
11/5/2019

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The new TOMRA 3A: Sophisticated technology, high performance

TOMRA is announcing the newest member of their growing family, the TOMRA 3A. Their latest sensor-based sorting machine offers potato growers unrivalled sorting capabilities, dependability, and affordability for freshly harvested root crops. Boasting the highest capacity on the market, the TOMRA 3A is the most robust, reliable and cost-effective optical potato sorter available for growers.
11/5/2019

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Ireland: Potato harvest halted once again; prices stable

The potato harvest has come to a halt once again due to the season’s wet weather. This week, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) estimated that between 50% and 70% of potatoes had been lifted. Farmers got a lot of work done in the early part of last week. However, progress is variable. Some farmers in the north of the country are estimated to have up to 70% of their crops out of the ground. This is also reported to be the case in Co. Donegal where approximately 60-70% of crops are harvested.
11/5/2019

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Potandon to focus on rebranding as the healthy potato company

The focus for Potandon Produce LLC at the New York Produce Show this year will be on the health benefits of potatoes, and particularly of some of Potandon’s proprietary products, according Glen Reynolds, vice president of variety sales and business development for the Idaho Falls, ID-based company. “We are in the process of rebranding our company as The Healthy Potato Company,” Reynolds told The Produce News. We are working very diligently on consumer education, knowledge innovation, and the consumer experience.” In the value-added category, “we are working from the consumer backwards on our convenience packaging,” he said.
11/5/2019

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Dewulf shows range of equipment at Agritechnica 2019

Dewulf, full-liner in machines for the cultivation of potatoes and root crops, will, as always, bring several machines with them to Agritechnica ’19. The manufacturer will show seven machines at its stand. They range from soil cultivation to planting and from harvesting to storage. Of course, Dewulf will also have a top lifting harvester on its stand. The machines will be on display in Hanover (DE) (hall 25 – stand H23) from 10 to 16 November.
11/5/2019

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British furniture designer discovers sculptural possibilities of mashed potatoes

One night a few years ago, when he was still in college, Gavin Keightley, an artist, attempted to make couscous for dinner. It was a failure. But as Keightley scraped the couscous from the bowl, he noticed that it retained its shape. Maybe, he thought, he could make a mold out of it—mold as in something that forms something else into a shape, not as in fungus. Now Keightley has created a collection of furniture—one cabinet and some stools—cast in Jesmonite (a water-based molding material) based on molds made from food: not just couscous, but also bread, jelly, and mashed potatoes.
10/23/2019

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Anything could still happen in the European potato season

On 10 September, the Northwestern European Potato Growers Association (NEPG) released figures about the potato harvest in that part of the world. These figures are an estimate based on several trial diggings. The result? The yield is estimated at between 27 and 27,3 million tons of potatoes. This is three percent higher than the five-year average and twelve percent more than last year. How do traders view the new season?
10/23/2019

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Lamb Weston eyes South America sales with new potato partnership

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. announced last week that it has formed a joint venture with Sociedad Comercial del Plata in Argentina to serve the nearly 2-billion-pound South American market. Each partner will own 50% of the new joint venture, Lamb Weston Alimentos Modernos S.A. Lamb Weston Alimentos Modernos S.A. will sell frozen potato products under the Rapipap and Morixe brands and will operate a manufacturing facility in Munro, Buenos Aires, Argentina, with annual capacity of approximately 130 million pounds of finished goods.
10/22/2019

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Study: Potato effective for boosting athletic performance

Consuming potato puree instead of commercial carbohydrate gel gives the same result to athletes for sustaining blood glucose levels during long workout sessions, claims a study. “Research has shown that ingesting concentrated carbohydrate gels during prolonged exercise promotes carbohydrate availability during exercise and improves exercise performance,” said University of Illinois professor Nicholas Burd, who led the research. “Potatoes are a promising alternative for athletes because they represent a cost-effective, nutrient-dense and whole-food source of carbohydrates,” continued Burd.
10/22/2019

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Concerns mount for Irish potato harvest as weather woes continue

There is a severe risk that much of the potato crop will not be harvested if the wet weather continues, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA). Issuing the warning, IFA National Potato Committee chairman Thomas McKeown noted that, nationally, only 30% of the potato crop is harvested. Normally, such a figure would be closer to 60% at this time of year. 
10/22/2019

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Idaho potato growers anticipate big spud crop this season

The Idaho potato season is well underway, with plenty of supplies for holiday dinners, marketers say. “Since the beginning of harvest in early August, we have focused on promoting the farms and packing facilities,” said Corey Griswold, COO with Hailey, Idaho-based grower-shipper ProSource Inc. “Once harvest is complete and everyone settles in, I think this will shake out to be a good market year.” 
10/22/2019

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McCain Foods begins construction on Washington potato processing plant

The $300 million project is estimated to bring 180 new jobs to area residents and will require an additional 11,000 acres to be sourced from Washington potato growers, according to the company. “McCain Foods has a rich history of producing high quality food right here in Washington,” said Dale McCarthy, vice-president of integrated supply chain at McCain Foods North America.
10/16/2019

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Tasmanian potato growers win ABC Rural Farmer of Year Award

Tasmanian potato growers Susie and Gerard Daly have been recognised for their innovation and dedication to the agriculture industry by winning the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural 2019 Australian Farmer of the Year Award at a ceremony held at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 16 October 2019. The award was presented as part of the 2019 Kondinin Group and ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year Awards, which recognised the agriculture industry’s leading farmers and industry members. 
10/16/2019

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Family of deadly crop viruses at the molecular level

For the first time, we can take a molecular-level look at one of the world’s deadliest crop killers. The Luteoviridae are pathogenic plant viruses responsible for major crop losses worldwide. Transmitted by aphids, the viruses infect a wide range of food crops including cereals, legumes, cucurbits, sugar beet, sugarcane, and potato.
10/12/2019

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Mydibel to build new potato processing factory in Belgium

Mydibel Fresh has announced plans to build a new plant in Mouscron, Belgium. According to the official press statement, the construction is part of the company’s strategy of sustainable development, Potato Business reports. The factory is expected to become operational in autumn 2020 and will produce chilled pre-fried fries. The new project will be located next to Gramybel, the plant producing potato granules and flakes, on the site Anne Franck street in Mouscron.
10/3/2019

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How Indra Nooyi got PepsiCo’s customers to accept a heart-healthy alternative to potato chips

Former PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi, who stepped down as CEO last year, was instrumental in shifting company’s focus from sugary beverages to healthier options. But it wasn’t always an easy task for the former CEO. Speaking at Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women International Summit recently, Nooyi recalled how she met with a lot of resistance not only from the investors and fund managers but also from the customers themselves. “Imagine taking Lay’s potato chips which is a salty potato, and reducing the salt,” she said.
10/3/2019

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US potato growers advised to watch for tuber moths

Its harvest time for many potato growers. Those not quite at that point will be harvesting before long.  And while many growers are thinking about getting those spuds in a storage shed, or off to the processor, Washington State University’s Tim Waters said growers need to continue to watch for pests. According to Waters, pre-harvest insect pressures have been fairly low, but that does not mean growers are in the clear.  Waters said growers need to be very cognizant of Potato Tuber moth.
10/3/2019

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Potato processing market to reach USD 37.41 billion by 2026

Growing demand for processed foods, increasing consumer inclination towards vegetarian food and snacks, an expanding food retail industry along with the improving global potato crop over the years are key factors contributing to high CAGR of Potato `Processing market during the forecast period. According to the current analysis of Reports and Data, the global Potato Processing market was valued at USD 24.83 Billion in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 37.41 Billion by year 2026, at a CAGR of 5.2%.
10/2/2019

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Rains keep Manitoba potato growers on edge; processors forced to import raw product

Manitoba potato growers are hoping the 2019 harvest isn’t a repeat of 2018. Harvest has been delayed in many areas after 50 to 125 millimetres of rain has fallen since Sept. 20. Ideally, growers like to finish digging potatoes by the first week of October. That’s unlikely to happen this year because more rain is forecast for the final days of September.
9/29/2019

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Organic potato acreage increasing in the US in response to demand

The appeal of organic potatoes is increasing and growers are planting more acreage in response. This is according to Jeff Stachelek of Albert Bartlett USA, and is supported by Nielsen sales data. Stachelek says that the majority of growth in the potato category is occurring in the specialty types like bite-sized and fingerlings, as well as organic. As a result, companies like Albert Bartlett are increasing their production.
9/29/2019

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Overview of the European potato market

In Belgium, markets are still firm, with almost no price change and (very) few free transactions. Few industrial buyers actively looking for potatoes. Limited offer due to harvest difficulties and prospects of low average yields. The demand for exports is very strong from various destinations in Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as the Middle East and Africa. For the French industry, free purchases remain limited, given the very high rate of contractualization.
9/29/2019

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US potato coop goes belly-up

The mood was upbeat and confident at the Malin Potato Cooperative in February of 2015. The Merrill, Oregon, agricultural co-op was preparing to open a brand-new, $7 million state-of-the-art potato packing plant. Today, only four years later, with the packing plant shuttered, the co-op disbanded, one of the co-op’s eight members in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and another now farming for someone else, that mood appears only a distant memory.
9/16/2019

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