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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

McDonald’s spent nearly $136 million on Idaho commodities in 2018

McDonald’s Corp. spent nearly $136 million on Idaho agricultural commodities to supply its fast food restaurants during 2018, according to a recently released corporate report. During the year, the Chicago-based fast-food giant purchased 271.285 million pounds of Idaho potatoes. McDonald’s also bought 58.3 million pounds of cheese, 14.9 million pounds of beef, 6.4 million pounds of sugar and 2.3 million pounds of onions from Idaho producers.
8/24/2019

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Canada: Lethbridge College, potato growers to partner for irrigation study

Lethbridge College announced on Thursday it will be partnering with local potato growers to study irrigation and watering methods in the region. The four-year research project is a partnership between Lethbridge College’s Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Potato Growers of Alberta. It is made possible through a grant from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
8/23/2019

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Oregon Potato Company takes control of NORPAC Foods

NORPAC Foods, Inc., a grower-owned fruit and vegetable cooperative founded in 1924, today announced that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Oregon Potato Company under which OPC will acquire substantially all of the Company’s assets.
8/23/2019

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Latest AHDB podcast covers key potato production issues

Coming from Potatoes in Practice in Dundee, this podcast covers key topics from the potato industry, including: Chemical loss, potato nutrition and importance of seed quality for export.
8/22/2019

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Late blight found in some south-central Idaho potato fields

Late blight has been found in several potato fields near Paul, Idaho, the Pacific Northwest Pest Alert Network reports. Capital Press says in an article published today that sporulation was observed on diseased tissue. The University of Idaho is testing to determine the type or strain found.
8/21/2019

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Grimme Field Loader in Ontario a North American first of its kind

Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist at the Ontario Potato Board reports that the new Grimme Field Loader arrived in Ontario, Canada from Germany.  HJV Equipment in Alliston has brought the first one of its type in North America. It will be on display at the Ontario Potato Field Day on August 22  at HJV Equipment where growers can get more information on this state-of-the art Grimme machine.
8/20/2019

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US Ag Secretary thanked for support of expanding potato trade with Mexico

The National Potato Council and a dozen other U.S. state and regional potato associations on Aug. 16 thanked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for his support of expanded U.S. fresh potato exports to Mexico.
8/20/2019

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Chemical loss takes centre stage at British potato conference

Scottish potato growers have been warned that there might not be a seed industry in Scotland in 30 years’ time if the spread of potato cyst nematode (PCN) continues at its current rate. As growers gathered to attend the UK’s largest potato conference, Potatoes in Practice – at the James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm  – there was a sense of urgency for the industry to unite in its approach to tackling PCN, to ensure the long term survival of the sector.
8/19/2019

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Latest Canadian Potato Crop Update issued

Kevin MacIsaac, General Manager of United Potato Growers of Canada issued the latest extensive update on the potato crop this past Thursday. He thanked all the provincial directors of UPGC for their input on this report.
8/19/2019

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McDonald’s adds international favorites, including sweet potato fries from the Netherlands

Fed up of classic McDonald’s fries? Then make sure you try out the new sweet potato fries that have been introduced as part of the international menu. McDonald’s appears to be looking to correct the fact that their regular fries are nnothing special by introducing sweet potato fries to the menu.
8/18/2019

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Fries are still America’s favorite potato dish

The most popular potato preparation in America is the French fry. That’s according to an analysis of food ordering data between January 2018 and July 2019 by DoorDash, America’s largest food delivery service (and the world’s second-largest, after Uber Eats). Now that DoorDash is delivering from McDonald’s, famous for its fries, maybe the quantity ordered will rise even higher.
8/16/2019

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Germany: Growth opportunities for organic potatoes in out-of-the-home catering

Since mid-June, local organic potatoes from Bavarian fields have been available to retailers, but larger quantities have only been offered since the beginning of the month. “The starting position could be a bit better, but we cannot complain. The demand is still somewhat subdued, but this is normal, because the actual main crop only comes on in early September,” says Nicolai Timaeus, purchasing manager of marketing company Bio-Bauern, based in Pöttmes.
8/16/2019

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PepsiCo-funded research opens new avenues for low-fat snack formulators

Australian researchers have developed a novel method to measure the sensorial characteristics of potato chips. The technique  called vitro oral processing could eliminate the expensive, time-consuming and often subjective perceptions of enlisting trained sensory panellists. Especially when it comes to low-fat snacks.
8/15/2019

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Lack of potatoes in Canada’s Manitoba province described as ‘an anomaly’

Grocery stores around the province haven’t had the usual amount of local potatoes this year. Manager of Keystone Potato Producers Association, Dan Sawatzky claims this is largely due to last year’s crop freezing on many farmers. He says the crop would’ve been okay if it weren’t for the weather.
8/9/2019

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Scientists: Unless PCN is eliminated, ‘there will be no Scottish potato sector left in 25 years’ time’

Plant scientists have warned that unless the industry unites in its efforts to stop the spread of potato cyst nematode (CPN) there will be no Scottish potato sector left in 25 years’ time. Growers attending yesterday’s Potatoes in Practice event on Balruddery Farm at Invergowrie were bombarded by appeals to do more to prevent yet more soil becoming infested after it was discovered the amount of land affected by the pallida species is doubling every six or seven years.
8/9/2019

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Chinese and Scottish researchers establish collaborative links at Potatoes in Practice 2019

Chinese and Scottish researchers are to work together and explore joint solutions to potato breeding and to pests and diseases that cause major losses to farmers and industry across the world. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, part of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the James Hutton Institute, during Potatoes in Practice 2019.
8/9/2019

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Australian potato growers push Simplot for price increase

Last month, Tasmanian potato growers in Australia unanimously rejected Simplot’s price offer. They are still working to negotiate a new contract. The company was offering a price increase of 2 cents a kilogram, or $20 a tonne for the upcoming season. But grower Matt Ryan said Simplot was the processor stuck in the middle between the growers, consumers and retailers.
8/8/2019

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Harper Adams University to host international Symposium of Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) Management

Harper Adams University is due to host its fifth Symposium of Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) Management in September with speakers and attendees from across the globe. The event, which is held every five years, will be chaired by Dr Matthew Back, Reader in Nematology, and brings together experts and academics to share work relating to the biology, distribution and management of potato cyst nematodes (PCN).
8/8/2019

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Can the potato processing industry raise the bar for sustainable food?

In this article, written by Steven Tsirakos, Senior Analyst at Annual Insight in the Netherlands, the author points out that Lamb Weston / Meijer and McDonald’s announced their joint efforts to reduce food waste last month. Sustainability is apparent within all food chains, Tsirakos writes, and cross value chain collaboration is a widely shared initiative.
8/6/2019

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Potatoes now worth one billion dollars to New Zealand economy

Chris Claridge, Potato New Zealand’s CEO, is pleased to see steady growth in potato volumes and values, writes Gemma Carroll, Communications & Engagement Officer at PNZ. “The latest figures in from 2018 indicate we’re holding our own in exports and the value domestically has gone up. It’s a good report. However we would like to lift our export market.
8/6/2019

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How important is Frito-Lay for PepsiCo’s growth?

Frito-Lay North America (FLNA) has maintained its position as the fastest growing segment for PepsiCo over recent years. PepsiCo Revenues have increased from $62.8 billion in 2016 to $64.7 in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 1.5%. During the same period, FLNA saw its revenues increase from $15.5 billion to $16.3 billion, at a CAGR of 2.5%.
8/5/2019

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Fairfields Farm crisps come top for Taste in National Awards

Artisan crisp producer in the UK, Fairfields Farm, has picked up five awards in this year’s prestigious Great Taste Awards, known as the ‘Oscars’ of the food industry. The celebrated awards, which judge thousands of products on taste alone, are a cornerstone of the fine food industry and give producers a stamp of approval from some of the country’s most esteemed critics.
8/5/2019

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Trailblazing Women of the Idaho Potato Brand

For eight years, the Big Idaho® Potato Truck, a 4-ton spud on wheels, has been turning heads and stopping folks in their tracks everywhere it goes. This summer, there’s another reason why people are taking a second look at the oversized vegetable. The Tater Team, the trio that travels with the Truck promoting famous Idaho® potatoes, is all women, including the driver. According to CNBC, only 6 percent of all truck drivers are female. So if you think a giant spud is a rare sighting, so is a female truck driver.
8/3/2019

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US potato growers concerned over trade

Like other commodities, trade remains top of mind for potato growers across the Northwest. Chris Voigt, Executive Director of the Washington state Potato Commission says a year into the trade war with China, local growers and processors are starting to see and feel the impact. Making matters worse, the U.S. still does not have a trade deal with Japan, the largest destination for U.S. spuds.
8/3/2019

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Canada: Cavendish Farms building new potato research facility on Prince Edward Island

Irving-owned Cavendish Farms announced late Friday afternoon it is putting up $6 million to create a new research and plant-breeding centre on Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada. “The intent of the facility is to work to address potatoes that are more resistant to some of those challenges that we are seeing in terms of warmer temperatures and drier growing conditions,” said Mary Keith, vice-president of communications for J.D. Irving Limited.
8/2/2019

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German potato prices set to spike due to drought

Two summers in a row of drought are causing Germany’s potato supply to dwindle – and prices to rise.Farmers throughout Germany, and especially in the country’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, are desperately hoping for rain in August. “If it continues to stay hot and dry, the problem will become very big,” said Horst-Peter Karos, the head of the Association of Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Preparation (BOGK) regarding the country’s staple crop. 
8/2/2019

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New processing plants drive Canadian potato acre expansion

Potato acres are up in Manitoba and Alberta this year as more spuds are needed to supply new and expanded processing plants on the Prairies. Manitoba potato growers seeded 6,000 more acres than 2018 and Alberta acres are up 5,500 acres compared to last year, based on data from a July 17 United Potato Growers of Canada report. Manitoba needs more potatoes this year to supply the expanded Simplot french fry plant in Portage la Prairie. The company’s spending $460 million to double the plant’s capacity.
8/2/2019

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What can the potato teach us about tomorrow’s wonder foods?

In The Economist‘s podcast collaboration, “The Secret History of the Future”, The Economist’s Tom Standage and Seth Stevenson of Slate unearth curious tales hidden in the history of technology, and ask what they can tell us about the future. Can its journey tell us what to expect from current efforts to replace animal meat with “societally healthier” meat alternatives made from plants, insects, or cells grown in petri dishes?
7/26/2019

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UK potato growers ‘very worried’ as homegrown crop shortage looms

UK consumers may face a home-grown potatoes shortage next year as stocks run out due to new storage rules. Experts fear a 12-week gap could open up in the UK supply in 2020 as a result of the loss of the main chemical used on stored spuds.
7/26/2019

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Summer cover crop highlight of San Luis Valley farm tour

As a trailblazer in adapting regenerative, low-input farming practices for the San Luis Valley, Rockey Farms continues to tweak production methods and experiment with new approaches while producing some of the region’s tastiest potatoes. In mid-July, brothers Brendon and Sheldon Rockey hosted a field day for around 100 visitors from across the state and beyond, offering them a chance to observe practices on the 600-acre irrigated farm northwest of Center.
7/26/2019

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Lifting of maleic hydrazide label restrictions in Britain positive for potato sprout suppression

Following the lifting of label restrictions on maleic hydrazide (MH), the active can be used for control of potato volunteers and sprout suppression during storage. Mark Taylor of the Fresh Potatoes Suppliers Association (FPSA) says: “Since the announcement of the non-renewal of chlorpropham (CIPC), having a restriction on the use of maleic hydrazide-treated crops had an even greater impact for growers and packers.
7/25/2019

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Idaho Potato Commission partners with Mexican retailer

The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) recently partnered with Mexican retailer Calimax for a four-week promotional campaign to introduce Idaho Potatoes to the Mexican consumer. The IPC chose Calimax to sell Idaho potatoes due to its proximity to the U.S. state, just south of the San Diego border. The Idaho Potato Commission and its commissioners have been enthusiastic about the partnership with Calimax.
7/24/2019

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Late blight alert for eastern Canadian potatoes

High numbers of late blight spores have been found in two spore traps placed near Delhi in Ontario in eastern Canada, triggering an alert for growers to make sure that their crop, especially the new growth is protected. Potato consultant Eugenia Banks says the area “has received enough rain recently to create favourable conditions for disease development.”
7/23/2019

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Early potato growers in Britain look to new markets to survive

Pembrokeshire potato growers are looking to focus their early spud crops on the local Welsh market and also expand into chipping and baking markets to drive customer demand. Competition from early growers in England and the ability to store “baby” potatoes over the winter has hit the Pembroke growers and they are having to work hard to market their crops.
7/23/2019

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The Irish woman behind the award-winning potato-based liquor brand

The Muff Liquor Company, an Irish drinks company, is just a few years old but has been making its mark on the industry – and not just because of the name! Laura Bonner, a native of Co Donegal, and business partner Tom Russell set up the Muff Liquor Company in Bonner’s home county 2017. Starting out with a potato-based gin and now a vodka, with more spirits on the way, the company has been cleaning up at awards ceremonies
7/19/2019

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‘Acreage increases in the 2019 Canadian Potato Crop justified,’ says industry leader

Statistics Canada released their first estimate of potato acreage in Canada as a result of data obtained from their survey of potato growers in Canada. Statistics Canada has estimated the 2019 potato acreage to be up 3.3% or 11,526 acres above 2018. Given some of the additional acreage required to supply two new fry plants and a recently completed new line in Canada, industry had expected the increase to be higher.
7/19/2019

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Latest Canadian Potato Crop Report

Prince Edward Island  Old crop is getting cleaned up. One of the main customers is still bringing in potatoes to reach the start of new crop. Acreage on the island is expected to be similar to last year. The spring was later, but Growing Degree Days really moved ahead in June with crop growth ahead of, same time last year.
7/18/2019

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Weather more favourable to Prince Edward Island’s potato industry so far in 2019

This year’s potatoes may have gone into the ground a little late, but with good growing conditions since, the crop is catching up.  “We had some nice heat in June and when (the plants) emerged we gained ground,” said P.E.I. Potato Board general manager Greg Donald. Conditions have been so good in some parts of P.E.I. that Knutsford grower Karl Smallman is already suggesting there’s potential for a bumper crop.
7/18/2019

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Subsistence potato farmers in South Africa became commercial farmers

An initiative between Eastern Cape state entities and Potatoes SA has turned former subsistence farmers into commercial potato farmers. The farmers at OR Tambo District, which includes Mthatha, Mqanduli and Ngqeleni, have multiplied their production volumes since the start of the mentorship and development programme three years ago.
7/17/2019

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Australia: New symptoms of disease blackleg disease observed in the AuSPICA Scheme

AuSPICA is the authority that provides certification of seed potatoes throughout Victoria, South Australia and Northern NSW (Guyra). In a recent report, the organization says new symptoms of the disease blackleg were observed in the AuSPICA Scheme for the first time in 2019.
7/17/2019

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Potatoes one of top high potassium foods

Bananas are a well-known source of potassium, but many other foods contain just as much — if not more — of this nutrient, including potatoes. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid and blood levels in the body. Many fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of potassium. Meat, milk, yogurt, and nuts are also good sources, but also potatoes. Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium.
7/17/2019

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Researcher shows how heat stress of potatoes can be mitigated with calcium applications

In one of his earlier studies, Dr. Jiwan Palta in the US showed that plants given calcium under heat stress had better plant growth and higher tuber yield, up to 30 per cent higher, as compared to plants with no supplemental calcium under identical conditions. “Therefore, application of calcium during the stress periods should help protect potato plant health and improve tuber yield and quality. Effective method of delivery of calcium to the potato crop would depend on the soil type and if the crop is irrigated or not. It is important to provide a readily available form of calcium during the stress periods,” Dr Palta says.
7/16/2019

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New discovery: This latest research discovery may just help potatoes resist heat

Potato plants don’t like heat. If it’s too hot, they form fewer tubers. Now biochemists at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany have discovered the reason. When the temperature rises, a small RNA blocks the formation of tubers. Researchers have also discovered how to turn off this RNA so potatoes are more heat resistant.
7/12/2019

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Grimme unveils new store loader

Grimme has introduced the new SL 716 store loader, which is said to be top of the range in its class. The machinery is 16.1m long and has a belt width of 65cm. So far, the company offered store loaders starting at 12m to 22m in length with electro-hydraulic drive.
7/12/2019

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Increased adoption of automation seen in the UK potato industry

Goplasticpallets.com has seen an increased adoption of automation in the UK potato industry. Much of this is based around systems developed and implemented by Deprez Handling Solutionsand using its GoPalletBox 1311S 3R – Europe’s largest plastic pallet box.
7/11/2019

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Britain’s largest field-based potato event to be held in August

Potatoes in Practice is the largest field-based potato event in the UK. The event brings together variety demonstrations, research and trade exhibits in one place making it an essential date in the potato industry calendar. In the field, you’ll find commercial breeders showcasing the latest varieties, agronomists demonstrating what’s new in crop protection and researchers discussing their most recent findings, all on hand to share their knowledge and give advice.
7/10/2019

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Aggressive new European late blight strain now detected in Britain

A surge in reports of potato blight across the UK has led experts to tell growers to give careful consideration as to how crops are protected through to the end of the season. AHDB Potatoes reported a sharp rise in late blight samples submitted for testing in late June once weather conditions favoured sporulation.
7/9/2019

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‘Retail pressure making potato farming unsustainable for growers’

Australian potato grower Matt Ryan says the supermarket giants and consumers are more responsible for low prices than processor Simplot. Tasmanian potato growers unanimously rejected Simplot’s price offer last week and are working to negotiate a new contract. But Mr Ryan said Simplot was the processor stuck in the middle of growers, consumers and retailers.
7/9/2019

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Celebrating a Polish hero who fed our children during Great Famine

A Polish nobleman who helped 200,000 Irish children survive the Great Famine is being honoured with an exhibition in Dublin. Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki arrived in Co Mayo in 1847 to spearhead a charity’s efforts to save the poor from starvation. “No pen can describe the distress by which I am surrounded,” he wrote in Westport in March that year. He succeeded in saving huge numbers of children by devising methods of feeding them in their schools in famine-hit regions across Ireland.
7/9/2019

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Tasmanian farmers fight for potato pay as Simplot records $62m profit

Tasmanian potato growers say Simplot is not paying them enough for their vegetables, as they negotiate a new contract with the vegetable processing giant. It comes six months after the Australian reported that Simplot’s profits increased 10-fold in 2018. 
7/7/2019

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