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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

Nutra-Crop President explains importance of soil nutrients during rainy planting season

The weather has not been ideal this year for farmers during the planting season in large regions of the US. Rain has plagued the Midwest for months. Nutra-Crop™ President, Ed Ummach, understands the frustrations that farmers are having. Ummach has a few reminders for growers this season as they tackle one of the hardest planting years. “Nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, and magnesium and a host of other nutrients are needed for strong plant health,” said Ummach.
6/17/2019

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Satellites will provide real-time data of crop development across Canada

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is Canada’s new generation of Earth observation satellites, launched on June 12, 2019. The three identical satellites will work together to bring solutions to key challenges for Canadians, including farmers, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says in a news release.
6/17/2019

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British chemical firm to challenge metaldehyde ban

A UK chemical supplier has said it will challenge a recent Defra decision to ban metaldehyde slug pellet products in the High Court, reports AgriLand. Chiltern Farm Chemicals, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of molluscicides, has this week been granted permission to bring a judicial review of the decision before the High Court, with the view to declare the ban as unlawful.
6/16/2019

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PepsiCo boosts precision agri tech for Walkers, Lay’s and Doritos brands

The snacks and drink giant has built up its iCrop precision agriculture tool to better support potato, corn, oats and peanut farmers make in-field decisions, PepsiCo Europe’s head of agricultural procurement David Wilkinson tells FoodNavigator. PepsiCo is one of the largest potato buyers in Europe. Of the 3,900 farmers supplying directly to the snacks and drink giant across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA), approximately 1,200 are potato farmers.
6/15/2019

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Successful Europatat 2019 Congress focused on innovation and sustainability

Yesterday, on 13 June, the European potato community has gathered in Oslo, Norway, for the Europatat Congress 2019. Under the slogan “The timeless potato: A dynamic and innovative food”, the annual event organised by Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, and NFGF, the Norwegian Association of Fruit and Vegetable wholesalers, has focused on the many assets of the sector in innovation, sustainability and circular economy.
6/14/2019

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Renowned Idaho researcher protects potato quality

Potato researcher Dr Nora Olsen helps make sure Idaho’s potatoes stay in the best possible shape as they move from field to storage cellar to customer, reports Capital Press. But maintaining the overall quality of Idaho potatoes is a priority area of study for Nora Olsen. Recent findings include that slight changes to growing and harvesting procedures, and to conditions inside the storage cellar, can help keep potatoes looking and yielding their best.
6/14/2019

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Potato leafroll virus: Scientists discover key plant virus-insect virus interaction

Aphids and the plant viruses they transmit cause billions of dollars in crop damage around the world every year. A Cornell-led research team is examining the relationship at the molecular level, which could lead to new methods for controlling the pests. A group led by Michelle Heck, used recently developed small RNA sequencing techniques to better understand how plant viruses interact with aphids. Heck and her team focused on the green peach aphid which transmits more than 100 plant viruses and feeds on a variety of crops, including potatoes.
6/14/2019

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Lamb Weston cuts ribbon on $250 million expansion

More french fries than ever will come out of Hermiston after Lamb Weston cut the ribbon on a $250 million expansion of its processing plant, East Oregonian reports. The 300,000-square-foot expansion increases the facility’s capacity and adds 150 full-time jobs to what was already Hermiston’s largest employer. Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner told the audience at Thursday’s celebration that the facility was a very important part of Lamb Weston’s operations around the world, and represented one of many investments the company is making toward its future.
6/14/2019

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X-ray vision said to pay dividends for Australian potato packing industry

In Victoria, Australia the first trials of x-ray technology in a potato packing facility are underway. In a recent article in Potatoes Australia magazine the benefits of the technology are explained. A 32-year strong partnership between Red Gem (potato growers) and supermarket chain Coles has culminated in an investment that may change the shape of the Australian potato industry.
6/12/2019

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Legion Bio Chem updates name to reflect focus in ag nutrient space

Nutra-Crop, a brand evolution of Legion Bio Chem, recently announced its name change to customers and dealers. According to senior leadership, the team and products remain the same, but the new name highlights the dedicated effort to provide solid agronomic solutions, according to a press release issued by the company in the US earlier today.
6/3/2019

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Japan based Calbee poised to take bigger bite out of US snack market

Calbee is gearing up a U.S. marketing campaign for its best-selling Jagarico potato snack in an aggressive drive to increase overseas sales. The Japanese snack company recently unveiled its medium-term business plan calling for overseas operations to account for 25% of total sales by March 2024, up 9 points from fiscal 2018.
6/3/2019

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Potato blight is now fighting dirty

The challenges in managing potato blight have always been the main focus on in-season fungicide programmes for Scottish potato growers. As a mobile and aggressive pathogen, it has readily adapted itself to new varieties over the years and we’ve been used to seeing it shift and slide. But in recent seasons the emergence of particularly worrying strains has been a feature..
6/2/2019

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Europatat Congress 2019: Final program announced

On 13 June 2019, under the slogan “The timeless potato: A dynamic and innovative food”, the Europatat Congress will explore the potential for innovation within the sector now and into the future. Taking place in Oslo, the Congress will also look into Norway’s special trade relations with the EU.
6/2/2019

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Branston buys 1,000th vegetable washer from Haith

Haith Group is celebrating, selling its 1,000th vegetable washer! The milestone machine, one of a pair, rolled off the production line at the end of last month destined for Branston Ltd in the UK. As well as being the thousandth vegetable washer to be sold since Haith invented the modern barrel washer in 1961, Branston’s machine is the eighth Haith Supa-Wash to be sold since it was introduced in March 2018.
5/31/2019

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Bangladeshi potato farmers suffer due to surplus stocks and low exports

Recent reports say that the plights of thousands of potato growers in Bangladesh is increasing day by day, as they are stuck with surplus stocks and low exports. The New Nation newspaper says in a news report titled “Save the potato growers” that the country produced a record high of 1.09 crore tonnes (nearly 11 million tons) of potatoes last year. With an annual average demand of around 70 lakh tonnes, the country witnessed a surplus of about 40 lakh tonnes, most of which is wasted.
5/30/2019

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New report on the global potato processing sector released by Annual Insight

Dutch based market and consumer data analytics company Annual Insight has released its Quarterly Update Report on the global potato processing sector today, entitled “Overreaction or the right assessment?“.
5/29/2019

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Opinion: Drip irrigating potatoes – is it worth it, or not?

Dear folks, I rarely – if ever – provide readers with a personal opinion on any issue that I feature here on Potato News Today, but I wish to give you a personal opinion today regarding the question of drip irrigated potatoes – given the enormous response to a link to an article I recently posted here related to “drip irrigation and potatoes” in the UK.
5/28/2019

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Innovation: Biopolymer potato bags are ‘Tater Made’

Anne Marie Mohan, Senior Editor, Packaging World reports that Wada Farms uses a bag made partially from potato starch for its Idaho Potatoes that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, the use of petroleum-based plastics, and excess film gauge.
5/27/2019

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Potatoes New Zealand undertaking a country wide PMTV survey

Potatoes New Zealand says they have been undertaking a PMTV survey. This has involved a PMTV survey assistant (a PNZ staff member) visiting farms who have agreed to be tested. The purpose of the survey is to establish where the disease is, to check seed lines and to ascertain the possibility of containment. The survey will inform the pest management strategy and long term management of the incursion.
5/26/2019

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National Potato Council lobbies for USMCA, expanded trade with China

The Packer reports that potato industry leader Dan Moss voiced support for immediate Congressional approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and expanded potato trade with China at a White House trade event May 23. 
5/25/2019

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‘The effects of last year’s dry weather still being felt,’ says Dutch potato trader

The new Dutch potato season is beginning. It is expected that over two weeks, there will enough supply from the southwest of the country to start selling. The Dutch market is currently mostly being supplied by import potatoes. “We are, however, again facing a dry season this year. We have plots in Hoekse Waard. Conditions are not great there,”  Ton Kruythof of Kruythof potato traders told FreshPlaza.
5/25/2019

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Freeze-thaw cycle helps clear potatoes left in Prince Edward Island fields after fall harvest

The CBC reports that the cold, wet spring weather may feel like the enemy to many P.E.I. farmers, but this winter’s freeze-thaw cycle has actually helped to eliminate what could have been a significant problem for the spring planting. 
5/24/2019

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Schaap Holland becomes newest shareholder in Breederstrust

In a joint press release issued today, it is announced that the family-run breeding company SCHAAP HOLLAND B.V. in Biddinghuizen in the Netherlands acquired 5% of the Brussels-based Breeders Trust shares earlier this week. Breeders Trust was founded in 2008 to monitor the enforcement of Plant Breeders’ Rights. Every year, millions of euros are invested in the breeding of new and promising potato varieties.
5/24/2019

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‘I found my passion in the potato business,’ says President of Interfries

David Winiarz, the President of Interfries Inc – based in Florida in the US – recently told Potato News Today that having worked with an assortment of frozen food products, he found his passion in none other but the potato business.
5/15/2019

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Why potato growers need to be better prepared for drought

British farmers and growers are being urged to plan and manage their use of irrigation this year, as concerns about the effect of continued dry conditions on water supplies mount, according to a report by Farmers Weekly Online.
5/15/2019

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How potatoes could become ‘sun worshippers’

University of Erlangen-Nürnberg: If there’s one thing potato plants don’t like, it’s heat. If the temperature is too high, potato plants form significantly lower numbers of tubers or sometimes none at all. Biochemists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in Germany have now discovered the reason why. If the temperature rises, a so-called small RNA blocks the formation of tubers.
5/15/2019

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Plant-based lifestyle trend: Side Delights potato farmers team up with mushroom growers

Side Delights® potato farmers in the US have teamed up with mushroom growers to create an in-store promotion with seven original recipes for “A Week’s Worth of Yum.”  The program includes a point-of-sale merchandiser with a tear-off recipe card featuring a recipe and a URL to download the Week’s Worth of Yum e-book.
5/15/2019

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Australian potato industry recognises importance of standing together on biosecurity

In the first week of May, AUSVEG, Plant Health Australia and RMCG’s Doris Blaesing facilitated an industry consultation workshop with all sectors of the potato industry to understand the who, what and where of the industry’s approach to surveillance of exotic and notifiable pests and diseases. The workshop was one of the first steps towards developing the National Potato Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy.
5/14/2019

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The oldest potatoes in Europe are grown in Tenerife

The last direct descendants in Europe of the potatoes brought directly from South America by the ‘conquistadors’ are grown in the Canaries, FreshPlaza reports. These potatoes have evocative names, like ‘black lily’ and stand out for their sweet flavor. They are mostly grown in Tenerife, where they are considered a delicacy.
5/14/2019

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Potato area in Flanders reaches record high

The Dutch news outlet Akkerwijzer reports that in Belgium, Flemish arable farmers have again planted more potatoes this year. The total potato area of ​​55,643 hectares represents a new record, according to preliminary area figures for agricultural crops 2019 of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
5/14/2019

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PepsiCo officially withdraws one of three lawsuits filed against Indian farmers

According to a report published by BloombergQuint, PepsiCo India withdrew one of the lawsuits it had filed against Gujarat farmers for allegedly growing a variety of potato for which the food and beverages giant claimed to have secured exclusive rights.
5/6/2019

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Specialists compile a checklist of factors causing poor potato emergence

There are many factors affecting potato emergence and stand establishment, says Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist at the Ontario Potato Board in Canada in an article published by Spud Smart magazine. Having a checklist of factors causing poor potato emergence is a useful tool for growers.
5/6/2019

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Results of the latest EuroBlight potato late blight monitoring project now available

EuroBlight is continuously examining the ongoing evolution of the European population of the potato late blight pathogen and now reports on the 2018 results. Approximately 1000 samples were genotyped from 22 countries, says JENS GRØNBECH HANSEN in a recent article published on the EuroBlight website.
5/5/2019

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Nematicide Stewardship Programme in the UK aims to set single industry standard

All nematicides require careful handling. Members of the Nematicide Stewardship Programme(NSP) in the UK say the aim of the NSP is to ensure a best practice approach across all aspects of their use, from delivery on farm through to operator handling, machinery set up and maintenance, to application and storage.
5/4/2019

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McCain invests $300m to expand Washington potato processing site

FoodBev Media reports that McCain Foods USA, the US unit of potato product giant McCain Foods, has invested $300 million to expand its potato processing site in Othello, Washington. The investment will pay for the construction of an additional 170,000-square-foot of production space at the site, doubling the overall production capacity at the facility and significantly expanding the company’s production capacity for the North American market.
5/3/2019

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Potato agronomy: Headlands around crops ‘buzzing with life’

At a time when headlines are warning of an “insect apocalypse”, new research in the UK has found potato and vegetable growers are providing a hugely valuable habitat resource and insect species are thriving. Potato growers are said to help promote biodiversity by planting green headlands around crops. CPM writers Lucy de la Pasture and Rob Jones report the latest findings which suggest that several predators are thriving.
5/2/2019

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India’s potato row: Govt working on solution that favours farmers

According to a report published today by The Hindu’s Business Line, the Gujarat government is working for an out-of-court settlement of cases filed by PepsiCo against nine farmers for growing a variety of potato “registered” by the food and beverages giant, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said Wednesday.
5/2/2019

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Europatat Congress 2019: Main speakers confirmed

On 13 June 2019, under the slogan “The timeless potato: A dynamic and innovative food”, the Europatat Congress will explore the potential for innovation within the sector now and into the future as well as Norway’s special trade relations with the EU.
5/2/2019

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Canadian potato storage holdings lowest in five years

Canadian potato storage holdings, with includes all sectors, are the lowest of the last five years, according to the United Potato Growers of Canada’s update on April 1. Potatoes in Canada reports that potato storage holdings are down 11 per cent from where they were in April 2018. Some of the biggest declines are seen in provinces that suffered tough harvest conditions, like Manitoba and Prince Edward Island.
4/29/2019

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The ‘surprise’ new blight strain – and what it means for Scottish growers

According to a report by The Scottish Farmer, discovery of a late blight strain less sensitive to a key fungicide in Scotland requires potato growers to apply strict resistance management principles when planning fungicide programmes this season. Two blight strains, 37_A2 and 36_A2, are of concern to the UK potato industry and up until last year, positive samples of either genotype have been confined to England.
4/29/2019

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Canada: Manitoba’s potato sector not stressing on seed, despite tight supplies

Manitoba Co-operator reports that Manitoba’s potato sector is gearing up to supply an expanding industry but seed supplies will be tight after a tough harvest last season. J.R. Simplot’s $460-million expansion of its Portage la Prairie plant is expected to double the operation’s need for tubers when it comes online this fall.
4/29/2019

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Neonicotinoids in Canada: Most uses on potatoes remain unchanged

Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist at the Ontario Potato Board, alerted recipients of her email newsletter today that Health Canada recently released its final pollinator re-evaluation decisions for neonicotinoid pesticides. Most uses on non-attractive crops such as root and tuber vegetables (including potatoes), brassica leafy vegetables, leafy vegetables, and (indoor) greenhouse vegetables remain unchanged.
4/27/2019

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British store operators ‘ill-informed on energy use’

Many potato store operators could make significant savings in energy costs if they obtained more usage data to make informed decisions, according to Ray Andrews of Crop Systems Limited in the UK. During an interview with Potato Review magazine, he said: “I don’t think many operators realise how much energy prices vary, or how frequently in any 24-hour period they change. Bear in mind that peak energy prices are often three times higher than off-peak rates.”
4/26/2019

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India: Now, PepsiCo offers to settle case against Gujarat potato farmers

The Hindu reports that in the wake of criticism over its ₹4.2 crore lawsuit against four Gujarati potato farmers, food and beverages giant PepsiCo has offered to settle the case if the farmers stop growing the registered potato variety used in its Lays chips.
4/26/2019

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Potatoes prevent food crisis and restore ‘dignity and hope’ in Ethiopia

Irish potatoes have prevented another major humanitarian food crisis in one of the poorest and most remote parts of Ethiopia, the Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide has said. The humble spud, introduced by Concern Worldwide into the country’s drought-prone northern highland regions in 2007, is credited with a major drop in food shortages and improvements in the local economy.
4/25/2019

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Penobscot McCrum plans new potato processing plant in Maine

According to a report by The County, Penobscot McCrum is planning to build a new potato processing plant at the site of a long-closed potato factory in Washburn, Maine. Penobscot McCrum, the vertically integrated potato business of the McCrum family, is in the midst of submitting permitting documents to build a 115,000 square foot potato processing plant on Parsons Road, said Jan Weigman, project manager at Wright-Pierce.
4/25/2019

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Kraft Heinz reportedly weighs sale of Ore-Ida frozen potato business

Tater Tot maker Ore-Ida is the latest brand Kraft Heinz is considering shedding as it scrambles to pay down debt and restructure its business following a disastrous quarterly report. Kraft Heinz has reportedly hired investment bank Evercore Partners to prepare a potential sale of its Ore-Ida brand, people familiar with the situation told CNBC. The brand could fetch roughly $1.5 billion to $2 billion, the people said.
4/24/2019

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British potato stocks down 13%

Following the tough 2018 growing season, the latest estimates from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) show British potato stock levels were down 13 per cent on the five-year average. Levels were however comparable to other tight supply seasons, for example they are only slightly lower than at the same point in 2013/14 and 2015/16, while higher than 2012/13.
4/24/2019

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Fresher Canadian potatoes coming to Atlanta via $22M distribution center

Canada’s EarthFresh Farms is spending $22 million to open a high-tech packing plant and distribution center near the Atlanta airport in College Park, getting its potatoes to southern customers more quickly. The Burlington, Ontario-based company is the latest food distribution center clustered in Atlanta’s budding Aerotropolis region.   
4/21/2019

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Biostimulants and biologicals – what are they?

While fertilizers and pesticides play a significant role in attempting to overcome some of these obstacles, agricultural biologicals are said to make a crucial contribution toward the goal of making intensive agricultural production more successful and sustainable. Biological proponents claim that biologicals makes crops healthier, with improved defenses against diseases and pests, and better able to withstand a-biotic stresses.
4/21/2019

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