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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

Report: Insecticide resistance in aphids and virus management in potatoes

A new report indicates the pyrethroid sensitivity of two important aphid virus vectors. These days, growers have access to fewer modes of action to control insect pests. Concerns that this encourages the emergence of resistance are recognised in the Draft National Action Plan for the sustainable use of pesticides. While this may eventually deliver a comprehensive strategy for insecticide resistance management; in the short term, we have to use the information and insecticides that are available now.
5/16/2021

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Aussies rejoice: Much-awaited ‘McCain Smiles’ is here!

Known by many and loved by all – McCain Foods ‘Smiles’ are back in Australia – this time in mini form. C-AH-UTE! Take your tastebuds back in time with all the nostalgia feels of an Aussie family favourite, 12 years since production ceased. Gone but not forgotten, consumers across the country have inundated McCain Foods with calls, social media requests and even a petition for the return of this iconic snack.
5/16/2021

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Maximize planting success with an air cup planter, says Lockwood’s chief engineer

Anyone can get potatoes into the ground. If you want to maximize your time, land and in-put efficiency — and ultimately make more money — getting potatoes into the ground quickly and with accurate depth and spacing is critical. The technology that can make all of that happen is an air cup planter, says Michael Nilson, Chief Engineer at Lockwood Manufacturing in North Dakota.
5/16/2021

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HZPC Americas hires Jill Herold as key account manager

HZPC Americas announced earlier today that the company recently hired Jill Herold as a Key Account Manager. Jill brings over 18 years of experience in technical agronomy in potatoes, corn, soybean and other various crops, including several years focused on sustainability. “We’re thrilled to have Jill join our team.”, says Jeff Scramlin, President of HZPC Americas Corp. “Jill will be leading our commercial activities within the Processing Sector. Her ambition to understand customers’ needs and deliver unique solutions, combined with her experience and passion for potatoes make her a natural fit for this position. She’ll be a great role model for our employees and vendors who come in contact with her.”
5/14/2021

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Canadian potato growers, scouts can now download practical resources for the season

Canadian potato growers and scouts can now find three online scouting resources that will help them know when and what to scout for in potato fields throughout this season. On May 21 and 28, 2020, Potatoes in Canada magazine hosted a webinar series with Dr. Eugenia Banks, potato specialist with the Ontario Potato Board, on how to scout pests, diseases and physiological disorders in potatoes. In addition to the webinar series, Dr. Banks has made her scouting resources available as PDFs for download.
5/12/2021

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Maximize planting success with an air cup planter, says Lockwood’s chief engineer

Anyone can get potatoes into the ground. If you want to maximize your time, land and in-put efficiency — and ultimately make more money — getting potatoes into the ground quickly and with accurate depth and spacing is critical. The technology that can make all of that happen is an air cup planter, says Michael Nilson, Chief Engineer at Lockwood Manufacturing in North Dakota.
5/12/2021

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Aussies rejoice: Much-awaited ‘McCain Smiles’ is here!

Known by many and loved by all – McCain Foods ‘Smiles’ are back in Australia – this time in mini form. C-AH-UTE! Take your tastebuds back in time with all the nostalgia feels of an Aussie family favourite, 12 years since production ceased. Gone but not forgotten, consumers across the country have inundated McCain Foods with calls, social media requests and even a petition for the return of this iconic snack. A Buzzfeed poll saw an impressive 97 per cent of contributors answering ‘Yes, duh!’ for McCain to bring ‘Smiles’ back.
5/12/2021

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Maine potato growers turning to more drought resistant varieties, acreage expected to go up

It’s growing time for Maine potato farmers throughout the state, and many have started planting, hoping for a better season overall. According to the Maine Potato Board, last year drought conditions resulted in a potato crop yield that was down 20 percent state-wide. “We are hopeful we’ll get a little more water than we did last year,” said Mike Hart, director of sales and marketing at Green Thumb Farms in Fryeburg. Some Maine farmers are adapting by growing more drought resistant varieties like the Caribou Russet and Queen Anne.
5/11/2021

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U.S. potato exports face many challenges

U.S. potato exports have faced a great deal of adversity in the current marketing year. Potatoes USA says that demand for frozen potato products declined precipitously in the spring of 2020, and this lower level of demand carried over through the first quarter of the marketing year (July – September 2020). As restrictions eased and the markets adjusted, demand began to return in the fall, but then shipping issues began to limit the ability of U.S. exporters to meet this demand.
5/11/2021

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Can extracts from northern-hardwood trees become a substitute for CIPC? Canadian researchers think so

Chlorpropham (or CIPC) is widely used as a sprout suppressing agrochemical applied to stored potatoes almost globally, although its use has been banned by the EU not long ago. It is expected to be banned in Canada as well in future. Researchers in Quebec are optimistic about the anti-sprouting properties of extracts from black spruce, yellow birch and balsam fir that grow in northern-hardwood forests.
5/10/2021

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UPGC reports on 2021 Canadian potato crop outlook, planting intentions

Potato acreage in Canada will not be officially reported until early July, so it is often helpful to take an early look at industry projections across the country, says Kevin MacIsaac, General Manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada in an industry report. MacIsaac says the analysis is more difficult this year as demand for potato products returns to pre-COVID levels. This is further precipitated by delayed contract negotiations between processors and growers across the country for pricing, and now the determination of volume needed for 21-22, he says.
5/10/2021

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Restrain expands in Latin America, appoints Daniel Caldiz as international potato consultant

Restrain, the well-known manufacturer of anti-sprouting systems for potatoes, is expanding its business in Latin America. Since April 1, the company has been receiving assistance on the continent itself. International potato expert and agronomist Daniel Caldiz has joined Restrain as an international potato consultant. Caldiz was associated with the University of La Plata, Argentina as an agronomic researcher for more than twenty years. He then worked in research & development at McCain Foods between 2000 and 2020.
5/10/2021

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Interseeding cultivation method shows early promise to reduce nitrate leaching

A two-year project funded through the University of Wisconsin-Water Resources Institute is investigating an interseeding cultivation method for potato cropping that shows early promise to reduce nitrate leaching. Researcher Kevin Masarik from UW-Stevens Point is pursuing what he termed an outside-the-box idea – interseeding rye, oat and millet between the rows of potatoes to create biomass to take up excess nitrates.
5/10/2021

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Peruvian native potato vodka awarded sixth international gold medal

The first Peruvian vodka made from Andean native potatoes was awarded its sixth international gold medal at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, one of the most important competitions in the United States, the State-run Innovate Peru (Innovate Yourself, Peru) Program reports. It says that Vodka 14 Inkas obtained this distinction for the third consecutive year – a celebration of the intensive research and development work done to achieve a high-quality product that meets international standards.
5/9/2021

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55.3 million social impressions: AHDB’s jacket spud campaign declared a social success

Brits have shown their love for the humble spud, with AHDB’s latest jacket potato campaign receiving over 55.3 million social impressions during the six-week period. The New Packed Lunch’ campaign, which ran from 18 February – 31 March 2021, ran across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok, to remind consumers of the virtues of the classic baked potato.
5/9/2021

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Potato processing firm HyFun to more than double manufacturing capacity in India

HyFun, which produces and exports frozen potato products, will be investing Rs 300 crore (approx US$40 million) for its intended expansion in India and will also move into the domestic retail sector. The company will expand the manufacturing capacity of its potato processing plant in Mehsana, Gujarat to over 2.5 times by 2022.
5/9/2021

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No more plastic: Meade invests in new compostable, paper-based potato packaging

Global packaging and paper manufacturer Mondi has partnered with Polish compostable packaging producer SILBO to develop paper-based, eco-friendly packaging for potatoes. Created for Irish farm potato business Meade Farm Group, the packaging has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The solution will enable Meade to replace hard-to-recycle plastic with paper in line with its sustainability targets.
5/9/2021

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The UK’s 50 best fish and chip shops – and what it takes to make the list

As it stands, there are around 10,500 fish and chip shops operating in the UK and for many of them the pandemic has proved fruitful. According to data from delivery platform Foodhub released last May, fish and chip orders shot up by 208 per cent since the start of lockdown. But at a booming time for the trade, what does it take to be the very best of them all? Fry Magazine’s annual top 50 list is open to all to enter, but the selection process is “in-depth”, according to Reece Head, Fry’s events director.
5/8/2021

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‘Foods that go farther’: Farther Farms closing the French fry gap, revolutionizing food processing

Today, the French fry. Tomorrow, the global food supply chain. Farther Farms is a high-growth food technology start-up, based in Rochester, NY, working to solve one of society’s greatest challenges: how to make food go farther. The company began by creating the world’s first commercially-available shelf-stable, fresh-cut style French fry that’s never-frozen and ready-to-cook. The French fries have a 90-day shelf life at room temperature – no artificial preservatives added, and no freezing or refrigeration required.
5/8/2021

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Valmont to acquire Prospera, creating world’s largest vertically-integrated AI company in agriculture

US-based Valmont Industries, known for its irrigation equipment solutions, including Valley Irrigation, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Prospera Technologies Inc. an Israeli-based AI company. The transaction will create the largest global, vertically-integrated AI company in agriculture. Using the pivot as the digital data hub, this solution brings demonstrated, advanced agronomy to the field enabling the grower to take immediate action to remediate issues.
5/8/2021

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Canadian researcher leading the fight against blackleg of potato

Dr. Michele Konschuh, a research associate in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge in Canada’s Alberta province, is leading a study to help ensure Alberta’s potato industry stays healthy. Blackleg is caused by Pectobacterium and Dickeya bacteria. Of the two, Dickeya is especially aggressive. “The one we have in Alberta is caused by Pectobacterium species. At this time, we have no Dickeya and we want to keep it that way,” says Konschuh.
5/6/2021

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Potatoes USA: Retail sales dip after yearlong streak of record-high sales

Potatoes USA reports that potato sales for Q3 (January – March 2021) of Marketing Year 2021 have caught up to the changed buying habits that the pandemic brought about. March 2020 was an unprecedented time for potato sales in grocery stores as panic buying began a yearlong streak of record-high sales in dollars and volume. It is no surprise that sales in March of 2021 could not keep up with the buying patterns that occurred in that crazy month a year ago.
5/6/2021

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Fight against blight: ‘BlightSpy’ replaces ‘Blighwatch’

BlightSpy is a tool for British growers and agronomists that can be used in their fight against late blight – it offers an eight-day blight forecast and more detail than its predecessor Blightwatch. Anne Stone, AHDB Knowledge Transfer Manager, Potatoes reports that the new tool allows users to monitor weather forecasts for the predicted occurrence of Hutton Criteria at over 669 carefully selected location points in Britain.
5/6/2021

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Northern Ireland potato growers to receive Covid-19 financial aid

Potato growers in Northern Ireland whose incomes have been directly impacted by the pandemic will receive financial aid, the government has announced. FarmingUK reports that the Covid-19 support package will contribute towards the verifiable losses incurred by farmers and growers during periods of lockdown. The financial aid will help to address the cash flow difficulties and financial impact of losing valuable markets.
5/6/2021

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‘Perfecting Potatoes Together’: BASF opens forum for potato growers

Agri-chemical company BASF has launched a new initiative to help UK growers unlock the potential – and the profits – of their potato crop. Titled, ‘Perfecting Potatoes Together’, the initiative provides a platform on which the potato industry can come together to share experience, know-how and passion for developing and perfecting healthy potato crops.
5/6/2021

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Register now for Europatat Congress 2021

Registration is now open for the upcoming annual Europatat Congress that will be hosted on Thursday, 10th of June in a virtual format. With the slogan “Stay connected – new strategies for the potato sector”, this special edition of the Congress will explore how the potato sector can benefit the most from modern day digitalisation. Opening a two-hour virtual event moderated by Jean-Paul Judson (Founder of Nowmore), the Digital Expert Ömer Atiker will give an energising and inspiring keynote speech on how to use new digital possibilities in potato companies.
5/5/2021

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Aussie couple goes to market with world first compostable potato-based cling wrap, pallet wrap

A young Australian couple have thrown in their day jobs as an architect and wine maker to tackle ‘the plastic problem’ after being disheartened by the sheer amount of waste in their industries. Julia and Jordy Kay are producing the world’s first compostable cling wrap and pallet wrap which is made out of potato waste. The Melbourne couple sold more than $30,000 of ‘Great Wrap’ in their first week. The next product will be the pallet wrap which will be made from the potato waste as well.
5/5/2021

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Chris Voigt: Challenging conditions remain for Washington state potato growers

Despite a sense of that the end of the pandemic may be in sight, a host of challenges remain before potato growers in Washington state. Chris Voigt, Executive Director for the Washington state Potato Commission told Glenn Vaagen of PNW Ag Network that one of the biggest challenges is not in the field, but after the spuds are pulled during harvest. He said several Washington growers were offered a pricing contract this year that was roughly 3%-3.5% smaller than a typical year.
5/5/2021

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Late blight studies reveal evolution of potato disease in Europe and Asia

Plant scientists at the James Hutton Institute are studying the evolution of late blight in potato by working with industry and research partners to track the distribution and diversity of dominant clones in Europe in 2020, and have also contributed to a review into the development of the disease in Asia in the last 150 years, as part of global efforts to improve the sustainable production of healthy potato crops.
5/4/2021

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Buds with spuds: Why Newfoundland is banking on potatoes for food production

At a ceremony this week that celebrated small farmers taking big leaps, the Newfoundland and Labrador government has put the potato as front and centre to its approaching deadline to double food production in the province by 2022. There, three farming operations were allotted 700 acres between them as the successful bidders for Crown land leases specifically designated for large-scale potato production.
5/4/2021

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Meet ‘Tom’, a world-first commercial monitoring robot to do non-chemical ‘per plant weeding’

Small Robot Company (SRC), a British agritech start-up for sustainable farming, today announced its first commercial robot, ‘Tom’. SRC’s first service using Tom will be per plant weeding, a world-first milestone. This is now in field trials, with Tom scanning first arable crops to detect weeds, and robot weeding prototype ‘Dick’ then zapping individual weeds with electrical ‘lightning strikes’, using no chemicals.
5/3/2021

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What’s next for the frozen food trend?

After a stunning year of growth for frozen food, Specialty Food magazine looks into where the thriving sector will go from here. The resurgence of the freezer shows that time-pressed shoppers are looking for simple meals that don’t compromise on taste: an area where the fine frozen food industry excels. Demand for frozen fruits, vegetables and herbs is on the rise. There is one area that has fared as well as the rest of the frozen and chilled food market over the past year: ready meals.
5/3/2021

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Maine potato farmers celebrate as Mexico lifts its ban on fresh US spuds

The Mexican Supreme Court unexpectedly voted on Wednesday to overturn a 2017 lower court decision banning U.S. fresh potato sales in most of Mexico. While it’s unlikely potatoes grown in Aroostook County will make the several-thousand-mile trip into Mexico, it’s still good news for Maine’s growers because western farmers such as those in Idaho and Colorado who market on the east coast now likely will start moving their crops south.
5/3/2021

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HZPC steps away from Solentum, Pessl to acquire ‘SolGrader’ and ‘SolAntenna’

HZPC Holdings B.V. announced last month that it will end the business activities of Solentum B.V.. Pessl Instruments GmbH will acquire some of Solentum’s products as of May 1, 2021, including the products SolGrader and SolAntenna. Herman Verveld, commercial director at HZPC says the company is pleased with the agreement and satisfied that customers can continue to work with Solentum’s products.
4/30/2021

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At long last: Mexico’s Supreme Court overturns decades-long ban on U.S. fresh potato imports

This week the Mexican Supreme Court ruled by a unanimous vote of five to zero in favor of overturning a 2017 lower court decision that prevented the Mexican federal government from implementing regulations to allow for the importation of fresh U.S. potatoes throughout the country. The ruling marks the end of a decade-long legal process that began when Mexico’s potato industry sued its government to prevent competition from imports.
4/30/2021

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Top seven noteworthy trends for fresh produce in 2021

The year 2020 has been unprecedented in many ways and has been extremely challenging for fresh produce suppliers, retailers, and shoppers, writes Raul Fernandez, President of Breakthrough Solutions, in an article published by Produce Business. Looking ahead, the following summarizes the top consumer trends for produce suppliers in the coming year. Fernandez identifies seven essential trends.
4/30/2021

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Yara Canada issues publication on potato nutrition

Yara has extensive crop nutrition knowledge created from more than 100 years of research and development in more than 150 countries around the world. To support the potato production industry in Eastern Canada, Yara’s expertise and findings of more than 40 local field trials done in 2020 have been brought together in one document: The Nutrition of Potatoes in Eastern Canada – 2021.
4/29/2021

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British Frozen Awards: Accolade for Lamb Weston’s ‘proper British chip’

Lamb Weston is utterly chuffed to announce that its runaway success, The Dukes of Chippingdom, have picked up the Silver Award for the Best New Side of Plate/Ingredient Foodservice Product in the 2020 British Frozen Awards. The Dukes of Chippingdom are Proper British Chips. Distinctively natural, gloriously golden, royally rustic, thick-cut chips – made from 100% British potatoes, they are more British than a British bulldog in a Union Jack waistcoat!
4/29/2021

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Biologicals: The next agricultural technology revolution

“Biologicals are tools for the sustainable agriculture of the future… Biologicals are a class of agricultural products that include biopesticides, biofertilizers, and biostimulants that are derived from natural materials, such as animals, plants, bacteria, or minerals,” writes Claude Flueckiger in this article published by AgoPages.
4/29/2021

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Extracting plant protein from potatoes: Branston breaks ground on new facility

Work has started on a new £6m facility at Branston’s site in Lincolnshire to extract high grade plant protein from potatoes. The UK potato supplier is working alongside B-hive Innovations as part of a collaborative project to improve potato crop utilisation. The commercial factory is the first of its kind in the UK.
4/29/2021

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EU frozen potato chip dumping deemed no threat to NZ industry

An investigation into the European dumping of frozen processed potato into the New Zealand market has been deemed as not being a material threat to the country’s potato industry, according to a new report. New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Interim Report said that while dumping had occurred, it did not require tariffs to be applied.
4/29/2021

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‘The year everyone learned to cook at home’: Side Delights shares data on home-cooking habits

While restaurants across the US continue to open, more Americans are still cooking at home more now than they did before the pandemic began. Consumers reported cooking slightly less than half of their meals at home before the onset of COVID-19. Not surprisingly, this increased to 66% in April 2020 and remained elevated at 54% as of August – which Cooking Light magazine referred to as “The year everyone learned to cook at home.”
4/28/2021

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Prince Edward Island Potato Board launches podcast: ‘Spudchat’

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board is excited to share with potato farmers and industry partners the launch of a new podcast, Spudchat. This weekly podcast is hosted by Ryan Barrett, Research and Agronomy Specialist, and will feature conversations with a variety of farmers, researchers, agronomists, and industry partners.
4/28/2021

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Canada’s Manitoba potato growers look for brighter 2021 after three challenging years

Beleaguered Manitoba potato growers are hoping for a normal crop this year after three consecutive years of adverse weather, unharvested acres, lower-than-expected yields and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Guarded optimism would be the best way to describe growers’ mood as they prepare for the 2021 crop amid weather and market conditions largely beyond their control.
4/28/2021

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Young duo to introduce Danish autonomous tractors to the UK

Two agricultural engineering graduates from Warwickshire are preparing to propel the UK into a robotic agricultural revolution, by introducing a new kind of robotic tractor from Denmark. their company is now the UK representative for the Agrointelli Robotti, a versatile autonomous robot, designed for solving multiple tasks in the field throughout the complete farming season.
4/28/2021

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Belgians ‘frite out’ over potato plant pollution, delay construction of Clarebout factory

In Belgium’s former coal-mining heartland, locals say the potato industry is the new top polluter. Eddy Wax reports for POLITICO that inhabitants of a small town in the French-speaking province of Hainaut are trying to stop one of the country’s largest potato processors from constructing a gigantic €300 million factory on their doorstep, which the company says will create hundreds of jobs in Belgium’s south, which has been economically hammered by deindustrialization.
4/26/2021

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ProCam: Four steps to minimise viral infection in potatoes

With aphid migrations predicted to start imminently in the South of England and two to three weeks later in Scotland, potato growers must adopt a range of integrated pest management measures to minimise the yield and quality-robbing effects of the viruses that these airborne insects transmit, writes Ken Fletcher, editor at The Scottish Farmer, in this article.
4/26/2021

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McDonald’s world famous fries: Here’s how they evolved in the past 50 years

It seems like most U.S. consumers agree that a McDonald’s meal is not complete without a side of hot, crispy, golden fries — a savory formula the Golden Arches has mostly preserved since it was first introduced decades ago. In 2020, the U.S. fast food chain used more than 3 billion pounds of potatoes — serving enough french fries to circle the equator 437 times if laid end to end, and make 22 round trips to the moon. But what makes them so addictive?
4/26/2021

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Coming to terms with the virus issue: An integrated approach for PVY

Seed potato producers are leaving no stone unturned to slow the proliferation of virus in British stocks, with straw mulches and mineral oils set to compliment systemic insecticides as part of a robust integrated pest management (IPM) strategy this year, write Rob Jones and Lucy de la Pasture in this in-depth article, published by crop production magazine (CPM).
4/25/2021

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‘The Queen of Potatoes’: Nora Olsen named 2021 Spudwoman of the Year

Just saying North American potato production has benefited from the efforts of Nora Olsen would be an understatement. For her continued dedication to the potato industry, Nora Olsen was named the 2021 winner of the Spudwoman of the Year award by Spudman magazine. “She is the queen of potatoes, especially related to storage,” said Silvia Rondon, Oregon State University professor and Extension entomologist specialist.
4/25/2021

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