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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

Haith to double its presence at Potato Expo event

Haith is doubling its presence at this year’s Potato Expo, to be held next week in Las Vegas, January 14-15. UK based Haith Group, which has been designing and supplying innovative solutions for farmers, packers and food manufacturers since 1964, will showcase its full range of machines in Las Vegas at the Expo. In previous year’s Haith has exhibited alongside Fox Solutions, its agent in North America and Canada. This year, to double its presence at the event, Duane Hill, Haith’s sales director, will be manning booth 1210.
1/10/2020

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Key Technology acquires Herbert Solutions

Key Technology, a leading global designer and manufacturer of digital sorting, inspection, conveying and other processing equipment, and a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, has acquired Herbert Solutions, enhancing its portfolio of potato and vegetable equipment solutions. Herbert has established itself as a leader in serving the root crop and fresh produce markets with an assortment of industry leading sorting, washing and handling solutions. They are headquartered in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
1/10/2020

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Webinar: Feed the Future – Biotechnology Potato Partnership: Durable late blight resistance to South East Asia

The World Potato Congress (WPC) is pleased to be offering the first webinar in its 2020 series featuring Dr. David Douches on January 24, 2020 at 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (USA and Canada).  The Feed the Future – Biotechnology Potato Partnership (BPP) is a five-year, multi-institution cooperative agreement between MSU, USAID, Simplot Company and other global institutions to develop and bring to market improved potato products to low-income farmers in South East Asian countries.
1/10/2020

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Report: Potato Chips Market Overview in the United Kingdom

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘United Kingdom – Potato Chips – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of some of the report’s key findings. The revenue of the potato chips (french fry) market in the UK amounted to $686M in 2018, dropping by -4.6% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).
1/10/2020

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Potato pest-management seminar to look at trial results

Results of research trials funded by the Northwest Potato Research Consortium and other publicly funded research will be discussed as part of an upcoming potato pest-management seminar, according to a report by Capital Press. Jeff Miller, plant pathologist and principal with seminar host Miller Research LLC, said the trials looked at 13 measurements on eight varieties. Disease problems were fairly minimal last year for Idaho potato growers in general, Miller said. Temperatures weren’t as high as usual for much of the season, though heavy rains early on contributed to some isolated seed-decay problems.
1/8/2020

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Utz Quality Foods completes merger with Kitchen Cooked

Utz Quality Foods, LLC announced today that it has completed the merger with Kitchen Cooked Inc. The acquisition includes the Kitchen Cooked snack food brand, direct store delivery (aka DSD) operations and its manufacturing operations. The Kitchen Cooked snack food brand brings with it a range of fan-favorite potato chips, Kettle Kurls, Kettle Pops, popcorn, pretzels and more. “We are very excited about the opportunity to add this important snack food brand and set of capabilities to our portfolio,” said Dylan Lissette, Chief Executive Officer, Utz Quality Foods, LLC.
1/7/2020

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PepsiCo boosts Ethiopia’s snack market with majority stake acquisition in local crisps producer

The Frito-Lay and Walkers Crisps maker has acquired a majority shareholding of Senselet Food Processing, an Ethiopian potato crisps company founded by Veris Investments in 2015. Veris claims Senselet has a leading market position in Ethiopia with its Sun Chips brand, which uses locally-sourced potatoes. The Netherlands-based private equity firm says it set up Senselet to contribute to the development of the potato value chain in Ethiopia.
1/7/2020

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Idaho's net farm income up 50 percent for 2019; potato revenue up 15 percent

Idaho farmers pocketed 50 percent more profits in 2019 than during the prior year, according to a recent University of Idaho economic report. According to an article published by Post Register, the hefty gain in statewide net farm income was led by strong dairy, potato and sugar beet prices, explained UI Extension economist Ben Eborn, who co-authored the report with UI Extension economist Garth Taylor. Taylor presented the report’s findings to state lawmakers on Jan. 2. The combination of fewer planted potato acres, lower yields and poor 2019 harvest conditions, both in Idaho and nationally, have resulted in a tight spud supply and strong prices. Idaho potato growers will earn an estimated $1.1 billion in revenue for 2019. Idaho Falls farmer Marc Thiel — who grows crops including malt barley, potatoes for the fresh market and hay and also raises cattle — said 2019 was a good year and “the potatoes will definitely carry the weight.”
1/6/2020

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Earliest roasted root vegetables, similar to modern potatoes, found in 170,000-year-old cave dirt

Charred fragments found in 170,000-year-old ashes in a cave in southern Africa are the earliest roasted root vegetables yet found. The finding suggest the real “paleo diet” included lots of roasted vegetables rich in carbohydrates, similar to modern potatoes. “I think people were eating a very balanced diet, a combination of carbohydrates and proteins,” says team leader Lyn Wadley of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. In 2016, her team found dozens of bits of charcoal in an ash layer in the Border cave in South Africa. This ash layer is what is left from the fires of early people.
1/6/2020

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Patented sterile fogging system shows potential for growing seed potatoes

Seed potatoes are being grown aeroponically and in addition to being free from pests and diseases, are yielding more and costing less than when they are grown conventionally, according to a report by Farmers Guardian in the UK. These are the findings of Airponix, which has patented a sterile fog generation system which supplies all the nutrients and water needed by the potatoes. Anri Brand of the company says the fogging system is very low pressure. “We can do it economically and it allows the use of a lot less water.”  The fog droplets are said to allow each plant to receive the same amount of water and nutrients irrespective of where it is in the glasshouse, ensuring higher overall crop yields. The system does not require LEDs or other artificial light sources and follows the natural season with slightly earlier planting than for conventional potatoes at the end of February, says Barry Robertson, horticultural production manager at Airponix.
1/6/2020

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It took a court to decide whether Pringles are potato chips or not…

Chances are, you probably haven’t given much thought to that can of Pringles other than wondering “how do I get the last few potato chips out of the tube without greasing up my arms?” As it turns out, this salty snack has quite a story. It once was in the middle of a massive controversy that questioned the ingredients and whether the chips were actually potato chips at all. From 2007 to 2009, the makers of the “once-you-pop-you-can’t-stop” chips stood in front of three different levels of the British judiciary trying to defend the decision that Pringles chips were not — by definition — potato chips. Here’s how this comically complicated problem started.
1/6/2020

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Lamb Weston sees strong second-quarter sales volume growth

Improved sales volumes in Lamb Weston, Inc.’s Global and Foodservice business units propelled the potato processor’s net income up 18% during the second quarter of fiscal 2020, according to a report by Baking Business. Net income for the quarter ended Nov. 24, 2019, totaled $140.4 million, equal to 96c per share on the common stock. It was an increase when compared with the same period of the previous year when the company earned $119 million, or 74c per share.
1/6/2020

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Optimising combinations and timings could be answer to loss of CIPC

With a new decade of challenges and opportunities ahead in the potato sector, the 30th Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association (CUPGRA) conference at Robinson College in the UK focused on building business resilience. By using combinations of existing sprout suppressant technology and new physiologically-targeted treatments, the possibility to achieve equivalent results to chlorpropham (CIPC) is ‘within reach’, a new study has found.
1/6/2020

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Lockwood announces the Mobile TANK

LOCKWOOD Manufacturing announced the launch of the Mobile TANK, continuing their commitment to innovation in the potato equipment industry and boosting their 2020 product line up. The Mobile TANK continues the trend of self-contained mobility in potato handling offered by LOCKWOOD. While this impressive new piece of equipment coming in 2020 is designed to complement LOCKWOOD’s already efficient VACS Mobile™ and VACS-8, the Mobile TANK is a perfect addition for any pre-storage cleaning system. This new piece of equipment provides a controlled flow of product, allowing growers to maximize efficiency during harvest.
1/6/2020

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UK: How irrigation is changing on an AHDB potato demo farm

The economic and environmental costs associated with irrigating 440ha of potatoes at AHDB’s Strategic Potato (Spot) Farm North in the UK prompted a rethink on the best way to maintain product quality in the face of an increasingly unpredictable climate, according to a report published by Farmers Weekly. Keen to bring those costs down and prepare for the future, the existing irrigation system, based on diesel engines and guns, was torn apart and replaced, recalls farm manager Will Gagg of RJ & AE Godfrey in North Lincolnshire. As a result, the operating costs of the new system are now running at almost half what they used to be.
1/6/2020

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Viewpoint: Science denialism threatens the potential of gene-edited crops

The genetic revolution being ushered in by gene-editing promises to markedly improve our crops by making them resistant to drought, disease and insects, and by enhancing their nutritional content. At first blush, it might appear that foods engineered to address some of our nagging health issues would be widely embraced. Not so for the organizations that have demonized other GM crops as “unnatural” and potentially dangerous to human and animal health and the environment. Many of those groups are now turning their attention to newer crop breeding techniques.
12/15/2019

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China: Nice weather boosts struggling potato industry

According to a recent GAIN report (USDA), potato farmers in China are expected to reap a bumper harvest, with fresh potato production increasing by 5 percent year on year in marketing year 2019/20. Favorable weather in key growing regions will boost China’s processed potato production, particularly in the fast-growing area of frozen french fries. China’s additional tariffs on U.S. processed potato products will result in decreased imports of frozen french fries.
12/13/2019

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Chip makers’ experimentation with flavor pays off

Chip purchases are nearly universal with 94% of respondents to a 2019 Mintel survey saying they bought some kind of chips in the past year. Consumers gravitate to familiar brands and tastes and perceive chips as an indulgence, which may be a challenge to market expansion, but opportunities lie in new flavor combinations, functionality and healthy innovations.
12/13/2019

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Weather issues affect US potato crops

Weather issues during the 2019 growing and harvest season had potato prices soaring during the pre-holiday period, with little change expected after the first of the year, marketers said. A hard freeze swept into Idaho in October and affected some of the crop, although most spuds across the state had come out of the ground by then, said Ross Johnson, international marketing director with the Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission.
12/13/2019

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Canada: International Potato Technology Expo returns to Prince Edward Island

The International Potato Technology Expo returns to the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, on February 21-22, 2020. The event welcomes those who grow and package potatoes, together with the leading manufacturers of equipment and product solutions from across the Maritimes and beyond. The highly successful international event has been held biennially for more than two decades.
12/13/2019

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Australian potatoes explore Egypt

A trade delegation including Western Australian (WA) potato industry leaders toured Egypt in November, confirming the potential to export at least 10,000 tonnes of seed potatoes.  The delegation focused on connecting with commercial operators at all levels of the Egyptian supply chain involved in potato crisp processing. This visit followed a 2017 visit, which identified the market as having significant potential for WA seed potato exports.
12/12/2019

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Maine Potato Board preps for exciting season ahead

The Maine Potato Board is aiming to continue its winning streak by following up on last year’s very successful season with one that is nearly as good. “We’ve just been over a long harvest that went much longer than we hoped, but that being said, we got the crop out of the ground and I think it’s a quality crop and I don’t see any issues as far as storage, so I guess we’re pretty thankful that way compared to what happened across some other parts of the potato industry,” said Donald E. Flannery, executive director of the board, headquartered in Presque Isle, ME.
12/12/2019

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Canadian potato production in 2019 up by 2.4%

Statistics Canada has estimated Canadian potato production in 2019 to be up 2.4% or 2,472,000 hundred weight above the 5-yr average in Canada. With demand growing for potato products, growers in the spring of 2019 planted an additional 3.7% or 13,000 acres to meet these expansion requirements. Unfortunately, poor harvest conditions, particularly in Western Canada, have resulted in 20,296 acres being abandoned in farmers fields.
12/11/2019

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North America: Processed potato needs influence fresh market

The chip, frozen and other potato-processing businesses continue to touch the fresh industry, but that touch might be a bit stronger this year, marketers say. “We have all heard of the news in the U.S.,” said Ross Johnson, international marketing director with the Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission.  He noted the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported that, overall, the U.S. potato crop will be down 6%, compared to a year earlier.
12/11/2019

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New trade agreement good news for spud exports to Mexico

The recent approval of an updated trade agreement for North America is good news for U.S. potato growers who do business in Mexico, according to the top official with the potato industry’s lobbying organization.  National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles said Tuesday’s announcement of the signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement should “stabilize” potato exports to America’s southern neighbor. More than $250 million in U.S. potato products are currently shipped annually into Mexico, which is the third largest foreign market for U.S. spuds behind Japan and Canada, according to NPC.
12/11/2019

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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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