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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

Britain’s bi-annual Seed Potato Industry conference to be held online for first time

The bi-annual Seed Potato Industry event in the UK will for the first time be held online and delivered via the Hopin digital platform on Tuesday 24th November. This will take place between the hours of 9.30am and 5.00pm. The conference’s keynote speaker, Brendon Rockey, grows ware and seed potatoes for the North American market at his farm in Center Colorado. He does this at 7,600ft, with less than 6 inches of rain a year. He has met this challenge by developing his own ‘Biotic Potatoes’ system and carefully managing carbon exchange using a diverse range of cover crops and grazing livestock on them.
11/18/2020

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Potatoes at home in multicultural American cuisine

According to Jim Offner of The Packer publication, marketing to different ethnic and demographic groups in North America requires flexibility and a diverse portfolio of products, marketers say. Jim writes in a recent article in The Packer that packaging — or lack of it — is an example, according to Jessica Peri, retail sales manager with Yerington, Nev.-based onion grower-shipper Peri & Sons Farms. “We have found that most markets that cater to specific demographics purchase mostly bulk and not in bags,” she said. “This is preferred by most ethnic groups.”
11/18/2020

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European potato ‘dumping’ hurting New Zealand growers and industry

According to a report by Toni Williams for Rural Life in New Zealand, an influx of European potato fries into New Zealand has already impacted on domestic growers, with less product planned for growing and staff job losses. Latest figures were estimated at a surplus of 2.6million tonnes in Europe and growing due to the impacts of further lockdowns in parts of Europe.
11/18/2020

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COVID-19 and too much rain: A Florida farmer’s challenges mirror those that other farmers face

It’s been a year since First Coast News started following a local farmer, sharing with you his successes and struggles. When they started this story, First Coast News had no idea the troubles farmers would face because of a pandemic. This is the final installment in this story, showing how the weather is an age-old challenge for farmers and how Covid is something new. With a thousand acres of potatoes, spuds are the main source of income for the Jones family in Florida.
11/18/2020

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Researchers found biopesticide to be effective in controlling potato cyst nematode

Abamectin is a mixture of avermectins, acting as an insecticide by affecting the nervous system of and paralyzing insects. A team of researchers from Italy and Moldova took part in a research project to test the efficacy of the biopesticide Abamectin in the control of potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida. The research team concluded that their research shows abamectin to be effective in controlling potato cyst nematode G. pallida on potato crops.
11/17/2020

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Video: AVR puma 3 potato harvester on tracks

In this YouTube video you will see the Puma 3 in action during potato harvest 2020 in Europe. The video was uploaded yesterday on the YouTube channel of AgroMovie.
11/16/2020

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Wildflowers could control aphid-borne viruses in potatoes

Sowing wildflowers into potato crops could reduce aphid-carried viruses and offer an alternative to declining access to insecticides for growers, according to Scottish Agronomy. In Scotland, trials are being carried out to discover the effectiveness of growing flower strips in tramlines and headlands to promote natural predator populations to reduce pests as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy.
11/15/2020

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What a mess: Some British potato growers muddle through harvest after fifth-wettest October since 1862

Potato harvesting has once again been affected by wet weather, with widespread rainfall in recent weeks hampering grower efforts to get the crop out of the ground. According to the Met Office, the UK experienced the fifth-wettest October since 1862 last month. It included the wettest day on record for average rainfall (31.7mm) on 3 October. Key processors McCain and Lamb Weston both spoke of challenging conditions in East Anglia, parts of which saw close to 200% of their usual average rainfall in October.
11/15/2020

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Can horsetail weed extract become the source of a new biopesticide to combat late blight?

Scientists from Tyumen State University in Russia took part in a research study on how peptide extracts of medicinal plants affect the development of potato late blight. Horsetail extract is recognized as holding promise for combating it, and might become a main source for the development of a new biopesticide, the press service of Tyumen State University reported on Thursday. The results of the work were published in the journal Plants.
11/15/2020

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HZPC Americas Corp seeking key account managers

HZPC Americas Corporation is the North American seed potato partner of the HZPC group. The company is based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Canada’s east coast. HZPC Americas Corporation has an extensive research and development program as well as localized testing locations, which allows HZPC to develop potatoes varieties with direct focus on North American markets. HZPC Americas Corporation recently announced two vacancies: Sales & Key Account Manager – Fresh, and Key Account Manager – Processing.
11/13/2020

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Sustainability in practice: Nature-friendly farming reduces costs for South African potato farmer

Managing plant health and strict water monitoring have paved the way to success for AL 3 Boerdery in South Africa’s Limpopo province. CT van der Merwe spoke to Lindi Botha of Farmers Weekly about the production practices that keep his farming business profitable. Potato production at AL 3 Boerdery is spread across three provinces to ensure a 10-month supply to the markets. Farms in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape provide an annual harvest of between 55 000t and 60 000t, and achieve an average yield of 60t/ha.
11/13/2020

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WSU creates new endowed chair in soil health to support potato agriculture

Launching new research in support of Washington potato growers, Washington State University is partnering with industry leaders to study healthier, more sustainable and productive soils. Backed by a more-than-$3 million fund created by potato growers, processors, and suppliers, WSU’s newly created Distinguished Endowed Chair in Soil Health for Potato Cropping Systems will address priorities in irrigated agriculture, including the need to better understand and protect the soil we rely on to grow potatoes, a critical part of our global food supply.
11/13/2020

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Idaho potato industry bouncing back from COVID challenges

Idaho’s iconic potato industry suffered through a major scare due to the restrictions and shutdowns imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. But major efforts by the industry that were coordinated by the state and national groups that represent it have helped potato producers weather that storm. And one major silver lining of the challenge is that U.S. consumers have learned how important spuds are. That was one of the main messages during the Idaho Potato Commission’s annual, “The Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting,” which was held virtually Nov. 12.
11/13/2020

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Potato Industry Conference 2020: An online conference for the British potato industry

AHDB will host the Potato Industry Conference 2020 online on the 24th of November, Participants will meet keynote speaker Brendon Rockey who grows potatoes for foodservice, and seed potatoes for the North American market at Rockey Farms in Center Colarado. But he does it at 7,600ft, with less than 6 inches of rain a year.
11/13/2020

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Linuron gets the nod from Health Canada for weed control in potato crops

Linuron is a selective systemic herbicide registered for the control of annual and perennial broadleaf and grassy weeds in a wide range of cultivated crops, including potatoes. Health Canada recently completed a re-evaluation of linuron. Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, Health Canada has determined that continued registration of products containing linuron is acceptable in a handful of crops, including potatoes.
11/10/2020

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New Zealand govt department investigating frozen fries import threat

The New Zealand potato industry are relieved that the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) trade remedies team has now launched an investigation into the proven threat of surplus frozen fries being imported into New Zealand. This MBIE decision was based on the positive evidence the New Zealand potato industry provided in their application completed in September this year, as part of the Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ) Pandemic Industry Recovery Plan.
11/10/2020

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Ministerial spud: Jacinda Ardern’s Instagram post goes viral after she’s sent potato in mail

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, and there’s no doubt she ‘s-mash-ed’ the election. Her big wide smile is ‘ap-peeling’, inspirational messages ‘spud-tacular’ – and according to election results, 49 percent of Kiwis ‘rooted’ for her, writes Crystal Wu in a news story published by Newshub
11/10/2020

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HZPC’s first online Potato Days hugely successful; setting new standard for a new reality

The annual Potato Days event in Joure is a valued networking event attracting hundreds of growers and customers from many countries. This year, many more interested individuals from all over the world seized the opportunity to join the online Potato Days 2020, which took place live from a virtual studio, last Wednesday. At least 1300 people from the entire potato chain met each other in an interactive online setting where they experienced the event together. With Potato Days Live, HZPC says it sets a new standard that fits the current reality and the future.
11/9/2020

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Mister Bee Potato Chips celebrates Veterans Day with special chip bag

Mary Anne Ketelsen, majority owner and chief executive officer of Mister Bee Potato Chips, had a vision a year ago to design a new chip bag where a portion of the proceeds would be donated to a charity supporting Veterans and military personnel. As of Veterans Day 2020, Ketelsen has leveraged this special chip bag to contribute $100,000 to the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore to fund multiple programs to benefit military personnel and their families. Some of the donations are from the purchases of the chips and matching contributions were made by Ketelsen.
11/9/2020

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Potato store cleaning: British company offers specialized solutions

Fenkleen Hygiene Ltd in the UK has been carrying out specialist high level cleaning of potato stores and facilities for the last 35 years in East Anglia. With today’s regulations and accountability on the removal and reduction of CIPCs residue, it’s never been more important to carry the procedure out effectively and safely. Whatever method is being employed to carry out the cleaning, either wet or dry, store managers must take into account other contaminates that may be involved in the equation and its removal and factor that in to the process.
11/9/2020

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Canada: Southern Alberta producers happy with potato harvest

Potato growers from Alberta are pleased with this year’s harvest. They also seem to be finding ready markets for their product with local food processors, says Potato Growers of Alberta executive director Terence Hochstein. “It was probably one of our better harvests in a long time,” Hochstein confirms. “Mother Nature co-operated. We really didn’t have many delays. It worked out quite well for both the south and north [of Alberta]. The quality of the crop was very good, and it actually turned out quite well.”
11/9/2020

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Maine potato farmers expecting lower revenue for smaller crop

The rain that poured across Aroostook County in late September after one of the driest summers on record was too late to save the region’s potato farmers from a smaller harvest — down approximately 20 percent from last year. The reduced yields will drive revenue down for the potato industry, already struggling with decreased demand because of COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants and events. Maine producers normally grow nearly 2 billion pounds of potatoes a year, a hugely profitable industry centered in The County.
11/7/2020

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Potato Expo 2021 goes virtual

In view of on-going developments with COVID-19 and after thoughtful discussions with its Executive Committee and supporting companies, and through feedback via attendee surveys, the organizers of the Potato Expo 2021 event say they have decided to hold the coming event as a Virtual Experience only, held exclusively online. The show will take place on Tuesday, January 5 through Thursday, January 7, 2021. We believe this is the safest approach for the well-being of our attendees, along with their families, farms and colleagues.
11/7/2020

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US: Northern Red River Valley potato growers hit with back-to-back harvest losses

The farmers whose crops were left unharvested were waiting for rain to soften the dirt lumps so they wouldn’t bruise the potatoes, then temperatures dipped into the low double digits and froze, according to a report by Ann Bailey The dry fall that resulted in ideal harvest conditions for most Red River Valley crops wreaked havoc on potatoes near Grand Forks grown for the fresh market. From 1,600 to 2,000 dryland acres — those grown without irrigation — were left unharvested because fields were so dry that dirt lumps were bruising the potatoes, reducing the quality, said Ted Kreis, Northern Plains Potato Growers marketing director.
11/6/2020

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Pepsico opens new Lays chip production line in the Moscow region

According to the Ministry of Investments, Industry and Science of the Moscow Region, Frito Lei Manufacturing LLC launched a tenth production line in the city of Kashira. launched the tenth production line. It will produce Lay’s ® chips. The production capacity of the line is reported to be more than 5 thousand tons of finished product per year. According to Neil Sturrock, President of PepsiCo in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia,
11/6/2020

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Final Canadian crop report: Production well below average, but good harvest season

“As this final crop report of the season is prepared, potato harvest in Canada is complete in most provinces with the exception of Quebec,” says Kevin MacIsaac, General Manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). He writes that growers are about 90% done, and hopefully should finish up by October 31 as the weather forecast improves from the wet and cold conditions experienced over the last couple of weeks. Based on what is known today, Canadian Potato Production is substantially below that of 2019 and below the 5-yr. average.
10/31/2020

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Video: University of Idaho specialists conducting research projects on two seed potato viruses

Entomologists at the University of Idaho are leading ten state research projects focused on two viruses that can devastate seed potato farmers, according to a report by RFD-TV. In an interview with RFD-TV, Professor and project leader, Alexander Karasev says that one of their targets is potato mop-top virus, which has been found in six states. According to Karasev, “The second virus is potato virus Y. It can lead to a downgrade of seed potato loads, but also, a potato [infected with potato virus Y] may induce a disease which is called potato tuber necrotic ringspot disease, making fresh market tubers completely unusable.”
10/31/2020

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‘The future is now’: Kiremko Remote Service starts up new Moroccan french fry line remotely

In a new milestone experience for both Kiremko and Moroccan potato processor Fun Fries, the new french fry line that was installed last summer was eventually started up entirely remotely using augmented reality. When the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Kiremko’s engineers from boarding planes, a door was opened for a highly innovative solution that Kiremko developed: the Kiremko Remote Service. This service uses an advanced headset with camera, sound and monitor, an Internet connection and high-quality technicians on both sides of that connection.
10/31/2020

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Arable Focus magazine: Latest issue now available online

Arable Focus is an arable magazine covering a variety of AHDB-funded activities. The autumn-winter issue of the magazine has been published and can now be downloaded online. Two articles of particular focus on the potato industry include: “An overview of the increasing use of precision technology for monitoring potato crop behaviour” and “A look at the importance of integrated potato store management to the future of your potatoes”.
10/31/2020

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Belgapom announces major organizational changes going forward

Belgapom’s General Assembly decided to continue life as a non-profit organisation in future. In addition, a new board was elected. The new governing body extended Marc Van Herreweghe’s mandate as president. Romain Cools, outgoing secretary, was appointed acting CEO. Tom Vandenkendelaere informed the Belgapom president that he will not any longer accept the mandate to act as CEO of Belgapom.
10/31/2020

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BASF Canada receives registration for new wireworm control products

BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions received registration for broflanilide, its newest active ingredient from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). Broflanilide, the first IRAC Group 30 available in Canada, is an insecticide in two new unique products: Teraxxa F4 insecticide and fungicide for cereals and Cimegra for potatoes and corn. Both products will be available to Canadian growers for the 2021 season.
10/31/2020

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Study found that potato based diet does not disturb blood sugar control in diabetes

Researchers have found for the first time in a rigorously controlled clinical trial that people with diabetes don’t need to avoid potatoes. It is often said that potatoes with high glycemic index should be avoided by diabetics as they may adversely affect blood sugar. But the study indicates that glycemic index is not an accurate surrogate for an individual’s glycemic response (GR) to a food consumed as part of an evening meal. The researchers concluded that potatoes are a vegetable that is sustainable, affordable and nutrient-dense, and thus, they can play an important role in modern diets irrespective of metabolic health status.
10/28/2020

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Scotts introduces conversion kit for the GRIMME GT 170 harvester

Scotts Precision Engineering in the UK has launched an innovative conversion kit that allows owners of the GRIMME GT 170 trailed harvester to convert seamlessly to a fully functioning windrower without modifications to the host machine. Designed in response to local growers where the Grimme GT170 is their preferred choice of harvester, the Scotts GT170 Windrower conversion kit directly replaces the elevator module. As the kit is attached to the harvester through existing elevator fixing points, there is no need to modify the host machine and thus can be returned to its original set up quickly.
10/28/2020

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The Potato Field podcast: RJ Andrus of Idahoan Foods

RJ Andrus isn’t just in one potato field, he’s in many fields. As the senior manager of raw procurement for Idahoan Foods, Andrus works closely with contract growers to make sure there are always potatoes to process. He’s also a member of the National Potato Council’s executive committee. Andrus talks about his upbringing, challenges facing growers, his advocacy work and what it was like trying to find John Keeling’s replacement.
10/27/2020

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Ireland’s $1m thank you for Native American act of kindness during potato famine in 1847

Irish donations to a Native American community battling COVID-19 with limited resources have now topped $1m (£768,000), reports David Blevins, senior Ireland correspondent at Sky News. In 1847, at the height of the potato famine, the struggling Choctaw community had sent $170 (£130) across the Atlantic to Ireland. The act of kindness is remembered in Ireland.
10/27/2020

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Potato Virus Y: Specialist provides overview of testing facts, methods and interpretation of test results

Testing your potato seeds for Potato Virus Y (PVY) is an important step in developing healthy, disease-free crops. In this article Adrian Fox, Senior Plant Virologist at The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) in the UK, discusses what is involved in testing and answers questions (FAQs).
10/26/2020

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CIP scientists developing digital tools to optimize irrigation water use in potato production

Potato has good potential to help the world meet that challenge, since it produces more calories per liter of water than other major staple crops. Scientists at the International Potato Center (CIP) are trying to enhance that potential through the development of digital tools to optimize the use of water in irrigation. A team of researchers led by crop ecophysiologist David Ramírez has used a combination of conventional and thermal cameras to study how potato plants react to water stress. They also developed open-access software called Thermal Image Processor (TIPCIP) to analyze those images.
10/26/2020

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Smooth harvest, but short yield for Canada’s Manitoba potato growers

Manitoba’s potato crop won’t be breaking yield records, reports Alexis Stockford for Manitoba Co-operator. Then again, at least the crop is off the field. It has not been the case for the last two years. Producers were forced to abandon a significant portion of their crop in both 2018 and 2019 due to wet falls and damage from frost. Dan Sawatzky, manager of the Keystone Potato Producers Association, says 2020 yields have been mixed, although the harvest has also dodged those weather issues from last year. “Some are close to what they were anticipating or expecting, but the majority of them will be short, will be down,” he said. Some yields may be down as much as 15 per cent, he estimated.
10/24/2020

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McCain Foods US to support 750,000 meals for No Kid Hungry campaign

Following the announcement of McCain Foods US partnership with the No Kid Hungry organization, the company says on its LinkedIn channel that it is delighted to share that its financial donation will provide the equivalent of 750,000 meals. This donation is part of the No Kid Hungry ’s coronavirus response and recovery efforts that will help provide children with the most important school supply: Food.
10/24/2020

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Brexit: British seed potato sector on brink of EU and NI export ban

Britain’s seed potato sector is in turmoil, with just 10 weeks before exports to Europe and Northern Ireland (NI) face a total ban under a no-deal Brexit, reports Jonathan Riley for Farmers Weekly. As an EU member state, Britain has exported 30,000t of seed worth £13.5m to mainland Europe each winter. However, after 31 December, Britain will be classified under EU trade rules as a “third country” unless a trade deal is reached with the EU.
10/23/2020

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NEPG: Potato plantings in Northwestern Europe expected to decrease by a minimum of 15 %

The NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) estimates that the total harvest will be 27.9 million tons this season if all potatoes in the ground will be indeed harvested. In a press release the NEPG says the harvest is later than usual with all the risks involved and there are still some potatoes in challenging wet areas in Western Belgium and Great Britain. This is 4,5 % or 1 million tons more than last season in the 5 leading potato countries. The NEPG considers that the growers in the North-Western EU will plant 15 % less next spring.
10/23/2020

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US potato retail sales exceed 5-year records

Record potato sales continued at retail from July through September 2020, according to a news release issued by Potatoes USA. Total store potato sales are said to have increased by 13.6% in dollar sales and 10.6% in volume sales, compared to the same time frame in 2019. These sales levels are also the highest they have been for the past five years. Frozen potatoes showed the greatest increase compared to a year ago, with a dollar sales increase of 23.9% and a 19.7% increase in volume sales. The only category that declined compared to a year ago is deli-prepared sides.
10/23/2020

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Haith bags global enquiries after Facebook video goes viral

Haith Group has seen a resurgence of interest in its innovative bag filling machine after a video posted on social media was viewed more than one million times. The twenty second video which shows the Haith Supa-Bag 10 mobile bagging trailer filling ten one-ton jumbo bags was posted by the company last month. One week later, video views had exceeded 100,000, and the company had received seven sales enquiries from people in the UK, New Zealand, North America, Brazil and the Czech Republic. The already popular video was later posted by Pro Horizon and viewings rocketed to over one million.
10/22/2020

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Upcoming event: HZPC Potato Days 2020 Live

Potato Days in the Netherlands is an internationally known event on the annual potato industry event schedule. Every year in November, the event is organized by several companies, including potato breeder HZPC. This year the event will be hosted as a virtual event on Wednesday, November 4th. The theme is “Let’s connect!” Professionals from across the potato chain will come together from all corners of the world virtually to experience the latest potato varieties and to network. The digital domain offers potato breeder HZPC many opportunities to help even participants to connect in creative ways.
10/14/2020

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Brexit reality dawns for Ireland’s potato growers

The potato trade in Ireland has been warned to have all seed potatoes for next year’s crop imported from Britain by December 31, according to a report by Declan O’Brien, published in the Independent. A trade notice issued by the Department of Agriculture said imports of “certified seed and ware potatoes” from Britain will be prohibited from the end of 2020 when the UK leaves the EU. The notice “strongly encouraged” importers to have all shipments of seed potatoes and ware from Britain landed in Ireland before January 1.
10/14/2020

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GROPRO: Providing growers with the efficacy needed for an organic IPM program

The importance of organic production in the USA continues to rise with total sales of organic products in 2019 hitting $55 billion. Currently, it’s the biggest global market for organic products (# 2 is Germany and #3 is France). To meet this growing market demand, GROPRO. a USA based producer and supplier of bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers, has been approved for 6 OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) listed materials. With these certifications, GROPRO brings a wide and effective portfolio into the organic agricultural market.
10/14/2020

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Australia: Former plant protection officer delivers review into potato imports into Tasmania

Approval to grant a South Australian company a licence to import potatoes into Tasmania will remain unchanged following an independent review, according to a report by Caitlin Jarvis of The Exminer. Jarvis reports that former federal chief plant protection officer and plant pathologist Lois Ransom handed her findings into the controversial decision on Monday. Ms Ransom found the decision to approve a conditional import licence for “ware potatoes” – or potatoes for human consumption – to Mitolo Group was technically sound.
10/12/2020

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US: Ongoing drought shrinks Aroostook County potato yields

This year’s potato harvest was met with an unrelenting drought that diminished crops and tied up water resources for Aroostook County, Maine farmers. “We’re in trouble,” said Kevin Grass as he steered a 15-ton potato harvester forward while jotting down notes on the crop and monitoring his crew — tasks he’s come to master simultaneously over the last 30 years. “Our yields are way off.” Potato yields at Grass Farms are down a third this year, and its seasoned farmers point to the drought as the driving force. “I’ve seen dry spells but nothing like this,” said Duane Grass, 77, a third-generation potato farmer.
10/12/2020

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The Glasgow potato project bringing people together

Ada, husband Martin and their twins Gemma and Mark have spent this strangest of summers taking part in An Empty Gunny Bag Cannot Stand, an ingenious food-growing project dreamt up by Angus Farquhar and Rudy Kanhye of Aproxima Arts. It culminated in a fantastic harvest event, featuring music and performance by Mischief-La-Bas, and free chips. Ada Stewart adds: “This project has been a light of sunshine in months of uncertainty. The team’s determination and hard work to make this happen is a great inspiration for us and the kids.
10/12/2020

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Drought dries up potato harvest revenue in Canada’s New Brunswick province

With the harvest season underway, the impact of summer’s drought-like conditions is being unearthed in New Brunswick. Due to a lack of rainfall during the growing season, potato farmers say their yields are down significantly for fall 2020. reports Brandon Young, writer for CTVNewsAtlantic.ca. Like many industries, the potato industry has been hit hard during a most unusual year. The first blow came earlier in the year – caused by COVID-19 and restaurant shutdowns; the second came from Mother Nature with arid weather during the summer months.
10/12/2020

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