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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

AgroScout interviews renowned entomologist during conference event

AgroScout is an ag-tech company that aims to improve yield quality and quantity through visual inspection in the field. Representatives from AgroScout attended the recent Washington Oregon Potato Conference 2022 event. They joined by a special guest, Dr. Alan Schreiber, the owner and operator of Agriculture Development Group, Inc., (ADG) an agriculture research and consulting company.
2/6/2022

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Diversion of surplus potatoes: Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island to deliver funding

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, along with Prince Edward Island Minister of Agriculture and Land Bloyce Thompson, announced details on the Surplus Potato Management Response plan in a press release. As part of this plan, the Government of Canada will provide up to $28 million and the Province of PEI up to $12.2 million.
2/6/2022

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NEPG: Concerns about rising costs, contract prices

All inputs have shown rising prices in the last months, going from energy to fertilizers, plant protection products and construction prices but also machines and spare parts, the North-Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) organization says. The NEPG points out that costs of renting a hectare of land not only have gone up, but “potato land” is sometimes impossible to find.
2/6/2022

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Making clouds rain with electricity

“Get the hail off my crop and start making it rain on the plain with a plane”, farmers might be saying as new technology emerges. In mankind’s eternal quest to milk the clouds for rain, the latest and perhaps most promising technology involves a Cessna spray plane flying into clouds, releasing electrostatically charged water droplets.
2/6/2022

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Albert Bartlett launches search for little brother to ‘world’s largest spud’

Potato company Albert Bartlett in the UK is on a mission to track down #DougsLittleBro after the ‘world’s largest spud’ was discovered. Colin Craig-Brown, from Hamilton, New Zealand, found the huge 7.9kg potato in his vegetable garden last August, which went on to become a local celebrity in its hometown. Now the Airdrie-based potato brand have launched their #Dougslittlebro to dig up the spud’s sibling.
2/6/2022

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Scottish seed potatoes rejected by Egypt, industry ponders risks of international trade

A valuable cargo of premium Scottish seed potatoes has reportedly been turned back from Egypt, at a cost traders estimate to be in the region of £1.5 million. It is understood 1,500 tonnes of Hermes seed potatoes from five or six suppliers is currently in limbo in Alexandria, after the load was rejected by Egyptian authorities because it failed to meet a December export deadline by one day.
2/6/2022

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Truckloads of Prince Edward Island potatoes arriving at food banks across Canada

Truckloads of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) potatoes have started to arrive at food banks across Canada, part of an effort to distribute potatoes left sitting in Island warehouses because of the 10-week ban on exports to the United States. As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, the P.E.I. Potato Board is helping to co-ordinate the shipments, along with two of the country’s largest food bank organizations, with funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
1/27/2022

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Potato conference hears of more post-Brexit fears for Scottish growers

The loss of the European export market following Brexit represented a blow to Scottish seed potato growers, but the sector faces a number of additional challenges to its continued existence, a major potato conference heard yesterday. The lack of transport infrastructure and port facilities suitable to allow growers to secure new export markets, the inexorable rise in the area of land infected by potato cyst nematode were revealed as major hurdles faced by the industry.
1/27/2022

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‘Potato Field Guide: Insects, Diseases and Defects’ now available

The aim of this Field Guide, published by OMFRA in Canada, is to help growers, scouts and crop advisors identify diseases, insects, and other problems found in potatoes. The Guide was edited by potato specialist, Dr. Eugenia Banks. It includes 554 colour photographs.
1/27/2022

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McDonald’s Malaysia forced to ration fries amid global shortage

McDonald’s stores in Malaysia have been forced to deny customers large portions of chips due to a global shortage of frozen French fries. The lack of spuds means the fast-food giant is exploring ‘new distribution channels’ in a bid to return the popular item to their menu.
1/27/2022

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Turkish potato equipment manufacturer aims to become worldwide brand, expanding in North America

Özbil Agricultural Machinery Ltd was established in 1978 in a region centered on potato farming in Turkey. The company prides itself on producing custom manufactured machines suitable for the soils and the tractors in the region, and says it works closely with customers in the continuous development of its machines. Today, the company sells its equipment in 27 countries on 5 continents.
1/25/2022

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Canada is hashing out its canned potato problem and the reactions are hilarious

Canada’s spud conundrum is no small potatoes and it’s causing quite the commotion on Twitter. On Friday, January 21, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) tweeted a call-out asking for feedback. As Sarah Anderson writes on dished, they want to know: is it ok if they change the size of cubed and diced potatoes sold in cans?
1/25/2022

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French fry ‘war’ escalates in Japan with convenience stores now chipping in

As we’ve seen over the past month, the global supply crisis and other factors have taken a huge toll on the supply of potatoes scheduled for the thousands of McDonald’s locations in Japan. Now even convenience stores are getting in on the action with Ministop announcing the Bucket Potato, which boasts three times the regular amount of their X Fried Potatoes for 641 yen.
1/25/2022

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In search of ‘The Potatonator’: Where’s ‘Captain Canada’ on the potato crisis in Prince Edward Island?

Mike Nabuurs, P. Ag., of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, is a commercial and agri-business manager with one of the big five chartered banks and a past executive director of the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture. He wrote an op-ed piece on the potato wart ban in Prince Edward Island that was published by Saltwire today – here is a brief excerpt.
1/25/2022

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China: Potatoes in rice paddies?

A recent article published by a team of CIP scientists in the American Journal of Potato Research finds that integrating potato into rice farming systems in southern China can yield some benefits for smallholder farmers, but also brings some challenges that must be anticipated for achieving optimal yields. According to the article’s lead author, Lao Yu, a research assistant at the China’s High Latitude Crops Institute, rotating rice and potato crops in paddies generates both economic and ecological benefits.
1/24/2022

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'Doug the spud': Kiwi with giant potato goes viral in UK after hilarious interview

A massive Kiwi potato that is in the running to claim a world record has gone viral after the man who found it gave a hilarious interview to British TV. Waikato man Colin Craig-Brown in New Zealand spoke to former NZ broadcaster Philip Schofield on his popular This Morning breakfast show about the trials and tribulations of securing official recognition for his giant potato.
1/21/2022

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The ‘potato crisis’ at the heart of Algeria’s imploding economy

Increasingly, the economic hardship in Algeria is being measured by the shortage of a staple product that is a key ingredient in such national dishes as tagine or chtitha batata: the potato. Indeed, the price of potatoes has almost tripled on the Algerian market in just a few months, becoming a symbol of the nation’s deteriorating economic situation, stirring up anger within modest households and igniting the risk of street protests.
1/20/2022

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IFA: Quality issues arising in Ireland, processing sector on track in Europe

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says in its weekly update that reports from growers indicate indicate that quality issues are emerging around Ireland and saleable yields are significantly reduced as a result. Processing factories are running to capacity and sales of product within and outside Europe are now almost back to pre-Covid levels.
1/20/2022

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Tong raises the bar for big bag filling in 2022 with the new JetFill filler

Tong is pleased to announce its first new product development for 2022 with the launch of the new edition JetFill big bag filler. “The JetFill has always been a popular machine in our home and export markets,” says Charlie Rich, Sales Director at Tong Engineering. “With this in mind, the new JetFill has been carefully fine-tuned to incorporate enhancements to the machine’s proven design, as well as the introduction of the most advanced controls.
1/20/2022

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Smart soil bugs offer farmers an ecofriendly route to controlling diseases such as potato scab

An innovative method of controlling a range of damaging crop diseases using native, beneficial soil bacteria has emerged from a research-industry collaboration. The agri-tech innovation hopes to give farmers a way to reduce the cost and environmental damage caused by the chemical treatments currently in use to control crop diseases, such as common scab in potatoes.
1/20/2022

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LOCKWOOD announces two key associate position changes

Crary Industries today announced two new key positions for their LOCKWOOD Manufacturing business unit. Jim Balstad, LOCKWOOD Business Unit Director will oversee all business unit functions for LOCKWOOD including product innovation, grower support, sales and dealer services. Jared Fessenden, Parts and Service Manager (Idaho) will manage Parts and Services for both of LOCKWOOD’s Idaho locations in Paul and Blackfoot.
1/19/2022

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Prince Edward Island processing potatoes heading to Lamb Weston plant in Alberta

A Prince Edward Island company has brokered a deal to send as many as 700 tractor trailer loads of surplus P.E.I processing potatoes to Lamb Weston’s french fry plant in Canada’s Alberta province. As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, the deal was put together by Terry Curley of Monaghan Farms, who is part of a working group set up to deal with the potato wart crisis in Prince Edward Island.
1/18/2022

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Syngenta announces new solution to preserve quality of potatoes in storage

Potato growers in the U.S. facing post-harvest diseases now have a new option for protection during storage. Archive fungicide from Syngenta preserves potato quality in post-harvest. “Archive is a powerful pre-mix fungicide that will help growers combat the major storage pathogens that threaten their crop,” says Heather Ambuehl, post-harvest lead at Syngenta. “This post-harvest tool is one growers can incorporate into their decay management strategy.”
1/18/2022

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AUSVEG working with potato growers to monitor Ballarat storm aftermath

AUSVEG, and its State Member AUSVEG VIC, are monitoring the situation on-the-ground in Ballarat following reports that recent storms and wet weather have impacted much of the region’s potato crop. The region is an important supplier of potatoes, particularly for the processing industry. AUSVEG is reaching out to local growers to better understand the extent of the damage.
1/18/2022

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Puerto Rico supermarket shelves empty as Prince Edward Island potato supply dries up

Potato importers in Puerto Rico say they are not able to fill their orders to supermarkets on the Caribbean island because they can’t get enough supply to fill the void created by the export ban on Prince Edward Island potatoes. “We are in a bad, bad situation right now,” said Mark Antunez, president of Antunez & Son Produce, who has been importing from P.E.I. since 1988.
1/17/2022

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Biological crop control company Koppert reveals new branding inspired by nature

Koppert launched its new branding on Thursday. After nearly 30 years, the biological crop control company has changed its logo and visual identity. The new branding matches Koppert’s ambition and reflects the company’s connection to nature. With offices in thirty countries, the company’s biological solutions are being used in 100 countries all over the world.
1/17/2022

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EarthRenew: Regenerative products boost plant hormones, production of ‘healthier potatoes’

EarthRenew Inc, a Canadian fertilizer company supporting regenerative agriculture practices, today published positive results from its previously announced field trial collaboration between the company’s subsidiary, Replenish Nutrients, Lethbridge College, and Biome Makers. The company says its product Rebuilder showed in trials to boost the production of healthier potatoes free from common defects.
1/17/2022

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Dogs sniff out significant potato diseases in fields and storages

Andrea Parish’s dogs are saving potato farmers throughout the country big money by quickly sniffing out a couple of significant crop diseases. Her canine’s specialize in detecting potato virus Y and bacterial ring rot. Her lovable Labradors can positively identify infected spuds just 48 hours after inoculation. Parish, owner and founder of the company Nose Knows Scouting, has been working with her dogs in potato storages and fields from Washington to Maine.
1/15/2022

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As McDonald’s Japan restricts French fry sales, rival boosts fry sizes by 25 percent

In December, McDonald’s Japan announced that it would be suspending sales of all French fry orders except smalls due to a potato shortage. Now, rival Japanese fast food chain Freshness Burger announced it will be increasing the amount of French fires in its regular and large-size orders, as well as its combo meals, by 25 percent and without increasing the price.
1/15/2022

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P.E.I. Potato Board says Ottawa should reduce restrictions on domestic potato trade

The P.E.I. Potato Board says the federal government should reduce the scope of a ministerial order restricting the movement of Island potatoes across Canada while a ban on exports of such potatoes to the U.S. remains in place. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) met with its American counterpart, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency, as part of a regular technical discussion on how to find a resolution to the ban.
1/15/2022

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HZPC: The importance of healthy soil

HZPC says in a recent news article that the company’s growers know it better than anyone: a healthy soil is crucial for good potato growing. But a healthy soil offers more. It contributes to all the main pillars of HZPC in the field of sustainability. The talk HZPC had with grower Pieter Klaas Westerhuis from Usquert in Groningen, the Netherlands confirms this: “We don’t want to leave any problems behind for the next generation to solve”.
1/13/2022

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Adrian Cunnington of Potato Storage Insight to work with Juno and Biox-M

Juno (Plant Protection) Ltd is delighted to announce that Adrian Cunnington, widely respected former head of the Sutton Bridge potato storage research facility, has agreed to work with Juno to support growers, store-keepers, agronomists and foggers in delivering optimum efficacy from the use of Biox-M. Biox-M is 100% spearmint oil, approved for use as a potato sprout suppressant.
1/13/2022

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Canada’s ‘Manitoba Potato Production Days’ event cancelled

Manitoba Potato Production Days (MPPD) has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a Jan. 7 announcement says. It had been scheduled to happen Jan. 26 and 27 in Brandon, Manitoba. The Manitoba government announced on Jan. 7 it would be extending current public health orders, which are in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, until Feb. 1.
1/13/2022

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‘Once in a generation disaster’: Australian potato farmer tells of devastating rain and hail damage

There are fears of a potato shortage after wild weather lashed the Ballarat region in Australia last week, causing millions of dollars of damage to crops. Clarkes Hill potato farmer of 40 years, Rodney Guthrie, says his area endured hail and 150mm of rain. 3aw.com.au spoke to Mr Guthrie.
1/13/2022

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Opinion: China’s ‘new money’ is the potato, thanks to COVID

“The Digital Yuan is no longer relevant. A new currency has been adopted by the People’s Republic of China. The Potato is its name,” writes Jeff Salle in an opinion piece published by CengNews. Salle writes that according to Charles Burton, a China watcher at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, university students in Xian prefer to pay for tutoring with potatoes rather than cash. Do you need cotton swabs in that 13-million-strong city in central China? The currency is potatoes.
1/11/2022

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‘A kick in the guts’: Ballarat’s potato crops severely damaged by extreme weather

Up to 95 per cent of the potato crops in the Ballarat agricultural district have been damaged by storms last week, as the state braces for more wild weather. As Jane McNaughton reports for ABC Rural, some farmers in the region were reporting more than 200 millimetres of rain from the weather event. Ballarat Potato Growers Association chairman Chris Stephens said hail defoliated juvenile crops, which were already delayed due to the wet and cold summer.
1/11/2022

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‘Think of farm data as your biggest ally,’ says John Deere’s Division Business Manager

Adrian Saenz presented last week during the Potato Business Summit, held in conjunction with Potato Expo 2022. Saenz is currently the Division Business Manager for the John Deere Agricultural & Turf Division within Deere. During his presentation, titled “Ag Technology Outlook”, Adrian Saenz highlighted the importance – and abundance – of data that modern commercial farmers are able to gather via technological means nowadays.
1/11/2022

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‘Finding a new direction for the potato industry’: 23rd Annual SACAPP Potato Growers Conference

Organised by Scotland’s Rural College, the 23nd annual conference of the SAC Association of Potato Producers (SACAPP) will take place on Wednesday January 26, 2022. The conference will be virtual only due to COVID restrictions, according to the organisers. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Finding a new direction for the potato industry’.
1/11/2022

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Govt of Canada created committee to look into Prince Edward Island potato trade ban

The Government of Canada says in a press release it is “committed to restoring market access for PEI fresh potatoes to the United States and supporting PEI farmers impacted by trade disruptions.” To that end, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced the creation of the new Federal Ministerial Coordinating Committee on PEI Potatoes with the objective of “enhancing coordination and collaboration across the federal government to respond to concerns and find solutions.”
1/11/2022

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Prince Edward Island potato farmers lobbied government on export ban during virtual meeting

CBC News reports that more than 100 potato growers from across Prince Edward Island in Canada met virtually Friday with the Island’s four members of Parliament to discuss the ongoing potato wart crisis and what federal politicians can do to get the U.S. border reopened to fresh potatoes.
1/10/2022

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McDonald’s Japan’s French fry rationing extended for about another month

As we approached the end of last year, fast food fans were hit by the news of a French fry shortage in Japan which has most notably affected the chain McDonald’s. For a week the restaurant limited sales to only small-size orders of fries, which are called “Mac Fry Potato” in Japan. At the time, the rationing was attributed to delays caused by the ongoing global supply chain crisis as well as large-scale flooding in British Columbia, Canada, where the potatoes are imported from.
1/10/2022

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AgroScout acquires assets of TerrAvion, broadens imagery capabilities in agro-data management

AgroScout agro analytics platform announced today that it acquired the assets of TerrAvion, a market leader in imagery data management for agriculture. The acquisition fuels AgroScout’s high-resolution agriculture aerial imagery capabilities and agro data artificial intelligence for a wide range of crops. Clients will have access to a powerful combination of aerial and satellite imagery products and precision agriculture services for their fields.
1/10/2022

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Global supply crisis: A growing shortage of french fries, from Japan to Kenya

As Miriam Berger reports in an article for The Washington Post, a number of popular items, including marmite and cream cheese, have faced scarcities amid supply chain disruptions wrought by the coronavirus pandemic and extreme weather. Potatoes are the latest to join the list, becoming unevenly available in some countries and fast-food chains because of a confluence of factors.
1/10/2022

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John Deere reveals fully autonomous tractor

During a press conference at CES 2022, John Deere revealed a fully autonomous tractor that’s ready for large-scale production. The machine combines Deere’s 8R tractor, TruSet-enabled chisel plow, GPS guidance system, and new advanced technologies. The autonomous tractor will be available to farmers later this year.
1/10/2022

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Lamb Weston confident in strong long-term outlook for the global frozen potato category

Lamb Weston announced its fiscal second quarter 2022 results yesterday and updated its fiscal 2022 outlook. “We remain confident in the strong long-term outlook for the global frozen potato category, and believe that executing on our strategies and ongoing investments in our business will keep us on a path to deliver sustainable, profitable growth and create value for our stakeholders,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO.
1/7/2022

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2022 Potato Business Summit: European Market Update

At today’s Potato Business Summit – hosted in conjunction with the Potato Expo 2022 in Anaheim, California – Cedric Porter of World Potato Markets and Liam Glennon of World Potato Congress presented on the European potato market outlook. Mr Porter said it’s clear that processing usage has recovered in the last few months of 2020. The recovery in exports has been very much concentrated in exports outside the the EU, “which is probably a concern for exporters in North America”.
1/6/2022

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‘Bud’ the robot fries weeds with lasers instead of chemicals

Like “The Terminator” for weeds, the Carbon Robotics machine, dubbed “Bud,” rolls through farm fields using artificial intelligence to discern weeds from crops and using a high-power laser to kill the weeds. This lets farmers cultivate crops with less herbicide and reduced labor, improving crop yields and saving money.
1/6/2022

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Food technology company uses potatoes to create healthier processed meat products

Botaniline, an American food technology and innovation company, has created a healthier ground protein product line. By substituting a percentage of the meat with potato, Botaniline is able to achieve cleaner label processed meat products that are lower in sodium and saturated fat. The result is a reduction in sodium by up to 90% and a product that’s free of all allergens, gluten, MSG, TVP, and soy.
1/6/2022

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Potato prices for Idaho farmers are up, but so are input costs

The global potato market is tight on supply and farm-level spud prices for Idaho farmers are up substantially. But so are farm input costs and, with prices for other Idaho crops also up significantly, many Idaho potato farmers may be faced with some tough planting decisions in 2022, writes Sean Ellis of the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation.
1/6/2022

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USAID and CIP: Using science to revitalize Georgia’s potato sector

In 2019, the USAID Potato Program was launched, an initiative with a straightforward name and a straightforward objective: to give Georgia’s potato farmers the technologies, tools, and training they need to produce high-quality potatoes on a sufficient scale to compete with imports and drive economic growth in their communities. To help farmers overcome key challenges in the sector, USAID brought in the expertise of the International Potato Center (CIP).
1/6/2022

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