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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

New report: Lamb Weston affirms commitment to sustainability, reducing agriculture footprint

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. issued its second annual Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) report this week, which included new 2030 ESG goals. The company also announced that in partnership with European joint venture Lamb Weston / Meijer, the organizations have committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and will align carbon emissions targets to support the United Nations Paris Agreement.
6/17/2021

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Canada: Alberta potato crops look good, despite unwanted heat

This year is looking good for Alberta’s potato growers, but the recent scorching temperatures are “bad for man, crop and beast,” the head of the provincial association told Alex McCuaig of Medicine Hat News. “It’s hard on the crops,” said Terence Hochstein, executive director at Potato Growers of Alberta.
6/16/2021

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Washington state potato growers look to Mexico for export recovery

In 2020, Washington potato growers faced a staggering surplus of potatoes. In 2021, they’re banking on a revival of the food service industry, including in-person dining, improved shipping conditions and a just-opened Mexican market to help reverse the chaos left by the trade wars and Covid-19 pandemic. While markets normalize and consumer spending shifts back to spending on restaurants and services, there’s a lucrative spot on the potato horizon: Mexico.
6/16/2021

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‘Time to rethink virus control in seed crops’

Trials are underway in Aberdeenshire aimed at rethinking the approaches growers take to controlling virus in seed potato crops, writes Dr Philip Burgess in this article published by The Scottish Farmer. He writes that the seed potato sector in Scotland underpins the whole of the GB potato industry, as well as exporting high-quality seed around the world. The natural advantages of the climate, which reduce the numbers of aphids which can carry virus, are well known.
6/16/2021

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President and CEO of McCain Foods: ‘To save the world, start with fixing how we grow potatoes’

“It all begins on the farm. That plate of french fries you are about to enjoy began as a potato, grown and harvested from a family farm. Farms have always been at the heart of McCain Foods’ business. The success we have had is only possible because of what happens on the family farms with which we are fortunate to partner. But we need to have a frank discussion about the future of farming.” So says Max Koeune, President and CEO of McCain Foods in this article published by the Toronto Star.
6/16/2021

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Researchers say Irish potato famine pathogen stoked outbreaks on six continents

North Carolina State University researchers continue to track the evolution of different strains of the plant pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine in the 1840s, which set down roots in the United States before attacking Europe. NC State plant pathologists studied the genomes of about 140 pathogen samples – historic and modern – from 37 countries on six continents to track the evolution of differing strains of Phytophthora infestans, a major cause of late-blight disease on potato and tomato plants.
6/16/2021

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Australian potato farmer’s sustainable farming focus

If you’ve been on the land for four generations already, you want to make sure you keep it going for the next one. In southern Victoria, Blowhard potato farmer Gary Crick is making sure he’s using the most sustainable practices so his farm can stay competitive, and to leave a strong legacy for his son, writes Alex Ford in this article published in The Transcontinental.
6/16/2021

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UK: ‘Blight control for today and tomorrow’

Blight is the bane of potato growing and experts warn that, long-term, pressure in the UK is only set to rise. Agronomist and Arable Farmer asked a specialist agronomist, a grower and a crop protection manufacturer about best-practice now and in the future. Together with his business partner at Spud Agronomy, John Sarup, is responsible for over 11,000 acres of potatoes across Northern England up to the Scottish Borders.
6/16/2021

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McCain Foods’ tech innovation in Australia reduces water use by more than 100,000 litres per day

McCain Foods has installed its proprietary world-leading, technology in the form of a Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) generator, as part of the company’s latest upgrade to its Smithton plant in Tasmania, Australia. The PEF generator is another example of McCain’s commitment to producing more with less, as the $1.8 million project, which incorporates McCain’s proprietary technology, results in potatoes being pulsed with an electric field rather than steamed, slashing the plant’s energy and water usage.
6/16/2021

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Food service sector re-opens in Ireland; European processors exported record volume of product

The food service sector begins to slowly re-open as outdoor dining returned last weekend, according to the latest market report by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA). European processors exported a record 184,000 tonnes of product in March.
6/16/2021

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McDonald’s french fries, carrots, onions: All of the foods that come from Bill Gates farmland

They own the soil where the potatoes in McDonald’s french fries grow, the carrots from the world’s largest producer and the onions that Americans sauté every night for dinner, according to this report by April Glaser for NBC. In Washington, the Gateses own more than 14,000 acres of farmland that includes potato fields so massive that they are visible from space and some of which are processed into french fries for McDonald’s.
6/16/2021

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‘Farms of the Future’: McCain pledges to use only regeneratively-farmed potatoes by 2030

As part of today’s release of McCain’s 2020 Global Sustainability report the company is pledging that it will be implementing regenerative agricultural practices across 100 per cent of its global potato acreage by 2030. This transition will restore and protect soil health and quality and look to natural processes to control pests, prevent plant disease and strengthen crops against severe weather events.
6/10/2021

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Certis USA rebrand to reflect biological crop protection solutions

Against the backdrop of 20 successful years as Certis USA, the company this week announced a brand change to Certis Biologicals. The company says in a press release that the new brand acknowledges the importance of biological-based crop inputs to farmers around the globe and cements the company’s legacy of leadership as manufacturer, supplier and innovator of biological crop protection solutions.
6/10/2021

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Multi-year project in Maine to improve soil health, potato yield and quality

Good soil is fundamental to growing healthy, productive, and profitable crops. Jay Hao, Professor of Plant Pathology for the University of Maine, is working to reduce pathogens and improve soil health, by planting rotational crops after potatoes. “Because the tubers stay in the soil, you face a lot of soil borne pathogens. That can cause a lot of diseases. So instead of controlling one disease versus multiple, we do the integrated way by using different crops as a nutrient input and also as a disease suppression strategy.”
6/9/2021

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Potatoes USA looking for new Board Members

Potatoes USA announces nominations are now open for new Board Members for the 2022-2025 term. The board is seeking nominees to fill a total of 58 open seats for producers from several states in the U.S. All state potato organizations have received the information and materials to begin the process of seeking and nominating interested growers.
6/9/2021

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Webinar: How to use artificial intelligence to quickly analyze data related to potato bruising and browning

During an upcoming webinar a team of researchers at JADBio will demonstrate how they applied the company’s Automated Machine Learning (AutoML) solution to quickly analyze a complex set of data during a recent project with different potato varieties. The researchers were able to successfully predict potatoes’ susceptibility to bruising as well as the potato samples’ potential for coloration during chip/crisp processing. The webinar will be presented by experts at JADBio, in partnership with Potato News Today.
6/9/2021

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First-of-its-kind organic ‘Sport Spuds’ said to be a game-changer for athletes

Atlanta is now home to ‘Sport Spuds’ – a new woman-owned business founded by endurance athlete, entrepreneur and professional violinist, Alison James. Boasting the “power of the potato,” Sport Spuds and its first-of-its-kind organic sports nutrition product line mark the realization of a dream 12 years in the making. Boasting three simple ingredients, Sport Spuds are non-GMO, non-dairy, gluten free and vegan.
6/8/2021

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Modern-day air systems for potato equipment: ‘Cushioning the blow’

Approximately 95 per cent of LOCKWOOD’s equipment uses an air system. The company utilizes air in planting, harvesting, and handling and cleaning equipment. Air systems offer growers many benefits. For example, they are gentler on potatoes than mechanical systems, they’re user-friendly and low maintenance as there are no moving parts involved but simply an air stream, and they’re accurate and efficient. There are a few other systems out there, but the most economical uses air.
6/8/2021

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Meijer Potato installs Soil Scout sensors

In a first for Soil Scout in the UK, the company reports that Meijer Potato have recently installed Soil Scout sensors in various key locations around the country. This is the first growing season that Meijer will be monitoring underground soil conditions in their fields and Soil Scout is extremely proud that they have chosen the Soil Scout solution to provide this highly beneficial data. Max Tarneberg, International Product Manager for Meijer Potato said: “We have installed Scout sensors into our fields so we can learn more about how soil moisture and salinity and temperature can affect the quality of our overall product.
6/7/2021

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Spray coverage crucial in crusade against blight, says potato specialists

With resistance to fluazinam now established in the blight populations in the UK and a continuing shift towards more aggressive P. infestans populations such as 36_A2 and 37_A2, a robust resistance management strategy is essential to safeguard crops. SRUC specialist in blight epidemiology Dr. Ruairidh Bain, believes that spray coverage is one of the key factors of the blight control programme that needs to be improved to protect potato crops.
6/7/2021

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Why an integrated approach is key to tackling potato virus Y threat

Potato Virus Y is dealt with by a zero-tolerance policy at Albanwise Farming in North Yorkshire in the UK, where the specialist operation has 40ha of processing ware and 360ha of seed potatoes in the ground for 2021, consisting of 31 different varieties. “It has to be a belt and braces approach, but it doesn’t have to be all about insecticides. There are other ways to keep the guard up and we are making use of a whole range of techniques,” says Tom England, the company’s seed potato production manager.
6/1/2021

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£2 million pandemic support package for potato growers in Northern Ireland

New details of a £2 million Covid-19 support scheme for potato growers in Northern Ireland impacted by the pandemic has been announced. They must complete an online Expression of Interest form by 11 June to register for the scheme and request an inspection of all potatoes held in their stores. The financial support package comes in response to the significant reduction in demand for potatoes from the hospitality and food service sector.
6/1/2021

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UPGC reports on Canadian potato crop progress, upcoming Crop Transition Conference

Potato growers everywhere always look forward to cleaning off the slate and starting a new crop, says the general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC), Kevin MacIsaac, in the latest potato crop update for Canada. MacIsaac notes that planting in Western Canada is winding up, while growers in the Atlantic region are in full planting mode. He also reports details on the upcoming Crop Transition Conference, to be held on Monday, June 14th beginning at 1:00 CDT in Fargo, North Dakota.
6/1/2021

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How to become a ‘potato grad’: Potatoes USA explains

Potatoes USA’s complimentary online curriculum, “Potato University”, is designed for busy foodservice professionals who want to learn more about how to incorporate all types of potatoes – from fresh, to frozen, to dehydrated—into the menu. These online classes are an excellent resource packed with valuable potato insights, and they can be taken any time at one’s own pace. “Anyone interested in learning more about U.S. potatoes can take this self-paced course,” explains Kendra Keenan, Global Marketing Manager, Foodservice at Potatoes USA.
6/1/2021

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Blight fungicide and application trials at Eurofins

Michael Tait, Syngenta Technical Manager and Harry Fordham, Syngenta New Farming Technologies Lead present the 2020 Syngenta trials at Eurofins in this video published on the SyngentaUK YouTube channel. Tait and Fordham report on blight fungicide activity and new application advice for the Syngenta 3D90 nozzle, delivering outstanding efficacy, along with 90% drift reduction.
5/29/2021

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Canada backs down from full imidacloprid ban, but adds restrictions

Canada’s pesticide regulator said last week that farmers could keep using the chemical imidacloprid to control crop-destroying insects under stricter conditions, softening an earlier proposal to ban it. Farmers use imidacloprid to protect fruits and vegetables from aphids and beetles. The PMRA stated on May 19 that in-furrow application for root and tuber vegetables, including potatoes, was cancelled. This was due to the maximum application rate being reduced to 100 g a.i./ha. Potato foliar applications have been reduced to one per season.
5/29/2021

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The ‘touchy-feely’ potato: Researchers developed bio-sensor to detect early signs of plant stress

In an effort to increase agricultural productivity and limit waste, a team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU)’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment developed a method to detect signs of stress before potato plants are damaged. By employing genetic engineering, the team introduced a new gene coded to a fluorescent protein that reports the level of reactive ‘oxygen specieses’ – highly reactive molecules whose accumulation signifies stress responses.
5/29/2021

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Export enthusiasm tempered: U.S.-Mexico potato battle takes another turn

The excitement that U.S. potato growers felt following an April 28 decision by the Mexican Supreme Court to open up that entire nation to fresh potato exports from the United States has been blunted somewhat. According to leaders of the Idaho and U.S. potato industries, the group that represents Mexico’s potato industry could be attempting to throw up a roadblock that could slow down or potentially stop the importation of fresh U.S. potatoes into all of Mexico.
5/27/2021

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Crop4Sight releases innovative irrigation scheduling tool

Crop4Sight’s online and mobile digital toolkit is designed to help growers maximise saleable potato yields and was launched as a commercial service in 2020. With a strong research and development pipeline, Crop4Sight is pleased to announce the release of its easy to use potato irrigation scheduling tool. The new irrigation schedule tool uses a state-of-the-art potato specific water balance model. The tool delivers convenient irrigation schedules whenever a grower requires them.
5/27/2021

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‘Native potatoes: From forgotten crop to culinary boom and market innovation’

Once neglected by urban consumers, Andean native potatoes are now essential ingredients for some of the most sophisticated gastronomy of the world, according to the authors of this article, published in Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues. André Devaux, Guy Hareau, Miguel Ordinola, Jorge Andrade-Piedra, and Graham Thiele write, “from colored chips to delicacy vegetables and even liquors, new products are making their way into high-income market niches.”
5/26/2021

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Yummy: How potatoes are eaten in 28 countries around the world

Humans have been cultivating potatoes for 10,000 years. Beginning in South America in 8000 BC, potatoes have taken root in almost every culture on the planet. A super-versatile vegetable, potatoes can be found in Belgium’s salty, crispy fries; Indonesia’s sweet and spicy sambal goreng kentang; and Ecuador’s fluffy, cheesy llapingacho. From pairings with fried onions and red chilies in Bangladesh to cheese curds and gravy in Canada, potatoes are part of diets across the globe.
5/26/2021

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Syngenta publishes ‘Potato Agronomy Guide 2021’ for British growers

Syngenta in the UK recently published its annual agronomy advice guide with tips and recommendations suited for potato growers in the UK. Some of the topics discussed in the guide include: Soil pest management, nematicide stewardship, seed and soil pathogens, maintaining blight protection, biostimulant benefit from Syngenta science research, and more.
5/26/2021

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European potato outlook: Planted area expected to be down, processors anticipate increased demand

As plantings for the 2021 potato crop in North-western Europe is wrapping up, the NEPG reports that the final planted potato area within the NEPG region (EU-4) will most likely be reduced by 3 to 5 percent. The so-called EU-4 countries include the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. NEPG says this is an absolutely historical event. The free market is in a bullish mood, as processors expect some kind of boom or at least an increase in demand in the coming weeks and months.
5/23/2021

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AVR’s Ceres 440 gathers planting data from Potato Europe demo fields

Last month, equipment manufacturer AVR provided one of its newest, cloud connected Ceres 440 planters to the Potato Europe organisation to plant the demo fields for the coming Potato Europe 2021 event in Lelystad, the Netherlands. The four-row 440 planter neatly planted the trial plots under the watchful eye of the Noordoostpolder mayor, sending its real-time planting information live to the digital AVR Connect platform.
5/23/2021

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New Lamb Weston plant expansion to result in more contracted potato acres

An expansive new addition to the Lamb Weston plant in American Falls will produce chopped and formed products such as potato patties and potato puffs, according to a corporate press release. The new facility will commence with production in early 2022. American Falls potato farmer Kamren Koompin said the plant expansion should also result in more contracted potato acres, providing an outlet for using undersized spuds that don’t the make the grade for other uses.
5/23/2021

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Tyrrells Crisps set to reduce carbon emissions by over 14% with switch to liquefied natural gas

One of the UK’s largest potato crisp manufacturers, Tyrrells, has taken its latest step in a continued sustainability drive by converting its energy supply to liquefied natural gas (LNG) which will reduce its carbon emissions by over 14% per year. Tyrrells produces over 86 million bags of crisps every year. With high energy demands to consider, the company wanted to find a way of increasing efficiencies in order to lower its carbon footprint.
5/22/2021

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Frito-Lay consumer snacking poll: Memorial Day kicks off an anticipated ‘breakout summer’

Memorial Day on May 31 in the US is expected to kick off an anticipated ‘breakout summer’ as consumers catch up on activities they missed out on last year, and however and wherever consumers are celebrating, snacks will be plentiful, Frito-Lay says in a press release. Frito-Lay’s latest U.S. Snack Index, a poll focused on consumers’ snacking habits, found that eight in 10 indicated they plan many activities outside the house during Memorial Day.
5/22/2021

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Potato cultivation in Peru creates 34 million daily wages for small family farming producers

Potato cultivation has become a notable driver of regional and local economy in the potato producing areas in Peru. It generates intensive labor in Peru, which means around 34 million daily wages per season for small family farming producers, the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (Midagri) reported. “Although potato cultivation generates more than 110,000 fixed or permanent jobs, the most remarkable aspect is the creation of the intensive temporary jobs nationwide,” Midagri’s potato chain specialist Juan Miguel Quevedo says.
5/22/2021

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‘Potato Photographer of the Year’ competition returns for 2021

After the huge success of the inaugural competition last year, the Potato Photographer of the Year returns for 2021. The competition may not take itself too seriously, but like last year its proceeds will go to a very worthy cause – helping to tackle food poverty in the UK. Last year’s winner was Ray Spence, thanks to his inspired image ‘End of lockdown’.
5/20/2021

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Strong demand: U.S. potato imports continue to increase

Strong demand for potatoes and potato products and tight domestic supplies continues to drive increases in imports for the current (July – June) marketing year, according to Potatoes USA. The industry body says for July 2020 – March 2021 total imports are up 9%, led by an 18% increase in chips and a 15% increase in dehydrated potatoes. The two largest categories frozen and fresh potatoes are up 9% and 5% respectively, while seed potato imports are up 14%.
5/20/2021

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Storage specialist comments on weight loss and compression damage in potato stores

This season we are receiving a lot of reports of high levels of softening, dehydration and compression damage from potato store managers, says Adrian Cunnington, AHDB’s Head of Crop Storage Research at Sutton Bridge CSR. He says the problem could be associated with a number of factors, including Seasonal/climatic conditions, storage environment (temperature/humidity), poorer skin set (loss of diquat?), inadequate sprout control and more.
5/20/2021

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Potatoes exposed to heat stress: Hot spots point to targets for Quantis biostimulant treatment

Rising temperatures resulting from climate change is exposing more potato crops to the damaging extremes of heat stress more frequently. A study of trends has shown it is temperate climates, including the UK, that are bearing the brunt of some of the extremes in weather changes. However, analysing weather data on a more local level can indicate crops that are most at risk of heat stress, and how to adapt agronomy to cope, advocates Syngenta Head of Technical, Dave King.
5/20/2021

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When biologicals and chemicals meet: EPA approves world’s first three-way fungicide

AZterknot fungicide from Vive Crop Protection received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently. AZterknot fungicide is the world’s first three-way fungicide combination that harnesses the benefits of biologicals, the performance of chemistry and the ease of Allosperse. Allosperse is proprietary nano-polymer technology developed by Vive Crop Protection that allows previously incompatible products to be mixed and applied in one application, reducing fuel, time and water usage.
5/20/2021

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A unique vertical farm can produce 10 times more seed potatoes a year

Less than a year after the opening of the World-class Scientific Center “Agrotechnologies for the Future”, Russian scientists had a breakthrough: the first-ever vertical farm with dynamic LED lighting. They presented the first pre-production prototype of a vertical farm. The rapid seed reproduction facility combines state-of-the-art digital technology with organic farming techniques, and have grown healthy potato seed for further multiplication in the field.
5/20/2021

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The chips are down: Belgium counts the cost of betting all on the potato

A row over a huge potato processing plant has exposed flaws in the country’s reliance on a single crop. In Frameries, campaigners call for farmers to diversify. For three years, residents in Frameries, a town in French-speaking Hainaut in the south-west of Belgium, have battled against the proposed construction of a €300m (£258m) factory, which it is said would increase Belgian production of processed potato products by a third. Belgium is already the world’s largest exporter of pre-fried potato products.
5/20/2021

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End of an era for British agriculture? AHDB winds down horticulture and potatoes operations

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the levy board which represents farmers, growers and others in the supply chain in the UK announced yesterday it is winding down significant activities on behalf of the horticulture and potatoes sectors. AHDB says it wants to reassure levy payers their views have been heard following recent ballots in the two sectors. The board says in a statement it is now stopping programmes of work that could be restarted in the future by grower associations, individual growers or the supply chain.
5/20/2021

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Report: Insecticide resistance in aphids and virus management in potatoes

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

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

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

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

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

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HZPC Americas hires Jill Herold as key account manager

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

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