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Keep up to date with the latest HZPC news and global potato news.




Potato News

Subsistence potato farmers in South Africa became commercial farmers

An initiative between Eastern Cape state entities and Potatoes SA has turned former subsistence farmers into commercial potato farmers. The farmers at OR Tambo District, which includes Mthatha, Mqanduli and Ngqeleni, have multiplied their production volumes since the start of the mentorship and development programme three years ago.
7/17/2019

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Australia: New symptoms of disease blackleg disease observed in the AuSPICA Scheme

AuSPICA is the authority that provides certification of seed potatoes throughout Victoria, South Australia and Northern NSW (Guyra). In a recent report, the organization says new symptoms of the disease blackleg were observed in the AuSPICA Scheme for the first time in 2019.
7/17/2019

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Potatoes one of top high potassium foods

Bananas are a well-known source of potassium, but many other foods contain just as much — if not more — of this nutrient, including potatoes. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid and blood levels in the body. Many fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of potassium. Meat, milk, yogurt, and nuts are also good sources, but also potatoes. Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium.
7/17/2019

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Researcher shows how heat stress of potatoes can be mitigated with calcium applications

In one of his earlier studies, Dr. Jiwan Palta in the US showed that plants given calcium under heat stress had better plant growth and higher tuber yield, up to 30 per cent higher, as compared to plants with no supplemental calcium under identical conditions. “Therefore, application of calcium during the stress periods should help protect potato plant health and improve tuber yield and quality. Effective method of delivery of calcium to the potato crop would depend on the soil type and if the crop is irrigated or not. It is important to provide a readily available form of calcium during the stress periods,” Dr Palta says.
7/16/2019

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New discovery: This latest research discovery may just help potatoes resist heat

Potato plants don’t like heat. If it’s too hot, they form fewer tubers. Now biochemists at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany have discovered the reason. When the temperature rises, a small RNA blocks the formation of tubers. Researchers have also discovered how to turn off this RNA so potatoes are more heat resistant.
7/12/2019

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Grimme unveils new store loader

Grimme has introduced the new SL 716 store loader, which is said to be top of the range in its class. The machinery is 16.1m long and has a belt width of 65cm. So far, the company offered store loaders starting at 12m to 22m in length with electro-hydraulic drive.
7/12/2019

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Increased adoption of automation seen in the UK potato industry

Goplasticpallets.com has seen an increased adoption of automation in the UK potato industry. Much of this is based around systems developed and implemented by Deprez Handling Solutionsand using its GoPalletBox 1311S 3R – Europe’s largest plastic pallet box.
7/11/2019

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Britain’s largest field-based potato event to be held in August

Potatoes in Practice is the largest field-based potato event in the UK. The event brings together variety demonstrations, research and trade exhibits in one place making it an essential date in the potato industry calendar. In the field, you’ll find commercial breeders showcasing the latest varieties, agronomists demonstrating what’s new in crop protection and researchers discussing their most recent findings, all on hand to share their knowledge and give advice.
7/10/2019

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Aggressive new European late blight strain now detected in Britain

A surge in reports of potato blight across the UK has led experts to tell growers to give careful consideration as to how crops are protected through to the end of the season. AHDB Potatoes reported a sharp rise in late blight samples submitted for testing in late June once weather conditions favoured sporulation.
7/9/2019

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‘Retail pressure making potato farming unsustainable for growers’

Australian potato grower Matt Ryan says the supermarket giants and consumers are more responsible for low prices than processor Simplot. Tasmanian potato growers unanimously rejected Simplot’s price offer last week and are working to negotiate a new contract. But Mr Ryan said Simplot was the processor stuck in the middle of growers, consumers and retailers.
7/9/2019

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Celebrating a Polish hero who fed our children during Great Famine

A Polish nobleman who helped 200,000 Irish children survive the Great Famine is being honoured with an exhibition in Dublin. Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki arrived in Co Mayo in 1847 to spearhead a charity’s efforts to save the poor from starvation. “No pen can describe the distress by which I am surrounded,” he wrote in Westport in March that year. He succeeded in saving huge numbers of children by devising methods of feeding them in their schools in famine-hit regions across Ireland.
7/9/2019

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Tasmanian farmers fight for potato pay as Simplot records $62m profit

Tasmanian potato growers say Simplot is not paying them enough for their vegetables, as they negotiate a new contract with the vegetable processing giant. It comes six months after the Australian reported that Simplot’s profits increased 10-fold in 2018. 
7/7/2019

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Young British ‘spuds’ get back to their roots

Primary school children were invited onto a Perthshire potato farm to discover the backstory to the great British potato. Potato growers Bruce Farms opened their doors to primary school students this week to learn about all things potatoes. Children from three primary schools spent the day learning about machinery and technology used to farm potatoes, as well as nutrition, soils and varieties.
7/6/2019

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Colorado potato storage to finish before 2019 fresh-crop harvest

Rolling into mid-summer, Colorado’s storage potato crop is a little long on volume and, while somewhat disappointing, prices are not bad, according to James Ehrlich, executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee. Ehrlich said that Colorado packer-shippers expect to sellout their storage crop by Labor Day, which generally will mark the beginning of the 2019 fresh-crop harvest.
7/6/2019

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Ongoing research in Idaho targets PVY in search of solutions

Ongoing studies at the University of Idaho’s Aberdeen Research & Extension Center seek to help seed potato growers avoid a chronically troublesome disease spread by aphids, called potato virus Y, writes John O’Connell in the Idaho State Journal.
7/5/2019

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AVR developed new receiving hopper

AVR developed a new Falcon receiving hopper for export markets and medium-sized farms: the AVR Falcon 1800. With its 4-meter long bunker bottom and 1.85 meters wide roller set, the Falcon 1800 is the smaller version of the Falcon 24-45 and 24-60. Unique in the receiving hoppers segment is the option to choose for an additional pre-grader roller set.
7/5/2019

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How Canada’s Hostess and Old Dutch fought for potato chip market share

When Old Dutch Foods sent its chips east to the Ontario market, the chip-maker expected they would find buyers — but not that those buyers would be the competition. But that’s what was happening in some cases in 1991, when Hostess Frito-Lay was buying up Old Dutch stock from store shelves. “They offer to buy all of our product — at cost or at retail — and they tell [the stores] never to carry Old Dutch chips again and they’ll give them a better price,” explained Duncan McPhail, an Old Dutch salesman.
7/3/2019

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Potato growers want a new processing plant to be built in Idaho

The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation hosted three meetings last month with local potato growers. The Federation hopes to address local growers’ concerns, which include low potato prices, marketing and the possibility of a new processing plant in Idaho, the Post Register reports. A major theme from the meetings was the low prices Idaho potato farmers are currently receiving for their spuds.
7/2/2019

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Lamb Weston crafts new french fry with enough crisp to survive a delivery ride

Home-delivered fast food is a booming global business, but when it comes to French fries, there’s a hitch. They often get soggy on the ride. So now, top fry-makers are racing to perfect a crispy fry that can survive a 15-minute ride with a food delivery service. Lamb Weston right here in the Northwest US are frying up a crisp solution to this soggy situation.
7/2/2019

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World Potato Congress announces new International Advisor from China

The World Potato Congress (WPC Inc) today announces today that Mr. Lu, Xiaoping has accepted to become WPC's newest International Advisor.. Mr. Lu, Xiaoping, joined the International Potato Center (CIP) in May 2011 and has since been working as its Deputy Director-General and Director of the CIP-China Centre for Asia and Pacific (CCCAP), a regional arm of CIP..
6/30/2019

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US potato industry wants US-Mexico-Canada agreement to pass immediately

The US National Potato Council reportedly joined with over 950 farm groups and agricultural organizations in a letter urging Congress to immediately ratify the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). “Canada and Mexico are two of our top three largest export markets. Passing the USMCA is essential in building on the success of the NAFTA agreement and enhancing the American jobs provided by the potato industry,” said Jared Balcom, of Balcom & Moe, Inc. in Pasco, WA
6/30/2019

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Potato expert publishes checklist for late blight detection

Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist at the Ontario Potato Board, today published a handy checklist that potato growers should find pretty useful when checking their fields for signs of late blight. Dr Banks recommends these practical guidelines and we re-publish these below – including early summer, mid-summer and late summer actions that growers can take and be aware of… We publish Dr Banks’ checklist here…
6/20/2019

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Belgian partners, Peruvian farmers and researchers join forces around ‘tunta’ potatoes

ILVO, HOGENT and TRIAS in Belgium are hosting a Peruvian delegation to the Food Pilot (ILVO, Melle, Belgium) to get the production of so-called “tuntas” (freeze dried potatoes) in a small cooperative factory in the Andes. Flemish food technologists perform experiments and analyses in Belgium together with the Peruvians. The goal of the development cooperation project is to make the factory-produced tuntas as high-quality as the traditional product.
6/18/2019

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EU Commission confirms non-renewal decision on Chlorpropham

Potato News Today learned this morning from reliable sources in the European potato industry that the EU Commission has published it’s IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2019/989 concerning the non-renewal of approval of the active substance chlorpropham.
6/18/2019

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Nutra-Crop President explains importance of soil nutrients during rainy planting season

The weather has not been ideal this year for farmers during the planting season in large regions of the US. Rain has plagued the Midwest for months. Nutra-Crop™ President, Ed Ummach, understands the frustrations that farmers are having. Ummach has a few reminders for growers this season as they tackle one of the hardest planting years. “Nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, and magnesium and a host of other nutrients are needed for strong plant health,” said Ummach.
6/17/2019

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Satellites will provide real-time data of crop development across Canada

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is Canada’s new generation of Earth observation satellites, launched on June 12, 2019. The three identical satellites will work together to bring solutions to key challenges for Canadians, including farmers, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says in a news release.
6/17/2019

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British chemical firm to challenge metaldehyde ban

A UK chemical supplier has said it will challenge a recent Defra decision to ban metaldehyde slug pellet products in the High Court, reports AgriLand. Chiltern Farm Chemicals, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of molluscicides, has this week been granted permission to bring a judicial review of the decision before the High Court, with the view to declare the ban as unlawful.
6/16/2019

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PepsiCo boosts precision agri tech for Walkers, Lay’s and Doritos brands

The snacks and drink giant has built up its iCrop precision agriculture tool to better support potato, corn, oats and peanut farmers make in-field decisions, PepsiCo Europe’s head of agricultural procurement David Wilkinson tells FoodNavigator. PepsiCo is one of the largest potato buyers in Europe. Of the 3,900 farmers supplying directly to the snacks and drink giant across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA), approximately 1,200 are potato farmers.
6/15/2019

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Successful Europatat 2019 Congress focused on innovation and sustainability

Yesterday, on 13 June, the European potato community has gathered in Oslo, Norway, for the Europatat Congress 2019. Under the slogan “The timeless potato: A dynamic and innovative food”, the annual event organised by Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, and NFGF, the Norwegian Association of Fruit and Vegetable wholesalers, has focused on the many assets of the sector in innovation, sustainability and circular economy.
6/14/2019

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Renowned Idaho researcher protects potato quality

Potato researcher Dr Nora Olsen helps make sure Idaho’s potatoes stay in the best possible shape as they move from field to storage cellar to customer, reports Capital Press. But maintaining the overall quality of Idaho potatoes is a priority area of study for Nora Olsen. Recent findings include that slight changes to growing and harvesting procedures, and to conditions inside the storage cellar, can help keep potatoes looking and yielding their best.
6/14/2019

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Potato leafroll virus: Scientists discover key plant virus-insect virus interaction

Aphids and the plant viruses they transmit cause billions of dollars in crop damage around the world every year. A Cornell-led research team is examining the relationship at the molecular level, which could lead to new methods for controlling the pests. A group led by Michelle Heck, used recently developed small RNA sequencing techniques to better understand how plant viruses interact with aphids. Heck and her team focused on the green peach aphid which transmits more than 100 plant viruses and feeds on a variety of crops, including potatoes.
6/14/2019

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Lamb Weston cuts ribbon on $250 million expansion

More french fries than ever will come out of Hermiston after Lamb Weston cut the ribbon on a $250 million expansion of its processing plant, East Oregonian reports. The 300,000-square-foot expansion increases the facility’s capacity and adds 150 full-time jobs to what was already Hermiston’s largest employer. Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner told the audience at Thursday’s celebration that the facility was a very important part of Lamb Weston’s operations around the world, and represented one of many investments the company is making toward its future.
6/14/2019

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X-ray vision said to pay dividends for Australian potato packing industry

In Victoria, Australia the first trials of x-ray technology in a potato packing facility are underway. In a recent article in Potatoes Australia magazine the benefits of the technology are explained. A 32-year strong partnership between Red Gem (potato growers) and supermarket chain Coles has culminated in an investment that may change the shape of the Australian potato industry.
6/12/2019

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Legion Bio Chem updates name to reflect focus in ag nutrient space

Nutra-Crop, a brand evolution of Legion Bio Chem, recently announced its name change to customers and dealers. According to senior leadership, the team and products remain the same, but the new name highlights the dedicated effort to provide solid agronomic solutions, according to a press release issued by the company in the US earlier today.
6/3/2019

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Japan based Calbee poised to take bigger bite out of US snack market

Calbee is gearing up a U.S. marketing campaign for its best-selling Jagarico potato snack in an aggressive drive to increase overseas sales. The Japanese snack company recently unveiled its medium-term business plan calling for overseas operations to account for 25% of total sales by March 2024, up 9 points from fiscal 2018.
6/3/2019

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Potato blight is now fighting dirty

The challenges in managing potato blight have always been the main focus on in-season fungicide programmes for Scottish potato growers. As a mobile and aggressive pathogen, it has readily adapted itself to new varieties over the years and we’ve been used to seeing it shift and slide. But in recent seasons the emergence of particularly worrying strains has been a feature..
6/2/2019

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Europatat Congress 2019: Final program announced

On 13 June 2019, under the slogan “The timeless potato: A dynamic and innovative food”, the Europatat Congress will explore the potential for innovation within the sector now and into the future. Taking place in Oslo, the Congress will also look into Norway’s special trade relations with the EU.
6/2/2019

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Branston buys 1,000th vegetable washer from Haith

Haith Group is celebrating, selling its 1,000th vegetable washer! The milestone machine, one of a pair, rolled off the production line at the end of last month destined for Branston Ltd in the UK. As well as being the thousandth vegetable washer to be sold since Haith invented the modern barrel washer in 1961, Branston’s machine is the eighth Haith Supa-Wash to be sold since it was introduced in March 2018.
5/31/2019

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Bangladeshi potato farmers suffer due to surplus stocks and low exports

Recent reports say that the plights of thousands of potato growers in Bangladesh is increasing day by day, as they are stuck with surplus stocks and low exports. The New Nation newspaper says in a news report titled “Save the potato growers” that the country produced a record high of 1.09 crore tonnes (nearly 11 million tons) of potatoes last year. With an annual average demand of around 70 lakh tonnes, the country witnessed a surplus of about 40 lakh tonnes, most of which is wasted.
5/30/2019

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New report on the global potato processing sector released by Annual Insight

Dutch based market and consumer data analytics company Annual Insight has released its Quarterly Update Report on the global potato processing sector today, entitled “Overreaction or the right assessment?“.
5/29/2019

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Opinion: Drip irrigating potatoes – is it worth it, or not?

Dear folks, I rarely – if ever – provide readers with a personal opinion on any issue that I feature here on Potato News Today, but I wish to give you a personal opinion today regarding the question of drip irrigated potatoes – given the enormous response to a link to an article I recently posted here related to “drip irrigation and potatoes” in the UK.
5/28/2019

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Innovation: Biopolymer potato bags are ‘Tater Made’

Anne Marie Mohan, Senior Editor, Packaging World reports that Wada Farms uses a bag made partially from potato starch for its Idaho Potatoes that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, the use of petroleum-based plastics, and excess film gauge.
5/27/2019

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Potatoes New Zealand undertaking a country wide PMTV survey

Potatoes New Zealand says they have been undertaking a PMTV survey. This has involved a PMTV survey assistant (a PNZ staff member) visiting farms who have agreed to be tested. The purpose of the survey is to establish where the disease is, to check seed lines and to ascertain the possibility of containment. The survey will inform the pest management strategy and long term management of the incursion.
5/26/2019

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National Potato Council lobbies for USMCA, expanded trade with China

The Packer reports that potato industry leader Dan Moss voiced support for immediate Congressional approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and expanded potato trade with China at a White House trade event May 23. 
5/25/2019

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‘The effects of last year’s dry weather still being felt,’ says Dutch potato trader

The new Dutch potato season is beginning. It is expected that over two weeks, there will enough supply from the southwest of the country to start selling. The Dutch market is currently mostly being supplied by import potatoes. “We are, however, again facing a dry season this year. We have plots in Hoekse Waard. Conditions are not great there,”  Ton Kruythof of Kruythof potato traders told FreshPlaza.
5/25/2019

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Freeze-thaw cycle helps clear potatoes left in Prince Edward Island fields after fall harvest

The CBC reports that the cold, wet spring weather may feel like the enemy to many P.E.I. farmers, but this winter’s freeze-thaw cycle has actually helped to eliminate what could have been a significant problem for the spring planting. 
5/24/2019

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Schaap Holland becomes newest shareholder in Breederstrust

In a joint press release issued today, it is announced that the family-run breeding company SCHAAP HOLLAND B.V. in Biddinghuizen in the Netherlands acquired 5% of the Brussels-based Breeders Trust shares earlier this week. Breeders Trust was founded in 2008 to monitor the enforcement of Plant Breeders’ Rights. Every year, millions of euros are invested in the breeding of new and promising potato varieties.
5/24/2019

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‘I found my passion in the potato business,’ says President of Interfries

David Winiarz, the President of Interfries Inc – based in Florida in the US – recently told Potato News Today that having worked with an assortment of frozen food products, he found his passion in none other but the potato business.
5/15/2019

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Why potato growers need to be better prepared for drought

British farmers and growers are being urged to plan and manage their use of irrigation this year, as concerns about the effect of continued dry conditions on water supplies mount, according to a report by Farmers Weekly Online.
5/15/2019

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How potatoes could become ‘sun worshippers’

University of Erlangen-Nürnberg: If there’s one thing potato plants don’t like, it’s heat. If the temperature is too high, potato plants form significantly lower numbers of tubers or sometimes none at all. Biochemists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in Germany have now discovered the reason why. If the temperature rises, a so-called small RNA blocks the formation of tubers.
5/15/2019

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