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Your Seed Potato Partner For North America

Your Seed Potato Partner For North America

News

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




Potato News

New potato store saves time and cost for British farming operation

A new potato store is saving huge amounts of time and cost for a Norfolk farming family in Britain. Their new store is a PosiStor from Crop Systems Limited, and is fitted with the company’s SmartStor controller, and one of the first to feature a glycol fridge. It has opened up new business opportunities for them, says Bruce Poortvliet.
3/15/2021

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Idaho potato crop brings in record revenue, but didn’t benefit everyone equally

The Idaho potato industry ended up doing well in 2020, despite the pandemic. The industry set an all-time record for cash receipts according to University of Idaho economists. Potatoes brought in $1.08 billion in 2020, a 13% increase compared to the year before. But, as Twin Falls Times-News journalist Colin Tiernan reports, those record revenues came with a lot of stress and didn’t benefit everyone equally.
3/15/2021

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EuroBlight network to host online technical meetings in March and April

The EuroBlight network announced recently that it will organise four subgroup meetings and one online workshop in March and April this year to replace the physical workshop originally planned for May, 2021. EuroBlight offers 5 minute presentations and 1 minute “elevator talks” about your work. If you want to present then please indicate the title of your presentation when registering.
3/15/2021

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On-farm trials in New Zealand target potato tuber moth

Two Pukekawa trials in New Zealand are showing some early promise for potato growers when it comes to greater control of the potato tuber moth. Pukekohe company Inta-Ag has been running a trial on a potato grower’s land at Pukekawa using straw mulch to see what effect it can have on PTM.
3/15/2021

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Nature’s Eats set to disrupt the potato chip category with ‘mindfully snacking’ product

In time for National Chip And Dip Day on 23 March, Nature’s Eats – a brand of Texas Star Nut & Food Company – is launching Nutchos, all-natural grain free chips made from almonds. According to Nature’s Eats. the novel chips are a great option for those wanting to Nature’s Eats, their chips are a great option for those who want to snack “more mindfully”.
3/15/2021

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Canadian researcher identifying genes related to potato scabbing

A Prince Edward Island.-based researcher in Canada is unlocking the genetic make-up of potatoes in an effort to develop a variety that is resistant to common scab disease. Bourlaye Fofana, PhD, a molecular biologist and research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Harrington Research Farm, recently completed comparative gene expression profiling between two types of potatoes.
3/15/2021

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Potatoes USA launches new marketing campaign

A new video campaign has been launched by Potatoes USA to help combat meal fatigue and show consumer the many different meals that can be prepared using potatoes. Retail potato sales saw tremendous growth in 2020 as consumers stocked their pantries in March and beyond.
3/15/2021

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Tesco, Branston working to cut down on UK’s food waste by marketing unwashed potatoes

A move to cut down on food waste by selling unwashed potatoes – and in doing so potentially double their shelf-life – is being launched by Tesco, the company says in a press release. In doing so, it will help cut down on what waste advisory action group WRAP, say are the UK’s single most wasted food in the home.
3/15/2021

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Webinar – ‘Late Blight: 175 years of experience. What have we learned? An update’

This webinar will be hosted by World Potato Congress Inc, and presented by by Albert Schirring of Bayer AG on March 31, 2021 at 09:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. During his presentation, Albert Schirring will discuss the key principles of robust late blight management strategies. He will also focus on the global population dynamics of the late blight pathogen to improve fungicide resistance management strategies.
3/15/2021

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Idaho spud industry did well in 2020 despite pandemic

The Idaho potato industry ended up doing well in 2020, despite the pandemic. The industry set an all-time record for cash receipts according to University of Idaho economists. Potatoes brought in $1.08 billion in 2020, a 13% increase compared to the year before. But those record revenues came with a lot of stress and didn’t benefit everyone equally. In the end, it was a roller coaster year.
2/19/2021

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AHDB wants potato sector levy payers to vote

Following the results of the AHDB horticulture vote this week, a ballot is now running for levy payers in the UK to vote on the whether the potato levy should continue. The ballot opens today and will run until the 17th March. AHDB is appealing to voters to favour a yes result, emphasising the recent work they have done to help the British potato sector.
2/18/2021

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Expert opinion: Wyma engineer on potato bruising, storage temperature

Following on from its guide How to reduce the impact of potato bruising on your profitability, Wyma caught up with Leighton Hill, Solution Engineer, to answer some questions about gentle handling, why some fertilizers increase the likelihood of bruising, and the perfect temperature for potato processing.
2/18/2021

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Canadian potato growers advised on wireworm challenges and management strategies

In a webinar hosted by Potatoes in Canada magazine and presented by BASF, Dr. Robert Vernon, entomologist and IPM consultant, and Anne McRae, BASF Technical Service Specialist, Horticulture, discussed wireworm challenges and management strategies across Canada. Wireworm lifecycles, geographic considerations, and new registrations to manage wireworm populations were reviewed.
2/17/2021

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PCN control: Nemathorin now the only granular option for British potato growers

Potato growers in the UK now have just one remaining granular nematicide for the control of PCN – the crop’s most damaging soil pest. The regulatory decision not to re-authorise oxamyl leaves Nemathorin as the only remaining granular option. Growers now switching from oxamyl to Nemathorin need to be aware of how to get the best results from this season’s applications, advised Syngenta Technical Manager, Michael Tait.
2/17/2021

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Zebrachip disease and potato psyllid: EFSA survey card helps preparing surveillance plans

Scientists recently updated the pest survey card that was prepared in the context of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) mandate on plant pest surveillance at the request of the European Commission. The authors say in the introduction to the document that its purpose is to guide the Member States in preparing data and information required for surveys of the causal agent of the zebra chip disease ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso) and its associated insect vector the psyllid Bactericera cockerelli.
2/16/2021

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AVR’s Ceres 440 planter ‘opens next chapter in advanced precision farming technology’

AVR recently introduced its latest and most advanced planter, the AVR Ceres 440. The absolute highlight of the Ceres 440 is undoubtedly its AVR Connect system, which unites all planting information and remote parameters in one synchronized digital platform for planting and harvesting, since the system is also featured in the AVR Puma 4.0 harvester. With the Ceres 440, AVR invites potato growers to “get ready for the next chapter in AVR’s precision farming story”.
2/16/2021

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New Zealand: Potato exports plummet amid claims of European dumping

New Zealand’s potato trade is struggling as exports to some key markets plummeted in December, new figures show. According to a report by RNZ’s Riley Kennedy, a dispute broke out last year over claims European producers were dumping frozen fries into markets around the world. Potatoes New Zealand chief executive Chris Claridge believed that was a major factor in the drop in export.
2/15/2021

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Produce and potatoes in the UK benefit from smaller Christmas celebrations

Covid-19 delivered a Christmas like no other. National and local lockdowns created a lot of uncertainty during the run up to the festive period, with many Christmas plans forced to change last minute due to government restrictions. The industry body says all that uncertainty did not stop people from celebrating. 2020 was the biggest ever Christmas in the UK for food retail, with food and drink sales excluding alcohol growing by £912m to £8.1bn. However, this was not enough to outweigh the losses we saw in the out of home market, which declined by £1.4bn.
2/15/2021

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Grimme’s Ventor 4150 harvester now comes with haulm topper and other new features

Grimme announces that its four-row self-propelled potato harvester, the VENTOR 4150, will be equipped with a number of new practical features for the 2021 harvesting season. The VENTOR 4150 can now be optionally equipped with the HT 400 haulm topper, which is especially suitable for extremely high quantities of long, tough potato haulms. In addition to a significant increase in throughput, haulm topping prior to the harvesting process reduces the risk of losses.
2/15/2021

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New research identifies best gene to confer durable resistance to late blight in potato

An international team of researchers has struck an important blow in the ongoing evolutionary arms race with the notorious potato disease late blight (Phytophthora infestans). This disease, which caused the Irish potato famine in the 1840s, continues to reduce potato yields today and can lead to devastating losses. A new gene and it’s relatives were found in the Solanum americanum plant and seem to provide potatoes resistance against all races of P. infestans . A publication on the new Rpi-amr1-gene appears today in the journal Nature Plants.
2/15/2021

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EU seed potato ban may trigger tit-for-tat response from Britain

The UK government should consider a tit-for-tat response if Brussels continues to refuse access to British seed potatoes, according to farm leaders. Scottish, English and Welsh seed potato growers and traders are still unable to export to the EU as part of the Brexit fallout, causing millions of pounds in losses. The EU denied third country status for GB seed potatoes over concerns they would not remain “dynamically aligned” with the bloc’s standards on this product.
2/14/2021

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Soil debate: ‘Only 60 years of harvests left’ claim is a myth, says study

Claims that the world may have only 60 harvests remaining because of improper soil management are “overblown” and “absurd”, according to a new survey by the University of Oxford. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported in 2014 that global soils were degrading so rapidly that there may be only 60 harvests remaining. Hannah Ritchie, senior researcher at Oxford University said were a “myth” and there was no “scientific basis” for them.
2/14/2021

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Founder of Lay’s potato chips to be featured in upcoming TV special

The founder of an internationally known potato chip brand has a Greenville connection and will be featured in an upcoming special on the History Channel. Herman W. Lay, founder of Lay’s potato chips, who was later head of the Frito-Lay Company, built his own business from snack distributor deliveryman to company owner.
2/14/2021

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EU Commission clears acquisition of Belchim by Japanese based Mitsui

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Belgium based Belchim by Mitsui, headquartered in Japan. The Commission’s investigation found that the proposed transaction, as originally notified, would have reduced competition in the following crop protection markets: Plant growth regulators (PGR) used to prevent or control sprouting in stored potatoes. Paraffinic oils used to prevent or limit the spread of viruses in seed potatoes and flower bulbs.
2/14/2021

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German cabinet approves legislation to ban glyphosate from 2024

Farmers in Germany will have to gradually reduce their use of glyphosate and stop using it completely from 2024 in order to preserve clean habitats for insects, under draft legislation passed by the country’s cabinet on Wednesday. Farmers have criticised the planned law, saying it puts the livelihoods of family-run farms at risk and that bans would be less effective in fostering biodiversity than cooperation between farmers and conservationists.
2/14/2021

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Western Australia: ‘Back to Basics’ for autumn potato marketing campaign

Local consumer research has shown that those who are decreasing their consumption of potatoes are concerned about health and weight loss. Those who have increased their potato consumption are interested in budget-friendly and healthy meals and are young families or young adults with no kids. So says Western Australia’s Marketing Manager, Georgia Thomas. The theme of the Autumn-Winter campaign for WA Potatoes is “back to basics”. The direction will see a selection of simple, healthy recipes developed.
2/9/2021

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Nitrogen rates: New protocol to improve accuracy of nitrogen applications in potato crops

AHDB in the UK recently announced in a news article that a new protocol for estimating the determinacy of potato varieties will be released in the next few months. The protocol will help breeders and those involved in variety development, save time and money when producing nitrogen recommendations for new varieties. Growers and agronomists will gain more accurate nitrogen/determinacy groupings for both new and existing cultivars, and therefore improve the N rates applied to their crop.
2/9/2021

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HZPC Americas welcomes Aron Derbidge

HZPC Americas Corp. hired Aron Derbidge as Sales and Key Account Manager, bringing with him over 10 years of experience developing and marketing seed potatoes in the U.S. and Canada. “We’re very excited to have Aron join our team. His depth of experience, knowledge and passion will complement our growing team of seed potato professionals.”, says Jeff Scramlin, President of HZPC Americas Corp.
2/8/2021

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Syngenta to use artificial intelligence to invent and develop new, more sustainable products

Syngenta Crop Protection is collaborating with artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning company Insilico Medicine to accelerate the invention and development of new, more effective crop protection solutions that protect crops from diseases, weeds and pests, while also protecting ecosystems. By bringing new solutions to farmers faster and more efficiently through innovation, Syngenta will help them meet the ongoing challenges they face, in order to enhance productivity and meet global demand for affordable, quality food.
2/8/2021

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Webinar: Wireworm management strategies

Dr. Robert Vernon, entomologist and IPM consultant, and Anne McRae, BASF Technical Service Specialist, Horticulture, will discuss wireworm challenges and management strategies across Canada during this webinar. Wireworm lifecycles, geographic considerations, and new registrations to manage wireworm populations will be reviewed, with a Q & A session to follow. The webinar is hosted by Potatoes in Canada, and presented by BASF.
2/8/2021

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Turnover and profits grow at Marks & Spencer potato supplier

Turnover and pre-tax profits grew at a major supplier of potatoes to retail giant Marks & Spencer during its latest financial year. Lincolnshire-based Manor Fresh in the UK has reported a turnover of £55.9m for the 12 months to 25 April 2020, up from £54.3m. Pre-tax profits went from £1.1m to £1.5m over the same period. The company says new business development opportunities continues to be progressed.
2/8/2021

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Irish seed potato farmer sees Brexit grow business

Brexit has brought “great opportunities” for Irish seed potato growers, according to a Co Donegal farmer. Charlie Doherty, who is based in Burt, has been growing seed potatoes for 20 years. He has already sold out of this year’s stock and aims to increase his acreage this spring. The majority of seed potatoes used in Ireland are grown in Scotland. However, because of Brexit, seed potatoes can no longer be imported to European Union countries from the UK due to phytosanitary regulations.
2/7/2021

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‘Potatoes were the pandemic powerhouse’, says Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer

The 39th annual Southern Rocky Mountain Agricultural Conference and Trade Show started its three-day run Tuesday, Feb. 2, on Zoom and at the Ski Hi Complex in Monte Vista. John Toaspern, Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer, gave an overview of potato sales from March to December of last year during his 30-minute session. His report was mostly positive. Retail sales soared and continue to do so as people stayed home during the pandemic.
2/7/2021

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Idaho potato expert advises growers on minimizing tuber bruising

Nora Olsen, Professor and Extension Potato Specialist at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Idaho, presented on the factors that impact development of bruises during the online annual Idaho Potato Conference last month. Prof Olsen started out by saying that her and her colleagues’ experience evaluating quality losses over the past several years, points to the primary association with either a direct impact, blackspot bruise or shadow bruise, or an indirect impact.
2/7/2021

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Mancozeb: Why the potato industry must prepare for its loss

Despite its recent stay of execution, there is little hope for sustained use of multisite fungicide mancozeb beyond the 2023 growing season in the UK, and potato growers are urged to start planning how they will effectively manage disease and fungicide resistance without it. Despite the renewal process being triggered in the UK, hopes are described as very slim by many observers.
2/7/2021

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‘A better tuber rotter’: Pectobacterium parmentieri

Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist with the Ontario Potato Board in Canada, says in a recent email newsletter that Dr Steve Johnson (University of Maine) will give the first presentation of the upcoming Ontario Potato Webinars on March 4th at 11 a.m. His presentation will be titled “Expect Soft Rot and Blackleg to Increase!” Dr Johnson will focus on a very aggressive bacterium that cause soft rot and blackleg – Pectobacterium parmentieri. Dr Banks wrote a brief article about this bacterium – we publish it here with her permission.
2/4/2021

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Continued growth at Crop Systems

“We are investing in strengthening our team, providing further expertise, knowledge, and experience to our customers, backed up by investing in our workshop and warehouse facilities at the Works Happisburgh, Norfolk,” says Ray Andrews, Managing Director of Crop Systems Ltd. Andrews says his company recently appointed Tony Barnes as Sales Manager as part of continued expansion plans of Crop Systems. Tony has been involved with the potato industry for the last 25 years.
2/4/2021

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Does the aerial stem rot bacterium cause blackleg?

Aerial stem rot is caused by the same bacterium that causes tuber soft rot, Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. Carotovorum, writes Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist at the Ontario Potato Board in Canada in the latest issue of her regular email newsletter, issued yesterday. She provides a few essential pointers to growers regarding the bacterium – in response to a question she received from a potato grower in Ontario.
2/3/2021

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Canadian government to support McCain Foods’ modern high-speed manufacturing line

The food manufacturing industry is one of the largest economic drivers in Atlantic Canada and one that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Innovation and the integration of new technologies are proving to be key assets to enable businesses in this industry remain competitive. The Canadian government yesterday announced announced $5 million to support the implementation of a high-speed potato specialty line at the McCain’s Grand Falls facility.
2/3/2021

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New decision-making tool to calculate tuber numbers, predict yield

Growers should soon be able to assess the variation in potato plant populations at field scale at any given time. This is thanks to work done by Harper Adams University, AHDB funded PhD student Joseph Mhango. His new decision-making tool uses artificial intelligence known as Deep Learning alongside drone-taken images of the crops to calculate stem numbers, and map where they occur. This technique is able to detect objects, and is used for machine vision in self-driving cars.
2/2/2021

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Burger King France giving away potatoes to support farmers

In order to support French potato farmers who can no longer sell their produce due to restaurant closures across France, Burger King is giving away bags of potatoes. Since yesterday, Burger King has been giving away a one kilo bag of potatoes to each customer who visits a drive-thru. It comes in a bid to help French potato farmers unable to sell their produce due to widespread restaurant closures across the nation, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
2/2/2021

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Potatoes South Africa appoints new CEO

On Monday 18 January 2021, Willie Jacobs took over the leadership of Potatoes SA (PSA) as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) after Dr André Jooste, who recently left the organisation after 9 years of service as part of his career planning. Initiatives established by The potato industry is privileged that Willie accepted the position of CEO at PSA. The Board of Directors of PSA is confident that Willie, given his expertise and experience as agricultural economist, will build and expand on the legacy of Dr Jooste.
2/1/2021

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Where is the IPM potential for virus-vectoring aphid pests?

Addressing the increasing virus problem faced by seed potato growers may call for a re-think on how drills are planned and the implementation of effective IPM strategies to help combat the risk of virus-vectoring aphids developing insecticide resistance. Innovative research, led by Eric Anderson of Scottish Agronomy, has shown sowing spring barley around headlands and wildflowers along tramlines of seed potato fields can help to reduce virus incidence.
2/1/2021

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Efficient use of fertiliser: Key steps to taking soil samples explained

Efficient use of fertiliser will be the key focus of a new short video series that is being produced by the Fertiliser Association of Ireland (FAI). Set to be rolled out over the coming months, this series has been described as a “key tool” for farmers and advisors by the FAI, with the first video (below) focusing on the importance of taking good soil samples. The video, produced by the fertiliser association, will look at the first steps in starting the fertiliser planning process.
1/31/2021

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USDA appoints new board members for Potatoes USA

On January 13, the United States Department of Agriculture appointed 31 new or returning members to serve three-year terms on the National Potato Promotion Board, Dba Potatoes USA. The new members will be sworn in at the organization’s Annual Meeting in March. Each year, growers from every producing state select other growers to represent them on the board. These selections then need to be confirmed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Potatoes USA has a 98-member board consisting of 92 growers, five importers and one public member.
1/31/2021

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Scottish on-farm research: Reductions in production costs, increased marketable yield

Potato growers Bruce Farms have been able to identify potential reductions in production costs by over £65 a hectare, while increasing marketable yield by over three tonnes. The improvements were a result of a three-year programme of trials as part of the AHDB Farm Excellence network. Findings were revealed on Thursday (12 December 2019) as almost 100 growers and agronomists gathered for the Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm Scotland Results Day.
1/31/2021

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CIP: ‘Smarter food’ needed to end global hunger by 2030

Ending world hunger isn’t just about producing more food, argues Barbara Wells, of the International Potato Center (CIP). Feeding the world is more than just a numbers game. If food security were simply about volume, the global population would be fed 1.5 times over. Adding a secondary staple like potato to rice-based systems in Asia, for example, can help diversify existing cropping systems and offer new nutritional and economic benefits.
1/31/2021

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Lamb Weston announces John Hatto as Senior Vice President, Strategy & Growth

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc announced today that John Hatto has been promoted to the role of Senior Vice President, Strategy & Growth, as of Jan. 25, 2021. Hatto has more than 30 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. Most recently, he led Lamb Weston’s Distributor Sales team as Vice President, Sales, for the Foodservice Business Unit. Since joining Lamb Weston in 2015, Hatto has played a leading role in major initiatives at Lamb Weston focused on capturing share growth.
1/30/2021

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Canada: Reduced-tillage potato production looks good on yield and quality

The amount and quality of the potatoes coming off Chad Berry’s field last fall weren’t that much different from one side to the other, but one half came with a lot less tillage. Results are in from the 2020 field-scale trial in Canada’s Manitoba province, which created a side-by-side comparison of conventional spring tillage and direct-seeded potatoes. Initial data out of this attempt to scale up reduced-tillage potato production looks good on yield and quality, which might open the door for other producers to look at the practice.
1/30/2021

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Report: Global frozen potato trade still down 10% compared to last year

After a good September month, with a stabilization global trade compared to last year, October 2020 proved to be another slow month for the global frozen potato trade according to the information published in the latest Annual Insight Frozen Potato Trade newsletter. Year-to-date (YTD) frozen potato global trade is still down 10% compared to YTD October 2019, despite a relatively strong recovery in the (late) summer months.
1/30/2021

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