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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

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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Plant-based lifestyle trend: Side Delights potato farmers team up with mushroom growers

Side Delights® potato farmers in the US have teamed up with mushroom growers to create an in-store promotion with seven original recipes for “A Week’s Worth of Yum.”  The program includes a point-of-sale merchandiser with a tear-off recipe card featuring a recipe and a URL to download the Week’s Worth of Yum e-book.
5/15/2019

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Australian potato industry recognises importance of standing together on biosecurity

In the first week of May, AUSVEG, Plant Health Australia and RMCG’s Doris Blaesing facilitated an industry consultation workshop with all sectors of the potato industry to understand the who, what and where of the industry’s approach to surveillance of exotic and notifiable pests and diseases. The workshop was one of the first steps towards developing the National Potato Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy.
5/14/2019

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The oldest potatoes in Europe are grown in Tenerife

The last direct descendants in Europe of the potatoes brought directly from South America by the ‘conquistadors’ are grown in the Canaries, FreshPlaza reports. These potatoes have evocative names, like ‘black lily’ and stand out for their sweet flavor. They are mostly grown in Tenerife, where they are considered a delicacy.
5/14/2019

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Potato area in Flanders reaches record high

The Dutch news outlet Akkerwijzer reports that in Belgium, Flemish arable farmers have again planted more potatoes this year. The total potato area of ​​55,643 hectares represents a new record, according to preliminary area figures for agricultural crops 2019 of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
5/14/2019

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PepsiCo officially withdraws one of three lawsuits filed against Indian farmers

According to a report published by BloombergQuint, PepsiCo India withdrew one of the lawsuits it had filed against Gujarat farmers for allegedly growing a variety of potato for which the food and beverages giant claimed to have secured exclusive rights.
5/6/2019

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Specialists compile a checklist of factors causing poor potato emergence

There are many factors affecting potato emergence and stand establishment, says Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist at the Ontario Potato Board in Canada in an article published by Spud Smart magazine. Having a checklist of factors causing poor potato emergence is a useful tool for growers.
5/6/2019

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Results of the latest EuroBlight potato late blight monitoring project now available

EuroBlight is continuously examining the ongoing evolution of the European population of the potato late blight pathogen and now reports on the 2018 results. Approximately 1000 samples were genotyped from 22 countries, says JENS GRØNBECH HANSEN in a recent article published on the EuroBlight website.
5/5/2019

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Nematicide Stewardship Programme in the UK aims to set single industry standard

All nematicides require careful handling. Members of the Nematicide Stewardship Programme(NSP) in the UK say the aim of the NSP is to ensure a best practice approach across all aspects of their use, from delivery on farm through to operator handling, machinery set up and maintenance, to application and storage.
5/4/2019

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McCain invests $300m to expand Washington potato processing site

FoodBev Media reports that McCain Foods USA, the US unit of potato product giant McCain Foods, has invested $300 million to expand its potato processing site in Othello, Washington. The investment will pay for the construction of an additional 170,000-square-foot of production space at the site, doubling the overall production capacity at the facility and significantly expanding the company’s production capacity for the North American market.
5/3/2019

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Potato agronomy: Headlands around crops ‘buzzing with life’

At a time when headlines are warning of an “insect apocalypse”, new research in the UK has found potato and vegetable growers are providing a hugely valuable habitat resource and insect species are thriving. Potato growers are said to help promote biodiversity by planting green headlands around crops. CPM writers Lucy de la Pasture and Rob Jones report the latest findings which suggest that several predators are thriving.
5/2/2019

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India’s potato row: Govt working on solution that favours farmers

According to a report published today by The Hindu’s Business Line, the Gujarat government is working for an out-of-court settlement of cases filed by PepsiCo against nine farmers for growing a variety of potato “registered” by the food and beverages giant, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said Wednesday.
5/2/2019

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Europatat Congress 2019: Main speakers confirmed

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 as well as Norway’s special trade relations with the EU.
5/2/2019

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Canadian potato storage holdings lowest in five years

Canadian potato storage holdings, with includes all sectors, are the lowest of the last five years, according to the United Potato Growers of Canada’s update on April 1. Potatoes in Canada reports that potato storage holdings are down 11 per cent from where they were in April 2018. Some of the biggest declines are seen in provinces that suffered tough harvest conditions, like Manitoba and Prince Edward Island.
4/29/2019

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The ‘surprise’ new blight strain – and what it means for Scottish growers

According to a report by The Scottish Farmer, discovery of a late blight strain less sensitive to a key fungicide in Scotland requires potato growers to apply strict resistance management principles when planning fungicide programmes this season. Two blight strains, 37_A2 and 36_A2, are of concern to the UK potato industry and up until last year, positive samples of either genotype have been confined to England.
4/29/2019

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Canada: Manitoba’s potato sector not stressing on seed, despite tight supplies

Manitoba Co-operator reports that Manitoba’s potato sector is gearing up to supply an expanding industry but seed supplies will be tight after a tough harvest last season. J.R. Simplot’s $460-million expansion of its Portage la Prairie plant is expected to double the operation’s need for tubers when it comes online this fall.
4/29/2019

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Neonicotinoids in Canada: Most uses on potatoes remain unchanged

Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist at the Ontario Potato Board, alerted recipients of her email newsletter today that Health Canada recently released its final pollinator re-evaluation decisions for neonicotinoid pesticides. Most uses on non-attractive crops such as root and tuber vegetables (including potatoes), brassica leafy vegetables, leafy vegetables, and (indoor) greenhouse vegetables remain unchanged.
4/27/2019

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British store operators ‘ill-informed on energy use’

Many potato store operators could make significant savings in energy costs if they obtained more usage data to make informed decisions, according to Ray Andrews of Crop Systems Limited in the UK. During an interview with Potato Review magazine, he said: “I don’t think many operators realise how much energy prices vary, or how frequently in any 24-hour period they change. Bear in mind that peak energy prices are often three times higher than off-peak rates.”
4/26/2019

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India: Now, PepsiCo offers to settle case against Gujarat potato farmers

The Hindu reports that in the wake of criticism over its ₹4.2 crore lawsuit against four Gujarati potato farmers, food and beverages giant PepsiCo has offered to settle the case if the farmers stop growing the registered potato variety used in its Lays chips.
4/26/2019

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Potatoes prevent food crisis and restore ‘dignity and hope’ in Ethiopia

Irish potatoes have prevented another major humanitarian food crisis in one of the poorest and most remote parts of Ethiopia, the Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide has said. The humble spud, introduced by Concern Worldwide into the country’s drought-prone northern highland regions in 2007, is credited with a major drop in food shortages and improvements in the local economy.
4/25/2019

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Penobscot McCrum plans new potato processing plant in Maine

According to a report by The County, Penobscot McCrum is planning to build a new potato processing plant at the site of a long-closed potato factory in Washburn, Maine. Penobscot McCrum, the vertically integrated potato business of the McCrum family, is in the midst of submitting permitting documents to build a 115,000 square foot potato processing plant on Parsons Road, said Jan Weigman, project manager at Wright-Pierce.
4/25/2019

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Kraft Heinz reportedly weighs sale of Ore-Ida frozen potato business

Tater Tot maker Ore-Ida is the latest brand Kraft Heinz is considering shedding as it scrambles to pay down debt and restructure its business following a disastrous quarterly report. Kraft Heinz has reportedly hired investment bank Evercore Partners to prepare a potential sale of its Ore-Ida brand, people familiar with the situation told CNBC. The brand could fetch roughly $1.5 billion to $2 billion, the people said.
4/24/2019

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British potato stocks down 13%

Following the tough 2018 growing season, the latest estimates from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) show British potato stock levels were down 13 per cent on the five-year average. Levels were however comparable to other tight supply seasons, for example they are only slightly lower than at the same point in 2013/14 and 2015/16, while higher than 2012/13.
4/24/2019

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Fresher Canadian potatoes coming to Atlanta via $22M distribution center

Canada’s EarthFresh Farms is spending $22 million to open a high-tech packing plant and distribution center near the Atlanta airport in College Park, getting its potatoes to southern customers more quickly. The Burlington, Ontario-based company is the latest food distribution center clustered in Atlanta’s budding Aerotropolis region.   
4/21/2019

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Biostimulants and biologicals – what are they?

While fertilizers and pesticides play a significant role in attempting to overcome some of these obstacles, agricultural biologicals are said to make a crucial contribution toward the goal of making intensive agricultural production more successful and sustainable. Biological proponents claim that biologicals makes crops healthier, with improved defenses against diseases and pests, and better able to withstand a-biotic stresses.
4/21/2019

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The Seed Potato Story: What goes on behind closed doors

During the winter months the shed doors are firmly closed and all is quiet. However, when you take a look inside you’ll find Dutch seed potato farmers are picking the fruit of their labour. After planting, crop husbandry, harvesting and storage the show begins. The tubers have to be graded in different sizes, soil, haulm and clods removed. They are inspected by hand and further processed for customers all around the globe.
4/20/2019

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Will a slow start for PNW potato farmers lead to the french fry apocalypse?

Spring is just now beginning to shine in much of eastern Oregon and Washington. A winter of record snowfall left the ground frozen or flooded much later than normal. As a result, farmers are getting a late start on their crops. “We’ve had the longest winter ever,” said Chris Voight, director of the Washington State Potato Commission. He recently spoke with OPB “Weekend Edition” host John Notarianni. “Normally we start planting potatoes the end of February, but this year we weren’t able to start planting until April 1.”
4/20/2019

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Potato prices soar in Eastern Europe

Prices of some vegetables, especially potatoes, in the Czech Republic have been increasing dramatically due to a significant drop in production, a new report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has revealed.
4/19/2019

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US grower responses through online survey on potato disease control challenges

Spudman magazine recently polled readers through an online survey on challenges they’re facing controlling potato diseases. You will find the results on this page of the magazine’s website. Some of the comments made by respondents regarding specific diseases: Common scab - “No feasible control outside planting resistant cultivars.” “There is no control available that actually works.”
4/19/2019

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New variety of zebra chip disease threatens potato production in southwestern Oregon

Named after the dark stripes that form inside potatoes after they are cut and fried, zebra chip disease is a potentially devastating affliction that can result in yield losses up to 100% for farmers. The disease, caused by the bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum,’ has been economically damaging commercial crops, including potato, tomato, and pepper, in the central and western United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand since the early 2000s.
4/18/2019

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NAK discovers counterfeit seed potato certificates

Inspection service NAK in the Netherlands has reportedly discovered counterfeit seed potato certificates, whereby the non-certified potatoes have been sold under false labels. The NAK, together with the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), is still hunting for the counterfeiters.
4/18/2019

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Potato nutrition: Remove the guesswork

We can watch the crop grow all day long and even though we can notice things from a macro-view, without a good regimen of sampling we will probably not know what is really going on in the crop. Soil and tissue sampling gives us the scorecard we need to really understand what is going on and to help us better manage the “players”.
4/18/2019

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Next time you munch on potatoes, ‘remember how lucky you are…’

In an opinion piece written by Peter Kaplinsky and published in The Cornell Daily Sun, the author reflects on how his parents moved their family from the USSR to America many years ago, and in particular how “potatoes were a staple, featured in nearly every dish” in the USSR, saying that “one whiff of the greasy, thick aroma of fried potatoes with mushrooms and I knew I was home.”
4/17/2019

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New Canadian store sells ‘imperfect’ produce for half the price

A new store has opened in the Canadian province of British Columbia, to keep food out of landfills and make sure more local families get fresh fruit and vegetables. ReFresh, a shop that offers produce deemed no longer sellable by grocery stores at lower prices, had its grand opening in the Cowichan Valley city over the weekend. Executive director Judy Stafford said the opening was a big success.
4/17/2019

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‘Ecommerce is growing in importance for McCain Foods,’ says ecommerce lead

McCain Foods has selected ecommerce analytics provider e.fundamentals to help drive sales of its products through retailers’ websites. Nick Sultanti, ecommerce lead at the frozen potato products manufacturer, commented: “Ecommerce is growing in importance for McCain.  We see e.fundamentals as the correct choice of data partner for us due to the simplicity of their platform and the ease of getting to the insights.
4/16/2019

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Syngenta BlightCast launched two weeks ahead of normal in the UK

Syngenta BlightCast has been launched two weeks ahead of normal this season, with reports of early crops in the south west coming under pressure as plastic covers are removed. Whilst planting has been progressing across the country in generally good conditions, cool soil temperatures have slowed development. Now, with forecast temperatures set to warm up, growers and agronomists can be forewarned of conditions conducive to blight.
4/15/2019

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Pepsico sues Indian farmers for allegedly growing exclusive potato variety illegally

The US food and beverages giant PepsiCo has sued three farmers from Gujarat, complaining that they have been illegally growing and selling a variety of potato exclusively registered to Pepsico for the use of producing its Lays potato chips. PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt Ltd has informed the court that it uses the registered variety of potatoes called FL 2027, which is a hybrid of FL 1867 and Wischip varieties, for manufacturing chips for its brand. The company is the registered breeder of FL 2027.
4/15/2019

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Health Canada announces new restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides

Earlier this week Health Canada announced in a press release that it has completed its re-evaluations of the neonicotinoid pesticides clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam in relation to their potential impact on bees and other pollinators, and has released the final decisions for each.
4/14/2019

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‘Plants don’t know what day of the week it is,’ says busy potato grower

Alan Jones, owner of Jones Potato Farms in Parrish, Fl logs about 40,000 miles a year on his pickup and many hours in his office and in the fields or on the road. “I’ve had very few days off in the past couple of months,” said Jones, who has owned the 4,000-acre plus Jones Potato Farm since 1986. “It’s been seven days a week for me,” he said. “Plants don’t know what day of the week it is.”
4/14/2019

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Phytophthora in potatoes becoming more aggressive in Northwest Europe

Phytophthora clone EU-13 was already known for being aggressive and difficult to combat. In recent years, two new clones have been on the rise in northwestern Europe: Eu-36 and EU-37. These clones are supplanting EU-13. The characteristics that caused these two clones to expand has now been researched by Wageningen University & Research. This information allows the combat strategy of phytophthora to be improved.
4/13/2019

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Hot potato with ‘oily’ feel on Canada’s Prince Edward Island

Earlier this week The Guardian newspaper on Prince Edward Island in Canada published the following Editorial on the relationship between Islanders and oil company J.D Irving Limited, owner of Cavendish Farms, producer of processing potatoes on the Island.
4/13/2019

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Prominent US potato researcher, soon to retire, reflects on 45-year career

As the director of Oregon State University’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Phil Hamm has been at the forefront of potato research for decades. All good things must end, however, and the time has come for Hamm to call it a career. He’ll retire in a few months. Hamm has spent his entire 45-year career studying plant disease, including the past 30 years at Oregon State in some capacity.
4/13/2019

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Going without mancozeb in Canada

Currently under review in Canada, mancozeb is a potato industry staple for fighting late blight and early blight. Its proponents fear its loss would spell higher production costs for farmers and would remove a vital tool for managing disease resistance in potatoes. Canadian potato farmers could be facing higher production costs with the potential loss of a key weapon against late blight.
4/11/2019

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Results down for major British potato supplier

Turnover and profits have dropped at one of the UK’s largest potato businesses, according to newly filed accounts. Lincolnshire-headquartered Branston, which supplies own-label products to supermarkets, such as Tesco, as well as selling under its own brand, has reported a turnover of £133.5m for the year to 29 July 2018, down from £143m in the prior 12 months.
4/11/2019

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Scientists zero in on the weed link in zebra chip epidemiology

A major challenge in controlling zebra chip disease of potatoes is our inability to predict which potato fields are likely to be colonized by potato psyllid, the vector of the pathogen that causes zebra chip, according to specialists W. Rodney Cooper, David R. Horton and Eugene Miliczky(USDA-ARS), and Carrie H. Wohleb and Timothy D. Waters at Washington State University.
4/10/2019

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The humble potato now seen as a staple for future food security in China

The potential of potato to provide food security is one reason China has undergone remarkable growth in potato production over the last two decades, and China has become by far the largest producer of potatoes in the world, write authors Wang Su and Jian Wang in a paper published in a special issue of the American Journal of Potato Research on April 9.
4/10/2019

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Equipment manufacturer says potato processors are becoming ‘more demanding’

Dutch based manufacturer of weighing and packaging machines, Manter International, says potato processors are becoming more demanding, as they are looking for complete solutions when it comes to weighing and packaging, and not just simple machines.
4/9/2019

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