Français Espanõl
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

Closure of chip shops in Britain bad news for potato growers

The closure of fish and chip shops due to coronavirus has left thousands of tonnes of potatoes languishing in storage – threatening to put farmers out of business, Farmers Weekly reports. Although government guidelines allow takeaway food outlets to remain open, 80-90% of fish and chip shops are said to have closed their doors. The decision has seen a slump in demand for chipping potatoes.
3/31/2020

READ MORE

Spudnik to continue manufacturing during COVID-19 outbreak

This past Friday, Idaho-based Spudnik Equipment released a statement in which is said that all its locations will remain open and available to growers, despite the Stay at Home order issued last week in Idaho and other closures prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Ag and food workers defined as “critical” in this guidance include “Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary to agricultural production and distribution.”
3/30/2020

READ MORE

GRIMME opens ‘test track’ for self-propelled harvesters

GRIMME announced on Friday that it has opened a ‘test track’ for self-propelled harvesters in the industrial area of Niedersachsenpark in Rieste, Germany. The goal is to use the track to put the performance of self-propelled harvesters to the test and train service technicians. It is located next to Grimme’s self-propelled harvester factory.
3/30/2020

READ MORE

How the potato chip got its healthy new snack status

Potato chips have come a long way since the first mass produced varieties in the early 20th? century. Since then, the product has taken on many different forms to cater to evolving consumer needs, writes Thiago Roriz, TNA Solution’s General Manager for Latin America, in an article published by BakeryandSnacks.com.
3/30/2020

READ MORE

The founder of Farm Frites International passed away

Piet de Bruijne earlier today announced that his father, Gerrit de Bruijne has passed away. Mr de Bruijne was the founder of Farm Frites International. He was born in 1933. The Board of Directors of Farm Frites International in the Netherlands issued a statement regarding funeral arrangements and ways in which you can pass on your condolences to the family.
3/29/2020

READ MORE

Canada: Even the humble potato threatened by climate change

You can go down to your grocery store of choice and pick up five pounds of potatoes in Canada for a “Sir Wilfred Laurier” and change. Stolid, stable, and starchy, the potato is the essence of a staple crop. A potato plant is a living thing, and it’s no more immune to environmental stress than the next sessile organism, Colin Hodd of Cape Breton Post reports.
3/29/2020

READ MORE

Inspiring: 90-year-old lady who beat coronavirus credits God and potato soup

A 90-year-old woman from Washington state is praising God, her family, and her homemade potato soup for helping her overcome the coronavirus, Katherine Rodrigues of Breitbard reports. “I beat the coronavirus,” Geneva Wood, of Kirkland, Washington, told Good Morning America. 
3/29/2020

READ MORE

Will warm weather really kill off Covid-19?

Some people hope that outbreaks of the new coronavirus will wane as temperatures rise, but pandemics often don’t behave in the same way as seasonal outbreaks. BBC Future looks at what we know.
3/29/2020

READ MORE

2019 and 2020 Webinars available on the World Potato Congress website

In a press release issued earlier this week, the World Potato Congress Inc notes that in case you missed one of its webinars, rest assured that they are all available on the World Potato Congress website at www.potatocongress.org.  WPC provided a list of all past webinars now on the website.
3/28/2020

READ MORE

Europatat Congress 2020 cancelled

Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, regrets to inform that the Europatat Congress 2020, scheduled to take place on 11 and 12 June in Brussels, will be cancelled following the escalation of COVID-19 crisis in Europe. For Europatat, the safety and wellbeing of the Congress’ participants, speakers and partners is its number one priority.
3/28/2020

READ MORE

NPC welcomes ag benefits in COVID-19 Relief Bill

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed end of the week in the US, a $2 trillion bill with significant benefits to the US potato supply chain. This comes a day after the Senate passed by the bill by a 96-0 vote. The bill has been sent to President Trump for his expected signature.
3/28/2020

READ MORE

Canada: PVY in 2019 New Brunswick crop near lowest levels since regulatory caps began

Recent research presented at the N.B. Potato Conference and Tradeshow, Feb. 6th 2020, has highlighted the low levels of Potato virus Y (PVY) in the 2019 seed harvest in New Brunswick, Potato Country magazine reports. Average PVY level in all tested potato seed lots harvested in 2009 was 11.8%, which over a decade dropped to only 0.63% in the 2019 harvest. This is near to the lowest level ever measured in the N.B. potato industry, which was 0.43% in the 2016 harvest.
3/19/2020

READ MORE

Idaho stores somehow selling out of potatoes

Odd as it may sound, Idaho retailers have been experiencing fresh potato shortages lately, John O’Connell of Post Register reports. Several produce departments throughout the Gem State were sold out of every potato consumer bag and loose spud by Tuesday, as consumers seeking to stock their pantries for the coronavirus outbreak bought foods that store well by the cartload. “It is strange. I didn’t think I’d ever see a shortage, at least at the store level, of potatoes in Idaho,” said Travis Blacker, industry relations director with the Idaho Potato Commission.
3/18/2020

READ MORE

Australian shoppers urged to eat smarter and add more potatoes to supermarket trolleys

Australians stockpiling groceries to prepare for COVID-19 are being warned against wasting food by a leading Australian authority. Focusing on reducing household waste would save money and create less concern about running out of supplies, according to the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre chief executive officer Dr Steven Lapidge. His message is being backed by the South Australian potato industry as it launches its own campaign reminding shoppers of the merits of the humble potato.
3/18/2020

READ MORE

US: Useful guides published for fungicides, fertilizer and growth promotion products

Potato Grower magazine recently published a Fungicide Buyers’ Guide in its March 2020 issue. The editor of the magazine says that “over the years, growers, researchers and chemical reps have worked tirelessly to develop sustainable, economical solutions to the problems posed by these fungal maladies. Potato Grower’s fungicide buyers’ guide showcases a few of those solutions.” A Fertilizer and Growth Promoter Buyers’ Guide was also published in the March 2020 issue of Potato Grower.
3/17/2020

READ MORE

Potato news update from Russia

The Potato Union of Russia and the Russian magazine Potato System recently came to an agreement to collaborate in an initiative to inform the commercial potato industry about important industry and government events, promotion of the achievements of agricultural producers, and more. “We hope that the transition to a new level of cooperation will expand the capabilities of both parties and allow us to solve professional problems even more successfully and efficiently,” says the Chief Editor of Potato System, Olga Maxaeva
3/17/2020

READ MORE

Expert Opinion: What could the coronavirus mean for the global potato industry?

The spread and fear of coronavirus has stepped up a gear this week, with more than 110 countries or territories reporting 129,000 cases and more than 4, 000 deaths between them, writes potato market analyst Cedric Porter. The virus is having an impact on the potato industry, Porter says. Some countries are reporting an increase in table potato sales as people stock up on essential goods, but processing potato prices, especially in Europe, have plunged on physical and futures markets.
3/17/2020

READ MORE

Potatoes USA has retailers’ backs with ‘Path to Purchase’ study

Lilian Diep is a trade news writer with AndNowUKnow. She recently wrote in an article: “I’m now privy to a wealth of resources, including Kayla Dome, Global Marketing Manager of Retail for Potatoes USA. I sat down with Kayla to find out how retailers can engage with consumers to capitalize on this staple category and maximize profits.” Below is some of what Lilian found out. In a recent collab, Potatoes USA tapped Kantar Insights Consulting to gather information for a Fresh Potatoes Path to Purchase study from potato shoppers at food retailers, mass merchandise retailers, club stores, and grocery online shoppers. The results?
3/17/2020

READ MORE

Crop rotation: Call in a nurse. A ‘nurse’ crop, that is

Recent years have seen increased attention on the health of the soil used in potato production, and attempts to bring potatoes into longer rotations with other crops, writes Ralph Pearce, CG Production Editor in Country Guide. He says that in Canada’s Maritime provinces, seed companies are promoting soybeans or corn as rotational options, and McCain has developed one- and two-year multi-species cover crop blends to help boost organic matter and limit erosion.
3/15/2020

READ MORE

Expert Opinion: What could the coronavirus mean for the global potato industry?

The spread and fear of coronavirus has stepped up a gear this week, with more than 110 countries or territories reporting 129,000 cases and more than 4, 000 deaths between them, writes potato market analyst Cedric Porter in this week’s issue of World Potato Markets.The virus is having an impact on the potato industry, Porter says. Some countries are reporting an increase in table potato sales as people stock up on essential goods, but processing potato prices, especially in Europe, have plunged on physical and futures markets.
3/14/2020

READ MORE

Potatoes USA considers effects of coronavirus on consumer behaviour

Tom Karst writes in The Packer that the 2020 annual meeting of Potatoes USA proceeded as planned even as news was breaking that the NCAA decided to exclude fans from its annual post-season basketball tournament the coronavirus, COVID-19.  The “anxiety economy” existed before both the coronavirus and the escalation of the 2020 presidential race, said John Toaspern, chief marketing officer for Potatoes USA. “People are nervous; they aren’t really sure what to do,” he said. Millennials are delaying having children because they are concerned about the future, he said.
3/13/2020

READ MORE

Canada to invest millions into Potato Early Dying disease research

Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, spoke to growers from across the country at the Canadian Horticultural Council‘s (CHC) annual meeting announced a federal investment of over $2.3 million to support the Council’s research into managing the Potato Early Dying (PED) disease. The horticulture sector contributed an additional $991,918 towards this research, for a total investment of over $3.3 million. The purpose of the project is said to provide potato growers with the knowledge, tools and technologies they need to manage Potato Early Dying, which results in premature aging, limiting potato yield by as much as 50 per cent.
3/13/2020

READ MORE

CIP and partners publish a ‘Manual for seed potato production using aeroponics’

The full title of this new book, authored by scientists working at CIP, INIAP, and CORPOICA in Latin America, is Manual for seed potato production using aeroponics. Ten years of experience in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It is edited by Jorge Andrade-Piedra, Peter Kromann, Victor Otazú. Aeroponics is a technique for producing potato minitubers (corresponding to the pre-basic seed category) in formal seed systems, that is, systems in which the State regulates the production and distribution of certified seed.
3/13/2020

READ MORE

Winds of change: Which countries were the top 15 potato producers during 1961-2019?

In this animated video, the change in the top 15 potato producing countries globally is depicted year-on-year for the time period starting in 1961 until last year. The list of countries and the production figures are based on data made available by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The total world production for potatoes in 2019 was 376,826,967 metric tonnes, with China by far the largest producer, accounting for 26.3% of world production. This was certainly not the case in 1961. There was statistically many changes in the Top 15 ranking of total potato production since then.
3/11/2020

READ MORE

McCain and Simplot in court battle over pre-treatment technology patent

J.R. Simplot and McCain Foods have spent the last few years battling in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho over issues related to – unsurprisingly – potatoes, with each party asserting a design patent related to a spiraled potato, writes Anthony Fuga of Knight and Holland. However, in a recent blog, Fuga reports on the challenge to McCain’s utility patent that is directed to the process of using high-energy electric field technology to pre-treat potatoes (and other vegetables) before cutting and cooking them.
3/11/2020

READ MORE

EuroBlight issues report with details on the 2019 late blight monitoring results

EuroBlight is continuously examining the ongoing evolution of the European population of the potato late blight pathogen and now reports on the 2019 results. Approximately 1800 samples from 27 countries were genotyped. In general, blight pressure is said to have been low which reduced sample numbers in many regions. However, episodes of high disease pressure resulted in serious outbreaks in other areas such as northern Britain and Denmark.
3/10/2020

READ MORE

How the humble potato changed the world

In his 1957 essay collection Mythologies, the French philosopher and literary critic Roland Barthes called chips (la frite), a food that comes from a crop native to the Americas. Despite its origins in the Andes, it’s an incredibly successful global food.  Just a century earlier, a potato disease prompted a famine that halved Ireland’s population in a few years, producing a decades-long cascading effect of social and economic turmoil. And as you read these lines, the world’s leading potato producers today are China, India, Russia and Ukraine, respectively.
3/9/2020

READ MORE

World Potato Congress: ‘Africa could displace North America as the third largest potato producer’

The world’s potato production growth stagnated in 2018 and couldn’t recover in 2019, according to a recent statement by the World Potato Congress (WPC). It is said that in total, 368,247,000 tons were produced in 2018, according to FAO. Even so, it was the third-highest production after 2017 and 2014. The only continent that saw an increase in its potato plantations in 2018 was Africa (3.3% to 1,904,000 hectares), which could displace North America in 2020 as the third-biggest potato producer.
3/8/2020

READ MORE

UK: End of January stocks, drawdown and market implications

This past Friday, AHDB Potatoes issued a report in which it is said that grower held potato stocks at the end of January 2020 are estimated at 2.13Mt. This is 15% more than last season and 3% more than the 5 year average (2014-2018). This increase in grower held stocks year-on-year comes despite the end of November estimates standing at the lowest levels since 2012.
3/8/2020

READ MORE

Australian companies offer commercial opportunities for potato waste

Four of the largest potato producers in Australia want to convert 100 per cent of their potato waste into commercial benefit through their partnership with the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). Over the next three years, The Mitolo Group, Zerella Fresh, Thomas Foods International Fresh Produce, The South Australian Potato Company, together with Industry Association; Potatoes South Australia Inc, and the University of Adelaide will invest nearly $1m in this research and development to save up to 100,000 tonnes of potatoes currently going to waste every year.
3/7/2020

READ MORE

Taking a look at storage costs after CIPC removal

The removal of CIPC in the UK next season has pushed the burden onto other tools in the box. However, how cost effective these treatments are at current market prices is a question on many people’s mind, according to a release published by AHDB Potatoes. Using estimated chemical costs from Sutton Bridge and industry costings from the Potato Storage Calculator, AHDB specialists have calculated the estimated cost per tonne of storing in a refrigerated packing and ambient processing store for 8 months under different storage regimes.
3/3/2020

READ MORE

CIPC ban: 'European potato sector is facing a major challenge' – Belgapom

The European Commission has decided that the potato sprout inhibitor chlorpropham (CIPC) is no longer allowed to be applied to potatoes in storage from January 1st this year. The entire European potato sector is therefore facing a challenge, according to industry experts. “In Belgium, it is mainly potato processing and exports that are affected by the ban, since the measure targets the storage potatoes,” Romain Cools and Marc Van Herreweghe of Belgapom told FreshPlaza during a recent interview.
2/29/2020

READ MORE

Potato diseases: Control of Rhizoctonia solani podcast

Mike Abram, from the Communications team of Bayer Crop Sciences in the UK, recently caught up with Sam Harvey, who is a Commercial Technical Manager for Bayer, based in and around the Cambridgeshire area. They discussed potatoes and in particular how to control seed- and soil-borne potato diseases. Controlling seed- and soil-borne diseases is important for both good establishment and ultimately potato quality and skin finish,” Sam Harvey says. 
2/29/2020

READ MORE

Canadian drone service company helps farmers to assess crop health

Lee Dodson from Summerside on Prince Edward Island believes he has found a technological way for farmers to have detailed knowledge of the health of their fields without stepping outside. Dodson, CEO of Skygate Drone Services, was one of about 120 exhibitors at this year’s International Potato Technology Expo in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island this past Friday and Saturday. Dodson’s company involves flying a drone equipped with a multispectral crop imaging sensor over a farmer’s field to photograph and produce various computerized maps that show health issues.
2/28/2020

READ MORE

Ireland: Second lowest acreage of potatoes planted in 2019

The area of potatoes planted in Ireland in 2019 was the second lowest on record, after 2018, which was the lowest on record. There was also a further decrease in the plantings of traditional varieties such as Kerr’s Pink and Golden Wonders. Speaking at the recent National Potato conference in Dublin IFA president Tim Cullinan said farmers continue to be the poor relation within the supply chain. He outlined how retailers are taking the lion’s share of the margin on potatoes, while farmers bear all of the risk.
2/27/2020

READ MORE

Specialist: Why the physiological age of potato seed tubers matters

According to Carrie Huffman Wohleb, Associate Professor and Regional Specialist – Potato, Vegetable, and Seed Crops at Washington State University, physiological age is an important concept in potato production. “The physiological age of seed tubers determines when the buds will sprout and how many sprouts will develop from those buds,” she says. “It affects stem numbers and vine growth. It also influences tuber development and can have a significant impact on tuber yield and size distribution.”
2/27/2020

READ MORE

Specialty, organic potatoes help expand sales

There’s more to the potato business than reds, whites and russets, marketers in the US say. Specialty varieties and organics are important parts of the product mix, they note. “We need to continue to explore varietals,” said Mike Hart, director of sales and marketing for Fryeburg, Maine-based Green Thumb Farms.  “When I look at the produce section as a whole and see the wide range of apple varieties, or a specific orange variety being marketed to kids or parents, I think we can keep pushing the potato category in that direction.”
2/26/2020

READ MORE

No small fry: New MountainKing merchandising program focuses on baby potatoes

As sales of baby Golds, Reds and Medley potatoes continue to climb, MountainKing is embarking on an aggressive program to provide its retail partners with turnkey, display-ready options aimed at driving sales of the smaller, pre-sized variety. “Small potatoes are under-promoted and under-merchandised,” says John Pope, MountainKing vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re working to change that narrative in a big way.”
2/26/2020

READ MORE

Thousands attended International Potato Technology Expo on Prince Edward Island

The 2020 edition of the International Potato Technology Expo welcomed professionals from across North America back to Charlottetown on Canada’s Prince Edward Island this past Friday and Saturday. According to the organizers, the industry event took Charlottetown by storm with an impressive display of equipment and products, alongside an educational conference attracting hundreds of delegates. 3,078 attendees walked the show floor to check out diverse exhibits.
2/26/2020

READ MORE

Australia's famous Big Potato for sale for $920,000

If you’ve always wanted to own Australia’s famous Big Potato, here’s your chance. Owners Heather and Neil Tait, who own the supermarket next door, have put the land housing the potato up for sale. The big spud, located at 80 Hoddle Street in the town of Robertson has a price guide of $920,000. Modelled on the Sebago potato variety, the Big Potato was built in the mid-1970s by potato grower Jim Mauger. The Taits bought the 2000sqm site in 2014 for $450,000, with the aim of using the property to expand their supermarket. The selling agent is Steve Myers of Myers Realty.
2/26/2020

READ MORE

World Potato Congress report: Revised FAO figures show slowdown in the rise of global potato production

The increase in world potato production stalled in 2018 and failed to recover significantly in 2019. World output slipped by 1.5% to 368.247 million tonnes in 2018 figures just released by the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) show. However, that was still the third highest total ever after 2017 and 2014. World Potato Congress (WPC) Inc reports. There was a major adjustment in the area figures in 2018, which knocked onto production figures. The UN FAO estimated that the 158 countries it had figures for (or made calculations for) grew by 17.580 million hectares. Last year the organisation estimated a 2017 area figure of 19.099 million hectares, it has now downgraded the 2017 figure to 17.580 million hectare, a 7.9% reduction.
2/25/2020

READ MORE

Researchers in the Pacific Northwest working together to solve shared potato industry issues

Potato growers are learning it’s good to combine resources. Potato growers in the Pacific Northwest have discovered working together is more productive, especially when it comes to research that could potentially be good for the whole industry, Rick Worthington of AgInfo reports. Matthew Blua is with the Washington Potato Commission and says that was the thinking when it came to funding potato research in particular.
2/25/2020

READ MORE

Russian potato magazine launches multilingual website; experts invited to contribute content

“The development of the processing sector in Russia can change the potato situation: the construction of facilities for the production of potato chips, french fries, starch and potato flakes.  Many also expect an increase in potato exports, although this is not easy.” In short, the above are some of the most relevant topics of articles that were published in the magazine Potato System during the last year. But not the only ones. “We also write about diseases and pests of potatoes, the development of breeding and seed production, new technologies, experience and achievements of the best potato farms,” editor of the magazine, Olga Maxaeva says. “We want to turn the Potato System into a platform for the exchange of information and opinions between all potato growers," she says.
2/25/2020

READ MORE

WPC Webinar: Dr. Leah Tsror on Powdery Scab – Integrated disease management for reducing the risk

The World Potato Congress is extremely pleased to be offering its third webinar in 2020 on March 18, featuring Dr Leah Tsror. Dr Tsror is a Research Group Leader in the Department of Plant Pathology, Agricultural Research Organization, Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development in Israel. Dr. Tsror has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications and she is on the editorial boards of the journals Potato Research and Phytoparasitica (both published by Springer).
2/24/2020

READ MORE

PepsiCo to buy online snacks retailer in China

PepsiCo Inc. plans to buy online snacks company Hangzhou Haomusi Food Co. — known as Be & Cheery — for $705 million from Haoxiangni Health Food Co. as the maker of Doritos and Lay’s potato chips expands in China.  The snack and soft-drinks maker had been working on the Be & Cheery acquisition since before the coronavirus outbreak that began in China, and reaching the deal shows a willingness to make a long-term play even against uncertain near term. Pepsi closed one of its six manufacturing facilities in the country earlier this year to help deal with the outbreak.
2/24/2020

READ MORE

Hummingbird Technologies enters Eastern European market; launches Knockdown product in Australia

Hummingbird is very pleased to announce that the company has taken a first step towards the Eastern European market. Sarting with Poland, Hummingbird signed a reseller agreement with ProGea SKY. They will be reselling Hummingbird’s product services for potatoes, sugar beet, and cereals. ProGea will also functioin as a collaborative data collection partner. 
2/24/2020

READ MORE

Video: 'Opening the earth – The Potato King'. A story about agricultural biodiversity

A poor potato farmer in the Andes is one of the few guardians responsible for sustaining biodiversity critical to humanity. This video tells the story of Julio Hancco 14,600ft above sea level in the Peruvian Andes. Julio’s humble life contrasts with the global significance of agricultural biodiversity. World famous chefs, international organizations, and experts in the field all played a role in Julio’s rise. This film contrasts the humble life of a poor Peruvian farmer with the global significance of his traditions.
2/23/2020

READ MORE

Only in Canada: Manitobans to dig in for third annual 'Potahto Week'

“Our third annual Potahto Week is officially happening, and we are so ready!,” say the organizers of the event, announcing that Winnipeg’s top restaurants will dish up unique and delicious dishes starring the ‘potahto‘ from February 21 through March 1, 2020. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime-chance to taste potahto dishes exclusive to the event, so get out and chow down (or beware the FOMO), the organizers say.
2/22/2020

READ MORE

The PVY scourge: How new potato virus strains are troubling Maine farmers

The rise in rejected seed potatoes from last season’s crop can be blamed on new strains of an old virus, a Maine Potato Board plant pathologist said Tuesday. The Maine Potato Board announced recently that 60 percent more seed potato lots tested in the 2019-2020 Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s annual post-harvest test were rejected than in 2018-2019. A total of 7.3 percent of all seed potato lots were rejected, Bangor Daily News reports.
2/20/2020

READ MORE

Canada: Another winter of headaches for Manitoba potato growers

Manitoba potato growers are facing the inevitable result of a second extremely challenging digging season — elevated losses in storage. Wet weather in September and early October kept producers out of the fields, while a three-day snowstorm over the Thanksgiving weekend dropped upwards of 75 centimetres of snow in areas of south-central Manitoba, followed by yet more precipitation. Just 60 to 65 per cent of Manitoba’s potatoes had been harvested as of Oct. 9, the Keystone Potato Producers Association said at the time.
2/20/2020

READ MORE