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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

Potatoes now worth one billion dollars to New Zealand economy

Chris Claridge, Potato New Zealand’s CEO, is pleased to see steady growth in potato volumes and values, writes Gemma Carroll, Communications & Engagement Officer at PNZ. “The latest figures in from 2018 indicate we’re holding our own in exports and the value domestically has gone up. It’s a good report. However we would like to lift our export market.
8/6/2019

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How important is Frito-Lay for PepsiCo’s growth?

Frito-Lay North America (FLNA) has maintained its position as the fastest growing segment for PepsiCo over recent years. PepsiCo Revenues have increased from $62.8 billion in 2016 to $64.7 in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 1.5%. During the same period, FLNA saw its revenues increase from $15.5 billion to $16.3 billion, at a CAGR of 2.5%.
8/5/2019

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Fairfields Farm crisps come top for Taste in National Awards

Artisan crisp producer in the UK, Fairfields Farm, has picked up five awards in this year’s prestigious Great Taste Awards, known as the ‘Oscars’ of the food industry. The celebrated awards, which judge thousands of products on taste alone, are a cornerstone of the fine food industry and give producers a stamp of approval from some of the country’s most esteemed critics.
8/5/2019

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Trailblazing Women of the Idaho Potato Brand

For eight years, the Big Idaho® Potato Truck, a 4-ton spud on wheels, has been turning heads and stopping folks in their tracks everywhere it goes. This summer, there’s another reason why people are taking a second look at the oversized vegetable. The Tater Team, the trio that travels with the Truck promoting famous Idaho® potatoes, is all women, including the driver. According to CNBC, only 6 percent of all truck drivers are female. So if you think a giant spud is a rare sighting, so is a female truck driver.
8/3/2019

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US potato growers concerned over trade

Like other commodities, trade remains top of mind for potato growers across the Northwest. Chris Voigt, Executive Director of the Washington state Potato Commission says a year into the trade war with China, local growers and processors are starting to see and feel the impact. Making matters worse, the U.S. still does not have a trade deal with Japan, the largest destination for U.S. spuds.
8/3/2019

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Canada: Cavendish Farms building new potato research facility on Prince Edward Island

Irving-owned Cavendish Farms announced late Friday afternoon it is putting up $6 million to create a new research and plant-breeding centre on Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada. “The intent of the facility is to work to address potatoes that are more resistant to some of those challenges that we are seeing in terms of warmer temperatures and drier growing conditions,” said Mary Keith, vice-president of communications for J.D. Irving Limited.
8/2/2019

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German potato prices set to spike due to drought

Two summers in a row of drought are causing Germany’s potato supply to dwindle – and prices to rise.Farmers throughout Germany, and especially in the country’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, are desperately hoping for rain in August. “If it continues to stay hot and dry, the problem will become very big,” said Horst-Peter Karos, the head of the Association of Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Preparation (BOGK) regarding the country’s staple crop. 
8/2/2019

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New processing plants drive Canadian potato acre expansion

Potato acres are up in Manitoba and Alberta this year as more spuds are needed to supply new and expanded processing plants on the Prairies. Manitoba potato growers seeded 6,000 more acres than 2018 and Alberta acres are up 5,500 acres compared to last year, based on data from a July 17 United Potato Growers of Canada report. Manitoba needs more potatoes this year to supply the expanded Simplot french fry plant in Portage la Prairie. The company’s spending $460 million to double the plant’s capacity.
8/2/2019

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What can the potato teach us about tomorrow’s wonder foods?

In The Economist‘s podcast collaboration, “The Secret History of the Future”, The Economist’s Tom Standage and Seth Stevenson of Slate unearth curious tales hidden in the history of technology, and ask what they can tell us about the future. Can its journey tell us what to expect from current efforts to replace animal meat with “societally healthier” meat alternatives made from plants, insects, or cells grown in petri dishes?
7/26/2019

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UK potato growers ‘very worried’ as homegrown crop shortage looms

UK consumers may face a home-grown potatoes shortage next year as stocks run out due to new storage rules. Experts fear a 12-week gap could open up in the UK supply in 2020 as a result of the loss of the main chemical used on stored spuds.
7/26/2019

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Summer cover crop highlight of San Luis Valley farm tour

As a trailblazer in adapting regenerative, low-input farming practices for the San Luis Valley, Rockey Farms continues to tweak production methods and experiment with new approaches while producing some of the region’s tastiest potatoes. In mid-July, brothers Brendon and Sheldon Rockey hosted a field day for around 100 visitors from across the state and beyond, offering them a chance to observe practices on the 600-acre irrigated farm northwest of Center.
7/26/2019

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Lifting of maleic hydrazide label restrictions in Britain positive for potato sprout suppression

Following the lifting of label restrictions on maleic hydrazide (MH), the active can be used for control of potato volunteers and sprout suppression during storage. Mark Taylor of the Fresh Potatoes Suppliers Association (FPSA) says: “Since the announcement of the non-renewal of chlorpropham (CIPC), having a restriction on the use of maleic hydrazide-treated crops had an even greater impact for growers and packers.
7/25/2019

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Idaho Potato Commission partners with Mexican retailer

The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) recently partnered with Mexican retailer Calimax for a four-week promotional campaign to introduce Idaho Potatoes to the Mexican consumer. The IPC chose Calimax to sell Idaho potatoes due to its proximity to the U.S. state, just south of the San Diego border. The Idaho Potato Commission and its commissioners have been enthusiastic about the partnership with Calimax.
7/24/2019

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Late blight alert for eastern Canadian potatoes

High numbers of late blight spores have been found in two spore traps placed near Delhi in Ontario in eastern Canada, triggering an alert for growers to make sure that their crop, especially the new growth is protected. Potato consultant Eugenia Banks says the area “has received enough rain recently to create favourable conditions for disease development.”
7/23/2019

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Early potato growers in Britain look to new markets to survive

Pembrokeshire potato growers are looking to focus their early spud crops on the local Welsh market and also expand into chipping and baking markets to drive customer demand. Competition from early growers in England and the ability to store “baby” potatoes over the winter has hit the Pembroke growers and they are having to work hard to market their crops.
7/23/2019

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The Irish woman behind the award-winning potato-based liquor brand

The Muff Liquor Company, an Irish drinks company, is just a few years old but has been making its mark on the industry – and not just because of the name! Laura Bonner, a native of Co Donegal, and business partner Tom Russell set up the Muff Liquor Company in Bonner’s home county 2017. Starting out with a potato-based gin and now a vodka, with more spirits on the way, the company has been cleaning up at awards ceremonies
7/19/2019

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‘Acreage increases in the 2019 Canadian Potato Crop justified,’ says industry leader

Statistics Canada released their first estimate of potato acreage in Canada as a result of data obtained from their survey of potato growers in Canada. Statistics Canada has estimated the 2019 potato acreage to be up 3.3% or 11,526 acres above 2018. Given some of the additional acreage required to supply two new fry plants and a recently completed new line in Canada, industry had expected the increase to be higher.
7/19/2019

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Latest Canadian Potato Crop Report

Prince Edward Island  Old crop is getting cleaned up. One of the main customers is still bringing in potatoes to reach the start of new crop. Acreage on the island is expected to be similar to last year. The spring was later, but Growing Degree Days really moved ahead in June with crop growth ahead of, same time last year.
7/18/2019

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Weather more favourable to Prince Edward Island’s potato industry so far in 2019

This year’s potatoes may have gone into the ground a little late, but with good growing conditions since, the crop is catching up.  “We had some nice heat in June and when (the plants) emerged we gained ground,” said P.E.I. Potato Board general manager Greg Donald. Conditions have been so good in some parts of P.E.I. that Knutsford grower Karl Smallman is already suggesting there’s potential for a bumper crop.
7/18/2019

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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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