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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

Traceability trend: Kettle’s chip bags now track potatoes back to farm of origin

The Kettle Brand started last year to tag its bags of chips with codes that make it possible for customers to see which farmers where grew the potatoes for them. Interested in learning more about how much work went into a single bag of chips and where the potatoes originated? Kettle Brand potato chip company has started placing so-called Tater Tracker codes on its chip bags for customers to scan and learn about the farmers who grew them.
3/24/2019

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New pest and disease control products in the pipeline for Canadian growers

Potato growers across Canada will soon have a new option for controlling wireworms. BASF has submitted a registration for Cimegra insecticide to Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. It is described a “broad-spectrum insecticide” for controlling chewing insects, according to the company’s crop manager for horticulture Scott Hodgins. The key insect target will be wireworm, he says. 
3/24/2019

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Variable rate technology pays off in the Netherlands

University of Wageningen researcher Corné Kempenaar and his colleagues at the Department of Agro Systems Research conducted a study to assess the cost benefit of adopting five variable rate application (VRA) technologies in potato production, writes Melanie Epp, contributing writer for Spudman magazine in the US.
3/23/2019

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UPGC issues latest Canadian potato crop and market update report

The United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) board of directors met last week in Halifax and reviewed the potato crop and market status across Canada. Overall Potato Stocks for March 1st are down 11.5% or 6.3 million hundredweight compared to March 1 of 2018. Fresh stocks are down 16.6% compared to a year ago and potatoes intended for processing are down 4,287,000 cwt. Seed stocks are 5.6% below one year ago.
3/23/2019

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Expert advises on post-harvest treatment of common potato diseases

Despite best efforts at integrated disease management in the production field, the condition of tubers making their way to storage may require additional inputs to maintain quality in short and long term. In this article, Amanda J. Gevens, Extension Vegetable Pathologist and Associate Professor at UW-Madison addresses treatments of a few of the most common potato diseases that growers can apply at harvest or post-harvest during the storage of the harvested crop.
3/23/2019

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Decline in European potato production the spark for new frozen potato processing plans in Egypt

MENAFN (Daily News Egypt) reported recently that the International Food and Consumable Goods Company (IFCG) is planning to establish a new factory for the production of frozen vegetables after the increased demand, with investments worth EGP 350m. Mohamed Habib, the company’s export manager, said that the trend towards frozen vegetables production came after rise in the global demand for processed potatoes in view of the decline in Europe’s production of potatoes by 25%.
3/21/2019

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Potato turnaround: Shunned vegetable now deemed a ‘superfood’

While you may have thought you’d seen the last of the humble potato in all its starchy glory, it looks like the delicious carb is back in vogue. It’s increasingly being touted as a superfood, due to its high levels of vitamin C, B6, folate, magnesium and potassium. And it’s considered ideal for those on a FODMAP diet, trying to avoid foods that trigger IBS and gut issues.
3/21/2019

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What are the elements of a good seed potato program?

If you talk to a group of potato growers, one issue is almost certain to come up: how to find seed potatoes free of disease, writes Carol Miller – editor of American Vegetable Grower. The U.S. potato seed industry can be difficult to navigate. Each region or state has its own rules for certifying seeds, which creates inconsistency, she writes.
3/21/2019

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French potato trader sees steady rise in potato prices

For the past two weeks, prices have been going up on the French potato market. As a consequence, the market is more calm, according to Antoine Geysels of the company Top’Pom, based in France. “Our French clients prefer to charge their contracts and take on their stocks rather than to buy on the free market at relatively high prices,” he says.
3/19/2019

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Seed crisis in Kenya: Bad potato seed imports hit farmers ahead of the rainy season

Kenyan farmers are facing a shortage of certified potato seed following the rejection of 78 percent of the planting materials that had been imported last year. The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) rejected 221 tonnes of potato seed out of the total 282 tonnes that had been shipped into the country for multiplication ahead of this year’s planting season.
3/19/2019

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‘Changes and Challenges in Potato Marketing Sectors’: 103rd Annual Meeting of the PAA

The Manitoba Local Arrangements Committee for PAA 2019 is pleased to host the 103rd Annual Meeting of the Potato Association of America. The theme for the symposium in Winnipeg is “Changes and Challenges in Potato Marketing Sectors”. The organizers invite the potato industry community around the world to come join the meeting from Sunday, July 28 – Thursday, August 1, 2019.
3/19/2019

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Millennials targeted in €1m makeover for the humble spud

Young people are being targeted in a €1 million bid to safeguard the future of the humble potato after a campaign focusing on women appears to have arrested a historic plunge in the staple’s popularity in Ireland.
3/18/2019

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Diet and wellness trend: Why the humble potato could become the next superfood

With the ever increasing popularity of the Keto diet over the last few years, you’d have thought that the last wellness trend we’d see surfacing in 2019 would be one focused on a white, starchy carb. However, times are changing. With experts slamming the keto diet for its side effects and fitness influencers like Kayla Itsines declaring their love for bread, now seems like the perfect time for the rise and rise of another deliciously beige carb – the white potato.
3/18/2019

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Video: Expert explains the role of daylength and light intensity in potato breeding

As part of the World Potato Congress (WPC) webinar series, Dr Peter VanderZaag, a world renowned authority on potato breeding and potato seed systems, delivered an online presentation on March 8. Dr VanderZaag is the Director of Sunrise Potato in Ontario Canada, Director of the World Potato Congress, Professor at Yunnan Normal College in China, and former Chair of the Board of Trustees at the International Potato Center in Lima (CIP).
3/17/2019

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Scientists warn disease threatens some of Scotland’s favourite consumer potatoes

Scotland’s favourite potatoes are under threat as experts warn Maris Piper and King Edward potatoes could soon be impossible to grow. Diseases such as blight have been ravaging traditional types of potatoes that remain popular with shoppers because they are tasty and easy to cook.
3/17/2019

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Researchers aim to develop heartier potatoes, but ‘generations of inbreeding’ may pose a challenge

Scientists are trying to revolutionize potatoes and….cure the tubers’ depression, the result of generations of inbreeding. Potatoes reproduce through cloning, so their genome is laden with mutations. Those mutations could result in ….stunted growth or shorter lifespans. A team of Chinese scientists looked for a better way to make potatoes reproduce, and along the way learned more about the genetics behind spuds’ “inbreeding depression.”
3/14/2019

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Snow stops Washington potato farmers from planting

The clock is ticking for potato farmers to get their spuds planted in the ground, but the snow is stopping them. “There’s a lot of frustrated farmers right now,” said Kent McMullen, who’s been a farmer for 30 years. This time last year, fields were teeming with workers. Now if you look outside, there’s not a soul in sight. “You don’t see a tractor in a field anywhere,” McMullen said. Tractors and workers can’t get onto some snow-covered fields.
3/14/2019

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Popular potato sprout suppressants CIPC and MH on the menu

Head of Storage Research at AHDB Potatoes in the UK, Adrian Cunnington, discusses the current political and regulatory situation around popular sprout suppressants CIPC and MH with AHDB Potatoes Director Rob Clayton. The discussion includes a review of currently available sprout control options, and what might be available in the future.
3/10/2019

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Swiss potato producers lose millions each year due to discards

Every year, Swiss potato growers lose about 22 million Euro because of the discard of products that cannot be marketed. To prevent them from being dumped, they feed 100,000 tons of potatoes to their cows. This quantity is equal to one third of the country’s total production.
3/9/2019

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A forward for Digital Farming: The next wave of ag innovation has arrived

Farmers face unrivalled risk and uncertainty. New solutions are needed to help them solve complex problems. With digital tools and data science, the next wave of innovation in agriculture has arrived. Mike Stern, Head of The Climate Corporation and Digital Farming for Bayer Crop Sciences, shares his positive perspective on the power and potential of digital farming.
3/9/2019

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AHDB’s latest recruit will provide support to key potato growing region

AHDB has welcomed a new recruit to work with potato growers in the east of England. David Wilson has taken on the role of Knowledge Exchange Manager (Potatoes) for East Anglia and the South East. David will be using his experience and knowledge of the potato industry to work with growers on a number of key AHDB initiatives.
3/9/2019

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‘Orders from a lady’: A most unusual Pakistani potato farm run by a woman

On a village farm in northern Pakistan, it’s not just the workers but the manager who is a woman. Thirty-year-old Sahar Iqbal and her husband inherited the land, and she now manages 100 full-time female workers. This farm, 180 km north of Lahore, employs 180 people. The numbers triple during harvest time. Thirty year old Sahar Iqbal is in charge.
3/9/2019

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Ontario Potato Conference ‘a big success’, says organizer

In an email to her newsletter recipients this morning, Dr Eugenia Banks, organizer of the 2019 Ontario Potato Conference and Trade Show expresses her satisfaction with the outcome of the event which was held in Guelph this past Wednesday, March 6. Says Dr Banks: “The 2019 Ontario Potato Conference and Trade Show, supported by the Potato Board, was a big success...
3/9/2019

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Video: Potato planting races ahead in the Suffolk sunshine

otato planting kicked off this week on one large Suffolk Breckland estate, with high hopes for the early-maturing crop after it went into the ground in ideal conditions. The light land Elveden Estate took advantages of the highest February temperatures on record to start planting 13ha of Maris Peer aimed at the early salad market. Farm manager Rob Ball has 520ha of potatoes to plant over the next eight weeks on the estate.
3/6/2019

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How one Montana family keeps its seed potato crop clean

When it comes to finding quality potato seed, the supplier’s reputation is everything. And Kimm Seed Potatoes, located in Manhattan, MT, has one of the best. It’s widely recognized as a reliable producer of healthy, disease-free seed. That reputation comes in part from how closely it works with the University of Montana’s seed certification program. The U.S. has a crazy quilt system of potato seed certification programs.
3/6/2019

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McCain to upgrade Tasmanian processing facility

McCain Foods is to spend $37 million to upgrade its Smithton french fry plant in Tasmania. The multi-national announced on Wednesday it would to become the company’s primary retail french fry production facility in Australia and New Zealand. 
3/6/2019

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Farming couple who turn unwanted spuds into spirits open Scotland’s first vodka visitor centre

A potato farming couple who turn spuds into spirits have opened Scotland’s first vodka visitor centre. Graeme and Caroline Jarron started distilling Ogilvy Vodka in 2014 from the thousands of pounds of misshapen potatoes they couldn’t sell to market from their farm at Glamis, Angus. Now they are preparing to open the doors to their £150,000 attraction in a stone barn, taking visitors round the farm by vintage tractor and trailer, showing them the distillation process, a look at potato farming… 
3/5/2019

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Out in the Cold: Coping with frost-damaged potatoes

Frost damage occurs when tuber temperature drops below approximately 30 degrees Fahrenheit and tuber tissues freeze. Potatoes that are closer to the surface are more likely to experience freezing temperatures than those deeper in the soil. Green potatoes, which are at the soil surface, will undoubtedly be the first to suffer from frost damage.
3/5/2019

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Potato biofungicide Serenade shows promise for Rhizoctonia control in Britain

The latest independent trials have shown promising but mixed results for biological fungicide product Serenade for controlling Rhizoctonia solani (blackleg)  in potato crops. The product, which contains the bacteria Bacillus subtilis, has an off-label approval for use in potatoes to control a range of disease-causing pathogens, applied either in-furrow at planting or as a seed treatment.
3/5/2019

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Biotech company provides rapid and sensitive pathogen detection solutions to the potato seed industry

PathSensors is excited to break some new ground and expand their pathogen detection capabilities to work closely with the potato industry. The Baltimore-based biotechnology company is focused on delivering highly rapid and sensitive pathogen detection solutions to the agriculture, food safety, and bio-defense industries and is currently working to employ their technologies to save time and money for potato seed growers.
3/4/2019

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Export demand high for US potatoes

Offshore demand for U.S. potatoes continues to trend upward, marketers say. “Our export markets are trending very positive this year with demand for Idaho growing,” said Ross Johnson, international marketing director with the Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission. “We shipped our first loads to South Korea this year and the reception has been very encouraging for future shipments.”
3/4/2019

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New tool for EU farmers to help manage nutrients

A new tool is being developed by the EU to help farmers manage the use of nutrients on their farm. The so-called Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients (FaST), proposed in the framework of the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs), aims to facilitate a sustainable use of fertilisers for all farmers in the EU while boosting the digitisation of the agricultural sector.
3/3/2019

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Potato processing contracts addressed by Idaho legislature

The Idaho House Agricultural Affairs Committee on Feb. 26 endorsed legislation that would formalize the process grower associations have used for 50-plus years in negotiating annual contracts with processors of fried potato products. Supporters said House Bill 121 would help keep processors from negotiating directly with individual members of grower associations, as they contend a processor did last spring.
3/3/2019

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Mexico: Potato harvest kicks off

Authorities of the Rural Development District 149 of the Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) in Navojoa announced that with low yields of 10 tons per hectare, the potato harvest began in the Valle del Mayo. The head of the unit, Luis Alfonso Soto Vega said that these figures are a result of the damage suffered by crops due to the low temperatures recorded during the last days of December.
3/1/2019

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U.S. potato processor bought by German company Frostkrone Group

Quickly expanding German company Frostkrone Group recently announced the acquisition of Idaho potato processor Rite Stuff Foods Inc. “We have had good business relationships with the U.S. for several years now. The logical consequence of the developments and discussions with trading partners was the direct consequence of having a company location,” said Frédéric Dervieux, Managing Partner of the Frostkrone Group.
3/1/2019

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Ireland: Latest potato market update

The market remains unchanged in Ireland with demand remaining steady. Consumption may be down slightly when compared year on year though this may be due to higher retailer prices and a greater proportion of smaller pack sizes on retail shelves. In the UK the free buy market remains quiet as buyers stick to contract supply, however, prices are unchanged with some slight price increases for quality lines.
2/28/2019

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Greenvale un “Valed” its inaugural food and potato trends report

Greenvale AP, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of fresh potatoes, has unveiled it’s inaugural food and potato trends report. The research looks at a number of food trends predicted to have made an impact in 2018.  The report then extends further homing in on trends within the potato market.
2/28/2019

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Europatat Insights: Latest news from the European Potato Trade Association

Sucessful days at Fruit Logistica 2019! From 5 to 8 February, the Europatat Secretariat was present at Fruit Logistica 2019 in Berlin, the world’s leading international trade fair for fresh fruit and vegetables including potatoes. Europatat used this occasion to meet with its members at the Seed Potatoes and Packers & Ware Commissions with the purpose to discuss current and important dossiers for the potato sector.
2/28/2019

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Danish potato trader found guilty in illegal import of minitubers

Breeders Trust, the organization that defends the Plant Breeders’ Rights of 10 leading European potato breeders, won a lawsuit earlier this month against the Danish potato export and trading company Myco Seed A/S located in Give (Denmark). The Danish court in Kolding has ruled that Myco Seed A/S has infringed the Plant Breeders’ Rights of 3 varieties in Denmark belonging to the Dutch potato breeders Agrico and HZPC.
2/27/2019

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Insufficient support for European ban on potato sprout inhibitor Chlorpropham

Last Friday, the European Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (ScoPAFF) voted on a proposal to ban sprout inhibitor Chlorpropham (or CIPC), widely used in the potato industry. The European Commission wants to ban the sprout inhibitor that is formally regulated as a pesticide. However, in the ScoPAFF were not enough votes to approve the ban.
2/27/2019

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New research gives insight into warding off Colorado potato beetles by way of nematode odors

A recent study revealed insect-killing nematodes also produce distinctive chemical cues that enhance plant defenses and deter Colorado potato beetles. Entomologists from Texas A&M University, including Dr. Anjel Helms, who led the study, and Penn State University took a look at whether Colorado potato beetles and potato plants responded to the presence of entomopathogenic nematodes, EPNs, or insect-killing nematodes.
2/27/2019

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Russia found no brown rot in Dutch seed potatoes

According to a report published by FreshPlaza, the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhodnadzor) will allow the import of Dutch seed potatoes. These imports concern specifically the batches of seed potatoes mentioned on the Dutch Potato Organization’s (NAO) list.
2/26/2019

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New potato app helps with crop management and yield data

A new potato-specific smartphone app has been developed to help growers improve crop management and marketing decisions right through the supply chain. Developed by the Peterborough-based potato supplier Greenvale AP, the Crop4Sight app’s first key feature improves understanding of how crop development will impact on marketable yield.
2/21/2019

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Belgian delegation visits Mexico to promote fries

Belgapom, the professional association for the Belgian potato trade and processing sectors, is in Mexico on a trade mission, accompanied by high ranking government officials. The trade mission to Mexico is led by Princess Astrid. Belgapom also introduced his ambassador of Belgian fries, James Bint, in Mexico.
2/21/2019

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US: Black Gold Farms appoints Chief Production Officer

Black Gold Farms recently announced that Kerwin Bradley has joined the organization as the Chief Production Officer (CPO). As CPO, Kerwin will support all aspects of crop production and sit on the executive team. His role will be to implement best practices, lead variety selection and development, drive the adaption of new and innovative technologies which will improve agronomic decision making, and build out an aggressive production strategy for Black Gold Farms.
2/20/2019

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Canadian seed potatoes reportedly sold out

Will last fall’s wet harvest impact supplies of potato seed for spring 2019? The Grower magazine conducted a phone survey of growers and associations in seven provinces of the country to find out. The survey was conducted between February 1 and February 14, 2019. An extended report on this matter will be published in the March 2019 issue of The Grower.
2/20/2019

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Belgian company targets younger generation with new potato product launch

Belgian based potato company De Aardappelhoeve introduced a new convenience concept during the Fruit Logistica event in Germany. The new potato product line is targeting a younger generation of consumers. Bart and Ruben Nemegheer say younger people are eating fewer and fewer fresh potatoes. Pre-cooked or processed products are still popular. “The product, directly from nature, is not well-loved among the younger generation,” the pair say.
2/20/2019

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‘Land well-suited for potatoes in Britain will decline by 74% under climate projections,’ new report warns

Extreme and unpredictable weather – made more frequent by climate change – is putting future supplies of British potatoes at risk, according to a new report. The damaging impact of climatic extremes could make British-grown potatoes and other fruit and vegetables harder to come by for shoppers, with more than half of UK farms saying they have been affected by a severe climatic event, such as flooding, in the past 10 years.
2/18/2019

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New $50 million govt program announced to ‘support competitiveness and sustainability in the Canadian agricultural sector’

The Canadian Federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay has announced the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP) this past week. It will focus on four priority areas: adoption of new technology; environmental sustainability; strategic development and capacity building; and, emerging issues.
2/18/2019

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The beauty of small potatoes: Canadian company launches new mini potato line

The phrase “small is beautiful” is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more, in contrast with phrases such as “bigger is better”. In the world of potatoes, the WP Griffin company on Prince Edward Island in Canada is inadvertently giving new meaning to this phrase. The company recently launched its new product line dubbed ‘Potato Cuisine Microwaveable Mini Potatoes‘...
2/18/2019

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