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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

British potato processors given go-ahead for controlled use of DMN sprout suppressant

AHDB in the UK has secured an emergency authorisation (EA) for the use of as yet unapproved sprout suppressant 1?4 dimethylnaphthalene (DMN). The approval is limited to the supply chains of some major processors, as the Chemical Regulations Division (CRD) of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) turned down an original wider application made in August. Approval has been granted for controlled use of the sprout control product on a limited number of varieties, pre?nominated by member companies of the Potato Processors Association (PPA). The treated varieties will be used for crisp and French fry manufactures.
12/10/2020

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Precision farming: Yield and field-to-storage load monitoring on a Canadian potato farm

Ontario potato farmers Kate and Peter Vander Zaag were among the first to adopt potato yield monitoring and, more recently, field-to-storage load tracking and mapping. Tech-savvy producers who prioritize quality, the Vander Zaags believe capturing quality information is key to growing better potatoes. Bill Menkveld, VP of Sales and Marketing at Canadian based precision farming company Greentronics sat down with Kate Vander Zaag to hear her perspective.
12/10/2020

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Fertiliser calibration: The principles

AHDB and Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) have joined up to look at how you can get the best out of your nitrogen use and fertiliser application through calibration, with a focus on the principles and the practice. This session focuses on fertiliser calibration principles and is designed for owners, operators and advisors. Dr Ian Richards, Independent Consultant will be talking through the key points.
12/10/2020

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Sustainable cultivation: Research confirms soil benefits of cover crops in potato crop rotations

Canadian scientist, Dr. Judith Nyiraneza, working with a Prince Edward Island potato producer recently completed a two-year study that tested the performance of winter rye, winter wheat and spring barley as winter cover crops planted following the harvest of potatoes. She concluded each cover crop improved soil health and combat erosion, protecting potato fields in winter.
12/10/2020

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Eye on Potatoes podcast: 2020 Election analysis and how the 2020 elections could impact the potato industry’s policy efforts

In this edition of NPC’s Eye on Potatoes podcast, leading agriculture political advisor Randy Russell of The Russell Group joins National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles and host Lane Nordlund for an in-depth discussion of the 2020 election results and how the potato industry will work with the new Congress and Biden Administration to advance its policy priorities. Additionally they discuss what the Lame Duck session might hold for growers and the rest of America.
12/9/2020

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Streamlining irrigation practices: Manna and CHAMSA collaborate to bring pivot irrigation closer to full autonomy

Leading irrigation intelligence software company Manna, and Grupo Chamartin S.A. (CHAMSA), a leading irrigation systems manufacturer and distributor, today announced their collaboration to develop a joint offering that will bring pivot irrigation one step closer to autonomy. The partnership marks the growing momentum in the sector towards more sustainable and streamlined irrigation practices achievable through combined agricultural and technological expertise.
12/8/2020

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From potato peelings to fertiliser: Walkers to cut carbon emissions by bringing potatoes full circle

Walkers crisps, one of the largest buyers of British potatoes, is partnering with British clean-tech firm CCm Technologies to reduce its carbon footprint by turning its potato waste into fertiliser. Using innovative carbon-capture technology, potato peelings leftover from making crisps will be transformed into low-carbon fertiliser and returned to farms where potatoes for Walkers crisps are grown across the UK.
12/8/2020

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Trade report: Potatoes and Mexico

In this episode of Idaho Ag Today, Dr David Sparks – the voice of the Idaho Agribusiness community – is having a chat with chat with international trade expert Bill Bryant, who has an interesting perspective on Mexico and Idaho potatoes. Says Bill: “Everyone said that, you know what? We’ve got this biotechnology language and the Trans-Pacific Partnership that we did spend years negotiating. And that, by the way, since Canada and Mexico are already part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, they’ve already agreed to it. We agreed to it when we negotiated the TPP. Let’s just take that TPP language and stick it in NAFTA and call it USCAP.
12/3/2020

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Research job opening: ‘Getting to the roots of stress resilience of potato plants’

Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands is advertising a challenging position for 1,5 years for a candidate with a PhD in Plant Sciences or Molecular Biology, with preference for candidates with good background in stress physiology. In this project the function of several candidate genes involved in potato root architecture will be investigated, by qPCR, CRISPR-CAS9 genome editing and overexpression approaches.
12/3/2020

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Seed potato exports from Canada’s Prince Edward Island to the US halted; NPC CEO issues statement

In a media statement, the National Potato Council (NPC) in the US says that on November 27, “the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of potato wart (Synchytrium endobioticum) in two fields on a farm in Prince Edward Island (PEI), according to a pest report issued by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).” In response, the NPC said it supports CFIA’s immediate action to stop all PEI seed shipments into the United States.
12/2/2020

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In an age of biofortified food: Study reveals potato’s potential for reducing anemia

Potatoes can be an excellent source of iron. This means potatoes could play an important role in efforts to reduce iron deficiency – the leading cause of anemia, which affects about 2 billion people globally. Whereas people absorb only about 2-10% of the iron in most vegetables, 8% of the iron in pearl millet and less than 10% of the iron in beans, participants in this study absorbed 28% of the iron in the yellow-fleshed potato they ate.
12/2/2020

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Possible ban on UK potatoes could impact chip shops, growers in Ireland

A possible post-Brexit ban on the importation of potatoes from the UK could affect supplies in Ireland next year. From 1 January, UK table potatoes and seed potatoes could fall foul of EU food safety rules. When the UK becomes a third country, it will be outside the legal framework of the European Union’s food safety rules. Many service outlets in Ireland, including chip shops, use British potatoes for chips.
12/2/2020

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Pandemic pushes Peru’s vital peasant farmers to the brink

Small scale farmers are responsible for the food that lands on 70 percent of Peruvian dinner tables, officials say, but months of pandemic lockdown and a souring economy have left many bankrupt and questioning whether to plant again. Strict quarantines early in the pandemic made transporting beans, potatoes and other crops to markets difficult. Prices plummeted as demand dropped. Official data shows the price for potatoes dropped at least 30 percent between March and July.
12/1/2020

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Pandemic impacts Chef endorsed UK potato brand

UK based Linwood Crops was established in 2016 by four potato specialists with over 100 years in combined experience. They set out to create a passionate business dedicated to supplying fresh Potatoes based on taste and purpose. Matt Thory, Linwood’s Commercial Director says it is clear that his passion for the brand has made the decision to agree an exit plan very difficult. Matt states that the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on market values and the closure of the hospitality sectors; unfortunately leaves minimal margins that do not offer the brand’s Royalty requirements to secure the relationship going forward.
12/1/2020

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Bad news for the Canadian potato industry: Potato wart confirmed in Prince Edward Island

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of potato wart in two fields on a farm in Prince Edward Island (PEI), according to a pest report issued today by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). According to the report, the CFIA has placed the fields under quarantine and is carrying out official control measures under the authority of the federal Plant Protection Act and Plant Protection Regulations.
12/1/2020

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Canadian researcher in pursuit of finding potatoes that are resistant to disease, drought and greening

A Prince Edward Island-based Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researcher, Dr. Bourlaye Fofana, grows 814 different genetic lines of potatoes in fields at AAFC’s Harrington Research Farm, all in pursuit of finding potatoes that are resistant to disease, drought and greening. Dr. Fofana is working to develop potato varieties that are resistant to common scab disease, making crops more plentiful and profitable and providing blemish-free produce for consumers around the world.
11/30/2020

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Recording of Potato Soil Health webinar now online

This winter AHDB in the UK is running its Potato Soil Health Campaign – part of the Great Soils Programme. The goal of this campaign is to encourage potato growers to reconsider their current practice when it comes to soil health. You can now watch a re-recording of the AHDB hosted soil health webinar – ‘Potato Soil Health – Why bother?’ online. The webinar was hosted live by AHDB on 19 November.
11/29/2020

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Production estimate: British potato production up despite tough year

The 2020 lifting window has come with its own challenges for the British potato industry, but relative to 2019 it’s certainly been more straightforward for most. As at 10 November 2020, it was estimated that just 2% of the planted area was yet to be lifted. This compares with 11% of the crop estimated to be unlifted as at 12 November 2019. The first official GB production estimate is 5.3Mt. This is based on 75% of the sample and will be updated.
11/29/2020

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Leading Scottish scientist recognised for lifetime of service to potato industry

Scottish scientist Professor Ian Toth has received this year’s prestigious British Potato Industry Lifetime Award. Professor Toth is the director of Scotland’s Plant Heath Centre at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee, where he has been undertaking plant health research for over 25 years, which brought him into regular contact with UK and devolved governments, the public and industry to whom he regularly presents his work.
11/29/2020

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Canada: P.E.I. Potato Board elects new executive

The P.E.I. Potato Board has a new executive. During the board of director’s Nov. 20 meeting, it was decided that Jason Hayden will continue in the role of chairman, according to a report by The Guardian newspaper. The new vice-chairman is Wayne Townshend of Fortune Bridge. John Hogg from Summerside will continue in the role of secretary-treasurer. Three new directors were also appointed
11/27/2020

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Australian potato grower speaks out about the health benefits of potatoes

In this video, Kerri Ann Lamb tells the story of her family’s potato-growing business at Wickham Farms, Killarney, Queensland in Australia. Kerri is fourth fourth generation potato farmer. Says Kerri: “Our potatoes are planted in October, so they’ll be ready to harvested in February. It will be harvested and sent to the pack house in February and they’ll be sold fresh n supermarkets as brushed potatoes as well.
11/26/2020

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First potato production estimate for the UK higher – despite reduced planted area

The 2020 lifting window has come with its own challenges, but relative to 2019 it’s certainly been more straightforward for most, according to an AHDB report by Alice Bailey. As at 10 November 2020, it was estimated that just 2% of the planted area was yet to be lifted. This compares with 11% of the crop estimated to be un-lifted as at 12 November 2019. The first official GB production estimate is 5.3Mt.
11/26/2020

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Ukraine imports ‘cheap’ potatoes from Poland and the Netherlands

Ukraine has reportedly started to import potatoes from Poland, where prices fell sharply due to a significant reduction in consumption by the European segment of HoReCa. This was announced by the President of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association (UPOA), Taras Bashtannyk, according to “ProAgro Group” with reference to AgroTimes. “We have been importing products from Russia and Belarus for two years now, and this year, at the beginning of summer, we started importing potatoes from the Netherlands and now imports from Poland have also started,” Bashtannyk said.
11/25/2020

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TOMRA Food and Ortofrutticola Parma: Selected quality, from the earth to the table

Ortofrutticola Parma has operated a TOMRA sorting machine since 2008 on its potato selection line, where it has processed about 180,000 tons of the company’s flagship product every year. When the time came this year to find a replacement machine that would continue to meet the need for superior tuber production, the company turned once again to TOMRA Food. The solution, which the company put into service at the beginning of May, was a new Sentinel II.
11/25/2020

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Dewulf launches the Enduro, their new 4-row self-propelled harvester

Dewulf, full-liner in machines for the cultivation of potatoes and root crops, proudly present their new 4-row self-propelled sieving harvester: the Enduro. This new harvester on tyres is intended for growers and agricultural contractors that harvest potatoes. The Enduro combines new harvesting technologies with existing, proven technologies. The result is a powerful harvester that excels in product-friendliness, capacity and ease.
11/24/2020

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German potato producers expand acreage due to ‘lack of a good alternative’

Few industries have been so affected by the Corona pandemic as the potato industry. From the hoarding in spring to the sales problems with peeled potatoes in the wake of the current lockdown closure of restaurants and other eateries. The year 2020 was without doubt a remarkable marketing year for the German potato industry. Volker Peters – Managing Director of Helle Niedersachsen – looks back on the year and reflects on the future.
11/24/2020

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Britain’s bi-annual Seed Potato Industry conference to be held online for first time

The bi-annual Seed Potato Industry event in the UK will for the first time be held online and delivered via the Hopin digital platform on Tuesday 24th November. This will take place between the hours of 9.30am and 5.00pm. The conference’s keynote speaker, Brendon Rockey, grows ware and seed potatoes for the North American market at his farm in Center Colorado. He does this at 7,600ft, with less than 6 inches of rain a year. He has met this challenge by developing his own ‘Biotic Potatoes’ system and carefully managing carbon exchange using a diverse range of cover crops and grazing livestock on them.
11/18/2020

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Potatoes at home in multicultural American cuisine

According to Jim Offner of The Packer publication, marketing to different ethnic and demographic groups in North America requires flexibility and a diverse portfolio of products, marketers say. Jim writes in a recent article in The Packer that packaging — or lack of it — is an example, according to Jessica Peri, retail sales manager with Yerington, Nev.-based onion grower-shipper Peri & Sons Farms. “We have found that most markets that cater to specific demographics purchase mostly bulk and not in bags,” she said. “This is preferred by most ethnic groups.”
11/18/2020

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European potato ‘dumping’ hurting New Zealand growers and industry

According to a report by Toni Williams for Rural Life in New Zealand, an influx of European potato fries into New Zealand has already impacted on domestic growers, with less product planned for growing and staff job losses. Latest figures were estimated at a surplus of 2.6million tonnes in Europe and growing due to the impacts of further lockdowns in parts of Europe.
11/18/2020

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COVID-19 and too much rain: A Florida farmer’s challenges mirror those that other farmers face

It’s been a year since First Coast News started following a local farmer, sharing with you his successes and struggles. When they started this story, First Coast News had no idea the troubles farmers would face because of a pandemic. This is the final installment in this story, showing how the weather is an age-old challenge for farmers and how Covid is something new. With a thousand acres of potatoes, spuds are the main source of income for the Jones family in Florida.
11/18/2020

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Researchers found biopesticide to be effective in controlling potato cyst nematode

Abamectin is a mixture of avermectins, acting as an insecticide by affecting the nervous system of and paralyzing insects. A team of researchers from Italy and Moldova took part in a research project to test the efficacy of the biopesticide Abamectin in the control of potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida. The research team concluded that their research shows abamectin to be effective in controlling potato cyst nematode G. pallida on potato crops.
11/17/2020

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Video: AVR puma 3 potato harvester on tracks

In this YouTube video you will see the Puma 3 in action during potato harvest 2020 in Europe. The video was uploaded yesterday on the YouTube channel of AgroMovie.
11/16/2020

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Wildflowers could control aphid-borne viruses in potatoes

Sowing wildflowers into potato crops could reduce aphid-carried viruses and offer an alternative to declining access to insecticides for growers, according to Scottish Agronomy. In Scotland, trials are being carried out to discover the effectiveness of growing flower strips in tramlines and headlands to promote natural predator populations to reduce pests as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy.
11/15/2020

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What a mess: Some British potato growers muddle through harvest after fifth-wettest October since 1862

Potato harvesting has once again been affected by wet weather, with widespread rainfall in recent weeks hampering grower efforts to get the crop out of the ground. According to the Met Office, the UK experienced the fifth-wettest October since 1862 last month. It included the wettest day on record for average rainfall (31.7mm) on 3 October. Key processors McCain and Lamb Weston both spoke of challenging conditions in East Anglia, parts of which saw close to 200% of their usual average rainfall in October.
11/15/2020

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Can horsetail weed extract become the source of a new biopesticide to combat late blight?

Scientists from Tyumen State University in Russia took part in a research study on how peptide extracts of medicinal plants affect the development of potato late blight. Horsetail extract is recognized as holding promise for combating it, and might become a main source for the development of a new biopesticide, the press service of Tyumen State University reported on Thursday. The results of the work were published in the journal Plants.
11/15/2020

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HZPC Americas Corp seeking key account managers

HZPC Americas Corporation is the North American seed potato partner of the HZPC group. The company is based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Canada’s east coast. HZPC Americas Corporation has an extensive research and development program as well as localized testing locations, which allows HZPC to develop potatoes varieties with direct focus on North American markets. HZPC Americas Corporation recently announced two vacancies: Sales & Key Account Manager – Fresh, and Key Account Manager – Processing.
11/13/2020

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Sustainability in practice: Nature-friendly farming reduces costs for South African potato farmer

Managing plant health and strict water monitoring have paved the way to success for AL 3 Boerdery in South Africa’s Limpopo province. CT van der Merwe spoke to Lindi Botha of Farmers Weekly about the production practices that keep his farming business profitable. Potato production at AL 3 Boerdery is spread across three provinces to ensure a 10-month supply to the markets. Farms in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape provide an annual harvest of between 55 000t and 60 000t, and achieve an average yield of 60t/ha.
11/13/2020

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WSU creates new endowed chair in soil health to support potato agriculture

Launching new research in support of Washington potato growers, Washington State University is partnering with industry leaders to study healthier, more sustainable and productive soils. Backed by a more-than-$3 million fund created by potato growers, processors, and suppliers, WSU’s newly created Distinguished Endowed Chair in Soil Health for Potato Cropping Systems will address priorities in irrigated agriculture, including the need to better understand and protect the soil we rely on to grow potatoes, a critical part of our global food supply.
11/13/2020

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Idaho potato industry bouncing back from COVID challenges

Idaho’s iconic potato industry suffered through a major scare due to the restrictions and shutdowns imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. But major efforts by the industry that were coordinated by the state and national groups that represent it have helped potato producers weather that storm. And one major silver lining of the challenge is that U.S. consumers have learned how important spuds are. That was one of the main messages during the Idaho Potato Commission’s annual, “The Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting,” which was held virtually Nov. 12.
11/13/2020

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Potato Industry Conference 2020: An online conference for the British potato industry

AHDB will host the Potato Industry Conference 2020 online on the 24th of November, Participants will meet keynote speaker Brendon Rockey who grows potatoes for foodservice, and seed potatoes for the North American market at Rockey Farms in Center Colarado. But he does it at 7,600ft, with less than 6 inches of rain a year.
11/13/2020

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Linuron gets the nod from Health Canada for weed control in potato crops

Linuron is a selective systemic herbicide registered for the control of annual and perennial broadleaf and grassy weeds in a wide range of cultivated crops, including potatoes. Health Canada recently completed a re-evaluation of linuron. Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, Health Canada has determined that continued registration of products containing linuron is acceptable in a handful of crops, including potatoes.
11/10/2020

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New Zealand govt department investigating frozen fries import threat

The New Zealand potato industry are relieved that the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) trade remedies team has now launched an investigation into the proven threat of surplus frozen fries being imported into New Zealand. This MBIE decision was based on the positive evidence the New Zealand potato industry provided in their application completed in September this year, as part of the Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ) Pandemic Industry Recovery Plan.
11/10/2020

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Ministerial spud: Jacinda Ardern’s Instagram post goes viral after she’s sent potato in mail

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, and there’s no doubt she ‘s-mash-ed’ the election. Her big wide smile is ‘ap-peeling’, inspirational messages ‘spud-tacular’ – and according to election results, 49 percent of Kiwis ‘rooted’ for her, writes Crystal Wu in a news story published by Newshub
11/10/2020

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HZPC’s first online Potato Days hugely successful; setting new standard for a new reality

The annual Potato Days event in Joure is a valued networking event attracting hundreds of growers and customers from many countries. This year, many more interested individuals from all over the world seized the opportunity to join the online Potato Days 2020, which took place live from a virtual studio, last Wednesday. At least 1300 people from the entire potato chain met each other in an interactive online setting where they experienced the event together. With Potato Days Live, HZPC says it sets a new standard that fits the current reality and the future.
11/9/2020

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Mister Bee Potato Chips celebrates Veterans Day with special chip bag

Mary Anne Ketelsen, majority owner and chief executive officer of Mister Bee Potato Chips, had a vision a year ago to design a new chip bag where a portion of the proceeds would be donated to a charity supporting Veterans and military personnel. As of Veterans Day 2020, Ketelsen has leveraged this special chip bag to contribute $100,000 to the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore to fund multiple programs to benefit military personnel and their families. Some of the donations are from the purchases of the chips and matching contributions were made by Ketelsen.
11/9/2020

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Potato store cleaning: British company offers specialized solutions

Fenkleen Hygiene Ltd in the UK has been carrying out specialist high level cleaning of potato stores and facilities for the last 35 years in East Anglia. With today’s regulations and accountability on the removal and reduction of CIPCs residue, it’s never been more important to carry the procedure out effectively and safely. Whatever method is being employed to carry out the cleaning, either wet or dry, store managers must take into account other contaminates that may be involved in the equation and its removal and factor that in to the process.
11/9/2020

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Canada: Southern Alberta producers happy with potato harvest

Potato growers from Alberta are pleased with this year’s harvest. They also seem to be finding ready markets for their product with local food processors, says Potato Growers of Alberta executive director Terence Hochstein. “It was probably one of our better harvests in a long time,” Hochstein confirms. “Mother Nature co-operated. We really didn’t have many delays. It worked out quite well for both the south and north [of Alberta]. The quality of the crop was very good, and it actually turned out quite well.”
11/9/2020

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Maine potato farmers expecting lower revenue for smaller crop

The rain that poured across Aroostook County in late September after one of the driest summers on record was too late to save the region’s potato farmers from a smaller harvest — down approximately 20 percent from last year. The reduced yields will drive revenue down for the potato industry, already struggling with decreased demand because of COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants and events. Maine producers normally grow nearly 2 billion pounds of potatoes a year, a hugely profitable industry centered in The County.
11/7/2020

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Potato Expo 2021 goes virtual

In view of on-going developments with COVID-19 and after thoughtful discussions with its Executive Committee and supporting companies, and through feedback via attendee surveys, the organizers of the Potato Expo 2021 event say they have decided to hold the coming event as a Virtual Experience only, held exclusively online. The show will take place on Tuesday, January 5 through Thursday, January 7, 2021. We believe this is the safest approach for the well-being of our attendees, along with their families, farms and colleagues.
11/7/2020

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US: Northern Red River Valley potato growers hit with back-to-back harvest losses

The farmers whose crops were left unharvested were waiting for rain to soften the dirt lumps so they wouldn’t bruise the potatoes, then temperatures dipped into the low double digits and froze, according to a report by Ann Bailey The dry fall that resulted in ideal harvest conditions for most Red River Valley crops wreaked havoc on potatoes near Grand Forks grown for the fresh market. From 1,600 to 2,000 dryland acres — those grown without irrigation — were left unharvested because fields were so dry that dirt lumps were bruising the potatoes, reducing the quality, said Ted Kreis, Northern Plains Potato Growers marketing director.
11/6/2020

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