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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

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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Syngenta Canada launches new fungicide for pink rot and Pythium leak control

Syngenta Canada recently announced the launch of Orondis Gold Potato fungicide for the suppression of two common potato storage diseases, pink rot and Pythium leak. Pink rot is a devastating soil-borne disease that thrives in wet, poorly drained soils and can survive in soil for up to seven years. Just a few infected potatoes entering the storage bin can result in substantial losses, infecting healthy tubers and compromising marketable yield.
2/18/2019

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Latest issue of the Global Potato News magazine published

The latest issue of the Global Potato News print magazine was published today as a North American and a European edition. Both editions can be accessed as pdf files on the Global Potato News website. You will find links to the pdf’s on this page of the website, or you can directly link to the pdf file for the North American edition here. The pdf file for the European edition can be accessed on this page.
2/15/2019

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Fresh Trends 2018 survey: Potatoes, an American consumer favorite

Ever a consumer favorite, potatoes topped the list as the most popular vegetable in the Fresh Trends 2018 survey. It was also the No. 3 item overall that consumers said they purchased. Keep scrolling to see an engaging infographic. But, the likelihood of a potato purchase fell eight percentage points from last year — the largest decline of any item in the survey. 
2/14/2019

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‘New convenience concept should bring the younger generation back to potatoes’

“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”, say Bart and Ruben Nemegheer of the Belgian company, De Aardappelhoeve. “We want to get younger people eating potatoes again. So, we went looking for an idea where potatoes are easy to prepare and are healthy and tasty too.”
2/14/2019

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Smashed: Survey finds Americans prefer mashed potatoes over french fries

In a recent national survey conducted by Kelton Global, consumers were asked to pick their favorite vegetable, and Idaho® potatoes topped the chart! More than a quarter of Americans (26%) — or nearly 68 million — say Idaho® potatoes are their favored choice over broccoli (19%), corn (14%) or leafy greens (14%).
2/13/2019

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Sharp rise in Chinese potato exports to Europe

The Dutch agricultural website AGF.nl reports that it is currently current peak export season for the Chinese potato sector. Exports of Chinese potatoes are reportedly going very well, especially export to the European market. “There is a significant increase in exports compared to previous years, and the export prices also show an upward trend,” says Dan Liu, who is a trader affiliated with a growers’ cooperative in China.
2/12/2019

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Novel mustard meal extract for control of potato cyst nematodes

Potato Grower magazine reports in its February 2019 issue on the potential of a novel mustard meal extract for control of PCN. In the article, it is pointed out that nematode-related damage has been estimated to reduce yield by nearly 25 percent in the US. Globally, nematode damage is estimated to reduce yield by 12 percent, at a cost of $157 billion.
2/12/2019

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British fish and chips may never be this cheap

The future of one of Britain’s favorite staples could be at risk as climate change threatens areas for growing potatoes, as well as affecting other fruit and vegetables, scientists from the University of Leeds said. Climate change is making the kind of heatwaves that hurt U.K. crops last year more likely, according to Piers Forster and Kate Sambrook of the university’s Priestley International Centre for Climate.
2/11/2019

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NEPG: Seed shortage will put damper on potato plantings in major European countries the coming season

In a press release issued on February 6, the NEPG (North-western European Potato Growers) says that it expects a shortage of seed potatoes for the coming production season, mainly for processing varieties. Without a signed contract, it can be very difficult for an individual grower to get seed potatoes.
2/11/2019

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Podcast: What is wrong with the potato? Why is it so hard to breed?

Because of its genetic complexity, the potato didn’t undergo a “green revolution” like other staple crops. It can take more than 15 years to breed a new kind of potato that farmers can grow. In this special Podcast by Science magazine, host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Erik Stokstad about how researchers are trying to simplify the potato genome to make it easier to manipulate through breeding.
2/9/2019

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Retail potato sales in the US increased to $11.6 billion in 2018

According to Potatoes USA, the value of total store retail potato sales for 2018 increased by 2.1% over 2017, with total value $11.6 billion. The total volume declined 1.9% for the year though, based on IRI figures. Potatoes USA says the increase in value was paced by refrigerated sales up 5.3% and frozen up 4.1%.
2/8/2019

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How do you harvest 50 million pounds of potatoes in one season?

Get an up-close look at the people, planning and processing technologies that help the Keenan family at Rollo Bay Holdings on Canada’s Prince Edward Island send 50 million pounds of potatoes from field to table during a busy harvest. This Video highlights an innovative harvesting system using two unique harvesters dig 15 tonnes of potatoes every five minutes.
2/8/2019

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World renowned expert to present on calcium and stress at upcoming Ontario Potato Conference

At the upcoming Ontario Potato Conference, Dr. Jiwan Palta will give a presentation on the Impact of Calcium on Heat and Drought Stress. The organizer of the Confernce, Dr Eugenia Banks says there is lots of interest in this topic not only from Ontarians, but also from other provinces and the US as well.
2/8/2019

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Podcast: What is wrong with the potato? Why is it so hard to breed?

Because of its genetic complexity, the potato didn’t undergo a “green revolution” like other staple crops. It can take more than 15 years to breed a new kind of potato that farmers can grow. In this special Podcast by Science magazine, host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Erik Stokstad about how researchers are trying to simplify the potato genome to make it easier to manipulate through breeding.
2/8/2019

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British potatoes triumph over imported sweet potatoes

After a two decade decline in volume sales and increasing rivalry from its sweet imported counterpart, it appears things are on the up for the humble spud. Not only have volume sales of standard fresh potatoes increased by 0.5 per cent over the past year and three per cent over the last four years, volume sales of sweet potatoes fell for the first time last year.
2/7/2019

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