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Your Seed Potato Partner For North America

News

Keep up to date with the latest HZPC news and global potato news.




Potato News

‘Coronavirus a recipe for disaster for German potatoes’

German demand for potatoes and potato products has collapsed during the coronavirus crisis, meaning the vegetable is being used as animal feed or for making biogas instead, an industry body said on Tuesday. There had been a “catastrophic reduction in sales” of frozen, chilled and dry potato products, the German Association of the Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Processing Industry (BOGK) said. Germany is the biggest producer of potatoes in the European Union and a huge consumer.
6/19/2020

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IFA: Retail and early markets remain strong; drought still a concern across Europe

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) reports in its weekly potato update that demand at retail level remains strong, given that the majority of people are still working from home. Recently released figures show potato area similar to 2020. If yields take a hit from the drought this will leave production significantly below 2019. The UK and Europe have gotten some rainfall in the past week. However, like in Ireland there is considerable variation on amounts in different areas.
6/19/2020

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Threat of cheap imports: Ballarat workers rally for local potato processing jobs

Union delegates are demanding immediate action from the federal government to protect regional jobs from the threat of cheap imports. Alex Ford reports for The Courier. Rallying at the Ballarat McCain processing plant on Friday morning with workers, McCain representatives, and federal Ballarat MP Catherine King, AMWU state secretary Tony Mavromatis said federal authorities needed to take the issue seriously before the market was flooded with European products.
6/8/2020

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Belgapom Chief: ‘A new lockdown could be devastating for the industry!’

In an exclusive interview with Dan Orehov, Edtor of Potato Business, Secretary General of Belgapom, Romain Cools, talked about the current situation of potato consumption and trade in Belgium, on the background of the pandemic. Orehov and Cools also discussed the future of the Belgian potato, from farm to fork and the impact that foodservice industry closure has had so far on the overall potato business.
6/8/2020

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Canadian potatoes are spoiling due to slow federal government response, says grower association

In a news release issued by Potatoes New Brunswick, the association says delays rolling out a COVID-19-related support program for Canadian agriculture may spell doom for potato farmers. While the government delays, millions of pounds of potatoes are sitting in storage and starting to rot, Potatoes New Brunswick says in its release. Early last month, the government announced a $50-million Surplus Food Purchase Program intended to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on farmers.
6/7/2020

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A lesson in compassion: In Georgia, women potato farmers show solidarity and empathy amid COVID-19

In early May, women from the village of Maradisi, in southeast Georgia in the Caucasus, gained wide renown. Naira Paksadze’s story went viral on social networks and in the media. Together with other active women, Naira hoed her neighbour’s potato field in order to save the family’s potato harvest. At the time, every member of the family was being treated for COVID-19 in hospital, while weeds were growing wild throughout their potato field – their only source of income.
6/7/2020

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The passing of potato specialist, Warren Henninger

Ag World Support Systems Founder and Chairman Warren Henninger has died on Saturday, May 23. Henninger was a longtime resident of Moses Lake, WA, He died from an accident while doing what he loved, working in his yard. According to Spudman magazine, Chris Voigt,  longtime head of the Washington State Potato Commission, Henninger was “the type of human being that we should all aspire to be. …Warren was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met,” Voigt said. Ag World Support Systems was founded by Warren Henninger in 1997 after spending 21 years with a potato processing company according to the Ag World website.
6/7/2020

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Could the global loss of food service pressure the UK’s potato processing market?

The release of the end-March stocks estimate did enable the UK domestic potato market to encapsulate the partial impact that the coronavirus is having on the potato industry. However, it does not allow us to paint the whole picture as this marketing year is finishing up and the next season is coming up. As retail took a surge in demand, which has since subsided finding its equilibrium to on-year average. The processing sectors linked to food services, in large, have taken a significant hit as mobility has diminished due to the coronavirus impact.
6/7/2020

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Potato protest in Australia highlights the possible dumping of cheap European spuds

On Tasmanian Country Hour with Tony Briscoe: The protest was outside the McCain processing plant in Smithton and involved farmers and workers in the potato industry along with politicians. The event was organised as the threat of European potatoes being dumped in Australia remains a possibility because of COVID-19. The protest was told the potato industry in Tasmania has already been hit hard this year with a wet harvest and many spuds are still in the ground.
6/7/2020

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The human face of a tragic time: She was a 102-year-old potato farmer born during the Spanish flu pandemic. She was killed by COVID-19

Frances Jordan Banks, a 102-year-old World War II Army nurse who served in India and spent many years on an Aroostook County potato farm, lived a life that was book-ended by pandemics. The Cape Elizabeth native was born during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, and died a few days ago of COVID-19. Banks was a nurse, but her family also knew her as a teacher “of all things” and relied on her guidance and wisdom.
6/4/2020

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The global impact of coronavirus on potato production: Examples and lessons learnt

One country that has routinely been in the news for their impressive handling of the outbreak is South Korea. In Canada, the closure of the hospitality sector in light of the coronavirus caused a significant threat to potato growers. The potato growers in the USA too have faced significant challenges with accessing markets and oversupply. This issue of excess potatoes is impacting supply chains across Europe too. Belgium is famous the world over for its fries and UNESCO list them as a Cultural Treasure. Given the closure of restaurants, including the ubiquitous fish n’ chip shops of most high streets, potato growers across the UK are struggling to sell their crop.
6/4/2020

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The Packer: How the US produce industry responds to the pandemic

With the Farmers to Families Food Box Program underway across the country, companies are busy packing and sending fresh produce to food banks. Chris Koger of The Packer provides a round-up of recent COVID-19-related news. As far as potatoes are concerned, Koger writes that Potatoes USA is connecting with industry members through a new video series, Keeping It Current, to explain what the organization has been doing during the pandemic.
6/4/2020

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Producer organizations in Alberta connect potato growers and cattle ranchers

Recently, some of Alberta’s ag industry leaders thought of an option to assist two producer groups hard hit by the effects of COVID-19. Many Alberta potato growers have a surplus of their crop as a result of the shutdown of restaurants and other businesses that use large quantities of potatoes. Alberta beef producers faced delays getting their cattle to processing plants because of shutdowns in late April.
5/30/2020

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Ireland imported 72,000 tonnes of spuds

The importation of thousands of tonnes of potatoes and other foods worth billions of euro highlights the need for a greater focus on food sustainability by the next Government according to a Laois-Offaly TD. According to the CSO, Ireland imported 72,000 tonnes of potatoes, 47,000 tonnes of onions, 29,000 tonnes of tomatoes, 23,000 tonnes of cabbage and 15,000 tonnes of lettuce in 2017.
5/30/2020

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Eye on Potatoes Podcast: In discussion with Congressman Mike Simpson and NPC CEO Kam Quarles about COVID-19

Congressman Mike Simpson and the entire Idaho Congressional delegation are championing policy solutions to support the nation’s struggling potato industry. National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles calls in from D.C. to discuss the $300 million in additional potato purchases the industry needs to help bring supply and demand back into balance.
5/30/2020

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Peru cements its position among top 15 potato producers in the world

Within the framework of the National Potato Day, which takes place May 30, Peru has consolidated its position among the top 15 producers of this Andean tuber in the world, given the active participation of over 700,000 small producers, who cultivate potatoes in 19 regions across the country. The results of the Andean tuber production confirm the position of Peru as the 14th world producer of potatoes.
5/30/2020

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Australian potato farmers outraged as $1billion COVID-19 cash splash is given to European colleagues

Australian potato farmers are outraged to discover a $1billion COVID-19 assistance package given to European growers could result in a flood of French fries into the market from overseas.   An industry representative body for vegetable and potato growers, AUSVEG, said an influx of about 2.6million tonnes of excess potatoes into Australia would lock farmers out of the fast-food industry. 
5/30/2020

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US potato exports begin to slow

The world-wide coronavirus pandemic is impacting U.S. potato exports, as seen in the figures for March, according to Potatoes USA. In a press release issued today, the organization says U.S. exports of frozen potato products were off 12% in March 2020 compared to 2019. Exports of dehydrated potatoes were off 16%, and fresh were off 13% from the previous year. However, due to a strong first eight months of the July 2019 – June 2020 marketing year, the July 2019 – March 2020 figures are still positive.
5/20/2020

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Better potatoes post-harvest: Identifying diseases and engaging good management techniques

When the storage doors open and farmers look at their cured potatoes, they are hoping for high-quality spuds that will garner a fair price. Unfortunately, potatoes can be sneaky. Some don’t reveal problems until harvest, or worse, when they are already in storage. Determining which disease is present allows for better management and application of appropriate controls. However, treatments in potatoes vary and there are no silver bullets. Potato diseases work together to exacerbate each other, and pests help to increase disease risk.
5/20/2020

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Scottish potato producer looking for solutions for the seed industry

Seed potato producer, Jim Reid, from Milton of Mathers farm, St Cyrus, near Montrose, joined AHDB’s strategic farm network as the new host SPot farmer in Scotland at the start of the year, according to a report released by AHDB. At Milton of Mathers farm, multiple studies on desiccation have been carried out over the last nine years. As part of the desiccation trials that will be carried out at the farm, different fertilising regimes will be compared as well as the impact of cultivation.
5/19/2020

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The potato portal: New buyer and grower ‘match-making’ website goes live

AHDB in the UK has launched a new portal to help put potato growers and wholesale buyers in touch with each other. The portal will act as a ‘match-making’ site for growers and merchants to find each other, with any trade taking place directly between them. Growers can view any requests on the portal from merchants and/or post available stocks of potatoes.
5/19/2020

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UK: Elveden estate gets in Tuberzone precision to manage potato crops

One of Britain’s biggest arable farming operations will be the first commercial company to roll out the latest precision potato technology developed by Angus-based SoilEssentials. One of Britain’s biggest arable farming operations will be the first commercial company to roll out the latest precision potato technology developed by Angus-based SoilEssentials.
5/19/2020

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Why Wisconsin potato farmers could be in trouble

As of now, potato farmers in Wisconsin haven’t been hit too bad by the coronavirus. They’re going to be hit this Fall, according to a report by WHBL Radio. The problem for Wisconsin growers is that a lot of the state’s potatoes have gone to the fresh produce side of the industry. That’s totally fine for now, but once Fall hits and you have the potatoes from the Midwest and the ones coming from the Western states, it’s going to be an issue.
5/19/2020

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