Canada: Parkland hosts first ever Potato Varieties Field Day

Parkland hosts first ever Potato Varieties Field DayParkland Potato Varieties will be hosting its first annual open day at the Crop Diversification Centre South in Brooks, Alberta on August 26th from 10 am to 2 pm. Although Parkland has participated in numerous trials around North America, this is the first time Parkland will have its own field day. Kirby Sawatzky, Director of Parkland: “As we change our marketing approach on new varieties, we felt it was the right time to do our own field day. This is our first open day and we hope to do more in the future in additional locations as we grow, develop and evaluate our varieties.” Parkland has selected a number of varieties to showcase in the field day, including processing, table and specialty varieties. More

Canada: P.E.I. Potato board wants to grow yields and markets

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board is working with Cavendish Farms and the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture to grow potato yields and markets while also improving the environmental sustainability of the industry. Three working groups are tackling the areas of soil health, seed management and science and technology under an Enhanced Agronomy Initiative. Board general manager Greg Donald, said, “This initiative is focused on listening to growers and working with them to enhance the productivity and profitability of their farms. We plan to access the latest information in agricultural research and technology and to find new and better ways to provide this information to our growers. Through collaboration, we feel that there is significant potential for improvement.” More

South Africa: Company reaching out to collaborate with global biocontrol community on potato diseases

AgChem Africa is a South African owned and operated company that specializes in the development and manufacture of agro-chemical products for a range of agricultural crops, including potatoes. The company produces a wide range of plant nutritional products, chelated micro elements as well as other agricultural remedies. During the past few years the researchers at the company have focused their attention on the control soil-borne diseases typical to potatoes. “It is a well known fact that there is a lack of effective chemical control measures available to control soil-borne diseases,” says Freddie Denner, who is in charge of the biocontrol program at Agchem. “We are acutely aware of the serious damage caused by soil-borne diseases such as black scurf, black dot and powdery scab – to name just a few – that are found in potato fields around the world.”  Continue reading

Potato Storage: Hotel or Hospital?

The U.S. potato industry estimates losses during storage at right around 7 percent. Much of this is due to lost water, which is one of the reasons that high relative humidity (RH) is recommended for storing potatoes. Most weight loss also occurs during the first two weeks in storage, before the tuber skin has completely matured. Unfortunately, little to none of this moisture loss can ever be recovered, but there are some things that can be done to minimize it. One of the most frequent mistakes growers make is to harvest potatoes when conditions are too warm. After the potatoes have been gently placed in storage, suberization and wound healing are key tools in the battle to prevent storage losses. I can’t take credit for this phrase, but it pretty well sums up the challenge of storage management: “A potato storage is a hotel, not a hospital.” In other words, you can’t improve the condition of your potatoes during storage. However, with good management, you can keep them from getting any worse. Philip Nolte, Univ of Idaho. More

Pressure bruise management aided by texture analysis

Pressure flattening in stored potatoes is a cause of significant economic losses for Colorado potato growers. Pressure flattening occurs as the tuber surface becomes depressed or flattened due to constant contact with a portion of an adjacent tuber and the additional weight of tubers above it in the pile. A predictive test that was developed at the CSU SLVRC uses a texture analyzer to determine the peak load required for deformation on samples collected at harvest. We determined that the potato skin and moisture loss had an effect on the peak load. For the last four years, we tested different tuber varieties from cooperating growers from different fields. The data from the texture analyzer clearly showed separations in peak loads when fields of different varieties were tested. These results matched with the experience of our cooperating storage managers during the testing. We now know the ideal range of the peak load values of russets, yellows, reds and specialties to store successfully without pressure flattening in a long term storage. More

Nieuwe technologie maakt aardappelverwerking efficiënter

Tong Engineering ontwikkelde de tijdsbesparende ‘Diagnostics’ module als onderdeel van zijn nieuwste serie Auto-Touch HMI touch screen control. De module kan geïnstalleerd worden op nieuwe Tong apparatuur als onderdeel van het Auto-Touch HMI controlesysteem, waardoor gebruikers beschikken over een intelligent diagnostisch monitoringsysteem. Tong technicus, Tony Smith, legt uit dat het systeem bedoeld is om gebruikers een systeem te bieden dat het gehele proces bewaakt en gegevens verschaft zodat het verwerkingsproces op ieder gewenst moment gecheckt kan worden. “Dit houdt eveneens in dat er regelmatig notificaties verstuurd worden wanneer de lijn soepel loopt, maar ook realtime waarschuwingen wanneer er problemen zijn of onderhoud noodzakelijk is. Bovendien geeft het systeem informatie over noodonderbrekingen, motor- en omstellersstatistieken wanneer de transportband bijvoorbeeld niet efficiënt loopt.” Meer

UK: Potato event showcased latest industry developments

The Potatoes in Practice event held near Dundee, Scotland, showcased the latest industry breakthroughs in breeding, pest and disease control, storage and marketing. Journalists for FG Insight visited the event to provide an overview of these industry developments. A new trial shows ferric phosphate is an effective alternative to metaldehyde for reduction of slug damage to potatoes, with timing crucial to maximise molluscicide efficacy. Development of gene markers allowing breeding of potatoes which store better should be possible in the next 5-10 years. A suite of DNA molecular diagnostics for free living nematode (FLN) species that transmit tobacco rattle virus to potato crops was launched commercially at Potatoes in Practice. Dr Roy Neilson, nematologist at the James Hutton Institute, said: “We have spent three years in validation and initially it will be available to the UK potato industry through James Hutton Ltd.” More

AUSVEG: Predicted rise in potato imports threat to Australian industry

AUSVEG: Predicted rise in potato imports threat to Australian industryA significant rise in potato imports into Australia is forecast for 2016, sparking concern about the profitability and competitiveness of the Australian potato industry over the coming months. New data from Global Trade Atlas for the first quarter of 2016 has revealed potato imports into Australia have increased by 23 per cent in comparison to the same time last year across a range of potato product categories, including frozen and non-frozen prepared potatoes. Shaun Lindhe, spokesperson for AUSVEG says “As this data sets the forecast for the year, it appears that we can expect a significant rise in potato imports compared to 2015. The data shows a 37 per cent growth in frozen prepared potato imports compared to the first quarter of 2015, as well as a 21 per cent growth in non-frozen prepared potatoes.” Australian potato exports have also experienced a six per cent decline in comparison to the first quarter of 2015, which equates to approximately $290,000 in lost sales. More

Nigeria: Late blight ravaging potato crops

Stakeholders, including over 300 farmers from Plateau state’s eight local government areas producing potatoes in commercial quantity, last week met in Jos, the State capital, to discuss possible solutions to the dreaded potato blight disease currently ravaging farmlands in the State. The Daily Trust reports that potato blight had in 2014 destroyed almost 1,000 hectares of potato farmlands and experts say the rate of destruction has almost doubled this year in a state described as the number one potato producer in Nigeria. The event which was organised by Vicampro, a Plateau-based potato production, storage and processing company. Close to 70 per cent of the major potato farmers in Plateau State were at the workshop. Speaking on how to prevent phytophtera infrestance, the oomycete that causes potato blight, Ludo Wentholt, the Chief Operating Officer of Vicampro, said high humidity and temperature stimulates the growth of blight, making the disease more severe in the rainy season. The Managing Director, Vicampro, Michael Agbogbo said the problem of potato blight is severe and must be tackled head on. Source: The Daily Trust

Die Geschlechter der Kartoffel

Linda ist in Deutschland am beliebtesten. Auch Charlotte und Sieglinde mag man. Eine aktuelle Petition fordert: Kartoffeln sollen in Zukunft mehr männliche Namen tragen. Das Streben nach einer umfassenden Gleichberechtigung beider Geschlechter führt mitunter zu fragwürdigen Forderungen. In der Vergangenheit waren es oft Frauen, die sich nicht genug repräsentiert fühlten. In diesem Fall ist es umgekehrt. Auf dem Online-Petitionsforum des Deutschen Bundestages findet sich gegenwärtig folgender Text: „Der Deutsche Bundestag möge beschließen, dass es ab sofort ein ausgewogenes Verhältnis zwischen männlichen als auch weiblichen Kartoffelnamen bei der Sortenbestimmung gibt.“ Der Verfasser der Petition stützt seine These, es gäbe sehr viel mehr weibliche Kartoffeln als männliche, auf den deutschen Wikipedia-Eintrag „Liste von Kartoffelsorten“. Über 90 Prozent davon seien weiblich, schreibt er in seiner Erläuterung zur Petition. Mehr

US: Botsford & Goodfellow continues solid relationship with Walchli Farms

BotsfordGoodfellowFor more than 50 years, Botsford & Goodfellow Inc., headquartered in Portland, OR, has partnered with Walchli Farms, located in Hermiston, OR, to bring fresh potatoes to the marketplace. “John Walchli is an amazing man, a true pioneer, and above all a dear friend,” said Salesman Paul Kern. “At 82 years of age, he shows no sign of slowing down.” Kern said Walchli has been a life-long friend to Oregon’s potato industry and a man who goes above and beyond to help farmers, friends and neighbors. His list of civic and professional achievements is extensive, and in 1986, Kern said Walchli was recognized as Man of the Year in Hermiston, OR. Kern provided The Produce News with a snapshot of the 2016 potato production season in Oregon, saying weather has been, “Erratic. Hot and cold weather. But the crop does not appear to be terribly stressed.” More

UK: Brexit pesticide hopes dashed

Courier Farming - Farming - Nancy Nicolson story - the James Hutton Institute, Potatoes in Practice event, Balruddery Farm. Picture Shows; general view of the event, Balruddery Farm, Fowlis, Thursday, 10 August 2016Any lingering hopes a vote for Brexit would make British growers immune from Europe’s list of banned agrochemicals were dashed at Potatoes in Practice by SRUC consultant Dr Stuart Wale. Speaking at the event near Dundee, Dr Wale said it was highly unlikely that the industry would see much change in the registration of agricultural chemicals after the UK left the EU. “We won’t be in a much better position because we’re going to need to trade into the EU in the future. Potato growers will have to look outside agrochemicals in order to remain competitive in future,” he said. “Or at least they’ll need to find integrated ways of keeping problems at bay, and some of this means biological methods which aren’t always as reliable as you’d hope. We’ve set up an Agri-EPI Centre for precision farming as one way of getting over the issues of reduced pesticides in the future.” More

China’s “King of Potatoes” visit Scotland to build commercial and scientific collaborations between the two countries

Courier Farming - Farming - Nancy Nicolson story - the James Hutton Institute, Potatoes in Practice event, Balruddery Farm. Picture Shows; Mr Liang Xisen who is the Chairman of the Xisen Potato Co. in China, Balruddery Farm, Fowlis, Thursday, 10 August 2016China’s self-proclaimed King of Potatoes has flown to Scotland to meet top potato producers, processors, scientists and Government crop certification experts with a view to building commercial and scientific collaborations between the two countries. Just two weeks after China elevated the humble spud to staple-food status, Mr Liang Xisen and his general manager Dr Hu toured potato fields in Angus, met senior scientists at the James Hutton Institute (JHI) and attended the industry’s flagship Potatoes in Practice event on the outskirts of Dundee. Through an interpreter, Mr Liang said a memorandum of understanding was already in place between JHI’s commercial arm, James Hutton Ltd (JHL), and his company, Xisen Potato Industry Group which is based in Shandong province. JHI is conducting Scottish potato variety trials for the company and if they are successful, other Scottish varieties are expected to be sent to China. More