News February 2020

WPC Webinar – Dr. Leah Tsror on powdery scab

The World Potato Congress is extremely pleased to be offering its third webinar in 2020 on March 18, featuring Dr Leah Tsror. Dr Tsror is a Research Group Leader in the Department of Plant Pathology, Agricultural Research Organization, Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development in Israel. The focus of Dr Tsror’s presentation during the Webinar will be on the epidemiology of the disease and the integrated management practices for reducing the risk of powdery scab.

Canada revamps its potato breeding program

It’s been a little over a year since Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) began revamping its potato breeding program. In addition to making the program more efficient and up to date, the move reflects a strong desire by the AAFC to make the program more responsive to the needs of the Canadian potato industry, writes Mark Halsall in an article published[Read More…]

Potato diseases: Control of Rhizoctonia solani podcast

In this episode, Mike Abram, from the Communications team of Bayer Crop Sciences in the UK, recently caught up with Sam Harvey, who is a Commercial Technical Manager for Bayer, based in and around the Cambridgeshire area. They discussed potatoes and in particular how to control seed- and soil-borne potato diseases. Controlling seed- and soil-borne diseases is important for both[Read More…]

Convenience, sustainability, recyclable options driving latest potato packaging design

The challenge to creating a compelling package for potatoes is complex, because bags must protect product integrity while attracting a shopper’s attention, says Jeff Watkin, marketing director with Collinsville, Ill.-based packaging manufacturer Sev-Rend Inc. told The Packer magazine in a recent interview., One challenge Sev-Rend has met involves a bag that prevents greening and preserves the potatoes’ shelf life, he said.[Read More…]

CIPC ban: European potato sector is facing a major challenge – Belgapom

The European Commission has decided that the potato sprout inhibitor chlorpropham (CIPC) is no longer allowed to be applied to potatoes in storage from January 1st this year. The entire European potato sector is therefore facing a challenge, according to industry experts. “In Belgium, it is mainly potato processing and exports that are affected by the ban, since the measure[Read More…]

Researchers find that potato plants are at highest risk of PVY infection during first three weeks of growing season

Potato virus Y is the most economically important and devastating aphid-transmitted virus, affecting both tuber yield and quality. The virus is also a major cause of seed potato degeneration, which leads to regular flushing out of seed potatoes after limited field production cycles. There is no remedy for this virus and once a plant becomes infected, it stays sick for[Read More…]

Sustainable technology company successfully converts Lay’s potato chip bag to make plastic bottles

New York-based sustainable technology company Anellotech has announced that a laboratory demonstration of its latest technology, which transforms mixed plastic waste directly into chemicals, successfully converted a Lays (PepsiCo) barbeque potato chip bag into paraxylene, the primary chemical used to make virgin polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for beverage bottles. [PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) is the most common plastic for single-use bottled beverages, because it[Read More…]

US: PVMI to promote new varieties of potatoes

Always working to develop the “perfect” russet, the Potato Variety Management Institute’s (PVMI) main mission is to promote new varieties of potatoes in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and beyond. Bob Larson from AGInfo reports. PVMI Executive Director Jeanne Debons says it’s what they coordinate from their operation based in Bend, Oregon … DeBONS … “PVMI is a non-profit that represents the[Read More…]

Big Idaho Potato Truck tour starts soon

The Big Idaho Potato Truck is back for it’s ninth annual tour with the same all-female Tater Team. Students at Rolling Hills Public Charter school in Eagle got to check out the giant potato Wednesday ahead of the tour. From Boise, the truck and tater Team will travel around 35,000 miles and visit close to 100 cities over the next[Read More…]

Canadian drone service company helps farmers to assess crop health

Lee Dodson from Summerside on Prince Edward Island believes he has found a technological way for farmers to have detailed knowledge of the health of their fields without stepping outside. Dodson, CEO of Skygate Drone Services, was one of about 120 exhibitors at this year’s International Potato Technology Expo in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island this past Friday and Saturday.[Read More…]

Potato season starts early in Majorca due to higher temperatures

The potato season has started much earlier than usual this year thanks to higher than average temperatures in Majorca between December and February. The Matthew Export company started collecting its Lady Christl variety on Wednesday and the first shipment will be on its way to the UK on Saturday. “Climate change is forcing us to adapt in many ways,” says Mateu Export’s Manager,[Read More…]

US: Success with dollars and volume sales at retail, but russet, red sales down

IRI data for the calendar year 2019 (January through December 2019) showed success with dollars and volume sales for total potato sales at retail, Potatoes USA reports. Total dollar sales increased by 2.2% and volume increased by 0.4%. Potato chips, frozen potatoes, refrigerated potatoes, and dehydrated potatoes increased in sales volume. Refrigerated potatoes saw a 7.0% lift in dollar sales[Read More…]

Ireland: Second lowest acreage of potatoes planted in 2019

The area of potatoes planted in Ireland in 2019 was the second lowest on record, after 2018, which was the lowest on record. There was also a further decrease in the plantings of traditional varieties such as Kerr’s Pink and Golden Wonders. Speaking at the recent National Potato conference in Dublin IFA president Tim Cullinan said farmers continue to be the[Read More…]

Potato industry applauds China's steps on trade pact

U.S. potato industry representatives say steps China just took to follow through on the recent phase one trade agreement mark a historic breakthrough likely to bring substantial benefits, Capital Press reports. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Feb. 25 announced that China had signed a protocol allowing importation of U.S. fresh chipping potatoes, among other[Read More…]

Study finds its fine to eat a potato-a-day

Potatoes are the most commonly consumed vegetable in the U.S., yet they often get a bad rap. Most are eaten the form of fries or chips, so many people consider them an unhealthy food. It doesn’t have to be that way. Eating one medium-size potato a day can be part of a healthy diet and doesn’t increase cardiometabolic risk —[Read More…]

Agriculture's new apps: Precision innovation to feed the world

Precision weather tracking, ‘blood pressure monitoring’ for plants, and complex nutrient analysis apps are now the ‘must-have’ tools for modern farmers. With agriculture using 70% of the world’s freshwater resources and severely degrading one third of the earth’s land through over-fertilisation, such innovations are vital. Meet the Agricultural Scientists changing the way we are fed, one field at a time… Source:[Read More…]

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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