Europe, UK, Ireland

Europatat Congress 2020 cancelled

Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, regrets to inform that the Europatat Congress 2020, scheduled to take place on 11 and 12 June in Brussels, will be cancelled following the escalation of COVID-19 crisis in Europe. For Europatat, the safety and wellbeing of the Congress’ participants, speakers and partners is its number one priority. Europatat is also aware of the[Read More…]

GRIMME introduces new windrower for vegetables

The agricultural machinery manufacturer GRIMME extends its product range with the new vegetable windrower, named the WV-series. Windrowers are commonly used in a two-phase harvesting process on storable and robust onions. The new windrower for vegetables will be available for the next harvest season with working widths of 1.40 m, 1.65 m and 1.80 m. Crop quality starts with the[Read More…]

UK: Fairfields Farm launches free potato delivery service

Essex potato farmers have responded to the coronavirus crisis by setting up a free home delivery service for the local community. Potato producer and crisp maker Fairfields Farm, which is based in Wormingford, near Colchester, is delivering sacks and boxes of potatoes, and hand-cooked crisps made at a factory on the farm. The highly successful crisp business was set up[Read More…]

Free potato market in Belgium collapsed due to COVID-19

Due to the corona virus the free market of potatoes has completely collapsed. The PCA/Fiwap and the Belgapom price quotation has been suspended because of a lack of transactions on the free market of potatoes. According to Romain Cools of Belgapom, the federation of the Belgian potato processing and trade, in the meantime panic broke out among potato growers. Said[Read More…]

How to manage weeds in potato crops without diquat

There will be no room for complacency in potato weed control strategies in the UK this spring, as British growers embark on their first season without the popular broad-spectrum contact herbicide diquat. Up to now, weed control was pretty simple – many would plant, wait until weeds emerge and sometimes cover up to 40% of the crop, then apply a residual plus diquat mix. However, with diquat’s revocation in the UK, this “casual” approach to weed management in potato crops is no longer sustainable.

Ireland: Potato demand from retailers soars; food service takes hit

With the current coronavirus situation developing over the past week, demand across all sectors has been mixed, according to the IFA. Demand from retailers this week has soared and is reportedly as high as the Christmas period when trade normally peaks. The food service industry is experiencing a hit due to decreased footfall and closures. Meanwhile plantings continue this week across the country.

Europatat: European organizations issues statement on food security amid the Covid-19 outbreak

The European organisations CopaCogeca, FoodDrinkEurope and Celcaa (the European Liaison Committee for Agricultural and Agri-Food Trade, of which Europatat is a member) have released a joint statement in which they assure that “Europe’s food supply chain will work closely together to ensure everybody in Europe continues to have access to safe, quality and affordable food and drink products during the Coronavirus pandemic”.

What are farmers in England investing in to increase income?

Almost half of all farmers in the south-east and east of England have already invested in non-farming activities such as building lets and agro-tourism, as they seek to diversify their income sources, Farmers Weekly reports. The survey found almost one-third of farmers have already invested in things such as tourism and letting building, with another 15% expecting to do so in the next three years.

Branston hopes for purple patch for Violet Queen potato variety

Branston, potato supplier based in the UK, is asking shoppers whether they want to see its new Violet Queen variety become a mainstay of the potato aisles as part of its launch of the eye-catching purple variety, Fruitnet reports. Violet Queen is being launched into selected Tesco stores for a limited time from this month, having been developed for its unusual colour and rich texture.

No diquat: How to plan potato planting for trouble-free crop desiccation

With the absence of desiccant diquat, British potato producers are being advised to pay careful attention to field layout, nitrogen management and blight control strategy before planting this spring, according to an article published in Farmers Weekly. Machinery manufacturers have reported a big increase in topper sales in recent months, suggesting that many growers and contractors are gearing up for this mechanical approach.

The ‘Flight to Vitality’ project: A fresh perspective on potato growth

Neil Budko is an associate professor in the Numerical Analysis Group at TU Delft in the Netherlands. In this article he and his colleagues’ involvement in the “Flight to Vitality” seed potato project is explained in detail. With the Flight to Vitality project, HZPC and Averis Seeds want to jointly develop an objective test with which the vitality of batches of seed potatoes can be measured and predicted.

Belgian fries spared from national coronavirus lockdown

Belgium’s national dish, fried potato sticks that many English speakers refer to as “French fries,” has escaped the country’s near lockdown over coronavirus, with vendors allowed to stay open while all cafes and restaurants have been forced to close. The government ordered schools, bars, gyms and all sporting and cultural activities to close for three weeks from Saturday and curbed shop opening times to limit the spread of the disease.

Taking a look at storage costings after CIPC

The removal of CIPC next season has pushed the burden onto other tools in the box. However, how cost effective these treatments are at current market prices is a question on many people’s mind. In this article, analysts at AHDB Potatoes in the UK have estimated a total storage cost per tonne for different sprout suppressant regimes over an 8-month period.

The small Dutch town that wants to shape the future of your food

In the low-lying Gelderse Valley some 85km east of Amsterdam, a Dutch university is changing how humans eat, writes Vidhi Doshi in this article published in The Guardian recently. There, a bright-eyed press officer with Willy Wonka flair is showing me the miracles of modern food science. One laboratory door swings open to reveal giant, fragrant basil leaves growing under multicoloured lights. In a greenhouse nearby, thousands of tomatoes are suspended mid-air like plump, levitating Buddhas.

Potato trade positive in Ireland, demand picking up

Trade remains positive and reports from growers indicate that there is increased demand over the past week, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reported late this week. Although stocks remaining in store in Ireland are similar to last year’s levels, early plantings and harvest were staggered last year, which complimented the season.

British potato growers advised to be patient and wait for the right conditions to start planting

It has been one of the wettest winters on record in Britain, with many parts of the country suffering damaging floods, says AHDB Potatoes in a recent article. “In wet areas planting may be many weeks away yet. Patience and risk mitigation now, can help prevent poor results come harvest,” says AHDB’s Graham Bannister. The key message is not to panic, waiting a few days and planting in the right conditions is often better than ‘losing’ a couple of days growing time, according to Bannister.

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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