After the success of the 2016 event, the Seed Industry Event will return to Fairmont, St Andrews on 15 November this year. The event will have a major theme focusing on how what the future may hold for the seed trade in a post-Brexit world and how to make the most of the global export market opportunities Brexit will present. Furthermore, a host of international experts will also discuss other key topics such as plant health, exports, and marketing. Great Britain’s seed’s high health status is one of its main selling points, which is why that status is another major theme of this year’s event. The conference will also feature a number of workshops where the latest research on key topics such as blackleg and aphid and virus will be revealed, and there will also be sessions on the Safe Haven Scheme and the benefits of benchmarking. Visit the AHDB Potatoes website for full information and registration details
This year, decision-makers from the Austrian potato industry again gathered in Roseldorf/Lower Austria at the end of August to discuss the state of the national and international potato markets, reports AgrarMarkt Austria. All provided various contributions and evaluated the current situation in Austria’s potato industry. After a good starting price of 35-40 EUR/dt at the beginning of June, prices stabilized four weeks later at 18-20 EUR/dt. At the end of July, however, there was no longer talk of any oversupply. As the season progressed and there were problems due to the heat, both stocks and prices changed. At the beginning of August, the extreme drought had spread to almost all large growing areas. In many places, the damage had already been done. This year’s harvest will go down into domestic potato history as consistently difficult. Read more
Breeding Company K.-H. Nütoff from Bütow will present a brand new, interesting potato variety this week at PotatoEurope 2018 in Bockerode, Germany. The potato is marketed under the name Macarena and was created for the food and export market. The medium-early potato (ready for harvest from mid-August) was newly registered this year, it is particularly storable and has a red skin. The biggest advantage is that the variety works well in longer periods of dry and hot weather and still generates high yields, says a spokesman for the breeding company. In the course of this year’s summer weather extremes, the question was how the variety will behave in storage after difficult cultivation conditions. Read more
British potato growers are being advised by AHDB Potatoes to put as much effort into storage planning as they do into the rest of the growing season. Ewan Stark, Director of Taygrow, delivered the message at a recent AHDB potato storage event held in Perth. This message was echoed by storage experts from AHDB’s Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research facility who have been working with growers across Britain to improve stores as part of their Storage 2020 campaign. As part of the campaign, AHDB launched its StoreCheck service, which analyses a grower’s store or stores and offers practical advice on how to improve performance and efficiency. Stores Manager at Greenvale AP, John Hutchison, was quick to recognise the value of such a service. “I manage 24 stores for Greenvale,” John said, “and we saw the StoreCheck service as a way to ensure they were as efficient as possible. “After the assessment we invested £20,000 in a store upgrade, which dramatically improved our energy costs and plant running time. Read more
The second Global Future Farming Summit will be held on November 6 in Wageningen, Netherlands. Discover what is happening in the world of agriculture and food, and what research and business are doing. On the basis of interesting cases you will learn what the value of blockchain is in agri- and horticulture, how AI is used for growing food sustainably, how robots can feed the world, what big data can mean to us. Attendees of the summit also have the opportunity to attend the experience tour at Wageningen Campus at Wednesday November 7th. You will visit “Phenomea”, where shelf life of fresh food products and the use of robots in the agri-food sector are researched . In the “Foodhall” you will discover sustainable innovation in health food, fresh food chains and bio-based products. You will also visit the “ISRIC World soil museum”, the only museum with a collection of soil profiles that covers the entire globe. Further information
During PotatoEurope 2018 next week in Germany, Dewulf, machine manufacturer for the cultivation of potatoes and root crops, will not only present several familiar favourites. but also two new machines. The first new offering is the recently announced Field Loader 240, an efficient transfer combi that excels in ease of use and capacity. The CP 22 Farmer, a light, mounted 2-row cup planter for potato growers with smaller acreage will also be on display. This planter nevertheless offers exceptional durability, because it is built on the same strong chassis as the CP 22. Dewulf’s range of planting and storing technology will represented at the fair by a trailed Miedema Structural 4000, a Structural 30 and an MB 33. Dewulf will be located at stand GD69 at the PotatoEurope 2018 show. Read more. Information also available in several other languages on the Dewulf website.
In the run-up to PotatoEurope 2018, Dr. Rolf Peters from PotatoConsult UG in Germany describes the challenges and technology developments in planting seed potatoes. Demonstrations of planting technology will take place at the event, at Bockerode, near Hanover, on 12/13 September. According to Dr Peters, the planting of seed potatoes has developed into a highly complex step in crop cultivation. In addition to having to handle a comparatively large amount of seed – an average 2.5 tonnes/hectare, farmers have to manage seed bed preparation and fertilizer applications very precisely, and the process might also include treatment applications against seed- and soil-borne pests, as well as precise ridge formation. Continue reading
It’s too late for much of the area’s potato crop, but many spud fields would benefit from a good rain, and soon. “If it’s in a day or two days or five days — rain would help,” said Andrew Robinson, Fargo, N.D.,-based extension potato specialist with both North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. Weeks of warm, dry weather have stressed non-irrigated potatoes, and a shot of late-summer precipitation would boost less-advanced spuds. Rain also would soften fields and make them easier to dig for harvest, Robinson and others say. Robinson was among the nearly 200 people who attended the annual Potato Field Day tour on Thursday, Aug. 23. Most of the presenters were NDSU and University of Minnesota extension scientists who discussed their work involving crop disease, insects and plant breeding.
Brexit may provide British potato farmers with an opportunity to substitute imports if trade barriers are imposed by Brussels. As a result, it means the sector could be less exposed than others in the industry. That is the message from David Swales, head of strategic insight at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), who spoke at ‘Potatoes in Practice’ in Dundee on Thursday, August 9. “Tariff-free access is critical for most sectors, but for potatoes, barriers might present opportunities for import substitution – particularly in the processing sector,” he said. As he addressed a predominantly Scottish audience, Swales said: “That for the potato industry north of the border, trade barriers may translate into a larger domestic market for seed producers.” In an attempt to ensure a smooth transition into life after Brexit, AHDB has launched a new online calculator. The Brexit Impact Calculator allows individuals to input their own data and see what effects the different Brexit scenarios might have on their business. Read more
‘Protecting Potatoes’ is a new plant display with interpretation for summer 2018 at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. It can be found in the Demonstration Garden and the Temperate Palm House, and has been funded by SEFARI. The aim is to highlight the importance of wild potatoes for the future survival of the domesticated spud. Now, it may not be immediately obvious how wild potatoes can be used to protect what is the fourth most important crop on a global scale. The simple answer is that they have useful genes which can tackle all sorts of threats to the potato crop. This is why research at the Botanics, and in particular at the James Hutton Institute, has focused on the so-called ‘crop wild relatives’ of potato. Working with the James Hutton Institute and SASA, the Botanics assembled a display of eight wild potato species. The display includes numerous forms of the domesticated potato. Amongst these are some unusual and curious looking traditional varieties from the Andes. Read more
For four days, beginning on Sunday, July 22, more than 300 people, from 16 countries came to the Boise for the 102nd annual meeting of the Potato Association of America (PAA). Shelley Jansky, 2017-2018 PAA president and a research scientist with the USDA-ARS and horticulture professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that attendance was so good that they had to close registration because they couldn’t accommodate any more people. Succeeding Jansky as PAA president was Rich Novy, USDA-ARS research geneticist at the Aberdeen, Idaho facility. Novy said that he wants to continue the PAA’s role continuing to develop collaboration among researchers and the industry and encourage young researchers to stay involved in the potato industry during his one-year term as president. Continue reading
303 combines. That’s the new Guinness World Record for most combine harvesters working simultaneously in a field, following a successful record attempt in southern Manitoba, Canada on August 4th. Organizers of the Harvest for Kids event south of the town Winkler were aiming for 300 combines to raise awareness and funds for the NGO Children’s Camps International (CCI). “It was an amazing day,” notes a grinning Dave Thiessen, national director of CCI Harvest for Kids. Combines of all makes and models — ranging from a straight-cutting 1957 Massey to brand new machines — lined up and harvested in two rows that spanned nearly a mile on the east and west sides of the field, meeting with a roar and a cloud of dust in the middle of the field. Thiessen says there were between five and six hundred volunteers involved the event. About 15,000 people attended. Harvest for Kids and Children’s Camps International broke their own record of 244 combines, set during a similar event in Saskatchewan in 2012. Read more. And go here for more pictures
Fertilizer company Yara North America recently launched a podcast initiative to provide growers with updated agronomic advice, production and market insights, and more. In the latest podcast, specialists from Yara discuss how the potato crop is dealing with the current heat wave experienced in North America at this time. In this podcast, Jimmy Ridgeway, Crop Nutrition Solution Brand Manager of Yara’s Toppotato is joined by Steve Petrie, director of agronomic services at Yara in North America, and Shawn McIver, regional sales manager for Atlantic Canada to discuss heat stress and how growers can possibly mitigate that. Continue reading
The Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) Field Day Open House will take place at the University of Lethbridge next week, August 17, 2018. The event is an opportunity to showcase potato research activities and tour the university’s new soon-to-be-opened Science and Academic Building (Destination Project). The tour is aimed at potato growers and industry stakeholders. Cavendish, the PGA, McCain Foods and Lamb Weston fund the research chair and potato program at the university. These groups made a $1 million investment over five years to establish the program. “We are very grateful to them for their support,” says research chair Dmytro Yevtushenko. “Potato growers in Alberta are very advanced and very proactive in the scientific approach to growing potatoes, which is very good,” says Yevtushenko. [Alberta has about 21,500 hectares of farmland dedicated to potatoes, which has doubled in the last 20 years.] Read more
Farmers, researchers and members of the public gathered at the University of Maine’s Aroostook Research Farm in Presque Isle Wednesday to learn about the latest in potato research. “There’s a tremendous number of experiments going on,” said Greg Porter, a University of Maine agriculture professor who also leads the farm’s potato breeding program. Attendees at the field day learned about a range of trials underway at the farm, including research into different fertilizer applications, fungicide treatments for late blight, beneficial soil fungi, and the relatively new potato pathogen known as dickeya, which has created problems for Aroostook County’s seed potato industry. Continue reading