UK: Branston field manager scoops AHDB award

Branston field manager scoops AHDB awardBranston’s senior field manager Jim Aitken took home AHDB Potatoes’ coveted ‘Above and Beyond’ award at this year’s BP2017 potato show in Harrogate. The award, which is presented to an exceptional performer or an individual who has made a significant achievement over the past five years, went to Aitken for his work at the potato supplier’s Scottish base in Abernethy, Perth and Kinross. He has worked for the company in Abernethy since 2004, when Branston took over the site, and has strived to “maintain a strong working relationship between agronomy, procurement, technical and production,” Branston said. Aitken: “I have worked in this industry for over 30 years, and so to be recognised by AHDB Potatoes with such a prestigious award is a real honour.” More

British Potato 2017: Latest technical updates from potato event

The latest potato agronomic developments were showcased and industry concerns aired at BP2017, held in Harrogate, North Yorks. More data is needed to assess and respond to the threat posed by the Dark Green 37 blight strain, which has shown resistance to fluazinam. David Nelson, field director, Branston said more understanding of the Dark Green 37 strain was needed. “It is the biggest challenge in blight control since metalaxyl resistance in the 1980s. We don’t understand it really and need to collect information in the next 12 months. We need a lot more blight scouts. Loss of glyphosate could limit land availability for growing potatoes, warned Paul Colman, technical director, Greenvale AP. “It is a critical herbicide for controlling volunteer potatoes. Landowners renting out land may make the decision they don’t want potatoes in the rotation anymore.” BASF has launched an SDHI fungicide, Allstar (fluxapyroxad) for control of rhizoctonia in potatoes. Continue reading

US: Potato researchers gather to find solutions for the blackleg disease

Potato researchers gather in Maine to find a solutions for the Blackleg diseaseResearchers from all over the world were in Bangor, Maine for the ‘2017 Dickeya and Pectobacterium Summit’, organized by the University of Maine Extension. They are trying to find a way to stop the blackleg potato disease that could threaten the potato industry. According to Steven Johnson, UMaine cooperative extension professor: “This is not an emerging problem. This is an existing one we are trying to get ahead of. The pathogen may rot the tubers in the field. It may produce 20 to 80 percent less yield in the field. It may rot the potatoes in storage.” Maine’s potato crop brings a lot of money to the state and provides a livelihood for many growers. All of that could be threatened because of bacteria that causes blackleg disease. It isn’t just Maine that is impacted. The disease is hitting the potato industry worldwide. Researchers from 19 states and four different countries attended the meeting trying to find solutions. More

GRIMME presents brand new 4-row self-propelled potato harvester

GRIMME presented their brand new 4-row self-propelled VENTOR 4150 potato harvester at the Agritechnica 2017 event, complete with a 15 tonne unloading bunker. The crucial element of this 530 hp harvester is the integration of the proven “SE-principle” – a combined separating device, consisting of conveying, lifting and sieving webs, including the separation of vines and weed by a wide-meshed deviner web. This principle is nowadays standard for both 1-row and 2-row potato harvesters. However fitting this technology into 4-row harvesters has never previously been successful due to technological barriers. The VENTOR 4150 is the first “road legal” self-propelled 4-row potato harvester to be fitted with the SE system, which doubles productivity when compared to a 2 row harvester. This was made possible by dividing the crop flow into two main-lines throughout the whole machine. An innovative folding mechanism of the two hedgehog web – separators, which are mounted on both sides, reduced the width of the machine so that it could meet road-going specifications. More

Idaho spud harvest meeting brings mixed message

Potato harvestIt was a mixed message of good news and caution that Frank Muir delivered Tuesday to Idaho’s potato growers at the Idaho Potato Commission’s inaugural The Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting 2017. At the top of the list of major news for Idaho’s potato industry is the recent launch by Lamb Weston of frozen retail products called Grown in Idaho. “I’ve been working with the processors for many years trying to get one of the major processors to do just this,” Muir said. There was good news on the fresh potato market sector as well. Muir said that consumers will pay a premium for Idaho potatoes, but they expect a quality potato when they pay a premium price. He said that Idaho is having quality issues and the commission is hearing from consumers and retailers about it. More

Belgium to join Indonesian food expo to boost fries exports

Belgium to join Indonesian food expo to boost fries exportsThe Belgian Potato Trade and Processing Industry Federation (Belgapom) will take part in the major Indonesian food expo SIAL Interfood 2017 to be held at the Jakarta International (JI) Expo Kemayoran in Central Jakarta from Wednesday to Saturday, in an effort to boost its frozen-potato sales. Belgapom representative Wouter Trybou said it was part of a two-year campaign to boost exports of Belgian fries. The five exporters of fries that will join the event are Agristo, Bart’s Potato Company, Clarebout Potatoes, Ecofrost and Mydibel. “This year is the first year of our campaign. We’re targeting B2B [business to business] transactions in food services, the retail sector and quick-service restaurants. Next year, we’ll target more in the retail sector,” he told a press briefing on Monday. More

UK: AHDB Agronomists’ Conference gets more interactive

Ag Conf Banner Top To encourage dialogue on pressing agronomic challenges, the 2017 AHDB Agronomists’ Conference promises to be the most interactive yet. Taking place on 5 to 6 December 2017 at Peterborough Arena, opportunities to discuss new ways of working will be provided and speakers will showcase how research is becoming more connected – from the lab to the field. For the second year running, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds will combine forces with AHDB Potatoes and the full two-day programme is now available from the conference web pages. Due to the shifting nature of plant protection product availability and efficacy, a key debate will be on how to protect chemistry. Building on papers on fungicide efficacy against potato blight on day one, a session entitled ‘fungicide futures’ on day two will explore whether the UK needs to work better together to manage product efficacy. Collaboration on soil health will also be in focus, with papers on the AHDB GREATsoils rotations and soil health partnerships. View the full programme

New tools for growers to be launched at British Potato 2017

British Potato 2017 is an occasion for launching and introducing working tools for growers. The event takes place in Yorkshire Event Center, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, UK, during November 22-23. For example, Fera, an international center for interdisciplinary in investigation and problem solving across plant and bee health, will present a new in-field diagnostic tool for potato nematodes. On the other hand, AHDB Potatoes will launch a tool which allows growers and those in the supply chain to examine data on price, variety, planted area, market sector and yield. Senior nematologist Tom Prior will discuss Fera’s new in-field diagnostic tool, scheduled to be launched in 2018, which is able to rapidly identify root-knot nematodes from plant material, in addition to soil analysis service. AHDB Potatoes will launch Potato Data Center (PDC) at BP2017. The tool allows growers and those in the supply chain to examine data on price, variety, planted area, market sector and yield. More

Tolsma-Grisnich shows Potato Storage Innovations at Agritechnica

From November 12 to 18, Agritechnica in Hanover will be the ‘centre of innovation’ for anyone who wants to be updated on the latest global developments in the agribusiness. As one of the regular exhibitors at this event, potato storage specialist Tolsma-Grisnich will show its latest storage innovations in Stand A14 in Hall 24. Tolsma-Grisnich will be featuring two new modules for its Vision Control storage computer and presents its App 1.0, the energy efficient TTV HE fan and its award winning new 5M temperature sensor, among other products. In addition, there will be live demonstrations of its MV09 grading machine and its Sample Analyser. More

Potato Expo 2018 to help children in need

Second Harvest - PeoplePotato farmers who attend National Potato Council’s upcoming Potato Expo 2018 in Orlando, Fla., will also be helping to feed children in need. Potato Expo is scheduled for Jan. 10-12 at Rosen Shingle Creek, and will be followed by the NPC’s annual meeting Jan. 12-13. NPC will solicit donations from guests at the event, aiming to fund at least 2,000 Hi-Five Kids Packs, which are provided by Second Harvest of Central Florida to keep children who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches fed during weekends and breaks. The packs contain cereal, milk, juice, fruit cups and shelf-stable potato products. Potato Expo co-chairman Jim Tiede, a farmer from American Falls, Idaho, said the Eastern Idaho dehydrated potato manufacturers Idahoan Foods and Basic American Foods have donated potato products for the packs. More

Agritechnica 2017: Companies to presents latest technologies for cropping and storing

For seven days, between November 12 and 18, at Agritechnica 2017 In Hanover, Germany, high-caliber manufacturers and service providers will present new brand concepts and innovations in the cropping and storage sectors. The potato storage specialist Omnivent is launching a new line of OmniFans with the Permanent Magnet (PM) engine techniques, which presents many advantages such as improved sustainability and energy efficiency. Tolsma-Grisnich will also be present at this event. This year the company will be featuring the new modules for the Vision Control storage computer, and the App 1.0, Sample Analyzer, TTV HE fan, MV09 grading machine, and new 5M temperature sensor, among others. Potato harvester producer GRIMME will present at Agritechnica 2017 a completely redesigned harvester with an AirSep, for the first time. In addition to this, visitors will find a wide range of interesting new and further developments. Potato machine manufacturer AVR presents the AVR Spirit 5200, a simple and efficient harvester. More

British Potato 2017 event plots UK role after Brexit

BP2017 Potato Industry Show is a potato gathering from seed to supermarket, taking place November 22 to 23, in the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom. The British Potato show has taken on an added dimension as the first show since the UK’s decision to fundamentally change its relationship with Europe and its trading focus with the rest of the world. “The challenges and opportunities of Brexit, the global role for UK seed and technical lessons from around the world, all feature strongly in the official seminar program at the event,” says show organizer Steve Wellbeloved. Additionally, among the record number of exhibitors – one in five is new to the show – many are showcasing goods and services relevant to global audiences. This trading focus also extends to a special Trade & Innovation Hub, where the UK government will be highlighting its support for agritech, exports and inward investment. More

New season of Australian baby potatoes auction for $1 million per tonne

Attendance at the Annual Potato Industry Dinner at the National Wine Centre of Australia, Adelaide on Friday night exceeded all expectations. Opened by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, the auction of new season baby potatoes, the only one of its kind in Australia, resulted in a final bid of a very impressive $10,250 by Thomas Foods International Fresh Produce. This was for 10 kgs so that means these very special potatoes actually sold for $1.02m per tonne. This was a just a little shy of last year’s record of $11,000 set by The Mitolo Group. Mr Tony Wetherall, SA Stud Stock Manager Elders Ltd, a Corporate Partner of the Association, worked a room of 140 key industry stakeholders to produce this outstanding result. More

Innovative potato products presented at Anuga 2017

Potato producers exhibited a range of innovative products at Anuga 2017, this year’s largest food and beverage trade show, organized by Koelnmesse in October. As with every edition, the organizers set up a special innovation area, called “Anuga taste Innovation Show”, where products from different categories were showcased, including several potato items. The company Pafritas introduced the handmade selected and fried potatoes in olive oil. The company San Carlo presented Italian-style crisps Più Gusto – a range that brings creativity into the world of crisps. Danish company Orkla showcased crunchy, slow roasted crisps in four aromas. More

US: RPE to feature new product innovations at Fresh Summit

What’s new in the fresh potato category? From RPE, Inc. a new potato item, a unique approach for commodity product and fresh innovations that add value for both consumers and retailers alike. New featured item: SteamPak Mini™, for the health conscious and on-the-go consumer, is a single-serve package of fresh potatoes. Microwaving in four minutes for a great snack or side dish, SteamPak Mini has no additives and addresses a trend toward smaller pack sizes and a desire from consumers to reduce food waste. Unique approach for commodity product: Old Oak Farms® Party Potatoes, offered exclusively by RPE, are fingerling potatoes re-imagined with precise size specifications. RPE will also highlight Tasteful Selections Steam & Savor™ steamable bags featuring Organic Mini Sweet Potatoes, and White Russet® brand potatoes. More