Metals from Bolivian mines affect crops and pose potential health risk, study suggests

A University of Oklahoma Civil Engineering and Environmental Science Professor Robert Nairn and his co-authors have conducted a collaborative study that suggests exposure to trace metals from potatoes grown in soil irrigated with waters from the Potosi mining region in Bolivia, home to the world’s largest silver deposit, may put residents at risk of non-cancer health illnesses. “In this high mountain desert, water is a critically precious resource and the use of metal-polluted waters for irrigation may have substantial detrimental impacts on the lives of subsistence farmers,” said Bill Strosnider, researcher on the project. Potatoes are the primary dietary staple in the surrounding communities. “Our findings allow the research community insight into the potential human and environmental impact that vast active and abandoned mining operations may pose all across the Andean region,” said Alan Garrido, researcher on the project. More

Colorado State University receives funding for Dickeya study

Image result for dickeya potatoIt was announced this week that Colorado State University will receive $264,600 in funding from USDA to study the spread of pathogens including Dickeya. Dr. Amy Charkowski, head of CSU’s Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, will lead the project. This grant is part of a $4.8 million investment from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study important challenges in U.S agriculture. The National Potato Council (NPC) submitted a letter in support of funding this project, which is necessary in fighting the spread of a pathogen which can cause significant crop loss. (Source: National Potato Council)

New report: North America Frozen Potato Market (2016 – 2022)

Image result for frozen potato productsResearch and Markets has announced the addition of the “North America Frozen Potato Market (2016 – 2022)” report to their offering. The North America Frozen Potato Market is expected to register a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period (2016 -2022). Some of the key topics covered include an overview of the North America Frozen Potato Market; the North America Frozen Potato Market by Product Type; the Potato Market by Country. Company Profiles include: McCain Foods Limited, J.R. Simplot Company, Lamb Weston, Agrarfrost Holding Gmbh & Co. KG, Agristo, Bart’s Potato Company, Himalya International, and Koninklijk Coöperatie Cosun U.A (Royal Cosun). More

China plans to grow potatoes in space … like Matt Damon did in The Martian

Image result for matt damon plant potatoesFor the first time in history, Chinese space authorities are planning to grow potatoes and raise worms on the moon, the Chongqing Morning Post reported on Tuesday. A 3kg mini-ecosystem container developed by research teams led by Chongqing University would be transported to the moon’s surface by the Chang’e 4 that will be launched in 2018, authorities revealed last week. “The container will send potatoes, arabidopsis seeds and silkworm eggs to the surface of the moon. The eggs will hatch into silkworms, which can produce carbon dioxide, while the potatoes and seeds emit oxygen through photosynthesis. Together, they can establish a simple ecosystem on the Moon,” Zhang Yuanxun, chief designer of the container, was quoted as saying in the report. More

Research project focused on ideal transport conditions for potatoes

In the export of potatoes, there are many different ways of setting up reefer containers, and each expert has his own vision. But only a few wonder why a certain set-up is chosen. Agroplant in the Netherlands did ask that question. The answer could not be given in just one sentence. “There are so many discussions about the best set-up for the containers,” says Joris van der Lee from Agroplant. “Everyone has a different opinion about the ideal set-up.” The opinions of various, independent experts were even so far apart that Agroplant started asking: what is actually the correct set up? In collaboration with Leo Lukasse from Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, part of Wageningen University & Research, a research project was launched to look closely at container ventilation. More

Expert View – Sorting and Product Inspection: A Step Change in Digital Sorting

Digital sorting has recently experienced a step change. This disruptive new technology, which has been in commercial use at potato processing facilities around the world for more than a year, offers novel capabilities and delivers new standards of performance. What’s different? Everything: from the sorter’s mechanical architecture to its sensors, software, ejection system, user interface (UI) and more, both incremental and disruptive changes have been brought to the market. In this article, Marco Azzaretti, advanced inspection systems product manager at Key Technology describe what’s different and present the benefits that these features bring to processors of potato strips and specialty products. More

Australia: Battling the potato myth

Battling the potato mythTaste, versatility and ease of use all rate highly for Australian consumers of potatoes. t’s the myth that potatoes are carbohydrate-loaded and that starchy vegetables aren’t healthy that’s caused the drop in consumption among Australians, according to a study by Potatoes South Australia (SA) and the University of Adelaide. The report ‘Australian consumers’ insights into potatoes – nutritional knowledge, perceptions and beliefs’ by Katie Wood, John Carragher and Robbie Davis, analysed the results of a survey of 1,200 Australians and found that one-third of those survey had decreased their consumption of potatoes in the past five years. More

Battle plans for potato disease management

What is the best approach to disease management at planting — seed treatments or in-furrow applications? Or is this really a question about what crop protectant is being applied to manage certain reoccurring, problematic disease like rhizoctonia or fusarium dry rot? Or is keeping diseases at bay more to do with the variety, quality and health of the seed, the location of the field, the water, climate and soil conditions or the length of rotation? All good questions, but with the uncertainty growers face at planting each year, there’s likely a hundred more. That’s why companies like Miller Research in Rupert, Idaho, are hunting down the answers to all the early season potato production questions and many more. Earlier this year, Miller Research President and CEO Jeff Miller presented his company’s recent findings at an annual potato pest management seminar near Rupert, Idaho. More

Potato extract shows satiety benefits for healthy women: Slendesta data

© iStockConsumption of a Kemin’s Slendesta potato protease inhibitor II one hour before breakfast may lower hunger and the desire to eat, says a new study by scientists from Kemin and Herbalife International of America. The benefits of the ingredient are reported to be related to a protein naturally found in white potatoes. The ingredient, when taken in the form of a tablet or capsule, one hour before taking a main meal, is said to enhance the body’s own release of cholecystotinin (CCK), an appetite-suppressing hormone that works by delaying the emptying of the stomach (gastric emptying) and thereby promoting the feeling of fullness. New data, published in a scientific journal, supports such claims with a 15 mg dose of the ingredient also associated with significantly higher postprandial fullness in healthy women. More

UK: Growers missing out on increased yields that precision farming offers

Growers could be missing out on increased crop yields and improved soil quality if they overlook adopting the latest precision farming techniques. A three year AHDB project, which is now in its final year, has so far revealed UK growers could be benefiting from controlled traffic farming (CTF) techniques, resulting in better soil quality and increased yields. Part of the study assesses the use of CTF in horticulture to reduce field area wheeled by machinery in order to develop soil structure and lead to less energy intensive cultivations. Dr Paul Newell Price, RSK ADAS, said: “Controlled traffic systems can improve the efficiency and profitability of horticultural production by increasing opportunities to access the land, reducing input costs and evening up yields across each planted area.”  Continue reading

Report: Global Potato Chips Market 2017

Global Potato Chips MarketGlobal Potato Chips Market 2017 Research Report offers an analysis of the growth rate of the Potato Chips industry. This report scrutinizes current market trends, future growth potential, dominant market growth drivers, elements impeding market growth, opportunities, market framework, market challenges, market future prognosis and best practices in the global Potato Chips market. The report serves as a valuable guide for industry players and other individuals who are interested in studying the Potato Chips market. More

North America: Guarding against Dickeya

With clean seed recognized as the best defence against this new blackleg-causing pathogen, the demand for Dickeya testing is growing fast. After triggering major crop losses in the United States, Dickeya has been dominating the potato meetings circuit in North America for the past year or two. In Canada, some of the discussions revolve around the consequences for growers should the new disease makes its way into this country — but some industry experts maintain Dickeya is likely already here. “I don’t know what the extent is [in Canada], but we found Dickeya in samples that were sent to us from Ontario and from New Brunswick,” says Gary Secor, professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University (NDSU). “I think that certainly the potential is there for Dickeya to be present and I think the Canadian farmer should be aware of that and take it seriously.” More

Research update: Latest indicators show potatoes can indeed grow on Mars

The International Potato Center (CIP) launched a series of experiments to discover if potatoes can grow under Mars atmospheric conditions and thereby prove they are also able to grow in extreme climates on Earth. This Phase Two effort of CIP’s proof of concept experiment to grow potatoes in simulated Martian conditions began on February 14, 2016 when a tuber was planted in a specially constructed CubeSat contained environment built by engineers from University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima, based upon designs and advice provided by NASA, California.  Preliminary results are positive. A special potato was placed inside a sealed container that simulates Mars temperature, air pressure, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. The results so far are positive; cameras inside the canister show sprouts (see picture above). This is the second phase of the Potatoes on Mars project, which aims to figure out which extreme conditions the hardy tuber can thrive in. If they can grow on Mars, surely they can survive in areas here on Earth that have been devastated by climate change. More

Report: World Frozen Potatoes Market 2017

This study provides a strategic assessment of the Global Frozen Potatoes market. The report focuses on growth opportunities which will help the Global Frozen Potatoes industry to expand operations in existing markets or aid the development of emerging markets. The study assesses new product and service positioning strategies in the Global Frozen Potatoes market. Furthermore, new and evolving technologies and their impact on the market is analyzed in detail in this report. The leading players in the Global Frozen Potatoes market have been profiled in this report. Key market players with their business overviews, marketing strategies, strategic alliances and acquisitions are included in this report. In addition, the report includes the evaluation of the top market players’ product and service offering and revenue analysis. The report features significant industry insights, market expectations, and key developments, More

Carcinogens found in British baby food and Belgian fries

Two new surveys have found high levels of acrylamide, a known carcinogen, in UK-made baby biscuits and Belgium’s favourite fast food. Acrylamide is a compound that typically forms in food products such as potato chips, bread, biscuits, and coffee, during high-temperature processing (above 120°), including frying, baking, and roasting. According to a study commissioned by the Changing Markets Foundation, 10% of biscuits marketed to infants and children in the UK have high levels of acrylamide. In the meantime, Changing Markets and Brussels-area news service BRUZZ conducted a similar investigation last month (23 February) of Belgian fries sold in the capital. They found that 15% of the food business surveyed sell fries with high levels of acrylamide, exceeding the European benchmark of 600 µg/kg. The highest acrylamide level found in the survey was 670 µg/kg, over six times higher than the lowest at 100 µg/kg, followed by two samples at 660 and 620 µg/kg. More

Report: Global Potato Starch Market 2017

The report entitled Global Potato Starch Market 2017 presents key insights into the global Potato Starch market along with the latest up-to-date industry details and forthcoming Potato Starch industry trends, which will assist the readers to focus on product specification and end users driving the overall market revenue and profitability. The report on “Global Potato Starch Market 2017” provides comprehensive details to market investors and key industry players which will enable them to make vital decisions regarding Potato Starch growth opportunities and future investment scope. This report highlights prominent industry competitors and provides a deep analysis of the major factors influencing the market. More

Potato Chips Market: Global Industry Trends and Forecast, 2017-2022

Image result for potato chipsChips currently represent one of the world’s most popular snack foods. From its accidental birth in 1853, the potato chips market has evolved with time and currently represents a multi-billion dollar market. Owing to their easy affordability and cheaper price even for the premium products, potato chips are popular among all age groups. Currently, the growing young population (below 15 years) represents a key segment for the potato chips market. Major factors driving the global demand of potato chips are growing urbanisation, rise in disposable incomes and rapidly changing lifestyles. A busy lifestyle coupled with long working hours have forced people to shift from elaborate luncheons and meals to desk snacks and packaged foods. Although potato chips are consumed all over the world, their consumption and penetration levels vary widely across regions. The United States and Western Europe currently represent the biggest markets accounting for nearly two thirds of the total global demand. Growth rates in these markets, however, have reached maturity levels whereas the emerging markets such as India, China, Russia, etc. are expected to show promising growth rates in the future. Press release or read the full report

McCain Foods Limited – Strategy, SWOT and Corporate Finance Report

McCain Foods Limited has presence in more than 160 countries worldwide and employs more than 19,000 people. This report is a source of comprehensive company data and information on the company. The report covers the company’s structure, operation, SWOT analysis, product and service offerings and corporate actions, providing a comprehensive view of the company. The report includes detailed information on McCain Foods Limited required for business and competitor intelligence needs; a study of the major internal and external factors affecting McCain Foods Limited in the form of a SWOT analysis; an in-depth view of the business model of McCain Foods Limited including a breakdown and examination of key business segments; and more. Report details

Research report details developments in the global potato starch market

The Global Potato Starch Industry 2017 Market Research Report is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the Potato Starch industry. With around 150 tables and figures this report provides key statistics on the state of the industry and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the market. Development policies and plans are discussed as well as manufacturing processes and Bill of Materials cost structures are also analyzed. This report also states import/export consumption, supply and demand Figures, cost, price, revenue and gross margins. Companies like Avebe, Emsland Group, Roquette, KMC, Südstrke, Aloja Starkelsen, Pepees, Penford, Vimal, Novidon Starch, Lyckeby, and more are profiled in the terms of product picture, specification, capacity, production, price, cost, gross, revenue, and contact information. More

Increase of potato acreage in Western and Central Europe

Motivated by the high prices recorded in the previous season, the acreage devoted to potatoes in Western Europe and some countries in Central and Eastern Europe has increased. In the EU as a whole, the potato acreage in 2016 amounted to 1.68 million hectares and was about 2 percent greater than in the previous year, as revealed in the IAFE report. Potato yields have declined in Western Europe, while a significant increase has been recorded in Central European countries. Potato harvests in the EU-28 increased by almost 6 percent in comparison with 2015 and amounted to 56.2 million tonnes, mainly due to significantly higher yields in Poland (2.5 million tonnes). The five countries with a decisive impact on the European potato market (Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK) recorded a drop in the potato harvest of approximately 1 percent compared to the previous year and of 3 percent compared to the five-year average. More

Canada: Warmer, drier climate with plenty of variability

Since there is no immediate “fix” for the weather, Canadian potato farmers have to be ready for change and be adaptable, advises David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada. The climate is changing. Although it may not seem like it during specific weather events – exceptional rainstorms and severe cold snaps – evidence predicts climate over the coming years will be warmer and drier. That will mean changes. “The farms that will continue to have success will be those that are willing and able to change,” says Phillips. “While there will be benefits to a warmer climate, there will also be drawbacks or disadvantages. Farmers will need to be adaptable to these changes, and Canadian farmers have demonstrated they are very good at adapting.” Although Phillips made the remarks at the Alberta Potato Conference in November, he says his comments are applicable to agriculture in general. The warming trend of the coming decades will push the production boundaries of many of the warm season crops even further north. It will mean a longer frost-free growing season, higher levels of carbon dioxide. On the downside, a warming climate could encourage more weed growth. It can also increase or change the complex of crop diseases and insect pests. Warm temperatures can increase heat stress on crops and also lead to drier or drought conditions. More

UK: Winter Forum focuses on industry challenges

Brexit, blight and the future of the potato industry led the discussion at this year’s Winter Forum at Harper Adams University (26 January 2017). The forum was an excellent opportunity to showcase AHDB Potatoes recent work, with trials from both Strategic Potato (SPot) Farms proving to be a particular highlight. Susannah Bolton, Knowledge Exchange Director for AHDB and chairperson for the event, introduced the forum by saying: “This is a great opportunity for everybody to air their views and share knowledge. We’re looking to encourage discussion based on our experiences, we can’t necessarily provide answers on what’s right or wrong, what we are doing is reporting our research.” Sarah Baker, Senior Analyst for AHDB Potatoes, opened the event with a presentation on the industry challenges following the referendum result on 24 June 2016. As an industry worth £4.1bn there has been some concern around the effects of Brexit, and Sarah was on hand to offer advice and words of encouragement. Sarah said: “While Brexit presents industry challenges as a whole, there are significant opportunities for growers going forwards.” Dr David Cooke of the James Hutton Institute provided a clear understanding of the effects of blight. More

Training Course: Stay tuned with the impact of technologies on your ag business

new-ag-training-courseAgribusinesses must navigate an increasingly complex environment. But rapid changes can create new possibilities for companies that recognise opportunities, innovate, and evolve strategies quickly. Based on 16 years’ experience, expertise and vast network of contacts, including academia, industry, policy makers and consultants, across all circles of the sectors covered by New Ag International, the company has designed a 10-day programme to prepare decision makers in contributing to the value creation of their respective enterprises. To deliver this high-level training course, New Ag International partners with the very best academics: University of California Davis (USA), University of Wageningen (Netherlands), Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna in Pisa (Italy), University of Lleida (Spain). But also with Consultants and Business people: The InVivo Group (France), the Tahal Group (Israel), Prospero & Partners (Belgium), DunhamTrimmer (USA), Koppert Biological Systems (Netherlands), AgroMapping (Spain), KarlMielke Consulting (Netherlands) and more who will be announced shortly. See brochure:  nai_acadamy_brochure_3feb-1 or visit the New Ag International web site

Report: Global Sweet Potato Starch Market 2016

Sweet Potato Starch Market‘Global Sweet Potato Starch Market 2016’ presents a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the Sweet Potato Starch market globally, providing a basic overview of the Sweet Potato Starch market, including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure, Sweet Potato Starch Market report provides development policies and plans, as well as manufacturing processes and cost structures. Sweet Potato Starch market size, share and end users are analyzed as well as segment markets by types, applications and companies. More. Request free Report Sample

Report shows significant drop in Idaho spud costs

John O’Connell/Capital Press
Potatoes are harvested Aug. 23 in Eastern Idaho. Lower production costs have helped Idaho potato farmers cope with low commodity prices, according to a new study by University of Idaho Extension agricultural economist Ben Eborn.A significant decline in production costs in 2016 has helped Idaho potato farmers cope with low commodity prices, according to a new study by University of Idaho Extension agricultural economist Ben Eborn. Eborn took over responsibilities for the Idaho Potato Commission’s annual potato production cost report from Paul Patterson, who retired as a UI economist in 2015. Eborn estimated spud producers’ production costs dropped from 5.5 percent in fumigated southwestern fields to 8.5 percent in southcentral fields without fumigation. Eborn developed model farms raising Russet Burbanks typifying each region, based on surveys of growers, lenders and input and service providers. Yields were based on a three-year average through 2015. Total costs on his model farms ranged from as low as $2,236 per acre for north-eastern Idaho farmers using no fumigation — a reduction of $143 from the prior year — to $3,466 per acre for southwestern Idaho farmers with fumigation — down $276 per acre. “It’s not often the costs of production go down in agriculture, but thankfully they did,” Eborn said, noting costs paid to growers were also down, especially in the fresh market. He also made calculations factoring storage costs. For example, he placed the break-even point for a grower raising a crop with 95 percent marketable spuds stored through February at $7.75 to $8.34 per hundredweight. Capital Press report