US: Two new Russet varieties to be released soon

Jeanne Debons, executive director of the Potato Variety Management Institute, with potato varieties under her organization’s management at the recent University of Idaho Potato Conference in Pocatello, Idaho. PVMI is releasing two new varieties — Castle Russet and Echo Russet.Two new spud varieties are coming soon to the Pacific Northwest. Echo Russet and Castle Russet — developed by the Tri-State Potato Breeding Program that includes Oregon, Washington and Idaho — are just about ready to be released commercially, according to Sagar Sathuvalli with Oregon State University. Sathuvalli, a potato breeder at OSU’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Experiment Center, discussed the traits of each variety with local growers during the station’s annual potato field day Wednesday. Both varieties boast high yields and good cooking quality, and can be used either for french fries or fresh market. Echo Russet — named for the nearby town — and Castle Russet are about to cross that finish line. The Capital Press reports that the Potato Variety Management Institute, which handles licensing and royalties for Tri-State varieties, has decided to release the latest creations in December. In February, Capital Press reported that officials representing the Idaho, Oregon and Washington potato breeding programs say they’re releasing a pair of new russet varieties that should help position the industry to cope with more stringent regulations on soil fumigants. The new varieties are billed as medium- to late-maturing potatoes appropriate for use in both the fresh market and processing, also having good culinary qualities and cold sweetening resistance, so they fry with a light color even after months in storage. Read more

Italy: Pleasing results for Stet Holland potatoes

Famous for their gold potatoes cultivated in the red soil near the Guà river, the Colognes area in the Veneto region is welcoming the first harvesting of 2017. Despite the problematic weather conditions caused by the cold front that affected the area in April, Stet Holland potatoes passed all stress tests with flying colours and proved to be extremely resistant. Tubers are distributed thanks to the cooperation between Balladore Carlo e figlio Snc, located in Guazzora (Alessandria), and intermediation agency Veronese Luciano & C. Sas, located in Asigliano Veneto (Vicenza). The Avanti variety will be harvested over the next few days, confirming it as the earliest cultivar of the segment. It will then be the turn of the Vitalia variety, with yellow skin and flesh and excellent for storage in cold units. More

Researchers engineer heat tolerance in potato crops

Scientists at the James Hutton Institute and the University of St. Andrews have developed a technique to ‘engineer’ heat tolerance in potato crops, potentially providing potato breeders with a valuable tool in their quest to create varieties suited to the requirements of growers, industry and retailers. The potato crop is particularly vulnerable to increased temperature, which is considered to be the most important uncontrollable factor affecting growth and yield, according to the researchers. By comparing many different types of potato, scientists at the Institute have found a version of a gene involved in the heat stress response that is more active in potato types that can tolerant high temperature. The team went on to show that the switch that turns the protective gene on  is different in the heat tolerant types. More

UK: European agribusiness representatives visit Hutton Institute to establish potato links

German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce visitors (c) James Hutton LtdJames Hutton Limited, the James Hutton Institute’s commercial subsidiary, has welcomed two delegations of European visitors to the Institute’s Dundee site as part of efforts to share knowledge and ideas with a huge variety of interest groups across the globe. A group of 20 visitors from the German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce visited the Institute as part of a market research trip to investigate the potato supply chain in the UK and Ireland. After a brief introduction to the Institute’s work, the delegation visited the Commonwealth Potato Collection (CPC), the UK’s genebank of landrace and wild potatoes, which is held in trust at the Dundee site. Similarly, a group of 25 members of FIWAP, a non-profit organisation responsible for the promotion and improvement of potatoes and seed potatoes in the southern Belgian area of Wallonia, visited the Institute’s site in Dundee to gain a close understanding of the Scottish potato seed and exporting industries  Continue reading

T and G announce new low carb potatoes for New Zealand

T&G has announced the launch of their new Lotatoes, which is their low carb potato they hope will capture the interest of health conscious consumers. “Grown sustainably and naturally bred on rolling farms in Pukekohe and Ohakune, Lotatoes have been bred using different varieties of potato. Lotatoes have 40% less carbs and less calories than other commonly available potato varieties (Rua and Agria) and have lower carbs and calories. More

Yellow potatoes continue gaining market share in North America

Yellow potatoes continue to gain market share and the gain is mostly at the expense of russets and whites, according to Ted Kreis, Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA) marketing and communications director. Red River Valley is growing more yellows in recent years. In 2010, the valley produced just over 200,000 hundredweight (cwt.) of yellow potatoes. Just five years later in 2015 the valley produced 607,000 cwt. More

US: Genetically engineered potatoes approved for Maine

Impact of late blight disease on rows of conventional potatoes (left) and Innate™ Gen 2 potatoes (right) in Michigan as seen in this Nov 2015 photo.With little fanfare, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control unanimously approved earlier this month the registration of three new types of genetically engineered potatoes that have been developed by a major Idaho agribusiness company. The move means that the J.R. Simplot Co.’s Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic potatoes could be planted in Maine fields at any time. These potatoes were created by adding genes from a wild potato plant and are designed to be resistant to late blight. But genetically modified crops have been controversial in the past. Critics of the process say that won’t be any different for the Simplot potatoes, the second generation to be sold under the brand name Innate, although company officials say otherwise. More

Texas A&M to make designer potatoes to increase consumption

(Source: Texas A&M AgriLife Research)The Texas A&M AgriLife Research is making designer potatoes to increase potatoes consumption. “The average consumption in the U.S. is 113 pounds per year per person. But overall potato consumption in the U.S. has generally declined somewhat.” said Dr. Creighton Miller, a potato breeder with Texas A&M AgriLife Research. Miller said the objective of the Texas A&M potato breeding program is to develop improved varieties adapted specifically to Texas environmental conditions. “So what we are doing now is developing unique varieties that have a tendency to appeal to the younger set with high income who are willing to try something different,” he said. One type is a small potato, he said, adding that within the trials he is looking for varieties with a heavy set of small potatoes. More

Italy: Is this the potato of the future?

Agrico’s PK060108 variety might be the perfect new potato selection for Romagna. This option was discussed on 29th May 2017 in San Mauro Pascoli (Forlì-Cesena) during a technician day held at azienda agricola Fratelli Tramonti, organised by Consorzio Agrario Adriatico. “The PK060108 selection from Agrico (Netherlands) had excellent performances. I believe we will hear its name again and again in the future,” explained Crea Bologna researcher Bruno Parisi. More

Simplot postpones commercial introduction of Innate GMO potatoes in Canada

Simplot postpones commercial introduction of Innate GMO potatoes in CanadaSimplot Plant Sciences will not commercially launch its Innate GMO potatoes in Canada this year, despite regulatory approval and interest among potato farmers to grow these new potatoes, according to a report by CBC News. Doug Cole, director of marketing and communications, said Simplot is holding off allowing commercial growth of Innate potatoes in Canada until there’s a proven market for them. According to Cole, “There is strong interest from the grower community and retailers are also interested.” But it’s a very involved purchase decision.” He said there are about five acres of test plots on Prince Edward Island this year and the mentioned that Simplot Plant Sciences has also test plots in Ontario and Manitoba. More

US approves 3 more types of Simplot GMO potatoes for sale this year

Genetically modified potatoes that won’t bruise are a step closer to public consumption as early as this fall, now that Simplot Co. has received final government approval to grow and sell them.The federal government has given the final OK to three more types of potatoes genetically engineered by Boise’s J.R. Simplot Co. to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine. They are safe for the environment and safe to eat, officials announced. The approvals by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration last month mean Simplot is free to plant the potatoes this spring and sell them in the fall. The approvals apply to Simplot’s second generation of its Innate line of potatoes. The first generation already is sold in stores under the White Russet label. The company said the latest varities will have less bruising and fewer black spots, enhanced cold-storage capacity and a lower amount of a potentially carcinogenic chemical that is created when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures. More

Nieuw aardappelras Louisa op de Belgische rassenlijst

Op de Belgische rassenlijst is één nieuw ras van aardappel opgenomen. Het nieuwe ras Louisa is geschikt voor chips, het vertoont een goede opkomstsnelheid en een vroege bloei. De trage jeugdgroei wordt verklaard door kleine bladeren die goed bestand zijn tegen Phytophthora infestans. De opbrengst in de gewenste calibratiegroep is goed, iets boven het gemiddelde van de standaardrassen. Het onderwatergewicht is ook goed, hoewel iets lager dan het gemiddelde van de standaardrassen en de chipsgeschiktheid is excellent (minder dan 2.5 op een cijferschaal van 0 tot 6).  Zie voor een een overzicht van de resultaten die dit nieuw ras in de officiële proeven behaalde de site van de Vlaamse Overheid. Meer

Canada: Researchers release 15 new potato varieties

New potatoes and green parsleyReds, a wedge with an edge, and a super storer are among this year’s new potato selections from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Red-skinned varieties made up half of the total selections that Ag Canada potato breeders released during their annual ‘release open house’. This includes a multi-purpose variety that shows promise for processing as wedges and as a traditional table potato. Breeders have also developed Russet selections that have a longer shelf life in cold storage while maintaining stable sugars, making them attractive new selections to french fry processors. In all, 15 potato selections were unveiled this year. Researchers are increasingly using DNA technology to identify genes and strands linked to favourable traits. This will lead to the development of germplasm with the potential for better yields, nutritional value, and cooking and processing qualities. More

Potatoes to take root in Cambodia

Cambodia’s eastern Mondulkiri province will become the country’s first hub for potato growing after a successful pilot project, researchers say.  Cheang Hong, of the Potato Research Center at the Royal University of Agriculture, said a team spent several months studying weather conditions, potato varieties and farming.  Mr. Hong said some varieties need cool weather while some need warm weather. They identified Mondulkiri as the best place to plant.  He said the project confirmed that potatoes can indeed be grown in Cambodia, however the researchers were putting more effort into finding varieties to grow in provinces other than Mondulkiri.  The researchers are looking for varieties to grow in warmer climate provinces such as Battambang, Preah Vihear and Pursat.  “To find a proper potato variety to grow in both cool and warm weather provinces will take another three years,” Mr. Hong said.  Researchers brought around 24 varieties of potato from Germany, South Korea and Peru. A few were suitable for the Cambodian climate. More

US approves 3 types of genetically engineered potatoes

US approves 3 types of genetically engineered potatoes Three types of potatoes genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine are safe for the environment and safe to eat, federal officials announced. The approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration late last week gives Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co. permission to plant the potatoes this spring and sell them in the fall. The company said the potatoes contain only potato genes and that the resistance to late blight, the disease that caused the Irish potato famine, comes from an Argentine variety of potato that naturally produced a defense. There is no evidence that genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, are unsafe to eat, but changing the genetic code of foods presents an ethical issue for some. McDonald’s declines to use Simplot’s genetically engineered potatoes for its French fries. More

New potato varieties for Spain and Portugal

Pepsur Marketing, a subsidiary of Pan European Potato Enterprise Limited, a company dedicated to the production and marketing of potatoes and seed potatoes, is introducing several new potato varieties to Spain and Portugal, where the company represents a.o. the potato companies IPM and Cygnet.  The Potato varieties Tornado, Fandango, Gatsby, La Strada, and Sunset are especially for the producing areas of Spain while Gatsby, La Strada, and Sunset are also intended for Portugal. More

The ins and outs of potato storage

In potatoes, the factors that affect storage performance include environment, your agronomy, varietal traits, disease, and harvest and management practices.Post-harvest potato storage expert Todd Forbush of Techmark Inc. in Lansing, Mich., says quality potato storage requires just two things: quality storage facilities and quality potatoes to store. “Neither will meet their potential without both working successfully together,” he says. The first step is to evaluate your existing facility to decide if it needs just an upgrade or something different entirely. When evaluating an existing structure, you need to look at its location, the structure itself, its insulation system, its ventilation systems and the controls. “Why is it that we have a ventilation system in potato storage?” Forbush asks. Because you want to create a uniform environment, while at the same time maintaining proper potato temperature. You also want to provide oxygen for respiration and remove carbon dioxide from respiration. The second part of the quality potato storage equation is the potato itself. In potatoes, the factors that affect storage performance include environment, your agronomy, varietal traits, disease and harvest and management practices. The most important factor in determining storage performance is variety. More

Fast-food potato fries come with ecological impacts

Skinny, white friesThe popularity of Russet Burbank potatoes in North America, grown to meet demand for fast-food french fries, is said to have an ecological impact because their long growing season requires lots of fertilizer and fungicides. To grow these “bulked-up” tubers, farmers are encouraged to apply excessive applications of nitrogen fertilizer – recommendations have been designed to provide easy nitrogen access to the tubers. However, the extra nitrogen fertilizer not taken up by plants in wet, late season soils can transform to nitrious oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Nitrogen fertilizer remaining in the soil also transforms to nitrate, leaching into ground water. In order to make long, skinny, white French fries, processors are paying a premium to farmers for large Russet Burbank potatoes. Farmers grow what is profitable. The white colour of Russet Burbanks and the efficiency of excising optimal numbers of lengthy fries from these tubers are just the ticket for processors seeking to meet this peculiar market. The Little Potato Company (www.littlepotatoes.com) is specializing in growing and processing small creamer potatoes. The ecological footprint of this product is much smaller than hefty potatoes for fries. More

First UK deposit in Global Seed Vault

The Commonwealth Potato Collection (CPC), an invaluable repository of potato germplasm held in trust by the James Hutton Institute with support from the Scottish Government, is set to make the first deposit of plant genetic material by a UK institution into the Global Seed Vault. The deposit is built in accordance with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Situated inside a sandstone mountain on the island of Spitsbergen, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, the Global Seed Vault at Svalbard is the world’s largest collection of crop diversity. It constitutes a fail-safe seed storage facility built to stand the test of time and protect invaluable genetic resources from possible future catastrophic global environmental events. More

Canada: Une quinzaine de nouvelles variétés de pommes de terre à l’honneur à Fredericton au N.-B.

Des pommes de terre d'apparences variéesElle sont rondes, allongées, rouges, blanches et parfois même violettes. Ces pommes de terre font partie des quinze nouvelles variétés que l’équipe du centre de recherche et de développement de Fredericton à Nouveau-Brunswick a présenté mercredi lors de sa journée portes ouvertes. Cette année la moitié des nouvelles pommes de terre proposées sont des variétés à peau rouge. Dans ce secteur de recherche il faut voir venir à l’avance les modes et les tendances de l’industrie et du marché parce qu’il faut compter plusieurs années avant la mise en marché. Les nouvelles variétés à peau rouge cumulent plusieurs qualités alors que les variétés de Russet qui ont été développées ont une plus longue durée de conservation en entrepôt et des niveaux de sucre qui demeurent stables, ce qui les rend intéressantes pour les fabricants de frites. Rapport

Centroamérica recibe 70 clones de papa del CIP

Centroamérica recibe 70 clones de papa del CIPCon el objetivo de mejorar la competitividad en la agrocadena de papa, el Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura (IICA) y la Unión Europea (UE), a través del Programa Regional de Investigación e Innovación por Cadenas de Valor Agrícola (PRIICA) introducirán a finales del primer trimestre del 2017 un total de 70 líneas mejoradas de papa desarrolladas por el Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP), informó el programa a través de su Boletín informativo. El documento destaca que la selección de estas líneas fue realizada en conjunto entre especialistas del Programa de Mejoramiento Genético del CIP y técnicos de los Institutos Nacionales de Investigación Agrícola (INIA), quienes tomaron en consideración las variantes agroecológicas y de mercado propias de cada uno de los países donde el PRIICA tiene acción. Link

Canada: Red-skinned potato varieties lead selections by breeders

Red-skinned potatoes are sure to be on the minds and menus of many after remarkable results shown by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s selections this year. Red-skinned varieties made up half of the total selections AAFC breeders released to industry during the annual Potato Selection Release Open House on Wednesday. For the first time, the program will unveil a multi-purpose red-skinned selection, showing promise for processing as wedges and as a traditional table potato. In all, 15 selections were displayed this year by the AAFC breeding program for industry representatives. The selections were narrowed down from more than 100,000 hybrid seedlings grown, tested and measured over six years in AAFC greenhouses, laboratories and fields across Canada. For close to two decades, the province has participated in variety variation with the federal government by hosting regional trial sites. More

India: Demand for low sugar content potato rising

Demand of Malwa grown low sugar grade (LSG) potatoes is increasing at a rate of about 10 per cent per annum by food processing units across India. As per the market estimate, the demand of low sugar grade potatoes has surged to 27 lakh tonne from 7 lakh tonne in 2001 mainly by chips and snacks makers. LSG potatoes are stored under a specific temperature so that starch does not get converted into glucose and fructose making them sweet. Malwa is a leading potatoes growing region with an estimated production of about 20 lakh tonne of which 3 lakh tonne is stored under LSG technology. Ravi Prakash Agrawal, DGM at a cold storage unit said, “Normal potatoes are stored at a temperature of two to four degree Celsius but for reducing the sugar content potatoes have to be stored at eight to ten degree Celsius.” Industry experts expect that by the year 2020, production of Malwa potatoes is expected to touch 30 lakh tonnes. More

Late blight resistant potato variety gaining popularity in Bangladesh

Late blight resistant potato variety Sarpo Mira gaining popularity in Bangladesh The potato variety Sarpo Mira, highly resistant to late blight, is getting popular among farmers in the main potato-growing areas of Bangladesh, due to its higher output, said farmers and officials. Potato growers can get 38-42 percent more output at considerably 20 percent lower costs by cultivating the late blight resistant potato variety Sarpo Mira, they said. Giant Agro Processing Ltd (GAPL), a sister concern of Giant Group, imported and developed the seeds for local farmers, said its officials in a recent field visit in Thakurgaon. Four varieties were imported by Giant Agro Processing Ltd in 2011 from Denmark-based Danespo under a joint venture (JV) in a DANIDA (Danish International Development Agency) B2B- supported programme. Chairman of Giant Group Feroz M Hassan said the fungal infection called ‘late blight’ wreaks havoc on potato production each year and sometimes farmers lose 25 to 57 percent of their yield. More

Canada: In search of better chippers, wedgers and mashers

20170215 Tatters roThere were a lot of new potato varieties to choose from at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Potato Selection Release Open House. This was the second year the Ontario release has been held in Guelph. Every year, federally sponsored plant scientists come up new strains of tatters. A few weeks in advance of the planting season, those varieties and the scientific evidence related to them are put on display. Growers then have the option to test them out. Vanessa Currie is a research technician with U of G’s potato research program. She was on-hand at the release. The potato industry, she said, is varied and always changing. There are table potatoes and chipping potatoes, potatoes that make optimal French fries and those that make the best wedges. This year, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is excited by the new varieties of red potatoes. One new line is testing well as a wedge contender, and another has improved cold storage capacities. Red-skinned varieties made up about half of the total selections at the open house.