Grower Webinar: Experts share crop nutrition tips for quality potato production

This free webinar with Scott Stuntz, managing editor of Spudman magazine, features YARA’s potato crop manager in North America, Jimmy Ridgway, and the director of agronomic services at YARA in North America, Dr. Steve Petrie. Petrie and Ridgway share insights from extensive crop nutrition research and trials done over the years by YARA. They also discuss technology, tools and services to provide growers with practical guidelines related to potato crop nutrition. Just access this page in your browser and then complete a simple registration form to join the hour long presentation on ReadyTalk.

US: Nematology expert discusses management practices for corky ringspot in potatoes

In a video aimed at helping potato growers, the Plant Management Network has released a presentation by Michigan State University professor of nematology George W. Bird on management practices for corky ringspot. The disease is caused by the tobacco rattle virus and vectored by stubby-root nematodes. The primary symptoms are characteristic concentric rings on tuber skin and internal tissues. Bird’s presentation is designed to assist growers in understanding and managing corky ring spot. It contains information about symptoms of the disease and how to sample for the stubby root nematode. It also covers the management strategies of containment, exclusion and nematode population control. Special attention is given to chemical and biological control options and the topic of soil health. Watch video

Video: New Mexico State University researchers conduct field trials of South American potato, papa criolla

Woman in hat holding potato plantNew Mexico State University is collaborating with U.S. Department of Agriculture research geneticist Kathy Haynes to conduct field trials of the South American potato, papa criolla, that she has breed to grow in the United States. White-fleshed potatoes typically grown in the United States are low in carotenoids that act as antioxidants for healthy eyes. The most well-known carotenoid is beta-carotene found in carrots. The carotenoids in the South American papa criolla potatoes, which make the potato yellow-fleshed, are lutein and zeaxanthin, which help prevent age-related macular degeneration. At least one study has suggested that zeaxanthin also improves mental acuity in elderly people. “Yukon Gold, a yellow-flesh potato that consumers are familiar with, has these carotenoids,” Haynes said. “Comparatively, the papa criolla types have 10-20 times more lutein and zeaxanthin than Yukon Gold.” Watch YouTube video. More information will be presented at the New Mexico Sustainable Agriculture Conference Wednesday, Dec. 13. Also see this press release

Vertical Farming: The farm of the future?

Image result for This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less WaterAs urban populations continue to rise, innovators are looking beyond traditional farming as a way to feed everyone while having less impact on our land and water resources. Vertical farming is one solution that’s been implemented around the world. Vertical farms produce crops in stacked layers, often in controlled environments such as those built by AeroFarms in Newark, New Jersey. AeroFarms grows a variety of leafy salad greens using a process called “aeroponics,” which relies on air and mist. AeroFarms’ crops are grown entirely indoors using a reusable cloth medium made from recycled plastics. In the absence of sun exposure, the company uses LED lights that expose plants to only certain types of spectrum. AeroFarms claims it uses 95% less water than a traditional farm thanks to its specially designed root misting system. And it is now building out a new 70,000 square foot facility in a former steel mill. Once completed, it’s expected to grow 2 million pounds of greens per year, making it the largest indoor vertical farm in the world. Watch video

New on Potato News Today: Podcasts of news headlines

Folks, I have created the first of future bi-weekly Podcasts, featuring of some of the news headlines published here on Potato News Today. I hope you will find this to be of value. The narrators for our first Podcast is David from the US, Haley from Australia, and Hazel from the UK. Those of you who might be interested, can listen to it on Soundcloud and also listen/watch on YouTube – please see below, or visit my YouTube channel for Potato News Podcasts  Continue reading

McCain Foods embraces analytics to transform the way they do business

Image result for mccain foodsHear Roman Coba, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of McCain Foods, talk about how MicroStrategy, an enterprise analytics and mobility company, has enabled McCain Foods to completely transform their business – from developing a single enterprise reporting environment, to improving safety on the production line, to helping sales and marketing better understand McCain’s customers and prospects. Watch the video below or find it on YouTube… Also watch a related video entitled McCain Foods Integrating Data from the Plant to the Boardroom to Increase the Bottom Line  Continue reading

Peru: Potatoes, the ‘real gold’ of the Incas

Image result for peru potatoThe humble potato is known the world over, but native Peruvian varieties can look quite a bit different than most of us are used to. Some are red or blue, others are long and skinny. More then 4,500 potato varieties are grown in Peru. The wealth of varieties is a natural treasure that’s worth preserving, especially in the face of climate change, which is posing a serious threat for traditional potato cultivation in the country. Watch 7 min video. Also watch how Nelli Quisbe-Quisbe makes a delicious potato soup called sopa de moraya in the Peruvian city of Cusco.