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.

Video: AHDB Potatoes Market Intelligence webinar

On June 26 AHDB Potatoes in the UK hosted a webinar on several issues related to the potato industry in Great Britain. The webinar covered the following:
• Introduction from Sector Strategy Director Rob Clayton
• First look at GB potato planted area: setting the scene for the season ahead, Amber Cottingham, MI Analyst for AHDB Potatoes
• What are the consumer trends impacting the potato industry, Emily Beardshaw, AHDB Consumer Insight Analyst
• Brexit: Opportunities and challenges in the potato trade, David Swales, Head of AHDB Consumer Insight
• AHDB Potatoes Strategy update from Sector Strategy Director Rob Clayton
• Questions and answers
Watch video on YouTube

Engineer builds self-powered driving potato…

Image result for Guy Builds a Self-Powered Driving Potato That Turns Out to Be a Better Pet Than a CatEngineer Marek Baczynski took what is a common science class experiment – lighting a light bulb with a potato – to the next level, and built what could be the world’s first autonomous potato… A single potato doesn’t generate a lot of electricity, but if you collect that slow trickle into a capacitor—a sort of battery—you get enough of a charge to power a pair of electric motors. After sitting motionless for a quarter of an hour, Marek’s upgraded potato, which he named Pontus, was able to drive in a quick short burst for just over three inches, or a top speed of around 24 feet per day. Marek eventually added the ability for Pontus to randomly choose a direction it could drive in when charged up, and aside from just spinning in circles, at times it would find sunlight to park in, or seemingly followed him around the room. Slow Pontus was, but your cat most likely moves even less from sunup to sundown. Pontus never needed food, water, or bathroom breaks, and didn’t once attempt to shred a sofa. In other words, it really was the ideal pet…  Watch video

Video: Planting potatoes in the Dutch province of North Brabant

Image result for Planting potatoes using Deutz Fahr Agrotron 7250 TTV with front cultivator and AVR GE-force rotary tillerPlanting potatoes using a Deutz Fahr Agrotron 7250 TTV with front cultivator and AVR GE-force rotary tiller for preparing the land, as well as a Miedema Structural PM 4000 belt planter for planting the potatoes, adding fertilizer and ridging – all done during a single pass. Aardappels poten bij akkerbouwbedrijf Hack uit Dinteloord (N-B) De pootcombinatie bestaat uit een Deutz-Fahr Agrotron 7250 TTV op Soucy Tracks, welke op 3meter spoorbreedte staan waardoor in een geheel onbereden plantbed worden gepoot. Verder een AVR GE-force hakenfrees en Dewulf/ Miedema Structural PM 4000 snarenbedpootmachine. Watch video

Video: 16 Row massive potato harvest in Idaho

Image result for 16 Row massive potato harvest in IdahoCarl Taylor from Taylor Farms in Idaho Falls, Idaho, presenting Spudnik’s 16 row harvesting system. With eight 6 row windrowers and four 4 row harvesters they are able to harvest between 400 – 450 acres a day. The biggest advantage was to reduce tractors and operators from their harvesting operation. In addition they were better able to utilize their truck fleet and reduce bruising due to the higher capacity of the machines and fewer machines in the operation. Watch video

Video: Amazing potato cutting skills

Image result for peeled potatoStep away from the veggie peeler, there’s an easier way to get the skin off your potatoes. In a video shared on YouTube, the “amazing” trick has been viewed over 4 million times. Simply make a small cut into the skin around the potato. Cook it like you normally would. Once done, the skin should slide right off. This and other amazing potato peeling skills are demonstrated in this video. Watch video