Weather/Climate

Potato season starts early in Majorca due to higher temperatures

The potato season has started much earlier than usual this year thanks to higher than average temperatures in Majorca between December and February. The Matthew Export company started collecting its Lady Christl variety on Wednesday and the first shipment will be on its way to the UK on Saturday. “Climate change is forcing us to adapt in many ways,” says Mateu Export’s Manager,[Read More…]

US: Skagit County potato farmers lost crops due to heavy rain

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Potato farmers in Skagit County in Washington State suffered big losses after they were unable to harvest some of their crops. Farmers were unable to harvest an estimated 3 square miles of potatoes in the fall, with losses valued between $5 million and $10 million, The Skagit Valley Herald reported. Don McMoran of the Washington State[Read More…]

Growers in Northern Ireland rush to gather late potato crop in good weather

With 10% of last year’s potato crop still in the ground in Northern Ireland, some farmers have recently rushed out in the good weather to try and salvage them – though they’ve had to give up this past week. The Scottish Farmer reports. The dry break in the unusual winter weather has given some potato farmers hope of saving the[Read More…]

Canada: Another winter of headaches for Manitoba potato growers

Manitoba potato growers are facing the inevitable result of a second extremely challenging digging season â€” elevated losses in storage. Wet weather in September and early October kept producers out of the fields, while a three-day snowstorm over the Thanksgiving weekend dropped upwards of 75 centimetres of snow in areas of south-central Manitoba, followed by yet more precipitation. Just 60 to 65[Read More…]

Potatoes South Australia and industry band together to send wooden bins to fire ravaged Kangaroo Island

In response to the horrific bushfires on Kangaroo Island, Potatoes South Australia Inc has come up with some very practical assistance. Saddened by the devastating impact of the bushfires local farming communities in many parts of Australia, the unprecedented fires that have ravaged more than one third of Kangaroo Island are of particular concern for its members, stakeholders and their[Read More…]

Canada: Make spring nutrient plans now, say Univ of Manitoba soil scientists

A series of looming challenges makes planning now for spring nutrient applications crucial, two Manitoba soil scientists say. A wet fall and stretched-out harvest kept many producers from applying nitrogen fertilizer. While spring nitrogen application is not unheard of, it will then have to compete with many other tasks, said University of Manitoba soil science professor Don Flaten. This may[Read More…]

Nitrogen boosts may be necessary on British farms following wet winter washout

Farmers in Britain may need to apply more nitrogen to crops this year, following an exceptionally wet winter across most of the UK, according to the latest advice from AHDB. Charlotte Cunningham of CPM magazine reports. AHDB says the extent of the ‘moderate’ and ‘high’ excess winter rainfall (EWR) zones is already much wider this year, compared with the long-term average. Historically[Read More…]

Pythium leak: Researchers show that soil pathogens spread after heat and drought stress

Climate change is affecting the health of agricultural soils. Increased heat and drought make life easy for the pathogenic fungus Pythium ultimum. As an international team of researchers led by the Universities of Kassel and Bonn has shown, the fungus causes almost total crop failure in peas after a hot and dry stress event. Short-term soil recovery seems to be[Read More…]

Smart farming: Prince Edward Island potato growers using new decision support tools to improve use of crop protectants

A growing number of Prince Edward Island potato farms in Canada are taking advantage of new technology to improve their use of crop protectants, including fungicides used to prevent late blight. Late blight has historically been a major disease effecting potatoes in Prince Edward Island, with the potential to cause millions of dollars in crop losses if there is a[Read More…]

Storm Ciara delays Northern Ireland growers' potato salvage

With ten percent of last year’s potato crop still in the ground in Northern Ireland, some farmers have attempted make to use of recent good weather to try and salvage them, reports Chris McCoullough of Fresh Produce Journal. However, the sudden onslaught of Storm Ciara has knocked any chances of getting all the crop rescued this week into touch, according[Read More…]

Cyprus potato exports under threat after frost damage

Potato farmers in the Famagusta district said Monday the overnight frost had damaged their crops, warning that not enough could be saved to serve foreign markets. According to the head of the Famagusta branch of farming union EKA, Yiannakis Gavril, the damage was big in the coastal area of Liopetri, Sotira, and Xylophagou. Gavril said not enough of the crop[Read More…]

Japanese firms brace for climate change

At the UN climate change conference COP 25 last year, Japan was cited by the NGO Germanwatch as the country most affected by extreme weather in 2018. Strong typhoons and torrential rains hit one after another, taking lives, destroying homes and inflicting business losses throughout the archipelago. Japanese companies are now stepping up preparedness to limit future losses. Damaged potato fields In[Read More…]

Ireland: 5% of potato crop still in the ground

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) estimates that 5% of the potato crop across the country remains in the ground. That said some farmers have a lot more acres remaining than others, depending on the weather they were greeted with in the past few months. At the beginning of December, 15-20% of the potato crop remained in the ground as the[Read More…]

Cyprus: 80% of potato crop wiped out by rains in Famagusta district

80% of Famagusta district potato crop has been destroyed by the latest storms, according to the Cyprus News Agency. President of the Pancyprian Potato Growers Association, Andreas Karios, who visited affected fields in Avgorou said that “the rains have affected the winter crop, as well as the one planted 1,5 month ago.” “There is now a great chance we will[Read More…]

UK: How irrigation is changing on an AHDB potato demo farm

The economic and environmental costs associated with irrigating 440ha of potatoes at AHDB’s Strategic Potato (Spot) Farm North in the UK prompted a rethink on the best way to maintain product quality in the face of an increasingly unpredictable climate, according to a report published by Farmers Weekly. Keen to bring those costs down and prepare for the future, the[Read More…]

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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