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)

US: Grower profile – ‘The Diversifier’

The smallest state in the Union (as measured by land area) is the proud owner of the longest official name: the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. It’s an appellation that honors the state’s long agricultural history, a history all but forgotten by a general population that only knows the place for its miniscule borders and location somewhere between New York and Boston. Native son Tyler Young cherishes that agricultural legacy and has spent his life adding to it. He balances that with a healthy understanding of and appreciation for his farm’s location in the southeastern corner of the second-most densely populated state in the U.S. Potatoes have grown on Young Family Farm ground for the entire life of the farm and have been a big driver of the enterprise’s success. “I love growing potatoes,” Young says. “It’s an addiction.” Contracts with several local grocery stores and an on-farm retail business and supply Young’s diverse products to a diverse customer base. More

Bruise prevention in potato production: Tender, loving care

Anything that makes separating soil from potatoes difficult during harvest, and handling can increase the risk of bruise damage. Two of the biggest culprits in this battle are clods on medium- and fine-textured soils, and rocks in any soil type. Growers can do a lot to make the job of soil separation easier by proper field selection and by not working wet soils. Likewise, immature and over-mature potatoes are more susceptible to bruise damage, which can make any impacts associated with handling operations express as larger areas of blackspot or bigger shatter bruises. Planter and fertilizer management can have a big impact on tuber size and maturity at harvest. Following are guidelines on how to approach this growing season with a focus on quality. More

US: Close ties develop between Angola and Red River Valley potato industries

Andrew Robinson is a familiar face in the Red River Valley potato industry. Now some of the players in Angola’s potato industry know him, too, and that could lead to closer ties between the African country and the Red River Valley. Robinson, Extension potato specialist with both North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota, visited Angola in early March to share his expertise with potato farmers there. “There’s great potential for Angolans to increase their potato production,” he says. The small-scale producers often use the same seed on the same plot of land year after year and would benefit from better farming practices, Robinson says. The origin of Robinson’s trip traces back to September 2016, when more than 55 Angolans visited the Big Iron Farm Show in in West Fargo through the the annual show’s International Visitors Program. More

Potato Expo 2018 now accepting submissions for sessions and panels

The new Potato Expo Innovation Hub is now open and accepting abstract submissions for the Potato Expo 2018, the largest convention and trade show for the potato industry drawing more than 2,000 attendees and over 180 exhibiting companies. Potato Expo takes place January 10-12, 2018 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. Program coordinators for Potato Expo seek a variety of educational topics from farming and research to consumer trends, food safety, globalization, food service, labor and use of marketing and social media to network, increase sales and more. Sessions and panels will take place at the Potato Expo Innovation Hub “Main Stage” located on the Trade Show Floor. “Our goal is to increase the breadth and depth of the educational offerings both on the show floor and in breakout sessions,” says Jim Tiede, co-chair of Potato Expo 2018.  “We’re looking for thoughtful, innovative and relevant sessions that will provide information to attendees that can assist in better business practices.”

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East-West Seed: Public-private partnership seen to boost Thailand’s global seed sector ranking

At a high-level dialogue with government officials including Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives General Chatchai Sarikulya and other key policy makers, leading vegetable seed company East-West Seed expressed support to the Thai government in improving the country’s global seed sector ranking, where it currently holds 32nd place among 62 economies. Mr Bert van der Feltz, CEO of East-West Seed, cited the 2017 World Bank study “Enabling the Business of Agriculture” (EBA), which measures and compares countries’ laws and regulations that impact the business environment for agriculture. In terms of seed sector development, Thailand lags behind its ASEAN neighbor the Philippines (ranked #11) and ranks closely to Myanmar (#34) and Vietnam (#42). The Netherlands, a global seed industry powerhouse, tops the list followed by Spain and Denmark.  Continue reading

Dutch-Tanzanian Potato Centre of Excellence opened during Agribusiness Day

A Dutch-Tanzanian Potato Centre of Excellence, was launched at the ‘Tanzania Agribusiness day’. This event was held on Wednesday, 31 May, and centred primarily around potatoes. The Center for Development of the Potato Industry in Tanzania was launched that morning. It is a project in which the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Dutch business owners in the potato sector will jointly set up the Centre of Excellence in Tanzania. The Dutch government has invested almost EUR 4 million in the centre. The centre will stimulate the value chain of potatoes in Tanzania. This will be done by introducing new techniques and seedlings at a demo-farm. Jan Willem Sepers of Europlant was one of the signatories. More

Oogst Aviko Potato laagste in 10 jaar: Hogere prijzen in lastig aardappelseizoen

De Aardappeltelerscommissie (ATC) van Aviko Potato heeft voor oogst van 2016 een poolprijs gerealiseerd van 218 euro per ton in week 45 tot 283 euro per ton in week 28. Deze prijzen gelden voor de rassen Agria en Innovator in de pool zonder voorverkoop en inclusief kwaliteitspremie. Gelet op het marktverloop is dat een goed resultaat. Het voorjaar van 2016 kenmerkte zich door sterk wisselende weersomstandigheden. Op het natte voorjaar volgde een warme zomer. Door het redelijk stabiele prijsniveau gedurende het seizoen, was het voor de Aardappel Telers Commissie (ATC) van Aviko Potato lastig om te profiteren van oplevingen in de markt. Meer

Canada: Quebec eyes seed potato export to Latin America and Caribbean

Over the past few decades the Canadian Provinces Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Alberta have exported a considerable amount of seed potatoes from Canada to Latin America and the Caribbean, but this has decreased substantially. More recently, a couple of seed potato companies from Quebec, together with the Centre de Recherche Les Buissons (CRLB) have started an initiative to export high quality seed potatoes to Latin America and the Caribbean. Progest 2001 Inc, a private research and development agricultural company based in Sainte Croix, Quebec has been given the mandate to promote Quebec’s seed potatoes in Latin America and the Caribbean. More

Australia: Potato grower Tony Galati fined $40,000 in Perth court for contempt

Tony Galati, who has been fined $40,000 for contempt of court.Potato rebel Tony Galati and his company has been fined $40,000 for his admitted contempt of court in growing more potatoes than agreed to with the now extinct Potato Marketing Corporation in Western Australia. Earlier this month, the protracted potato war between the Spud Shed owner and the government came to an end, after he pleaded guilty to a contempt of court charge, that was intended to prevent Mr Galati growing more than 1049 tonnes of potatoes in the prescribed period – he grew and delivered 150 tonnes more than that. The admission cost Mr Galati $200,000 towards the costs of the government lawyers. And today, Supreme Court judge Paul Tottle handed down an additional $40,000 in punitive fines.Mr Galati made around $148,000 from the sale of the extra 150 tonnes of potatoes. More

Australia: Research team aims to extract high quality proteins from processing wastewater

Researchers dr. Jocelyn Midgley (Simplot Australia) and professor Vicki Chen, from UNSW School of Chemical Engineering in Sydney, Australia, associate professor Jayashree Arcot and PhD student Shirin Dabestani, plan to find a solution to extract valuable high quality proteins from wastewater. Wastewater effluent from the food processing industries contains high concentrations of potassium, COD and BOD (chemical and biochemical oxygen demand) caused by the presence of starch, proteins, amino acids and sugars. The waste stream from the potato processing industry particularly contains considerable amounts of these valuable by-products. Protein, particularly plant protein, is a food trend that has been gathering increasing momentum with consumers. Although the level of protein in this wastewater is low, large volumes of potatoes are processed, thus for Simplot Australia the project was an investigation of opportunities. More

Trend: Driverless farming robots could work the fields of the future

The 2017 Cereals show in Boothby Graffoe in Lincolnshire. Pictured: The Anatis crop-weeding robot.Swarms of automated farming robots could hold the key to future productivity and workforce concerns, according to one exhibitor at the 2017 Cereals show in the UK. Demonstrated in the new Fields of the Future zone at the show in Lincolnshire was the Anatis machine, made by French company Carré, which is described as a “connected agricultural co-bot”. Guided by GPS, it trundles between the rows of brassica plants, mechanically removing weeds, while a series of cameras gathers data on the crop plants, counting and measuring them so the operator can plan their management and see any areas of stilted growth which require further attention. Sean Stanfield, sales director for TRP Imports in Sleaford, said five of the battery-powered machines will be working commercially in France by the end of the year, and he will be taking UK orders for 2019. More

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

Liefde voor de pieper (reportage)

Het is een regenachtige vrijdagochtend. Millimeters regen dalen neer op aarde. Veel boeren juichen om het rijkelijk vloeiende hemelwater. Eindelijk, na een periode van droogte. Op een groot en modderig proefveld aan de Pilotenweg in Emmeloord is nu nog niet meer te zien dan enkele kale proefveldjes. Hoe anders is dat straks in september, als alle ogen uit de aardappelwereld op Emmeloord zijn gericht. Op dit kale veldje komt op 13 en 14 september hoog bezoek: dan lopen er minimaal twintigduizend bezoekers langs. Een van de veldjes is onlangs ingezaaid door Caithness Europe en Adama. De twee partijen werken samen op dit veldje. Jan-Eric Geersing (Caithness) en Olaf van Campen (Adama) zijn, ondanks de weersomstandigheden in hun nopjes. Op dit veldje moet het straks gaan gebeuren. Enerzijds laat Caithness een rassenpakket zien, anderzijds vertelt Adama juist over gewasbescherming. Meer

US: Funded projects to benefit Idaho’s potato industry

Thirteen projects that seek to enhance the competitiveness of Idaho specialty crops will receive a total of $1.5 million from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture this year. Final approval from USDA, which funds the program, is expected in September, reports Capital Press. Five of this year’s funded projects will benefit Idaho’s potato industry. Those include a $199,000 grant to University of Idaho to develop an early warning system to detect foliar potato pathogens, $122,000 to Boise State University to create a quick and economical way to evaluate acrylamide content in fried potato products and $161,000 for Idaho State University to detect potato viruses using unmanned aircraft systems. The Idaho Potato Commission received $116,000 to research the use of natural compounds as potato sprout inhibitors and nematicides and $107,000 to assist its international marketing and promotion efforts. More

Canada: 180 variétés de pommes de terre conservées à Fredericton

Banque de gènes des pommes de terreLa pomme de terre, ce tubercule abondamment consommé dans les provinces atlantiques bénéficie d’un statut particulier à Fredericton. La capitale néo-brunswickoise possède une banque mondiale de pommes de terre. Les petits plants et les tubercules sont conservés précieusement dans un environnement contrôlé, afin de garder ce patrimoine mondial de biodiversité. Tous ces tubercules sont préservés pour préserver la biodiversité, mais surtout pour protéger les pommes de terre des catastrophes naturelles. Les plants ou les tubercules sont conservés au Centre d’excellence du Canada en matière de recherches sur la pomme de terre de Fredericton et y sont présents en près de 200 variétés. Dans les réfrigérateurs on trouve des pommes de terre de type Batoche, Slovenian crescent et d’autres qui portent des noms qui rappellent les Maritimes. Rapport

Lamb Weston’s European Joint Venture completes acquisition of Oerlemans Foods’ Potato Division

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: LW) announced today that its European joint venture, Lamb Weston / Meijer v.o.f., has completed its acquisition of the potato division of Oerlemans Foods. The acquisition includes a frozen potato processing facility in Broekhuizenvorst, Netherlands, and will add 185 million pounds of production capacity to Lamb Weston / Meijer’s existing network. On April 27, Lamb Weston Holdings announced in a press release that Lamb-Weston/Meijer v.o.f., has signed an agreement to acquire the potato division of Oerlemans Foods Nederland B.V. and that the deal is expected to be completed later this year. Continue reading

Russia: Modern potato processing plant to be built in Tatarstan

Image result for potato processing equipmentA modern potato processing plant is reportedly planned to be built in the Arskii district of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan. was told by the press office of the regional department of Russian Ministry of Agriculture and Food that the project’s implementation was discussed yesterday at a ministerial meeting. At present, the Republic is consistently working on the improvement of potato production technology. For its part, the Ministry pledged to support an investor for construction of such a facility. Vice President of an investing company, Philip Terrie, is adamant about the ability of Tatarstan to complete this project successfully. The company’s representatives are in touch with one of the major potato producers in the region, AF Kyrlai LLC, and will reportedly soon make a final decision on the project. (Source:

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

Japan: Calbee to resume potato chip sales after halt in spud shortage

Calbee to resume potato chip sales after halt in spud shortageSnack food maker Calbee Inc. said Thursday it will restart sales of three brands of potato chips it halted in April from next week, as it is now able to procure a steady supply of potatoes. Calbee had stopped sales of some of its potato chip brands due to a crop shortage in Japan after Hokkaido was hit by a series of typhoons last August resulting in a poor harvest. But as potato harvesting started in other areas last month, the company has the main ingredient to resume sales of Pizza Potato and two other brands starting Monday. More

Videos: Planting no-till potatoes

Image result for planting no-till potatoesEver wondered if it is indeed possible to plant potatoes the no-till way, and if so, how it’s done? Here are two videos from farms in Pennsylvania in the US which shows how such an operation can indeed be done with specialized equipment and dedicated crew members. The first  is video footage of a potato planting operation at Red Hill Farms in Pitman, PA. These potatoes were planted with a subsoiler into beds established last fall and planted into a cereal rye cover crop. The second is a no-till potato planting shot at Faihopity Farms in Berwick, PA. The main concern here is to produce high quality potatoes that are both healthy for the people who eat them and regenerative to the land.

Proeven GMO-aardappelen blijven maar toenemen

Of het nu in de Verenigde Staten, Spanje of het Verenigd Koninkrijk is: de proeven met genetisch gemodificeerde aardappelen blijven maar toenemen. Onlangs heeft De Minister van Landbouw van het Verenigd Koninkrijk, George Eastice (DEFRA), een vierjarig experiment van genetisch gemodificeerde aardappelen in The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich goedgekeurd. De veldproef is een deel van het Potato Partnership Project van TSL om een Maris Piper aardappel te ontwikkelen. Deze aardappel is resistent tegen plagen, beschadigt minder snel en produceert minder acrylamide bij hoge temperaturen. Ook buiten Europa staan de experimenten met genetisch gemodificeerde aardappelen niet stil, al gaat het ook wel eens anders dan verwacht. Zo zullen er dit jaar geen GGO-aardappelen geteeld worden op Prince Edward Island in Canada, laat Simplot Plant Sciences weten, het bedrijf dat de Innate aardappelen ontwikkelde. Meer

In conversation with Mr. José Antonio Andreu, HZPC grower in Argentina

I come from a small farming family that started as bell pepper growers in a rented 2 hectare farm where we worked the land alongside our parents, my 6 sisters, 3 brothers and I. Back then we had to do all farming chores manually. No mechanical equipment was available. Horses were the only help in ploughing and cultivation. We had to work really very, very hard and working prevailed over anything else. Today, Mr Andreu’s operation cultivates 800 hectares of potatoes, of which 75% is grown under pressurized irrigation systems. His operation started working with HZPC 6 years ago by testing new varieties. Sagitta emerged as a very promising alternative to the most common variety Spunta. Sagitta is very suitable as a winter crop in Argentina. More

UK: Three Musketeers (3Ms) invest in potato grading and sorting line

Three musketeers (3Ms) invest in potato grading and sorting lineWith six farms as shareholders of 3Ms (Three Musketeers) operating more than 34,000 acres, they have contracted Haith, Tomra and Dijkstra to put in a new state-of-the-art potato grading and sorting line at their site at Bentwaters, near Woodbridge, Suffolk. A brand new building for this has been constructed also. 3Ms were successful in a Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) grant in conjunction with the Rural payments Agency (RPA) and received £250,000 towards the investment. More

BLE Marktbericht: Präsenz inländischer Frühkartoffeln weitete sich massiv aus

Die Präsenz inländischer Frühkartoffeln weitete sich massiv aus. Da die Nachfrage nicht mit der ausgedehnten Verfügbarkeit Schritt halten konnte, waren die Verkäufer gezwungen, ihre Forderungen zu reduzieren. Dies betraf indes nicht nur die einheimischen Chargen, sondern auch die italienischen und zyprischen. Speziell die Partien aus dem Süden Europas vergünstigten sich angesichts der erstarkten deutschen Konkurrenz punktuell sehr kräftig. Immerhin belebten die gewährten Verbilligungen das anschließende Verkaufsgeschehen. Lagerkartoffeln büßten an Wichtigkeit ein; die angebotenen Mengen verringerten sich zusehends. Dies wirkte sich in der Regel jedoch nicht auf die Kurse auf, die häufig auf dem Niveau der Vorwoche verharrten. Allein in Frankfurt stiegen sie für einheimische Annabelle sogar ein wenig an. Lesen Sie hier den vollständigen Marktbericht.