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In the spring 2018 issue of Spud Smart, we showcase the 2018 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada accelerated release varieties. Also in this issue, read about the next level of weed control, Colorado potato beetle management techniques, and the effect of climate change on potato production now and into the future.

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Chinese Scientists Prevent Potato Sprouting with Hydrophobic Nano Silica

Chinese scientists have developed a nano-material that prevents the sprouting of potatoes. This new anti-sprouting method for potato storage also suppresses the formation of toxic glyco-alkaloids that typically is associated with the sprouting process. Stored potatoes usually sprout rapidly, at the same time producing a significant amount of solanine, a substance that is toxic in high concentrations. Potato sprouting can be controlled using various techniques such as temperature control, irradiation and the…

Extremly Dry in Northwest European Potato Area

Based on the latest NEPG-calculations, the potato area in the five Northwest European countries appears to amount to 595,587 hectares. An increase of one per cent compared to last season. It’s worth noting the British area is still based on their five-year average. Based on factual market experience, this area could be classified as having a more than adequately good balance between supply and demand, according to the NEPG. For the actual…

Potatoes and Good Health Go Hand-In-Hand

Do potatoes belong in a healthy diet? Following a decades-long tide of negative buzz about the potato’s role in weight gain, diabetes and a host of other ills, this is the question the potato industry would like to answer once and for all with a resounding “yes! Thanks to a recent initiative focused on potatoes and health, the industry is a big step closer to that goal, according to John Bareman, chair…

Preparing for the Potato’s Future

It’s always been critical to breed new crop varieties with good yield and harvest quality, but it’s more important than ever to do so now, with crops facing myriad stresses related to changing climate conditions. Dr. Keshav Dahal, a crop stress physiologist who joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research and Development Centre in Fredericton, N.B. during summer 2017, is helping unlock how some plants sense and react to stress more effectively than…

Turkey has Allowed Potato Imports from Syria to Curb Prices

Turkey has allowed limited amounts of potato to be imported from Syria to curb skyrocketing prices, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci announced on June 27. “We have allowed potato imports from some parts of Syria where Turkey undertakes operations in a very limited amount,” said Nihat Zeybekci, Turkish Economy Minister. “Our imports will only be one per cent of Turkey’s potato demand, which is around 4,000 tons. We import potatoes from Syria in Turkish Liras.This…

USDA Buys Large Amount of Red Potatoes to ‘Reduce the Strain on Red Potato Producers’

Last week Kevin Cramer, congressman for North Dakota, announced $3 million in purchases for red potatoes for nutrition assistance programs through U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Cramer said he and his staff urged the USDA to buy excess red potatoes from the North Dakota/Minnesota growing area after the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, East Grand Forks, Minn., requested help moving the crop as the season comes to a…

PotatoEurope 2018: The Potato Industry – Potential and Challenges

In Germany, potato cultivation takes place on more than 29,000 farms with a combined area of about 250,000 hectares. The total includes approximately 20,000 small producers with less than five hectares of potato cultivation, with the remaining 9,000 farms growing larger areas of the crop. On average, Germany producers 10 to 11 million tonnes of potatoes annually, making it the largest potato producer in the European Union (EU). This sector generates an…

Europe: Seed Potato Varieties Approved for Export to Kenya

Three potato varieties have been recommended for release in Kenya thanks to the joint efforts of AHDB, James Hutton Ltd, SASA and Seeds2B Africa (part of the Syngenta Foundation). Ten potato varieties were trialed at three separate farms over two seasons with free variety Cara, and two James Hutton Ltd varieties, Gemson and Lady Balfour, making the grade. The approval opens the door for GB producers to export to Kenya where potatoes…

US Frozen Potato Exports up 8% in April; Fresh Exports Down 33%

According to data released by Potatoes USA, exports of frozen potato products increased 8% in volume and 9% in value in April 2018 compared to April 2017. Dehy exports were up 21% in volume and 21% in value. Fresh exports were down 33% in volume and 13% in value. Frozen exports are up 1% for the July – June marketing year through April, with dehy up 5% year to date and fresh up…

A Wide World Awaits: Why Looking Beyond the U.S. Market Matters to Canadian Potatoes

For decades, Canadian farmers have relied on U.S. markets to purchase the vast majority of our country’s exported agricultural product. Potatoes are no exception: a whopping 86 per cent (totalling $1.37B) of all exported potatoes and potato products, of which the lion’s share is frozen fries, headed south across the border last year. But, with NAFTA still unresolved, harsh new tariffs now targeting Canadian steel and aluminum, and trade talks of all…

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