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Browsing articles by Janet Kanters

Seed potatoes go to waste due to trade restrictions

The repercussions of the tomato potato psyllid outbreak are taking shape in Western Australia (WA), with seed potato growers starting to feed hundreds of tonnes of perfectly good produce to their cattle. With exports of WA potatoes and tomatoes still ground to a halt, and a fully supplied local market, seed potato producers have no home for their produce. It has forced many growers, such as Albany’s Trevor Barker, to dump their…

Webinar: Potatoes and water management

Register for Spud Smart’s webinar: Potatoes and Water Management, Thursday, May 18, 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT. Learn why water is the single most limiting factor in potato production Hear about ways to deal with a shortage or excess of Mother Nature’s most precious commodity Learn about new water management techniques Learn more and register  

Northwest Potato Research Consortium awards grants

The Northwest Potato Research Consortium recently approved a combined $1.5 million in grant funding to 37 research projects. The consortium, formed in 2012, is funded with $650,000 each from the Idaho and Washington potato commissions and $200,000 from the Oregon Potato Commission to support regional potato research. Potato breeding program The consortium awarded $362,000 toward the cooperative potato breeding program — slightly less than last year because University of Idaho storage researcher…

New laser scanner to zap toxic french fries

Amid growing concern about the discovery of cancer-causing chemicals in potato chips and french fries, a young scientist at the University of Brussels has developed a new laser system that scans peeled potatoes in the factory to detect toxic compounds and prevent them from reaching the consumer. At present, raw potatoes that produce an excess of the carcinogenic chemical acrylamide cannot be detected in a fast, sensitive and non-destructive way. This new…

WA potato farmers prepare to leave industry because of tomato potato psyllid outbreak

A Western Australia seed potato grower will know in the next six weeks whether his lifelong career will continue. “[Farming] is something that we’ve done not just because I wanted to but because I get a reward for it, financially and personally,” said Alan Parker. “[This] may be the last crop we grow here.” Usually at this time of year, Parker’s farm would be busy and in the middle of harvesting his…

Potato Scouts IPM Training Session

The Ontario Potato Board is hosting the 2017 Potato Scouts IPM Training Session on Tuesday, May 30. The training session takes place at the Ontario Potato Board offices, 485 Washington Street, in Elora, Ontario. It starts at 9:30 a.m. and goes to about 3 p.m. Guest speaker is Vanessa Currie, with the department of plant agriculture at the University of Guelph. More more information or to register, contact Eugenia Banks at

Two potato companies get funding boost from feds

A potato processor in Souris, P.E.I., is getting a $500,000 loan and a potato farm in western P.E.I. is getting $400,000 loan from the federal government to help expand their respective businesses. East Point Potato in Souris says the repayable contribution from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) will help the company purchase equipment to increase productivity and respond to an ever-changing market. “As a growing rural P.E.I. business whose goal is to…

McCain Foods USA recalls hash browns after golf balls ‘inadvertently harvested’ with potatoes

McCain Foods USA is recalling frozen hash browns in nine states because pieces of golf balls may be mixed in with the potatoes. McCain Foods USA’s recall notice said the golf balls apparently were “inadvertently harvested” along with the potatoes and chopped up. They say the pieces could be a choking hazard, but no injuries have been reported. The company is recalling 2-pound bags of Harris Teeter Brand Frozen Southern Style Hash…

U.S. effort to eradicate nematode potato pest succeeding

Progress is being made eradicating a microscopic pest that has been threatening Idaho’s $900 million potato industry the last decade, federal officials say. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said viable potato cyst nematodes can no longer be detected in three additional fields. The agency on Friday released the first quarter report for 2017 on the Pale Cyst Nematode Eradication Program that said 20 of the 27 infected fields have now reached that…

World Review

BRAZIL In late February, the Brazilian Government imposed an anti-dumping duty on frozen potatoes imported from Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Brazil is an important export market for potato processors in Western Europe, so this duty can have significant economic impact for the processors. The issue arose when the Brazilian government started an anti-dumping investigation on the import of frozen potato products from Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands in 2015….

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