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When pests graze certain potatoes, yields double

When some Colombian potato varieties are lightly grazed by a pest, the plants respond by growing larger tubers, at times doubling their yields. Although many types of plants can repair pest damage while maintaining productivity, it’s rare to find species that actually overcompensate and increase productivity. Cornell and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia researchers first discovered this effect in a commercial Colombian potato in 2010. Now, a new study by the research…

Presque Isle, Maine considering bringing harvest into the classroom

For generations, high school students in northern Maine have taken a three-week break from classes every fall to harvest potatoes. But the acreage has shrunk over the past 50 years, and technology has reduced the demand for labour, which means far fewer teenagers are working in the fields of Aroostook County. In the town of Presque Isle, the school board is looking at a new approach that could end the tradition of…

Lockwood Creates Industry First – VACS Mobile

NEWS RELEASE West Fargo, ND – Following the VACS-8 model, the Lockwood VACS Mobile is a complete handling and cleaning system mounted on one single semi-trailer. With the aid of high volume air, you can clean loads of potatoes easily while minimizing damage as it efficiently removes rocks, dirt, vines, corn trash and other debris effortlessly. The VACS Mobile is best described as “the ultimate mobile cleaning machine” by Lockwood’s Director of…

GM potato variety could deflate GMO myths’ bubble in Uganda

Uganda is steadily progressing towards having a potato that will not require chemical spraying. This is because scientists at the National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) and International Potato Center have developed a late blight resistant variety, Vic 1, from the popularly grown susceptible Victoria variety. According to Dr. Alex Barekye, who is the director of Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute in Kabale District, this new variety has shown great results in…

Potato Expo 2018

Potato Expo 2018 goes January 10-12 in Orlando, Fla. Experience the 10th anniversary event by joining more than 2,000 growers, suppliers and experts at the largest conference and trade show for the potato industry held in North America. Potato Expo 2018 offers educational programming covering the top issues facing the potato industry, provides countless networking opportunities with key decision makers, and showcases the latest products and services for potato production, storage and…

Potato blight’s chemical attack mechanism explained

A team of international researchers headed by scientists from the University of Tübingen has deciphered the workings of a cytolytic toxin, which is produced by some of the world’s most devastating crop diseases. The Cytolysin is manufactured by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi and can wipe out entire harvests if chemical protection is not used. The study – by researchers from Tübingen and their partner institutions in Berkeley, Bordeaux, Ljubljana, Liége…

Chinese Potato Production to Rebound

As the largest potato producer in the world, China’s 2017/18 fresh potato production is forecast at 97 million metric tons (MMT), due to an expansion of potato area, according to a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service report. During the 2016/17 season, production was forecast to increase three per cent to 100 MMT, but actually dropped five per cent to an estimated 92 MMT. This decrease was due to continuing drought in the north…

Potato Growers of Alberta name new board

The Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) named their new board during their annual general meeting in Red Deer in November. Board Chairman is Russell Van Boom, Northbank Potato Farms Ltd., while Board Vice Chairman is Michel Camps, CP Farms Ltd. Rounding out the board is: Lyndon Nakamura, Nakamura Farms Ltd.; Jeff Ekkel, Sunnycrest Seed Potatoes Inc.; Tony Bos, Boston Farms Ltd.; James Bareman, Bareman Farms; and Louis Claassen, Claassen Farms Ltd. For…

P.E.I. shipping in potatoes to make up for low crop yield

P.E.I. has experienced a lower potato crop yield than usual this year and has been forced to ship in spuds from other areas of the country to make up for it.​ The province remains Canada’s heaviest hitter in terms of potato production, producing roughly 25 per cent of the country’s annual yield. However, dry weather conditions over the summer reduced the Island crop yield by about eight per cent this year — the largest drop among major growers in…

U.K. crisps and biscuits to become paler under food safety crackdown

Biscuits and crisps in the U.K. will lose their golden brown colour due to new rules forcing manufacturers to reduce a chemical found in burnt food which may lead to a higher risk of cancer. The snacks will become paler from April when makers of foods containing acrylamide must prove they are reducing levels to make food safer to eat. Industry figures said the products would now be baked at lower temperatures for…

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