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Wet weather causes NZ potato shortage

Stocks of potato chips are stretched thin as New Zealand battles a nationwide potato shortage after a wet winter. A spokesperson with the country’s largest food distributor, Foodstuffs, said some of the potato chip suppliers were “having challenges meeting demand” due to the wet weather conditions. It is not yet believed that the shortage will impact on the availability of fresh potato stocks. According to Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association (PVGA) president Brent…

Beeton, Ont. potato farmers reaching ‘critical point’ in harvest season

It’s potato harvest season, and as storage bins throughout the Beeton, Ont. area begin to fill up with mounds of taters, some farmers are finding themselves in a bit of a high-wire act to ensure they don’t lose their crops. Mark Vanoostrum, the supply and quality manager for W.D. Potato in Beeton, said the chipping potatoes harvested so far are revealing the effects of all the wacky weather the area experienced this…

Canadian Potato Crop Report

The United Potato Growers of Canada released their latest potato crop report on Oct. 2, 2017. Prince Edward Island Harvest into storage is beginning this week. Some growers have not yet started. Overall harvest estimate is 15-20 per cent complete. So far, harvest conditions are excellent, so if all goes well and weather permitting, most of the crop will be harvested by the end of October. A couple of harvest days were…

Disease Watch: Late Blight

Late blight disease caused by Phytophthora infestans devastates potato foliage and tubers. The pathogen can survive between growing seasons as mycelium in potato tubers and plant tissues, and on alternative hosts of Solanaceae family. The pathogen may also overwinter as oospores in soil. Infected tubers used for seed or discarded onto cull piles or infected volunteer potatoes are sources of infection for the new growing season. In addition to potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant,…

P.E.I.’s dry summer may take a toll on potato yield

P.E.I.’s dry summer may affect the potato yield in parts of the province as the autumn harvest begins. Though the summer has been gorgeous for tourists, Greg Donald, general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board, says the lack of rain will take a toll on potato yields in parts of the province — particularly West Prince. “[We] definitely have concerns in some areas of the Island and have no doubt that it’s…

Study warns of blackspot bruising potential

The accumulative impact of hot days, combined with warm evenings that fail to cool down, could result in blackspot bruising early in the harvest season, according to a recent study by the Idaho Potato Commission. The Commission sponsored the study to warn Idaho growers of preventative measures to avoid blackspot bruising of potatoes during the early harvest period. The study, published by University of Idaho potato researchers Mike Thornton and Nora Olsen,…

Dewulf introduces new offset harvester with bunker

Dewulf introduced Torro, its trailed 2-row sieving harvester with haulm conveyor, flat hedgehog units and bunker, at Potato Europe 2017. The 2-row trailed sieving harvester with bunker is equipped with 2 sieving webs in combination with a curved haulm conveyor. Thanks to its unique curve, the falling height is continuously limited to an absolute minimum and damage to the crop is prevented. According to a news release, the Torro is equipped with…

Tong Caretaker Introduces Trailer Reversing Sensors

Tong’s Caretaker mobile grader is now available with a new option of trailer reversing sensors, making loading the grader’s hopper quicker, safer, easier and more accurate than before. Designed to provide operators with the hopper loading version of parking sensors, the new trailer reversing system features a fully adjustable proximity sensor that detects the position of the trailer while reversing, and signals the driver once it is in place for tipping. “The…

European Potato Production Up Over Last Year

For the current European potato harvest, the North-western-European Potato Growers (NEPG) estimate the total potato production at 27.9 million tons for the five NEPG countries (Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Great Britain). The estimate is based on sampling and data from the first actual harvests. Acreage has increased 4.6 per cent compared to last year, while the average yield per hectare is estimated at 48.2 ton/ha. This is 2.9 per cent…

Ten Tips for a Tip-Top Harvest

The potato person who said many years ago “A potato storage is not a hospital” was absolutely right. Diseased or bruised tubers do not get better in storage. Tubers bruised at harvest are easily invaded by soft rot or Fusarium dry rot, which can cause serious economic losses in storage. Harvest management, in large part, is bruise management. Bruising also affects tuber quality significantly. In order to harvest potatoes with minimum tuber…

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