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Despite a slow start for potato planting in some parts of the country, the average yield in Canada in 2017 is expected to come close to that of last year’s record-breaking crop, according to figures provided by the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). Based on late August estimates from producers, the Canadian average yield for this year’s crop is projected to be 304 hundredweight (cwt) per acre, which is just under…

French Fries Gaining Ground

Hot, convenient and delicious fast food – that’s what’s driving the growing global demand for frozen potato products such as french fries. Bruce Huffaker, publisher of North American Potato Market News, says the biggest current growth markets for french fries are Brazil and several countries in both the Pacific Rim and Middle East. While Europe offers aggressive pricing, good currency value and some transportation advantages, Huffaker says North America’s biggest advantages are…

Protecting Your Stored Investment

The vast majority of potato producers have a good to excellent understanding of storage management guidelines. Still, every winter an unfortunate high number of producers face unnecessary stored tuber losses due to incorrect temperature and moisture management. For now, the best scientists are able to offer are strong and repeated reminders about the importance of managing one’s storage conditions. In the longer term, however, research may point toward ways to minimize and…

Potato area has increased in the EU – and so has demand

Total consumption potato area in north-western Europe, specifically in the North-Western European Potato Grower (NEPG) area, has been estimated at 578.821 ha, which is 4.6 per cent more than last year and 8.3 per cent more than the five-year average. All five countries (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) increased their potato area with Belgium on top with 5.4 per cent. This is based upon the NEPG country estimations….

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…

Farm succession skips a generation

Knowing an opportunity when you see it is key to building a successful business, say two Prince Edward Island brothers. So are preparation and confidence in your skills. When the opening came to purchase their grandfather’s farm near Summerside and walk into a turn-key potato operation, Bryan and Kyle Maynard knew it was their chance. “When the opportunity came up, we were both excited to take this on,” 31-year-old Kyle says of…

Potatoes USA Elects New Leadership

The Potatoes USA grower membership elected new leadership during its Annual Meeting held in Denver, CO, March 13-16. The Potatoes USA Executive Committee is comprised by the Chair, Immediate Past Chair, and the Co-Chairs of each committee. They will serve a one year term through Potatoes USA Annual Meeting to be held in March 2018. The marketing committees will work over the next 12 months to guide how the Potatoes USA staff…

Shortage of Canadians Working in Agriculture to Double by 2025

The gap between labour demand and the domestic workforce in agriculture has doubled from 30,000 to 59,000 in the past 10 years and projections indicate that by 2025, the Canadian agri-workforce could be short workers for 114,000 jobs. This is a key finding of newly released Agriculture 2025: How the Sector’s Labour Challenges Will Shape its Future research by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC). The LMI research also revealed that…

Heavy rain impacts Tasmanian potato planting

Tasmania farmers are being prevented from planting spring crops like onions and potatoes as relentless rain soaks paddocks. Over the past week some parts of Tasmania have received more than 200 mm of rain, coming on the back of an unprecedented wet winter season. Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association Vegetable Council chairman Nathan Richardson said the wet weather was causing trouble for planting Tasmanian staple crops such as onions, potatoes and poppy…

Sweet potato harvest yields mixed baskets

After two challenging years in Mississippi sweet potato fields, farmers are hoping for a problem-free harvest over the next few weeks. Stephen Meyers, Extension sweet potato specialist based at the Mississippi State University Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, said growers are cautiously optimistic as harvest begins. “I’m hearing a wide range of yields from early harvests, which began the third week of August this year,” Meyers said. “Much of the crop transplanted…

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