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Brexit may present challenges to Scottish Seed Potato Exporters

Seed potato growers for the United Kingdom who have been confident that crucial trade with Egypt and other non-EU markets would not be disrupted by Brexit may be in for a shock. According to Peter Hardwick, the export chief of levy body AHDB, securing the future of exports such as potatoes and malting barley to third countries is complex and presents “real challenges.” Around 75 per cent of seed potato exports are…

Celebrating 150-plus years of potato production

Long before John A. Macdonald took office as this country’s first prime minister 150 years ago, there were potatoes growing in Canada. But before we go into the history of the potato, let’s go back to the very beginning. Potatoes originated in the Andes in South America and were taken to Spain around the year 1500. However, another 200 years or so passed before potatoes were recognized as a useful food source…

Market News

Canada’s potato storage holdings as of June 1 were down 14.4 per cent — or just over 2.8 million hundredweight — from the year before, according to figures from the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). Kevin MacIsaac, UPGC general manager, says it’s the result of good demand in the fresh, chip and french fry categories in recent months. “The market has been active,” he says. “It has helped move the pile…

U.S. Importing More Potatoes

U.S. volume of imports of dehydrated, fresh, frozen, chips and seed potatoes are up seven per cent from July 2016 to March 2017 compared to the same period the previous year.  The increase of 2.5 million hundredweight (cwt) fresh weight equivalent (fwe) was due to increases in all products except seed potatoes. The increase was led by fresh potatoes, which were up 17 per cent or 940,173 cwt. Imports of dehydrated potatoes increased six…

New Brunswick family of potato farmers launch vodka made from spuds

A family of New Brunswick potato farmers are getting into the booze business by making vodka from spuds. Blue Roof Distillers has joined a small handful of distillers in the country making the product. “We are pretty excited to roll it out and we hope it does well” said Devon Strang, 25, who wanted to find a way to profit from the potatoes they grow that are too small to sell in…

GMO potatoes will not be grown commercially in Canada this year

There will be no commercially grown GMO potatoes in Canada this year according to J.R. Simplot Company that developed the Innate potato. Innate potatoes bruise less and have less black spots than conventional potatoes. Doug Cole, Simplot’s director of marketing and communications, said the company is holding off allowing commercial growth of Innate potatoes in Canada until there’s a proven market for them. “There is strong interest from the grower community and retailers are also…

Volm Companies and Wyma Solutions Announce North American Strategic Partnership

Volm Companies, the leading North American supplier of fresh produce packaging and equipment automation solutions, today announced a formal strategic partnership with Wyma Solutions, the global expert in post-harvest fresh and processed handling solutions. The partnership will allow Volm Companies and Wyma Solutions to work in a closely integrated manner resulting in world-class turn-key solutions that leverage the global experience of both organizations. The combined comprehensive equipment and engineering portfolio, coupled with…

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…

Potatoes May be NAFTA Target

The National Potato Council (NPC) is calling for action in any upcoming NAFTA renegotiations. In a letter to President Donald Trump, John Keeling, the NPC’s CEO, said the group “is strongly supportive of improving the conditions for trade that we confront with Canada and Mexico.” Keeling also noted that the two countries represent important markets for U.S. producers. Canada is the second-largest export market with annual sales of $315 million — 17.8…

Should Seed Potato Growers start testing for Dickeya?

The potato disease Dickeya can be detected by laboratory testing — but is there enough of it present to justify the higher costs? That is the question for Canadian seed potato growers exporting to the United States who are increasingly asked for the test. It’s a relatively new threat to North American potato production. The invasive pathogen Dickeya dianthicola — not to be confused with blackleg causing Dickeya solani — was first…

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