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Wisconsin Potato Growers Face New Restrictions To Prevent Crop Disease

Some Wisconsin potato growers are applauding new state laws that could help protect against crop disease. Gov. Scott Walker signed two new measures involving the potato industry Wednesday. One law requires growers to use certified seed potatoes if planting five or more acres. “It’s a requirement that just about every one of the other seed states in the country that grow seed potatoes already have,” said Alex Crockford, director of the Wisconsin…

Innate Second Generation Potato Receives Canadian Clearance

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have completed the food, feed and environmental safety assessments of the J.R. Simplot Company’s second generation of Innate potatoes. The authorizations enable the potatoes to be imported, planted and sold in Canada, complementing the three varieties of Innate first generation potatoes that received regulatory approval last year. Health Canada conducted a comprehensive safety assessment and approved the use of Innate second generation potatoes…

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The U.S. wants to export its potatoes to Mexico

U.S. potato producers began lobbying for Mexico to effectively open its doors to U.S. exports in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “United States potato farmers are supporting the renegotiation of NAFTA to address this matter and related sanitary and phytosanitary issues,” according to a report by the U.S. Congress. The United States is the world’s seventh largest exporter of potatoes in the world, with sales of $…

Simplot applies to bring GM potato products into New Zealand

JR Simplot has applied to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) for approval to export genetically modified potato products into Australia and New Zealand. Simplot is not asking to export GM potato tubers, because no tubers of any sort can be exported to Australia or New Zealand. The Soil & Health Association of New Zealand has opposed the application, saying a large number of genetically engineered foods are already on sale in…

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…

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…

Potato supplier HZPC charged by South African Competition Commission

South Africa’s Competition Commission has referred a Netherlands-based seed potato breeder and its exclusive South African distributor to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for abuse of dominance in relation to the exclusive supply of Mondial seed potatoes varietal in the country. Wesgro Potatoes, a potato seed grower in South Africa, has an exclusive agreement with HZPC Holland to sell the Mondial seed potato varietal to commercial farmers. In turn, commercial farmers grow…

Trade Agreements and Potato Markets

It is hoped that when it is ratified, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will open new export markets for Canadian potatoes. But when U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the trade agreement in January, it put negotiation among the remaining 11 nations in flux. Before we go into what might happen, let’s look at the current potato export “lay of the land” among the nations involved. According to…

U.S. Exports of Frozen and Fresh Potatoes Grows

U.S. exports of frozen and fresh potatoes continued to grow in December while dehydrated exports were still down but by a lesser degree. The strong dollar continues to be an issue, but tight exportable supplies are also having an impact on future sales. Frozen export volume increased 22 per cent in December and is up six per cent for the first six months of the marketing year. Exports for the month were…

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