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USDA Buys Large Amount of Red Potatoes to ‘Reduce the Strain on Red Potato Producers’

Last week Kevin Cramer, congressman for North Dakota, announced $3 million in purchases for red potatoes for nutrition assistance programs through U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Cramer said he and his staff urged the USDA to buy excess red potatoes from the North Dakota/Minnesota growing area after the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, East Grand Forks, Minn., requested help moving the crop as the season comes to a…

Europe: Seed Potato Varieties Approved for Export to Kenya

Three potato varieties have been recommended for release in Kenya thanks to the joint efforts of AHDB, James Hutton Ltd, SASA and Seeds2B Africa (part of the Syngenta Foundation). Ten potato varieties were trialed at three separate farms over two seasons with free variety Cara, and two James Hutton Ltd varieties, Gemson and Lady Balfour, making the grade. The approval opens the door for GB producers to export to Kenya where potatoes…

US Frozen Potato Exports up 8% in April; Fresh Exports Down 33%

According to data released by Potatoes USA, exports of frozen potato products increased 8% in volume and 9% in value in April 2018 compared to April 2017. Dehy exports were up 21% in volume and 21% in value. Fresh exports were down 33% in volume and 13% in value. Frozen exports are up 1% for the July – June marketing year through April, with dehy up 5% year to date and fresh up…

Beattie’s Distillers adds Potato Gin to lineup

Beattie’s Distillers is adding a potato-based gin to their spirits lineup when they launched Farm Crafted Potato Gin on Friday June 22, 2018. The distillery notes this may be the first and only potato-based gin in Canada. Other ingredients used during distillation include juniper berries, coriander, and orange peel, among others. The release coincides with Beattie’s Summer Open House at their Alliston distillery  located at 6673 13th Line – which will also feature a…

Manitoba Grower Prizes Self-Reliance

Spud Plains Farms is one of the largest potato operations in Manitoba. The 15,000-acre farm includes about 4,500 acres of irrigated potatoes which are spread over out over 80 kilometres in the southwest area of the province. Owner Paul Adriaansen believes for an operation of his farm’s size, it pays to be self-sufficient. “We do as much as we can ourselves on our farm. We just purchased an aircraft last year, a…

New Report: Independent Crop Advisor Feedback

Stratus Ag Research recently released the 2018 Canadian Independent Crop Advisor Feedback Report. Designed to measure the expectations for and the effectiveness of seed and crop protection manufacturer engagements with independent crop advisors. The report is a road map for companies to engage with independent agronomists in a meaningful way. A few of the highlights from the report are included below: Independent crop advisors support companies with products that perform as promised;…

Market News

Canada’s potato storage holdings as of June 1 were up 3.1 per cent — or just over 575,000 hundredweight — from the year before, according to figures from the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). The bulk of this increase is on the processing side, with total storage holdings in this category showing a year-to-year increase of 10.6 per cent. According to Kevin MacIsaac, UPGC general manager, this is a reflection of…

Pocket Diagnostic Expands In U.S. Market

Pocket Diagnostic announced the addition of another distributor of their plant disease rapid tests in the U.S. Pocket Diagnostic produces in-field results in a matter of minutes, which enables advisors, inspectors and growers alike to confirm the presence of a plant pathogen quickly, meaning the necessary protocol for dealing with a plant disease can begin faster than if a sample was sent to a lab for analysis. “We are pleased to add…

2018 Forecast Calls for Optimism

For most of the past decade, potato production in Canada has been relatively stagnant. The economic crash of 2008 reduced demand for Canadian spuds in some markets and the industry struggled to regain its lost footing. With the 2018 growing season well under way, there now seems to be a renewed sense of optimism among many Canadian potato growers. Preliminary estimates indicate a total of 353,000 acres will be planted in Canada…

Mexico Puts Tariffs on U.S. Frozen Potato Products in Response to Trump’s Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

On June 5, the government of Mexico published a list of retaliatory tariffs in response to the Section 232 tariffs being imposed by the United States on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico. The list includes a number of agricultural products including frozen potato products. Effective immediately frozen potato products entering Mexico from the United States under Harmonized code 2004.1 will be assessed a 20 per cent tariff. Frozen potato products from…

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