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Peru Prepares to Host World Potato Congress

More than 800 delegates are expected to attend the 10th World Potato Congress (WPC) May 27 to 31 in Cusco, the historic city in southwestern Peru that was once capital of the Inca Empire. The event, which will showcase the origins of the potato in the South America’s Andean region, is being held in Latin America for the first time. “I think it will be such a unique and different experience for…

CIP recognized with award of excellence at the International Pest Management Symposium

The International Potato Center (CIP) was recognized with an International IPM Award of Excellence at the 9th International Symposium on Pest Management in Baltimore, Maryland. In the early 1990s, CIP Integrated Pest Management and plant pathology team recognized the need to take a farmer-centric approach to curb the devastating losses in potato yields from late blight infestations. Partial or complete crop loss can be catastrophic for smallholder farmers who rely on seasonal…

Irish Consumers Like Their Potatoes

Potatoes are bought every second by Irish consumers. So says Cliona Lynch, Kantar Worldpanel who spoke at the National Potato Conference in Dublin, Ireland, Feb. 20. In total, 1.67 million households purchase potatoes annually. Eleven per cent of all shopping trips in thecountry consist of potatoes. And, when a bag of “spuds” is included in a shopping cart, it contributes €27.90 more to the retailer, as consumers are usually carrying out “a…

Accelerated Release Offers a Variety of Options

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) accelerated release program is a bit like the Olympics of potato variety development. And just like the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, also happening this month, only the very best will make it to the podium. Out of approximately 100,000 initial AAFC potato seedlings grown in the field six years ago, 15 are being released for industry evaluation this year, and it could take up to three…

Simplot to double Manitoba potato plant

J.R. Simplot Company is doubling the size of its potato processing plant in Portage la Prairie, Man. Simplot confirmed the $460 million construction project is expected to begin this spring and will increase the size of the facility from 180,000 to 460,000 square feet. The expansion will more than double the plant’s need for potatoes from regional growers, while increasing its employment by 87 expected new full-time positions. Current operations are expected…

TOMRA Food Launches Farm-to-Fork Pan-Industry Working Groups

TOMRA Food is forming cross-industry working groups to accelerate development of digital standards for the food industry, with the first meetings to be held in Q4, 2018. “Thousands of TOMRA Food sorters around the world are generating valuable data that has the power to optimize every part of the food supply chain,” says Mike Riley, head of TOMRA Food. “This is in addition to data from millions of other devices and applications…

Alberta Potato History Outlined in New Book

The history of the potato is a long and varied one. From the spud’s humble beginning in South America, to its current production throughout the world, potatoes are an integral part of almost every human being. One provincial association has decided to bring the history of the potato in its province closer to home. The Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) recently launched a book about the history of potatoes in Alberta. According…

Romain Cools New Head of World Potato Congress

Romain Cools of Belgium has been selected by the World Potato Congress (WPC) board of directors to be the organization’s fourth president and CEO since its inception in 1993. Cools assumed the leadership role on Jan. 1, taking over from David Thompson, the P.E.I. resident and long-time WPC board member who served as the organization’s top executive from 2012 to 2017. “This is the first time that we’ve gone outside of Canada for…

Company executive makes predictions for future of potato industry

While he maintains there will be a market for potatoes well into the future, Ghislain Pelletier predicts the future of the industry will bear little resemblance to the past. The global vice-president for agronomy for McCain Foods was one of the keynote speakers at the recent annual meeting of the PEI Potato Board. Pelletier told the meeting he has spent virtually his entire life in the industry as he grew up on…

U.S. Fall Potato Production 2017 Down Two Per Cent

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimates the United States fall potato potato production for 2017 at 399 million cwt, down two per cent from last year. The area harvested, at 900,600 acres, is down one per cent from the previous year. The average yield forecast, at 443 cwt per acre, is down 4 cwt (-0.9 per cent) from last year’s record high yield. In Idaho, growers reported some flooding and cool…

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