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Our summer 2017 issue features several stories related to the production season, including the 2017 production outlook, pests to watch for this season, and soil and water issues. And in honour of the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation, we recognize the role potatoes have played in Canada’s
thriving agriculture sector over many years. All this and more in the summer 2017 issue of Spud Smart.

Read this Issue

Wet winter in NZ devastates potato crop

An unprecedented wet season has caused potatoes to rot in the ground before they could be harvested, with one Horowhenua district farmer losing 100 tonnes from a single paddock. Opiki potato farmer, Mike Moleta has been working his family farm for two decades, his father for six decades before him. He said that in all that time they had never experienced weather so extreme. The potatoes, planted on their Opiki farm during…

Northern Bengal potato sector under trouble

Just before the onset of farming season immediately after monsoon, potato farmers in northern West Bengal are now exposed to a critical scenario of seed potato. “Potato in West Bengal had always remained dependent on seed imported from UP or Punjab. But the choice turned towards seed from neighbouring country Bhutan couple of years back,” said A. Choudhury DEAN, North Bengal Agriculture University. According to the farmers, the shift took place mainly…

Webcast: Seed Potato Certification

The Plant Management Network (PMN) has released a new presentation to help potato consultants, growers and other practitioners in Canada and the U.S. learn about the basics of seed potato certification. Seed certification provides assurance to growers that seed-borne potato diseases are kept under acceptable levels, and helps the industry consistently provide high quality products to consumers. The webcast, developed by Robert D. Davidson, professor and extension specialist at Colorado State University,…

Pakistan proposes national potato institute; seed potato import reduced by 50 per cent

Pakistan has reduced the import of potato seeds by 50 per cent as a result of strong public-private partnership in locally-certified potato production through planning and technical assistance. Ahead of the start of the potato growing season, the Variety Evaluation Committee of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council has recommended improving the quality of local certified potato seed through tissue culture laboratories, and proposed the establishment of a national potato institute. Setting up the…

USDA $400,000 federal grant to fight potato pest

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) announced a commitment of $400,000 in federal funds to the Federal Golden Nematode Laboratory at Cornell University last week. The funds, administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), will pay for upgrades to the lab’s facilities and equipment. The 60-year-old lab, which is used by USDA-ARS and Cornell scientists to control potentially devastating golden nematodes and pale cyst nematodes, is “the…

How This Filipino Entrepreneur Changed The French Fry Industry In His Country

  A Filipino entrepreneur’s idea more than two decades ago has evolved into a leading brand in the food industry with more than 500 branches in the Philippines, and around the world. Jose Magsaysay Jr., the current president of Potato Corner, is an entrepreneur of humble beginnings. He worked at Wendy’s as a dishwasher, eventually climbing his way up to become a district manager of Wendy’s before opening his first Potato Corner…

Japan’s potato chip makers battle it out as spud supplies recover

Five months after a potato shortages cause a halt in the sales of some potato chip products, competition is now intensifying between two major snack makers as they return to normal operations. Calbee Inc. and rival Koike-Ya Inc. will resume sales of almost all of their potato chip brands within the month, after securing an adequate supplies of potatoes. The two companies also plan to launch new snack products. The companies suspended…

Potato Storage: Keeping an Eye on the Prize

The case could be made that caring for potatoes and for children have a lot in common: Let your guard down for a minute and you’ll pay for it in the end. Like parenting, potato storage is an area in which expert advice can save a lot of headaches and wrong turns. In this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart turned to three experts on the ins and outs of potato storage: Robert…

Widespread scab reported as UK potato harvest progresses

As the potato harvest in the United Kingdom progresses, there are increasing reports of widespread scab. The weather in the United Kingdom was mixed last week, with some cooler temperatures but also warm and muggy at times. Rain showers have been sporadic and widespread. In the East, good and often above average yields have been reported for the region with lifting ahead of previous years. Lifting of early varieties is underway and…

U.S. Potato Exports Reach Record Levels

Exports of all U.S. potatoes and potato products reached a record USD1.7bn for the July 2016–June 2017 marketing year, and a record volume level of 1,712,364 metric tons (MT), according to Potatoes USA. Fresh potato exports at 491,716 MT were up nine per cent, potato chip exports up five per cent to 52,103 MT and frozen products up three per cent to 1,026,429 MT. Exports of dehydrated potatoes were down 10 per…

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