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Our spring 2017 issue features several stories related to the planting season, including the importance of soil health, the ins and outs of water management, and introducing Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s 2017 new releases. Also, read the latest on how a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement could impact Canadian potato growers. All this and more in the spring 2017 issue of Spud Smart.

 

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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 $…

Japan’s potato supply is recovering as production returns to normal

Japan’s potato supply is rebounding — with wholesale and retail prices falling — thanks to solid shipments from secondary producing regions starting in the spring. Potato stocks are 20 per cent higher on the year at Tokyo’s Ota market. Shipments began arriving in April from prefectures such as Shizuoka in Japan’s main island and Nagasaki in the country’s south, areas that experienced solid harvests due to favourable weather this spring. “There isn’t…

101st Annual Meeting of The Potato Association of America

The 101st Annual Meeting of The Potato Association of America will be held from July 23 to July 27 at the Holiday Inn in Fargo, N.D. This is the premier educational and networking opportunity for every person interested in the North American potato industry. This event includes updates from the latest in potato research, presentations from industry representatives, and numerous tours of the industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with…

Developing wireless sensor technologies to fight potato rot in storage facilities

In Idaho, potatoes are both a humble stereotype and a half-billion dollar crop. According to the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, every spring farmers plant more than 320,000 acres of potatoes valued at between $550-$700 million. Yet unbeknownst to most consumers, roughly 30 per cent of the potatoes harvested spoil before they reach a grocery store shelf. Boise State University researchers Harish Subbaraman, David Estrada and Yantian Hou hope to change that. In…

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…

Dickeya dianthicola found in Western Australia

Western Australia (WA) potato growers have been hit by a fresh disease scare, with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development warning farmers a new, aggressive bacteria had been detected. Department irrigated agriculture executive director John Ruprecht said the bacteria Dickeya dianthicola, which causes the diseases blackleg and soft rot, had been found in a commercial crop north of Perth. While the two diseases are already in Australia, it is the…

Potato area has increased in the EU – and so has demand

Total consumption potato area in north-western Europe, specifically in the North-Western European Potato Grower (NEPG) area, has been estimated at 578.821 ha, which is 4.6 per cent more than last year and 8.3 per cent more than the five-year average. All five countries (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) increased their potato area with Belgium on top with 5.4 per cent. This is based upon the NEPG country estimations….

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…

Duane Gorman, Gorman Controls

Sugar: Good for Tuber Survival, Not So Good for French Fries!

A tuber’s complicated sugar storage mechanism is designed to maximize survival through dormancy and support successful growth the following spring. To translate that mechanism into something that best suits potato production priorities, producers must first understand how sugars develop and change through tuber growth and dormancy. Potato plants produce sucrose via photosynthesis. This sucrose is transported to tubers where it is converted into fructose and glucose and eventually into starch. The process…

Matt Alexander, Volm Companies

OEE: Time Well Spent

In our Insiders article two months ago, we talked equipment maintenance: why it matters, how to stay on top of it, and what to prioritize. I mentioned OEE, or Overall Equipment Effectiveness, as an important metric every company should use to analyze their equipment assets’ performance. Because I’ve received quite a few questions about OEE since that article was posted online, let’s delve a little deeper into why OEE is time well…

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