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Ethylene Delays Sprouting in Onions and Potatoes

The British company Restrain has been developing ethylene generators since 2003, and they rent these to tomato, onion and potato growers throughout the season. The generators, equipped with technology developed in the Netherlands, are now sold in 36 countries. The operation of the system is relatively simple: the heat generated by the machine turns beet alcohol into ethylene. Ethylene is a natural plant hormone that is produced by all plants, but climacteric…

Pressure Continues on Supply of PEI Potatoes

Supplies of potatoes from Canada’s Prince Edward Island province are very tight. “We’re short in Canada and I know they’re also short in Europe and the U.S. has issues as well and it’s due to weather,” says Jennifer Harris of Mid Isle Farms in Albany, PEI. “We had everything. We had a wet spring which delayed growers getting into the fields for planting and then we had a very dry summer that…

Potato Supplies Tightening Up Out of Idaho

Idaho Russet potatoes are going to be short until the new crop comes in late summer. “Part of this is because there’s really good demand from the dehydration and frozen sector and they’re dipping into potatoes that normally go into the fresh market,” says Kent Sutton at Rexburg, Id.-based Bench Mark Potato Co. Inc. And while last fall Idaho fared with a relatively normal crop, Sutton notes that approximately 10,000 acres of…

Researchers Petition UK Officials to Start Disease-Resistant Potato Trials

The Sainsbury Laboratory, in Norwich, has applied to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for consent to release genetically modified potatoes for trials work. According to a document submitted by the applicant and published on the Defra website, the potato plants have been genetically modified to improve different traits including resistance to Phytophthora infestans (the organism responsible for late blight), resistance to potato cyst nematodes (PCN) and improved tuber…

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