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New Tool to Detect Blackleg Disease in Potato has Widespread Application

The American Phytopathological Society Potatoes are important. They rank fourth among the world’s staple crops. In the United States, they are grown commercially in 30 states and valued at $4 billion annually. Potatoes are also susceptible to 160 different fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases, such as blackleg and soft rot diseases, which are caused by the bacterium Dickeya dianthicola. In 2015, an aggressive outbreak of this bacterium led to losses of greater than…

The J.R. SIMPLOT COMPANY AGREES TO ACQUIRE PINNACLE AGRICULTURE

The J.R. Simplot Company, a privately held food and agribusiness company headquartered in Boise, Idaho, and Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, a leading agricultural retailer, have announced Simplot’s agreement to acquire all of the interests in Pinnacle Agriculture Enterprises, LLC and its subsidiaries. The acquisition will bring together two market leaders in the distribution of agricultural crop inputs and related services. The target acquisition close date is in early 2020. “We’re thrilled to…

Reinke Recognizes Ful-Flo Industries with Gold Pride Award

Reinke Manufacturing, a global leader in irrigation systems and technology, has recognized Ful-Flo Industries in Winnipeg, Man., with a Gold Pride award in recognition of the company’s marketing year success. The organization was honored during Reinke’s annual convention in Kansas City. “I want to congratulate Ful-Flo Industries on receiving this award,” said Reinke Vice President of North American Irrigation Sales Mark Mesloh. “Reinke appreciates the dedication they have shown to the growers…

GM Potato Trials Point to Blight-Resistant Crops of the Future

A genetically modified potato with improved tuber quality and resistance to the devastating disease late blight has progressed successfully through the latest stage of trials. The field trials follow successful lab experiments to modify Maris Piper potatoes with late blight resistance genes from wild relatives of potato called Solanum americanum and Solanum venturii. To improve tuber quality, the modified Maris Piper lines also have genes switched off – or “silenced” – to…

Search for Post-Harvest Technologies as Farmers Battle Poor Prices

By Michel Nkurunziza, The New Times Rwanda Agricultural Board has said that it is working with agricultural experts to introduce affordable technologies that could help store potatoes for over a period of six months in a bid to fight against food insecurity and low prices affecting farmers. Rwanda produces 916,000 tonnes of Irish potatoes every year, making the crop the third most stable for the country. Potatoes cover 3.9 per cent of…

Potato Virus Y is the Most Serious Threat to Potato — Some Strains More than Others

By American Phytopathological Society Potato virus Y (PVY) is the most serious problem facing the potato industry in the United States and is the main cause for rejection of seed potato lots. The virus affects potatoes in two ways: It reduces the yield of potato tubers by 70-80% and also negatively affects the quality of the remaining tubers due to necrotic reactions. PVY encompasses a complex network of strains with a range…

Technology Could Unlock British Farmland’s Full Potential

For the first time, the latest research from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)’s Nutrient Management Guide has been converted to data for software. This means a bespoke plan can now be created for each field, potentially increasing yield from a large number of arable, potato and horticultural crops, helping farmers and growers to decide whether to save or apply fertiliser, manures or slurry to maximise growth. The development could have…

Longtime Texas A&M Potato Breeder Creighton Miller Dies

Creighton Miller, Ph.D., plant breeder and professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University, has died after a long bout with cancer. He was 79. Miller has been recognized throughout the years for his research contributions to the U.S. potato industry. More than 25 years ago, he was recognized by the U.S. potato industry when he was named an Honorary Life Member of the Potato Association of America. And…

McCain Foods Commits $80 Million for Production Expansion in Grand Falls, N.B., Facility

McCain Foods (Canada) announced it will invest $80 million towards the creation of a new Formed Potato Specialty production line at its existing Grand Falls, N.B., facility. The production expansion and creation of the new highspeed Formed Potato Specialty line enables McCain to meet the growing customer demand for the fast-growing market segment and also further strengthens the company’s potato processing presence both in Canada and North America. An estimated 80 new full-time jobs will be added…

Microbial Marauder of Potato, Tomato Crops Has an Accomplice

By Jan Suszkiw, Public Affairs Specialist, USDA ARS WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA, November 5, 2019—Descendants of the fungus-like pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine in the 1840s—Phytophthora infestans—may have had a “helping hand” in recent U.S. outbreaks of the costly blight disease. Reporting in the September 2019 issue of Virus Research, a team of Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Cornell University (CU) and Rutgers University scientists announced they had identified a virus that infects P. infestans and appears to increase the pathogen’s…

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