Italy: Pleasing results for Stet Holland potatoes

Famous for their gold potatoes cultivated in the red soil near the Guà river, the Colognes area in the Veneto region is welcoming the first harvesting of 2017. Despite the problematic weather conditions caused by the cold front that affected the area in April, Stet Holland potatoes passed all stress tests with flying colours and proved to be extremely resistant. Tubers are distributed thanks to the cooperation between Balladore Carlo e figlio Snc, located in Guazzora (Alessandria), and intermediation agency Veronese Luciano & C. Sas, located in Asigliano Veneto (Vicenza). The Avanti variety will be harvested over the next few days, confirming it as the earliest cultivar of the segment. It will then be the turn of the Vitalia variety, with yellow skin and flesh and excellent for storage in cold units. More

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Researchers engineer heat tolerance in potato crops

Scientists at the James Hutton Institute and the University of St. Andrews have developed a technique to ‘engineer’ heat tolerance in potato crops, potentially providing potato breeders with a valuable tool in their quest to create varieties suited to the requirements of growers, industry and retailers. The potato crop is particularly vulnerable to increased temperature, which is considered to be the most important uncontrollable factor affecting growth and yield, according to the researchers. By comparing many different types of potato, scientists at the Institute have found a version of a gene involved in the heat stress response that is more active in potato types that can tolerant high temperature. The team went on to show that the switch that turns the protective gene on  is different in the heat tolerant types. More

UK: European agribusiness representatives visit Hutton Institute to establish potato links

German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce visitors (c) James Hutton LtdJames Hutton Limited, the James Hutton Institute’s commercial subsidiary, has welcomed two delegations of European visitors to the Institute’s Dundee site as part of efforts to share knowledge and ideas with a huge variety of interest groups across the globe. A group of 20 visitors from the German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce visited the Institute as part of a market research trip to investigate the potato supply chain in the UK and Ireland. After a brief introduction to the Institute’s work, the delegation visited the Commonwealth Potato Collection (CPC), the UK’s genebank of landrace and wild potatoes, which is held in trust at the Dundee site. Similarly, a group of 25 members of FIWAP, a non-profit organisation responsible for the promotion and improvement of potatoes and seed potatoes in the southern Belgian area of Wallonia, visited the Institute’s site in Dundee to gain a close understanding of the Scottish potato seed and exporting industries  Continue reading

T and G announce new low carb potatoes for New Zealand

T&G has announced the launch of their new Lotatoes, which is their low carb potato they hope will capture the interest of health conscious consumers. “Grown sustainably and naturally bred on rolling farms in Pukekohe and Ohakune, Lotatoes have been bred using different varieties of potato. Lotatoes have 40% less carbs and less calories than other commonly available potato varieties (Rua and Agria) and have lower carbs and calories. More

Yellow potatoes continue gaining market share in North America

Yellow potatoes continue to gain market share and the gain is mostly at the expense of russets and whites, according to Ted Kreis, Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA) marketing and communications director. Red River Valley is growing more yellows in recent years. In 2010, the valley produced just over 200,000 hundredweight (cwt.) of yellow potatoes. Just five years later in 2015 the valley produced 607,000 cwt. More

US: Genetically engineered potatoes approved for Maine

Impact of late blight disease on rows of conventional potatoes (left) and Innate™ Gen 2 potatoes (right) in Michigan as seen in this Nov 2015 photo.With little fanfare, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control unanimously approved earlier this month the registration of three new types of genetically engineered potatoes that have been developed by a major Idaho agribusiness company. The move means that the J.R. Simplot Co.’s Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic potatoes could be planted in Maine fields at any time. These potatoes were created by adding genes from a wild potato plant and are designed to be resistant to late blight. But genetically modified crops have been controversial in the past. Critics of the process say that won’t be any different for the Simplot potatoes, the second generation to be sold under the brand name Innate, although company officials say otherwise. More

Texas A&M to make designer potatoes to increase consumption

(Source: Texas A&M AgriLife Research)The Texas A&M AgriLife Research is making designer potatoes to increase potatoes consumption. “The average consumption in the U.S. is 113 pounds per year per person. But overall potato consumption in the U.S. has generally declined somewhat.” said Dr. Creighton Miller, a potato breeder with Texas A&M AgriLife Research. Miller said the objective of the Texas A&M potato breeding program is to develop improved varieties adapted specifically to Texas environmental conditions. “So what we are doing now is developing unique varieties that have a tendency to appeal to the younger set with high income who are willing to try something different,” he said. One type is a small potato, he said, adding that within the trials he is looking for varieties with a heavy set of small potatoes. More

Italy: Is this the potato of the future?

Agrico’s PK060108 variety might be the perfect new potato selection for Romagna. This option was discussed on 29th May 2017 in San Mauro Pascoli (Forlì-Cesena) during a technician day held at azienda agricola Fratelli Tramonti, organised by Consorzio Agrario Adriatico. “The PK060108 selection from Agrico (Netherlands) had excellent performances. I believe we will hear its name again and again in the future,” explained Crea Bologna researcher Bruno Parisi. More

Simplot postpones commercial introduction of Innate GMO potatoes in Canada

Simplot postpones commercial introduction of Innate GMO potatoes in CanadaSimplot Plant Sciences will not commercially launch its Innate GMO potatoes in Canada this year, despite regulatory approval and interest among potato farmers to grow these new potatoes, according to a report by CBC News. Doug Cole, director of marketing and communications, said Simplot is holding off allowing commercial growth of Innate potatoes in Canada until there’s a proven market for them. According to Cole, “There is strong interest from the grower community and retailers are also interested.” But it’s a very involved purchase decision.” He said there are about five acres of test plots on Prince Edward Island this year and the mentioned that Simplot Plant Sciences has also test plots in Ontario and Manitoba. More

US approves 3 more types of Simplot GMO potatoes for sale this year

Genetically modified potatoes that won’t bruise are a step closer to public consumption as early as this fall, now that Simplot Co. has received final government approval to grow and sell them.The federal government has given the final OK to three more types of potatoes genetically engineered by Boise’s J.R. Simplot Co. to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine. They are safe for the environment and safe to eat, officials announced. The approvals by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration last month mean Simplot is free to plant the potatoes this spring and sell them in the fall. The approvals apply to Simplot’s second generation of its Innate line of potatoes. The first generation already is sold in stores under the White Russet label. The company said the latest varities will have less bruising and fewer black spots, enhanced cold-storage capacity and a lower amount of a potentially carcinogenic chemical that is created when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures. More

Nieuw aardappelras Louisa op de Belgische rassenlijst

Op de Belgische rassenlijst is één nieuw ras van aardappel opgenomen. Het nieuwe ras Louisa is geschikt voor chips, het vertoont een goede opkomstsnelheid en een vroege bloei. De trage jeugdgroei wordt verklaard door kleine bladeren die goed bestand zijn tegen Phytophthora infestans. De opbrengst in de gewenste calibratiegroep is goed, iets boven het gemiddelde van de standaardrassen. Het onderwatergewicht is ook goed, hoewel iets lager dan het gemiddelde van de standaardrassen en de chipsgeschiktheid is excellent (minder dan 2.5 op een cijferschaal van 0 tot 6).  Zie voor een een overzicht van de resultaten die dit nieuw ras in de officiële proeven behaalde de site van de Vlaamse Overheid. Meer

Canada: Researchers release 15 new potato varieties

New potatoes and green parsleyReds, a wedge with an edge, and a super storer are among this year’s new potato selections from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Red-skinned varieties made up half of the total selections that Ag Canada potato breeders released during their annual ‘release open house’. This includes a multi-purpose variety that shows promise for processing as wedges and as a traditional table potato. Breeders have also developed Russet selections that have a longer shelf life in cold storage while maintaining stable sugars, making them attractive new selections to french fry processors. In all, 15 potato selections were unveiled this year. Researchers are increasingly using DNA technology to identify genes and strands linked to favourable traits. This will lead to the development of germplasm with the potential for better yields, nutritional value, and cooking and processing qualities. More

Potatoes to take root in Cambodia

Cambodia’s eastern Mondulkiri province will become the country’s first hub for potato growing after a successful pilot project, researchers say.  Cheang Hong, of the Potato Research Center at the Royal University of Agriculture, said a team spent several months studying weather conditions, potato varieties and farming.  Mr. Hong said some varieties need cool weather while some need warm weather. They identified Mondulkiri as the best place to plant.  He said the project confirmed that potatoes can indeed be grown in Cambodia, however the researchers were putting more effort into finding varieties to grow in provinces other than Mondulkiri.  The researchers are looking for varieties to grow in warmer climate provinces such as Battambang, Preah Vihear and Pursat.  “To find a proper potato variety to grow in both cool and warm weather provinces will take another three years,” Mr. Hong said.  Researchers brought around 24 varieties of potato from Germany, South Korea and Peru. A few were suitable for the Cambodian climate. More

US approves 3 types of genetically engineered potatoes

US approves 3 types of genetically engineered potatoes Three types of potatoes genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine are safe for the environment and safe to eat, federal officials announced. The approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration late last week gives Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co. permission to plant the potatoes this spring and sell them in the fall. The company said the potatoes contain only potato genes and that the resistance to late blight, the disease that caused the Irish potato famine, comes from an Argentine variety of potato that naturally produced a defense. There is no evidence that genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, are unsafe to eat, but changing the genetic code of foods presents an ethical issue for some. McDonald’s declines to use Simplot’s genetically engineered potatoes for its French fries. More

New potato varieties for Spain and Portugal

Pepsur Marketing, a subsidiary of Pan European Potato Enterprise Limited, a company dedicated to the production and marketing of potatoes and seed potatoes, is introducing several new potato varieties to Spain and Portugal, where the company represents a.o. the potato companies IPM and Cygnet.  The Potato varieties Tornado, Fandango, Gatsby, La Strada, and Sunset are especially for the producing areas of Spain while Gatsby, La Strada, and Sunset are also intended for Portugal. More