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Twenty-four potato growers and industry representatives joined together to form the 2014 class of the Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI), an annual program jointly administered by the National Potato Council (NPC) and the United States Potato Board (USPB) that identifies and cultivates the next generation of leaders within the industry.
After onion prices hit through the roof last year, it is feared that potato, a widely consumed vegetable in India, may become dearer as forward prices are almost double the spot rates. MCX potato March contract is quoting at Rs 1,171 a quintal. MCX contract of potato is the reference rate for traders. In Agra mandi, the biggest wholesale market for potatoes, the commodity is quoting at Rs 350-400 per 52 kg bag, which works out to almost Rs 680-780 per quintal.
Looking at potato production, marketing and regulatory issues, two dozen potato industry leaders and growers participated in the 2014 Potato Industry Leadership Institute. The annual program, administered by the National Potato Council and the U.S. Potato Board, consisted of eight days of training and professional development, according to a news release. The Feb. 20-27 program began in Stevens Point, Wis., where participants heard an overview of both the local and national potato industry.
Crop pests and diseases rarely make headlines nowadays, but this weeks announcement of the development of a potato variety that is resistant to late blight was a welcome exception. A consortium of British scientists was able to boost resistance of potato to its most important threat, the pathogen Phytophthora infestans which in the 1840s triggered a famine that resulted in the death of one million people in Ireland.
While one of the United States Potato Boards priorities is opening up new markets to U.S. potatoes, it also realizes the importance of attending to mature markets as well. Honduras is one such market. After a main importer there past away, U.S. seed potato exports shipments were greatly diminished so last fall USPB Consultant Saul Mercado and two U.S. potato growers traveled to the Central American country to re-establish relationships.
The Russian Federation has approved the resumption of imports of seed potatoes from Finland and is also likely to re-authorise imports from the Netherlands and other EU member states, it has emerged. Russia has banned EU exports of seed and ware potatoes and also horticultural, ornamental and forest ornamental planting material since July 2013, yet the EU and also Russian growers have urged a lifting of the ban in time for the next growing season.
The potato sometimes gets a bad wrap. But according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection, potatoes are not only good for our health, they are vital to our states economy. Kristin Olson, the 66th Alice in Dairyland, shared some facts about Wisconsin spuds on Good Day Wisconsin. Olson says Wisconsin ranks 3rd in the nation, and 1st east of the Mississippi for growing potatoes. Theyre a huge part of the states $59 billion agriculture community. Potatoes in Wisconsin contribute nearly $260 million to the Wisconsin economy, resulting in more than 2,000 jobs.
The Idaho Potato Commission is growing its programs involving food bloggers this season, said Don Odiorne, vice president of food service and web for the organization. Odiorne said a web page IPC started last summer featuring Idaho potato recipes, photographs and stories by food bloggers, linked to www.idahopotato.com, now has nearly 100 submissions. IPC pays its bloggers $500 for each recipe package, retaining ownership of the content for its own promotions but allowing bloggers to continue using their original recipes for their own purposes.
A provincially owned potato seed centre near Perth-Andover is shutting down and being sold to a private company. Employees at the Bon Accord Elite Seed Potato Centre were given pink slips as they walked into work Tuesday morning. Ten regular workers and about 30 seasonal workers were told they were out of a job as of Friday, said Andy Hardy, president of CUPE Local 1190, who represents the workers. What is this privateer going to do differently to turn a profit than what were doing? Hardy said.
HZPC Holland B.V., world leader in potato breeding, expects to pay its seed potato growers at least 33 euro per 100 kg for crop 2013. This forecasted price is 10% above the expected 30 euro that HZPC expressed to its growers at the beginning of December 2013. The present forecasted growers price is based on the sales already settled as well as on the expected sales. The final price will be announced at the end of June this year.
Idaho potato farmers who sell to McCain Foods have agreed to a contract that maintains roughly the same pricing as last season, said Dan Hargraves, who negotiated on their behalf as executive director of Southern Idaho Potato Cooperative. The contract sets the field run price based on the weight of a load minus dirt without factoring in cull potatoes at $7.60-$7.80 per hundredweight for Burbanks, depending on the growing region.
The latest independent trials have shown promising but mixed results for biological fungicide product Serenade for controlling Rhizoctonia solani in potato crops. The product, which contains the bacteria Bacillus subtilis, has an off-label approval for use in potatoes to control a range of disease-causing pathogens, applied either in-furrow at planting or as a seed treatment.
With the expectation of high pressure building and soils drying out, there is every prospect of early potato growers getting new season crop into the ground over the coming days. Soil temperatures are high enough to justify planting: the problem up to now has been the high moisture levels in soils throughout the country, Teagascs John Pettit told AgriLand.