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Ireland and Europe face challenges in potato planting due to unpredictable weather

Potato farmers in Ireland and Europe face significant challenges due to erratic weather, affecting planting and crop progress as reported by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA). In Ireland, brief dry spells were insufficient for sustaining continuous planting, leading to potential supply issues in summer. Similar issues are observed across Europe, with France and neighboring countries experiencing severe planting delays. The IFA stresses the importance of strategic planning to mitigate weather impacts on agriculture.

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Potatoes will remain classified as a vegetable, not a grain, senator says

Following protests, potatoes will remain classified as a vegetable, not a grain. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) reported receiving assurances from USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, addressing concerns of misrepresentation regarding the health benefits of potatoes. This decision comes as the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee prepares its recommendations, affirming potatoes’ nutritional value and versatility in diets.

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Unlocking potato plant defenses: Calcium’s role in fighting bacterial wilt in potatoes

Researchers have found that calcium significantly boosts resistance in potatoes against bacterial wilt, a pathogen impacting global potato production with annual losses of $19 billion. The study demonstrates calcium’s potential as soil amendments to counter bacterial wilt. Researchers noted a correlation between calcium levels and disease resistance, suggesting new integrated disease management avenues with focus on calcium enrichment strategies.

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A reduced fertilizer future? AAFC’s latest Plowdown Challenge explores manure’s potential in potato farming

When Scott Anderson and Roger Henry from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) launched the AAFC Plowdown Challenge last year, they aimed to engage farmers in guessing the yield of the Mountain Gem potato variety grown without fertilizer, using manure instead. After a successful year, they introduced a new twist with manure to potentially enhance soil benefits this year. The challenge demonstrates alternative sustainable farming by utilizing residual soil nutrients.

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Syngenta unifies agronomy tools: Introducing myField app for streamlined potato crop management

Syngenta has integrated BlightCast and Quantis Heat Stress Alert into a single myField app, enhancing decision support for potato growers. This digital tool provides advanced warnings on disease and heat stress on a field-by-field basis, combining personalized weather and agronomy data. The app, replacing older web-based systems, offers detailed forecasts, visual risk indicators, and alert emails to optimize blight strategies and heat stress management.

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‘The potato: A journey through time, cultures, and challenges’

This article, authored by Lukie Pieterse for UN Today, briefly explores the potato’s evolution from a wild Andean plant to a global dietary staple. Highlighting its historical and cultural significance, the piece delves into the crop’s role in human civilization, agricultural innovation, and its adaptability across varied climates. The narrative discusses the potato’s impact on societies, culinary traditions worldwide, and its ongoing adaptation to environmental challenges, as well as its crucial role in global food security and cultural diversity.

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IPC strengthens retail relations with new hire Matt Zapczynski in Northeast/Midwest

Matt Zapczynski has been appointed as the new Retail Promotion Director for the Northeast and Midwest regions by the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). With extensive experience in retail and wholesale within the produce sector, Zapczynski is celebrated for his dedication to continual learning and leadership skills. His background includes roles at The Giant Co. and Merchants Distributors LLC. Zapczynski brings a profound embrace of market challenges and customer engagement to his new role at IPC.

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Tayler Farms: A legacy of dedication and quality in New Zealand’s potato industry

Nick Tayler continues the legacy of his family’s potato farm in New Zealand, as showcased in Copper Kettle Chips’ “Meet our Farmers” series. Starting in the 1960s, the farm’s partnership with Copper Kettle is grounded in a commitment to quality and integrity. Nick and his family, including staff seen as family, face challenges like weather and pests, but find profound satisfaction in their high-quality produce. Nick’s deep connection to his produce extends beyond farming, celebrating the enjoyment of his potatoes at social gatherings.

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Possible potato shortage looms in Ireland as growers rush to late planting following bad weather

Irish shoppers may face potato shortages this summer due to delayed planting resulting from unusually wet weather, as reported by The Journal. This setback follows a poor harvest last year, further diminishing crop size. Teagasc experts predict supermarkets might resort to rationing potatoes. Additionally, with a sharp decline in Irish potato growers from 700 to 160 over the past decade, there’s a call for supermarkets to better support farmers and cease promotions of heavily discounted potatoes.

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