Potatoes

Idaho Statesman via Crush the Curve

Almost 100 coronavirus cases confirmed in the Magic Valley in the last week were from two food processing facilities.

 


Courtesy of Governor Brad Little

Governor Brad Little and other Idaho officials are in Europe this week to foster economic relations with business leaders who have investment interests in Idaho. A visit to the Netherlands is part of an effort to bring new industry to the state.

potatoes
thebittenword.com / Flickr Creative Commons

Frozen potato producer Lamb Weston is making a big investment in its Twin Falls processing plant. As the company upgrades its operation in the Magic Valley, it’s asking local leaders for tax relief.


Some Idaho potato farmers are worried heavy wildfire smoke may have damaged their crops.

 

Classic Film / Flickr

Funeral potatoes have gone mainstream. The word on the crunchy, cheesy and gooey casserole has gotten out. Walmart is selling a frozen version of the dish – and the internet is freaking out.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

Idaho’s economy relies heavily on agriculture and farmers need good soil to keep their crops growing. But keeping soil healthy is a challenge around the globe and in Idaho.

Potato Industry Has A Lot To Lose If NAFTA Scrapped

Mar 28, 2018
Julochka / Flickr

Idaho and potatoes are synonymous for good reason; the Gem State is the nation’s biggest producer of the vegetable. With the fate of NAFTA unknown as negotiators head into an eighth round of talks, the potato industry is monitoring those talks closely.

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the value of Idaho's agricultural production was down six percent in 2016.

potatoes
Kris Krug / Flickr Creative Commons

Wildfire smoke challenged the state’s potato crop this year as hazy skies blunted direct sunlight this summer. According to the Twin Falls Times-News, farmers dealt with weather extremes on both ends of the spectrum. An unusually wet and snowy start to the year saturated the soil, forcing later planting days in the spring.

Twin Falls Potato Plant Workers Allege Union Busting

Jun 28, 2017
Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Workers at a Twin Falls potato processing plant are claiming the company is trying to bust up a bid to join a local branch of the Teamsters Union next month.

Employees of Lamb-Weston, a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods based in Eagle that specializes in potato products, claim a so-called “union busting firm” has been hired to dissuade workers at a Twin Falls plant from joining Teamsters Local Union 483.

Pat Joyce / Flickr

Researchers at Idaho State University have programmed drones to be able to identify potatoes infected with a virus.

Researchers say they've been able to find individual plants infected with potato virus Y, commonly called PVY, with 90 percent accuracy using cameras mounted on drones, The Capital Press reported Friday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved commercial planting of two types of potatoes that are genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine.

The approval announced Friday covers Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co.'s Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of the company's second generation of Innate potatoes.

The company says the potatoes will also have reduced bruising and black spots, enhanced storage capacity and a reduced amount of a chemical created when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures that's a potential carcinogen.

Benjamin Nolan / Flickr Creative Commons

Despite Idaho’s “world famous” potatoes, the International Potato Center is actually in Lima, Peru. After all, that's the part of the world where the potato originated. The center has the largest potato gene bank, with the goal of conserving biological diversity of the plant.

The organization’s overall mission is a lofty one: to battle global poverty through partnerships and technology. 

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge has denied a request by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to dismiss a lawsuit by eastern Idaho potato growers seeking to end a quarantine after the discovery of a microscopic pest that caused some countries to ban Idaho spuds.

But the U.S. District Court ruling earlier this month did dismiss Idaho officials from the lawsuit, noting state court was the proper venue concerning potential violations of state law.

Courtesy: J.R. Simplot Company

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a potato genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine and that still damages crops.

Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co. says that the Russet Burbank can also be stored at colder temperatures longer to reduce food waste.

The potato is the second generation of Simplot's Innate potatoes and also includes the first generation's reduced bruising and a greater reduction in a chemical produced at high temperatures that some studies have shown can cause cancer.

Courtesy: J.R. Simplot Company

Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Company is seeking federal approval to market a second genetically engineered potato.

Simplot won approval for its first modified potato late last year. The “Innate” potato, as it’s branded, is due to be the first genetically engineered spud on the market.

Simplot dubbed the genetically engineered potatoes “Innate” because the inserted genes come from other potatoes.

The first genetically modified crop wasn't made by a megacorporation. Or a college scientist trying to design a more durable tomato. Nope. Nature did it — at least 8,000 years ago.

Well, actually bacteria in the soil were the engineers. And the microbe's handiwork is present in sweet potatoes all around the world today.

A Western Oregon mail order company has begun selling what might become the No. 1 conversation starter of Northwest garden parties this summer.

Daniel Go / Flickr

An agreement has been reached to build a new $2 million fertilizer plant in American Falls.

The Idaho Statesman reports ConAgra Foods and Magnida also announced an agreement on groundwater Tuesday.

The two companies say arrangements for financing the new fertilizer plant have been in the works for more than six years. Construction on the new plant could begin in 2015.

Idaho Potato Commission

Northwest potato farmers are cheering a small provision tucked into the newly passed federal spending package.

The Women, Infants and Children or WIC program provides modest monthly vouchers for a variety of foods. They’ll cover any vegetable -- except “white potatoes.”

That single exclusion outraged the potato industry. They felt it sent the wrong message and Northwest lawmakers from both parties got on board to reverse the rule.

potatoes
thebittenword.com / Flickr Creative Commons

A set of lawsuits winding its way through federal court in Idaho combine a couple phrases you might not expect to find together: "massive international cartel" and "potato."

According to a group of grocers, the innocuous looking potato on your plate got there through a conspiracy involving price-fixing, coercion and aerial surveillance. But potato growers counter there is no cartel. Just a co-op.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Rows of potatoes stretch off toward the horizon where the South Boise Correctional Complex looms. Inmate Joe Molyneux sticks his hands into the dirt and comes up with two potatoes.

This is the fourth year that inmates have grown potatoes, corn and beans on state land near the prison. It’s Molyneux’s first year doing this and he wanted this assignment. 

“To watch these plants grow, and to watch the magic of it, you plant one little tiny seed potato and you get a big pile of them at the end of the year,” he says. “The whole point of it is to watch God’s handiwork.”

Kris Krug / Flickr Creative Commons

With about 5 percent of Idaho's potato crop harvested, experts are predicting a good-quality crop with average yields.

University of Idaho Extension Educator Lance Ellis tells the Post Register that adequate water storage helped with drought conditions in many parts of Idaho.

The 315,000 acres planted with potatoes this year in Idaho is down from the 340,000 planted in 2012.

Idaho Potato Commission President Frank Muir says the decline is the result of an overabundance of potatoes last year.

potatoes
Kris Krug / Flickr Creative Commons

Executives with a southern Idaho food processing plant are planning to invest $100 million to expand and add another production line in hopes of keeping pace with increased demand for processed potatoes.

McCain Foods is one of Burley's biggest employers, and the company's announcement Wednesday will create more jobs for the community and provide more opportunities for potato growers.

Editor's Note: Many of you noted that the price for a 10-pound bag of potatoes cited in the lawsuit seems ridiculously high. So we look into the matter further — you can read what we found in this follow-up post.

High-tech spying with satellites. Intimidation. Price fixing.

Pages