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November 20, 2019 | Articles


In 2016 I wrote a column in which I tried to answer questions about how healthy potatoes were as a staple food. In this column the effect on high blood sugar levels and a high glycemic index was seen as a negative effect of potato consumption especially when eaten as mashed potatoes. There was no…

October 16, 2019 | Articles

Demonstration experiments

The potato event season has started in Europe. Every autumn events like Potato Europe, the Polish potato days are taking place and companies show their potato fields and the results of this season. Most of these events do have demonstration trials or demo’s. In these trials new methods, crop protection products, varieties and fertilizers are…

June 12, 2019 | Articles

Improving tropical potato production..

Potato crops are still performing relatively poor in hot climates. The majority of the global potato production is therefore found in temperate climates, in tropical highlands or in cooler sub-tropical seasons. So large areas in the world are not yet suitable for potato production because of these high temperatures. These regions are also the places…

February 27, 2019 | Articles

Formula 1

Since molecular technologies became available to plant scientists, they are trying to improve plant production by changing the genetic structure of the plant. Last November an article was published in which scientists reported that they improved photosynthesis and production of tobacco plants with more than 25 percent. (South, Cavanagh, Liu, & Ort, 2019) When this…

November 21, 2018 | Articles

A long hot summer.

In North western Europe we have had one of the of the warmest driest summers ever. When you are on a holiday and you like to spent some time on the beach it is exactly the weather you want. When you are a potato farmer, you may have second thoughts about this kind of weather.

September 19, 2018 | Articles

Journey to my past

Last August the potato-demonstration days were held in the Southwest of the Netherlands. This is a bi-annual potato event with harvesting demonstrations, demonstration fields, a small symposium and an exhibition with companies related to the potato sector. During the opening ceremony the first copy of the new Potato Handbook by Anton Haverkort was handed over…

June 05, 2018 | Articles

Dark brown Fries

Last month I was on a holiday in Scotland and there I had a meal in a local pub. With the meal I had homemade French Fries, large and with a skin. Normally I like Fries this way especially when the are prepared in a proper way. However these fries were dark brown and had…

February 27, 2018 | Articles

Peace and Potatoes

When I am in a more urban social environment and I tell people that I spend my working time on studying potatoes, I often get comments like “is that a job? or potatoes is that important?” So I was positively surprised last December by a newspaper article from an Dutch economist, Peter de Waard, stating…

November 14, 2017 | Articles

Climate, weather and potatoes

When you talk to potato farmers here in the Netherlands they will tell you that the weather in 2017 was special. The start was good then we had a dry spell, especially in the south of the Netherlands and Belgium and crops were lagging behind. During summer the weather was favorable for production and crops…

September 12, 2017 | Articles

From potato yield to supply chain

In the early nineties I was involved in a study for the international potato center (CIP) that identified the yielding possibilities of potatoes worldwide. We calculated the potential yield and yield under water limited conditions.(Stol et al., 1991). The actual production was compared with the potential production and a yield gap was calculated. The causes…

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