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$22/year | $2/copy | Volume 73 No. 01 | JANUARY 2021

THE VOICE OF WISCONSIN'S POTATO & VEGETABLE INDUSTRY

WPVGA GROWER EDUCATION CONFERENCE PREVIEW ISSUE SPUDPRO COMMITTEE Names Lakeview Russet SANITIZING POTATO Storages & Equipment HOW SOIL HEALTH Affects Your Operation GROWER EDUCATION Conference Schedule

INTERVIEW:

MICHAEL HELBACH Helbach Farms, LLC

A robust Helbach Farms field of flowering potato plants is pictured just off Highway 10 in Amherst, Wisconsin.


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On the Cover: Taken by the Badger Common’Tater managing editor,

the front cover photo resulted from a phone call one day. The magazine designer, Kay Rasmussen, mentioned seeing a beautiful field of flowering potato plants just off Highway 10 in Amherst, Wisconsin. As it turns out, the land is owned by Helbach Farms, LLC, with Michael Helbach being this issue’s interviewee.

8 BADGER COMMON’TATER INTERVIEW: Potatoes are planted on Helbach Farms in Amherst, Wisconsin. According to Michael Helbach, who was interviewed for this issue, the thirdgeneration family farm grows roughly 900 acres of potatoes. A diversified operation, approximately 25 percent of the output is for The Little Potato Company, 40 percent is grown as chipping varieties and the rest are processing potatoes reserved for McCain Foods.

DEPARTMENTS: ALI’S KITCHEN.................... 73 BADGER BEAT.................... 66 EYES ON ASSOCIATES......... 52

38 MARKETPLACE

Team “Growers” took on two “Grillers” in the “Grate Wisconsin Spud Bowl”

56 SOIL HEALTH AFFECTS FARM OPERATIONS Cover crops are a proven way to feed soil microbes

63 NEW PRODUCTS

John Deere introduces the AutoPath precision agriculture application

FEATURE ARTICLES: 18 SPUDPRO COMMITTEE names remarkable early bulking variety “Lakeview Russet”

MARK YOUR CALENDAR...... 6 NOW NEWS....................... 32 NPC NEWS......................... 70 PEOPLE.............................. 26 PLANTING IDEAS.................. 6

22 SANITIZING POTATO storages and equipment prevents pests and microorganisms

POTATOES USA NEWS........ 48

42 VIRTUAL POWERHOUSE slated to present at 2021 Grower Education Conference

WPIB FOCUS...................... 50

4

BC�T January


FOR ALL YOUR PRODUCE PACKAGING NEEDS Vented Bulk Totes Paper Balers / Vent Views Low Cost Mesh Alternatives Corrugated Mesh 4020 Corporate Ave • Plover, WI 54467 800.927.6373 • warnerpackaging.com

WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Rod Gumz Vice President: Bill Guenthner Secretary: Wes Meddaugh Treasurer: Mike Carter Directors: John Bustamante, Randy Fleishauer, Dan Kakes, Charlie Mattek & Alex Okray Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: President: Heidi Alsum-Randall Vice President: Richard Okray Secretary: Bill Wysocki Treasurer: Keith Wolter Directors: John Bobek, Andy Diercks, Cliff Gagas, John T. Schroeder & Tom Wild WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors: President: Kenton Mehlberg Vice President: Paul Cieslewicz

Secretary: Julie Cartwright Treasurer: Rich Wilcox Directors: Chris Brooks, Kristi Kulas, Sally Suprise & Justin Yach Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: Jeff Fassbender Vice President: J.D. Schroeder Secretary/Treasurer: Jeff Suchon Directors: Roy Gallenberg & Matt Mattek

WPVGA Staff Executive Director: Tamas Houlihan Managing Editor: Joe Kertzman Director of Promotions & Consumer Education: Dana Rady Financial Officer: Karen Rasmussen Executive Assistant: Julie Braun Program Assistant: Jane Guillen Spudmobile Education & Outreach Administrator: Doug Foemmel Spudmobile Education and Outreach Coordinator: Dale Bowe

Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board of Directors: President: Kathy Bartsch Vice President: Devin Zarda Secretary/Treasurer: Datonn Hanke Directors: Jody Baginski, Brittany Bula, Deniell Bula & Marie Reid

WPVGA Office (715) 623-7683 • FAX: (715) 623-3176 E-mail: wpvga@wisconsinpotatoes.com Website: www.wisconsinpotatoes.com LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/WPVGA

Mission Statement of the WPVGA: To advance the interests of WPVGA members through education, information, environmentally sound research, promotion, governmental action and involvement. Mission Statement of the WPVGA Associate Division: To work in partnership with the WPVGA as product and service providers to promote mutual industry viability by integrating technology and information resources. Badger Common’Tater is published monthly at 700 Fifth Avenue, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409

Subscription rates: $2/copy, $22/year; $40/2 years. Foreign subscription rates: $35/year; $55/2 years. Telephone: (715) 623-7683 Mailing address: P.O. Box 327, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409 Or, subscribe free online: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe/ ADVERTISING: To advertise your service or product in this magazine, call (715) 630-6213, or email: Joe Kertzman: jkertzman@wisconsinpotatoes.com. The editor welcomes manuscripts and pictures but accepts no responsibility for such material while in our hands. BC�T January

5


MARK YOUR

Calendar

FEBRUARY

2-3 17-18 22-26 22-26

2021 GROWER ED CONFERENCE VIRTUAL FORMAT due to COVID-19 coronavirus INTERNATIONAL CROP EXPO CANCELED due to COVID-19 coronavirus POTATO D.C. FLY-IN VIRTUAL FORMAT due to COVID-19 coronavirus NPC ANNUAL MEETING VIRTUAL FORMAT due to COVID-19 coronavirus

8-11 30-4/1

POTATOES USA ANNUAL MEETING The Brown Palace Hotel Denver, CO 60th ANNUAL WPS FARM SHOW POSTPONED one year due to COVID-19 coronavirus

31-6/3

11th WORLD POTATO CONGRESS & EUROPATAT 2021 POSTPONED one year due to COVID-19 coronavirus

18 24-26

WSPIA SPUD SEED CLASSIC GOLF OUTING Bass Lake Golf Course Deerbrook, WI UNITED FRESH CONVENTION & EXPO 2021 Los Angeles Convention Center Los Angeles, CA

13 15 20-22

PUTT-TATO OPEN GOLF OUTING Lake Arrowhead Golf Course Nekoosa, WI RHINELANDER STATE FARM FIELD DAY Lelah Starks Elite Foundation Seed Potato Farm Rhinelander, WI FARM TECHNOLOGY DAYS Silver Spring Foods, Huntsinger Horseradish Farm Eau Claire, WI

11

ALSUM TATER TROT 5K & FALL FESTIVAL Alsum Farms & Produce Friesland, WI

29-30

PMA FRESH SUMMIT 2021 Ernest N. Morial Convention Center New Orleans, LA

30-6/2

11th WORLD POTATO CONGRESS & EUROPATAT 2022 Royal Dublin Society (RDS) Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland

MARCH

MAY

JUNE

JULY

SEPTEMBER OCTOBER

MAY 2022

6

BC�T January

Planting Ideas These are signs of progress.

Dianne Somers of Plover River Farms in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, enthusiastically emailed the two photos above that indicate to community members, passersby and interested parties that restoration of the Little Plover River and Little Plover Barrens is underway as an ongoing project directly benefitting the public. As reported in the November 2020 Badger Common’Tater, the Little Plover River Watershed Enhancement Project (LPRWEP) continues to exceed expectations. The LPRWEP is a multi-party collaboration convened by the Village of Plover and the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association to improve the health of the Little Plover River and the quality of life of the surrounding community. Many governmental, educational and conservation groups are coordinating on the project. The signs, visible from County Road R and Kennedy Avenue, in Plover, are located on the Little Plover River watershed and conservation areas. Dan Mahoney, Village of Plover administrator, says, “Both signs were put up as part of the Wildlife Restoration Habitat Project, which was funded by the Pittman Robertson Grant.” “A ‘barrens’ is an area dominated by a certain type of tree that is dependent on fire to maintain vegetation within that area,” Mahoney explains. “There are two types of barrens on DNR property, including oak and pine barrens. Fire is not naturally occurring there anymore and not a good option for maintaining the barrens. Professor Demchik [University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, or UWSP] and his students, along with a logger, manually thinned the barrens areas and removed invasive trees as well.” “Some of those areas,” Mahoney notes, “will become prime habitat for woodcock, grouse and other animals, which is pretty cool. We talked about developing a trail system throughout the conservancy that would also connect to some of the barrens, which would be good for hunters and for educational purposes. Many of the barrens on the DNR site are already accessible by trail. There are some cool things going on out there. You should do a separate article in the Common’Tater to highlight what UWSP is doing and will be doing out there. They are doing some amazing things!” We will do just that, Dan. Thank you, and thanks to Dianne for the photos. Please email me with your thoughts and questions. If you wish to be notified when our free online magazine is available monthly, here is the subscriber link: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe.

Joe Kertzman

Managing Editor jkertzman@wisconsinpotatoes.com


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Interview

MICHAEL HELBACH,

managing member, Helbach Farms, LLC By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

NAME: Michael Helbach TITLE: Managing member COMPANY: Helbach Farms, LLC LOCATION: Amherst, WI HOMETOWN: Amherst TIME IN PRESENT POSITION: 20 years PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: n/a SCHOOLING: Amherst High School ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), Amherst Market Animal Committee, 4-H swine leader and St. Maximillian Kolbe Catholic Church AWARDS/HONORS: FFA-Star State Farmer, 1992; McCain Champion Storage Grower Awards in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2013 and 2014, and 2nd Place, 2007; McCain Awards for Field Direct Champion in 2002, 2007 and 2015, and 2nd place in 2003, 2013 and 2017; and McCain Foods Bruise Free winner, 2000 FAMILY: Wife, Debra; daughter, Abigail (17); and sons, Gabriel (14) and Andrew (10) HOBBIES: Fishing, skiing, and watching my kids show livestock and play sports 8

BC�T January

“It’s been all my life. We were Dad’s help when we were young,”

fondly recalls Michael Helbach of Helbach Farms, LLC, in Amherst, Wisconsin, “helping as early as I can remember on the farm. Then, right out of high school, I was full time.” When Mike went full-time on the farm after high school, his dad, Bob, put him to work in the office. “He said to learn the office first, which is why he put me in that position—I don’t think he liked doing it,” Mike recalls. “Having worked in the fields as a kid, the first thing he had me do as an adult was the book side and then transition into the field and everything else that’s involved in the operation,” he adds. “As kids, we had a water-drive irrigation system with winch pulls and guns. Now everything is automatic. Now we have telemetry on irrigation systems,” Mike relates. Helbach Farms has been a mainstay in the Amherst, Wisconsin, area, dating back to the 1930’s when Mike’s grandfather, George, started farming. It was primarily a dairy back then, although they grew 8-10 acres of potatoes annually and sold them

throughout Central Wisconsin. In 1974, Bob and his wife, Helen, took over the farm, transitioning it from dairy to vegetables. In 1980, Bob began raising potatoes and later became one of the top growers of processed spuds for Ore-Ida Foods, winning “Top Grower” and “Bruise Free” awards. Mike and his brother, Kirk, officially joined the farm in the 1990’s, eventually taking over the reins of the now large potato growing operation from their dad. Above: Mike Helbach, managing member of Helbach Farms, LLC, took a work break after his kids came home from school to sit on the truck tailgate with them. From left to right are Gabriel, Abigail, Mike and Andrew Helbach.


While Kirk is the storage manager, and Mike the farm manager, Bob is still involved on the farm, as well, driving tractor and semi-hauling corn, as well as taking on the role of consultant for his boys. What an incredible heritage for you. What do you take pride in regarding the farm, Mike? What I take pride in is having the biggest thing be our word, and in being honest and growing a decent crop. We normally have an above-average crop and keep the farm nice and neat. We have a nice-looking place.

so it does not leach. Are you mainly growing processing potatoes for McCain Foods? And how about for Heartland Farms? Others? Our split is approximately 25 percent for The Little Potato Company, and 40 percent production in chipping potatoes. The rest are processing potatoes for McCain.

Above: Mike Helbach’s dad, Bob, runs tillage ahead of the potato planter.

The chipping potatoes go to Heartland Farms. We have contracted with Heartland since 1994, which is when our expansion started on the farm. continued on pg. 10

Do you look at yourself as a caretaker, in a sense, of the land? We try to, you know. In the wet years, it can be tough. It seems like you are going backward sometimes. We try to do the best we can, keeping fertilizer and erosion in check, doing our best with water and fertilizer management. For groundwater and nitrates, spreading things out as far as we ever have with more applications but in smaller quantities—the same amount of product going out, but spreading it out. That is important BC�T January

9


Interview. . .

continued from pg. 9

We only had a couple hundred acres before that, but we expanded, and in a few years, we had 700-800 acres dedicated to Heartland Farms. It has been a good working relationship for us.

How has it been growing small spuds for The Little Potato Company? It’s going well. It is a learning process, a challenge. I consider it almost a hybrid crop that falls somewhere between fresh market and chip stock.

My dad worked with Dick Pavelski’s dad, Albert, on a few things, too. They bought stuff together, and we took corn there for a couple years. We have a nice, long history with the Pavelski family.

You really have to watch it, micromanage that crop, its appearance. With the little potatoes, appearance is strict. And cleaning the crop up out of the ground—it is such a smaller crop, so the digging chain

Above: Potatoes are planted on Helbach Farms, LLC, in Amherst, Wisconsin, which grows about 900 total acres of spuds for Heartland Farms, The Little Potato Company and McCain Foods.

is a lot smaller. With small chain spacing, you bring in a lot more foreign material and try to separate it going into storage. Trying to find the right equipment for the process is a challenge. We make sure there is no scab or silver scurf, which are major issues to control. It is tough. The little potatoes bring another dimension to our farm, giving us three different sectors—the chipping and processing potatoes and The Little Potato Company acres are all different dimensions. Did you have to update machinery, methods and storage for the Creamer potatoes? If so, what specifically? Absolutely, we got a new set of digging equipment, basically, with two different types of chain. With the wet years we had in 2018 and ’19, it was crucial be able to dig both large and small potatoes at the same time. With the small harvest windows in

Blushing Belles, grown for The Little Potato Company, are sampled for vine kill. 10 BC�T January

continued on pg. 12


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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 10

those years, it helped tremendously that we could perform both operations simultaneously. We bought a whole new line of grading equipment to maximize running time and do big and little potatoes at the same time. Unless the weather is close to perfect, like this year, then we don’t have to grade both sizes at the same time, and we didn’t. But we still need different grading equipment. We went to a Surge Hopper with the little ones because they bruise easier, and Even Flows. In 2020, we bought a VACS Mobile from Lockwood. We started out with a Clod Hopper the first couple years, but the VACS Mobile has saved us time with protectivity and efficiency. Is row spacing different, and did you only have to restructure certain fields? No. A lot of the growers are spacing rows at 32 inches. We stayed at 36 inches and have not seen a difference. We figured we would stay where we were operating at 36 inches and change it if we had to. We wanted to go into this as low cost in first few years as we could, to see how that worked out. How many acres of potatoes are you growing in total, and what varieties? We are right around 900 acres of

Mike Helbach (left) and his son, Andrew, check the sets on chipping potatoes.

total potatoes. McCain’s are Russet Burbanks, we grow Blushing Belles and Baby Boomers for The Little Potato Company, and Heartland’s stuff is a lot of Frito-Lay varieties. Is it all in the Amherst, Wisconsin,

area? We stretch from Amherst to Waupaca down on Highway 54. It’s about a 12-mile radius that we farm, from highway J in Plover to 54 in Waupaca, and Amherst Junction down to Wild Rose.

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Above: Russet Burbanks, reserved for McCain Foods, are harvested on Helbach Farms.

What type of rotation are you on, and with what other crops? We are on a three-year rotation between potatoes, field corn and snap beans/ soybeans. We grow 3,500 acres of field corn, green beans and soybeans.

have been in telemetry of irrigation, GPS and going from steering to implement steer or self-steering implements. Tractors have gotten more elaborate as far as electronics, for good or bad.

What have been the biggest changes in technology over the past 10 years, Mike? The largest advancements

What type of storage capacity do you have for potatoes? We can store about 70,000 hundredweight. We

own about 70,000 100-pound bags ourselves, which the little potatoes go into. That would be at full capacity, because we store them 10-12 feet high, not much higher. The other potatoes we store are all for Heartland Farms. They own the buildings. continued on pg. 14

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BC�T January 13


Interview. . .

continued from pg. 13

What family members work on the farm? Kirk is part-owner and works on the farm. My brother, George, is a silent partner. He is a pilot for United airlines. My nephew, Zach, who is George’s son, works on the farm, and my cousin (my dad’s nephew), Pat Truzinski, has been with us over 30 years. We have some parttime truck drivers who are family members. How are the duties split between you and Kirk, and is there a typical day for you, Mike? He takes care of all storages, basically from seed on through harvest. So, he handles the seed side and then storage after harvest. Kirk runs irrigation in summertime, and then back to storage for potatoes and corn in the fall, running the corn dryer on that side.

There is not a typical day for me. I can’t imagine what you’d call a typical day on a farm. My main duties are on the financial and agronomy sides, and overall operations management of the farm.

Above: Mike Helbach’s family, from left to right, Debra, Gabriel, Andrew and Abigail, help cut potato seed.

How was harvest this year? Harvest was a thousand times better than the last two years.

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What is your main focus now that harvest is over? The focus now is on year end. In December, our year end consists of putting numbers together, a production schedule for the following year and getting the next year’s inputs.

I think you have three kids, and your brother has two. Are any of them interested in working on the farm when older? Yes, I have a daughter and two sons, and Kirk has a daughter and a stepson. Maybe they will work continued on pg. 16

Left: Blushing Belles are harvested for The Little Potato Company on Helbach Farms. Above: Row spacing is checked on Blushing Belles grown on Helbach Farms for The Little Potato Company.

BC�T January 15


Interview. . .

continued from pg. 15

“Trying to bring in the next generation, working on that succession plan, that is our hope as members of the farm.” – Michael Helbach on the farm. My youngest talks about it, but he is only 10 years old. They’re involved in FFA and 4-H. It is fun for the kids, and we enjoy it as a family. I will still be involved in fairs and showing animals after my kids have graduated out of it. I will find a way to stay involved. Is there anything you hope for the future of the farm? Trying to bring in the next generation, working on

that succession plan, that is our hope as members of the farm. All members agree that it is important to keep this farm going. That is one of our main goals for the next generation. Hopefully, it will get a little better. It could turn quickly. There are not a lot of farms left, and it is tough to make it work all the way through to the third, fourth and fifth generations.

Left: A pile of Baby Boomers is started in storage at Helbach Farms.

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SpudPro Committee Names New Potato Variety

Dual-purpose Lakeview Russet is a remarkable early bulking variety that yields well On November 10, 2020, the SpudPro Committee named the newest variety, Lakeview Russet, to come out of the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison potato breeding program. The mission of the WPVGA SpudPro Committee is to advance Wisconsin potato breeding lines to variety status by providing foundation seed as a platform for industry review, adoption and commercialization. The SpudPro committee facilitates production of the initial foundation 18 BC�T January

seed for new potato varieties from the potato breeding program. Dennis and Adam Bula of Bula Potato Farms, Inc. have been growing W9433-1rus, a dual-purpose russet, meaning suitable for the fresh market and fry use, for four-plus years at the farm in Post Lake, and thus the new name, Lakeview Russet. Bred from parent varieties Cal White and A96023-6, Lakeview Russet exhibits early emergence with vigorous vines and numerous white blossoms, according to Dennis, who

says it sets a moderate number of tubers (approximately 7-10 per plant). EARLY BULKING “Tubers bulk very fast, so a closer seed spacing, compared to standard varieties, should be considered to control oversize,” Dennis remarks. “Tubers have a blocky shape, with very few of them misshapen.” “The tubers have a light russet skin that seems to darken in storage,” he adds. “Lakeview has a somewhat thin skin, so along with its vigorous vine, it will take longer than standard Above: Lakeview Russets are shown at Bula Potato Farms, Inc., July 25, 2020, in full bloom. Bred from parent varieties Cal White and A96023-6, Lakeview Russet exhibits early emergence with vigorous vines and numerous white blossoms.


varieties to set the skin on tubers.” Jeffrey Endelman, UW-Madison Department of Horticulture, leads the potato variety development program for the university, which releases new varieties for the chip, French fry and fresh markets. “I have looked at yield data for nearly a thousand russet varieties in the past seven years, and Lakeview Russet is almost without equal for early bulking,” Dr. Endelman says. Because of its early tuber bulking, low defects and light fry color, Lakeview Russet has early-season French fry potential. Specific gravity is medium. “Specific gravity and glucose levels of Lakeview Russet were similar to Russet Burbank across two years of the National Fry Processing Trial,” Endelman informs. FRY POTENTIAL “But, additional commercial-scale

evaluation is needed,” he adds, “to determine whether it can become an early fry processing variety in Wisconsin.”

In Wisconsin variety trials, Lakeview Russet yielded approximately 600 hundredweight/acre with a low continued on pg. 20

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SpudPro Committee Names New Potato Variety. . . continued from pg. 19

percentage of B-size potatoes or pickouts. “Hollow heart has been noted, but not until tubers get excessively large [18-20 ounces],” Dennis says.

Lakeview Russet will perform well without fumigation, and in commercial grower experience, less nitrogen is needed—100 pounds/acre less than Russet Norkotah and 50 pounds/acre

“I have looked at yield data for nearly a thousand russet varieties in the past seven years, and Lakeview Russet is almost without equal for early bulking.” – Dr. Jeff Endelman 20 BC�T January

less than Silverton Russet. “Lakeview Russet should be considered for organic production or by a grower looking for a more sustainable variety,” Dennis suggests. “It’s a variety that yields well, has a high percentage of U.S. Number 1 tubers,” he says, “and does that Left: According to Dennis Bula, Lakeview Russet tubers bulk very fast, so a closer seed spacing, compared to standard varieties, should be considered to control oversize. Above: The Lakeview Russet potatoes shown were planted May 18, 2020, on Bula Potato Farms, Inc., and the picture was taken 76 days later, on August 3.


with lower fertilizer and fumigation needs.” For more information, growers are welcome to contact Dennis and Adam

Bula at Bula Potato Farms, Inc., 715-275-3430 or 715-216-1614, dennis@certifiedseedpotatoes.com.

Above: Lakeview Russet tubers have a blocky shape, with very few of them misshapen, and a light russet skin that seems to darken in storage.

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Sanitizing Potato Storages & Equipment

Effective sanitization requires a thorough cleaning of all surfaces before a disinfectant is applied By Yi Wang, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Horticulture, and Andy Robinson, North Dakota State University Department of Plant Sciences Potato handling equipment and storage facilities are exposed to many pests and microorganisms, including

fungi, bacteria, insects, nematodes and weed seeds. For example, silver scurf

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Above: To minimize spread or recurrence of a pest, it is a good sanitary practice to thoroughly clean and disinfect all equipment and storage facilities prior to operational use.

(Helminthosporium solani) can survive on foam insulation and soil floors from one season to the next. Bacterial ring rot (Clavibacter michiganensis ssp. sepedonicus) could survive between three and seven years, depending on the surface in the storage facilities, and it can be an extremely serious problem for seed potato growers. Nematodes are easily transferred from one field to another in soil debris adhering to equipment that is not properly cleaned. If nematodes or other soil pests are known to be present in a field, cleaning soil and debris from equipment before leaving the field helps stop the spread. To minimize spread or recurrence


of a pest, it is good sanitary practice to thoroughly clean and disinfect all equipment and storage facilities prior to operational use. Proper sanitization includes cleaning, washing and disinfecting. Cleaning is the physical removal of soil and debris. Most problem pests can be effectively eliminated in this step. Cleaning, washing and disinfecting steps:

high temperature of steam makes it ideal for dissolving dried materials. • Steam exposure time should be at least five seconds for fresh, wet bacterial material, and at least 20 seconds for dried bacteria. • Duct pipes must be thoroughly cleaned as well. Exposing them to sunlight is a good final step after

they have been thoroughly washed and disinfected. After cleaning, a disinfectant solution should be applied to all surfaces and kept wet for at least 10 minutes. Ensure that the disinfectants used are labeled and registered in your state. continued on pg. 24

• Remove plant debris and foreign materials. Clean up trash such as old tubers, duct tape, wood, metal and insulation inside the storage. • Before loading the new crops, thoroughly clean storage facilities that had tuber breakdown due to “hot spots” in the previous storage season. • Discard soil, clay particles and organic matter that can react with the disinfectants to reduce their efficacy. • It is equally important to clean trash and debris that might have accumulated in the area directly in front of the storage doors.

Customizing equipment to fit your needs for over 20 years! Proud Dealer of:

• Clean dust and dirt and sprout inhibitors from fan blades. Effective sanitizing requires a thorough cleaning of all surfaces with water or steam before a disinfectant is applied. Here is how to sanitize the area: • Wash the storage bins, walls and machinery floor with steam or hot soapy water using a high-pressure washer followed by rinsing with water. • Soap-based detergents are often effective at dissolving dried potato sap or other residues that might be adhering to floors, walls and equipment. • Steam washers can also be extremely effective because the

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Sanitizing Potato Storages & Equipment. . . continued from pg. 23

Read and follow directions before applying (Table 1). Some products are sold as concentrates and need to be diluted at the correct ratio to be effective.

In addition, the following points should also be considered:

Where chemical disinfection is practiced, it is important to ensure that the rate of application is correct for the method employed.

• The efficacy of some disinfectants may be reduced by low temperatures and hard water. Best results are achieved at

• The efficacy of disinfection may vary according to the surface type.

Left: Rick, a seasonal employee at Guenthner Potato Company, Antigo, Wisconsin, washes and disinfects the seed cutting equipment between seed lots. Right: Cleaning is the physical removal of soil and debris. Most problem pests can be effectively eliminated in this step. Here, from left to right, Calvin Seis, Ed Stevens and Dana Seis separate soil and debris from potatoes at Sterling Farms, LLC, in Grand Marsh, Wisconsin.

ORGANIC MATTER

HARD WATER

Corrosiveness to Metal

Safety

Recommended Exposure Time

Some

No

Slight

Use caution

10 minutes (min.)

Hypochlorites 5.25% bleach

Yes

No (except Iron)

Yes

Irritant & Caustic

10 min.

Chlorine Dioxide

No

No

No

Non-toxic

10 min.

Iodine Compounds

Some

No (except Iron)

Yes

Caution

10 min.

Phenolics

Some

No

No

Poison

10 min.

Formaldehyde

No

Yes

No

Unsafe vapors

30 min.

Copper Sulfate

No

Yes

Yes

Caution

30-60 min.

Material Quaternary Ammonium compounds

Inactivation

Table 1 lists common chemical disinfectants for potato equipment and storage facilities. 24 BC�T January


a temperature of 59–68 degrees Fahrenheit. • Some disinfectants will require a longer contact period than others. • Fumigants or fogs might be appropriate in some cases, and such treatments should be carried out according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This range of chemistries is used in different manufactured brands, and there are many variables such as percent of active ingredient, allowable application rates and whether the product is labeled for potato storages and handling equipment. Here are some key points to follow: • Spray areas using a high-pressure jet of up to 4,250 kPa (kilopascals) to penetrate cracks in floors.

“Silver scurf can survive on foam insulation and soil floors from one season to the next.” – Yi Wang and Andy Robinson • Hypochlorites and hydrogen peroxide products are often readily inactivated by organic matter and therefore not as effective on soil and wood. • Wood surfaces can be treated with a wood preservative such as copper-8-quinolinolate, which kills bacterial ring rot.

• If using chlorine-based compounds, buffer the solution to a pH of 6-to7.5 for maximum effectiveness. Avoid mixing chlorine compounds • Calcium and sodium hypochlorites 21-01 Badger Common'Tater (7x5).v1.pdf 1 2020-12-11 7:41 AM can be corrosive to metal surfaces. with hot water or other products

unless it is allowed on the label. •K eep surfaces wet via the disinfectant solution for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes. •O nce this step is complete, close the storage for two weeks and open the doors to dry the storage surfaces. If two weeks is not an option, try to allow enough time for surfaces to dry prior to loading. •P rofessional personnel, such as storage service providers, can perform all or some of these important steps.

BC�T January 25


People

Smith Heads Nutrient & Pest Management Program Mission is to protect water quality and maintain or improve farm profitability Damon Smith, associate professor and field crop pathology extension specialist, University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison Department of Plant Pathology, has been named the faculty director of the Nutrient and Pest Management Program. The Division of Extension-funded Nutrient and Pest Management Program (NPM) was established, in 1989, with a mission to promote agricultural practices for protecting water quality while maintaining or improving farm profitability in collaboration with a wide range of partners. Focused on profitability, practicality and environmental sustainability of crop production practices and cropping systems, the program links Wisconsin farmers, the agricultural professionals who assist them and UW researchers, allowing for a robust exchange of knowledge. Smith was drawn to the role as an opportunity to deploy research to a wider audience. “I am very interested in extending valuable research-based tools to the general public where they can be used for the greater good,” he says. Through his Division of Extension role at UW, Smith has collaborated closely

with the NPM program over the years to develop three smartphone applications to assist farmers in forecasting plant disease occurrence based on GPS (Global Positioning System)-referenced weather data. These tools leverage Cloud-based weather data for specific sites along with proven statistical models to predict plant disease. SPORECASTER APP His Sporecaster app, which models white mold on soybean, has been downloaded more than 6,000 times and was recognized for excellence in community education materials by the Agronomy Society of America. Smith has been a member of the faculty in the UW Plant Pathology Department for eight years. Prior to coming to UW, he was an assistant professor and extension specialist in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Oklahoma State University for five years. He received his Master of Science degree and Ph.D. in plant pathology at North Carolina State University and a Bachelor of Science in biology at SUNY Geneseo. In the role of director, Smith will lead a team of nine, including a program manager, five regional specialists, one

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Damon Smith, associate professor and field crop pathology extension specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Plant Pathology, is the new faculty director of the Nutrient and Pest Management Program.

researcher and two support staff. He will also work with the Integrated Crop and Pest Management Technical Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from state and federal agencies, along with private farmers. “We had a deep pool of wellqualified candidates for the position, making the choice of the director a difficult one,” says Doug Reinemann, associate dean for extension and outreach in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. “The NPM program has a long history of excellence in developing and delivering extension programs,” Reinemann adds. “Damon articulated a vision and plan to continue this tradition and expand and adapt nutrient and pest management programs to meet research and extension needs in this increasingly important area.” Smith assumed the role on October 1, 2020.


Potato LEAF Awards Scholarship

Texas A&M’s Jeewan Pandey honored for potato research The Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF) is pleased to announce Jeewan Pandey, a third-year graduate student at Texas A&M University’s Department of Horticultural Sciences, as the recipient of its 2020-’21 Academic Scholarship. The $10,000 scholarship is awarded annually to one graduate student with a strong interest in research that can directly benefit the U.S. potato industry. “Potato LEAF was created to ensure the long-term health of the U.S. potato industry by investing

in its future leaders,” says the organization’s chair, Shelley Olsen. “We’re thrilled to support Jeewan’s educational and research goals that will advance our collective knowledge and set us on the path for a better, more productive tomorrow.” A Ph.D. candidate and graduate research and teaching assistant, Pandey’s research involves the application of DNA-based markers in potato breeding to speed up the development of new varieties that would require fewer pesticide applications.

diversity studies and genome-wide association studies with the final goal of accelerating selection using genomics-enabled approaches. “I’m so excited and grateful to be a Potato LEAF award recipient! This award will be incredibly beneficial in helping me move forward with my career aspirations of obtaining a Ph.D. degree in plant breeding,” says Pandey. APPLIED KNOWLEDGE “After this, I want to apply my knowledge and skills to contribute towards the education of new

He is also conducting genetic

continued on pg. 28

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People . . . continued from pg. 27

professionals, the generation of scientific knowledge and advancement of the agricultural industry,” he adds. According to Dr. M. Isabel Vales, associate professor of potato breeding and genetics, who is overseeing Pandey’s Ph.D. research project, he is an ideal candidate for the scholarship. In his letter of recommendation, Dr. Vales wrote that Pandey “is an excellent student and researcher. He has excellent communication skills, initiative and leadership. In my opinion, he is on the right path to becoming an outstanding professional and a leader.” Pandey is an active leader on campus, recently serving on a student-led committee that organized the Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium

(2019 and 2020). He also serves as vice president of the Horticulture Graduate Council at Texas A&M and is a Graduate and Professional Student Government Senator. He is a member of the Potato Association of America, the American Society of Horticultural Sciences and the National Plant Breeders’ Association. A new 501(c)3 organization launched in January 2020, Potato LEAF works to provide tools, training and support necessary to develop growers and industry members as leaders. As part of its mission to encourage and train future leaders in the industry, the organization oversees the annual graduate-level research scholarship, which was previously administered by the National Potato Council.

The Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation awards Jeewan Pandey, of Texas A&M University, its 2020-’21 academic scholarship for potato research.

To learn more, visit pleaf.org/2020scholarship-winner.

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Marty Myers Passes Away

Potatoes USA chairman was a pioneer of sustainable agriculture Marty Myers, general manager of Threemile Canyon Farms, current chairman of the Potatoes USA Board of Directors and a member of the Oregon Board of Agriculture, has died. He was 68. A spokeswoman for R.D. Offutt Company, which owns Threemile Canyon Farms, said Myers died unexpectedly, December 1, 2020, at his home of natural causes. Myers, of Boardman, Oregon, was elected chairman of the Potatoes USA board in 2020, having served a six-year term from 2010-’16, as cochair of the International Marketing Committee for two of those years. Spudman magazine quoted Potatoes USA CEO Blair Richardson as saying, “Marty’s leadership, both publicly and privately, will be missed by Potatoes USA and the entire industry.” “On a personal level, Marty was a mentor and confidant and played an important role in my decision to join this organization,” Richardson added. “His guidance and advice were critical as I learned about our industry and the people who give our industry life. I will dearly miss our regular conversations and his supportive advice.” Having been in the potato industry for 24 years, Myers’ work at Threemile

Marty Myers 1952 – 2020

Canyon Farms focused on the chip, frozen and seed sectors. “It’s all about the great people in this industry,” Myers said when asked what he enjoyed most about his work. “The potato industry truly is unique; it is a young, vibrant and diverse group.” He was also R.D. Offutt Company’s western business manager for farming and agriculture, a role in which he oversaw operations in Oregon, Washington and Nevada. VISIONARY FORCE In a company statement, Offutt CEO Tim Curoe said Myers was the

“visionary force” behind Threemile Canyon Farms, which includes Oregon’s largest dairy operation. “Myers had a vision for the farm to be a sustainable operation, which was well ahead of the times,” Curoe said. “He brought that idea into reality by creating a ‘closed loop’ system where nothing would be wasted, and that remains the foundation for the farm’s remarkable and continued success.” Myers began working with R.D. Offutt Company, based in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1994, as a business continued on pg. 30

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People . . . continued from pg. 29

development manager focused on agribusiness in the Western United States. The company acquired Threemile Canyon Farms in 1998, and placed Myers in charge as general manager. Threemile Canyon Farms covers approximately 145 square miles west of Boardman and grows 39,500 acres of irrigated crops, including potatoes, onions, corn and sweet peas. The farm also runs four dairies, with 33,000 milking cows and nearly 70,000 total cattle. The milk is sold to the Tillamook County Creamery Association, which operates a large cheese-making plant 20 miles away at the Port of Morrow. Threemile Canyon Farms was recognized for Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability at the 2020 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards for its closed-loop system to minimize and recycle dairy waste. The system begins with the cows themselves. Manure is stored and later reused as a source of nitrogenrich fertilizer to grow crops on the surrounding farmland, including pasture, alfalfa and animal feed that goes right back to the cows.

RENEWABLE ENERGY In 2012, Threemile Canyon Farms built an anaerobic digester to process additional dairy manure, capturing enough methane gas to generate up to 4.8 megawatts of electricity. Solid waste left over from the digestion process is sterilized and recycled as animal bedding for the cows in the free-stall barns.

beginning his career as a certified public accountant in Portland.

The digester underwent a $30 million expansion in 2019, adding capacity and installing new equipment to convert methane into renewable natural gas, a cleaner-burning fuel that reduces harmful emissions from vehicles by 80 percent or more compared to diesel.

Myers had previously served on the Oregon Potato Commission and Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, and in the Oregon Business Association, The Freshwater Trust and Potato Growers of Washington.

“Marty will be incredibly difficult to replace, but Threemile Canyon Farms is fortunate to have a highly skilled, long-time leadership team who are dedicated to ensuring the continuity of business at the farm,” Curoe said. “This team will continue to lead daily farm operations until a formal interim plan is announced.” An Oregon native, Myers was born and raised in McMinnville. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Oregon State University before

Along with his position at Threemile Canyon Farms, Myers had served on the Oregon Board of Agriculture since 2015. His second term was to expire in 2023. Members are appointed by the governor and advise the state Department of Agriculture on policy issues.

“There just aren’t enough kind words to use when describing Marty,” Curoe said. “He was thoughtful, quick to laugh, and someone who always focused on what was possible. But most of all, I will remember him as a friend and a true partner. He will be dearly missed, but his vision will most certainly live on.” In lieu of flowers, Myers’ family is encouraging donations to one of two charities in his honor: Blanchet House (https://blanchethouse.org) or the Oregon Food Bank (https://www. oregonfoodbank.org).

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Now News Gumz Farms Notes Exceptional Onion Movement Increase over usual holiday sales is attributed to more people cooking at home By Kathleen Thomas Gaspar, reprinted with permission from The Produce News Gumz Farms sales agent, Doug Bulgrin, recently gave a positive update for the 2020-’21 onion shipping season, noting the Endeavor, Wisconsin, operation was seeing good demand and excellent movement during the holidays. “Movement has been exceptional, and we definitely are benefiting from people cooking at home,” Bulgrin said about consumer trends as the pandemic continues. And the Wisconsin onion man noted, “We are seeing an increase over normal holiday movement, which makes sense as there are more households preparing smaller meals with fewer large gatherings.” Along with good demand, Gumz Farms has seen prices hold. Bulgrin said, “Pricing is actually above normal, and given the supplies and movement, there will for sure be an uptick in the market going forward.” Bulgrin said that the year got off to a slightly unusual start. “We had an early start to planting and were able to get the crop in a week earlier than normal,” he stated. At harvest time, he noted, the area had “a two-week window of beautiful weather that allowed us to speed up harvest, and we brought the onions in under great conditions.” Shipping began the last week in August, which Bulgrin said is again about a week earlier than normal. HIGH RETAIL DEMAND As the season progressed, demand was highest in retail. “Consumer packs of pre-pack and medium yellow onions seem to be of the highest 32 BC�T January

demand,” Bulgrin said. One factor in demand has been the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, with Gumz Farms participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative. “It has definitely helped move some of the smaller sizes and odd lots,” Bulgrin said. “It has had a significant impact on supplies and the market.” COVID itself brought new challenges and issues with social distancing and other protocols put into effect. Labor shortage is a perennial issue. “Labor for harvest is always a concern and we have changed a few things to reduce the number of people needed,” Bulgrin said. “It always seems to be a concern and is at the front of our minds as to where and how we can reduce the number of people we need.”

Above: Rod Gumz (left) and Doug Bulgrin (right), sales agent for Gumz Farms in Endeavor, Wisconsin, are pleased with the increase in onion sales, partially a benefit of more people cooking at home during the holidays.

He said that trucks are also a concern. “Transportation is also a tough area right now, although given our location in the Midwest, we seem to do better when transportation gets tight,” he remarked. No one has a crystal ball when it comes to 2021, but Bulgrin said some plans have already been made. “Acreage will remain the same,” he explained. “And we will continue to make improvements to our packing and growing operations to better serve the needs of our customers on a year-round basis.”


WPVGA Receives Good Press for Donation

Matching grant to Kids From Wisconsin on Giving Tuesday draws praise

Here is the press release in its entirety:

Giving Tuesday was created, in 2012, as a simple, idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity.

Above: Along with a press release that was recently published online and in print, Kids From Wisconsin provided this image of an enthusiastic and large group gathered, pre-pandemic, in front of the Spudmobile. A valued asset of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, the Spudmobile is a promotional and educational “traveling billboard.”

The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association recently provided a matching grant of up to $2,500 to the Kids From Wisconsin on “Giving Tuesday” (December 1).

Many corporations and organizations collaborated with each other, in 2020, to make sure the day continues to inspire, energize and promote generosity.

“We have a special connection with the WPVGA,” said Tina Weiss, managing director of Kids From Wisconsin. “With their annual

A Kids From Wisconsin press release was published in several places, including on https://urbanmilwaukee. com and in the Stevens Point Buyer’s Guide/City Times newspaper.

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continued on pg. 34

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Now News. . .

continued from pg. 33

support to our Realize Your Dream program, we are able to impact more youth through hands-on arts workshops across the state, many with underserved programming.” SPUDMOBILE VISITS “Not only that, but the Spudmobile also visited some of the Kids From Wisconsin workshops to introduce the nutritional value of potatoes to our young attendees,” Weiss noted. “Our audiences have also learned of the association through a special jingle performed before each show intermission.”

“Audiences get a kick out of our connection, and we love recognizing the WPVGA as a sponsor of the program,” Weiss continued. “We actually do have much in common. Our performers love potatoes, and all of us love buying local. What a great message we can provide.” The economic impact of coronavirus on the arts and culture sector is a loss of over $58 million, just in Wisconsin alone. Over 40 percent of the Kids From Wisconsin organization’s revenue

comes from performance fees and audience contributions. These were gone in 2020. Without generous contributions such as those the WPVGA and others inspired to offer on Giving Tuesday, or any day, groups like the Kids From Wisconsin, a non-profit organization, would not be here today. To learn more about Kids From Wisconsin, please visit www. kidsfromwisconsin.org, or call (414) 266-7067.

Tasteful Selections Named Fastest Growing Company Annual Inc. Magazine 5000 list is considered the most prestigious of its kind Inc. magazine revealed that Tasteful Selections® ranked number 3,941 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. For decades, Inc. has recognized the fastest-growing private companies in America, and 2020’s set of winners places the bar extremely high indeed. Companies that made the list, on average, have grown sixfold since 2016. During a stretch when the economy grew just 15 percent, that is a result most businesses could only dream of. As an Inc. 5000 honoree, Tasteful Selections shares a pedigree with Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Jamba Juice, Timberland, CLIF Bar, Pandora, Patagonia, Oracle and other notable alumni. “We couldn’t be more excited to be included once again in the Inc. 5000 list,” Bob Bender, president of Tasteful Selections, says. “The growth of Tasteful Selections can easily be traced back to the dedication of our wonderful team.” 34 BC�T January

DISTINGUISHED GROUP “Tasteful Selections ranks number 77 in the Food and Beverage industry category, which makes up only 2.4 percent of the Inc. 5000 list,” Bender adds. “We are honored and privileged to be a part of this very distinguished group.” Bender continues, “We are eager to keep growing as we near the completion of our newest expansion and the celebration of our first 10 years in business.” “The companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 come from nearly every realm of business,” says Inc. Editor-in-Chief Scott Omelianuk. “From health and software to media and hospitality, the 2020 list proves that no matter the sector, incredible growth is based on the foundations of tenacity and opportunism.” Not only have the companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 been competitive within their markets, but the list

shows staggering growth compared with prior lists as well. The 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved an incredible three-year average growth of over 500 percent, and a median rate of 165 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $209 billion, in 2019, accounting for over one million jobs over the past three years. About Tasteful Selections Tasteful Selections, LLC is a vertically integrated, family-owned collection of farms pioneering and leading the bite-size potato category. To ensure high standards of quality, flavor and freshness, Tasteful Selections owns and operates the entire process of planting, growing, harvesting and packaging—Field to fork fresh in every bite!


Farming for the Future Foundation Progresses Goal is to connect families and agriculture through education and experience By Candise Miller, executive director, Farming for the Future Foundation 2020 will be remembered as a year of challenges, but for Farming for the Future Foundation, it was also a year of growth. We saw our Board of Directors expand to include more local experts in agriculture and education, we added two new staff members and have contracted with an education consultant. We continue the creation of plans to increase agriculture literacy in Wisconsin classrooms and have taken steps toward building a center for food and farming exploration. I look forward to seeing the preparation and planning we completed in 2020

turn into action in 2021. Thank you to all who joined the Farming for the Future mission this year. The present and future of the farming industry is innovative, sustainable and strong, and I am honored to be helping you share that story. 2020 IN REVIEW Our vision is ambitious, but with the right plan, team and community partners, we know we can connect Wisconsin families and the agriculture industry through education and experience. With the dawn of a new year, let continued on pg. 36

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Now News. . .

continued from pg. 35

us take a moment to recognize the changes and accomplishments of 2020:

in Wisconsin agriculture and education.

• Farming for the Future Foundation now has eight directors sitting on our board with expertise

• We have created an education committee to offer input on lesson plans and test our curriculum in classroom settings.

Board Member

SpotlighT Jordan Lamb is a member of the Farming for the Future Foundation Board of Directors. She brings more than 20 years of experience representing the agriculture industry as a lawyer and contract lobbyist. Jordan works with the Wisconsin State Legislature

36 BC�T January

and trade organizations, including the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, to promote public policy that will benefit Wisconsin and the farming community. To learn more about Jordan, visit https://www.fftf.us/ news/jordanlamb.

Above: The Farming for the Future Foundation Board of Directors includes, from left to right, Michelle Peariso, Jeremie Pavelski, Richard Pavelski, Dick Okray, Tamas Houlihan, Andy Diercks, Alicia Pavelski and Jordan Lamb, with Candise Miller (far right) being the executive director.


• Our team grew to include an executive assistant and marketing and communications specialist, and we contracted with an education consultant. • We’ve engaged master builders, designers, architects and tinkerers Findorff, Gyroscope, EUA and Universal Services Associates to help us create a farming exploration center that will spark interest and offer real life experience in agriculture. What Lies Ahead? We have big steps to take in 2021! We are excited to start sharing accurate, engaging and agriculturecentered lesson plans with select 4th-grade classrooms in Wisconsin. Our newly assembled team and partners will begin design work on the Food and Farm Exploration Center. And we will begin sharing our message and goals with the

public to engage more people in the mission to reconnect people with their food and growers. We’re grateful for the support of the agriculture communities and all of our Wisconsin neighbors who understand the importance

of what we are working to accomplish. We look forward to growing relationships with volunteers and donors who are as excited as we are to cultivate a widespread understanding of farming.

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When you come in for seed, fertilizer and crop protection, you are covered. BC�T January 37


Marketplace

By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education

“Grate Wisconsin Spud Bowl” a Tasty Match October 21 was a cold, but fun day in Shawano, Wisconsin, on the city’s high school football field. As the wind blew and the temperatures threatened to drop

even further, a group of four individuals from the Wisconsin potato industry prepared to face their opponents. After all, this was no ordinary event. This was the

game of the week! They dressed in team uniforms, put their game faces on and kept warm … by firing up the grills. Team “Growers” had a big day ahead of them as they prepared to go headto-head against team “Grillers” in the “Grate Wisconsin Spud Bowl.” Eric Schroeder of Schroeder Bros. Farms, in Antigo, Mike Carter of Bushmans’ Inc., Rosholt, Doug Posthuma of Alsum Farms & Produce, in Friesland, and Gary Beadles of RPE, Inc., Bancroft, made up team Growers. And team Grillers were none other than the incredibly creative, “best of Above: Team “Growers” takes a moment to pose before the “Grate Wisconsin Spud Bowl,” October 21, in Shawano, Wisconsin, showing off their potato masks courtesy of Carol Okray of Okray Family Farms. From left to right are Eric Schroeder of Schroeder Bros. Farms, Doug Posthuma from Alsum Farms & Produce, Gary Beadles of RPE, Inc. and Mike Carter from Bushmans’ Inc.

38 BC�T January


the best” and wackiest grilling duo to ever flip a potato, Mad Dog and Merrill themselves, of Midwest Grill’n television show fame! They were only two, but mighty and quite skilled, as they have had lots of practice grilling potatoes on their show. And they came to this footballthemed competition by putting their best fries and most enticing potato recipes forward. Little did they know, however, that the Growers would be calling a few plays of their own during the game. As the two teams set out all the ingredients needed for their potato creations, namely an appetizer, side dish and main course, all featuring Wisconsin potatoes as the main ingredient, each was confident of taking home the win during the official, unofficial Grate Wisconsin Spud Bowl.

THE REAL GRILLERS Mad Dog and Merrill, who classified themselves as “the real grillers” during the game, then responded with a near interception upon their preparation of “Spudza bites,” namely seasoned baby red boats grilled and filled with a special pizza sauce and covered in Italian-pie-style toppings of choice. Both recipes were so enticing, that each team scored a touchdown, leaving the game tied at six. Round two, the side dish round, was another close call, this time involving Wisconsin Yukon Golds.

Left: Mad Dog and Merrill, otherwise known as team “Grillers,” are raring to go as the “Grate Wisconsin Spud Bowl” kicks off. Mad Dog (left) holds up his Wisconsin baby reds as Merrill (right) puts up his dukes. Right: Team “Growers” stays relaxed, confident in their first concoction of seasoned baby reds wrapped with bacon during the “Grate Wisconsin Spud Bowl.” Pictured from left to right are Mike Carter, Gary Beadles and Doug Posthuma. Their teammate, Eric Schroeder, did not make it into this photo.

Team Grillers kicked off the round with “The Gold Mash,” a recipe so perfect and savory, it could make continued on pg. 40

The Growers started with baconwrapped, seasoned baby reds. A little seasoning on bite-sized Wisconsin baby red potatoes, wrapped in Wisconsin bacon, grilled to perfection and topped with a homemade spicy sour cream sauce had everyone ready for the taste test. But not long into the preparations, jeering from the Grillers began, resulting in an offside penalty against the confident pair. BC�T January 39


Marketplace. . .

continued from pg. 39

comfort food seem boring. The charred golds from the grill are mashed with heavy cream, sour cream, butter and garlic. They are placed in a skillet and topped with salsa, pepper jack cheese, black olives, jalapeños and black beans. The skillet goes back on the grill long enough to melt the cheese and heat everything through. When that is done, it’s bon appétit! While this was a great start to the second round, the Growers showed no signs of being intimidated. They did, however, fumble the potatoes right off the bat, which resulted in “too many taters on the field” and a 5-yard penalty. But the Growers would not give up. They sliced the Wisconsin Yukon Golds, coated them with olive oil and seasonings, and took them right to the grill. Once they were done, each slice was topped with a homemade ranch sauce that made it nearly impossible to eat just one. The Growers also challenged the call of “too many taters on the field” and asked for a replay. But upon further review by the referee, the call stood, and the team was charged with

a timeout. Both teams, however, scored another touchdown at the end of the second round that kept the game neck and neck, now tied at 12.

Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association “Quality as High as our Mountains” RUSSET VARIETIES: Russet Norkotah S3 Russet Norkotah S8 Rocky Mountain Russet Silverton Russet Rio Grande Russet Canela Russet Mesa Russet Mercury Russet Fortress Russet Crimson King COLORED VARIETIES: Columbine Gold Colorado Rose Rio Colorado Red Luna Purple Majesty Masquerade Mountain Rose Vista Gold

40 BC�T January

Seed Growers: Zapata Seed Company Worley Family Farms SLV Research Center San Acacio Seed Salazar Farms Rockey Farms, LLC Pro Seed Price Farms Certified Seed, LLC Palmgren Farms, LLC Martinez Farms La Rue Farms H&H Farms G&G Farms Bothell Seed Allied Potato

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Lorem ipsum

Next was round three. But before the Growers could even begin sharing their recipe, the Grillers ridiculed them by calling them “a bunch of baby reds!” That was enough to charge the Grillers with a personal foul for taunting, leaving them with a 15-yard penalty. INDIAN ALOO SANDWICH The Growers nonetheless continued with their surprise play, the unique and amazingly delicious grilled Indian Aloo Sandwich. After grilling some sliced Wisconsin russets, the team of growers mashed them with coriander, chili powder, masala, cumin powder and lemon juice. Above: Fast Freddie, who is responsible for the music during Mad Dog and Merrill’s Midwest Grillin’ television show, warms up his fingers before kickoff of the “Grate Wisconsin Spud Bowl,” October 21, in Shawano, Wisconsin.


The mixture was lathered between two pieces of buttered potato bread along with some Wisconsin cheddar cheese and chili peppers. The team placed the sandwich on the grill, buttered side down, and waited for a chance to dig in. Ironically enough, the Grillers decided to prepare a potato sandwich for their final recipe as well. They focused on Rueben sandwiches that incorporated russets sliced lengthwise as the bread! The slices were coated with Italian dressing and grilled until they were a toasty brown. Next, Mad Dog and Merrill layered each slice with a homemade dressing, corned beef, sauerkraut and cheese. They were placed back on the grill to heat through, melt the cheese and voila! Once again, the dishes were too close to call, resulting in each team scoring yet another touchdown, leaving the score even at 18. But due to the excessive penalties that Grillers incurred, the Growers took home the trophy. What a day and what a win for not only the Growers, but also Wisconsin Above: “Grate Wisconsin Spud Bowl” preparations are underway as the “Growers” (right) and “Grillers” (left) prepare to go head-to-head, competing for the best Wisconsin potato grilling recipe and winning trophy.

potatoes—a true example of the versatility and number of ways to prepare America’s favorite vegetable. The Midwest Grill’n episode covering the Grate Wisconsin Spud Bowl aired on November 15 and will air again as part of Mad Dog and Merrill’s show rotation throughout the year. With many people taking

The most popular varieties of these world-class hybrids are going fast.

precautionary measures during COVID and staying in their homes, this show is the perfect way to demonstrate creative ways to cook in the kitchen while also encouraging everyone to buy local. To view the Grate Wisconsin Spud Bowl episode, visit https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=j8w6w1MG82 c&feature=youtu.be.

Wisconsin’s Highest Yielding Corn and Soybean Varieties Are At

Visit with Wayne, Emily, Ann, Julie and Sammi today to secure the top performing hybrids. Don’t delay, these seeds are growing fast!

www. Jay-Mar.com Plover (715) 341-3445 800-236-2436

BC�T January 41


Virtual Powerhouse

to Present at 2021 Grower Education Conference

Annual 2021 Industry Show will not be held in person due to current COVID-19 crisis in Wisconsin The 2021 Grower Education Conference, to be

held Tuesday, February 2, and Wednesday, February 3, is set up as an online platform featuring researcher presentations that promise to be both timely and topical. Not only are all invited speakers required to provide pre-recorded video presentations, but each will also appear live via Zoom at their scheduled presentation times.

The conference will run from 8:20 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and again from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Every effort has been made to bring outstanding speakers and topics of interest to potato and vegetable growers. All Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA)funded researchers will provide their reports, in .pdf format, on the conference website. These reports will represent a summary of their research progress. Research reports will be compiled and included in the 2021 conference proceedings. Complete proceedings will be posted online and printed copies are also available via mail upon request. BRINGING VALUE TO AG The annual Industry Show will not be held in person in 2021. In its place, 42 BC�T January

up to 10 WPVGA Associate Division “Bringing Value to Ag” exhibitor presentations will be scheduled during the Grower Education Conference, on Feb. 2-3. The “Bringing Value to Ag” exhibitor presentations will consist of 10-minute videos along with live, virtual presenters. Exhibitor presentations will feature products or services that are either new or newly relevant in light of current issues facing our industry and will clearly demonstrate how they bring value to growers. The annual Industry Awards Banquet will similarly not be held in person in 2021, but rather presented virtually, via Zoom, during the Grower Education Conference. “The decision to cancel the inperson conference, Industry Show and annual Awards Banquet

is unfortunate, but clearly the responsible thing to do,” says WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan. “We have to put the health and safety of our members and staff above all else,” he stresses. “We are all looking forward to a time when we can resume face-to-face meetings along with large social gatherings.” “Unfortunately, the current COVID crisis in Wisconsin will not allow that to happen any time soon,” Houlihan concludes. “I’m confident in the strength of our industry and I know that we will make the best of this difficult situation.” REGISTER NOW! To gain access to the virtual conference, you must complete and submit a registration form along with payment. Please complete the following registration form and return it with payment to: WPVGA, P.O. Box 327, Antigo, WI 54409, or email the completed registration to jbraun@ wisconsinpotatoes.com. Once we receive the form and payment, instructions will be emailed to you along with a conference access code. If you have questions, please contact the WPVGA Office at 715-623-7683. continued on pg. 44


Please join us for a Seed Cutting Class • Thursday, February 4 Milestone reps will be present • 1:00 p.m. at Sand County Equipment

Grand Opening for our New Parts Facility • 10% off on all Parts in Stock Lunch will be served beforehand, at noon, with beverages!


Virtual Virtual Grower Grower Education Education Conference Conference Registration Registration Form Form Virtual Grower Education Conference Registration Form February 2-3, 2021 February 2-3, 2021 February 2-3, 2021

(It is important that you type or print legibly since each registrant will receive an access code via email.) (It is important that you type or print legibly since each registrant will receive an access code via email.) (It is important that you type or print legibly since each registrant will receive an access code via email.) Company Company Name: __________________________________ Phone: _________________________________ Company Name: __________________________________ Phone: _________________________________ Name: __________________________________ Phone: _________________________________ Registrant Registrant Name: 1)_________________________________ Registrant Name: 1)_________________________________ Registrant Name: 1)_________________________________ Registrant Name: 2)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 2)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 2)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 3)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 3)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 3)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 4)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 4)____________________________________ Registrant Name: Registrant Name: 4)____________________________________ 5)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 5)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 5)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 6)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 6)____________________________________ Registrant Name: Registrant Name: 6)____________________________________ 7)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 7)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 8)____________________________________ 7)____________________________________ Registrant Name: Registrant Name: 8)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 8)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 9)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 9)____________________________________ Registrant Name: 10)___________________________________ 9)____________________________________ Registrant Name: Registrant Name: 10)___________________________________ Name: 10)___________________________________ WPVGA Member Registration Fee

WPVGA Member Registration Fee WPVGA Fee $25 /Member person Registration Total due: $______ $25 / person Total due: $______ $25 / person Total due: $______ Payment by Check Payment by Check Payment by Check Please make checks payable to WPVGA and mail Please checks payable this formmake along with fees to: to WPVGA and mail Please checks payable this formmake along with fees to: to WPVGA and mail this form along with fees to: WPVGA P.O. Box 327 WPVGA WPVGA Antigo, WI 54409 P.O. Box 327 P.O. 623-7683 Box 327 (715) Antigo, WI 54409 Antigo, WI 54409 (715) 623-7683 (715) 623-7683

44 BC�T January

Email:_______________________________________ Email:_______________________________________ Email:_______________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Email:___________________________________________ Non-WPVGA Member Registration Fee

Non-WPVGA Member Registration Fee Non-WPVGA Member Registration Fee $40 / person Total due: $______ $40 / person Total due: $______ $40 / person Total due: $______ Payment by Credit Card Payment by Credit Card Payment___Mastercard by Credit Card ___AmEx ___Visa ___Discover ___Visa ___Discover ___Mastercard ___AmEx ___Visa ___Discover ___Mastercard ___AmEx Cardholder’s Name:______________________________________ Cardholder’s Cardholder’s Name:______________________________________ Name:______________________________________ Card Number: ___________________________________________ Card Number: Card Number: ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ Expiration Date: _____ / _____ Expiration Date: _____ / _____ Expiration _____ / _____ VerificationDate: Code:_________ Verification Code:_________ Verification Code:_________ Email this form to jbraun@wisconsinpotatoes.com or fax this to (715) Email form623-3176. to jbraun@wisconsinpotatoes.com Email form623-3176. to jbraun@wisconsinpotatoes.com or fax this to (715) continued on pg. 46 or fax to (715) 623-3176.


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2021 UW Division of Extension & WPVGA Virtual Grower Education Conference Tuesday, February 2, 2021 Time

Morning General Session Moderator: Mr. Tamas Houlihan

8:20 - 8:30

Welcome and opening remarks - Tamas Houlihan, Executive Director, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, Antigo, WI

8:30 - 9:00

Dr. Jeff Endelman, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

9:00 - 9:30

Dr. Chris Clayton, Natural Resources Program Manager, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI

9:30 - 9:45

Morning Break

9:45 - 10:00

Bringing Value to Agriculture - #1

10:00 - 10:15

Bringing Value to Agriculture - #2

10:15- 10:30

Bringing Value to Agriculture - #3

10:30 - 11:00

Dr. Carl Rosen, Professor, Department of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

11:00 - 11:30

Dr. Renee Rioux, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

11:30 - 12:00

Dr. Sastry Jayanty, Extension Specialist, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State University, Center, CO

12:00 - 12:45

Lunch Break

12:45 - 1:10

NPC Update by Mike Wenkel, COO, National Potato Council

1:10 - 1:30

Industry Awards by Tamas Houlihan, WPVGA Executive Director & Kenton Mehlberg, President, WPVGA Associate Division

12:00 - 12:45

Afternoon General Session

1:30 - 2:00

Mr. Zachary Cohen, Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellow, Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

2:00 - 2:30

Integrated weed management and alternative crops update - Dr. Jed Colquhoun, Professor, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

2:30 - 2:45

Afternoon Break

2:45 - 3:15

Dr. Julie Pasche, Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND

3:15 - 3:30

Bringing Value to Agriculture - #4

3:30 - 3:45

Bringing Value to Agriculture - #5

46 BC�T January


2021 UW Division of Extension & WPVGA Virtual Grower Education Conference Wednesday, February 3, 2021 Time

Early Morning General Session

8:00 - 8:30

Potatoes USA Update - Mr. Blair Richardson, Chief Executive Officer, Potatoes USA

8:30 - 9:00

Mr. Kevin Masarik, Groundwater Education Specialist, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI

9:00 - 9:30

Sustainable production of Wisconsin Potatoes and Vegetables - Dr. Yi Wang, Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

9:30 - 9:45

Morning Break

9:45 - 10:00

Bringing Value to Agriculture - #6

10:00 - 10:15

Bringing Value to Agriculture - #7

10:15- 10:30

Bringing Value to Agriculture - #8

10:30 - 11:00

Wake me up tomorrow, next month, or in 30 years: The future of water availability in the Central Sands - Dr. Ankur Desai, Professor, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

11:00 - 11:30

Nitrogen uptake and growth patterns of Russet varieties - Dr. Matthew Ruark, Professor, & Ashmita Rawal, Graduate Student, Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

11:30 - 12:00

Dr. Ken Frost, Assistant Professor, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Hermiston, OR

12:00 - 12:45

Lunch Break

12:45 - 1:10

WPVGA Legislative Update by Jordan Lamb, Attorney/Lobbyist, DeWitt Ross LLP

1:10 - 1:30

Industry Awards by Tamas Houlihan, WPVGA Executive Director & Kenton Mehlberg, President, WPVGA Associate Division

12:00 - 12:45

Afternoon General Session

1:30 - 2:00

Dr. Nora Olsen, Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Idaho, Kimberly, ID

2:00 - 2:30

Dr. Russell L. Groves, Professor, Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

2:30 - 3:00

Dr. Dominique Brossard, Professor, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

3:00 - 3:15 3:15 - 3:45

Afternoon Break Dr. Amanda Gevens, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

3:45 - 4:00

Bringing Value to Agriculture - #9

4:00 - 4:15

Bringing Value to Agriculture - #10

4:15 - 4:30

Closing Remarks and Thank You! BC�T January 47


Potatoes USA News Diners Enticed by Globally Inspired Fries and Bowls Are you bored of the same food and tired of cooking at home? If so, you are not alone, because more than half of consumers in the United States feel the same way, and 79 percent are craving something new.1 According to Datassential, when it comes to why consumers choose foodservice for a meal, the top response is to get dishes they cannot make easily/don’t really make at home.1 And among the top restaurant foods that consumers crave the most and favor getting away from home are ethnic cuisines and loaded or cheese fries.1 Fries especially remain an awayfrom-home treat with consumers

who prefer to rely on restaurants to make fries for them.2 Now imagine if the flavor profiles and dishes consumers crave―global cuisines and loaded fries―were

Above: Crave-able, comfortable, globally inspired, and portable dishes, such as the Sweet and Sour Kitchen Loaded Fries shown here, are now available and featured at https://www.potatogoodness.com/ professionals/foodservice/fry-guide/.

Quality Growers of Foundation and Certified Seed Potatoes for Over 50 Years!

Yellows:

Reds:

Russets:

Colomba

Red Norland Dark Red Norland Modoc Radley

Norkotah #8 Gold Rush Silverton

Whites: Superior

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combined in a sensational yet familiar mashup? To get the potato menu ideas rolling, over 25 globally inspired loaded fry dishes were developed to help foodservice operators think outside of the box. From Sweet and Sour Chicken and Waffle Fries to Al Pastor Loaded Fries to Jersey Disco Fries (a.k.a. poutine), these crave-able, comfortable and portable-friendly dishes are now available and featured on https:// www.potatogoodness.com/ professionals/foodservice/fry-guide/. And to adapt to the on-the-go foodservice environment, packaging tips for takeout and delivery are provided to ensure the dishes can be enjoyed wherever, whenever. THE TRENDY BOWL In addition to global loaded fries, foodservice operators can offer a

similar concept but with a new and equally trendy name—the bowl. According to Technomic, some of the fastest-growing items on U.S. menus

Above: In Boston Market’s recently launched late-night menu, half of the new menu items are bowls—one being the Chicken Cheddar Mash with a base of creamy mashed potatoes.

continued on pg. 50

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BC�T January 49


Potatoes USA News. . . continued from pg. 49

have bowl preparations.3 For example, mentions of Mexican bowls, breakfast bowls, smoothie bowls and beef bowls have increased year-over-year. These menu mentions span across all times of day during typical television, radio and online media broadcasts, and are featured in sweet and savory flavors.3 One of the many advantages of the ubiquitous potato is its versatility and ability to be a canvas for a multitude of flavors and ingredients, making fries an easy and desirable base for a bowl.

In Boston Market’s recently launched late-night menu, half of the new menu items are bowls—one being the Chicken Cheddar Mash with a base of creamy mashed potatoes. As consumers look for comfort food, crave-ability and customization4,5, bowls and loaded fries can meet them in the middle with their ability to accommodate both familiar flavors and ingredients from global cuisines, as well as be served for on-the-go or sit-down formats. Please reach out to foodservice@ potatoesusa.com with any questions

or for more information. 1

atassential FLAVOR. November 11, D 2020. Exclusive to Potatoes USA.

2

atassential 2020 Potato Menu D Trends Report. Exclusive to Potatoes USA.

3

T echnomic Industry Insights. November 16, 2020. Exclusive to Potatoes USA.

4

atassential One Table Consumer D Report. June 2020.

5

atassential Menu Trends. D September 2019.

U.S. Seed Potatoes Sent to Cuba Potatoes USA has sent the first shipment of U.S. seed potatoes to Cuba. The mixed load of 10 different varieties will be utilized in trials conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture in Cuba. This trial process must be completed prior to commercial shipments of U.S. seed potatoes occurring. Concurrent to the trial shipment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture

(USDA) and the Ministry of Agriculture signed a market access protocol for U.S. seed potatoes to enter Cuba. The details of the shipping requirements will be posted to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance and Tracking (PCIT) export database and will be available on the Global Trade

Regulations Database. Potatoes USA initiated efforts to establish a market for U.S. seed potatoes in Cuba six years ago with a visit by industry members and experts. Potatoes USA received approval to utilize USDA Market Access Program (MAP) funds in Cuba for the July 2020-June 2021 marketing year.

WPIB Focus

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison

Month

Jul-19

Aug-19

Sep-19

Oct-19

Nov-19

Dec-19

Jan-20

Feb-20

Mar-20

Apr-20

May-20

Jun-20

Year-to-Date

CWT

1,737,634.84

616,558.70

888,994.00

2,231,926.08

2,407,229.71

7,882,343.33

Assessment

$139,082.75

$42,984.69

$77,501.87

$178,514.78

$192,575

$630,659.09

Aug-20

Sep-20

Oct-20

Month

Jul-20

Nov-20

Dec-20

Jan-21

Feb-21

Mar-21

Apr-21

May-21

Jun-21

Year-to-Date

CWT

1,267,472.18

1,275,285.84

1,290,414.89

2,235,567.48

2,498,333.04

8,567,073.43

Assessment

$101,400.66

$102,092.25

$103,233.2

$178,773.99

$199,895.60

$685,395.70

50 BC�T January


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Eyes on Associates

By WPVGA Associate Div. President Kenton Mehlberg, T.I.P. / Ag Grow Solutions

Season's greetings and a

belated Happy New Year to everyone. I hope the New Year is off to a positive start for all of you. 2020 was a challenging year for most of us and there are many things that could be said about it.

I think we all had experiences this year that will be remembered for a long time. Every year brings with it good and bad experiences, but 2020 had an interesting way of putting perspective on things in a different way. I think we all need to remember to take some

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Annual Report Every year, it is the goal and responsibility of the Associate Division Board of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) to support, foster and promote causes that benefit our industry. Despite challenges, 2020 was no exception to that. Over the last two years, the Associate Division has donated more than $100,000 to industry causes, and in the last six years, that number is over $250,000.

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time to value the things that really matter in our lives every day. I wish everyone the best of luck personally and professionally moving into a new year.

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Events such as the annual Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, Putt-Tato Open golf outing and new Sporting Clays Shoot are how we raise funds as a division to support all these great industry causes. The Associate Division will continue to support our industry in any way we can and looks forward to doing so. I am extremely proud to be involved, not only in this division, but also within our overall industry. The generosity and support we receive from our industry have

52 BC�T January


always and continue to amaze me. It is important for all of us to understand that this is unique and appreciate how special our industry really is. Thank you to our Associate Division and grower members for all your support and participation. Without you, none of this would be possible. Next time you see one of our board members, please thank them for their effort and time volunteered. Without them, none of this would be possible. Upcoming Grower Education Conference Due to rising concerns over COVID-19, the decision was recently made to postpone the in-person Industry Show until 2022. Like many things in 2020, this decision was a first for us, and it was difficult to postpone one of our most valuable events of the year. There will still be opportunities to get some industry exposure during the

2021 Grower Education Conference. The WPVGA Grower Education Conference will be held in a two-day virtual format on February 2-3, 2021. To give Industry Show exhibitors exposure, the Associate Division will include “Bringing Value to Ag” presentations on both days of the conference. The exhibitor video presentations ensure that participating Associate Division members have a chance to discuss the value their businesses bring to the agriculture industry, as well as provide grower members with new and relevant information. Please plan to take advantage of this opportunity. As part of the virtual Grower Education Conference, there will be a visible online Exhibitor Index. Three levels of exhibitor participation are available within the index, and companies can choose which level continued on pg. 54

Above: At a past Grower Education Conference, Dr. Chris Kucharik, University of Wisconsin-Madison, discussed challenges of a changing climate and extreme weather patterns on sustainable agriculture. Though COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of the 2021 Industry Show, the Grower Education Conference will proceed as planned, February 2-3, in a virtual format.

BC�T January 53


Eyes on Associates. . . continued from pg. 53

of exposure they would like for their businesses. Thank you to all who have supported this great event in the past. Please watch your inboxes for this year’s sponsorship form and consider it for your business at this year’s show. If you have any questions on the Bringing Value to Ag presentations or the Exhibitor Index, please contact the WPVGA office. Putt-Tato Open 2021 We have set a date and location for the 2021 Putt-Tato Open, to be held on Tuesday, July 13, at Lake Arrowhead Golf Course in Nekoosa. The course will have a beautiful new clubhouse, so please make plans to attend. We are looking forward this great event in 2021. Please mark your calendars 1st Annual Sporting Clays Event A big thank you to all who attended

and participated in the 1st Annual Sporting Clays Shoot. The event was a huge success with a lot of positive feedback. If you did not see the article covering the sporting clays shoot in last month’s “Eyes on

Above: The 2020 Putt-Tato Open saw, from left to right, Nick Laudenbach, Erik Johnston, Brad Knights and Jake Schwartzman playing for team Fencil Urethane. The 2021 Putt-Tato Open will be held, on July 13, at Lake Arrowhead Golf Course in Nekoosa, Wisconsin.

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Associates” column, please make sure to check it out. We can all look forward to the 2nd Annual Sporting Clays Shoot in the fall of 2021. Associate Division Board Elections and Annual Meeting I will only be penning a couple more columns for the Badger Common’Tater. Four years has flown by, and my service on the Board ends next month. Paul Cieslewicz and I will be completing our terms on the Board. I would like to thank Paul for his service on the Board and as vice president. His experience and voice will be missed. It is customary for the Associate Division to hold its annual meeting to elect new officers in February. If you know of anyone who is interested in serving on the Board, please contact one of our board members to make a nomination. I would like to thank all of you for reading my columns the last two years. It has been my pleasure to have the opportunity to serve on the Associate Division Board and keep you informed of our efforts. If anybody has questions, comments or concerns about any of our events, please share your ideas with an Associate Division member. As we move into a new year, please consider this. If you can’t fly, then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, stay positive and keep moving forward. Stay warm, and I will see you in the field.

Kenton Mehlberg

WPVGA Associate Division President BC�T January 55


How Does Soil Health Relate to my Operation? The potato industry needs productive, healthy soils to remain competitive By Dr. Chad Hutchinson, TriCal Group global director of potato research and market support Soil Health is a relatively new phrase in agriculture that describes the important role soil plays in the longterm sustainability of cropland. Soil health involves a productive

balance of soil chemistry (nutrients), physics (structure) and biology (microorganisms).

competitive. Therefore, it is good to ask the question, “How does soil health relate to my operation?”

The potato industry needs productive, healthy soils to remain

Sometimes it is easier to understand a new concept by saying what it is not. Farmers know the opposite of soil health and they have a word for it. Problem, low yielding, unresponsive fields are referred to as “tired.”

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Tired fields are a problem because they increasingly cost more to farm and inevitably provide the least return on investment. Above: The future environmental and financial sustainability of each farm and the potato industry is dependent on adopting practices that improve soil health.


Farming tired fields, one feels as if they are on a treadmill fighting the problems with little hope of finding a way to improve the situation. The potato industry has many thousands of acres of tired fields that, taken collectively, reduce the sustainable footprint of the industry. TIRED FIELDS Poor soil health and the resulting tired fields develop through intensive farming practices, including short rotations, use of harsh chemicals and/or planting disease-susceptible varieties.

accomplished by feeding the soil micro-organisms. Cover crops are a proven way to feed soil microbes. REDUCE SOILBORNE DISEASE The second step to improve soil health is to reduce soilborne disease. The fungal potato pathogen verticillium (early die, verticillium wilt) and the traditional chemicals used to suppress it are often associated with tired fields.

benefits of cover crops. The benefits of cover crops include stabilizing topsoil, recycling nutrients, building fertility, suppressing soilborne diseases and pests, reducing weed pressure, adding organic matter to the soil, and promoting biodiversity or creating a reservoir for beneficial organisms. The benefits do not end when the

First, let’s dive deeper into the Dr. Nicholas Burd

continued on pg. 58

Dr. Stuart Phillips

Over time, these practices lead to a substantial build-up of disease, a reduction in native soil biological activity and stagnant or declining yields. Often, the potato rotation cycle includes other intensely farmed cash crops that provide little organic matter back into the soil. In response, potato farmers actively search for new fields, usually further from the packing shed, to replace the worst of the tired fields. Often, high production costs on tired fields are just replaced with travel and transport costs to and from new fields. This constant search to find new farmland does little to fix the soil health on tired fields. The first step in improving soil health is to stop doing the cultural practices that caused the problem. That is as blunt as it gets. There will not be improvement until changes are made. One must make the choice to step away from current production practices and invest in new ideas that build long-term sustainable yield improvements. Start by building soil health on the land you own and then branching out to land partners to build soil health on rented ground in the community. The first step in improving soil health in tired soils is to jumpstart the native soil biology. This is BC�T January 57


How Does Soil Health Relate to my Operation?. . . continued from pg. 57

cover crop is incorporated into the soil, but rather the long-term health gains are just beginning. Healthy soils are teeming with countless numbers

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Additionally, saprophytes are known to associate with living plant roots in a beneficial relationship that promotes plant growth.

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The organisms that feed on organic matter in the soil are called saprophytes. Through the breakdown

of organic matter in the soil, via cover crops, saprophytes cycle nutrients, compete with and prey upon soilborne pathogens and produce unique compounds that improve soil structure.

of bacteria and fungi.

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Saprophyte growth is critical to building the physical, chemical and biological health of a soil. Saprophytes are allies in crop production. Don’t fixate on the percent of organic matter in the soil. Instead, think about the flow of organic matter through your soil. Organic matter is the food used to farm the beneficial bacteria and fungi in your soil. Above: Strike soil fumigant is applied in-row the fall before the potato season. Potatoes are planted directly into the Strike-treated rows in the spring. In this image, spring tillage is well underway.


SUSTAINABLY FARMED To bring back soil health, the saprophytes need to be sustainably farmed as much as the potato crop. A cover crop is only the first component to solving the tired soil puzzle. The second component of improving soil health is the inclusion of Strike soil fumigation in the rotation sequence. One might ask how the use of a soil fumigant can improve soil health? The answer is that not all soil fumigants act the same way in the soil. Strike soil fumigants suppress several important potato soilborne pathogens, including verticillium. However, Strike applications also stimulate the growth of native soil saprophytes in the soil. By promoting the growth of saprophytes post-application, Strike helps cover crop organic matter cycle through the production system.

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“The benefits do not end when the cover crop is incorporated into the soil, but rather the long-term health gains are just beginning. Healthy soils are teeming with countless numbers of bacteria and fungi.” – Dr. Chad Hutchinson A solution to improving soil health is within easy reach.

Potatoes are planted directly into the Strike-treated rows in the spring.

Potato rotations should include a cover crop that produces a large amount of biomass but that does not host potato diseases. Ideally, this cover crop would be incorporated into the soil in late summer the year before the potato crop is planted.

During the season, the soil microbes that feed on the cover crop literally breathe life back into the soil, contributing to processes like cycling nutrients, reducing disease pressure and building soil structure. These benefits build over time as soil health rebounds.

IN-ROW APPLICATION Strike soil fumigant is applied in-row the fall before the potato season.

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How Does Soil Health Relate to my Operation?. . . continued from pg. 59

Many may be thinking this cover crop/Strike system won’t work on their farm. Well, it is working to improve potato production on many farms around the world.

fumigant and a few new sustainable crop production practices.

It requires adapting to the soil

Better soil health builds land value

Improvements in soil health cannot be expected until beneficial changes in farming practices are made.

Above: Potato rotations should include a cover crop that produces a large amount of biomass but that does not host potato diseases. Ideally, this cover crop would be incorporated into the soil in late summer the year before the potato crop is planted. continued on pg. 62

The Rhinelander Agricultural Research Station, part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural & Life Sciences, would like to thank the following companies for their support and collaboration during the 2020 field year: • AgSource Laboratories • AMVAC • Bell Timber, Inc. • Bramm’s Plumbing, Heating & Air • Brian Bart Construction • Carlin Horticultural Sales • Case IH/Beaver Machine Co. • Eagle River Seed Farm • Environmental Scholars of Rhinelander • Fastenal • Frontier Communications • Gaber Electric • Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center • Insight FS • McCain Foods • Medford Cooperative • Michigan State University 60 BC�T January

• Milton Propane • Musson Brothers, Inc. • NBS Calibrations • Nelson’s Vegetable Storage Systems • Nutrien Ag Solutions • Oasis Irrigation • Pest Pros • Pomp’s Tire • Riesterer & Schnell • Roberts Irrigation • RPE, Inc. • Swiderski’s • Syngenta • T & H Agri-Chemicals • Tasteful Selections • TIP, Inc. • Trigs

• U.S. Forest Service • UW CALS • UW Department of Entomology • UW Department of Horticulture • UW Department of Plant Pathology • UW Department of Soil Science • UW Lelah Starks Elite Foundation Seed Potato Farm • UW Marshfield, Hancock Ag. Research Stations • WI Crop Improvement Association • WI DATCP • WI Dept. of Corrections • WI Dept. of Natural Resources • WI Seed Certification Program • WI Seed Potato Improvement Association • WI USDA NRCS • WPVGA Associate Division


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How Does Soil Health Relate to my Operation?. . . continued from pg. 60

and should be embraced by growers and those buying the crop. The future environmental and

financial sustainability of each farm and the potato industry is dependent on adopting practices that improve

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Contact Pete Schroeder • 715-623-2689 • farm@sbfi.biz Visit https://binfront.biz/ for more images and information. 62 BC�T January

soil health. For more information like this, subscribe to our blog: https:// strikefumigants.com/the-dirt/. About Strike™ Fumigants Strike formulations are chloropicrinbased products and some of the most effective soil fumigants to manage soilborne pests and pathogens in potatoes and other crops. Pre-plant soil fumigation treatment is the first step in a successful soil health and pest management system. Strike can be applied alone or in combination with Telone® II. The Strike product line helps you grow a cleaner, greener and more sustainable crop year after year. For more information, please visit www. strikefumigants.com. Above: The benefits of cover crops, in this case, grain, include stabilizing topsoil, recycling nutrients, building fertility, suppressing soilborne diseases and pests, reducing weed pressure, adding organic matter to the soil, and promoting biodiversity or creating a reservoir for beneficial organisms.


New Products John Deere Introduces AutoPath

Precision ag application establishes accurate row guidance throughout season To help producers more accurately document and follow each row of crops in fields throughout the season, John Deere introduces AutoPath™. This new precision ag application uses data collected from the first pass in the field, either planting or striptill, to establish precise row guidance for all subsequent field passes, no matter the machine type or width of equipment. According to John Mishler, precision ag marketing manager for John Deere, traditional guidance line setup can be a challenge for some customers during the season. “When

using AutoPath, guidance lines are automatically created from a map of crop row lines for each field,” he says. “These mapped rows are used to automatically create guidance lines for the entire field and all other in-field passes, such as spraying, nutrient application or harvesting operations, later in the year,” Mishler explains. “Using this solution, operators know which rows to start on and can precisely follow the auto-generated guidance lines, regardless of the field application or machine width,” he adds. “This increases operator

Above: A curve is rounded while opening a field using an AutoPath guidance line.

confidence in being on the right row and efficiency of field operations throughout the growing season and harvest.”

continued on pg. 64

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New Products . . . continued from pg. 63

During the first field pass, the planter or strip-till implement and tractor are equipped with StarFire™ Receivers to precisely record the location of each row in AutoPath. DOCUMENTED LOCATION Subsequent field passes are based upon actual documented row location rather than a static AB Line that may or may not represent the planted row due to implement drift on side hills or around curves. This reduces guidance line setup time and management when starting all subsequent field operations in standing crops, eliminates the need for counting rows, optimizes all field operations and helps reduce crop damage. “Operators can use implements and platforms of different sizes or widths for subsequent field operations since AutoPath automatically adjusts the

64 BC�T January

Above: AutoPath is being used to start new harvest land.

row guidance lines based on each machine’s size,” Mishler states.

Above: AutoPath makes finishing harvest land in a perfect, full pass possible with no “row of shame” or partial pass.

Display or the 4640 Universal Display.

“It helps operators automatically find the right row,” he says, “ and maximize each field pass to help reduce overlaps and damage to standing crops while saving time, fuel and equipment hours.”

It is available for use on tractors, sprayers and combines, and can be incorporated with active and passive implement guidance systems for planters, nutrient applicators and other field equipment.

AutoPath is included in the John Deere Generation 4 Automation bundle and available for either the 4600 CommandCenter™ Integrated

AutoPath is available now. For more information on AutoPath row guidance and other precision ag technologies, contact your local John Deere dealer or visit www. JohnDeere.com.


Envita Approved for Canada

Azotic North America and NexusBioAg join forces to launch nitrogen-fixing microbe Following six years of field research and successful farm trials in Canada and the United States, the revolutionary nitrogen fixing Envita was approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and became commercially available to Canadian growers in June 2020. Year 2021 becomes the first full season to launch Envita in Canada, and Azotic North America is excited to announce an agreement with NexusBioAg to provide national distribution across the country. NexusBioAg, a division of Univar Solutions, provides Canadian retailers an expanded portfolio of crop nutrition solutions, including inoculants, micronutrients, nitrogen stabilizers and foliar nutritional products. A focus on innovative crop nutrition solutions serviced by an experienced national team of sales, marketing and agronomic specialists, combined with logistics and inventory management expertise, puts NexusBioAg in a unique position to launch Envita in Canada. “Envita changes the nitrogen equation for corn and other crops, fixing nitrogen in every cell where and when it is needed the most,” explains Ray Chyc, chief executive officer of Azotic North America. “The focus on innovative crop nutrition products with a proven logistics foundation makes NexusBioAg a natural partner to help launch and grow Envita in Canada,” Chyc says. “Envita complements our broad portfolio of products,” explains Ben Libby, general manager of NexusBioAg. “We are excited to partner with Azotic North America and offer another agricultural solution to our customers across Canada.” More announcements on the Envita launch strategy within Canada are to follow.

About Envita Envita is a naturally occurring, food-grade microbe that provides plants with the ability to fix their own nitrogen from the air, replacing an average of 27 percent of their nitrogen needs in corn. When applied in furrow or on seed, Envita grows with the plant, metabolizing nitrogen from the atmosphere (which is 78 percent nitrogen). Growers can choose to use Envita with their regular fertility programs for yield boosts or deliver same yields using less nitrogen. “Row crop farmers are quite familiar with the natural nitrogen-fixing abilities of crops like soybeans. Now imagine that crops like corn can also fix nitrogen on their own, and not just in the roots, but throughout the entire plant, all season long. It’s like turning crops into nitrogenfixing machines,” says Erika Wagner, Azotic chief agronomist, North America. “Whether farmers are looking to boost their yields, reduce nitrogen or both, Envita provides options,” Wagner notes. About Azotic North America Azotic North America was formed to introduce this natural nitrogen-fixing technology to farmers in

North America. With North American offices in Raleigh, North Carolina, Guelph, Ontario, and a global office in Nottingham, United Kingdom, Azotic has taken more than 20 years of academic research and created the first large-scale, commercially available nitrogen-fixation product and is now offering it to farmers across the globe. Finally, there is no compromise between high yield production agriculture and nitrogen sustainability. About NexusBioAg Univar Solutions’ NexusBioAg provides an expanded portfolio of crop nutrition solutions, which includes industry-leading inoculants, micronutrients, nitrogen stabilizers and foliar products. With a diverse collection of inventory and logistics, procurement, customer service, agronomy, and sales and marketing experts, NexusBioAg strives to help meet the needs of increasingly unique agricultural businesses. Through these best-in-class capabilities, a collaborative team-oriented approach and a commitment to agricultural integrity, NexusBioAg is helping customers innovate and grow.

BC�T January 65


Badger Beat

Weed Management and Alternative Crops Update By Jed Colquhoun, Dan Heider, Rich Rittmeyer and Jordan Schuler, University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison Department of Horticulture

Despite significant

pandemic-related restrictions on research and our ability to do things like travel or hire student workers, 2020 was an extremely productive research season. We adjusted to the times. At one point, my home basement was filled with a potato study in one-gallon pots, but thanks to hard work by the team, we were able to accomplish all our objectives.

Following are a few highlights and where we are heading in our program. In the herbicide evaluation program, we have conducted field studies on over two dozen crops in recent years, including significant efforts in potato. We continue to support these activities in crops rotated with and around potatoes to provide a holistic, multi-year weed management approach to reduce weed seedbanks and the risk of selecting for resistant

SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW WPVGA MEMBERS When you need goods or services, please consider asking our Associate Division Members for quotes or explore what they have to offer. Together, we make a strong organization and appreciate how wonderful we are as a group. 66 BC�T January

weeds that will plague the land well beyond the potato production year. This work, in 2020, covered everything from direct-seeded cabbage to dry beans and horseradish. We continue to investigate the potential use of several herbicide active ingredients in potatoes. This research is critical to generate several years of crop safety data that registrants and regulators require prior to adding crops Left: Jed Colquhoun’s lab had good success in its first year growing Bambara groundnuts (shown), a high-protein nut that is not only drought tolerant, but also fixes nitrogen, reducing the need for irrigation and fertilizer. Right: Dr. Jed Colquhoun’s UW-Madison Department of Horticulture lab is investigating potential, economically viable alternative crops that could further diversify Wisconsin’s agricultural portfolio. An alternative crop study is pictured, in 2020, at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station.


to existing labels. CONTROLLING WEEDS With similar goals, we also conducted research at the Hancock and Langlade County Agricultural Research Stations to refine the use of three Protoporphyrinogen Oxidase (PPO)-inhibitor herbicides in potato, focused on reducing rates to minimize crop injury risk while still controlling weeds. Our program continues to support the secondary herbicide uses in potato. For example, in the 2020 growing season, we conducted a study to look at refined timings of 2,4-D application to enhance skin set and color in several fresh-market redskinned varieties.

treatments and will follow these through harvest to determine tuber yield, size distribution and quality implications. We are also now investigating potential, economically viable alternative crops that could further diversify Wisconsin’s agricultural portfolio. In 2020, graduate student Jordan Schuler established four alternative crop study sites at two Central

Wisconsin locations, at the Langlade County and Arlington Agricultural Research Stations. In Hancock, we had good success in our first year growing Bambara groundnuts, a high-protein nut that is not only drought tolerant but also fixes nitrogen, reducing the need for irrigation and fertilizer. We will expand on this work in the 2021 season.

continued on pg. 68

We have spent much time in recent years investigating the effect of off-target herbicides on tank contamination, potato seed crops and commercial production in the year after exposure. In our most recent work in this area, we are finding that the timing of mother plant exposure to off-target herbicides is extremely critical relative to the impact on daughter tuber (seed) growth in the next year. It appears that exposure to off-target herbicides within a couple days of tuber initiation has the most negative impact. We repeated the work for a second season, this year, to see if that observation holds up in differing environmental and growing conditions. PLANT GROWTH REGULATORS We initiated work, in 2020, to study the use of plant growth regulators to hasten uniform potato emergence and canopy development. The results of this preliminary study were interesting, suggesting that early-season potato growth can be significantly altered by low rates of plant growth regulator application. In 2021, we will continue this work by looking at both seed and early foliar BC�T January 67


Badger Beat. . .

continued from pg. 67

Figure 1

Figure 2

Summary of 2020 Growing Season By Yi Wang, UW-Madison Department of Horticulture Due to COVID-19 and the resulting shutdown of schools, restaurants and hotels early in the year, the contracts of some potato growers in the frozen French fry sector of Wisconsin were cut by up to 25 percent compared to 2019 volumes. Others who already ordered seed were able to plant and try selling potatoes to the strong fresh market. All other sectors of Wisconsin potatoes (fresh market, chip stock and certified seed) have done well regarding planting and harvesting acreage despite the pandemic. Harvested potato acreage is approximately 62,000 acres. The average yield is estimated to be 425 hundredweight (cwt.)/acre, an increase of 15 cwt./acre compared to 2019. That puts Wisconsin’s potato production at 26,350,000 cwt., an increase of 520,000 cwt. or 2 percent compared to 2019. Overall, unlike the previous two seasons, 2020 was a good growing year for potato farmers in Wisconsin, without multiple series of extreme weather conditions. 68 BC�T January

Although cold and wet weather in early May slightly delayed crop emergence, plenty of sunshine for the rest of season ensured sufficient growing degree days for tubers to achieve yield potential. Particularly, cool nights throughout the month of August greatly helped with tuber bulking. At the Hancock Agricultural Research Station, most of the rainfall events were smaller than 1 inch each over the course of the growing season, indicating low leaching potential. RETURN TO NORMAL RAINFALL Compared to 2018 and 2019, when seasonal precipitation records between April 30 and September 30 were as high as 27.5 and 24.4 inches, respectively, 2020 experienced 16.9 inches of total rainfall during the same period. Although we did not have to deal with excessive soil moisture, enlarged lenticels, tuber rotting or even waterlogged fields like what we had in the past two years, heat stress with daily maximum soil temperatures higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit frequently occurred between late

June and late August. The consequence of dry and hot growing conditions, even with abundant irrigation, is that some varieties that are susceptible to water stress produced quality issues such as growth cracks (Figure 1, Dark Red Norlands), common scab issues (Figure 2, red fingerlings) and knobby tubers. In addition, some early season potatoes suffered from storage issues due to hot harvesting conditions when daily maximum temperatures were higher than 80 degrees. Specific gravity of all market sectors looks average to excellent. To summarize, potato production in 2020 is a return to normal, with yield slightly higher than average, and quality ranges from average to decent. Above: The consequence of dry and hot growing conditions in Wisconsin, even with abundant irrigation, is that some varieties that are susceptible to water stress produced quality issues such as growth cracks (Figure 1, Dark Red Norlands), common scab issues (Figure 2, red fingerlings) and knobby tubers.


Year-End Recap of Potato Diseases in Wisconsin By Amanda J. Gevens, UW-Madison Department of Plant Pathology 2020 was generally a good year for healthy potato production in Wisconsin. With environmental conditions promoting a welcome average spring, production season and harvest, diseases were present but sporadic. Bacterial pathogens from the Pectobacterium and Dickeya genera reared their heads in early summer within specific areas of commercial production. Late blight was detected in isolated locations within Adams, Pierce and St. Croix counties during midto-late summer. Where samples could be collected,

the strain type was US-23, the current and most common type of the pathogen found in the United States at this time. Late blight was managed well through prevention and none of the cases diagnosed led to widespread disease. Early blight, a perennial foliar disease in Wisconsin, was active from mid-July through to harvest with good management reported through use of several key fungicide groups. With a successful production year came a good post-harvest status for stored potatoes.

continued on pg. 70

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BC�T January 12/11/20 10:07 AM69


Badger Beat. . .

continued from pg. 69

2020 Insect Pest Management Review By Russell L. Groves, UW-Madison Department of Entomology The 2020 crop production season has been highlighted by some significant (proposed) changes regarding insecticide (re-) registration in key specialty crops relevant to Wisconsin. First among these proposed changes is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory review of the neonicotinoid insecticides. Recall that this class of insecticides is now the most widely used group of pesticides around the world, with registered uses on a wide variety of crops, turf, ornamentals, livestock, pets, and several residential and commercial uses. The agency’s proposed interim decisions for the most widely used members of this group (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) contain new measures to limit risks to pollinators, reduce ecological risk and protect public health (https:// www.epa.gov/pollinator-protection/ proposed-interim-registration-reviewdecision-neonicotinoids). Among the range of proposed revisions, some noteworthy changes include prohibitions of on-farm seed treatments in selected crops; requirements for use of additional personal protective equipment; additional restrictions on when these products can be applied to blooming crops; new advisory language on the label for homeowners; reduced application rates and associated changes in re-application timing; and complete cancellation of certain active ingredients on select crops and use sites. More detailed accounts of the proposed revisions for imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin are available at the website 70 BC�T January

Above: Chlorpyrifos have largely been used for at-plant pest control in field crops and select vegetables where early-season pests (e.g. seed maggots) are recurring issues and resistance to other pest control alternatives is suspected. Shown are adult seed corn maggots—the larva of a fly (order Diptera)—and the associated damage on corn kernels caused by feeding maggots. Photos courtesy of Janet Graham (adult seed corn maggot) and Iowa State University (damaged kernel)

referenced above. Among the many fresh and processed vegetables grown in Wisconsin where these compounds have been used, very modest changes have been proposed. VOLUNTARY CANCELLATION Another significant change, in 2020, was the EPA’s announcement of Corteva’s voluntary cancellation of chlorpyrifos (Lorsban) to include discontinued manufacture and revisions on selected uses of generics in the United States. Chlorpyrifos, like many other organophosphate pesticides, has been under scrutiny for nearly a decade in association with human health concerns. Over this timeframe, various circuit courts have heard arguments to ban or limit the use of the product. The EPA will continue to evaluate potential risks of this active ingredient through October 1, 2022, after which time a final decision will be made.

To date, a ban on use and associated stop sale has been completed in California, and as of last February (2020) the product was not available for resale, and all interim uses were required to end by 2021. Several other states are in the process of additional use restrictions, with these including New York, Oregon, Washington and Maryland. No apparent process is currently in place for Wisconsin. These products have largely been used for at-plant pest control in field crops and select vegetables where early-season pests (e.g. seed maggots) are recurring issues and resistance to other pest control alternatives is suspected. In states where these cancellations have not been instituted, other companies have proposed to retain production and registration as generics. The apparent decision to end production was made based on declining sales and reduced demand.


NPC News

NPC Welcomes New House Ag Committee Members

U.S. Reps. David Scott and Glenn “G.T.” Thompson join leadership team On Thursday, December 3, 2020, the National Potato Council (NPC) welcomed the selections of U.S. Rep. David Scott (GA-13) as the next Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (PA-15) as Ranking Member. “Throughout his tenure on the Agriculture Committee, Chairmanelect Scott has been a tireless advocate for our food-insecure citizens,” says NPC CEO Kam Quarles. “Potato growers look forward to working with him on policies that will continued on pg. 72

U.S. Rep David Scott (left) was selected as the new Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (right) as Ranking Member.

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NPC News. . .

continued from pg. 71

allow them to continue delivering nutrient-rich, high-quality vegetables to American families.” “Ranking Member-elect Thompson understands the challenges faced by the U.S. agriculture industry in producing a safe, healthy and competitive food supply for both domestic and international consumers,” says NPC President Britt Raybould.

“As growers of nutritious and costeffective vegetables, U.S. potato growers look forward to working with Congressman Thompson to enhance potatoes’ contributions to the Committee’s mission of securing the livelihoods of America’s farming families and the consumers they serve,” Raybould remarks. “Over the past decade, the U.S.

potato industry has encouraged the adoption of sustainable practices that benefit the environment and enhance our family-owned businesses,” Quarles says. “As stewards of the land and our water resources, America’s potato growers look forward to building upon these commonsense solutions with the Committee,” he concludes.

DOT Clarifies Hours of Service Rules The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published an interim final rule, in November, clarifying the definition of “agricultural commodity” for the purposes of the FMCSA’s “Hours of Service” regulations.

exemptions for truck drivers.

The November 24, 2020, interim final rule, effective this past December 9, clarifies the terms “agricultural commodity,” “livestock” and “nonprocessed food” to ensure that the Hours of Service exemptions are utilized as Congress intended.

“We appreciate continued efforts to modernize the Hours of Service rules to reflect current and future ag transportation needs,” says R.J. Andrus, vice president of NPC Government and Legislative Affairs.

As a result, fresh-cut and minimally processed fruits and vegetables are eligible for the agricultural 72 BC�T January

Under current regulations, drivers transporting non-processed agricultural commodities are exempt from the Hours of Service requirements if they are traveling less than 150 air miles.

“These enhancements continue to prioritize safety and allow more efficient operations,” Andrus adds. “NPC continues to press for

Above: As a result of the Hours of Service Rules clarification, fresh-cut and minimally processed fruits and vegetables are eligible for the agricultural exemptions for truck drivers. Shown is a Bushman’s Riverside Ranch truck, Galloway, with a trailer load of freshly harvested potatoes.

additional changes that will fully modernize Hours of Service.” The rule clarifies that “non-processed food” includes fruits, vegetables, and cereal and oilseed crops, which have been minimally processed by cleaning, cooling, trimming, cutting, shucking, chopping, bagging or packaging to facilitate transport by commercial motor vehicles.


Ali's Kitchen

Break Potato Bread Together in 2021

Mashed potatoes make for an extra-soft, fluffy, delicious homemade bread Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary

Mashed potatoes make an extrasoft and fluffy homemade bread, delicious for use on a sandwich or simply sliced, toasted, and slathered with creamy butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon! Instant potato flakes work nicely with this recipe. However, mashing up a few boiled or baked russets will give this bread the best texture. So, next time you have mashed potatoes for dinner, just make up a little extra and set aside for when you are ready to bake some bread.

Ingredients: Potato Bread • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast • 3 tablespoons sugar • 1/4 cup warm water • 1 3/4 cups milk, warmed • 1/4 cup butter, softened • 1/2 cup plain mashed potatoes (unseasoned and without added milk or butter) • 1 teaspoon salt • 5-to-5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

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Ali's Kitchen. . .

continued from pg. 73

Directions: Stir together the yeast, sugar and warm water in a large bowl and allow the mixture to rest and become bubbly for about 5 minutes. Add the milk, butter, mashed potatoes and salt. Mix in enough flour to form a firm dough (you may need slightly less or more than the 5 cups listed). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Form the kneaded dough into a ball and place into a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

double in size (about 25 to 30 minutes). Cut an “X” or a few decorative slashes into the top of the raised dough if you would like. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Gently punch down the dough and then turn it onto a floured surface. Shape into two round loaves and place onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Enjoy!

Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise again until almost

Find more recipes at www.LifeOnGraniteRidge.com.

74 BC�T January

Remove from pan and allow the bread to cool before slicing.

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