July 2020 Badger Common'Tater

Page 1

$22/year | $2/copy | Volume 72 No. 07 | JULY 2020




JULIE CARTWRIGHT Sales Agronomist, Jay-Mar, Inc. An overhead view of a quaint Wisconsin farm shows a traffic compaction pattern in the corn field, 2019.

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Inventory • Replenishment Services • Handle all freight concerns • Long-Range Planning •

Bob Dobbe • Paul Hegewald John Hopfensperger • John Eckendorf Jerome Bushman (FL - WI) • Nic Bushman Mike Gatz, Jim Stefan and Chris Fleming (Milwaukee) Sam Saccullo (All fruits and vegetables) Mike Whyte (Michigan) Transportation: Denise Moze • Nate Sohns Mike Carter CEO

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On the Cover: A serene Wisconsin farm setting makes for a

picturesque magazine cover. The aerial image of a corn field illustrates traffic compaction, something this issue’s interviewee, Julie Cartwright, sales agronomist for Jay-Mar, Inc., helps customers control. When a path is driven over many times, it packs soil particles, limiting available air and water, and stunting plant root growth.

8 BADGER COMMON’TATER INTERVIEW: Jay-Mar, Inc., of Plover, Wisconsin, has added a drone to its list of crop scouting and diagnostics tools. Sales Agronomist Julie Cartwright (at right in the photo with Badger Common’Tater Managing Editor Joe Kertzman) is one of two FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)-licensed pilots working for Jay-Mar. She is shown flying a drone, in May of 2020, over an alfalfa field that she had suggested a customer inter-seed with Italian rye to bulk it up.




DEPARTMENTS: BADGER BEAT.................... 42 MARK YOUR CALENDAR...... 6 MARKETPLACE................... 30 NEW PRODUCTS................ 45

MANAGE VERTICILLIUM WILT & COMMON SCAB Strike fumigant suppresses disease and improves yield


Foresight and planning lessen blow of Wisconsin State Fair being canceled


Author’s family forgot all about video games to eat the Air Fryer Potato Fries

NOW NEWS....................... 37 NPC NEWS......................... 52 PEOPLE.............................. 26

FEATURE ARTICLES: 16 WPVGA NAVIGATES uncharted waters in support of potato and vegetable industry 21 CAN DIPLOID POTATOES expand horizons of potato production & increase yield? 33 HOW FUMIGANTS affect nitrogen cycle in soil while controlling potato pathogens 4

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PLANTING IDEAS.................. 6 POTATOES USA NEWS........ 32 WPIB FOCUS...................... 36

One factor that cannot be changed is the weather. Weather has a huge impact on the health, yield potential and nutrition of your crops; by the time your crop shows signs of deficiencies, often caused by environmental and weather conditions, you may already be losing yield. To help your crop reach its full potential and avoid yield-robbing nutrient deficiencies, Nutrien Ag SolutionsTM has developed the industry-leading “Nutriscription” tissue-testing service. Nutriscription gives you clear visibility and insight to quickly and economically manage plant nutrition issues that will allow you to act pro-actively, avoiding potential yield loss.

Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Rod Gumz Vice President: Bill Guenthner Secretary: Wes Meddaugh Treasurer: Mike Carter Directors: John Bustamante, 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

Plainfield, Wisconsin 715-335-4900 • 715-366-4181

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

Secretary: Julie Cartwright Treasurer: Rich Wilcox Directors: Chris Brooks, Kristi Kulas, Sally Suprise & Justin Yach

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 July





9 11 14 16 16-29 21-23


6-16 8 15

WISCONSIN STATE FAIR CANCELED due to COVID-19 coronavirus WAUPACA AREA TRIATHLON South Park, downtown, 7 a.m. Waupaca, WI ANTIGO TATER TROT Antigo City Park Antigo, WI

12 12 29-10/3

ALSUM TATER TROT 5K Alsum Farms & Produce Friesland, WI 2020 SPUD BOWL Community Stadium at Goerke Park Stevens Point, WI POTATO BOWL FESTIVAL Grand Forks-East Grand Forks, ND-MN

15-17 26-27

PMA FRESH SUMMIT Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, TX RESEARCH MEETING West Madison Ag Research Station Verona, WI


2021 POTATO EXPO Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center Grapevine, TX

2-4 22-24

2021 GROWER ED CONFERENCE & INDUSTRY SHOW Holiday Inn Convention Center Stevens Point, WI POTATO D.C. FLY-IN Capital Hilton Washington, D.C




Planting Ideas

Taking the theme of this issue seriously,

crop protection features within include those titled “Fumigation Affects Nitrogen Cycle in Soil,” “Manage Common Scab and Verticillium Wilt of Potato” and “Can Diploid Potatoes Increase Production?” Ashmita Rawal, Matt Ruark and Amanda Gevens, all from the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison, collaborated on an article defining fumigation, explaining how fields are fumigated, researching if fumigation affects the nitrogen cycle, and explaining recovery of nitrifying organisms after fumigation, enzyme degradation and suppression, how soil type plays a role and the impact ammoniumbased fertilizers and ammonium nitrate have on crop yield. Dr. Chad Hutchinson discusses how soil fumigants like Strike can aid in suppression of soilborne diseases such as verticillium wilt and common scab, as well as increase marketable potatoes and overall crop yield. Day by day, Drs. Paul Bethke and Shelley Jansky, longtime U.S. Department of Agriculture-ARS (Agricultural Research Service) employees and faculty members at UW-Madison, take further strides towards developing commercial-ready diploid potato varieties. They look to expand potato production by introducing high-yielding, stresstolerant diploid lines. In his “Badger Beat” column, Dr. Russell L. Groves, UW-Madison Department of Entomology, gives an update on recent and emerging insect arrivals in Wisconsin vegetables. Additionally, this issue’s main interviewee, Julie Cartwright, sales agronomist for Jay-Mar, Inc., in Plover, Wisconsin, discusses her role as a crop advisor managing fertilizer, and hybrid and fertilizer supplement plots.


Bill Page (right in the image above, speaking with a customer) of Insight FS is recognized in the “People” column as the 2020 Wisconsin Certified Crop Advisor of the Year. Having worked with specialty crop growers for more than 40 years, Page’s expertise in agronomy earned him the award.


The goal of this issue is to provide useful, practical crop protection information. Enjoy.


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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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JULIE CARTWRIGHT, Sales Agronomist, Jay-Mar, Inc. By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

Strategically located and landlocked between railroad tracks and truck access roads in Plover, Wisconsin, Jay-Mar, Inc., “Your Total Agri Supplier,” celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020. NAME: Julie Cartwright TITLE: Sales Agronomist COMPANY: Jay-Mar, Inc. LOCATION: Plover, Wisconsin HOMETOWN: Ceylon, Minnesota YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: 5 PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: Agronomy sales at ADM Grain, Stockton, Wisconsin SCHOOLING: Bachelor’s degree in soils, minor in agronomy, University of Wisconsin-River Falls ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: Secretary of the WPVGA Associate Division Board FAMILY: Husband, Mark (married 29 years), and daughters, Amanda (Jake) and Kaylie (Branden) HOBBIES: Traveling, gardening and running 8

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Those 50 years of successful business have seen Jay-Mar, Inc. evolve from a packaging supply company located in a warehouse with no heat to a full-service retail store and respected agricultural products provider. On the retail side, Jay-Mar offers pet, small animal and equine supplies and feed, bird seed and feeders, lawn fertilizers, giftware, wildlife plots, and lawn and garden products. Agricultural services and supplies include not only adjuvants, farm seed, fertilizers, additives and soil amendments, but also manufacturing, tank mixing, custom blends and blending, private labeling, loading, delivery and custom spraying.

“I have railcars and trucks coming in all the time,” says Tony Grapsas, president of Jay-Mar, Inc. “On a busy day in May, we’ll go through 600 tons of product and could empty our plant if we weren’t restocking.” 150 TONS PER BIN Just one of the bins that Grapsas and this issue’s interviewee,

Above: This issue’s interviewee, Jay-Mar, Inc. Sales Agronomist Julie Cartwright (right) poses with company President Tony Grapsas (left). Loading, delivery, application and custom spraying of seed, fertilizers, adjuvants, additives and soil amendments are just a few of the many agricultural services Jay-Mar, Inc. provides for customers.

Julie Cartwright, sales agronomist for Jay-Mar, Inc., showed the Badger Common’Tater editor on a recent tour holds 150 tons, or 1.5 railcars, of dry fertilizer. Among its complex system of driveways, buildings, storage tanks, above- and below-ground conveyors, baggers and bins, the facility can unload 100 tons of material an hour, or a truckload in 20-25 minutes. Owned by Dave Warner, Jay-Mar is a unique company whose employees operate as a family of professionals dedicated to serving the needs of customers, and more importantly, helping them prosper. Before fielding questions for this interview, Cartwright stressed that she is a small part and a latecomer into the Jay-Mar family, and that Dave and Tony are humble, good and dedicated heads of the company who have made her feel welcome and someone whose opinion matters. Cartwright lets her own humility show when saying she feels privileged to work for such a family-oriented, professional organization. Julie, how did you become interested in ag, and what experience do you bring to Jay-Mar? I grew up on a small corn/soybean farm in southwestern Minnesota (I was never a Vikings fan!). My father instilled a strong work ethic in me and a passion for agriculture. In the early 1990’s, I was a regional agronomist in Southeastern Minnesota for a privately-owned ag retail company with 17 locations in three states. My customers were corn, soybean and dairy farmers. I was active in customer and employee training along with a wide variety of plot work. More recently, I worked for ADM in Stockton and got my introduction to vegetable crops. Here at Jay-Mar, I continue my work with many of those same growers

and still enjoy managing fertilizer, and hybrid and fertilizer supplement plots. What schooling do you bring to the table? I am a graduate (bachelor’s degree in soils, minor in agronomy) of UW-River Falls, where I met my husband. How long have you been at JayMar, and how has your career progressed? This is my fifth season at Jay-Mar as a sales agronomist. I was hired for that role and continue to expand my experience and increase my knowledge base. With Jay-Mar’s support, I am now a Certified Crop Advisor. Last year, I also obtained an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) pilot’s license to fly our drone.

Above: Jay-Mar’s diverse inventory includes seed corn and oats, Sorghum-sudangrass hybrid soil builder and weed and nematode suppressor, and black oil sunflower wild bird seed.

What aspects of agriculture do you help your grower customers with— planting, crop protection, harvest, storage? I work with my customers in all aspects of crop production, from seed selection and fertility in the spring to soil sampling after harvest in the fall. I am in contact with my customers all year long. Planning starts already in the fall for the following year with seed purchase and soil sampling, then lots of field scouting (on the ground and in the air) during the growing season.

continued on pg. 10

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 9

Regarding crop protection, what tools do you offer Jay-Mar customers? We offer a full selection of crop protection products in addition to custom fertilizer and herbicide application. How do Jay-Mar’s offerings compare with other agriculture supply companies? We make our starters from scratch. We also produce specialty fertilizers for agriculture and the green industry (lawn, golf course and landscaping). These products are sold around the country. Our liquid manufacturing plant allows

us flexibility and timeliness in blends and ingredients that our competitors cannot match. We also have two licensed drone pilots for an added scouting perspective. The retail store that carries everything from bird seed to lawn and garden supplies rounds out our diverse spectrum of goods and services. Are most of the products such as herbicides, fertilizers, oils, additives, etc., tank mixed or made at Jay-Mar? Jay-Mar has a wide range of foliar fertilizers that we make in-house

Above: An annual Jay-Mar tradition, much like a family holiday photo and, in fact, used in Christmas advertising and greetings, is the all-employee picture.

at our manufacturing plant. Many of them are commonly tank mixed with herbicide and other liquid products. We also have a full line of herbicide adjuvants manufactured on-site, as well. We do not make any EPAregistered products. What are the main products you deal with? We deal primarily with liquid and dry fertilizer, seed and herbicides. What are you most proud of that Jay-Mar offers? There are many things that make me proud to represent Jay-Mar! I really believe that our team here is second to none. We have many people with varying specialties who truly care about serving our customers. Dan Kwiatkowski in the manufacturing building is always available to lend his wealth of liquid blending expertise. Dave (Warner) goes above and beyond to be flexible with growers on payment terms.

Jay-Mar, Inc. offers TriEst Ag Group’s Pic Plus chloropicrin soil fumigant and insecticide (in the green barrels) that prevents pests such as wireworms and nematodes, and diseases caused by certain species of Pythium, phytophthora, fusarium and verticillium, including common scab in potatoes. 10 BC�T July

Tonja Simmons in the warehouse helps everyone with a smile and her southern charm. I think that we all really care about the growers that we serve.

You are on the WPVGA Associate Division Board. Why is this important to you and why is it important to support the WPVGA and Industry at large? I am relatively new to the vegetable industry. Being elected to the WPVGA Associate Division Board and now serving as an officer has taught me a great deal about the inner workings of the industry while I continue Jay-Mar’s proud tradition of civic and industry participation. I am proud of the work we do on the Board from educating the community through the Spudmobile to sharing information with growers at the Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, offering scholarships for those pursuing ag careers and a lot of other little things in between. In general, I think that it is important to increase the awareness and education of our potato and vegetable industry.

Jay-Mar holds an annual field day showcasing corn seed varieties and hybrids available from the company, including such brands as LG Seeds, Jung Seed Genetics and Legend Seeds. This issue’s interviewee, Julie Cartwright, is at center with hand to chin.

Is part of your or Jay-Mar’s job to educate, or do you and growers work together to come up with crop production and protection plans? Yes, a big part of our job is to educate. We host a growers’ meeting in the winter where we

invite speakers from various corners of the industry to present on the most current products or research. Beyond that, all our sales staff meets with each customer individually every winter to evaluate the previous continued on pg. 12


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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 11

season as we plan for the next. Are you typically on the road, visiting customers? If there is a typical day for Julie Cartwright, describe it or the variety of things you might do in a day. Diversity is one of the things that I love about my job! One day I may spend all day in the office working on cropping plans and preparing for grower appointments. The next day I may be delivering seed on my way to soil sample a field that is next to an alfalfa field that needs to be swept for leafhoppers. No two days are the same.

Do you also offer vegetable seeds or planting products, and if so, what are they? Our retail store offers garden seeds, seed potatoes, sweet corn in bulk and onion sets, along with gardening tools and bagged fertilizer. Are most of your customers potato and vegetable growers or other retailers, feed mills? Explain. Jay-Mar serves potato and vegetable growers in the Central Sands along with corn, soybean and dairy farmers. We also provide wholesale products to several fertilizer and bird seed vendors around Northeast Wisconsin.

Has coronavirus affected business, and if so, how? We are encouraging people to call ahead for warehouse orders and limiting access to the warehouse. Our day-to-day operations as salespeople haven’t changed a lot with COVID-19. We are all more diligent about handwashing and wiping down our workstations. We do not just drop in on growers without permission right now. Other than that, spring weather does not wait for viruses, and it is business as usual at the plant and in the field. Our retail store has seen a nice up-

Current & Opposite Page: The never-ending cycle of product movement at Jay-Mar starts with the bins loaded from semis and railcars, and then via front-end loaders onto conveyors and into trucks for delivery. 12 BC�T July

tick in business from people who just want to buy their dog food without the congestion of big box stores. We are also doing a lot of curbside pickup. Are there new technologies or products Jay-Mar is offering now that haven’t been available in the past? Jay-Mar has added a drone to its list of scouting tools. The FAA requires drone pilots to be licensed if they are flying them in support of a business. With more and more objects sharing our air space, it is important for people to know flight rules to keep everyone safe. That is pivotal in the Central Sands where crop dusting is so prevalent. Jay-Mar has two licensed pilots and we are using the drones for crop scouting and diagnostics. Have you had to change with changing ways of farming in the area, with growers becoming

more efficient or environmentally conscious? Wisconsin farmers are and have been leaders in being conscientious about nutrient management, water quality and being good stewards of the land.

When it comes to being good environmental stewards in agriculture, cover crops are playing an increasingly larger role. Jay-Mar has a wide range of cover crops for continued on pg. 14



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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 13

Jay Mar Sales Agronomist Julie Cartwright explains that the green polymer coating on ESN nitrogen fertilizer allows for slow release in six-to-eight weeks, depending on temperature and soil moisture. It also requires the use of conveyors instead of augers so the coating isn’t damaged during product handling, storage and transport.

Jay-Mar’s laboratory is where new liquid fertilizer recipes are created and refined. The company has dozens of ingredient choices, allowing the creation of hundreds of blends for agriculture and specialty markets.

sale by the bag or by the pound.

“Wisconsin farmers are and have been leaders in being conscientious about nutrient management, water quality and being good stewards of the land.” –Tony Grapsas

Many watersheds are now providing cost sharing for the planting of cover crops, so we work closely with growers to help implement those plans to improve nutrient retention and water quality. Describe the Jay-Mar square footage, and is most retail, storage/

Jay-Mar has added a drone to its list of crop scouting and diagnostics tools, as well as two licensed pilots. Julie Cartwright, shown flying a drone over an alfalfa field interseeded with some Italian rye, says the FAA requires drone pilots to be licensed if they are flying them in support of businesses. 14 BC�T July

warehouse, tanks and tank mixing, or what exactly? Our fertilizer plant sits on about 44 acres. The store, warehouse and office make up about 2.5 acres. What are the most critical aspects of the operation today, and how will they evolve or change in the future? This year, keeping our employees, customers and their families healthy is a huge priority. We are using appropriate cleaning procedures and distancing behaviors. Anything that I’ve missed or that you’d like to add, Julie? This is Jay-Mar’s 50th year. We are still a family-owned company that values being a contributing member to the community, not just a business located in Plover. Right: Liquid gravity storage tanks are a common sight at Jay-Mar, Inc. in Plover, Wisconsin.

Jay-Mar’s newest dike of tanks is landlocked by railroad tracks and doubled the agricultural supply company’s storage capacity. BC�T July 15

WPVGA Navigates Uncharted Waters An update on a few highlights for the potato and vegetable industry By Tamas Houlihan, Executive Director, WPVGA When the Wisconsin Department of Health Services issued the Safer at Home Order, on March 25, the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), along with millions of others, was forced to navigate uncharted waters for the next three months. As I write to you today, we are still discovering this changing new world. Amidst this vast sea of change, a lot has happened, and I would like to provide an update on a few of the highlights for the potato and vegetable industry. Potato Planting Season Successful While working remotely became

the norm for millions of Americans, farmers and the agricultural industry continued to conduct business as usual, going about their essential duties of feeding the world.

was not two weeks behind schedule as has been the recent norm.

Seed potatoes were still being shipped in March and Wisconsin growers hit the fields in April and continued to plant through the month of May. Most of the crop went into the ground in favorable conditions.

High Capacity Well Permitting Process Changes Again In early June, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) revived its Lake Beulah high capacity well permit review procedures. In a nutshell, we believe the Wisconsin Supreme Court in effect ratified the Schimel Attorney General opinion in Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm.

This was a change from the previous two years that were extremely cold and wet in April and May. And while this year’s May temperatures were cooler than normal, at least the crop

Time will tell how the growing season progresses, but all indications are we’re off to a great start.

That is, the DNR has no authority to impose permit review criteria that are not explicitly set forth in the high capacity well statute. The action by DNR was anticipated as a response to Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul’s May 1 withdrawal of the Schimel opinion. The WPVGA, represented by the Great Lakes Legal Foundation (GLLF), went on record opposing Kaul’s withdrawal. This precise issue is currently before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Clean Wisconsin Left: Cut seed potatoes are ready to plant on Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc., in the spring of 2020. Seed potatoes were still being shipped in March and Wisconsin growers hit the fields in April and continued to plant through the month of May. Most of the crop went into the ground in favorable conditions.

16 BC�T July

v. DNR. GLLF represents the following eight Wisconsin business associations as intervenors in that action: 1. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce 2. Dairy Business Association 3. Midwest Food Products Association 4. Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association 5. Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association

in areas of the state with highly permeable soils that are susceptible to groundwater contamination (sensitive areas) for the purpose of achieving compliance with the nitrate groundwater standards.

The potato and vegetable industry is well represented on the NR 151 Technical Advisory Committee by grower Larry Alsum along with University of Wisconsin (UW)Madison Horticulture Professor Dr. Jed Colquhoun.

The rule revisions will define sensitive areas in the state and the performance standards needed to protect groundwater quality in these areas.

The WPVGA Governmental Affairs Committee, led by co-chairs Mike Carter and Steve Diercks, continues to closely monitor this issue. continued on pg. 18

6. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation 7. Wisconsin Paper Council 8. Wisconsin Corn Growers Association Our top priority is having DNR continue to operate its high capacity well permit program consistent with the Schimel opinion and the Department’s practice prior to Lake Beulah. Those practices are authorized and limited by its enabling legislation— Wis. Stat. § 281.34—and existing rules. Withdrawing the Schimel opinion does not change those legal foundations for the program.

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The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Clean Wisconsin/DNR lawsuit this fall. In the meantime, the WPVGA will work with growers and the Department to ensure that our members understand the process and requirements for high cap well permitting. Governmental Affairs, Research and Water Task Force Focus on Water Quality As part of an effort to address groundwater issues and protect drinking water and public health across Wisconsin, the DNR is working with key public and agriculture industry stakeholders to update Chapter NR 151 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. The NR 151 rule modification is to develop a targeted performance standard to abate nitrate pollution

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WPVGA Navigates Uncharted Waters . . . continued from pg. 17

Research related to reducing nitrogen (N) use on potatoes has been the focal point of the WPVGA in recent years. UW scientists Yi Wang and Matt Ruark continue to work on low N trials for various potato varieties, while Paul Mitchell and Deana Knuteson are beginning to work on an economic impact statement related to potential N reductions. The WPVGA Water Task Force continues to cooperate with Ankur Desai of the UW Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department to gain even more accurate measurements of evapotranspiration (ET), which is directly related to crop water use and can be utilized to help reduce nitrate leaching. The WPVGA continues to cooperate with Discovery Farms on a phosphorus reduction project in Antigo, and plans are underway to work with Discovery Farms on a nitrate reduction project in Central Wisconsin. Potato Research Projects Continue Despite No Field Days With over $375,000 in funding, the entire 2020 Wisconsin potato research program continued as planned. The University of Wisconsin, however, cancelled the potato field days that had been scheduled this summer at Hancock, Rhinelander and Antigo.

WPVGA Member Development Program participants evaluate potato chips in the lab at the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Storage Research Facility (SRF), Hancock, in 2019. Pictured are (left to right) Devin Zarda (back to camera), Troy Fishler (SRF Manager), Rich Wilcox, Ted Melby, Brian Lee and Matt Smith.

The UW research team had to follow some new protocols that limited the on-farm trials that had been planned, but adjustments were made and the projects are proceeding. There is still a possibility that a virtual research reporting meeting will be held, but at a minimum, research results will be shared at the WPVGA Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, in February. National Summer Meetings Go Virtual In June, the National Potato Council (NPC) held its first ever virtual summer meeting. Despite the impacts of COVID-19, the NPC continues to advocate on behalf of potato growers nationwide. With the extreme downturn in the foodservice market, growers and processors lost millions of dollars in business.

The NPC worked closely with state potato managers to obtain the largest federal assistance in the history of the potato industry (in May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $50 million surplus potato purchase). And while this was not sufficient to offset the huge losses, it provided much-needed help and was a step in the right direction. Potatoes USA also announced it will hold its summer meeting in a virtual format. The meetings will take place over several days in late July. WPVGA Offers Member Development/Leadership Training Program One valuable industry initiative that we hope to conduct with face-to-face meetings is the upcoming WPVGA Member Development Program. continued on pg. 20

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WPVGA Navigates Uncharted Waters . . . continued from pg. 18

From November of 2020 through March of 2021, the WPVGA will conduct this leadership training program (one-day sessions, once a month for five months). The program is designed to prepare members of the WPVGA to be future leaders. It will provide them with the opportunity to learn about and participate in all the various facets of the industry by exposing members to

information, resources, activities and people for networking opportunities. This program will be highly beneficial, not only to the graduates, but to the industry as a whole. We are helping to educate, train and develop the future leaders of Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable industry. Many important and complex decisions lie ahead for the industry.

By creating this leadership base today, the industry is investing wisely in its future. I’m very pleased to report that all 25 participants in the 2018-’19 program completed the leadership training and graduated. Of these, one is currently on the WPVGA Board of Directors (Alex Okray); one is on the WPVGA Associate Division Board (Rich Wilcox); three are on the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board (Brittany Bula, Datonn Hanke and Devin Zarda); one is on the United Potato Growers of Wisconsin Board (Doug Posthuma); one is on the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board (Matt Mattek); and one is a newly elected board member on Potatoes USA (Kevin Schleicher). Yet another (Michael Wolter) participated in the national Potato Industry Leadership Institute in February (along with Posthuma). Several other participants are also currently serving on various WPVGA committees. Watch your weekly Tater Talk e-newsletters and future issues of the Badger Common’Tater for more information and registration materials for the 2020-’21 program. Keep on Farming I hope all our members are doing well and finding your way in this strange new world. We may have to chart a new course or two, but we’ll get through this. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that farmers, food producers and their suppliers form the backbone of our country. Those involved in agriculture continue to serve on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. I’m proud and honored to work on your behalf.

Tamas Houlihan Executive Director, WPVGA 20 BC�T July

Can Diploid Potatoes Increase Production?

The answer might lie in research conducted by Shelley Jansky, Paul Bethke and others By Potatoes USA and ArcGIS StoryMaps When you cut the amount of genetic material in the potato in half, you are bound to get an inferior product, right? Not so fast. Diploid potatoes are living proof that the old proverb “less is more” can be true. As the spuds in the center of the above photo show, two sets of chromosomes do not necessarily translate into any loss in vigor or size. Day by day, Drs. Paul Bethke and Shelley Jansky, longtime U.S. Department of Agriculture-ARS (Agricultural Research Service) employees and faculty members at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, take further strides towards developing commercial-ready diploid potato varieties.

Receiving funds from the Specialty Crops Research Initiative and endorsement from the Potato Research Advisory Committee, the “Potato 2.0” project looks to expand the horizons of potato production by introducing high-yielding, stress-tolerant diploid lines. The diploid lines are optimized for field performance, processing quality and consumer taste. Perhaps best of all, diploid breeding allows desirable traits to be identified and selected in a much faster timeframe. The Potato Research Advisory Committee endorsing the project is a strategic body headed by Potatoes USA and the National Potato Council.

Above: As illustrated by the potatoes at center in this image, two sets of chromosomes do not necessarily translate into any loss in vigor or size.

CUTTING-EDGE POTATO RESEARCH Shelley and Paul have long been catalysts for cutting-edge potato research, but in their estimation, diploids could positively change the industry to an unprecedented degree. It is this educated estimation that helped them land Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) funding, in 2019, to support work that will help make diploid potatoes a reality. Today, one of the primary challenges holding the potato back is a devilishly

continued on pg. 22 BC�T July 21

Can Diploid Potatoes Increase Production? . . . continued from pg. 21

complex genome. While there is no shortage of research brainpower backing the quest for answers, you would be hard-pressed to find scientists who are more committed to the cause— that is, cracking the genetic code— than Shelley and Paul. Along with stretching the boundaries of potato farming beyond what many of us could imagine, Bethke and Jansky juggle a multitude of other high-priority research projects, all while maintaining a packed teaching schedule. Even so, they found a spare moment to sit down with Potatoes USA to talk about their professional passions, their hopes for the industry, and their ultimate vision for diploid potatoes. How did you end up in potato research? Jansky: When I applied to graduate school, the professor who offered me a position was working on potatoes. I didn’t know about the wonderful world of potatoes when I was an undergrad, but, boy, I’m certainly glad I followed that path because

As part of breakout sessions at the 2020 Potato Expo, Wisconsin’s own Paul Bethke (left), research plant physiologist, and Shelley Jansky, research geneticist, both of USDA-ARS, presented a Potato Association of America research discussion: “Are Hybrid Potatoes in Your Future? And Identifying Herbicide Injury in Potato.”

potatoes have turned out to be just a phenomenal crop to work on from a genetics standpoint. There are so many interesting genetics questions that we can be asking in potatoes. So, I fell into potatoes accidentally, but I am glad that is where I landed! Bethke: That is interesting because my story is similar to Shelley’s, only it took me a lot longer to accidentally fall into potatoes. I started out thinking I was intrigued by the field of plant physiology because it brings together many disciplines and tries to understand how plants function.

By reducing the potato’s genetic complexity, could diploid breeding take the industry to new heights? 22 BC�T July

You know, I jumped into potatoes as a complete novice and have learned a tremendous amount since then. I am intrigued, fascinated and puzzled to no end by this crop. Jansky: And I have to say, it wasn’t a surprise to us that we hired Paul. As soon as he interviewed, we all said, “This is the guy we have to bring on board because he’s so creative”—an out-of-the-box thinker. That was a good reason to bring him into the potato fold. When did you each begin work at the University of Wisconsin Madison? Bethke: I think it was 2006.

The way my graduate studies went, I really was more of a cell biologist than anything else. I did some work with whole plants, but a lot of it was based on individual cells.

Jansky: I came in 2004, but I’ve worked on potatoes for my whole career. In graduate school, which started in 1982, that was when I first started working on potatoes. So, does that make it 38 years, I think, that I’ve been working on potatoes?

At some point, I decided I should get a job, and this position to work on the storage of potatoes was open. Because it was in Madison, which is close to where my parents lived and where I had gone to school, and it (the job) sounded interesting, I applied and much to my surprise was hired!

For one vegetable to hold your interest for that long certainly speaks to its singular appeal. What makes this crop so “charismatic” in your eye? Jansky: I guess I’m probably biased because I’ve only worked on potatoes, but just looking at other crops, I don’t think anything is as fascinating as potatoes in terms

of what the problems are, what the potential solutions are, what the resources are. There are just a lot of interesting directions to go in potato genetics and breeding. That is a perfect segue into this project: What prompted you to start digging into diploid breeding? Was there a spark that set it all in motion? Bethke: It was all Shelley’s doing! Jansky: For me, it was a single event. That doesn’t happen very often in a career, but I can still see the exact moment when my mind switched gears. For most of my career, we did work on potato breeding with the idea that we had to go up to the tetraploid level—four sets of chromosomes; that was the way potato varieties had to be. But every year, we planted out new families of potatoes, and I always worked with diploids because that is the way most wild species are.

“It was really just a switch in my brain that clicked and said, ‘Boy, why are we working so hard to get up to the tetraploid level when we can stay at the diploid level and we have much more powerful breeding tools available?’” –Shelley Jansky say, “Let’s explore the possibility of staying at the diploid level and breeding diploid potatoes. We need to speculate, to envision what is 10 or 20 years down the line. It may come to be, it may not, but we need to be thinking about it.” Some of the literature out there suggests that tetraploidy is correlated with significantly larger yields and tuber size. Is this an assumption that your research has either confirmed or challenged? Jansky: The hand-waving argument

is that if there are four sets of chromosomes, there are four possibilities at every gene for genetic variation, for contributions to traits: yield, size, vigor, whatever we are talking about. That makes sense, and in the program that I came through for my Ph.D., the emphasis was on genetic variability and how that is associated with higher yield. So, it makes sense that if you have more possibilities for genetic variance, you can have higher yield. continued on pg. 24

One field season, at the end of the season (I think it was 2013), we went out and harvested like we always do, and there was this one row in the field where the potatoes were big. They looked like normal potatoes you would see in a breeding program. These were diploid potatoes, but they looked like what you would see in a standard tetraploid breeding system. Well, my first reaction was, “We must have made a mistake. These cannot be diploid! We made a mistake in our field book or planting or whatever.” We went back and double-checked, and sure enough, they were diploid. Once I realized that, it was a switch in my brain that clicked and said, “Boy, why are we working so hard to get up to the tetraploid level when we can stay at the diploid level and we have much more powerful breeding tools available?” So that was what prompted me to BC�T July 23

Can Diploid Potatoes Increase Production? . . . continued from pg. 23

But when you go back and look at the literature, at papers that were published in the 1960’s and ’70s, there are a number comparing diploids and tetraploids where there are diploids that are higher yielding than tetraploids. It is not a high proportion, but there are published examples. So, the data have been there under our noses; we just have not necessarily paid attention to them. My theory, and there is no way to prove it one way or another, is that the reason potatoes around the world are tetraploid is they were brought to Europe from South America. They came from a region of South America where, for some reason, the only potatoes there are tetraploid.

has diploid, triploid, tetraploid, pentaploid and hexaploid potatoes!

Southern Chile only has tetraploid potatoes. The rest of South America

Some of the hardiest varieties are diploids, even though the

Paul Bethke (right) chats with a visitor to the Potato Research Advisory Committee booth during the 2020 Potato Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.


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So why aren’t four sets of chromosomes more advantageous than two? Bethke: When we talk about more options (in tetraploids) because there are more alleles, some of those alleles aren’t doing anything in our production systems, and in some cases they may be harmful. So, for example, if you have more alleles for production of glycoalkaloids, that is not good! We do not want that. So, we have actually tried to select against some things. The argument that “two’s good; four must be better” got ingrained in the conversation. It was around long enough that people just knew it was true, even though in recent years, Shelley and others have looked at it a little more critically and discovered that the evidence in support of the argument wasn’t that strong. Maybe that gives us some confidence

going forward that the diploid approach may work. In all cases, the comparison has been diploid material coming out of a breeding program and that hasn’t been selected from hundreds of thousands of clones, versus successful varieties that have been selected from hundreds of thousands of clones and extensive comparisons over the years. Jansky: So, comparing diploids and tetraploids per se is tough, because the tetraploids we have are ones that have undergone extensive selection. The diploids have not. So, the question is if diploids had gone through the same intensity of selection, and in programs at the same volume, would we have diploids that are yielding the same as tetraploids? I think we would. But that is another question that we cannot really answer. The effort has

been with tetraploid potatoes, and so that is where we have seen progress. We have not made that same effort with diploid potatoes. Bethke: But we will have that comparison soon, because there are research groups and companies doing just that. Jansky: Yes, and I guess what is promising is that, with very little effort, we—I say “we” very loosely: our program, Dave Douches’ program at Michigan State, Laura Shannon, and others, like programs in Europe— have produced some pretty decent material. That is what gives me hope that this is moving forward. It is our expectation that by developing diploid potatoes, potato breeding can be a little more agile, better able to adapt the final product more to what the consumer is looking for.

www.robertsirrigation.com • 1500 Post Road | Plover WI 54467 | (715) 344-4747 • 2022 W. 2nd Avenue | Bloomer, WI 54724 | (715) 568-4600 BC�T July 25

People Dale O’Brien Passes Away Known for work in the fields, he managed Hamerski Farms

Dale Edward O’Brien was born January 16, 1959, in Plover, to the late Dorr O’Brien and Irene (Hamerski) O’Brien. Dale was raised in the heart of Plover.

fields. He managed Hamerski Farms Inc., in Plover. His hands were always covered in dirt and grease. Dale loved to fix things and always had a solution and the tools to do it. He would not hesitate to come right over and help anyone out.

His family owned O’Brien Oil Co., and Dale worked at the full-service gas station throughout his childhood years. Dale married Lori (Adamczak) on July 5, 1986, at St. Bronislava Church. They had two children, Lance and Andrea.

He loved to laugh and had many friends. Dale enjoyed sharing memories about the shenanigans he caused in his youth. He was a hobby aircraft pilot and an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing and hunting.

He received an agricultural degree from the University of WisconsinMadison.

Dale shared many fond memories of taking his son hunting. Many family vacations were spent towing a boat around to find the best fishing spots stretching from Wisconsin to Canada. He looked forward to taking his three granddaughters out on the boat and teaching them to fish.

Dale E. O’Brien, age 61, of Plover, Wisconsin, passed away unexpectedly Monday morning, May 25, 2020.

Following in his dad’s footsteps, Dale was elected as the Town of Plover supervisor and served on the town board for 17 years before transitioning to his role as a Portage County supervisor. He proudly served for 14 years and was honored for his work on the Airport, Agriculture and Extension Education, and Health and Safety committees. HAMERSKI FARMS MANAGER Dale is best known for his work in the

Survivors include his wife of 33 years, Lori (Adamczak) O’Brien; his children, Lance (Bethany) O’Brien and their children, Adelynn and Raelynn, of Plover, and Andrea (Wesley) Sherry and their child, Norah, of Madison; and his siblings, Sandy, Dennis and Julie O’Brien.

Dale E. O’Brien 1959 – 2020

Family and friends were invited to a visitation at the Pisarski Community Funeral Home, on Thursday, May 28, 2020, and a private service was held on Friday, May 29, with burial following, at St. Bronislava Parish Cemetery. Pisarski Funeral Homes is honored to serve the family. For online condolences, please visit www. pisarskifuneralhome.com.



Through any situation, Compeer Financial® is here to provide market insights and financial solutions to our clients as they work relentlessly to feed, clothe and fuel the world. With decades of experience, our financial team will guide you every step of the way. Learn more about our dedication to serving clients: COMPEER.COM

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(844) 426-6733 | #CHAMPIONRURAL

(608) 355-5751 | Cathy.Schommer@compeer.com Compeer Financial can provide assistance with specialty crop financing and operations based on historical data and industry expertise. Compeer Financial does not provide legal advice or certified financial planning. Compeer Financial, ACA is an Equal Credit Opportunity Lender and Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer. © 2020 All rights reserved.

26 BC�T July

Page Named Certified Crop Advisor of the Year Bill Page of Insight FS recognized for leadership and customer service Bill Page of Insight FS has worked with specialty crop growers across Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for more than 40 years. It is this dedication to customer service and agronomy expertise that has earned Page the 2020 Wisconsin Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) of the Year Award. The Certified Crop Advisor of the Year Award is designed to annually recognize an individual who delivers exceptional customer service, is highly innovative, has shown that they are a leader in their field, and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agriculture industry. “When I think of what it takes to be the CCA of the Year, characteristics like professional, knowledgeable, passionate and a person of integrity all come to mind,” says Ben Huber, the agronomy department manager for Insight FS. “Those characteristics all describe Bill Page and how he approaches each day with his customers and coworkers,” Huber continues. “Bill is an incredibly valuable member of our team, a valuable part of his customers’ advisory group, and I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of the Wisconsin CCA of the Year award.” DECADES OF DEDICATION Page has been working out of the Insight FS Antigo, Wisconsin, location since he began his career in 1977. That is more than four decades of honing his craft in everything from potatoes to raspberries and cranberries, and even ginseng and Christmas trees. “There is a personality difference between the customers I work with, who grow specialty crops, and corn or bean farmers,” says Page. “It’s my job to provide as precise information

Having worked with specialty crop growers for more than 40 years, Bill Page of Insight FS is recognized as the 2020 Wisconsin Certified Crop Advisor of the Year.

as any large-scale crop grower would receive, but on a more niche scale.”

year like this one. “Some guys are fourth-generation farmers,” adds Page. “I started working with their grandfathers, and now

Those are the solutions that Page’s customers have valued through the decades, and especially in a turbulent


continued on pg. 28


N7158 6TH DRIVE P.O. BOX 215 PLAINFIELD, WI 54966 OFFICE: (715) 335-6660 FAX: (715) 335-6661












People . . . continued from pg. 27

the grandkids are taking over the operations.”

crop growers across Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

These strong relationships and the variety of each day keep Page passionate about supporting specialty

About Insight FS Insight FS is an agricultural cooperative serving customers in 24 locations

across Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Headquartered in Jefferson, Wisconsin, Insight FS provides feed, agronomy, energy, agri-finance, seed and turf products and services, as well as grain marketing to patrons.

Warren Henninger Went Home to Be with His Lord Life and career dedicated to the Oregon, Idaho and Washington potato industry Warren Adam Henninger, longtime resident of Moses Lake, Washington, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on May 23, 2020, following an accident while doing what he loved, working in his yard. Having accepted Christ as his Savior at a Billy Graham Crusade event, Jesus became the anchor of his life. Warren truly believed “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Warren will be sorely missed. Warren, son to the late Harold and Jeanette Henninger, was born August 4, 1945, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He loved growing up on a family-owned potato farm, helping his dad plant, harvest, grade and sell potatoes.

Warren was active in FFA and served as FFA president at his high school. He graduated from Penn State University in agronomy and went on to pursue his graduate studies in crop science at Oregon State University. While Warren was in graduate school, he met his wife, Judy. They were married in Klamath Falls, Oregon, on July 12, 1970, and had three children. Warren’s entire life and career was spent working in the potato industry in Oregon and Idaho before moving to Washington. After graduate school, he began his work as a county agent, then was hired by Simplot as a researcher and field manager, and later moved to Moses

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28 BC�T July

Warren A. Henninger 1945 – 2020

Lake as a division field manager for Carnation, which became Nestle and then Simplot. SEED POTATOES TO CHINA One of Warren’s career highlights was taking the first seed potatoes to China for McDonald’s French fries. In 1997, Warren founded Ag World Support Systems to meet an industry need for an independent third-party potato inspection company. He loved every moment working with growers, processors and potato industry folks, traveling the world. He not only loved those in the industry, but also his Ag World family deeply, making sure that each person was valued and appreciated for what they did. Warren loved serving on the Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities Inland Northwest. He founded the Ag World Golf Classic

benefiting the Ronald McDonald House. In its 7th year, the Ag World Golf Classic was a labor of love for Warren, raising over $425,000 for the House. Warren was involved in Lakeview Missionary Church for the past 42 years. He served on the church board, district board and national board of the Missionary Church. For the past 15 years, he and Judy enjoyed ministering at a local care home each Sunday morning. Warren had a passion for God, family and potatoes. He was a cherished husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. Warren was always a stable force in the lives of others. He loved providing for and taking care of his family, friends and anyone in need. Warren was an honorable man who loved his Lord and his family. EYES ON FRIES He was kind and often had a twinkle

in his eye as he would elbow you softly while stealing your French fries. Warren was so proud of his children and took great joy in helping them pursue their career endeavors as both a father and mentor. Warren will leave a big hole in the lives of his family, community and the potato industry. He was loved so very much and will be missed beyond what words can express. Warren is survived by his beloved wife, Judy Henninger, of 49 years; his sons and daughtersin-law, Bryan and Nancy Henninger (grandchildren Zachary, Caroline, Nathaniel and twins Brielle and Claire) of Moses Lake; Craig and Sarah Henninger (grandchildren Addison, Carter and twins Landon and Cole) of Wheaton, Illinois; and his daughter and son-in-law Melanie and Adam Finch of Moses Lake. He is also survived by his siblings

and brothers- and sisters-in-law, Janet and Jack Snyder, Gerald and Barbara Henninger, Donald and Nancy Henninger, Kathleen and Willard Strunk, and Marilyn and Patrick Crawley, along with very much-loved nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends. Warren’s Celebration of Life was held on June 6, 2020, during a drive-up outdoor service at potato storages near Warden, Washington. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established at the Ronald McDonald House Charities Inland Northwest on behalf of Warren Henninger. To give, please visit: https://www.classy.org/ give/288223/#!/donation/checkout. For more information, visit warrenhenninger.forevermissed.com or www.kayserschapel.com.

Customized Crop Protection For over 85 years, Rural Mutual has been protecting Wisconsin with customized farm, hail, and multi-peril crop insurance coverage. Visit RuralMutual.com to learn more. BC�T July 29


By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education

Social Audits Become Prevalent in Potato Industry If there is one thing the last several months have proven, it is how fast things can change and in the case of COVID-19, come to a screeching halt. But change in and of itself isn’t a stranger to any of us really, is it? We all experience change in different ways, sometimes personally, socially following a global pandemic and professionally. It is the latter that we see recurring with the concept of social audits becoming more frequent in the

Science director for the United States Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), Amanda Raster provided a recorded presentation on June 2, 2020, with insight into social audits and what the Wisconsin potato industry can expect. She says social audits date back to the 1990’s when the term “sustainability” came both into focus and consumer conversations, and when the “three-legged stool” was emphasized regarding environment, economics and society. The USFRA’s vision is to further global sustainable food systems. 30 BC�T July

potato industry. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Amanda Raster, science director for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. As such, she has tremendous insight into the history of social audits and where the process is today. As Raster explains, social audits date back to the 1990’s when the term “sustainability” came more into focus and popped up in consumer conversations, and when the “three-

legged stool” was emphasized regarding environment, economics and society. According to Raster, social responsibility has been reflected in many sustainability programs, but has not seen as much attention as environmental sustainability. “I think that the environmental impacts are a lot easier to see than some of the social impacts, which can be hidden in supply chains,” she notes.

“But now that there has been, over the past five to eight years, more attention paid to some of the human rights issues in agricultural and consumer goods supply chains, we’re starting to see more of a balance between the focus on environmental auditing and social auditing,” she explains.

Alliance (PSA), Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). WPVGA also organized HACCP

(Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) certification March 3-4. To watch Raster’s recorded presentation, please contact Dana Rady at drady@wisconsinpotatoes. com.

A SOCIAL AUDITING FOCUS Raster says this fact alone is bringing and will continue to bring more attention and focus to social auditing in the future. She adds that there are already some standard programs that are, although more applicable to the company level as opposed to the farm, specific only to the social auditing aspects. Raster says social audits are used to provide insight into social responsibility, identify potential violations to local, national and other applicable laws, and demonstrate compliance with social responsibility programs. Overall, Raster says social audits are being utilized and requested by customers and cover a range of topics. In her presentation, Raster explains the positive impacts of social audits on growers as well as the challenges. She also provides an overview of agricultural social auditing programs and her insights into hope for automation down the road. Raster’s presentation is the last of several that were part of an open forum during the 2020 Food Safety Training program hosted by the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA). The other presentations were recorded, March 24, and included those from the Produce Sustainability BC�T July 31

Potatoes USA News

International Potato Recipes Spice Up Menus Consumers, foodservice operators, retailers and manufacturers around the world are being inspired to cook with and showcase U.S. potato products. Over the past several months, dozens of new recipes have been developed in international markets, providing all audiences with inspiration on how and why to cook with U.S. potatoes. Delicious dishes using all forms of potatoes showcase the convenience, versatility, and of course, the deliciousness of U.S. potato products. From savory to sweet, local to

global flavors, and indulgent to performance, the array of new recipes is providing usage ideas for everyone.

Above: Examples of international potato recipes are, from left to right: Crispy Spanish Potato Frittatas, Sweet & Sour Tater Tots with Pork Ribs and Potato Cookies.

Consumers and businesses are seeing the new recipes on social media, at workshops, and in blogs and articles shared by popular influencers.

The recipes can be found by entering the recipe’s name in the search box. Or you can quickly access new recipes added by looking in the folder “International Recipes FY20” found on the dashboard under “Spotlight Collections.”

All of the new international potato recipes are available on Potatoes USA’s Digital Asset Management System (Widen) for the industry to use. Be sure to visit: https:// potatoesusa.widencollective.com, and create an account.

Once the folder is open, click on the recipe name and select the attached document to download the recipe.

Retail Potato Sales Increase Nine Percent Retail potato sales soar, increasing 10.4 percent in dollar sales and 9.3 percent in volume sales between July 1, 2019, and May 19, 2020, according to the data analytics and market research company IRI. All potato categories across the retail store, except deli-prepared sides, increased in dollar and volume sales. Fresh, frozen, dehydrated and canned potatoes saw double-digit increases in both dollar and volume sales. Dehydrated potatoes had the largest increase in dollar and volume sales, 32 BC�T July

as dollar sales increased by 22 percent and volume sales by 15.2 percent. Many retailers removed parts of their deli-prepared sections since the beginning of March, contributing to a 4.7 percent decline in dollar sales and 7.5 percent decline in volume sales for that category. Fresh potato sales increased in dollars and volume at retail for the timeframe. Fresh potato dollar sales increased 13.5 percent and volume sales increased 9 percent. All fresh

potato types, except for reds and fingerlings, increased in volume sales. Fingerling potatoes were the only category that decreased in dollar sales by 4.9 percent. All pack sizes showed double-digit growth in dollar and volume sales. Bagged and bulk potatoes make up 98 percent of all potatoes sold in stores, and both fresh pack types increased in dollar and volume sales. Please reach out to retail@ potatoesusa.com with any questions.

Fumigation Affects Nitrogen Cycle in Soil What are the potential implications for N management in potato production systems? By Ashmita Rawal, Matt Ruark and Amanda Gevens, University of Wisconsin-Madison What is fumigation? Fumigation is the process of treating soil with chemical compounds that form a gas to control nematodes, fungi, weed seeds and other plantdisease-causing pests and pathogens. These chemical compounds, including metam sodium, chloropicrin, and 1,3-Dichloropropene, either penetrate through the air space in soil or they diffuse in water surrounding soil particles. Some of the plant pathogenic fungi and nematodes that cause destructive soilborne diseases in potato are Verticillium dahliae and the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans, which, in combination, create the potato early dying disease complex, as well as the potato root rot nematode (Ditylenchus destructor).

These pathogens negatively impact the uptake and transfer of water and nutrients from the roots to the other parts of the plants, and thus, can reduce the quality and quantity of yield and lead to the early dying of potatoes. The most common soil fumigants in Wisconsin are metam sodium (MS) and chloropicrin. How are fields fumigated? Metam sodium and chloropicrin are commonly applied in the fall in anticipation of a following spring potato rotation. However, there may be cases where cold temperatures prevent fall application or growers decide after the fall to switch to potato and a spring fumigation is required. In Wisconsin, fumigants are normally applied at the rate of around 50

Above: In the Midwestern United States, most fumigants are applied through sub-soil injection, either in a field-wide treatment or in-row treatment placed strategically in position of intended row.

gallons/acre on mineral soils or 100 gallons/acre on muck soils (Integrated Pest Management, 2000). In the Midwestern United States, most fumigants are applied through sub-soil injection, either in a fieldwide treatment or in-row treatment placed strategically in position of intended row. The use of the proper method of fumigant application depends on various factors such as type of fumigants, air and soil temperature, soil texture, organic matter and rainfall. continued on pg. 34 BC�T July 33

Fumigation Affects Nitrogen Cycle in Soil . . . continued from pg. 33

Does fumigation affect nitrogen cycling? Here, we review the effects of fumigation on nitrogen (N) cycling in the potato production system to address the potential implications for N management. Effects of Fumigation on Nitrification Nitrification is the conversion of ammonium (NH4+) to nitrate (NO3-) by the soil bacteria and archaea. NH4+ in soil is oxidized in a twostep process by the soil bacteria nitrosomonas (which converts NH4+ to nitrite [NO2-]) and nitrobacter (which converts NO2- to NO3-). Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) can also contribute to the nitrification process, but the relative importance of AOA in sandy soils is unclear.

Early dying of Russet Burbank potato is illustrated at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station, in 2009. Some of the plant pathogenic fungi and nematodes that cause destructive soilborne diseases in potato are Verticillium dahliae and the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans, which, in combination, create the potato early dying disease complex, as well as the potato root rot nematode (Ditylenchus destructor). Photo courtesy of Amanda Gevens

In the first step of nitrification, ammonium is oxidized to nitrate with the help of the enzyme ammonium monooxygenase (amoA), which nitrosomonas puts out into the soil environment.

NITRIFICATION INHIBITION Since nitrosomonas are not likely killed with metam sodium, this is the most likely cause of nitrification inhibition. However, it is not clear if the enzymes are inactivated in the soil or if the production of the enzyme by nitrosomonas is inhibited.

Fumigation inhibits nitrification in two ways. First, it can kill soil organisms, including nitrifying bacteria.

Regardless of cause of inhibition, early studies have found that fumigation delayed the nitrification process by four to eight weeks.

However, not all fumigants kill nitrosomonas. Specifically, metam sodium has been shown to not cause a decline in nitrosomonas populations (Li et al., 2017), while dazomet has been shown to cause such a decline (Fang et al., 2018).

More recent work tested the effect of different fumigants on nitrification.

Little is known about the impact of fumigation on selectively killing nitrobacter. The second way fumigants affect nitrification is through enzyme degradation or suppression. As fumigants decompose, they form chemicals that temporarily inhibit the expression of the amoA enzyme, and hence, delay the nitrification process (McCarty, 1999). 34 BC�T July

Field and laboratory research in China showed that chloropicrin had a stronger inhibitory effect on nitrification compared to 1,3-Dichloropropene, dimethyl disulfide and metam sodium (Yan et al., 2013a). Dimethyl disulfide and metam sodium showed only a minor effect on nitrification. Additional laboratory studies have shown that metam sodium only delayed nitrification for one week, much less than other fumigants (Yan et al., 2013b). This suggests that metam sodium has a relatively minor effect on

nitrification and may not be agronomically relevant. After fumigation, the recovery of the nitrifying organisms depends on many factors such as soil texture, organic matter, and rates and types of fumigants. SOIL TYPES The nitrifying organisms tend to recover more slowly after fumigation in light textured or low-organicmatter soil compared to heavy textured or high-organic-matter soil. This information is particularly important in a potato production system because potatoes prefer NO3to NH4+. In 2011, Kelling et al. published a paper that found a decrease in the number and quality of potato tubers when ammonia-containing fertilizers (ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate and UAN) were applied with nitrification inhibitors at emergence on an irrigated loamy sand in the potato production system. In general, the use of nitrification inhibitors is not recommended on irrigated sandy soils for potatoes. Inhibition of nitrification on an

irrigated, light textured soil under low organic matter can negatively affect production. However, since fumigation is applied well before planting of potato (more than four weeks), it is not likely to have an effect on the nitrification process during times of peak N uptake by the potato. The only potential issue would be if fumigation would occur too close to planting, as this would be similar to using a nitrification inhibitor product. Under this scenario, growers may want to consider using fertilizer with at least some nitrate earlier in the season, although in small quantities as nitrate is highly leachable. IMPACT ON CROP YIELD Regardless of fumigation status, ammonium-based fertilizers and ammonium nitrate fertilizer did not impact crop yield in research trials

on silt loam soil in Washington State (Davis et al., 1986). However, potato yields were 13-20 percent greater following fumigation. In contrast, on sandy soil, ammonium-only fertilizers supported greater yields compared to ammonium nitrate. Thus, while potatoes prefer N in the form of NO3-, application of N to sandy soil in the NO3- form was detrimental as it is immediately available for leaching out of the root zone. Kelling et al. (2016) found that the early season NH4+ fertilizer application, when the soil was fumigated in the previous fall, did not obstruct the uptake of N by potato in the fields. This indicated that there were no longer suppressive effects on nitrification by the time of

N application at emergence. Many studies have shown that fumigation can lead to increases in potato yield and quality due to the suppression of soilborne potato pathogens such as Verticillium spp., however this increase in yield can require an increase in N fertilization (Kelling et al., 2016). In the end, the biggest effect that fumigation would have on N management would be in cases where it leads to significant yield gains. A greater amount of N may be required to achieve these yield gains. For example, nitrogen fertilizer guidelines for potato in Wisconsin suggests an additional 30-45 pounds/acre of N fertilizer if potato yields can be increased by 100 cwt. (hundredweight)/acre (https:// go.wisc.edu/lp6i44). continued on pg. 36


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Fumigation Affects Nitrogen Cycle in Soil . . . continued from pg. 35

CONCLUSION Soil fumigation typically controls potato-pathogenic microbes generating an overall increase in potato yield and quality, however the process also disrupts N cycling by either killing off the soil bacteria involved in nitrification, suppressing the production of or inactivating soil enzymes, or both. Use of metam sodium as a fumigant will not likely have much effect on nitrification. However, it is important to keep in mind that fumigants can negatively impact nitrification if they are applied too close to time of potato planting. As long as fumigants (any kind) are applied in the fall of the year, they will not negatively affect the N cycle for potato production. References

- Collins, H., A.A. Kumar, R. Boydston, R.L. Cochran, P.B. Hamm, A. McGuire, and E. Riga. Soil microbial, fungal, and nematode responses to soil fumigation and cover crops under potato production. 2006. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 42(3), 247-257. - Davis, J.M., W.H. Loescher, M.W. Hammond, and R. E. Thornton. 1986. Response of Russet Burbank potatoes to soil fumigation and nitrogen fertilizers. American Potato Journal. 63, 71-79. - Fang, W., D. Yan, X. Wang, B. Huwang, X. Wang, J. Liu, X. Liu, Y. Li, C. Ouyang, Q. Wang,

Many studies have shown that fumigation can lead to increases in potato yield and quality due to the suppression of soilborne potato pathogens such as Verticillium spp., however this increase in yield can require an increase in N fertilization (Kelling et al., 2016). and A. Cao. Responses of nitrogen-cycling microorganisms to dazomet fumigation. 2018. Front. Microbiol. 9, 1-13. - Kelling, K.A., R.P. Wolkowski, and M.D. Ruark. Potato response to nitrogen form and nitrification inhibitors. 2011. American Journal of Potato Research. 88, 459–469. - Kelling, K.A., W. R. Stevenson, P.E. Speth, and R.V. James. Interactive effects of fumigation and fungicides on potato response to nitrogen rate or timing. 2016. American Journal of Potato Research. 93, 533-542. - Koike, H. The effects of fumigants on nitrate production in soil. 1961. Proceedings of the Soil Science Society of America. 25, 204–206. - Li, J., B. Huang, Q. Wang, Y. Li, W. Fang, D. Han, D. Yan, M. Guo, and A. Cao. Effects of fumigation with metam-sodium on soil microbial biomass, respiration, nitrogen transformation, bacterial community diversity and genes encoding key enzymes

involved in nitrogen cycling. 2017. Science of the Total Environment. 598, 1027-1036. - McCarty, G.W. Modes of action of nitrification inhibitors. 1999. Biol. Fertil. Soils. 29, 1–9. - Wolcott, A.R., F. Maciak, L.N. Shepherd, and R.E. Lucas. Effects of Telone on nitrogen transformations and on growth of celery in organic soil. 1960. Down to Earth. 16, 10–14. - Yan, D., Q. Wang, L. Mao, W. Li, H. Xie, M. Guo, and A. Cao. Quantification of the effects of various soil fumigation treatments on nitrogen mineralization and nitrification in laboratory incubation and field studies. 2013a. Chemosphere. 90, 1210-1215. - Yan, D., Q. Wang, L. Mao, T. Ma, Y. Li, M. Guo, and A. Cao. Nitrification dynamics in a soil after additional of different fumigants. 2103b. Soil Science & Plant Nutrition. 59, 142-148.

WPIB Focus

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison

















































































36 BC�T July

Now News

Valley and Prospera Expand Crop Monitoring Coverage area of artificial intelligence-based detection service quadruples

Valley® Irrigation, The Leader in Precision Irrigation®, and Prospera Technologies are expanding their artificial intelligence-based crop monitoring and detection service, Valley Insights, to commercial growers in select areas of Washington, Texas, Nebraska and Idaho, quadrupling the coverage area in 2020. The companies are also beginning U.S.-based tests of new anomaly detections and continuing trials of the industry’s first sensor-equipped irrigation machines, the next step in a roadmap to turn existing irrigation infrastructure into autonomous

connected machines.

yields,” Siekman explains.

“The speed and success of Valley Insights has been incredible. We are excited to make the service available to more growers around the U.S., and to expand tests of new offerings just a year after we entered our partnership with Prospera,” says Darren Siekman, vice president of business development at Valley Irrigation.

“We worked closely with growers to incorporate their feedback and develop the next generation of the service for this broader commercial roll-out. This is going to give more growers the opportunity to improve their bottom lines,” he adds.

“The initial trials of Valley Insights last fall demonstrated that the service delivers actionable insights that help growers reduce inputs and improve

Powered by Prospera’s computer vision and artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology, Valley Insights acquires and analyzes data from imagery to pinpoint areas of fields that may have anomalies. continued on pg. 38

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. BC�T July 37

Now News . . . continued from pg. 37

DETECTING ISSUES The system can detect irrigation machine issues, over- or underwatered areas and other problems. Valley Insights then alerts growers to the problem areas so they can take crop-saving action. Eric Williamson of Williamson Farm in Quincy, Washington, estimated he could have saved $25,000 if he had applied the technology to all his fields instead of just the test field.

Trials of additional capabilities, including weed and nutrient detection, took place in certain areas of Washington, Texas, Nebraska and Idaho this spring. In addition to expanding commercial availability of Valley Insights service, the companies are conducting field tests of close-proximity data collection in Washington, Idaho, Nebraska and Kansas using sensors mounted on Valley irrigation machines.

says Prospera CEO Daniel Koppel. “By combining our industry-leading computer vision and A.I. technology with the leading tech-enabled infrastructure of Valley Irrigation, we’re reducing the cost of data acquisition, increasing the speed of deployment of new technologies and delivering real value to growers,” Koppel enthuses.

“The initial trials of on-pivot sensors will gather high-value datasets in the “Valley Insights sent me a text world’s largest tech lab. Our goal is to 9/6/2019 Wisconsin Farm, Edition 10 2019 - Fastline Online Editions message when it found an anomaly, Fastline Located just a few meters above acquire knowledge this season, fineand I could see exactly which area the plants, the sensors collect hightune the offering for 2021, and roll it it identified as a problem and take resolution images day and night, out to complement existing aerial and action immediately,” Williamson says. capturing significantly greater detail satellite imagery,” explains Koppel. than drone, aerial or satellite imagery “With other services we’ve used that “This advancement will provide the can provide. provide aerial or satellite photos, most complete picture of plant health we’ve had to sift through them DATA IS KEY in the industry,” he says. ourselves and attempt to identify “Data is key to a more productive The on-pivot sensors are a key issues,” he continues. “Valley Insights and sustainable food system, but the 9/6/2019does that for us, pointing out issues Fastline Farm, Edition 10 2019 Online Editions step in the companies’ combined cost ofWisconsin collecting high-quality data- Fastline before I could have caught them.” in agriculture has been prohibitive,” vision to transform existing large-


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scale equipment into autonomous connected machines that independently acquire and analyze plant data and take action to address irregularities at the plant level. Valley Insights can be accessed via Valley 365, a secure, nextlevel platform for connected crop management. It combines the best features of Valley remote technology solutions into a single sign-on platform and harnesses real-time data from three key areas of the agriculture ecosystem: equipment,

environment and agronomy. About Valley Irrigation Valley Irrigation founded the center pivot irrigation industry in 1954, and the brand is the worldwide leader in sales, service, quality and innovation. With historical sales of more than 250,000 center pivots and linears, Valmont-built equipment annually irrigates approximately 25 million acres around the world. The company remains dedicated to providing innovative, precision irrigation solutions now and into the future. For more information, please visit www.valleyirrigation.com.

About Prospera Prospera Technologies, Inc. is a developer of machine vision technologies that continuously monitor and analyze plant development, health and stress. Prospera captures multiple layers of climate and visual data from the crop field and provides actionable, easy-toread insights to growers via mobile and web dashboards. Its team of world-class computer scientists, physicists and agronomists work with experienced agri-business leaders to meet growers where they are and revolutionize the way food is grown. For more information, please visit www.prospera.ag.

Food & Farm Support Fund Surpasses $40,000 Rural Mutual Insurance focuses on collecting funds for Feeding Wisconsin Through the Wisconsin Food and Farm Support Fund, Rural Mutual Insurance and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation are raising money and awareness for Feeding Wisconsin and the Harvest of Hope program. Corporate partners of Rural Mutual have stepped up to donate to the fund, including the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. Their donation, in combination with individual contributions, brings the total amount raised to approximately $43,000 during the last couple months. “It’s encouraging to see how these tough times have brought many people closer together to support their communities. We’ve raised a significant amount in a short period of time and look forward to seeing the fund continue to grow,” says Jason Feist, vice president of customer acquisition and service at Rural Mutual Insurance. During this time many need support, and that’s why Rural Mutual Insurance and Wisconsin Farm Bureau partnered their fundraising efforts to create the Wisconsin Food and Farm Support Fund. FEEDING WISCONSIN Rural Mutual Insurance is focusing

on collecting funds for Feeding Wisconsin, the statewide association of the Feeding America foodbanks. Specifically, the funds have been used to provide dairy products to the food pantries to encourage movement/

consumption of milk and other Wisconsin agriculture products. Wisconsin Farm Bureau is focusing on collecting funds for Harvest of Hope, a farm family crisis relief fund that is continued on pg. 40

The UW Potato & Vegetable Storage Research Facility has begun testing the 2020 potato crop for chemical maturity & process quality. Our Quality Assurance Lab is open to anyone needing to evaluate their potatoes. We offer convenient testing arrangements and online data reporting including images of the fried product and more.

Call 715-249-5961 today to schedule samples or obtain more information on the testing services we provide for our potato grower clientele. BC�T July 39

Now News . . . continued from pg. 39

supported by the Madison Christian Community. Wisconsin farm families that are experiencing financial stress can fill out a short application requesting up to $1,500. “We are grateful to everyone who has contributed to this effort,” says

Bragger. “We take pride in providing some support to those who need it.”

Wisconsin Farm Bureau President and Rural Mutual Insurance President Joe

Learn more about the Wisconsin Food and Farm Support Fund by visiting https://www.ruralmutual.com/ about/donations/.

Volm Offers Sustainable Packaging Company answers demand with new technologies headed to market By Tad Thompson, reprinted with permission from The Produce News, www.theproducenews.com Volm Companies, Inc. is enabling fresh produce growers and packers to meet retail demand for displaying products in sustainable packaging. Marsha Verwiebe, director of marketing and communications for Volm, says a couple of new technologies are being used in


trials, or are on their way to the marketplace. These sustainable packaging materials are derived from sugarcane and can be disposed by the consumer in recycle bins with recyclable plastics. Currently in trials is a new sustainable mesh product created by JX Nippon

PILLOW PACK One product released early this spring and being tested now is the pillow pack, which looks like a mesh

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ANCI Inc. The product is CLAF-brand, with the trademark Bio Fabric, and is a U.S. Department of Agriculturecertified, bio-based product.

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white (transparent) logo

bag used with a label. One use for the pillow pack is to hold Creamer potatoes. Verwiebe said that there are many uses being tested now, and more package styles to come thereafter. Another sustainable packaging material product coming into the market from Volm is a post-consumer recycled film. “This is a sustainable solution to standard film and it uses no fossil fuels to produce resin,” Verwiebe says. “It’s the film used for labels on packaging.”

Verwiebe says Volm originally planned to exhibit at the United Fresh exhibition but will now be participating in the virtual United convention. Volm hopes that the Produce Marketing Association will be able to hold its Fresh Summit this October so the trade can touch and feel the company’s new products. Volm Companies, based in Antigo, Wisconsin, not only makes packaging and packing equipment to serve the fresh produce business, but also produces mesh materials used for greenhouses and elsewhere, as well as for non-produce foods.

One new mesh product offered by Volm Companies, Inc. is the CLAF-brand bio-based bag shown here holding potatoes.

Xyler Added to McCain Foods Contracts Matalaxyl fungicide for potatoes contracted for Columbian Basin Xyler FC fungicide, a fertilizer compatible Metalaxyl fungicide for potatoes by Vive Crop Protection, has been added to McCain Foods USA contracts, in the Columbia Basin, for 2020. Xyler FC provides the same excellent disease control as other Metalaxyl products but has significant handling benefits. It mixes perfectly with various fertilizers and types of water, allowing farmers to use less water during application, resulting in fewer stops to fill up. It provides cost and time

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savings by eliminating the need for blending/compatibility agents and also allows for application of multiple products at the same time. Jonathan Adamson, regional sales manager at Vive Crop Protection, says, “Xyler FC is really easy to use in chemigation or aerial application setups. Potato growers across the country will appreciate its convenience while providing the same level of control as Ridomil® Gold.” Xyler FC is one of five fertilizercompatible products for

potatoes available from Vive Crop Protection. About Vive Crop Protection Vive creates new ways to use trusted products using the Allosperse® Delivery System. Allosperse greatly improves the performance of pesticide active ingredients, helping farmers do more with less, while increasing crop quality and yield. Visit www.ViveCrop. com for more information.

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Whether you are a grower, industry partner or simply enjoy rural life, sign up to receive this prestigious publication in print version, delivered direct to your mailbox for $22/year (12 issues). wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe BC�T July 41

Badger Beat Recent and Emerging Insect Arrivals in Wisconsin Vegetables Brown Marmorated Stink Bug continues its range expansion and increase across the state By Russell L. Groves, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Entomology

In the 2019 crop season,

only a few insect populations were larger than expected and a few were regarded as the lowest on record. But, as has been reported in past years, we have several new and a few potential exotic and invasive insects that could affect processing vegetables in Wisconsin. One of these is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), a relatively recent arrival that has continued its range expansion and increase across the state. Recall, this pest species was initially detected in the state nearly nine years ago, with new reports over many counties in the west-central and southcentral parts of the state by January 2019. Since then, there have been established, reproducing populations throughout many portions of central and southern Wisconsin. This insect is now established as a serious pest of fruit, vegetables and field and forage crops in the Mid-Atlantic region, and BMSB will likely become a serious issue once populations increase in localized areas. In the Upper Midwest, processing vegetable and potato production regions containing crops such as pepper, green bean, sweet corn, tomato and even potato could be affected if populations become large and sufficiently damaging in the years to come. 42 BC�T July

BMSB activity seems to be concentrated in two principle regions of Wisconsin—the Highway 41 corridor from Fond du Lac up to Green Bay, and southern Wisconsin from Dane and Rock Counties east to the Milwaukee metro area. PLANT DAMAGE These two areas have the longest history of BMSB in the state and account for most reports thus far. Populations of BMSB are expected to build to a point where nuisance problems around structures are more prevalent and reports of potential plant damage will become commonplace. Native to Europe and southwestern Asia, the Swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii (Kieffer) Diptera: Cecidomyiidae, was identified on pheromone trap samples from Dane and Milwaukee counties in the summer of 2019.

Specifically, officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) confirmed two samples as positive for the presence of Swede midge using traps baited with pheromone lure and set in broccoli as part of a USDA Farm Bill “Pathways Survey.” The two records were collected on June 17, 2019, in Madison (Dane County), and on July 1, 2019, in Wauwatosa (Milwaukee County). Left: Distribution of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) in Wisconsin is mapped as of early 2019. BMSB has been confirmed in 28 counties. Map courtesy of P.J. Liesch, University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab (http://labs.russell.wisc. edu/insectlab/files/2018/11/BMSB-MapJanuary-2019.jpg) Right: An adult brown marmorated stink bug rests on the side of a building in the fall of the year. Photo courtesy of P.J. Liesch, UW-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab

Following definitive identifications, this information was released to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) on September 10, 2019. An additional four trapping locations (located in Dane, Sauk and Columbia counties) did not find any Swede midge through the 2019 survey season. Reports were initially provided by the USDA APHIS to Mr. Brian Kuhn, State Plant Regulatory Bureau director, and Krista Hamilton, entomologist with the Bureau. FIRST DETECTION This is regarded as the first Wisconsin detection of the insect that was originally identified in North America in 2000, where it was found in Ontario, Canada. In 2004, the first detection in the United States occurred in Niagara County, New York. The insect was later detected in Michigan, in 2015, and in Minnesota, 2016, and appears to have been spreading across northeast states and Canadian provinces since that time. Climatic projections suggest that the insect can easily become established in production areas within and around the state of Wisconsin. In areas of Europe where the Swede midge is endemic, the insect is regarded as a pest of cruciferous vegetable crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens and rutabagas. The insect can also be found infesting many cruciferous weed species to include wild mustard, wild radish, shepherd’s-purse, field pennycress, common pepper grass and yellow rocket. The Swede midge adult is a small, light-brown fly or midge (1-2 millimeters in size) and can be extremely difficult to distinguish from other closely related midge species.

Wisconsin is defined as a favorable or very favorable distribution area of Swede midge populations in the United States, as determined by climate projections. Map courtesy of Olfert et. al., 2006

New occurrences in un-infested areas require confirmation by a qualified insect taxonomist. Suspected samples can initially be directed to the

Insect Diagnostic Laboratory in the Department of Entomology (http:// labs.russell.wisc.edu/insectlab/). continued on pg. 44

Looking back on the past 50 years,

we realize how fortunate we are to be part of agriculture and of the central Wisconsin community. We started as a husband-and-wife-owned packaging company and have Your Total Agri-Supplier.” Agri-Supplier grown to be known as “Your We’re still family owned, and our 31 employees appreciate the loyalty and trust that you’ve placed in us.

We can’t wait to see what the ne xt 50 ye ars will look like! Plover, WI • 715-341-3445 • 800-236-2436 • info@jay-mar.com BC�T July 43

Badger Beat . . . continued from pg. 43

Shown is an example of a circa-2-millimeter adult Swede midge fly. Photo courtesy of Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org

Swede midge damage is shown in a terminal leader (meristem). Yellow circles indicate larval infestations. Photo courtesy of K. Hoepting (http://web.entomology.cornell.edu/swede-midge/ monitoring.html).

SPRING EMERGENCE Over-wintered adults emerge in the spring from mid-May through midJune, with peak emergence usually occurring around June 1.

susceptible cruciferous crops (and weeds), typically near the growing point (apical meristem).

After emergence, mated females will begin to lay eggs on the youngest, actively growing vegetative tissue of

Larvae hatch from eggs in about three days and begin to feed (as maggots) in groups of individuals on succulent plant tissue, completing their development in about 12-20

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days (temperature dependent). Larvae complete development and drop from affected plants onto the soil where they pupate for five to seven days, re-emerging as adults ready to initiate as many as four to five overlapping generations in a season. Larvae of the Swede midge damage crops through their oral secretions (saliva) that break down plant cell walls, allowing larvae to feed on the cellular contents. The saliva interacts with the plant tissues to produce swollen, distorted and twisted leaves and meristems. Significant damage to the terminal leader (meristem) can result in the formation of a blind head. Damage symptoms can be easily confused with other common problems. Check suspected plants carefully for the presence of larvae, examining the new growth more carefully. Detailed information discussing the impact of the pest, and associated management and control can be found by visiting these sites: http://web.entomology.cornell. edu/shelton/swede-midge/index. html http://www.omafra.gov. on.ca/english/crops/facts/08-007. htm https://www.canr.msu.edu/ news/swede_midge_biology_and_ management.

New Products

Midac FC Insecticide Receives EPA Registration Imidacloprid controls aphids, Colorado potato beetles, leafhoppers and potato psyllids Potato and sugar beet growers who want long-lasting control of sucking and chewing pests have a unique new tool. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently registered Midac FC (imidacloprid), the newest addition to Vive Crop Protection’s product lineup. “For many years, farmers have had to choose between applying liquid fertilizer at planting or protecting the crop with imidacloprid. Equipment modifications were required, or the product needed to be applied at much lower rates as a seed treatment,” explains Dan Bihlmeyer, Vive Crop Protection vice president of sales and marketing.

“Now, with new Midac FC, farmers can apply both liquid fertilizer and imidacloprid at planting, and at a rate that will provide long-lasting control of key pests in potatoes and sugar beets,” Bihlmeyer explains.

SOIL APPLICATION As a soil application, Midac FC provides proven control of aphids, Colorado potato beetles, flea beetles, leafhoppers and potato psyllid in continued on pg. 46

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New Products . . . continued from pg. 45

potatoes, as well as suppression of symptoms of potato leaf roll virus (PLRV), potato yellows, net necrosis and wireworms. In sugar beets, Midac FC controls aphids, leafhoppers, whiteflies and flea beetles. Midac FC contains the Allosperse “delivery system in a jug,” novel technology that changes how proven active ingredients behave in the spray tank.

free uniform protection across the field, even through pivots, with liquid fertilizer or hard water, and especially when application is delayed by rain or an important family commitment. Midac FC key benefits: • The best mixing imidacloprid on the market and the only one that is compatible with liquid fertilizer • Provides outstanding systemic control of both sucking and chewing pests

This eliminates plugged nozzles and clogged lines as well as bulky and expensive equipment.

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It provides peace of mind with hassle-

Midac FC is available to potato and

• Long-lasting control of target pests

sugar beet growers for the 2020 growing season. For more information, contact Arlene Warner, Vive Crop Protection marketing and communications manager, 519-222-2226, awarner@ vivecrop.com. About Vive Crop Protection Vive makes proven products cutting edge with the Allosperse Delivery System. Allosperse improves the performance of pesticide active ingredients, helping farmers do more with less while increasing crop quality and yield. Visit www.ViveCrop.com for more information.

Tasteful Selections Gets Patriotic with Medley Bite-size potato innovator releases American Blend just in time for the summer Bringing nutrition, convenience, flavor and versatility to everyday meals, Tasteful Selections® introduces a new, limited-time offering of a unique bite-size medley—American Blend. Mixing sweet and nutty flavors, this new blend offers consistently soft textures. The American Blend features a trio of

Tasteful Selections varieties including Ruby Sensation®, Purple Passion™ and White Delights.

operations. “We are eager to bring these bite-size potatoes to market, just in time for summer.”

“The pairing of these three varieties will really give this new American Blend the perfect patriotic visual of red, white and blue,” says Tim Huffcutt, Tasteful Selections vice president of sales and marketing

In addition to the new item, Tasteful Selections created fresh recipes specifically for the American Blend. Liberate your taste buds with American Skewers, Gourmet Red, White and Blue Potato Salad, and more! The new American Blend item will be offered in a 24-ounce mesh pillow pack bag and will be available just in time for summer. From sea to shining sea, consumers will love Tasteful Selections’ American Blend! 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.

46 BC�T July

Auxiliary News By Devin Zarda, vice president, WPGA

Hello, friends! I am sure

that you have already heard, but the Wisconsin State Fair has been canceled for the 2020 season. I, like many others, feel a sense of disappointment, but I completely understand the intention of the fair to keep everyone safe. I will miss seeing the familiar faces, helping teach people that Wisconsin grows some darn good potatoes, and eating all the other food at the fair. When the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board sat down to budget for the 2020-’21 fiscal year, we created two budgets, one as if the fair would occur as scheduled and one as if canceled. Because we were prepared, we have a game plan moving forward despite the Wisconsin State Fair being our largest fundraising opportunity. As an organization, we will be okay. I do have to extend a huge thank you to past members of our Board. Because of their foresight, wisdom and leadership, we were prepared

for such a situation. We will still be able to run our educational programs, help with the scholarship funding and hopefully still have a get-together with our members. Our events might be a little smaller

and our reach slightly diminished, but we are going nowhere. I cannot wait until we all get a chance to get together again. Until next time,


Above: Unfortunately, resulting from COVID-19, the 2020 State Fair has been canceled, and thus the WPGA baked potato booth will remain empty, and there will be no appearances by Spudly or the Spudmobile there this year.

BC�T July 47

Manage Common Scab and Verticillium Wilt of Potato

Strike fumigation products help suppress soilborne diseases and improve total yields By Dr. Chad Hutchinson, Ph.D.

ADJUSTABLE AUTOMATIC MASTER POTATO BALER Bag Sense “no bag, no dump” Works with poly and paper master bags! Two year limited warranty

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48 BC�T July

• Variable speed accelerator conveyor assembly with JMC Space Saver Incline • Product decelerator to eliminate bounce • NEMA 12 electrical “swing-away” control panel with interloc • Motorized Bag Saddle Conveyor (150 fpm) • High speed intermediate take away conveyor with horizontal alignment

Farming has always been a business that succeeds through innovation. Innovations over the years have allowed farms to increasingly produce more potatoes per acre, staying ahead of production cost. As potato production costs increase, one must sell more potatoes to make up the difference. Production efficiency is a term that can be used to measure the ability of farming innovation to increase potato yield over time. Farmers improve production efficiency through many methods, including variety selection (when possible), proper and timely nutrition, equipment, irrigation and disease suppression. Successful farming operations strive Above: Potato fields are shown side-by-side, one showing signs of distress from verticillium wilt (left) and one treated with Strike fumigant (right).

to improve on these factors each year to maintain or improve profitability. Is there room for improvement? Marketable yield drives production efficiency. To be successful as a potato farmer, one needs to maximize marketable yield.

MAXIMIZE MARKETABLE YIELD Maximizing marketable yield can be achieved in two ways. First, one can increase total potato yield with marketable tonnage following along with the increase. Or, secondly, a grower can maintain historical total yields while increasing the percentage of potatoes that make

Above: Potatoes show signs of common scab (left), while those treated with Strike 80 (center) and Strike 85 (right) are marketable examples.

a marketable grade. Ideally, one would prefer to do both, increase total yields and the continued on pg. 50

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Manage Common Scab and Verticillium Wilt of Potato. . . continued from pg. 49

percentage of potatoes that grade into marketable classes. The largest negative impact on marketable yield is caused by soilborne diseases such as common scab and verticillium wilt. Of the two, common scab is the most frustrating limiter to marketable yield.

“The largest negative impact on marketable yield is caused by soilborne diseases such as common scab and verticillium wilt.” – Dr. Chad Hutchinson, Ph.D.

A grower can adjust soil pH, lengthen rotations and maintain appropriate soil moisture to try to manage common scab. However, common scab can cause problems even with the best intended improvements to soil chemistry and cultural practices.

Every potato that does not make marketable grade because of common scab was grown at a cost but provided little to no return on investment.

into an average or bad year.

Common scab problems become frustratingly apparent at the end of season when potatoes are washed and graded.

ROBBING FARM OF PROFIT The disease can rob a farm of profit, stealing away a percentage of potatoes that could turn a good year

Strike soil fumigation products help manage verticillium wilt, which improves total yields. In addition, Strike products are also used to

Soil fumigants are used to manage soilborne diseases and improve total yields. But not all soil fumigants are the same.

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For a directory of Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato Growers or a free video, contact: P.O. Box 173, Antigo, WI 54409 715-623-4039 www.potatoseed.org

Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association, Inc. P.O. Box 173 • Antigo, WI 54409 • 715-623-4039 50 BC�T July

ViewView a directory a directory ofof the the Wisconsin Certified Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato Growers Seed Potato Growers your smartphone. on youronsmartphone.


consistently manage common scab. Through suppression of soilborne diseases, Strike products can improve not only total yield, but also improve the percentage of total yield that makes a marketable grade. Farming is a business built on innovation. Innovation improves production efficiency and profitability. It comes from many different areas, including equipment, varieties, nutrition and irrigation. Innovation also comes from one’s choice of soil fumigant. Strike soil fumigants can provide the next step in on-farm innovation to move your operation forward. For more information, visit www. strikefumigants.com.

Above: Common scab problems (left) become frustratingly apparent at the end of season when potatoes are washed and graded.

Congratulations to Bill Page 2020 Wisconsin Certified Crop Advisor of the Year! We appreciate the more than 40 years of innovation, exceptional service, integrity and expertise Bill brings to our potato and specialty crop growers throughout Wisconsin and the UP.

Insightfs.com Insight FS - Antigo (715) 627-4844 BC�T July 51

NPC News Rep. Mike Simpson Joins Eye on Potatoes Podcast Congressman discusses digging out from oversupply of 2019 potatoes

As potato growers continue to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic fallout, Congressman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and the entire Idaho congressional delegation are championing policy solutions to support the nation’s struggling potato industry. In late May, Congressman Simpson joined the National Potato Council (NPC) “Eye On Potatoes” podcast to discuss the role Congress needs to play as the industry works to dig out from a 1.5 billion pound oversupply of 2019 potatoes stuck in the supply chain, and seek meaningful direct payment relief to keep family farms in business.

NPC CEO Kam Quarles called in from Washington D.C. to discuss improvements the U.S. Department of Agriculture should make to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and the $300 million in additional potato purchases the industry needs to help bring supply and demand back into balance. To download Rep. Simpson’s discussion and subscribe to the NPC “Eye on Potatoes” podcast, visit: https://www.buzzsprout. com/770336/3962309-u-s-rep-mikesimpson-on-congressional-relief-forfamily-farms.

Congressman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) joined the National Potato Council (NPC) “Eye on Potatoes” podcast to discuss the role Congress needs to play as the industry works to dig out from a 1.5 billion pound oversupply of 2019 potatoes.

USDA Direct Payment Program Faces Challenges On June 4, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that it has approved more than $545 million in payments to producers who have applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).

As the program roll-out continues and more details become available, deficiencies in the program are becoming more evident. It is currently unclear if producers with contracts can participate in any meaningful way.

that averages five feet deep, your personal circumstances vary greatly if you’re in the deep or shallow end,” Quarles reasons.

FSA has received over 86,000 applications since the application period opened on May 26 and made payments to 35,000 producers.

LOW-LEVEL PAYMENTS Additionally, the potential payments are set at levels that are not substantial in the categories in which potatoes qualify.

Through CFAP, USDA is making $16 billion available in financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five percent or greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.

“The specialty crop sector has been particularly difficult for USDA to assist, as the data they have is clearly not comprehensive for numerous fruits and vegetables that are serving the food service industry,” says NPC CEO Kam Quarles. “That missing data created holes in the program that left heavilyimpacted specialty crops without meaningful support,” Quarles adds. 52 BC�T July

In the largest category that left out many specialty crops, including potatoes, USDA used a national average to determine which commodities suffered a loss great enough to allow them in the program. “These types of averages don’t work well for commodities produced in numerous states and circumstances such as potatoes. If you are standing on the bottom of a swimming pool

FSA will accept applications through August 28, 2020.

Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms from farmers.gov/cfap.

Ali's Kitchen

Air Fryer Potato Fries: A Culinary Hit! The boys forgot about video games, eating right off the parchment papers Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary The weeks of stay-at-home mandates and favorite restaurants boarded up with “Closed Due to COVID-19” signs on their doors had an interesting impact on some families. Many suddenly found themselves in the unfamiliar territory of preparing three meals a day, day after day, and some took on the brand-new adventure of learning to cook for themselves for the very first time. It seems that unprecedented times and forced change swirled together to create more cooks in their kitchens, and a few minutes on social media reveals a current interest in cooking gadgets and simple recipes. In particular, I noticed quite a number of posts throughout the months of April and May about people cooking

with air fryers, and this inspired me to dig through our top pantry shelves and locate our little-used appliance. After dusting off the air fryer and using it for a day or two, I remembered why it was tucked away on that top shelf, but I also recalled that it does a fabulous job when you want a batch of hot, crispy, homemade French fries! FAST, CRISPY FOOD An air fryer is a small convection oven that cooks food by circulating hot air at high speed. This, along with the small space, produces crispy food in a fraction of the time it would take in a conventional oven. This is good when you’re looking to cook something quickly and you want the food to come out crisp. However, the air fryer baskets are small … small, small. And this is not so good when attempting to use one to cook a meal that will feed more than a couple people. In that case, you will end up having to cook in batches and this often feels time consuming and a bit frustrating to me. Oh, but the French fries that come out of an air fryer are fabulous! Baked French fries are delicious, yet they do not have the same texture as the fried version.


Air Fryer Potato Fries • 1 lb. potatoes (peeled and sliced into 1/4-1/2-inch French fries) • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (melted) • 1/2 tsp. sea salt • 1/2 tsp. course ground black pepper • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt • 1/8 tsp. onion powder

Ingredients: Fry Sauce

• 1-1/2 cups mayonnaise • 1/4 cup ketchup • 2 Tbsp. Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce (more or less, depending how spicy you like things) • 1 Tbsp. pickle juice • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce • 1/4 tsp. paprika • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder • 1/2 tsp. salt

continued on pg. 54 BC�T July 53

Ali's Kitchen. . .

Advertisers Index

continued from pg. 53

While fries made in the air fryer are still not quite as indulgently gratifying as those deep-fried potatoes, they do come very close and use a tiny bit of oil comparatively. Classic ketchup is always good for dipping French fries, but I have a love for creating sauces and a belief that the right sauce can make the best food all the better. Pair these fries with the sauce and you will have a culinary hit on your hands! FRENCH FRY FEAST We have enjoyed a lot of French fries at our house since I rediscovered the ease of making them in our air fryer last month. This latest batch was made as a mid-afternoon snack while our middle son was home for the weekend. The middle and youngest sons had disappeared to play games downstairs and I had not heard or seen them for a good solid hour or more. After I laid the hot fries out on parchment paper, mixed up a small bowl of the sauce and called my husband and the two boys into the kitchen, no one left the room. The three boys pulled out stools and sat around the kitchen counter. We did not bother with plates, but instead chose to eat communal style directly from the parchment paper and enjoyed the fries while chatting and tentatively making plans for our upcoming summer months. It is amazing how food can bring people together, isn't it? Potato fries are the classic comfort food, an easy side dish that will go perfectly with anything you’re grilling this summer, or the perfect afternoon snack when you want kids to forget about the video games and just hang out for a while. TIPS: • Russets are typically the go-to potato for fries. I tried russets and yellows, and both worked equally well. 54 BC�T July

• You can peel the potatoes if you want or leave the skin on. I prefer no peel on my fries but leaving the skin on saves time. • The thinner you cut your fries, the crispier they will become in the air fryer. • Do your best to cut the potatoes into uniform-sized fries so they cook and crisp up at the same time. That way, you are not left with some fries that are under-cooked while others are overly crunchy. • Coconut oil handles high heat better than olive oil. I prefer coconut oil for a nice, crisp French fry. But if you do not care for the subtle flavor, feel free to use olive oil. • While every air fryer is different, smaller fries cook faster and largercut fries generally take close to 20 minutes or longer to cook. Adjust your cook time as needed.

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DIRECTIONS Set air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit and allow to preheat for 10 minutes.

North Central Irrigation...............45

Pat the fries dry with a paper towel (wet fries = soggy fries), then place in a zip-top baggie and drizzle with the oil and seasonings. Toss to coat. Pull out the basket and basket holder of your air fryer. Add the fries to bottom of air fryer basket. Replace the basket and close the air fryer. Set the timer to 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to shake the basket every 5 minutes or so to help the fries cook evenly.

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To make the fry sauce, add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Swiderski Equipment...................13

When the potatoes are crispy and cooked through, transfer the fries to a serving plate, sprinkle with a bit more salt to taste and don’t forget your fry sauce for dipping.

TriCal Group...................................2

Enjoy! Find more recipes at www.LifeOnGraniteRidge.com.

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