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Badger Common’Tater

November 2016

THE VOICE OF WISCONSIN'S POTATO & VEGETABLE INDUSTRY

Annual Seed Issue 2016 WISCONSIN CERTIFIED Seed Potato Growers Directory HOME OF THE HODAG (W5955-1) New Variety HELPING FARMERS One Potato at a Time FRESH MARKET POTATO Variety Development

Volume 68 Number 11 $18.00/year $1.50/copy

INTERVIEW:

Don Wirz

Owner and President, Wirz, Inc. Seed Potato Farm

The view is good from the back of a windrower during harvest at Wirz, Inc. seed potato farm. Photo by Justin Euler


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Rick Kantner Chris Lockery Paul Katz

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Mitch Bushman Maria Yenter • Bob Dobbe John Hopfensperger • John Eckendorf Jerome Bushman (FL - WI) Mike Gatz, Jim Stefan and Rick Kantner (Milwaukee) Sam Saccullo (All fruits and vegetables) Mike Whyte (Michigan) Mike Carter CEO

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Badger Common'Tater

On the Cover: The view from the back of the windrower is good, with rows of potatoes still to harvest, the flag flying and blue skies above Wirz, Inc. seed potato farm. Photo courtesy of Justin Euler, grandson of this issue’s interviewee, Don Wirz.

8 Badger cOMMON’TATER INTERVIEW: Don Wirz

Wirz, Inc. Owner and President Don Wirz explains how his seed potato farm has grown from 40 acres in 1960 to nearly 300 acres today, and why he believes the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program is one of the best, most comprehensive of its kind in the nation.

Departments: ALI’S KITCHEN................... 69 AUXILIARY NEWS…….........63 EYES ON ASSOCIATES....... 64

14 HODAG IS FOR REAL! Long-storage potato chip processing variety shows common scab resistance

30 iNSIGHT FS HOSTS AGRIBUSINESS TOUR Wisconsin Agri-Business Association co-hosts event

44 MARKETPLACE 600 baked potatoes and 1,200 servings of fries given away at SpudBowl 2016

Feature Articles: 26 HELPING WISCONSIN FARMERS understand and manage late blight 40 2016 WISCONSIN CERTIFIED Seed Potato Growers Directory

56 VARIETY DEVELOPMENT: Breeding and selection of candidate lines 4

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MARK YOUR CALENDAR..... 6 NEW PRODUCTS............... 66 NPC NEWS........................ 54 PEOPLE ............................ 50 PLANTING IDEAS................ 6 POTATOES USA NEWS...... 61 SEED PIECE........................ 60 WPIB FOCUS .................... 60


WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Mark Finnessy Vice President: Eric Schroeder Secretary: Gary Wysocki Treasurer: Josh Mattek Directors: Steve Diercks, Rod Gumz, Ron Krueger, Wes Meddaugh & Andy Wallendal Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: President: Heidi Alsum-Randall Vice President: Richard Okray Secretary: Bill Wysocki Treasurer: Keith Wolter Directors: John Bobek, Cliff Gagas, John T. Schroeder, Tom Wild and Andy Diercks WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors: President: Wayne Solinsky Vice President: Zach Mykisen

Secretary: Cathy Schommer Treasurer: Casey Kedrowski Directors: Dale Bowe, Nick Laudenbach, Sally Suprise & Joel Zalewski Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: Eric Schroeder Vice President: Bill Guenthner Secretary/Treasurer: Jeff Fassbender Directors: Dan Kakes & Charlie 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: Danielle Sorano Coordinator of Community Relations: Jim Zdroik Spudmobile Assistant: Doug Foemmel

Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board of Directors: President: Paula Houlihan Vice President: Ali Carter Secretary/Treasurer: Gabrielle Okray Eck Directors: Kathy Bartsch, Deniell Bula, Marie Reid & Jody Baginski

WPVGA Office (715) 623-7683 • FAX: (715) 623-3176 E-mail Address: wpvga@wisconsinpotatoes.com Website: www.wisconsinpotatoes.com Like Us On Facebook: www.facebook.com/WPVGA

Mission Statement of the WPVGA: “To assist WPVGA members to be successful through education, information, environmentally sound research, promotion, governmental action, and involvement.” Mission Statement of the WPVGA Associate Division: “Our mission is 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: $1.50/copy, $18.00/year; $30/2 years. Foreign; $30/year; $50/2 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.

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Mark Your

Calendar November 29-Dec. 9 SOIL, WATER & NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT MEETINGS Contact Francisco Arriaga, Francisco.arriaga@wisc.edu Nov. 29: Comfort Inn, DeForest, WI Nov. 30: Jake’s Northwoods, Sparta, WI Dec. 1: Clarion Hotel, Eau Claire, WI Dec. 2: M arshfield Ag Research Station, Marshfield, WI Dec. 6: Millhome Supper Club, Kiel, WI Dec. 7: The Main Event, Cecil, WI Dec. 8: I owa Co. Health & Human Services Bldg., Dodgeville, WI Dec. 9: Dodge Co. Admin. Bldg., Juneau, WI

January 2017 2-3 POTATOES USA WINTER MEETING San Francisco, CA 4-6 POTATO EXPO 2017 & NPC ANNUAL MEETING San Francisco, CA 10-12 WISCONSIN AGRIBUSINESS CLASSIC Alliant Energy Center Madison, WI

FEBRUARY 7-9 WPVGA GROWER EDUCATION CONFERENCE & INDUSTRY SHOW Holiday Inn, Stevens Point, WI 13-16 POTATO DC FLY-IN The Mayflower Hotel Washington, DC 20 NPPGA (NORTHERN PLAINS POTATO GROWERS ASSOCATION) ANNUAL MEETING, BANQUET AND RESEARCH REPORTING CONFERENCE Grand Forks, ND 21-22 INTERNATIONAL CROP EXPO Grand Forks, ND

march 13-15 MIDWEST FOODSERVICE EXPO Wisconsin Center Milwaukee, WI 13-16 POTATOES USA ANNUAL MEETING Marriott City Center Denver, CO 28-30 WPS FARM SHOW (57th ANNUAL) EAA Grounds, 1001 Waukau Ave. Oshkosh, WI

june 17 FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN MOBILEPACK EVENT Noel Hangar Stevens Point, WI

Planting Ideas Instead of planting ideas this issue, a couple ideas were

planted in me. At the end of his “Eyes On Associates” column, Wayne Solinsky suggests that, with harvest season as busy as it is for growers and others in the industry, many people, himself included, probably don’t take the time to enjoy the fall colors and all the beauty that surrounds them. So, with camera in hand, I went outside and captured some of the autumn leaves, freshly harvested fields and the brilliant array of colors surrounding my own home in Rosholt, Wisconsin. A second idea was deliberately planted in my brain (with sincere and good intentions), and it’s funny, but it had a similar effect on me as Wayne’s idea—it inspired me. Perhaps it will do the same for readers. This time the idea came from Jerry Bushman, who rang me up on my cell phone and asked me to stop by Bushmans’, Inc., which also happens to be near my house in Rosholt. Having been taught to do what I’m told, I hopped in the car and drove on over to Bushmans’ to see what Jerry had in mind. After rifling through his desk drawers for a few minutes, Jerry found what he was looking for. He said, “My son, Mitch, was bumming around this past weekend down in the Princeton area, and he ran across a guy named Paul Wiegel who owns the Fox River Poetry Company. Paul offers custom-made, personalized poems on any subject his customers choose. After he talked to Paul for a little while, Mitch challenged Paul to write a poem about a potato, and right there, on the spot, Paul wrote this.” Jerry handed me the following poem: Potato Consider the humble potato; its modesty and sincerity, like a wise, old uncle sitting in the back of the room, quiet, but with all the knowledge of the world contained within. Down-to-earth and honest with its day’s work of growing. Consider all that it can do, this utility infielder of food, it can’t be dismissed or denied. This is no side dish. It’s your full-bellied friend, the one you rely on. This is redemption for you brought from the soil and sun.

Please email me with your thoughts and questions. If you wish to be notified when our free online magazine is available monthly, here is the subscriber link: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe.

Joe Kertzman Managing Editor jkertzman@wisconsinpotatoes.com


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Interview

Donald Wirz, President, Wirz, Inc. By Joe Kertzman, Managing Editor

NAME: Donald Wirz TITLE: Owner and president COMPANY: Wirz, Inc. LOCATION: Antigo, WI HOMETOWN: Antigo, WI YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: 39, since 1977 PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: Lifetime of farming after serving four years in the U.S. Air Force SCHOOLING: High school ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association President from 1980-1982, WPVGA member, Elks Club member, served on the U.S. Potato Board FAMILY: Daughter, Angel Wirz, and sons, Marshall Wirz and Guy Euler HOBBIES: Golf, tennis and travel

Just off meandering Highway 64 west of Antigo where it meets Ackley Road to the north is Wirz Lane, and what a pretty spot it is for a seed potato farm. Nestled in a few trees with farmland spread out in every direction, the house, storage sheds, long driveway and office take up a square of land and a little piece of paradise. What makes Wirz, Inc. even more endearing are the people working the land, real people, a farm family, including Donald Wirz, owner and president of the farm; his daughter, Angel; grandson and shop manager, Kyle Zarda; a second grandson and the farm’s electrical technician, Justin Euler; and that’s just the beginning of the extended family benefiting from the operation. Donald began growing potatoes in 1960, and in 1964, he joined the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program and began to exclusively grow seed potatoes. Currently, Wirz, Inc., grows approximately 300 acres of foundation and certified seed potatoes. You started growing potatoes in 1960. Tell me a little bit about how you got started, why, if you had farmed before and what your goals were in starting Wirz, Inc. I grew up on a dairy and potato farm. After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, I returned to the farm in 1969. The following year, my guardian and I continued only growing potatoes. After another four years, he retired,

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and I proceeded farming on my own. It was 1964, and at that time, I started growing strictly seed potatoes. What made you take that step, why seed potatoes, and has it paid off? The reason I went into growing seed potatoes is that it seemed more profitable than growing table and process potatoes at the time, and more challenging. This a great seed-producing area due to its northern location, the Top: Wirz, Inc. seed potato farm, owned by Don Wirz, is a family operation in every sense of the word. Don’s daughter, Angel, shown here with her dad, is responsible for marketing the seed potatoes and managing the office. Photo of Don and Angel courtesy of Don’s grandson, Justin Euler


availability of irrigation and the soil type—Antigo silt loam. How many acres of seed potatoes do you grow and what types? We produce about 275-300 acres of chip variety potatoes, mainly Snowden, Atlantic, MegaChip, Pike and Lamoka. How many people do you employ on the farm, and are those year-round workers? We have 12 employees, and of those, five are year-round workers. Who are your main customers for seed potatoes, and has that customer base changed over the years, and if so, how? Our main customers for seed potatoes are chip growers in Michigan and Wisconsin. We do ship seed potatoes into many other states, from New York to Oregon. Our customer base has changed from table stock growers to strictly chip growers.

readings plus one winter test reading. We believe we have one of the best, most comprehensive certification programs in the nation. Why these varieties—Atlantic, Pike, Lamoka, Snowden and MegaChip— and what are the advantages in this area? These are the varieties our customers demand, and of these, Snowden is our favorite. What type of soil are you farming on, and how is that conducive to seed potatoes? Most of our fields are on silt loam soils, which provide the plants with adequate organic matter for loose, fertile conditions. The varieties that we grow do very well here.

Left: A harvester loads a bulk box truck with seed potatoes at Wirz, Inc. farm. Farm manager Kyle Zarda sits in the driver’s seat of the harvester. Photo courtesy of Justin Euler Right: Kyle Zarda, farm manager of Wirz, Inc. and grandson of Don Wirz, looks on as the windrowers go to work during harvest season 2016. Photo courtesy of Justin Euler

How was the harvest this year, and where are the seed potatoes now stored or shipped? So far the harvest season has been very good, except for some rain delays. All our potatoes are stored in one location and will be shipped throughout the winter months, mainly in March and April. continued on pg. 10

How has your farming operation progressed over the years? Mostly in acreage—our acres have increased from 40 acres in 1960 to nearly 300 acres today. Explain the process, summarizing it, for seed potato certification and the steps you have to go through to have seed certified. We start with small foundation seed lots (approximately three to eight acres apiece) from the Wisconsin State farm, which we increase for our commercial lots. The Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program includes two summer BC�T November

9


Interview. . . continued from pg. 9

Do you have storage, bagging and packaging operations on the farm? All our potatoes are graded out of our one facility, which includes bulk, tote or bag packaging.

improved over the years because of improvements to the ventilation systems and storage equipment. After harvest is also a good time to work on equipment maintenance and repair.

Above: Three generations of the Wirz, Inc. family include Kyle Zarda (left), shop manager and grandson to Don Wirz (center) and Angel Wirz (right), Don’s daughter in charge of marketing the seed potatoes and managing the office. Photo courtesy of Justin Euler

Is seed potato growing a year-long operation, and what will that entail in the coming months? Yes, potato sales are an important year-long part of the operation. Also at this time and continuing through spring, the air systems in the storage facility are monitored to ensure quality.

Do you also do variety research and experimentation, and if so, what and how? Yes, we work with small experimental seed lots as our customers request them.

we have the advantage of not only a more northern location, but also cooler temperatures, which provide more protection from insect pressure.

Potato storage has greatly

Is Wisconsin and specifically North Central Wisconsin a leader in seed potatoes, and why or why not? Located in North Central Wisconsin,

How do you see the growing of seed potatoes changing or evolving in the future? We foresee the continued on pg. 12

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Interview. . . continued from pg. 10

Above & Right: A John Deere 8400 T tractor pulls a windrower on a beautiful, clear harvest day on Wirz, Inc. seed potato farm. Bottom: A Wirz, Inc. bulk box truck shields the view of a windrower, alongside it, pulling a harvester behind.

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biggest changes happening in variety expansion, as research develops more disease-resistant varieties. How do you foresee your own operation expanding or changing in the future? The demand for seed potatoes from our customers is what would expand our operation. Do you have anything you want to add that readers should know

Jim Hoffa 715-366-4181 715-340-4757

about your operation or the seed potato industry in general? My family is very involved in the seed business. My daughter, Angel Wirz, is responsible for the marketing of the seed potatoes and managing the office. My grandson, Kyle Zarda, the farm manager, is responsible for the growing of crops, storage of all the crops and the grading.

Left: Manl Malueg, a shop manager at Wirz, Inc., takes time out from some mechanical work on a combine to pose for a picture. Photo courtesy of Justin Euler Right: Don Wirz’s granddaughter, Angel (named after her mom), painted the Roadrunner and other cartoon characters on several pieces of farm machinery scattered around Wirz, Inc

I see the future being successful for the family.

Todd Schill 715-335-4900 715-498-2020

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Home of the Hodag Unlike its folkloric namesake, Hodag is a potato chip processing variety with common scab resistance By Felix Navarro, UW-Madison research program manager, superintendent of the Hancock Agricultural Research Station For years Wisconsin seed and commercial chip potato growers have been searching for varieties with common scab resistance. Among those that have filled that niche are Pike, and in recent years, Lamoka and Waneta.

Waneta have very good resistance to common scab and excellent potential for long-storage processing, but Lamoka’s susceptibility to storage rot and Waneta’s low specific gravity are important limitations for these varieties.

Pike is limited on the length of storage that it provides and has limited yield potential. Lamoka and

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Hodag represents a new choice for a long-storage processing potato

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Above: Shown are Hodag (W5955-1) tubers dug from green plants.

chipping variety. Its potential has been established by several years of data in Wisconsin and out-of-state breeding and variety development trials. Hodag (W5955-1) formed from a 2002 cross of Pike with Dakota Pearl. Selection work was done and preliminary results presented in growers’ meetings. Stable scab resistance was established by Felix Navarro, University of WisconsinMadison research program manager, and colleagues in a 2015 article published in the Potato Association of America’s The American Journal of Potato Research. CLONE PEDIGREE This clone was proposed for tissue


culture cleaning and subsequent SPUDPRO seed production in 2010 and 2011. The pedigree of Hodag was established by the use of molecular markers on a pedigree reconstruction article by Jeff Endelman, assistant professor of horticulture, and others, and submitted for publication. Rapid plant development observed in Hodag is an attractive attribute since it helps crop establishment and weed management.

Above: Miller Cranberry Inc. of Portage County is allowed to use water, and even have a bulkhead, for flooding fields during harvest and “freezing them under” in winter.

Figure 1 shows 2015 data that indicates that Hodag can establish itself as fast as Atlantic and faster than Snowden at the beginning of the cycle, and stay green for a period similar or longer than Snowden. In the same study, Waneta, a competing common scab resistant variety, had very slow initial growth and delayed crop establishment.

Figure 1: Plant growth curves (canopy coverage) of six chip varieties explain variation of early development maturity and the exuberant plant growth of Hodag. continued on pg. 16

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Home of the Hodag. . . continued from pg. 15

Hodag exhibits fast tuber size development. In Wisconsin, for late April planting, Hodag tuber size might be similar to Atlantic, Waneta and Lamoka by mid-August (Fig. 2). Hodag also has the capacity to stay green longer than many other varieties. Late in the cycle, Hodag tends to grow large tubers if spacing is 12 inches. Tighter spacing and moderate nitrogen rates may help contain Hodag tuber growth. High tuber growth may have an influence on moderate levels of hollow heart observed on large Hodag tubers. A second component of tuber maturity is tuber skin setting. Results indicate that Hodag sets skin comparable to Snowden and quicker than Lamoka and Waneta. Tuber bulking studies from 2015, with less than 12 inches spacing, indicated that Hodag, for late April planting in Wisconsin, may be harvested green as early as midAugust. Hodag also has competitive yields and specific gravity in Wisconsin and other states. Experiments in 22 locations were used to compare Hodag and Snowden, indicating that Hodag yields are very similar to Snowden (Fig. 3). continued on pg. 18

Figure 2: Illustrated is a comparison of tuber development between Hodag (W5955-1), Atlantic, Lamoka, Pinnacle, Snowden and Waneta.

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Home of the Hodag. . . continued from pg. 16

Similarly, Hodag had specific gravity similar to Snowden in most of the 22 locations, and yield and specific gravity similar to Snowden are incentives for producing Hodag. Research published by Navarro and collaborators in the June of 2015 issue of The American Journal of Potato Research indicated selection, under mild-to-high common scab incidence and severity in permanent fields planted each year with potatoes, provides a valuable mean to select common scab resistant varieties. Selection trials following a four-year rotation with corn and soybeans did not provide an efficient way to select for common scab resistance. Screening for common scab under a permanent, non-fumigated field planted each summer with potatoes led Navarro and others to identify and select Hodag as one of the chipping varieties with highest resistance to common scab. The stability of resistance to common scab was proven by experiments in multiple locations and years of selection for common scab under mild-to-severe disease potential. Locations included fields at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station, and in those of collaborating growers and experimental fields continued on pg. 20

Figure 3: Tuber yield and specific gravity of Hodag (W5955-1) are compared to Snowden over 22 trials.

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Home of the Hodag. . . continued from pg. 18

located in Alliston, Ontario, Canada in collaboration with Dr. Eugenia Banks of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Ontario. Typical responses of Hodag compared with susceptible varieties of Atlantic and Snowden in fields with and without common scab incidence are shown in the accompanying images. Common scab resistance in Hodag is inherited from both parents—Pike and Dakota Pearl. Shown is the typical performance of Hodag, Atlantic and Snowden in common scab trials carried out in permanent non-fumigated fields (upper panel) and breeding trials (rotation and fumigation). Observe pit scab symptoms for Atlantic and Snowden and no such symptoms for Hodag.

Hodag Scab Trial

Hodag Breeding Trial

Atlantic Scab Trial

Atlantic Breeding Trial

Snowden Scab Trial

Snowden Breeding Trial

indicated that Hodag’s increase in sucrose due to cold-induced sweetening at 45 degrees was delayed for two months compared to Snowden. Hodag sucrose after

stabilizing in storage reached 0.4 mg/ kg tuber fresh weight by June 9, while Snowden reached that sucrose level on April 8.

Several years of research in storage indicates that Hodag has the capacity to maintain chip color for 8-9 months, and potentially longer depending on the year. During 2014-’15 trials at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station, Hodag performed well in 4548 degree Fahrenheit storages. In a mild year for maintaining quality, fry color from Hodag was maintained through June 9, whereas some color was appreciated in Snowden by May and by June 9, and Snowden chip color had completely deteriorated resulting in poor chip quality. Similarly, sucrose and glucose profiles

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These results are consistent with experiments we conducted as we selected this variety in previous years. Experience from previous years of processing potatoes from the Hancock Research Station indicates that 2014-’15 was a favorable season for Snowden chip colors. Usually Snowden chips would start to discolor as early as late March and typically sometime in April. As a general rule, this follows continued on pg. 22


BC�T November 21


Home of the Hodag. . . continued from pg. 20

April 8

May 8 48°F

45°F

june 9 48°F

45°F

48°F

Snowden

Hodag (W5955-1)

45°F

This is a comparison of potato chip colors of Hodag vs. Snowden. Potatoes were harvested at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station October 1, 2014, and stored at 45°F and 48°F until July 29 of 2015 (chip photos until June 9 shown).

a spike on Snowden sucrose level first, followed by a spike on glucose level that is associated with dark chip color. In summary, Hodag (W5955-1) is a good fit as a long-storage cold

chipping variety due to the following attributes: • High yield, similar to Snowden in most years

which may help crop management practices such as weed control •C ommon scab resistance, similar to Pike, while providing yield that is much higher than Pike

• Strong plant of rapid growth,

continued on pg. 24

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Protect the perimeter. Your potato crop could be under attack, and you don’t even know it. A major underground threat to potato plants, Rhizoctonia can creep in, causing uneven plant emergence and inconsistent tuber sizing resulting in poor quality of the crop. Seed treatments can be effective, but once young roots, stolons and stems grow out of that perimeter of protection, they’re totally vulnerable. Unless you treat in-furrow with Elatus® fungicide. Because of its two active ingredients, one of which Rhizoctonia has never faced, Elatus provides long-lasting protection from soil borne diseases throughout the mound. To learn more, visit SyngentaUS.com/Elatus

©2016 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Elatus,® the Alliance Frame, the Purpose Icon and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. MW 1ELA6007_Radar_AG9 07/16


Home of the Hodag. . . continued from pg. 22

• Specific gravity is very similar to Snowden under most years. In seven of eight experiments in Wisconsin, specific gravity was higher than 1.080, and in the other year, a low gravity year, the gravity was similar to Snowden. • Hodag has typically kept chip color under cold storage (48°F), a month

later than Snowden. In 2014-’15 and 2015-’16, chip colors were good through June and the end of July, respectively. Hodag is prone to develop large tubers, and we are investigating management practices (plant density and fertility) to manage tuber size. Hodag’s capacity to grow in large

proportions of 1 7/8- to 3 ¼-inch tubers by mid-August may imply potential for early harvest, however exuberant vine growth may be a limitation to early harvest, at least in Central Wisconsin. For Hodag seed availability, consult the WI Certified Seed Program directory at http://labs.russell.wisc. edu/seedpotato/crop-directory/.

Above are sucrose, glucose and fry color “L” values of Hodag versus Snowden. Potatoes were harvested at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station October 1, 2014 and stored at 45°F until July 29 of 2015.

Similar charts, but with potatoes stored at a different temperature—48°F—show sucrose, glucose and fry color “L” values of Hodag versus Snowden. Potatoes were harvested at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station October 1, 2014 and stored until July 29 of 2015. October 2016

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Helping Wisconsin Farmers One Potato at a Time

UW–Madison Plant Pathology Department assists in the understanding and management of late blight By Jaime Kenowski, communications specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison The plant disease known as potato late blight is infamous for its devastating effects on Ireland in the mid-19th century. Its catastrophic impact on potato crops led to the Great Famine, a period of widespread starvation and mass emigration of roughly 1 million Irish citizens. This clever pathogen, also known as Phytophthora infestans or “plant destroyer,” can spread like wildfire and evolve rapidly. When conditions are ripe it can wipe out a field in a matter of days. Late blight infects potatoes and tomatoes, often emerging as relatively small brown or pale green spots that quickly spread into dark, moist, oily patches in wet weather. These spots, or lesions, frequently turn white and fuzzy in appearance on leaves, stems and fruit as the pathogen produces thousands of spores.

perspective: Wisconsin ranks third in the United States in acreage of potato production, and Wisconsinites grow roughly 2,000 acres of tomatoes for fresh markets and in home gardens.

In 2009, late blight made its way to Wisconsin after a seven-year hiatus. Since then, it has been detected each year. To put the potential threat into

The good news is that UW–Madison’s Plant Pathology Department, led by Professor Amanda Gevens, is making great strides in the understanding,

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awareness and management of this disease, and Gevens is helping Wisconsin farmers fight back. One of the main means of prevention Gevens’ lab offers to growers is Blitecast, a late blight forecasting tool developed in the 1970s. Blitecast alerts growers when weather conditions are prime for the pathogen to thrive (think “The Weather Channel” for late blight). The forecasting tool also allows farmers to pinpoint the optimal time to apply protectants to keep their crops safe. SAVING MILLIONS ANNUALLY In some years, this tool has helped eliminate five to eight applications Above: A worker at a potato farm near Coloma, Wisconsin, picks through harvested potatoes. Photo courtesy of Bryce Richter


Left: While Stephen Zimmerman, acting director of the Langlade County Ag Research Station, holds the microphone speaker during the station’s field day on July 21, UW-Madison Vegetable Pathologist and Associate Professor Amanda Gevens discusses assessing common scab and Dickeya, and detecting, diagnosing and managing diseases in potatoes and vegetables.

frequent crop protectants, which are essential for maintaining the health of potato plants. Gevens aims to continue building awareness of the many resources her program and department provide, such as the UW-Extension Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic and the UW Vegetable Pathology website, newsletter and forecasting tool. of costly late blight fungicides per field on average, “which saves Wisconsin growers roughly $1.5 million per year,” Gevens says. She adds that this number doesn’t reflect the other indirect savings on things like fuel, manpower, time and reduced environmental impact.

More accurate application of the fungicide also aids the prevention and management of the pathogen, which reduces the risk of it causing costly infections on other fields, crops in storage and seeds. In other years, however, the Blitecast tool may indicate the need for more

In recent years, the clinic has offered free late blight diagnoses to promote detection and awareness of the disease, and anyone—from home gardeners to commercial farmers—is welcome to send in samples for plant disease diagnostics. continued on pg. 28

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Helping Wisconsin Farmers. . . continued from pg. 27

The Plant Pathology Department has also initiated the Late Blight Share program, which helps growers identify the symptoms of late blight. The program provides free transplants of the tomato cultivar Iron Lady—a late blight-resistant cultivar developed at Cornell University. The program has been successful in Portage and Langlade Counties, and Gevens’ team proposes to expand it to five counties next year. STATEWIDE COORDINATION

These efforts have contributed to a shift in late blight management in Wisconsin. “We’ve moved from focusing on specific areas in certain regions to a statewide coordinated effort,” Gevens says. She attributes much of this shift to

her program’s success in expanding outreach to include commercial and noncommercial production and conventional and organic systems. Further, she has worked to increase the circulation of the UW Extension Vegetable Crop Updates newsletter, which details the location of late blight, risk of disease (using

Above: Kenneth Cleveland takes a quick break after a long day of harvesting potatoes in Antigo, Wisconsin. Cleveland applied for, and in 2010, won, the first annual Syngenta Potato Scholarship, a scholarship for students who have found innovative growing techniques that help the potato industry move forward.

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solving this potential risk to Wisconsin’s potato industry, she’s fostering the next generation of Badgers who are seeking degrees in plant pathology. “There is a growing need for expertise in this field,” Gevens says, “from seed industry and agrichemical to production industries.” She has seen this need translate to the growth of the plant pathology undergraduate program from two to 30 students in the last five years. This enrollment explosion was facilitated with the help of campus partners like “First-Year Interest Groups,” which established a set of courses on food security for firstyear students in which they were introduced to plant pathology. Students are also connected to the program through a network of advisors. Kenneth Cleveland’s advisors encouraged him to get hands-on experience in a lab.

LIFE-CHANGING DECISION

“I had no lab experience whatsoever and wasn’t sure if I was up for it,” Cleveland admits, but an advisor walked him over to Gevens’ office to introduce him. Shortly after he began working in her applied vegetable pathology lab, he made a lifechanging decision. “Dr. Gevens helped me get hands-on experience, reviewed my resume, gave me co-authorship on her research papers, sent me to several conferences and encouraged me to apply for scholarships,” Cleveland says. He also extends his gratitude to the Plant Pathology Department’s advisors, who helped him stay on track for graduation and made sure he was getting the right experience for his career goals. Thanks to the encouragement of Gevens and his advisors, Cleveland applied for, and in 2010, won,

the first annual Syngenta Potato Scholarship, a scholarship for students who have found innovative growing techniques that help the potato industry move forward. Cleveland’s essay discussed his research project, which focused on controlling another potato disease, early blight (similarly named, but a different pathogen altogether). Cleveland now works with Syngenta as a retail sales representative, and hopes to continue to work directly with growers and their retailers addressing agricultural issues and educating each on what they can do to protect and enhance their crops. Cleveland adds that he plans on remaining in Wisconsin long-term. “I’m a Wisconsinite. I feel I’ve been given so much from our state,” he says. “I’m ready to take what I’ve learned and start giving back to Wisconsin.”

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Now News Insight FS Hosts Agribusiness Tour Wisconsin Agri-Business Association co-hosts event at Antigo facility An ideal opportunity to learn more about the agribusiness industry and how it relates to local communities and legislative districts, Insight FS and the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association hosted an Agribusiness

Tour on Thursday, September 29, at the Insight FS Cooperative facility in Antigo. Insight FS is a $295 million retail division of GROWMARK, Inc. serving

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Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on a cooperative basis since the 1920s. With 340 full-time employees, Insight FS serves the agronomy, energy, feed, grain and turf needs of 26,000 customers.

Above: Present and accounted for at the Insight FS Agribusiness Tour were, from left to right standing in front of an Airmax 1000 air spreader, Angie Close, Director of Economic Development for Langlade County; Antigo City Administrator Mark Desotell; Pat Snyder, who’s running for a 35th State Assembly seat and is an outreach director representing Congressman Sean Duffy; Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst); Joel Zalewski, Insight FS’s northern operations manager; and City of Antigo Fire Chief Jon Petroskey.


Left: The first stop on the Insight FS Agribusiness tour was the blending tower where dry fertilizers are blended and where trucks line up to be loaded during planting season. Right: It takes 1 hour, 10 minutes to dump a ton of fertilizer into the Insight FS storage facility, with fertilizer trucked in from sights across Langlade County and even arriving via railcar. Insight FS sells more pot ash (shown) than anything else—10,000 tons a year.

Air Conditioning) products for agriculture, industrial, commercial, fleet and residential customers. Met at the door by Brian Koenig, retail division manager of Insight FS, and Tom Bressner, executive director of the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, guests were treated to opening remarks by Joel Zalewski, Insight FS’s northern operations manager. Zalewski welcomed attendees to the facility and gave a brief rundown of the business, its long affiliation with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, sales revenue, employees and facilities. “Our Antigo team puts a lot of effort into customer service and bringing value to our patrons,” Zalewski said. “Our crops specialists obtain continuing education credits every year so they can confidently provide accurate and reliable recommendations.”

TWICE-ANNUAL TRAINING “The employees that operate the large ag equipment you’ll see later on our tour attend training twice

each year. They meet at the Arlington Research Station to learn about current industry issues, equipment continued on pg. 32

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Now News. . . continued from pg. 31

calibration and operation,” Zalewski explained. “Our energy sales and delivery specialists receive both safety and product training on a regular basis. They are certified to deliver fuel to both mining and marine industries,” he said. Safety was stressed during the tour of the fertilizer plant facilities, as well. “We bring in local officials, members of the press and industry representatives because we want people to understand we’re all about

safety,” Bressner stressed. The facilities tour included three stops—at the blending tower where dry fertilizers are blended and where trucks line up to be loaded during planting season, the interior of the fertilizer plant and a viewing of the large equipment on the grounds outside of the buildings. Zalewski explained that it takes 1 hour, 10 minutes to dump a ton of fertilizer into the holding facility, and that it is trucked in from sights across the county and even comes in

via railroad. Insight FS sells more pot ash than anything else, 10,000 tons a year, he said. It was also stressed that Insight FS sells no anhydrous ammonia or explosive fertilizers. “There are really good jobs here in Langlade County, and we are proud to have Insight FS here,” said Director of Economic Development for Langlade County, Angie Close. “We have large logging, farming and agricultural operations in Langlade County. I tell people that they’d better pay attention to agriculture because we run the economy.”

Volm Breaks Ground on Canadian Facility Distribution and service center designed to house packaging and consumables By Christina DiMartino and The Produce News Some manufacturers sell only the commodity items they stock. Others are completely customized. Antigo,

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catalog of standard bags and packaging, mesh fabric products and more, Volm retains the ability to tailor its offerings to meet whatever specifications its customers demand, such as custom color combinations for brand-compliant mesh bags. Volm handles some of the most recognized consumer brands in the nation and has provided the produce industry with the latest packaging equipment and materials for over 60 years. “Our efforts include staying in touch with the trends and needs of the grower and fresh produce packer, such as traceability, automation, productivity and sustainability,” said Volm Communications Manager Marsha Verwiebe. “As a single-source supplier, we offer complete expert packaging, equipment and facilitydesign consulting services, the latter continued on pg. 34


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from package design and graphic development to full-line equipment integration.” Volm had strong staff representation at the PMA Fresh Summit on Oct. 14-16 in Orlando, Florida, where Verwiebe said the company was excited to share information with attendees on its new facility in Ancaster, Canada. Ancaster is a community within the city of Hamilton, Ontario, located on the

Niagara Escarpment. FIRST INTERNATIONAL SITE “Groundbreaking was held at the site on September 7,” said Verwiebe. “It’s our first on international soil. It was attended by Volm’s executive staff, including Michael Hunter II, chief operating officer, and Michael Marin of Hamilton Economic Development.” The new distribution and service center is designed to house packaging

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Above: (L-R) At a groundbreaking ceremony for Volm Companies’ new 24,000-square-foot distribution and service center in Ontario, Canada, are Volm Canada General Manager Martin Meinders; COO Michael Hunter II; Design Engineer Scott VanderWier; VP of Sales & Marketing Matt Alexander; Equipment Sales Director and VEST Manager Wayne DeCou; and Eastern Canada Account Manager Andrew Philpott.

and consumables, as well as equipment parts to better serve the Volm customer base in Canada and the eastern United States. “Construction on the 24,000-squarefoot building is expected to be completed by March 2017, and will serve as the home office for the Canadian sales, design and engineering and technical service teams,” said Verwiebe. “Volm has been servicing both its packaging and Volmpack equipment customers in Canada for many years from across the border.” “By having a centralized location, the level of service will only increase, allowing Volm to better meet the ever-changing needs of our customers,” she concluded. For progress updates and further information, follow Volm on Facebook and LinkedIn, or at www.volmcompanies.com.


“Every Day is Earth Day on a Farm” The theme of Ag Tour 2016 at Heartland Farms speaks volumes

Ag Tour 2016 took place at Heartland Farms in Hancock, Wisconsin, with a sell-out crowd on Tuesday, September 13. Planned by the AgriBusiness Committee of the Portage County Business Council, Ag Tour is an annual event celebrating the agribusiness industry in Central Wisconsin. The tour of local agribusinesses is open to anyone interested in learning more about the success of the area’s agribusiness industry. The theme for this year’s event was “Every Day is Earth Day on a Farm.” Ag Tour 2016 began with a picnic lunch and guest speaker, Danny Wysocky of Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative. After lunch, visitors were treated to a tour of Heartland Farms, a fifth-generation potato and vegetable farm operating on over 24,000 acres. Attendees of the tour had the opportunity to see the new 37,000-square-foot Farm Operations, Technology & Training Center, as well as other areas of the farm. Heartland Farms President Jeremie Pavelski and

his wife, Alicia, project coordinator, hosted the tour. Jeremie also sits on the Board of Directors of the Portage County Business Council.

Above: Hosted by Heartland Farms and the Agri-Business Committee of the Portage County Business Council, the question isn’t who was in attendance at Ag Tour 2016, but who wasn’t?

The Portage County Business Council delivers results—results to the economy through economic development efforts, and results to area businesses through the Chamber

of Commerce. The Council focuses on business retention and attraction and employee retention and attraction to enhance the economic vitality of the region. continued on pg. 36

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Win Free Potatoes for a Year! Alsum Farms & Produce holds contest for Green Bay Packers fans Alsum Farms & Produce Inc. partners with the Green Bay Packers to invite fans to enter for a chance to win free potatoes for a year. From now through November 30, Packers fans can enter for a chance to win a year's supply of Alsum potatoes at http:// pckrs.com/AlsumSweepstakes. In addition, fans can win bi-monthly prizes, including Alsum potatoes along with grilling accessories during the contest. “Alsum Farms & Produce is excited to partner with the Green Bay Packers for the third year in a row,” Heidi Alsum-Randall, national sales and marketing manager of Alsum, said in a press release. “The free potatoes for a year promotion encourages football fans

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to make nutritious, homegrown Wisconsin potatoes a part of their game day and everyday meals, and create awareness of Alsum brand potatoes,” Alsum-Randall adds. One lucky fan will win the ultimate—a year's supply of Alsum potatoes, which will be a monthly

package of an assortment of Alsum potatoes delivered right to their doorstep. In addition, six lucky fans will win a bi-monthly prize pack to include Alsum potatoes along with grilling accessories. Complete sweepstakes rules can be found at the contest site, http://pckrs.com/ AlsumSweepstakes.


Innate Premium Seed Varieties Took Center Stage Simplot Plant Sciences and Bayer Crop Science co-hosted field day

Above: Jolyn Rasmussen, a senior research agronomist for Simplot, addressed attendees from several sectors of agriculture at a field day co-hosted by Simplot Plant Sciences and Bayer Crop Science.

management of the late blight resistance trait.

In areas with late blight pressure, By Erik Gonring, industry affairs and sustainability manager, Simplot Plant Sciences growers will use fungicides along with the trait as part of an integrated On August 9th, Simplot Plant Sciences While Gen 2 varieties will enable approach. This prolongs the durability and Bayer Crop Science co-hosted reduced late blight fungicide of the trait. a field day at Horizon Properties in applications, the collaboration with “We’re advocating for using Innate’s Bancroft, Wisconsin. The field day Bayer is important because it will brought together attendees from continued on pg. 38 lead to grower education on proper several sectors of agriculture and focused on the latest innovation in potatoes, including Innate® premium seed varieties and emerging technologies in disease management. The range of attendees included potato growers, retailers, academics, FOUNDATION seed growers, and chip and fresh marketers. & CERTIFIED

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blight resistance trait as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program,” said Simplot’s Jolyn Rasmussen. REDUCE LATE BLIGHT “It’s exciting for growers because our trials have shown that you can reduce late blight sprays by up to 50 percent without impacting yield or quality,” Rasmussen notes. “However,

we want to maintain that for as long as possible. So, it’s important that growers and the industry include both fungicide and the trait in an IPM program to protect the trait’s performance long-term.”

Above: With similar yields and a higher specific gravity, one Innate® premium seed variety, HibernATE, is a potential replacement for Snowden.

Simplot’s Jeff Vick, who leads Simplot Plant Sciences’ chip variety program and held previous roles with the country’s largest salty snack food

“Wisconsin is a critical growing area for chip growers,” Vick said. “We think that the combination of Innate Gen 1 traits, plus the late blight resistance and cold storage traits brought by Gen 2 will be a ‘game changer’ for the economics of chip production.”

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38 BC�T November

manufacturer, also attended the field day.

Innate Gen 2 Atlantic and Snowden varieties can help chip growers and processors by reducing disease loss and by enabling storage at colder temperatures, which will enable varieties like Atlantic to be processed nearly year-round. Simplot’s Innate Gen 1 potato varieties, including Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, Atlantic and Snowden, are currently approved for use in both the U.S. and Canadian marketplace. Innate Gen 2 Russet Burbank has been approved by the USDA and FDA, and is still waiting on EPA approval.


You’d be healthier, too, if you spent your winters in Hawaii.

100% of Wisconsin Seed Potatoes must be winter tested to be eligible for certified seed tags.

• While all state seed potato associations winter test their foundation lots, some do not winter test 100% of their certified seed lots. • Wisconsin does, and this assures you get only the top-quality seed. • With the Wisconsin Badger State Brand Tag, you get one grade, one standard–certification that counts.

Don’t bet your farm on untested seed potatoes. Check the winter test results and Begin with the Best — Wisconsin! WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES

Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association, Inc.

P.O. Box 173 • Antigo, WI 54409 • 715-623-4039 • www.potatoseed.org

For a directory of Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato Growers, scan this code with your smartphone.


2016 WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATO GROWERS DIRECTORY

WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES 100 Years of Seed Growing Tradition

PRIMARY BUSINESS PHONE NUMBERS ARE BOLD-FACED. BAGINSKI FARMS N3474 County H, Antigo, WI 54409 Office/Farm (715) 627-7753 Fax (715) 623-5412 Toll-Free (888) 446-7753 Mike Baginski (715) 627-7838 Mike Baginski Cell (715) 216-1240 Email mike@baginskifarms.com Website www.baginskifarms.com Anuschka, Dark Red Norland, Elfe, Goldrush, Jelly, Malou, Russet Burbank, Russian Banana, Russet Norkotah Sel 8, Red Norland, Silverton, Superior, Soraya BULA POTATO FARMS, INC. W11957 Highland Rd, Antigo, WI 54409 Office/Warehouse (715) 275-3430 Office/Warehouse Fax (715) 275-5051 Dennis Cell (715) 216-1614 Adam Cell (715) 216-1613 Email dennis@certifiedseedpotatoes.com Caribou Russet, Dark Red Norland, Goldrush, Molli, Mountain Gem, Payette Russet, Princess, Superior, Silverton, Umatilla Russet, Wega, Yukon Gold BUSHMAN’S RIVERSIDE RANCH, INC. N8151 Bushman Road, Crivitz, WI 54114 Farm (Crivitz, WI) (715) 757-2160 Jeff (715) 927-4015 Jon (715) 454-6201 Fax (715) 757-2243 Email jssuchon@gmail.com Silverton 40 BC�T November

CETS LLC ASTROTUBERSTM N77W24677 Century CT, Sussex WI 53089 Office (262) 246-1799 Fax (262) 246-1762 Cell (262) 391-4705 Website: www.cetstech.com EAGLE RIVER SEED FARM LLC Ron Krueger, Farm Mgr. 4334 Chain of Lakes Rd, Eagle River, WI 54521 Eagle River Warehouse (715) 479-8434 Fax (715) 479-8792 Ron Krueger Cell (715) 891-0832 Email rlkrueger@charter.net Atlantic, Alegria, Amarosa, Austrian Crescent, Beacon Chipper, B2727-2, CW08370-2RY/W, Dark Red Norland-Z, Dark Red Norland, Frito Lay Varieties, Goldrush, Hodag (W5955-1), Lamoka, Manistee, Mercury, Modoc, MSW 4852, MSW 509-5, MSV 301-2, MSV 358-3, NCO 349-3, Purple Peruvian (RPE-A), Red Norland, Russet Norkotah Sel 8, Ranger Russet ST125-10, Ranger Russet ST125-13, Ranger Russet ST116-3, Ranger Russet ST125-8, Russian Banana, Silverton, Soraya, W9962-1RY/Y, W10250-1PW/WP, W102511P/PW-Fing, Wega, W9962-1RY/Y, Vitelotte, Wendy FLEISCHMAN, DAVID FARMS N2568 Cty Hwy HH, Antigo, WI 54409 Office (715) 623-6353 Cell (715)-216-2343 Fax (715) 627-0183 Email davidfleischmanfarms@gmail.com Dark Red Norland, Goldrush, Oneida Gold, Red Norland, Russet Norkotah, Superior, Yukon Gold FRITO-LAY, INC. 4295 Tenderfoot Rd, Rhinelander, WI 54501


Josh Rahm Fax Frito Lay Varieties

(715) 365-1622 (715) 365-1620

GALLENBERG FARM, DARWIN & DAVID W8636 County B, Bryant, WI 54418 Office (715) 623-6586 Adirondack Blue, Adirondack Red, Austrian Crescent, Dark Red Norland, German Butterball, Kennebec, Red Pontiac, Yukon Gold GALLENBERG FARMS, INC. W7932 Edison Rd, Bryant, WI 54418 Farm (715) 623-7018 Roy Gallenberg (715) 627-2906 John Gallenberg (715) 623-2295 Fax (715) 627-2043 Email rgallenberg@hotmail.com Dark Red Norland, Goldrush, MegaChip, Oneida Gold, Red Endeavor, Superior, W8405-1R GUENTHNER FARMS, INC. N4653 Chillie Rd, Antigo, WI 54409 Farm (715) 627-7683 Dwayne Guenthner (715) 627-0403 Bill Guenthner (715) 627-2792 Tom Schmidt (715) 216-1953 Fax (715) 627-0507 Langlade, Goldrush, Reba, Red LaSoda 10-3, Teton Russet GUENTHNER POTATO CO., INC. PO Box 320, Antigo, WI 54409 Office (715) 623-7877 Fax (715) 623-7127 Robert Guenthner (715) 623-7877 Email rhodagpci@gmail.com Frito Lay Varieties, NY152

HAFNER SEED FARMS, INC. W8243 County B, Bryant, WI 54418 Office/Warehouse (715) 623-6829 Fax (715) 623-4203 David Hafner (715) 623-6902 John Hafner (715) 623-6829 Atlantic, Goldrush, Lamoka, Pinnacle, Russet Norkotah, Silverton, Snowden, Superior HARTMAN FARMS, INC. N2846 County HH, Antigo, WI 54409 Michael Hartman Home (715) 623-7083 Michael Hartman Cell (715) 219-1802 Todd Hartman (715) 610-6477 John Hartman (715) 216-2059 Dark Red Norland, Goldrush, Oneida Gold, Red Endeavor, Red Norland, Russet Norkotah, Superior KAKES FARMS, LTD. W8539 Kakes Rd., Bryant, WI 54418 Farm (715) 623-6348 Dan Kakes (715) 623-7268 Dan Kakes Cell (715) 216-6348 Fax (715) 623-4614 Atlantic, Frito Lay Varieties, Goldrush, Snowden MACH’S SUNNY ACRES, INC. 3236 County HH, Antigo, WI 54409 Office/Warehouse (715) 623-5882 Fax (715) 623-5882 Ronald Mach (715) 623-6855 Kenneth Mach (715) 627-4187 Email rmach73@gmail.com Accumulator, Atlantic, Red LaSoda 10-3, Superior MATTEK, J. W. & SONS, INC. N5798 Star Neva Rd, Deerbrook, WI 54424 Farm/Office (715) 623-6963 continued on pg. 42

COMPANIES

BC�T November 41


2016 Seed Directory. . . continued from pg. 41

Fax (715) 627-7245 Jim Mattek (715) 623-7391 John Mattek (715) 623-6864 Joe Mattek (715) 623-3156 Cell (715) 216-0599 Email jwmattek@gmail.com Atlantic, Accumulator, Beacon Chipper, Frito Lay Varieties, Hodag(W5955-1), Lamoka, MegaChip, Manistee, Mercury, Pike, Pinnacle, Russet Norkotah Sel 8, Silverton, Snowden, W6609-3 NORTHERN SAND FARMS 11263 Cty Hwy M, Crandon, WI 54520 David Bula (715) 478-3349 Ed Bula (715) 478-3437 Lamoka, Hodag(W5955-1), Nicolet, Pinnacle, Snowden, Tundra, W6609-3, White Pearl RINE RIDGE FARMS, INC. W8132 County O, Bryant, WI 54418 Farm/Office (715) 627-4819 WATS (888) 853-5690 Fax (715) 627-4810 Ken Rine (715) 623-6791 Ken Rine Cell (715) 216-0760 Dan Rine Cell (715) 216-0765

Email rinerdg@yahoo.com Lamoka, Hodag (W5955-1), Marcy, Marcy, MegaChip, Pike, W6609-3 SCHROEDER BROS. FARMS, INC./SCHROEDER FARMS, LTD. N1435 County D, Antigo, WI 54409 Office/Farm (715) 623-2689 Fax (715) 627-4857 Warehouse, Schr. Farms, Ltd. (715) 627-7022 John T. Schroeder (715) 623-5735 Pete Schroeder (715) 627-4069 Robert Schroeder (715) 623-3113 Eric Schroeder Cell (715) 216-0186 Farm Email farm@sbfi.biz John T Email johnt@sbfi.biz Eric Email eric@sbfi.biz Atlantic, Dark Red Norland, Frito Lay Varieties, Goldrush, Lamoka, MegaChip, Pike, Red Norland, Red Endeavor, Russet Burbank, Russet Norkotah Sel 8, Russet Norkotah TX 296, Silverton, Soraya, Snowden, Superior SEIDL FARMS, INC. N5677 Chillie Rd, Deerbrook, WI 54424 Farm/Office (715) 623-6236 Fax (715) 623-4377 Art Seidl (715) 623-6236

Rural Mutual

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Insurance Company

As the leading insurer of Wisconsin farms, we recognize that agribusiness requires special protection. After all, your farm is your home, your business, and a considerable capital investment. To protect what’s important to you, call 1-877-219-9550 or visit our website and we can show you the variety of coverage’s available to address all your insurance needs.

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42 BC�T November


Frank Seidl (715) 484-2052 Jeff Fassbender (715) 216-4433 Atlantic, Goldrush, Red Norland, Russet Norkotah, Snowden SOWINSKI FARMS, INC.-CERTIFIED SEED 4698 Tenderfoot Road, Rhinelander, WI 54501 Paul Sowinski (715) 272-1192 John Hein, Seed Mgr. Cell (715) 369-3225 Farm/Office (715) 369-3225 Fax (715) 369-3226 Email sfiseedfarm@gmail.com Atlantic, Lamoka, Pinnacle, Frito Lay Varieties, Snowden, Waneta SUNNYDALE FARMS, INC. W9751 County I, Bryant, WI 54418 Farm (715) 627-7401 Mike Shafel Cell (715) 216-4531 James Shafel Cell (715) 216-4532 Fax (715) 627-4114 Email sunnydaleseed@yahoo.com Atlantic, Adirondack Blue, Dark Red Norland, Oneida Gold, Red Norland, Red Gold, Snowden, Superior, Yukon Gold, W8405-1R VERMONT VALLEY COMMUNITY FARM LLC Organic Seed Potatoes 4628 Cty Hwy FF, Blue Mounds, WI 53517 David or Jesse Perkins (608) 212-7816

Email potato@vermontvalley.com Website www.organicpotatoseed.com Adirondack Blue, Adirondack Red, All Blue, Austrian Crescent Carola, Dark Red Norland, French Fingerling, German Butterball, Goldrush, Kennebec, Magic Molly, Oneida Gold, Peter Wilcox, Red Endeavor, Red Gold, Superior, W8405-1R, Yukon Gold WILD SEED FARMS, INC. W9797 Cherry Rd, Antigo, WI 54409 Warehouse/Office (715) 623-3366 Fax (715) 623-5245 Tom Wild Cell (715) 216-1223 Dan Wild Cell (715) 216-1225 Email wildseed@antigopro.net Atlantic, Frito Lay Varieties, Red LaSoda 10-3, Snowden, Superior WIRZ, INC. N3581 Wirz Lane, Antigo, WI 54409 Donald Wirz (715) 627-7739 WATS (888) 257-7739 Fax (715) 627-4523 Cell (715) 216-4035 Shop (715) 627-2860 Email wirzinc@yahoo.com Website www.wirzinc.com Atlantic, Lamoka, MegaChip, Nicolet, Pike, Snowden, White Pearl

J.W. Mattek & Sons, Inc. N5798 STAR NEVA RD, DEERBROOK, WI 54424 Telephone: (715) 623-6963 • FAX: (715) 627-7245 • Email: jwmattek@gmail.com GROWER & SHIPPER

Foundation and Certified Seed Potatoes

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Over Years Experience in Seed Production!! White Chip Varieties • Snowden • Pike • Atlantic • MegaChip • Lamoka • Accumulator • Beacon Chipper

WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES

Contact: Jim, John or Joe (715)

• Pinnacle • Manistee • Hodag

russets • Mercury • Norkotah Line 8 • Silverton

623-6963 BC�T November 43


Marketplace

By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education

Spud Bowl Sees Another Successful Year There truly isn’t any better way to bring in the college football season than with a free baked potato and

Above: The Pointers do warm-up drills before the big game.

fries! More than 600 baked potatoes were given away again this year (compliments of Wysocki Produce

Farm), along with 1,200 servings of fries (McCain Foods), to those who attended the annual UW-Stevens Point Spud Bowl at Goerke Field on September 10. With the stands packed, the Spud

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Bowl Committee (WPVGA members, staff and partners from UWSP) not only gave away potatoes and fries, but also six $750 scholarships to deserving recipients. Over the past 30 years, the University and ag businesses of Central Wisconsin have collaborated to award more than $100,000 in scholarships to students

from families in the ag business. There was also plenty of fun to go around. Prior to kickoff, dozens of people participated in the 5k Fun Run, while some little tykes ran once around the track to receive a free T-shirt. Fans attending the game could visit the Spudmobile and continued on pg. 46

Left: From left to right, Chet Biadasz, Jim Wehinger and Gary Wysocki help prepare fries donated by McCain Foods for the 2016 Spud Bowl. Wysocki Produce Farm also donated more than 600 potatoes for baking at the event. Right: Payton Mix (left) and Taylor Douglas (right), both of the UW-Stevens Point women’s basketball team, pour root beer for those attending the 2016 Spud Bowl.

BC�T November 45


Marketplace. . . continued from pg. 45

participate in games for a chance to win prizes. A couple Spud Bowl Committee members, including Nick Somers, had a lot of fun shooting T-shirts into the crowd at halftime using WPVGA’s new T-shirt gun.

Above: And the runners are off during the Spud Bowl 5k Fun Run on September 10 in Stevens Point. Left: Spudly welcomes runners at the finish line after they complete the 5k Fun Run at the annual Spud Bowl in Stevens Point on September 10. Right: Lincoln Kinslow plays whiffle ball bingo. Lincoln’s mom works at the university and says they were there to support the Pointers and spuds.

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Left: Whoa Nick! Hope you have good aim. Nick Somers (left) is having a lot of fun sending T-shirts into the Spud Bowl crowd using the WPVGA’s new T-shirt gun. . Right: The scholarship winners are recognized by Chancellor Bernie Patterson (with microphone, fourth from right) during halftime at the 2016 Spud Bowl. From left to right are Nick and Dianne Somers of Plover River Farms in Stevens Point, Tamas Houlihan of the WPVGA, and scholarship winners Amber Myszka, Elizabeth Krueger, Derek Potratz, Samantha Maass, Jeffrey Behselich and Joel Mroczenski. continued on pg. 48

Sowinski Certified Seed Farms

Isolated Growing Area – Foundation/Certified

Manager: John Hein Phone: 715-369-3225

Paul Sowinski

5818 Fire Lane Rhinelander, WI 54501 Phone: 715-272-1192 Fax: 715-272-1658

Varieties Grown Atlantic Snowden Waneta Lamoka Pinnacle

Sowinski Trucking, LLC has sanitary equipment for your transportation needs. dispatch@sowinskifarms.com BC�T November 47


Marketplace. . . continued from pg. 47

Potatoes Part of Heart-Healthy Lifestyles at Madison Event When you think of a healthy and active lifestyle, does eating potatoes come to mind? It should because potatoes are one vegetable that makes your heart smile. An opportunity to spread the message presented itself this year in the Madison area, and that was to display the Spudmobile at the Madison Heart Walk. Organized by the American Heart Association in an effort to promote heart-healthy living and raise money for heart disease and stroke, promoting Wisconsin potatoes through the Spudmobile was a natural fit. With potatoes being high in potassium and sodium free, they are a heart-healthy option for any

meal. In an effort to drive home that point, any visitors to the Spudmobile received a free potato dish sample prepared by Chef Noah Przybylski of Madison. Przybylski works as a chef in Madison and is originally from Rosholt, Wisconsin. It was a great way to promote the industry and Wisconsin potatoes to people who were walking their hearts out! Above: Dorothy Zdroik (left) and McKenna Byrd, both granddaughters to WPVGA Coordinator of Community Relations Jim Zdroik, enjoy the Field to Fork exhibit in the Wisconsin Spudmobile during the Madison Heart Walk. Right: Chef Noah Przybylski (right), his wife, Julie, and their son prepared and helped hand out potato dish samples to walkers at the Madison Heart Walk on September 24.

EAGLE RIVER SEED FARM LLC Formerly Felix Zeloski Farm

• • • • •

Isolated growing area Premium early generation Specializing in the expansion of new varieties Comprehensive scouting and spray program Quality storage practices

Years of experience growing the highest quality seed for valued customers.

Ron Krueger Farm Manager | 4334 Chain O’Lakes Road Eagle River, WI | 54521 715-479-8434 Cell 715-891-0832 | rlkrueger@charter.net

48 BC�T November


CREATING CONNECTIONS

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FINDING SOLUTIONS CULTIVATING BUSINESS


People Joseph J. Okray Jr. Passes Away The WPVGA Hall of Famer was a stalwart member of the potato industry Joseph “Joe” Jacob Okray Jr. passed away Tuesday, October 4, peacefully at his home in Plover, Wisconsin. The youngest of seven children, Joe was born in Stevens Point on September 19, 1929, to Joseph and Helen (Niemczyk) Okray. He graduated from P.J. Jacobs High School, served honorably in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He began working at Okray Produce Company in the 1950s and became president of the operation in 1999. He was married to Patricia Ann Fox in 1954 and had three sons, Christopher (Colleen), Joseph and Richard (Carol). Inducted into the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Hall of Fame in 1996, Joe served on many boards with

distinction, including the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association and M&I Mid-State Bank, Stevens Point, and was president of the Bank of Plover. He was also a life member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Lodge #641, a charter member of the Plover Lions, and the Plover VFW Post. Joe recalled starting to work, as he said, when harvest equipment was a man with a fork and a kid with a basket, and the price for picking was about 4 cents per bushel. Thankfully, he would add, the first harvester came on the market the following year. ALL FACETS OF FARMING In his lifetime, he became involved in all facets of the Okray Family Farms business, including hides and

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furs, real estate, and potatoes and vegetables. He served as president of the farming operation and is a past chairman of the WPVGA Research Committee. "OK Joe" was an avid hunter, especially with his beagles, enjoyed owning and racing thoroughbred horses, and loved to play cards as a self-proclaimed cribbage master. He was preceded in death by all six of his brothers and sisters and is survived by his wife, children, nine grandchildren and 10 greatgrandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to UW-Stevens Point in the name of the Joe and Pat Okray Student Education Association Support Fund. Funeral services were held on Monday, October 10, at the Pisarski Community Funeral Home and Cremation Center with Rev. Marion Talaga officiating. Military honors followed the service. For online condolences please visit www. pisarskifuneralhome.com.


Ben Brancel

Bernard Easterday

Richard “Otto” Wiegand

CALS Presents 2016 Honorary Recognition Awards On Oct. 13, the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) presented its Honorary Recognition Awards to Ben Brancel, Bernard Easterday and Richard “Otto” Wiegand, its Distinguished Service Award to Daryl Lund and its

Distinguished Alumni Award to Gary Onan. These are the highest honors bestowed by the college. The Honorary Recognition Award, established in 1909, recognizes individuals who have made significant

contributions to their professions, their communities and the university. The Distinguished Service Award, first presented in 1994, recognizes meritorious service by CALS faculty and staff members. continued on pg. 52

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YOUR INTEGRATED SEED SOLUTION MINITUBERS CONTACT Elizabeth.Sanders@CSSfarms.com | 719-676-2791 EARLY GENERATION SEED CONTACT Laurie.Widdowson@CSSfarms.com | 308-236-4064 BC�T November 51


People. . . continued from pg. 51

The Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement and service, has been presented since 2009. Ben Brancel began his career in agriculture on his family farm. In 1972, he graduated with a degree in animal science from the University Wisconsin-Platteville, and returned to the farm where he and his wife, Gail, would eventually take over operations. His progress in farming provided him with immediate respect and recognition in the farming industry. Though some would think he was at the pinnacle of a successful career, Brancel still had dreams and ambitions that surpassed his farm. From 1987 to 1997, Brancel demonstrated his political dexterity in the Wisconsin State Assembly and was later elected to the respected position of Assembly Speaker.

Daryl Lund

Gary Onan

Though he quickly established himself in the political world, Brancel never forgot his roots in agriculture. Whenever possible, he fought for legislation that benefitted agriculture statewide. Since 1997, when Brancel was appointed the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)

by Gov. Tommy Thompson, he has held positions that allowed him to directly grow the industry responsible for his lifetime of success, including a position with the CALS’ Agricultural Research Stations and his current role as Secretary of DATCP under Gov. Scott Walker.

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Bernard Easterday is the founding dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After receiving his DVM degree from Michigan State University in 1952, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps where he conducted research on the transmission and pathogenesis of viral diseases of animals and humans. Following the completion of his military service, he earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Veterinary Science in the UW-Madison College of Agriculture (now the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences). He returned to the same department in 1961 as a faculty member, continuing research on viral diseases while discovering his passion for teaching and outreach. At UW-Madison, Easterday conducted and collaborated on multiple studies involving the interspecies transmission of viruses, which included uncovering the first conclusive evidence of swine influenza virus transmission from swine to humans.


In 1978, he was appointed to lead the planning and development of the SVM, which was officially established in 1979. The first class of veterinary medical students was admitted upon completion of the construction of the school in 1983. Easterday, as emeritus dean and professor, continues to serve as an advisor and mentor to veterinary medical students. Richard “Otto” Wiegand was born on a dairy farm in Cleveland in Manitowoc County, which he later operated in the 1980s. He attained four degrees over time, three of them in dairy science from UWMadison. Wiegand worked in industry doing dairy employee placement and dairy expansion business planning for eight years before spending time teaching agriculture courses at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay as an adjunct instructor. Wiegand has been working for UW-Extension as an agriculture agent in Spooner for the past 12 years. His career has taken him around the world, starting in the Peace Corps in Kenya and Paraguay, conducting graduate studies in Ethiopia, consulting at the African Development Bank in Ivory Coast, and doing various international agricultural work, mostly with farmer-to-farmer projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Wiegand has been to 75 countries and worked in 20 of them. He has a wide range of expertise, from hands-on dairy farming and cropping systems to farm business planning and conservation. Avid passions for geography, history, political science, genealogy and photography add meaning to his travel and development work. Daryl Lund received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics before earning his master’s degree and Ph.D. in food science with a minor in chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison CALS. He began teaching in UWMadison’s food science department in 1967 and remained a faculty

entire university.

member for the next 20 years, serving as chair of the department in 1984.

Gary Onan earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in meat and animal science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating, he pursued his dream of becoming a dairy farmer and spent nearly 20 years developing a respected Holstein herd and handson knowledge.

In CALS, he served on numerous committees, including as chair of the Business and Industry option for several years. At the university level, he served as chair of the Biological Sciences Divisional Committee. In the late 80s, he led the pioneering effort to renovate Babcock Hall through the use of private sector donations.

Following the advice of his colleagues, Onan decided to harness his academic training and seek out a position in academia. He joined the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 1997, where he quickly came to be known for his creativity and inherent knack for teaching.

Today, it is standard practice for private gifts to match state contributions to building projects at UW-Madison and other land grant universities. After his impressive career at UW-Madison, Lund served two other land grant universities– Rutgers (1988-1995) and Cornell (1995-2000)–where he was a professor, chair, and dean.

He currently serves as chair and professor of animal and food science in the university’s College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences. Onan has received numerous awards over the years that recognize his efforts as a professor, mentor and researcher, and for his contributions to youth livestock project programming and animal agriculture. Most recently, he was named the UW-River Falls 2015 Distinguished Teacher.

Lund followed his heart back to Madison where he served as the executive director of the North Central Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors until his retirement in 2007. Lund continues to make generous contributions to the UW-Madison food science department and acts as an exceptional advocate for the

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BC�T November 53


NPC News

Potato Expo Keynote Speakers Announced Former MLB player Jim “The Rookie” Morris will give a keynote address

Former Major League Baseball player Jim "The Rookie" Morris will give one of three keynote addresses at Potato Expo in San Francisco on January 4-6, 2017. Jim's inspiring story was made into the film The Rookie, which won an ESPY for Sports Film of the Year in 2002. As a fast-track minor league player,

Jim thought his pitching career was over after arm injuries. Eleven years after his stint in the minors, Jim was a science teacher and coaching a high school baseball team who made him reconsider his dream of pitching. He wanted his high school team to aim high and made a bet with the team: if they won the district

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Above Left: Keynote speaker Damian Mason addresses the crowd at Potato Expo 2016. Keynote speakers for Potato Expo 2017 are former Major League Baseball player Jim “The Rookie” Morris (above), Forbes Publisher and columnist Rich Karlgaard (at left on facing page) and Phil Lempert (at right on facing page), a television and radio news reporter, newspaper columnist, author, “consumerologist” and food marketing expert. Photo courtesy of Jim Oberg

championship, he would try out for the majors. The team won, Jim tried out and became a major league pitcher at 35 years old. More keynote speakers on the slate for Potato Expo are Rich Karlgaard, a publisher and columnist for Forbes and an economic and business innovation thought leader, entrepreneur and author; and Phil Lempert, a television and radio news reporter, newspaper columnist, author, “consumerologist” and food marketing expert. Karlgaard deftly forecasts the business and technology world as it is likely to unfold over the next 2, 5 and 10 years, sharing thoughtprovoking and actionable ideas that help leaders “future proof” their organizations and investments.

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54 BC�T November

Publisher of Forbes magazine, he writes a biweekly column known for its witty and honest assessment of current business issues. More than just a business journalist, Karlgaard as a private investor and board director understands firsthand


the difficulties of navigating in today’s business climate and opportunities available to those who have the courage to reach out for them. Rich is also the author of Team Genius, which focuses on management strategy, and The Soft Edge. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. SUPERMARKET GURU Known as “The Supermarket Guru®,” Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. As one of America’s leading consumer trend-watchers and analysts, he is recognized on television, radio and in print. For 20-plus years Phil has served as food trends editor and correspondent for NBC News’ Today show, reporting on consumer trends, food safety and money-saving tips, as well as showcasing new products.

Rich Karlgaard

Phil Lempert

Learn more about the 2017 Potato Expo program at www.potato-expo. com.

Winter Meeting.

Take full advantage of your trip to San Francisco by attending one or more of the pre- and post-Potato Expo meetings, including the Potato Business Summit, the NPC Annual Meeting and the Potatoes USA

Visit the Pre/Post Meetings page for a complete list of meeting details and the Week at a Glance for an overview of all that is happening throughout the week. Registration may be required for these meetings. Please consult the organizer as listed on the website.

He makes regular appearances on ABC’s The View, The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20, CNN, CNBC and FOX, as well as on local television morning and news programs throughout the country. Lempert was one of the pioneers of the new information media, founding SupermarketGuru.com in 1994. The website is now one of the leading food and health resources on the Internet, visited by more than 9 million people each year. SupermarketGuru.com offers thorough food ratings, analyzes trends in food marketing and retail, and features health advice, unique recipes, nutrition analysis, allergy alerts and many other resources to help consumers understand their food, health, lifestyle and shopping options. BC�T November 55


Fresh Market Potato Variety Development Maximizing strong potato characteristics is key to breeding and selection of candidate lines By Mike Copas, RPE senior agronomist and SPUDPRO Committee chairman Breeding and the subsequent selection of candidate lines are two of the core operating tasks that drive the University of Wisconsin Potato Breeding & Plant Genetics program

and other potato breeding programs around the world. As candidate lines move forward in the selection process, they

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start to take definition and reflect characteristics unique to that line that can be both positive and negative from a management perspective. Identifying and developing management strategies to maximize the strong points and minimize the negatives is the role of variety development and ultimately crucial to the success or failure of a variety in the commercial production system. Variety development typically starts early in the selection process. Selection is usually conducted under a standard management profile that includes fertility, disease and insect management, and irrigation. This is the point that agronomy begins to have influence over the

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56 BC�T November

Opposite Page: Mike Copas, an RPE senior agronomist and SPUDPRO Committee chairman, and his helper place name markers in baskets holding varieties of potatoes for identification purposes. Photo courtesy of RPE, Inc.


selection process and starts to explore parameters that will need to be addressed through further field evaluations. Typical drivers at this point of the selection process for fresh market lines are attributes like appearance, shape, yield, tuber set and dormancy. Appearance is vital to the success of a fresh market line as North American consumers tend to purchase based on their visual appraisal of fresh produce. Tubers need to closely match already established norms for size, shape and skin finish. Yukon Gold, Russet Norkotah and Red Norland have long been retail standards, and new lines that reach the retail shelf will be compared to those established parameters.

consumers for its blocky shape and medium netting and color. Yellow and red tubers can be very susceptible to skin blemishes that are both physiological and disease related.

Russet lines can vary drastically in the level and display of netting on the tuber surface. Silverton has gained increased success with packers and

POTATO PERIDERM Road mapping, or the cracking of the potato periderm, and russeting through excess production of

periderm both give tubers a brown appearance detracting from their appeal. Most often these detractors are under genetic and environmental controls. This can lead to differing opinions and experiences from growers when lines make it into the continued on pg. 58

Wild Seed Farms Varieties: • Atlantic • Superior • Red LaSoda • Snowden

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Tom or Dan Wild

WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES BC�T November 57


Fresh Market Potato. . . continued from pg. 57

commercial sector. Evaluation of lines in commercial settings across multiple soil types and growing conditions provides the best way of determining these factors for tuber appearance. Yield and tuber set are two intimately tied factors that are also very critical to varietal success. Tuber set often determines the niche within the market sector that a given line has the best chance of succeeding within. For instance, Yukon Gold is an earlymaturing yellow potato that sets between five and eight marketable tubers per plant. In order for a new line to supplant Yukon Gold as an early yellow alternative for growers, the new line should lean toward fewer tubers, as greater tuber numbers tend to increase the amount of time needed to bulk and size the marketable

fraction of the crop. By contrast, production of baby and specialty potatoes, which are typically late-maturing lines, requires much higher numbers of tubers per plant. Once selection has progressed to the point that small quantities of seed are available, it pays to begin evaluations of new candidate lines in the commercial field and across different

management schemes if available. Commercial scale evaluations are essentially where most varieties live or die. COMMERCIAL FIELD TRIALS Commercial field trials tend to find the strengths and weaknesses of a given variety much faster than controlled plot situations that varieties have probably been subjected to up until this point. The commercial scale trial is a balancing act that must be carefully played out. Enough clean seed must be produced to allow the trial to go forward in stages, and in the realm of variety development, smaller is better. One of the problems with a small commercial trial is the logistical challenges it creates for the grower in managing the planting, harvest, storage, etc. A small commercial trial also leaves a large amount of risk on the table since it is contained within such a small area. Unfortunately, Murphy’s Law is in full force when working with small-scale commercial trials. If there is a mixing of seed, if a pivot collapses or flips, if there is a large thunderstorm that causes washouts and gullies in the Above: Appearance is vital to the success of a fresh market line as North American consumers tend to purchase based on their visual appraisal of fresh produce. Tubers need to closely match already established norms for size, shape and skin finish.

58 BC�T November


field, if there is a miscommunication when loading bins, it will no doubt occur when trying to execute a trial.

to market.

production, that cost will approach $11,000-$13,000. The presumed FY3 production will push the final tab to $16,000-$18,000.

Sometimes only three to five plantlets will survive the trek to the mini-tuber facility, so a single outlier can result in years lost.

Variety development can be extremely cost prohibitive. The early selection process is typically part of a private or public breeding program and a portion of that cost is built into the royalty structure when a variety finally reaches commercial viability.

COMMERCIAL SEED FARMS

Once a line is selected as a potential candidate, the larger costs start to accrue with each subsequent step forward in the timeline to commercial release. Most labs that conduct virus eradication will do so for around $1,600. The largest peril that lies here is that the tubers selected to send to the cleaning lab are most representative of the traits selected for in the field. One or two individuals that are not true to type can cause substantial setbacks in time when trying to accelerate a variety

Following mini-tuber or micro-tuber production, the variety must spend at least two years on a commercial seed farm to reach an appreciable volume that it can be trialed in the field. As with the small-scale commercial trial, the seed farm represents a limited area that carries a higher degree of risk to the variety. For example, I will use a FY3 (third fiscal year) target of 10 A (~250 cwt) to build a seed model to help explain the costs associated with this process. Once a line reaches FY1 status, the total accumulation of cost will near $6,000-8,000. Upon the completion of the second year of seed

The variety is now set up to move to a commercial production trial. An additional $7,000/acre to set up and execute the commercial trial evaluation will push the total cost well over $30,000. This cost structure places increased demand on the talents of researchers, field agronomists, seed growers and commercial growers to assure that limited resources are not lost through potential problems. It is also important for costs to be defrayed at any point when decisions are made to drop a variety or move forward with it, as paying back the development system is key to building a continuous program of new releases to compete in the marketplace.

Seed Potatoes

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• Atlantic • Snowden • Superior

REDS

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BLUES

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W9751 HIGHWAY I BRYANT, WISCONSIN 54418 BC�T November 59


Seed Piece

Seed Potato Certification Program Announces Transition By Dr. Patty McManus, Professor and Chair of the Department of Plant Pathology, UW-Madison University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Amy Charkowski, who has directed the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program since 2001, departed Wisconsin in late September to take a position as head of the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management at Colorado State University. While it was a great disappointment to see her leave, we congratulate Amy on this next exciting chapter in her life and thank her for countless contributions to the seed potato program, Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), and to UW-Madison in general over the past 15 years. In early September, industry representatives and UW-Madison faculty met with CALS administration to discuss how the program might

operate in the future, given state budget constraints. Likewise, the Department of Plant Pathology, which is the administrative and academic home for the program, discussed how the program can be designed to best meet the future needs of the potato industry and the needs of the department. A transition team is in place to oversee day-to-day operations and provide faculty backup to program staff when necessary, as well as to consider options for how the program could be managed in the future. The team includes Amanda Gevens (co-chair), a UW plant pathologist and associate professor, Russell L. Groves (co-chair), associate professor in the Department of Entomology at UW-Madison, and several members of the potato industry, including

Above: With the departure of UW-Madison Professor Amy Charkowski, who directed the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program, a transition team is in place to oversee day-to-day operations. The team includes co-chairs Amanda Gevens (left), a UW plant pathologist and associate professor, and Russell L. Groves (right), associate professor in the Department of Entomology at UW-Madison.

growers, association representatives and seed program staff. Gevens and Groves will handle issues related to program management until a new director is in place, while the entire committee will engage in discussions related to the future of the program. If you have questions, concerns or suggestions, please direct them to members of this team or to Patty McManus, Chair of the Department of Plant Pathology, pmcmanus@wisc.edu or 608-265-2047.

WPIB Focus

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison

Month

Jul-15

Aug-15

Sep-15

Oct-15

Nov-15

Dec-15

Jan-16

Feb-16

Mar-16

Apr-16

May-16

Jun-16

Year-to-Date

CWT

1,679,466.61

553,089.04

813,734.14

3,046,289.79

Assessment

$100,717.55

$33,240.32

$48,851.85

$182,809.72

Aug-16

Sep-16

Month

Jul-16

Oct-16

Nov-16

Dec-16

Jan-17

Feb-17

Mar-17

Apr-17

May-17

Jun-17

Year-to-Date

CWT

1,596,377.06

706,549.40

1,283,527.92

3,586,454.38

Assessment

$96,214.65

$46,392.12

$87,862.17

$230,468.94

60 BC�T November


Potatoes USA news Delivering a Weekly Dose of Potatoes—Right to Your Inbox! 2017 marks the fifth year of the Potatoes USA weekly recipe email, a weekly e-blast delivering a delicious dose of potato goodness to 20,000 subscribers every Tuesday. Recipes, shown in compelling photography, range from quick and healthy to the innovative and unexpected. The newsletter provides consumers and influencers with an endless source of potato inspiration, and the emails then direct subscribers to the vast online recipe collection housed at www.PotatoGoodness.com. If you would like to sign up to receive the weekly emails go online to

New grading line! Accurate sizing to meet your needs!

Above: Subscribers to the Potatoes USA weekly recipe email receive everything from quick and healthy potato recipes to innovative and unexpected dishes.

www.PotatoGoodness.com and scroll down to the Weekly Recipe Email signup area, registering with your name and email.

David J. Fleischman Farms Wisconsin Certified Seed Potatoes

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continued on pg. 62

Beautiful Yukon Gold Crop! Attractive • Smooth Skin

We treat all seed as if we were going to replant it ourselves.

YELLOWS – Yukon Gold WHITES – Superiors RUSSETS – Goldrush, Russet Norkotah REDS – Red Norland, Dark Red Norland, Oneida Gold

WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES BC�T November 61


Potatoes USA News. . . continued from pg. 61

2016 International Seed Program Was a Resounding Success The 2016 Potatoes USA Seed Program focused on the organization’s first variety trails in new markets over the July 2015-June 2016 fiscal year in Guatemala, Morocco and Myanmar, plus a Sub-Saharan African trial in Senegal. In July 2015, growers and other representatives from these and other countries attended the International Seed Symposium and were hosted on small-group reverse trade missions in California, Idaho and Maine to learn all about U.S. seed potatoes and certification systems. This experience was invaluable to familiarize them with the types of seed the United States would send to them within a few months for the

first trial plantings. Potatoes USA seed consultants ensured that the U.S. seed potatoes in the trials suited the differing needs and diverse climates in the new markets. Federal funding under the Quality Samples Program supported the purchase and shipment of multiple variety samples from across the United States growing areas for these trials. Each of these markets has multiple growing seasons, so timing was of the utmost importance. SUCCESSFUL VARIETY TRIALS The variety trials in this year’s program were all successful to varying degrees and data was analyzed to compare test plots to the control variety that

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. 62 BC�T November

Above: In July 2015, growers and representatives from Guatemala, Morocco, Myanmar, Senegal and other countries attended the International Seed Symposium and were hosted on small-group reverse trade missions in California, Idaho and Maine to learn about U.S. seed potatoes and certification systems. The subsequent variety trials in 2016 were successful to varying degrees and data was analyzed to compare test plots to the control variety already known in each market.

is already known in each market. The opportunity for seed markets must also take into account multiple growing seasons each year that range from dry to rainy climates, so a second trial container to Guatemala and Myanmar is to be planned in early fiscal year 2017. In addition to the primary focus of seed variety trials, the program also sponsors a U.S. seed certification expert at the international seed policy meetings of the United Nations to ensure the European Union practices are not the only ones recognized by seed importing nations who are trading partners. The only planned activity that could not be undertaken were variety trials with an interested private sector importer in Egypt due to an irreconcilable market access impasse with the Egyptian plant health authorities who will not grant import permits, even for U.S. seed potatoes from California, the one state for which market access was granted thus far. For specifics on the outcome of the trials or more information about the seed program, please email Amy Burdett: Amy@PotatoesUSA.com.


Auxiliary News By Ali Carter, Vice President, WPGA

I was asked recently why I had accepted a nomination to be part of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board for a second time. This was an excellent question and allowed me an opportunity to share the many ways that the organization promotes potatoes to the consumer. When I was elected to the board the first time in June 2012, I looked forward to the opportunity but was not fully aware of all the wonderful events that I would find myself planning and attending. Those years were filled with dedicating my time to volunteering at farm shows, sharing Wisconsin agriculture with school-age children throughout the state, traveling with the Spudmobile, organizing outreach programs and helping to plan magazine features. This is just a short and not an allinclusive list of the things that I did, but what I remember most about my time on the board are the things that I learned. I learned that a group of like-minded women can come together and accomplish incredible things. I learned that there truly is a need to get out there and share information about our growers and Wisconsin potatoes. So many people throughout the state have no knowledge of the agricultural industry that helps to support their communities. I learned that most 4th graders in Wisconsin do not know that we grow potatoes in our great state and are amazed to learn exactly how we grow them. I learned that it is difficult, but not impossible, to change society's perception about the nutritious aspect of potatoes; it is highly important to continue to enlighten and educate consumers. In 2015, when my time as a board member drew to a close, I chose not to throw my hat into the ring for reelection. At that time, I was struggling

Below: Standing proud and united, the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board members are, from left to right, Kathy Bartsch, Jacquie Wille, Jody Baginski, Board President Paula Houlihan, Daniell Bula, Marie Reid, Secretary/Treasurer Gabrielle Okray Eck and Vice President Ali Carter.

with health issues and felt that I needed to focus my time on my Supportive Home Care business. No longer a member of the board, I did remain a WPGA member and volunteered as such at a couple of auxiliary-sponsored events. STRONG AS A GROUP

I assure you that, like me when I first joined as a member, you will be amazed. This is a growing group of passionate people, and your unique talents and perceptions would be welcomed as we continue our purpose of advancing the Wisconsin potato industry.

However, I found myself missing the members of the board, and I craved being a part of all that they were focused on and involved in. I realized again how strong we are as a group and how much can be accomplished together that as an individual would be nearly impossible. This past spring, I once again found myself nominated to be a board member, and in June I was voted onto the board, this time as the board’s vice president. While I still struggle with health issues and I continue to have a business to focus on, I have entered into this term with a new appreciation for what I am able to be a part of, and so I am careful to manage my energy and time so that I can be present for the board and the auxiliary when I need to be. This organization is offering outstanding outreach in the community and in Wisconsin. I encourage anyone interested in learning more to reach out to one of the board members and find out how you can become involved. BC�T November 63


Eyes on Associates By WPVGA Associate Div. President, Wayne Solinsky, Jay-Mar, Inc. more excitement to the harvest. Storage will be our next big challenge, so best of luck to everyone. I hope that we have a much better outcome than what many people anticipate could happen.

Blessings everyone, This fall has definitely presented its challenges with the prolonged heat we experienced followed by all of the rain. It really shortened up the potato harvest season, and with the pending frost, it has created a tough situation. Also trying to harvest corn and soybeans between rain showers adds

We have a sellout crowd for our February 2017 WPVGA Grower Education Conference & Industry Show—a full group of vendors—and even the hallways are sold out! This is great news, as we like to host the best event we can. Thank you, everyone, for being a part of our Grower Education Conference. On that topic, in a previous column, I mentioned a survey being circulated to measure interest in having a vendor presentation hour. The response from

the survey indicates that, yes, there is more than enough interest, so our next step is to do another mailing and have our vendors who are interested in presenting give us a detailed outline of their topic and proposed presentation. VALUE OF PRESENTATIONS There will be about 10 vendors selected based on the value of their subject area and planned presentation to fellow exhibitors, as well as value to attendees/the listening audience. The selections will more than likely be determined by the Grower Education Planning Committee. I will discuss more on the Grower Education Conference & Industry Show in the next “Eyes on Associates” column, as there is much more information about what is being offered at the event in constantly trying to improve overall satisfaction. On the 2017 PUTT-TATO Golf Outing, we received bids in from all of the local golf courses that are big enough to accommodate our large group. Based on price, willingness to work with us and the fact that we are trying to spread this event around as much as we can, it was decided by the Associate Division Board that it will be held at Lake Arrowhead Golf Course in Nekoosa, Wisconsin. It has been four or five years since we held it there. The date will be July 12, so mark your calendars. For slow play that can occur on the course, there is only so much we can do to improve on that and still give sponsors full exposure to attendees and have equal play for scoring purposes. We plan to ask Lake Arrowhead to make the Par 3’s as easy as possible, since this seems to be where most of the bottlenecks occur. Hopefully that will help some.

64 BC�T November


EVERYDAY BEAUTY On a closing note, I have a question to ask each and every one of you. Do you recall the peak of the tree colors? The reason I ask this is we all tend to be way too busy, so busy in fact that we don’t even take time to appreciate the everyday beauty that is happening all around us. I am guilty as well. Each fall, God puts on this display of magnificent colors and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. You or I could take a picture and freeze the beauty in time to see it for a lifetime, and unfortunately most of us don’t even get the chance to see it. All of a sudden it dawns on us, the trees are bare, the beauty gone and lost for another year. So my message to all of us is to try to take time to appreciate the simple things that can give us joy and peace, if only for a moment.

Thanks everyone. We, the WPVGA Associate Division, are here to help the industry, so if you have questions, comments, ideas or concerns, please contact me or any of our board members so we can better assist and represent you, our members.

and most of all, be content. There is no better place to be than at peace with yourself, and most of all, be content.

Thanks for reading, be safe, be happy,

WPVGA Associate Division President

As always, from me to all of you,

Wayne Solinsky

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BC�T November 65


New Products

Tong Introduces Diagnostics Module as part of company’s pro-series Auto-Touch HMI touch screen control

In line with a continuous commitment to providing potato and vegetable growers and processors with advanced grading and handling equipment that is designed to increase efficiency while minimizing maintenance and downtime, Tong Engineering offers a time-saving Diagnostics Module as part of its latest pro-series Auto-Touch HMI touch screen control. Available as an option on all its latest equipment, Tong’s pro-series controls add a level of control and system intelligence that brings users advanced system monitoring and reporting.

“The idea behind our latest Diagnostics Module is to provide the user with continuous system monitoring and reporting so they can see how their equipment or line is running at any given time, in real

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time.” explains Tony Smith, technical manager at Tong Engineering. “The Diagnostics Module is a highly proactive system that is designed to provide real-time notifications of the status of the line,” Smith says. “This includes offering regular notifications of assurance when the line is running efficiently, as well as real-time alerts of any issues that potentially need checking or maintenance for optimal operation.” “The Diagnostics Module provides information on emergency stop alerts, motor and inverter loading statistics or areas such as whether a conveyor belt isn't tracking efficiently,” he adds. “By being proactive, any issues can be rectified quickly to prevent further deterioration, meaning downtime and maintenance really is kept to a minimum, saving time, labor and ultimately costs.” Any such issues are displayed visually on the touch screen, so users of any level can see exactly where the problem has occurred for a quick resolution. NO ENGINEER REQUIRED This feature significantly reduces downtime, removing the guesswork on machine trips and fault finding.

66 BC�T November


It also means that, in a majority of cases, such issues can be resolved without the requirement of an engineer. Working alongside the Diagnostics Module is a new Maintenance Schedule Module, which not only allows the run time of any machine component to be recorded in terms of running hours or calendar periods, but also indicates when any part may need to be maintained or changed and makes any scheduled maintenance much more efficient. "The continuous system monitoring that the Diagnostics and Maintenance Modules offer gives operators an exceptionally high level of intelligence about the status of their handling equipment at any given time,” adds Edward Tong, managing director at Tong Engineering. “In addition, the latest safety technology that is also incorporated

within these new modules enables safe running of parts of the line while others are under adjustment or maintenance,” he says. “Diagnosis and problem solving really are quicker and easier than ever before, meaning growers and processors can enjoy more continuous operation and increased

productivity of their handling facilities when embracing the leading-edge technologies that are now available as an option on our latest equipment,” Tong concludes. For more information, contact Carole Metcalfe at Tong Engineering, carole@tongengineering.com, phone: +44 (0) 1790-752771. continued on pg. 68

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New Products . . . continued from pg. 67

Fox Solutions Releases Pouch Bagger custom built specifically for the handling of fresh produce Fox Solutions, a leading fresh produce packing house equipment supplier, is proud to announce the release of its Pouch Bagger of full stainless steel construction. The Pouch Bagger is custom built specifically for fresh produce handling to support the growing trend of pouch bags in the industry while keeping food safety top of mind. In working with their customers to identify areas for operational efficiencies, Fox Solutions saw a need to simplify and streamline the pouch bagging process that has been largely a manual practice or been done with equipment retrofitted for fresh produce. “We saw how our customers were currently having to pack pouch bags,

and it was not sustainable,” Aaron Fox, president of Fox Solutions, said. “Our goal was to build something that would save them time and money.”

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In comparison to belt- or gear-driven machines, the Pouch Bagger is servodriven, which provides more precise bag filling. The machine also utilizes a rotary versus linear bag changer that works multiple bags at a time, resulting in much higher equipment productivity. Other highlights of the machine’s durable construction include its maintenance-free hollow shaft gear box, tool-free changeover for different bag sizes and a stand-alone heat sealer. The Fox Solutions Pouch Bagger is also compatible with all Newtec weighing machines. Visit www.solutionsbyfox.com for more information about Fox Solutions. About Fox Solutions Fox Solutions offers sales and support on new and used packing house equipment, custom manufacturing, repairs, machinery parts and equipment moving services throughout North America. The Fox Solutions team has extensive experience with a wide array of manufacturers, including A-One, C-Pack, Emve, Haith, Hamer, H-TECH, JASA, Kwik-Lok, NEWTEC, SACLARK and their own line of proven wicketed and carousel bagging machinery.


Ali's Kitchen Cheers! Here’s to Champagne Mashed Potatoes Column and photos by Ali Carter, Vice President, WPGA Auxiliary The holidays are upon us and this means gathering for delicious feasts with family and friends. As I began to plan our menus for this season, I decided to create something a bit special and unique for our upcoming celebrations. While dreaming of ideas, I remembered a conversation I had last summer with a woman I was seated next to at a wedding. I liked her instantly. She was bubbling over with friendliness and welcomed me into her conversation. When I mentioned that I do recipe development and have been blessed

with opportunities to share those recipes, she and I began chatting about cooking. Of course potatoes were a main topic and she told me that she has a recipe for champagne mashed potatoes. I had not heard of such a thing and was intrigued. The conversation and evening moved on, and unfortunately I have not had the pleasure to chat with her since the wedding. And I did not get the recipe for those champagne mashed potatoes! Ah, the regrets in my life. Anyway, back to the holiday menu planning—I set about creating my continued on pg. 70

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Champagne Mashed Potatoes

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INGREDIENTS: 3 lbs. potatoes* (washed, peeled and roughly chopped) ½ cup heavy cream 1 1/2 cups dry champagne 1 Tbs. pink sea salt (or more to taste) 2 tablespoons butter 4 ounces creamy Havarti cheese (cut into small squares) 1 tablespoon thyme leaves (finely chopped) 1/2 teaspoon tarragon leaves (finely chopped) Additional thyme leaves for garnish *Today I used a mixture of Yukon Gold and Silverton. BC�T November 69


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Ali's Kitchen. . . continued from pg. 69

own recipe for champagne mashed potatoes, and after a few practice meals I think I now have the most perfectly delicious creamy potato dish to share with you. The champagne adds a hint of fruitiness to the potato dish, and the buttery Havarti cheese melts perfectly into the mashed potatoes, not to mention the tanginess it offers to tamper down the sweetness of the wine. Adding the herbs puts this dish over the edge in taste and gives the finished potatoes a very pretty presentation. Fresh tarragon is flavorful and has a distinctive taste that reminds me a little bit of black licorice. Tarragon is ideal in this dish but can be overpowering if you use too much, so adjust the amount to your taste. Directions

Place potatoes in a large stockpot with enough cold water to cover.

Bring stockpot to a boil and allow potatoes to cook for about 20 minutes until very tender and able to be pierced easily with a fork. Drain water from potatoes and return to stockpot. While the potatoes are still hot, add the champagne, heavy cream, salt and butter. Using an immersion blender, mash and blend the potatoes until smooth. With a large spoon, stir in the diced Havarti cheese into the mashed potatoes until melted, then mix in the tarragon and thyme. At this point, if you feel that your potatoes seem a little too dry, you can add another tablespoon of butter and a splash more of champagne. Place the mashed potatoes into a serving bowl, sprinkle with a bit of pink sea salt and some chopped thyme and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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