December 2021 Badger Common'Tater

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$22/year | $2/copy | Volume 73 No. 12 | DECEMBER 2021



WENDY ALSUM-DYKSTRA Alsum Farms & Produce, Inc.

HOW SHOULD YOUR Farm Assets Be Taxed? REGISTER: 2022 GROWER ED Conference & Industry Show The 2021 potato harvest was golden for Alsum Farms & Produce, with the field shown here being in Grand Marsh, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of Dan Hagenow Video Creations

WHY USE IMPLEMENT Guidance in Vegetables? EMPOWER FARMERS With Real-Time Data

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On the Cover: Aside from a few issues related to a rain event in August, Wendy Alsum-Dykstra, chief operating officer at Alsum Farms & Produce, reports that potato harvest was good, with an unusually moderate fall. Yields were average or slightly above average, and quality was good. The fantastic overview shot of fall harvest in Grand Marsh, Wisconsin, is courtesy of Dan Hagenow Video Creations.

8 BADGER COMMON’TATER INTERVIEW: Like father, like daughter. This issue’s interviewee, Wendy Alsum-Dykstra (left) followed in her father, Larry’s (right), footsteps. Both obtained degrees and held jobs in accounting. Now Wendy, chief operating officer of Alsum Farms & Produce, works alongside her father, who took the reins of the company in the early 1980’s. The growing, shipping and packing operation produces 2,800 acres of Healthy Grown potatoes in Arena and Grand Marsh, Wisconsin.

DEPARTMENTS: ALI’S KITCHEN.................... 73 AUXILIARY NEWS............... 56 BADGER BEAT.................... 62

18 IMPLEMENT GUIDANCE IDEAL FOR VEGETABLES Precision, consistency and accuracy critical to growers



Advanced selections that show promise displayed during SpudPro meeting


Gabe Sommers Racing touts Wisconsin potatoes during Oktoberfest event

EYES ON ASSOCIATES......... 28 MARK YOUR CALENDAR...... 6 NEW PRODUCTS................ 68 NOW NEWS....................... 44 NPC NEWS......................... 70


PEOPLE.............................. 34

24 REGISTER TODAY FOR THE 2022 Grower Education Conference & Industry Show 40 EMPOWER FARMERS with real-time information on soil moisture and temperature 58 KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between taxable, tax deferred and tax advantaged assets

PLANTING IDEAS.................. 6


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POTATOES USA NEWS........ 61 WPIB FOCUS...................... 56

Nutrien Ag Solutions would like to thank our growers for your support in 2021. W E W I S H YO U A L L A

Safe and Happy

Holiday Season! Plainfield, WI | 715.366.4181

WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Bill Guenthner Vice President: Alex Okray Secretary: Wes Meddaugh Treasurer: Mike Carter Directors: John Bustamante, Wendy Dykstra, Randy Fleishauer, Charlie Mattek & J.D. Schroeder Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: President: Heidi Alsum-Randall Vice President: Andy Diercks Secretary: Bill Wysocki Treasurer: Keith Wolter Directors: John Bobek, Cliff Gagas, Jim Okray, Eric Schroeder & Tom Wild WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors: President: Chris Brooks Vice President: Julie Cartwright

Secretary: Sally Suprise Treasurer: Rich Wilcox Directors: Paul Salm, Matt Selenske, Andy Verhasselt & Justin Yach Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: J.D. Schroeder Vice President: Roy Gallenberg Secretary/Treasurer: Charlie Husnick Directors: Matt Mattek & Jeff Suchon Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board of Directors: President: Devin Zarda Vice President: Datonn Hanke Secretary/Treasurer: Heidi Schleicher Directors: Jody Baginski, Brittany Bula, Marie Reid & Becky Wysocki

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

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

WPVGA Office (715) 623-7683 • FAX: (715) 623-3176 E-mail: Website: LIKE US ON FACEBOOK:

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



Calendar DECEMBER 15

DISCOVERY FARMS CONFERENCE Glacier Canyon Conference Center Wisconsin Dells, WI

JANUARY 2022 3-4



2022 POTATO EXPO Anaheim Convention Center Anaheim, CA


2022 GROWER ED CONFERENCE & INDUSTRY SHOW Holiday Inn Convention Center Stevens Point, WI




NPC WASHINGTON SUMMIT (Annual Meeting and Potato D.C. Summit) Washington Marriott at Metro Center Washington, D.C.



MARCH 7-10



60th ANNUAL WPS FARM SHOW Experimental Aircraft Association grounds Oshkosh, WI

MAY 9-11



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

JUNE 21-24

2022 NPC SUMMER MEETING Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Downtown Convention Center Nashville, TN


2022 ASSOC. DIV. PUTT-TATO OPEN GOLF OUTING The Ridges Golf Course Wisconsin Rapids, WI


2022 WISCONSIN FARM TECHNOLOGY DAYS Roehl Acres and Rustic Occasions Loyal, WI (Clark County)


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Planting Ideas Live and in person,

it is my pleasure to introduce readers to the 2022 Potato Expo and 2022 Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, coming in January and February, respectively. Who would have thought we’d ever be so anxious to attend work-related trade shows, seminars, banquets and awards ceremonies? I mean, they’ve always held an appeal, and there’s something to be said for camaraderie, but it feels like we’ve been cooped up for so long, the cocoon is busting open and it’s time to spread our wings and fly. I, for one, can’t wait to get to Anaheim, California, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, or wherever any event is being held. It will be nice to see folks like J.D. Schroeder, Tom Bulgrin, Joe Seis and Bruce Anderson, from left to right in the image above, at the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) Potato Reception, held in conjunction with the Potato Expo, January 5-6, in Anaheim. And it will be equally fulfilling to attend the University of Wisconsin Extension and Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) “Grower Education Conference & Industry Show” in Stevens Point, February 8-10. Registration is open for the Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, and we’ve included a form to fill out in this issue, along with another page devoted to nominating a 2021 WPVGA Associate Division Businessperson of the Year. Photocopy and fill out the forms, mailing them to addresses given in each, or visit events/2022-grower-education-conference-industry-show/ and scroll down to download Individual or Group Registration Forms. It will be nice to see you all there! See “NPC News” in this issue for information on Potato Expo’s Educational Sessions and the nationally and internationally recognized experts presenting them. There will be 15 Potato Talks on the Expo Stage, 15 Breakout Sessions at The Innovation Hub, 11 Research Projects featured at the Poster Session and many opportunities to connect and do business. The WPVGA Associate Division held its 2nd Annual Sporting Clays Shoot in October, and the weather turned out to be beautiful. A full slate of 15 teams, including 71 shooters, traversed the 75-target course. For more information, see “Eyes on Associates” herein, and enjoy the pictures! 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:

Joe Kertzman

Managing Editor


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Chief Operating Officer, Alsum Farms & Produce, Inc.

By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

NAME: Wendy Alsum-Dykstra TITLE: Chief Operating Officer COMPANY: Alsum Farms & Produce, Inc. LOCATION: Friesland, Wisconsin HOMETOWN: Friesland YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: 11 PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: Grant Thornton LLP, Madison SCHOOLING: University of Wisconsin (UW)-Whitewater, Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting, Master of Professional Accountancy ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Board member 2021 (Promotions Committee member); Potatoes USA Board member 2021 (Finance & Policy Committee member); Produce Marketing Association Audit Committee member 2019-2021, and Budget & Finance Committee member 2013-2018; National Potato Council Finance & Trade Affairs committees member 2020-present; Potato Industry Leadership Institute graduate 2019; Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants member 2010-present; Sunday school teacher 2018-present; Foundation for Christian Education in Central Wisconsin Board 2020-Present; and Randolph Christian School Board 2018-2020 AWARDS/HONORS: Produce Business 40 under 40 Award recipient 2019, and WPVGA President’s Award 2015 FAMILY: Husband, Neil, and daughters, Reagan (9) and Riley (6) HOBBIES: Spending time with family and friends, outdoor activities, especially in Wisconsin during spring, summer and fall, and boating and water sports 8

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Following in her father’s footsteps, Wendy Alsum-Dykstra went to school for accounting and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting and Master of Professional Accountancy degrees. Her dad, Larry Alsum, who grew up on a family-owned dairy farm, had gone to college to become a certified public accountant for Houghton, Taplick & Company, in Madison. Unfortunately, in 1981, Larry’s cousin, Glen, died tragically in a plane crash. Glen was the original owner of what was then Alsum Produce Inc., a potato and vegetable repacking operation. Glen had started the company, in 1973, and worked out of a 600-square-foot shed. He bought 50- and 100-pound bags of Wisconsin potatoes and onions, which he repackaged into smaller 5-, 10- and 15-pound bags, selling them to local grocers. After Glen’s death, Larry made the decision to leave the public accounting sector and assume reins of Alsum Produce as general manager and owner.

IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL In 2010, Larry changed the name of Alsum Produce to Alsum Farms & Produce, Inc. to better reflect the company’s long-term growth plans and commitment to locally grown produce. Potatoes and onions are a mainstay of the business, and visitors can see, smell, and if lucky enough, even taste the fresh vegetables at Alsum Farms & Produce in Friesland, Wisconsin. Larry began growing Wisconsin potatoes in 1989, and today, he and his crew farm 2,800 acres of Healthy Grown russet, red, white, gold, purple and fingerling potatoes in the lower Wisconsin River Valley, specifically in Grand Marsh and Arena. A national distributor of Wisconsin potatoes and onions, Alsum Farms & Produce has over 150,000 square feet of production and warehouse

Above: Wendy Alsum-Dykstra, chief operating officer of Alsum Farms & Produce, Inc., says, in addition to being a potato grower and national distributor of Healthy Grown potatoes and onions, the farming operation’s retail division supplies many grocery stores in Wisconsin and upper Illinois with a full line of fruits and vegetables. This enables Alsum Farms & Produce to restock produce departments multiple days a week. Overhead farming operation photo courtesy of Dan Hagenow Video Creations

facilities and distributes a full line of 300 fruits and vegetables in the Midwest, along with locally grown produce.

hard work, commitment from our employees, and through establishing many great partnerships with both our customers and suppliers.

Above: Potato planting was underway, in 2021, at Alsum Farms & Produce. Photos courtesy of Donald Maum and Beau Hartline, respectively

And what about Wendy? Well, she’s a chief operating officer (COO) for Alsum Farms & Produce, LLC, working alongside her dad and sister, Heidi Alsum-Randall, who serves as joint COO.

Alsum Farms & Produce specializes in potatoes and onions. How many acres of each, and are all acres in the Arena, Wisconsin, area? What other vegetables does Alsum Farms & Produce grow, and how many acres of each? Alsum Farms grows 1,900 acres of potatoes in Arena and 900 acres in Grand Marsh. Our farm

supplies approximately half of our total potato sales in hundredweight.

Wendy was kind enough to sit down for an interview and answer some questions about the state and progress of the business, including how harvest went this year and what the future holds.

We have been able to develop partnerships with many family farms in Wisconsin and other potato producing states to offer our customers a year-round supply.


Knowing your Uncle Glen and your dad’s history, what are you most proud of regarding the progress your father and Alsum Farms & Produce has made over the past 40 years? I am thankful for the entrepreneurial passion Glen had beginning the business over 48 years ago. I am incredibly proud of the hard work and passion my dad has carried forward over the last 40 years with an eagerness to learn, willingness to take risks and vision for growth. The success and expansion of Alsum Farms & Produce as part of the Alsum Family of Companies has been achieved through a great deal of

continued on pg. 10

• Ridging: all the ridges are regular ➔ no surface lost • Planting: regular ridges ➔ potato plant centered • Bedding: centered on the ridges ➔ drastically reduces “greens”

DynaTrac universal implement guidance optimizes all your operations with potatoes and vegetables. It increases your sellable volume thanks to accuracy at every step!

• Mechanical weeding: accurate guidance ➔ no damages on ridges • Harvest: harvester centered on the ridges ➔ reduces damage to the crop

For more information, contact LAFORGE! 855-408-3332 • • BC�T December


Interview. . .

continued from pg. 9

In addition, we grow about 320 acres of pumpkins in Grand Marsh. We do not grow any onions but have developed a year-round supply network. How was harvest this year, including yields and quality? Our 2021 harvest was good overall with an unusually moderate fall. Our yields were average or slightly above average, and quality was good overall. There were some exceptions, such as a few issues due to a rain event in early August. Explain a little bit about the sandy soil in the Arena area and why it’s ideal for growing potatoes. Our farm locations in both Arena and Grand Marsh have mostly sandy or sandy loam soils. These sandy soils work well for our potatoes because of the good drainage, and soil tilth creates quality, uniformly shaped tubers. It’s amazing how your dad branched out to distribute a full line of 300 fruits and vegetables in the Midwest. What percentage of your

Wendy Dykstra and her daughter, Riley, take part in the 2021 Alsum Farms & Produce Tater Trot 5K during the farming operation’s annual Fall Festival. 10 BC�T December

Evaluating plant health in the field is an integral part of ensuring a healthy potato crop for Wendy Alsum-Dykstra (left) and her father, Larry Alsum (right). Photo courtesy of Dan Hagenow Video Creations

business is packing and shipping those fruits and vegetables? Over the past year, 25 percent of our total sales were fruits, onions and other vegetables. Alsum Farms & Produce’s retail division supplies a number of grocery stores in Wisconsin and upper Illinois. Providing our customers with a full

line of fruits and vegetables allows us to restock their produce departments multiple days a week. During the summer and fall months, we take great pride in promoting locally grown produce to our customers. continued on pg. 12

Alsum Farms was in full swing harvesting Wisconsin Healthy Grown potatoes in this 2016 image.

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 10

How many full- and part-time employees does Alsum Farms & Produce currently employ? Alsum Farms & Produce has 200 full-time employees and over 250 seasonally. Our employees are based out of our main production facility in Friesland, plus both farm locations.

Is labor shortage one of the biggest challenges facing the generational farm operation now? Labor is a visible challenge right now for many industries across the state and country, with “Help Wanted” advertisements everywhere. We have faced challenges with labor

in our operation and are looking at creative strategies to combat them, including automation and utilizing contracted labor. We are also working to promote the many opportunities in agriculture right now, from on the farm to the packing shed and truck driving.

Above: Alsum Farms & Produces offers various potato and onion packaging options to its retail customers. 12 BC�T December

“We are committed to taking care of our environment and resources because it is the right thing to do.”

– Wendy Alsum-Dykstra As technology and automation continue to advance, so does the need for more skilled labor.

and service to our customers.

You hold a Master of Professional Accountancy degree, and you serve as chief operating officer. What are your main duties? My primary responsibility is overseeing daily operations working with our finance, logistics, maintenance, and shipping and receiving department managers and ensuring teams have the necessary resources to get the job done of providing quality produce

I work with company leaders to design and implement business strategies, plans and procedures. I enjoy the opportunity to work alongside a dedicated team of employees and provide support wherever needed. How many trucks are involved in the shipping arm of the business and how far across the country do you deliver? Alsum Transport has a fleet of 28 trucks and 90

refrigerated trailers. Our team of drivers stays busy hauling 52 weeks a year supporting both our farm and packing/marketing operations with pickups and deliveries. We have 20 day-cab trucks that are concentrated with shipping and backhauls in the Midwest. Our eight sleeper trucks ship primarily east of the Mississippi River, down to Florida, and backhaul loads out of Colorado and North Dakota from our supply partners. continued on pg. 14




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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 13

The trucks sure are recognizable, as is the Alsum brand and your dad’s image on produce boxes and bags. I take it branding is a priority for your family’s business. Who handles most of the branding, and what do you attribute to their success? Going back to 2009, we engaged an outside marketing firm to do a comprehensive analysis, or “uncover-y” process, on our company and brand. Our customers, grower partners and employees were surveyed, and our tagline “Integrity from Field to Fork” was created. We understood consumers wanted

to be connected to the farmer. Our marketing team, including Heidi Alsum-Randall and Christine Lindner, has done an outstanding job illustrating this strategy and connecting consumers to our family and our story. What do you handle as far as logistics—what does it involve, just tracking trucks, or much more? Alsum Transport dispatches our fleet of trucks and trailers and is also responsible for hiring outside carriers to bring in and ship out product for loads we are not able to cover with our own fleet.

Above: Alsum Farms & Produce tractortrailer rigs are a familiar sight in the Midwest, South and east of the Mississippi River, and even in Colorado and North Dakota.

Transportation plays an integral role in our industry and for our businesses. With today’s demands and challenges, our team, including our logistics manager, dispatchers and drivers, does an excellent job covering all loads in a safe and timely manner. How many maintenance men and women do you employ? I work with our service manager responsible for maintaining our fleet of trucks and trailers, and our maintenance manager responsible for maintaining all of our production equipment as well as buildings. We employ four full-time mechanics in our truck shop and nine maintenance technicians when fully staffed to cover three shifts. These teams do a great job and play an important role in ensuring our equipment is operating effectively to package and deliver quality product and service to our customers. How do schooling and your former job/work experience help you? I believe a background in accounting can provide a strong foundation and understanding of business.

Alsum Farms produces 1,900 acres of Healthy Grown potatoes in Arena and 900 acres in Grand Marsh, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of Dan Hagenow Video Creations 14 BC�T December

Careful analysis, strategic decisionmaking and an understanding of information systems can help add value to any business.

In college, I had the opportunity to intern with Grant Thornton LLP, and after graduation was offered a position in audit. I enjoyed the opportunity to work with many leaders in various industries and learn about their operations. You are a new member of the WPVGA Board of Directors. Why is it important for you to be on the Board, and what do you hope to contribute/gain from the experience yourself? I am excited about the opportunity to join the WPVGA Board this year and network with and learn from others in the industry. I look forward to better understanding the challenges our industry is facing and working together to find solutions, advocating for key issues and promoting Wisconsin potatoes. How has sustainability, including being a Healthy Grown member of the WPVGA, been a priority for Alsum Farms & Produce? Alsum Farms & Produce was in the first group of farmers to participate in the initial discussions and efforts to advance the industry’s sustainability efforts, in 1996, which became the Healthy Grown program. We are committed to taking care of our environment and resources because it is the right thing to do. The Healthy Grown program aligns with increasing requirements from our customers to ensure their supply partners are practicing sustainability and environmental stewardship. Are biodiversity and conserving ecosystems part of the equation, and how? What practices does Alsum Farms & Produce routinely undertake to conserve the land? Biodiversity and conservation efforts are an important part of our practices. Alsum Farms has over 30 acres dedicated to pollinator habitat and prairie restoration in Arena and Grand Marsh. continued on pg. 16 BC�T December 15

Interview. . .

continued from pg. 15

Our conservation practices include minimum tillage, cover crops and water use efficiency, utilizing information provided by the UW Extension as best practices and continuing to trial variable rate application of fertilizer and other crop inputs.

Who are your main supplier partners? Alsum Farms & Produce has had long-standing partnerships with several Wisconsin family potato and onion growers and other farmers, packers and shippers across the country in order to provide a 52-week-a-year supply of russet, red

and gold potatoes and onions. In addition, Alsum Farms & Produce has partnered with many Wisconsin family farms for our seasonal locally grown program offering apples, cranberries, celery, asparagus, peppers, squash, cucumbers,

Above: Alsum Farms & Produce has quite a large state-of-the-art sorting, grading, packing and shipping facility in Friesland, Wisconsin. 16 BC�T December

sweet corn and much more. Our fruit and vegetable supply network also includes other quality growers across the United States. How do you hope to grow professionally in the coming years, Wendy, and what are your goals? I am so thankful for the experience I have had in college and business, yet I recognize the opportunity to learn something new every day. I look forward to growing my leadership abilities as I continue to work with our team and others in the industry and get involved serving on various committees and boards. We are in the process of updating our strategic plan and continuing to work on our succession plan. It is exciting for me to be a part of executing these plans. What do you hope for the future of Alsum Farms & Produce? I am excited about the future of Alsum Family of Companies and all opportunities that lie ahead for our operation with a team of great people and strong, solid partnerships. In 2023, we look forward to celebrating 50 years in business. My hope is to continue the legacy of our family business for future generations, making a positive impact every day in our employee, customer and supplier relationships, and continuing our commitment to sustainability for our land and our resources. Is there anything I’ve missed, Wendy, that you’d like to add? Agriculture is a great industry with so many fantastic people involved in supporting the growing, packing and shipping of healthy produce for all.

Larry Alsum addresses a sizeable crowd gathered at the company’s Friesland grading, packing and shipping facility during a tour segment of the 2019 National Potato Council Summer Meeting.


We are grateful for the special people in our lives. May your holidays be filled with peace, happiness and hope. All of us wish each of you a Merry Christmas. ❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆❄❅❆


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Why Use Implement Guidance in Vegetables? Precision, accuracy and consistency are critical in commercial potatoes and other vegetables By Kyle Frazier, LAFORGE Systems, LLC

Precision. Accuracy. Consistency. These are important aspects

in any farming operation, but I don’t know of a place where they’re any more critical than in commercial potatoes and other vegetables. Part of this is sheer economics. Compared to row-crop or small grain operations, vegetables are highervalue plants grown on considerably fewer acres, so every seed, every start or transplant is important.

Is tractor guidance enough? First, GPS (Global Positioning System) is a standard feature on nearly every vegetable tractor. It ensures that rows are created straight and parallel for easier cultivation and harvest.

In addition, potato/vegetable production requires more implements and more passes. Multiple tractors, tillage tools, bed shapers, transplanters, cultivators and sprayers—they all make their way down the rows during the production cycle, and each pass puts valuable crops at risk from wheel damage.

However, even with an arrow-straight A/B line, most potato or vegetable growers aren’t getting the precision and consistency they need to guarantee the safety of their plants.

DynaTrac is a great tool to master these challenges with implement guidance in vegetables. 18 BC�T December

The reason for this is because implements behind the tractor can drift, even while the tractor maintains a straight line. The speed of the tractor and length and width of the implement have a direct effect on implement drift.

ALTERED PATH Varying soil conditions and use of ground-engaging attachments will also alter the tool’s path. Is this a big deal? It can be. Studies show that an implement can drift up to 10 times as much as the tractor. In a high-value vegetable crop, that’s not acceptable. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to counter implement drift: implement guidance for vegetables. What are DynaTrac Implement Above: For cultivating shallots in Washington, the tractor is equipped with a DynaTrac Vision Implement Guidance system and a DynaTrac Premium Plus hitch. Without the hitch, implements behind the tractor can drift, even while the tractor maintains a straight line. The speed of the tractor and length and width of the implement have a direct effect on implement drift.

Guidance benefits for crops planted in beds? First, using Implement Guidance in tandem with tractor GPS means you no longer need to worry about your emerged crop. Indeed, both the tractor and implement are operating on the same A/B line. This is important for any crop, but especially for those planted in beds. You obviously want to ensure that the seed or start is placed consistently in the middle of the bed, but it’s equally important to protect the bed in subsequent passes. This is a key reason why DynaTrac Implement Guidance in potatoes is so popular—the pass-to-pass accuracy it provides ensures that beds are protected, maintaining a sufficient soil cover above the potato start and allowing the new tubers to expand underground without greening. Eastern Washington grower Benjamin Gross saw the need for improved

“Compared to row-crop or small grain operations, vegetables are higher-value plants grown on considerably fewer acres, so every seed, every start or transplant is important.”

– Kyle Frazier

precision when he transitioned his onion crop into strip till.

thought that was stupid; there had to be a better option.”

OUT OF THE STRIP “Strip till was a whole different way of farming,” he relates. “With vegetable crops, you can’t be out of the strip more than a quarter inch or you’ll have crop that matures too early, too late, or just won’t pan out at all.”

After looking at several different manufacturers, Gross landed on two LAFORGE guided hitches, a DynaTrac Ultima and DynaTrac Premium, to use implement guidance in vegetables.

“Even though we have RTK [Real Time Kinematic positioning], the operator had to constantly shift the planter to keep it centered,” Gross adds. “It was nerve-wracking for the operators. We

He said the benefits were clear from the first time they used the guided hitches to plant, and even more evident with subsequent passes. “The hitch is just putting the planter to an RTK line that it’s getting from continued on pg. 20

BC�T December 19

Why Use Implement Guidance in Vegetables?… continued from pg. 19

the receiver up front, so everything is running in the same line,” he says. “Getting the seed placed where it should be definitely gives us a bump in yield,” Gross notes. “And before, when the planter had to shift off the A/B line a few inches, the next guy had no way of knowing that, so he was constantly staring down at the front tires trying not to run over crop.” “Having this [Implement Guidance] is literally a night and day difference,” he concludes. PRESERVE INFRASTRUCTURE How does implement guidance in vegetables preserve the infrastructure? To start with, drip tubing positioned close to the plant and buried in the soil saves water, decreases weed pressure and allows precise fertilizer application. However, a single shank on a cultivator can undue a lot of those benefits in a hurry. What’s more, it’s the same with plastic wrap. You want to lay it close enough to the row or bed to reduce weed pressure and to help funnel excess moisture away from the roots during heavy rains. But the closer you get to the plant, the more risk you run of accidental damage. This is especially true with new or inexperienced 20 BC�T December

A Monosem planter is outfitted with a DynaTrac Premium hitch and GPS Implement Guidance for planting onions on strip till between wheat rows in Washington.

tractor operators. As it maintains perfect spacing between passes, Implement Guidance improves your profitability in several ways. Seed and nutrients can be placed more precisely, improving yield, and damage to drip tape grids and plastic rolls is reduced, if not eliminated. MAINTAIN SEEDBEDS In addition, seedbeds are maintained to help protect the plants, reducing the chance of your crop being docked after harvest. On top of that, there are potential savings in labor. Knowing that your rows are super straight and consistent gives you the confidence to spray or side-dress at

faster speeds, allowing you to spray more acres in less time. Add it all up and Implement Guidance literally pays for itself. In fact, many customers tell us that increases in yield and productivity allowed them to cover the cost of DynaTrac Implement Guidance in vegetables in a single season or two. LAFORGE offers a suite of options that fit any tractor and any implement, including two- and threepoint DynaTrac guided hitches for PTO (Power Take Off)-driven or drawn implements up to 16,500 pounds. Where some manufacturers require that you purchase Implement continued on pg. 22

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Why Use Implement Guidance in Vegetables? continued from pg. 20

Running a cultivator in this field of Northern Maine broccoli is made easier via a DynaTrac Ultima hitch and GPS Implement Guidance.

Guidance for vegetables individually for each implement, you only need to buy a LAFORGE DynaTrac hitch for your tractor and it works with all your implements. It’s a solution that’s both simple and cost-effective—simple because you only need to set up and learn a single system, and cost-effective because it works with all your tools. “It’s just basically plug and play,” Gross says. “You can hook it up in a half hour and start running. We move the hitches all over the farm, to different planters.” “These hitches are heavy duty, big enough to hook up a 24-row bean planter,” he notes. “Some of the other ones out there, you’d rip them apart if you tried that.” If you have questions on the advantages of Implement Guidance,

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22 BC�T December

Register Today for the 2022 WPVGA Grower Education Conference & Industry Show Nominations being accepted for the 2021 WPVGA Associate Division Business Person of the Year Photocopy these forms, fill them form, or visit www.wisconsinpotatoes. down to download Individual or Group out and fax, mail or email them com/events/2022-grower-educationRegistration Forms. WPVGA & UW-Madison Division of Extension & UW-Madison Division to the addresses given WPVGA in each conference-industry-show/ and scrollof Extension

Grower Grower Education Education Conference Conference and and Industry Industry Show Show WPVGA & UW-Madison Division of Extension WPVGA & UW-Madison Division of Extension February 8-10, February 8-10, 2022 2022 Grower Education Conference and Industry Show Holiday Inn, Stevens Point, WI Grower Education Conference and Industry Show February 8-10, INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION February 8-10, 2022 2022FORM INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION FORM Holiday Holiday Inn, Inn, Stevens Stevens Point, Point, WI WI INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION FORM (One registrant per sheet. Please type or print.) INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION FORM (One registrant per sheet. Please type or print.)

Name: _______________________________ Company: ________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________________ (One type print.) (One registrant registrant per per sheet. sheet. Please Please type or or print.) Name: Company: ________________________ Phone: _______________________________ _____________________________ E-Mail: __________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________________ BEFORE January 22, 2022 AFTER January 21, 2022 Phone: _____________________________ E-Mail: __________________________ Name: _______________________________ Company: ________________________ Name: _______________________________ Company: ________________________ REGISTRATION  WPVGA Non-WPVGA WPVGA Non-WPVGA Address: ______________________________________________________________ Members: Members: Members: Members: Address: ______________________________________________________________ BEFORE January 22, 2022 AFTER January 21, 2022 Full conference Phone: _____________________________ E-Mail: __________________________ □ $90_____________________________ □ $130 □ $105 □ $155 Phone: E-Mail: __________________________ WPVGA Non-WPVGA Members: Members: □ $40 □ $55 BEFORE January 22, 2022 BEFORE January 22, 2022 □ $90 □ $130 WPVGA Non-WPVGA WPVGA Non-WPVGA □ $40 □ $55 Members: Members: Members: Members: □ $40 □ $55 □ $90 □ □ $25 $40 □ $90 □□$130 $130

Steak □ □

$40□ □ $40 $40


Steak □ □

$55□ □ $55 $55




Pork □Wellington $25

Pork Wellington

□ □ $40 $40


□ $45

□ Tilapia □ $25 $25

□ $40 □ □ $55 $55


□ $45

□ Tilapia □ $40 $40

 REGISTRATION (includes lunches)  One Day: Tuesday (includes lunch) Full conference One Day:  REGISTRATION (includes lunches)   REGISTRATION  Wednesday One Day: Tuesday (includes lunch) Full conference (includes One conference Day:lunch) Thursday Full

(includes One Day:lunches) (includes lunches) One Tuesday Industry Steak Wednesday □ $45□ $45 □ $60□ $45 Steak One Day: Day:Banquet Tuesday □ □ (price includes □ $45 $45 □ $60 $60 (includes lunch) (includes lunch)one Tilapia Tilapia free drink!) One One Day: Day: Thursday Pork Pork□Wellington □□Wellington $30 $45 Wednesday □ Wednesday □ $45 $45 □ $60 $60 (includes lunch) TOTAL DUE  Industry Banquet (includes lunch) □ $45 □ $45 Steak Steak One Day: Thursday (price includes one One Day: Thursday □ $30 □ $45 Tilapia □ $30 □ $45 Tilapia free drink!) PAYMENT BY CREDIT CARD Industry □ $45□ MasterCard □ $45 Pork Wellington SteakWellington Pork Steak Industry Banquet Banquet Credit Card Type: □ $45 □ $45 Steak Steak □ Visa (price includes one □ Discover □ American Express (price includes one Tilapia Tilapia Tilapia free drink!) Tilapia _______________________ Name: TOTAL DUE  free drink!) Cardholder’s

PAYMENT BY CHECK □ $45 □ $45 Steak Pork Wellington Steak Pork Wellington □ $45 □ $45 Steak Steak Tilapia Tilapia Tilapia Tilapia Pork Wellington Pork Wellington Wellington Please make checks Pork payable to and mail this Pork Wellington form along with fees to:


Wellington Card Number: Pork ____________________________ Pork Wellington Pork Wellington Pork Wellington Expiration Date: ________/________ Code: ________________ TOTALVerification DUE 

TOTAL DUE  PAYMENT BY CREDIT CARD Credit Card Type: □ Visa □ MasterCard Email this form to: □ Discover □ American-orExpress PAYMENT CARD Fax this formBY to CREDIT (715) 623-3176 Cardholder’s Name: _______________________ PAYMENT BY CREDIT CARD -orCredit Card Type: □ Visa □ MasterCard Card Number: ____________________________ Credit Card Type: Visaform □ MasterCard Mail□this to: Please make checks payable to and mail this □ Discover □ American Express Expiration Date: ________/________ □ Discover □ American Express WPVGA | PO Box 327 | Antigo, WI 54409 form along with fees to: Cardholder’s Name: _______________________ Verification ________________ Cardholder’sCode: Name: _______________________ Card Number: ____________________________ BC�T December Card Number: ____________________________ Please payable WPVGA Please make make checks checks payable to to and and mail mail this this Expiration Date: ________/________ Email this form to: Expiration Date: ________/________ form along with fees to: PO Box 327 form along with fees to: Verification Code: -orVerification Code: ________________ ________________ Antigo, WI 54409 Fax this form to (715) 623-3176 WPVGA PO Box 327 Antigo, WI 54409 PAYMENT BY PAYMENT BY CHECK CHECK (715) 623-7683


WPVGA Non-WPVGA Members: Members: □ $45 □ $60 AFTER January 21, 2022 AFTER January 21, □ $105 □2022 $155 WPVGA Non-WPVGA WPVGA Non-WPVGA □ $45 □ $60 Members: Members: Members: Members: □ $45 □ $60 □ $105 □ □ $30 $45 □ $105 □□$155 $155

SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW WPVGA MEMBERS When you need goods or services, please consider asking our Associate Division Members for quotes or explore what they have to offer. Together, we make a strong organization and appreciate how wonderful we are as a group. BC�T December 25

Seed Piece SpudPro Meeting Includes Variety Display

Variety development team presents advanced selections that show promise

The SpudPro Committee

held its annual meeting at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station (HARS), where attendees had the chance to hear about and view tubers that have come out of recent agronomic trials. The meeting and potato variety expo is a chance for University of Wisconsin (UW) researchers to showcase their work over the past year and update growers and industry professionals on their progress with new variety development. Many advanced potato clones, along with applicable data on them, were on full display, harvested after having been grown under numerous conditions and trials in Hancock and at the Langlade Agricultural Research Station, in Antigo. The mission of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association SpudPro Committee is to advance the state’s potato breeding lines to variety status by providing foundation seed as a platform for industry review, adoption and commercialization. Though no lines had advanced to the point of naming this year,

one variety—W13008-1rus—was nominated to be grown out as minitubers and continue in the SpudPro program through 2022 and beyond. A medium-long russet similar to Goldrush, W13008-1rus’s parentage includes Canela and W8152-1rus. The new SpudPro nominee exhibits medium-light russeting akin to Silverton, high yielding, medium-low tuber set and medium-large size. RUSSET ATTRIBUTES Internal quality of W13008-1rus

Above: W13A11229-1rus, a dual-purpose russet variety, advanced to Field Year 1 (FY1) production at the UW Foundation Seed Farm, in 2021. Left: Mick Kolpack (left) of Bushmans’ Inc., Rosholt, Wisconsin, and Rhinelander Agricultural Research Station Superintendent Becky Eddy (right) discuss potato clones and advanced breeding lines on display, October 28, in Hancock.

is described as “very good,” with little hollow heart, and dormancy as “long” (exceeding Norkotah.) It has moderate resistance to scab. Also on display was W13A11229-1rus, a new russet variety that advanced to Field Year 1 (FY1) production at the UW Foundation Seed Farm. The 2021 yield was 296 cwt. (hundredweight)/ acre, which was more than FY1 Goldrush, but less than FY1 Silverton by comparison. The attractive W13A11229-1rus tubers are high yielding and have light russeting and a large size profile. This variety exhibits long dormancy, low glucose levels and supports a

26 BC�T December

light fry color, making it an attractive dual-purpose russet. Other russets, reds and several W15 yellow variety candidates for SpudPro completed the display. Dr. Yi Wang shared information comparing and contrasting the performance of 16 advanced breeding line varieties, including russets, reds and yellows, that her team grew in a full-season trial under two nitrogen (N) rates: 150 and 300 lbs. N/acre. Though there wasn’t a significant difference between yields of reds and russets, only yellows, grown under high and low nitrogen rates, Wang’s team discovered high nitrogen credits in the irrigation water at HARS, which is likely the reason for the similar yield results. The team plans to continue the trial next season. The SpudPro meeting and variety expo provided a nice opportunity to promote the newest Wisconsin


Accurate sizing to meet your needs!

Seed Available for 2022 Planting! WHITES • Superiors RUSSETS • Goldrush • Mercury • Russet Norkotah • Silverton REDS • Red Norland • Dark Red Norland

A new SpudPro nominee, W13008-1rus is a medium-long variety that exhibits mediumlight russeting akin to Silverton, is high yielding with a medium-low tuber set and medium-large size.

breeding lines and discuss ways to get them out to parties who can evaluate the potatoes and their attributes and characteristics.

Drs. Yi Wang (left in red hat) and Jeff Endelman (right) mug for the camera behind masks during the SpudPro meeting and variety display, October 28, at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station.

David J. Fleischman Farms Wisconsin Certified Seed Potatoes

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Eyes on Associates

2nd Annual Sporting Clays Shoot Was a Blast!

Associate Division invites WPVGA members and guests back to Wausau Skeet & Trap Club By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater No one could blame the weather if their shooting was off a bit at the 2nd Annual Sporting Clays Shoot hosted by the WPVGA Associate Division. Thursday, October 21, turned out to be a beautiful autumn day at the

Wausau Skeet & Trap Club, with temperatures in the mid-50’s and a stiff west wind. A full slate of 15 teams, including 71 shooters, traversed the 75-target course, with registration beginning

at 12:30 p.m. and a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. Registration included one round of sporting clays, dinner, drink tickets and entry into prize drawings. While sponsored bags with three boxes of shells were provided for each registered participant, most shooters brought their own 12- or 20-guage shotguns. Eye and ear protection were required, and shooting vests were available Above: Before the 2nd Annual Sporting Clays event, participating shooters gathered around Tim Kluski (foreground with back to camera), past president of the Wausau Skeet & Trap Club, as he went over the ground rules and gave safety tips and suggestions.

28 BC�T December

Left: WPVGA Associate Division Board member Paul Salm of BMO Harris Bank poses for a picture after erecting a sign spotlighting the Associate Division’s sponsorship of the 2nd Annual Sporting Clays Shoot at the Wausau Skeet & Trap Club.

at the course. Twenty volunteer coaches walked the course with the teams, assisting novices, ensuring safety and making suggestions on shooting stances and techniques for those with more experience. In addition to the 15-station course, participants could enter shooting games on the side for prizes and bragging rights. Speaking of bragging rights, the top finishers in the 2nd Annual Sporting Clays Shoot are as follows: Trophy Results: 1st Place – Male: Bill Zelinski, 61 2nd Place – Male: Rich Troudt, 60 1st Place – Female: Erin Meister, 38 2nd Place – Female: Kelsi Mueller, 24 Top Team – Jared Suchon, Jeff Suchon, Spencer Schwartz, Mark Belau and Rich Troudt (team average of 54.75)

The 1st Place Team trophies were awarded to, from left to right, Jared Suchon, Spencer Schwartz, Jeff Suchon, Rich Troudt and Mark Belau, the first three of Bushman’s Riverside Ranch and the last two from Condon Oil, for hitting a team average of 54.75 clays each.

Four Associate Division member companies stepped up to the plate, literally and figuratively, to sponsor dinner at the event—Bushmans’ Inc., Investors Community Bank,

Syngenta and Volm Companies—and a delicious meal was served in a heated tent outside by Ed & Sharon’s Catering. continued on pg. 30

Seed Potatoes Certified and Foundation WHITES

• Atlantic • Snowden • Superior


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W9751 HIGHWAY I BRYANT, WISCONSIN 54418 BC�T December 29

2nd Annual Sporting Clays Shoot Was a Blast! … continued from pg. 29

A fundraiser for the Associate Division of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, with money effectively used to support the industry throughout the year, the 2nd Annual Sporting Clays Shoot netted nearly $4,000. There were five teams on the waiting list this year, and, judging by positive feedback from shooters and participating companies, even more people from the industry will become involved in years to come and enjoy a nice annual day in the woods shooting sporting clays.

WPVGA Associate Division Board member Justin Yach of Compass Insurance takes aim while a Wausau Skeet & Trap Club volunteer provides helpful tips.

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Right: Fully vested in the sporting clays shoot are, from left to right, Tom Bulgrin, Mike Gear, Steve Greenfield, Marty Kolpack and Doug Bulgrin, all of whom sport ThorPack hunting vests. Below: Mike Baginski of Baginski Farms draws a bead on an airborne sporting clay.

• Paroli • Yukon Gold

• Lady Liberty (NY152) • Superior

Left: Right at home in the woods are, from left to right, Jeff and Ryan Fassbender of Seidl Farms, and Chase Parr and Luke Abbrederis, representing Roberts Irrigation.

Representing one of two Allied Coop teams are, from left to right, Matt Selenske, Amos French, Lewis Holmes, and Nate and Corey Bula. The 1st Place Female award went to Erin Meister, representing Reabe Spraying and spraying enough accurate shot to hit 38 clays on the course.

Bill Zelinski of Big Iron Equipment rose to the top of the leaderboard, taking the 1st Place Male trophy for hitting 61 sporting clays.

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The 2nd Place Male award belongs to Rich Troudt for shooting 60 clays on the course.

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continued on pg. 32 BC�T December 31

2nd Annual Sporting Clays Shoot Was a Blast! … continued from pg. 31

Kelsi Mueller of the second Allied Coop team takes aim at a clay during the clear autumn day.

Luke Zelinski of Big Iron Equipment has a clay front and center, just off his right ear and far off in the blue sky.


Mike Carter of Bushmans’ Inc. shows good shooting form during the 2nd Annual Sporting Clays event.


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Smiles were contagious at the Wausau Skeet & Trap Club, including those on the faces of, from left to right, Jacob and Mary Meister, Marc Stalter, Roger Meister and Andy Duff.








Thank You to Our Sponsors Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative Big Iron Equipment Bushmans’, Inc. Central Door Solutions Citgo/Mystik Lubricants Compass Insurance First State Bank Investors Community Bank Prevail Bank Syngenta T.I.P., Inc. Volm Companies




Central Sands Plainfield, WI

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People John Knoch Passes Away

Former WPVGA Board member was active in the farming community John Henry Knoch, age 71, of Westfield, Wisconsin, entered eternal life on Sunday, October 3, 2021, peacefully at his home after a courageous battle against cardiac amyloidosis. He was born on April 17, 1950, in Berwyn, Illinois, to Henry John and Corinne Adell (Hilderbrandt) Knoch. From Chicago, the family moved to Coloma. Henry and Corinne, with Corinne’s parents, Wally and Elizabeth Hilderbrandt, purchased and ran the resort on the north side of Pleasant Lake. It was there that Wally played the piano. In 1952, Henry unexpectedly passed away. Corinne married Kenneth

34 BC�T December

Fuhrmann and had three additional children, David, Gerald and Lorelee (Lamb). Corinne passed away in 1959. Ken raised the four children on a farm in Coloma.

with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a minor in mathematics. John and Joanne married on September 4, 1971.

In 1968, Ken married Genevieve (Rygiewicz-Kusick), and her children joined John’s family, Tom (Grace) Kusick, Geraldine (Kusick) Freitag, Pat (Kusick) Beahm-Dencker and Dan (Joannie) Kusick.

John’s goal was to work for NASA, however, when funding for the space program was cut, John and Joanne decided to buy the family farm from Joanne’s parents, Vincent and Elenora Krueger.

John met his wife, Joanne (Krueger), in German class at Westfield High School, in 1965. He graduated from Westfield High School, in 1968, and continued his education at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he graduated in 1972

John and Joanne raised many crops over the years as well as beef cattle. K-Farms farmed around 1,200 acres and was known for hand-picked cucumbers, employing over 125 migrant workers, many farm hands and local teenagers over the years.

FARMING COMMUNITY John was active in the farming community and worked to balance the rights and responsibilities of farmers and migrant farm workers for the benefit of all. He served as president of the Wisconsin Hand Picked Cucumber Growers Association and was not only a member of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), but also sat on the Board of Directors and served as chairman of the Vegetable Committee. John worked with many state and national legislators, including Tommy Thompson, and was a member of the Governor’s Council on Migrant Labor on both the state and national levels. He served on the National Migrant Labor Council through Wisconsin Farm Bureau. He served on the Board of the Wisconsin Agri-Business Council and was community chairman for the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. John was very active with the state capitol on legislation that changed how Wisconsin farmers were able to keep their family farms going. He spent many years volunteering his time and talents for the sake of the Wisconsin farmer.

Newton Town Board, Marquette County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, three terms as president of the Marquette County Farm Bureau, on the MATC Fire Science Advisory Committee and as an assistant trainer, and on the MATC Farm Training Advisory Committee where he was also an assistant trainer. John was a member of the Newton Volunteer Fire Department for 40-plus years, with 22 of those as fire chief. He was recognized for his lifetime of service to the Newton Fire Department in 2021. Through all his volunteerism, he stated his most important work was for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was baptized Catholic in Chicago and was confirmed as an adult at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Westfield, in 1971. He served on the Immanuel Lutheran Church Council, Evangelism Committee as chairman, served as elder and chairman of the Board of Elders, president of the Tri County

John Knoch April 17, 1950 - October 3, 2021

West Lutheran Laymen’s League and treasurer of Circuit Forum 15, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. continued on pg. 36

Growing Quality Seed for 64Years!

John and Joanne were some of the first farmers to start using center irrigation pivots, in 1978, and owned the first agricultural computer in Marquette County, 1979, in hopes to decrease cost and improve efficiency on the farm. In 1978, he landed the 2nd Place Wisconsin Farm Bureau Outstanding Young Farmer Award. In 2015, the Marquette County Farm Bureau presented John with the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award for his lifetime of service to the farmers. MARQUETTE COUNTY John also served Marquette County, and especially the township of Newton (Westfield) in many ways. He served multiple terms on the

Left to right: Sid, John, Jonathan, Carl, Nick and Cliff.

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SCHUTTER SEED FARM 3627 Wooden Shoe Rd., Manhattan, MT 59741 Sid: (406) 539-6478  John: (406) 580-6446 Nick: (406) 539-6125  Cliff: (406) 580-6818

BC�T December 35

People. . .

continued from pg. 35

He served as a Sunday school and confirmation teacher, impacting the lives of hundreds of children and adults. John always said his priorities were “God first, family second, and the farm and community third.” John was blessed with many happy times in his life, as well as multiple tragedies, along with trials and tribulations. Through it all, he continued to share God’s message until his final days, knowing that his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was always with him. With God’s love, John has been able to inspire countless individuals to volunteer and serve their communities and their Lord. John was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Corrine; stepparents, Ken and Genevieve; stepbrother, Tom; in-laws, Vincent and Elenora Krueger; and his son, Joseph John.

WIFE OF 50 YEARS John is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joanne; six children, Patrick (Joy) of Waunakee, Benjamin (Amanda Lynn) of Westfield, Tiffany (James) Houdek of Lodi, Nathaniel of Columbus, Joshua (Amanda Marie) of Westfield and Corrina (John) Mitchell of Baraboo. He is also survived by 18 grandchildren: Alexander, Jackson, Jaden, Alec Rowdy, Joseph, Lucas, Michael, Vanessa, Matthew, Marcus, John Patrick, Marissa, Noah, Maya, Dylan, Daren, Henry John and Oliver. John is further survived by six siblings: David (Lynn) Fuhrmann of Milford, Ohio; Gerald (Nancy) Fuhrmann of Vesper; Lorelee (Mark) Lamb of Wisconsin Rapids; Dan (Joannie) Kusick of Cape Coral, Florida; Geraldine Freitag of Montello; and Pat Dencker, in addition to many cousins, nieces, nephews, family and friends.

A funeral service for John was held on Wednesday, October 6, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Westfield, with Rev. Rodney Armon and Rev. Robert Busse officiating. Burial was in Westfield East Cemetery. The Steinhaus-Holly Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Westfield served the family. For online obituaries and condolences, visit www.steinhaushollyfuneralhome. com. A memorial in John’s name will be made to help continue to share God’s message. A scholarship has also been established in Westfield and Lodi to be awarded to a high school senior who demonstrates active involvement in service to their community and volunteerism. Memorials can be sent to SteinhausHolly Funeral Home in care of the family of John Knoch, P.O. Box 280, Westfield, WI 53964.


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Robert “Bob” John Selenske Unexpectedly Passes He proudly sold potatoes to Jay’s and Ore-Ida through his cash crop business Robert “Bob” John Selenske, age 72, of Westfield, Wisconsin, passed away unexpectedly following a cardiac event on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at Aspirus Divine Savior Hospital in Portage. He was born on April 15, 1949, in Antigo, to Peter and Louise (Boelter) Selenske. Robert grew up just outside of Antigo on his family dairy farm. He attended Antigo High School, graduating in 1967, and went on to obtain an associate degree in teaching at the Langlade County Teacher’s College. He met his wife, Cynthia (Cindy Laycock), in his hometown of Antigo and was united in marriage with her on January 21, 1971. Bob was an entrepreneur by nature. He was a savvy salesman in the early years of his marriage, with

an abundance of confidence and charisma. Bob and Cindy lived across Wisconsin, in Antigo, Milwaukee, Rosholt and Fond du Lac, until eventually settling down in Westfield, in 1976. It was there that Bob began his cash crop potato farming business throughout Coloma and Hancock, proudly selling potatoes and crops to Jay’s and Ore-Ida, among other buyers. He was an active member in the National Potato Council, participating in annual conferences across the United States. LOVE OF FARMING Bob loved farming and often described his joy of caring for the crops, from the smell of the dirt to the amazement in watching them grow, through the final days

Robert “Bob” John Selenske April 15, 1949 - October 6, 2021

of harvest. In 2008, Bob purchased Pioneer Floral of Wautoma after he closed

continued on pg. 38

BC�T December 37

People. . .

continued from pg. 37

his cash crop farm. He enjoyed continuing the process of planting and growing in his greenhouse and found new joy in the many deliveries of flowers, plants and arrangements for the community. Bob felt great pride in the strong work ethic that he instilled in each of his five children through his model of tending to the farm, the shop, encouraging their participation in sports and investing fully in their endeavors. He was a boisterous man with many strong opinions, a loyal heart and immeasurable integrity. He enjoyed all sports, especially golf and skiing. Bob was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church and regularly attended mass with his family. He was giving of his time, volunteering for the community, donating items for the church, being a lector and

participating in many charities. He had high expectations for each of his children and thoroughly loved being a father. Bob also embraced his grandchildren with deep love and generosity. He attended many sporting events, dance recitals and concerts. INFECTIOUS LAUGHTER Bob encouraged each of his children and grandchildren with a firm love and big sense of humor. He will be lovingly remembered by his infectious and booming laughter. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Louise Selenske; in-laws, Theodore and Virginia Laycock; siblings, Charles Selenske, Richard Selenske, Jean Harbor and Andy Selenske; siblings-in-law, Dan Laycock, Judy Selenske, Corbett Harbor, Daryl Rasmussen; daughter, Denise Reilley; and grandchildren,

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Emma Stephens, Malayna Selenske and Jamieson Stephens. Robert is survived by his wife of 50 years, Cindy; four children, Matt (Vadra) Selenske of Almond, Joann (Michael) Stephens of Westfield, Benjamin (Amy) Selenske of Madison and Annette (Mario) LaVia of Westfield; and a son-in-law, Kenneth Reilley Jr. of Hancock. He is further survived by his grandchildren: Corbi, Ana, Evelin, Kenzy, Megan, Matt, Sophia, Lorrayne and Mario; his great-grandchild, Ian; four siblings, Ron Selenske, Bill Selenske, Bette Hetto and Bonnie Rasmussen; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, family and friends. A mass of Christian burial for Bob was held on October 11, 2021, at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Westfield, with Father Savio Yerasani officiating. Burial was in Westfield East Cemetery. Many thanks go out to the numerous paramedics, EMT’s, firefighters and first responders who provided emergency response for Bob. A special thanks goes out to Jason Hockerman, Tom Hockerman and Chris Klapoetke for their extraordinary service of lifesaving measures. Please take a moment to view the online Tribute Wall at https://www. obituary/RobertBob-Selenske/ sympathy. Send your condolences or share a memory of Bob with his family and friends. To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert “Bob” John Selenske, please visit https:// www.steinhaushollyfuneralhome. com/obituary/RobertBob-Selenske/ sympathy.

Harriet A. Wysocki Passes Away Peacefully

She worked for Wysocki Farms as a payroll clerk and served in many organizations Harriet A. Wysocki of Custer, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully, Friday, October 22, 2021, at the home of her daughter, Joy, with family at her side in Indiana. Harriet was born January 21, 1939, to Matthew and Clara Schulist in the Town of Sharon, in Portage County, Wisconsin. She married Francis X. Wysocki, on July 18, 1959, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Polonia. Harriet was a 1957 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy in the same year that Maria High School came into existence. She continued her education at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and later worked at the Stevens Point Chamber of Commerce as a receptionist. She also worked for Wysocki Farms as a payroll clerk and helped her husband collect real estate taxes for the Town of Sharon. She was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and a member of the Rosary Society at the church. There, she served as a Eucharistic Minister and helped in numerous parish functions. She was a member of the National Potato Growers Auxiliary, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary and the Stevens Point Ladies Golf League, where she served as an officer in all three organizations. She was also a member of Catholic Daughters of America. MANY HOBBIES Her hobbies included playing cards, golfing and watching sports, especially the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Badgers, Milwaukee Brewers and Florida Gators. In lieu of flowers, donations can

be made to St Martin’s Church/ Community Foundation. Survivors include her six children: Dr. Al (Joan) Wysocki, Florida; Brian (Lori) Wysocki, Almond; Dan (Bonnie) Wysocki, Plainfield; Bill (Marla) Wysocki, Plover; Tim (Amy) Wysocki, Minnesota; and Joy (Chris) Lee, Indiana. Harriet is also survived by 15 grandchildren: Jacob (Noelle) Wysocki, Whitefish Bay; Aaron (Jenny Lynch) Wysocki, Tennessee; Rachel (Ryan O’Connell) Wysocki, Ohio; Karissa (Charles) Lamb, Illinois; Kristen Wysocki, DeForest; Adam Wysocki, Plainfield; Melissa Wysocki, Stevens Point; Zachary Wysocki, Custer; Isaac Wysocki, Plover; Emma and Gabe Wysocki, Minnesota; and Caden, Onycha, Ilana and Zachary Lee, Indiana. She is further survived by three great-grandchildren: Adrienne and Liliana Wysocki, Whitefish Bay; and Elina Lamb, Illinois; and two sisters, Sister Patrice Schulist, Biron and Pat Dobrauc, Nebraska. Harriet was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Francis; two sisters, Mary Gabor and Ann Omernik; four brothers, Ben, Dominic, Tony and Joe Schulist; and

Harriet A. Wysocki January 21, 1939 - October 22, 2021

one great-grandchild, Josephine Wysocki. A mass of Christian burial was held on October 27, 2021, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Polonia. Rev. Mark Miller officiated. Burial was in the St. Martin’s Cemetery. The Pisarski Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family. Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.pisarskifuneralhome. com. To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of Harriet Wysocki, please visit https://www. harriet-wysocki.

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Empowering Farmers with Real-Time Data Information on soil moisture and temperature dictates planting schedules and crop development Submitted by and reprinted with permission from the Sand County Foundation The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Sand County Foundation a grant to empower farmers with real-time data about their soil and conservation practices.

The project, titled “Show Me the Data! Empowering Conservation Champions with Innovative Real-Time Soil Metrics,” was awarded $997,383 from the EPA.

This project provides 30 participating growers from Wisconsin and Minnesota with on-farm data of how farm management influences soil trafficability and temperature, nutrient runoff potential and other factors.

The three-year, on-farm initiative involves remote sensing and soil sensors and is one of 12 projects the EPA selected to receive “Farmer to Farmer” grant funding totaling nearly $11 million. The resulting data will aid farmers

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in making in-season management decisions based on real-time soil moisture and temperature data. Soil moisture and temperature are key drivers of agricultural production systems. These factors dictate planting schedules, crop development and the timing of field operations. “Farmers are seeking real-time data to guide in-season decision making,” says Dr. Heidi Peterson, Sand County Foundation’s vice president of Agricultural Conservation and Research. MANAGEMENT DECISIONS She noted that often farmers are forced to rely on anecdotal Above: Minnesota potato and vegetable farmer, Jocelyn Schlichting (left), poses with the Farmers Edge field crew and Sand County Foundation’s Dr. Heidi Peterson (right) following the installation of the project’s first field sensor in July 2021.

observations of how their management decisions are affecting a field’s soil moisture and temperature. “To meet this need, we teamed up with Farmers Edge and the University of Minnesota to develop this demonstration,” Dr. Peterson explains. “Sensor technology installed by Farmers Edge allows our participants to compare field data and understand how farm management influences soil properties critical to climate resiliency and nutrient transport,” she notes.

“EPA is proud to support the leadership of farmers and their innovative approaches to improve water quality while working to fuel and feed the world.”

– Michael S. Regan EPA Administrator

Soil probes were installed across Minnesota and Wisconsin on 15 sets of paired fields. Each pair has soils with similar texture and land position. Sites with varying management principles were chosen to quantify procedural influence on infiltration, water holding capacity, soil trafficability, leaching potential, aggregate stability and other soil properties critical to improving resiliency and reducing nutrient transport. In addition to annual soil health and routine sample collection, a Farmers Edge technology subscription to infield, soil temperature and moisture probe data was employed at each location to provide real-time data for the collaborating farmers. CLIMATE PREDICTIONS Under current climate prediction models, soils in the Midwest are expected to be exposed to extended, intermittent flash-drought conditions, as well as periods of more intense rainfall and flooding. In addition to the farm management obstacles magnified by these changes, water quality problems can be exacerbated by increased frequency of such high-intensity events. continued on pg. 42 BC�T December 41

Empowering Farmers with Real-Time Data. . . continued from pg. 41

The EPA’s “Farmer to Farmer” grants support the leadership of farmers in improving water quality, habitat and habitat resilience, and in peer-topeer information exchange to benefit community and ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico Watershed. Farmers manage millions of acres of privately held working lands within the Gulf of Mexico Watershed. Conservation management can minimize pollution, specifically the excess nitrogen and phosphorus that can enter waterbodies through runoff or soil erosion. “EPA is proud to support the leadership of farmers and their innovative approaches to improve water quality while working to fuel and feed the world,” says EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “EPA is committed to meaningful partnerships with farmers to advance sustainable agriculture practices while creating healthy, clean and safe environments for all,” Regan adds. KEY PARTNERS In addition to the farmer collaborators, Farmers Edge and the University of Minnesota, other key partners in the project include the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Soil Health Coalition and Benton Soil & Water Conservation District. Further project partner involvement comes from the Mower Soil and Water Conservation District, Soil Solutions Consulting LLC, Watershed Protection Committee of Racine County and Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil & Healthy Water. The Farmer to Farmer grant funding is available to develop innovative practices within farming communities, measure the results of 42 BC�T December

The solar-powered probes have sensors that record soil moisture and temperature at six depths down to 40 inches, and then transmit data that is accessible in real time to the farmers. Two probes were placed in each of the 30 fields across Wisconsin and Minnesota.

those practice, and identify how the practices will be incorporated into farming operations. Under this grant program, proposal winners will carry out project activities using one or more of the following methods: surveys, studies, research, investigation, experimentation, education, training and/or demonstrations.

The Gulf of Mexico Division is a nonregulatory program of EPA founded to facilitate collaborative actions to protect, maintain and restore the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico in ways consistent with the economic well-being of the region. To carry out its mission, the Gulf of Mexico Division continues to maintain and expand partnerships with state

and federal agencies, federally recognized tribes, local governments and authorities, academia, regional businesses and industry, agricultural and environmental organizations, and individual citizens and communities. For more information, visit https:// This project has been funded wholly or in part by the U.S. EPA under assistance agreement 02D01421 to Sand County Foundation. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does the EPA endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this document.

University of Minnesota Graduate Student Madeline Vogel (left) and Sand County Foundation Agricultural Conservation Specialist Parker Witt (right) collect soil infiltration data following corn harvest on a field owned by Minnesota potato and vegetable grower, Jocelyn Schlichting.


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Now News RPE and Tasteful Selections Conjoin as Tasteful Partners

Above: Tasteful Selections Chief Executive Officer Bob Bender (left) and Chief Operating Officer Nathan Bender (right) say the formation of Tasteful Partners and acquisition of RPE will further align the agribusinesses and better leverage RPE as a strategic asset to help Tasteful Selections continue growing.

Baby potato category leader Tasteful Selections® and RPE, its exclusive sales and marketing partner since Tasteful Selections planted its first potato in 2010, recently announced formation of a new entity, Tasteful Partners.

SELLING SPUDS RPE will continue marketing and selling potatoes on behalf of Paragon Potato Farms and its pool grower partners.

WFC remains a family-owned, privately held organization focused on its three core businesses

As part of the arrangement, Tasteful Partners is acquiring RPE and closed on the sale in early November. The deal creates synergies as well as alignment and integration opportunities across Tasteful Selections and RPE, says Tasteful Selections Chief Executive Officer Bob Bender. The new Tasteful Partners entity is a wholly owned CSS Farms subsidiary. “This action will further align our agribusinesses,” Bender explains, 44 BC�T December

“while better leveraging RPE as a strategic asset to help Tasteful Selections continue growing.” RPE was established in 1971 and is in its 50th year. RPE sells 1.2 billion pounds of potatoes per year, the equivalent of 125 truckloads per day. The Tasteful Selections-RPE partnership has been in place since Tasteful Selections began growing and packing potatoes in 2010. RPE, prior to formation of Tasteful Partners, was a wholly owned subsidiary of Wysocki Family of Companies (WFC). WFC remains a family-owned, privately-held organization focused on its three core businesses—Eagle River Seed Farm, Wysocki Produce Farm and Paragon Potato Farms—all of which are unaffected by the transaction.

The creation of Tasteful Partners consolidates RPE expertise, proprietary data, category insight, intellectual property and sales strategy assets with the Tasteful Selections planting, growing, harvesting and packing processes. Consolidating Tasteful Selections and RPE in the new Tasteful Partners entity, Bender says, allows Tasteful Selections to better serve its customers as a vertically integrated operation from seed to field, field to packing and then the customer sale. “Tasteful Selections already

RPE Chief Executive Officer Russell Wysocki says the collaborative spirit that sustained the company during more than a decade of rapid Tasteful Selections expansion provides a solid foundation for continued growth, noting five facility expansions of the Arvin, California-based facility since 2014.

understands and appreciates the value RPE provides,” Bender states. “We want to continue on the impressive growth trajectory we’re on while building upon RPE’s wellestablished reputation as an industryleading produce innovation and solutions provider.” The familiarity and trust built over 12 years working together will be beneficial during what RPE Chief Executive Officer Russell Wysocki anticipates will be a seamless transition.

Consolidating Tasteful Selections and RPE in the new Tasteful Partners entity allows Tasteful Selections to better serve its customers as a vertically integrated operation from seed to field, field to packing and then the customer sale.

companies,” Wysocki adds. “They are valuable contributors and integral to our continued success.”

planting, growing, harvesting and packaging process and today is the brand leader of the baby potato category.

About Tasteful Selections® Tasteful Selections was incorporated in 2009 by multi-generational potato farmers who recognized an opportunity to expand the potato category to meet the busy consumer’s preference for simpler, convenient meals.

About RPE Established in 1971, RPE is a fresh potato marketing business in its 50th year of providing category growth with best-in-class products and strategies through exceptional service and value for its growers and customers.

Planting and harvesting more than 300 days a year, Tasteful Selections® owns the entire

continued on pg. 46

“The collaborative spirit that sustained us during more than a decade of rapid Tasteful Selections expansion provides a solid foundation for continued growth,” Wysocki remarks, noting five facility expansions of the Arvin, Californiabased facility since 2014. In the new organizational structure, Wysocki remains the RPE chief executive officer. He and the RPE management team will report to a newly formed Tasteful Partners Board of Directors. “We are very thankful and fortunate to have such wonderful team members across our family of BC�T December 45

Now News . . .

continued from pg. 45

Fertilizer Research Council Funds UW Projects

Findings benefit potato industry and will be shared to help make application decisions The Wisconsin Fertilizer Research Council is providing over $100,000 for University of Wisconsin (UW) research projects. Researchers will use the funding to study soil management and fertility, plant nutrition, surface and groundwater quality, and other activities that promote the correct use of fertilizer. Projects directly benefit farmers, and the results are shared to help make decisions about fertilizer application. New research projects and their funding amount for this year include: • Carrie Laboski, UW-Madison Department of Soil Science: Longterm PK (phosphorus potassium) trial to evaluate sustainable crop production in Wisconsin, 20212023, ($47,052) • Matt Ruark, UW-Madison Department of Soil Science: o Nitrogen availability of fallapplied manure in a sustainably intensive silage system ($26,765) o Growth and nutrient uptake patterns of russet varieties 46 BC�T December

of potato ($13,460) • Yi Wang, UW-Madison Department of Horticulture: Evaluating groundwater nitrogen crediting and reutilization for potato production in Central Wisconsin ($25,800) More information about each project is available at https://frc. The Wisconsin Fertilizer Research Council receives funding from the tonnage fees on fertilizer sales. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) collects tonnage fees at a rate of $0.62 for every ton of fertilizer sold. Of that fee, state law requires that $0.17/ton go towards the Fertilizer Research Council fund. The remainder of the tonnage fee provides funding for UW-Madison’s nutrient and pest management program, the agricultural chemical clean-up fund and other programs. There are currently no tonnage fees being paid into the agricultural chemical clean-up fund due

Above: Research projects by Yi Wang (third from left in first image), UW-Madison Department of Horticulture, and Matt Ruark (right), UW-Madison Department of Soil Science, will benefit the potato industry and help make decisions about fertilizer application.

to the fee holiday. The council includes seven voting members, including three who represent the fertilizer industry, three who are crop producers and one who is a water quality expert, as appointed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) secretary. Non-voting members include the DATCP secretary, DNR secretary and the Dean for the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The council has existed since 1979 and was created under Wisconsin Statute § 94.64. You can learn more about the council at Us/FertilizerResearchCouncil.aspx and continued on pg. 48


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Ag World Golf Classic Benefits Ronald McDonald House

Lamb Weston, Simplot, McCain Foods and Washington potato growers help host event Agriculture producers, processors and industry businesses gathered to raise over $118,107 to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Inland Northwest, a recordbreaking year for the Ag World Golf Classic hosted by Simplot, Lamb Weston, McCain, Potato Growers of Washington and Ag World Support Systems. The charity golf tournament took place, on June 8, at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick, Washington, and June 10 at The Links, Moses Pointe, in Moses Lake, Washington. This first year in both Kennewick and Moses Lake was a great success.

Through the generosity of 93 sponsors/donors and 251 golfers, it was another incredible year of giving to the Ronald McDonald House. It was Ag World Support Systems Founder Warren Henninger’s vision to expand to two locations, as the golf course was maxing out year over year. He had hoped that all who wanted to participate would be able to join. “It was an incredible two days as we continued to honor Dad’s [Warren’s] legacy and carry on the tradition of giving to the House,” says Melanie Finch, chief marketing officer of Ag World Support Systems.

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“We are grateful for the ag industry’s generosity and the great spirit about the day that made these two events successful!” Finch adds. Not only did the Golf Classic generously raise funds, but it also continues to be a special way of honoring Warren, the founder of the Ag World Golf Classic and Ag World Support Systems, who passed away last year. A BIG SHADOW “Dad cast a big shadow and impacted many people during his life. We are blessed to carry on his legacy through the Ag World Golf Classic. Dad is definitely smiling down from heaven,” says Bryan Henninger, Warren’s oldest son and president of Ag World Support Systems. Many wonderful memories were shared of Warren as golfers had a chance to remember him together with the Ag World team and the Henninger family. The Ag World Golf Classic was born out of a vision Warren had to support families whose children are experiencing a medical crisis and need a place to stay while their child receives care. The Ag World Golf Classic has donated more than $638,000 over the past eight years to the RMHC. This tournament is part of Ag World Support Systems’ campaign to make a difference in the community by supporting the Ronald McDonald House’s mission to strengthen local

families and promote children’s health. The tournament format included a shotgun start with an 18-hole scramble, which includes food, drinks and giveaways along the course, as well as a food truck, all generously provided by hole hosts JMC Enterprises, Cherry Creek Radio, Summit Funding, Vive Crop Protection, Ronald McDonald House, Liphatech Inc., AgroScout, CentiMark, Columbia Laboratories and Assured Partners.

Judy Henninger, Warren’s wife, Ag World ambassador and chaplain, and co-founder of the Ag World Golf Classic, says, “God blessed the tournament again this year with amazing weather, attendance and generous participation.” “We are thankful for our hosts, sponsors, donors, many golfers and supporters who made this event such a huge success,” Henninger adds.

“Ag World is honored to support this worthy cause!” Next year’s events are set for June 14, 2022, at Canyon Lakes Golf Course, in Kennewick, and June 16, 2022, at the Links at Moses Pointe, in Moses Lake. Mark your calendars and join us at one or both locations. For more information, visit

To help encourage golfers to give, the Ag World Golf Classic had an online auction again this year. It was a great success with prizes ranging from a night at the Couer d’Alene Resort to StorOx 2.0 potato sprout inhibitor for growers. Online auction donations were provided by The Couer d’Alene Resort, The Coeur d’Alene Casino, The Davenport Hotel, M&M Consulting, Assured Partners, Bud Clary Ford/ Honda of Moses Lake and Agri-Stor Northwest. WHAT A BLESSING Bob McLean, development director of the RMHC in Spokane, Washington, says, “What a blessing the Henninger family and the AG World Golf Classic have been and continue to be to the Ronald McDonald House of Charities of the Inland Northwest.” “We couldn’t do what we do for the families we serve without the generosity of great companies and individuals like Ag World and families like the Henningers that believe so strongly in our mission,” McLean continues. “We cannot thank them enough for their continued support of the Ronald McDonald House of Charities of the Inland NW,” he concludes. The excitement of the tournament’s success still lingers in the minds of those who worked tirelessly to see this event happen.

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By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education

Gabe Sommers Racing Touts Wisconsin Potatoes Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes logo was prominent at the Oktoberfest race Speed, excitement, strategy and perseverance. All were present and more at a West Salem, Wisconsin, racetrack in early October. But what struck me most was the strategy. I’ve never experienced the rush of sitting in or driving a race car. I didn’t grow up immersed in the world of racing. And consequently, I’ve never thought about the tactics of what it takes to win a race. Turning corners at just the right spot and speed. Taking advantage of the straight areas of the track to gain momentum, only to approach the next corner and do it all over again, lap after lap. 50 BC�T December

Which driver can make these adjustments to result in the best time, especially when several other drivers are doing the same thing at the same time? Which driver can do this in the safest way possible while cramped in a small and hot space while also keeping mechanics in mind if something goes awry? I learned a lot more about racing strategy from the Gabe Sommers Racing (GSR) Team while watching Gabe qualify for the Oktoberfest Race on the weekend of October 8-10 at the La Crosse International Speedway, in West Salem. It was the main event the WPVGA

Promotions Committee desired to sponsor with GSR, but the team was gracious to provide Wisconsin potato promotions at many other races leading up to Oktoberfest by putting a Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes logo on the car, for example. While many people, both regular and new fans, have gravitated to attending races, especially after being required to stay home amid the Above: How nice the “Thank You Farmers” statement is and incredibly cool to get the Gabe Sommers Racing car in front of it for the picture! It is a true tribute to those who provide our food daily. Photo courtesy of Brett Sommers

pandemic, the crowd at Oktoberfest was quite exciting. The number of people who walked by the Spudmobile was endless. The vehicle was parked in a perfect visible location as you couldn’t help but notice it on your way to and from the racetrack. PETITE POTATOES When visitors did stop by the Spudmobile, they received more than anticipated. WPVGA Director of Nutrition Sarah Agena was grilling seasoned samples of petite potatoes to tempt visitors’ tastebuds. Passersby were also given the opportunity to take a bag of fresh petite potatoes home with them to make on their own! Finally, they could walk away with giveaways, recipe tear pads and the opportunity to win a gift bag by entering their names each day.

But there’s more! The Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes logo was very apparent on Gabe’s car the whole weekend, and WPVGA sponsored continued on pg. 52

Above: Part of the crew who helped promote Wisconsin potatoes at the Spudmobile during the Oktoberfest race are, left to right, Jane Rosicky, Julie Lampert, WPVGA Promotions Director Dana Rady and WPVGA Director of Nutrition Sarah Agena.


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continued from pg. 51

the Wi-Fi connection for the 12,000 people who camped on-site for the weekend. On Sunday, WPVGA provided 500 Wisconsin potato brownies that a 4-H group handed out during their pancake breakfast on the grounds. When all was said and done, consumers had a hard time avoiding the “Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes” message that also encompassed the health benefits potatoes naturally provide and the importance of buying local. Online guests received the same message during three consecutive social media contests that lived on WPVGA’s social media platforms, as well as those of Gabe Sommers Racing.

WPVGA Spudmobile Education and Outreach Administrator Doug Foemmel greets visitors to the Spudmobile during the Oktoberfest race at the La Crosse International Speedway.

The entire support crew for Gabe Sommers Racing poses in front of the Spudmobile at the La Crosse International Speedway. 52 BC�T December

Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Director of Nutrition Sarah Agena prepares grilled samples of petite potatoes to hand out during the Oktoberfest race, the weekend of October 8-10, at the La Crosse International Speedway, in West Salem, Wisconsin.

Winners received gift cards to Kwik Trip and a Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes T-shirt. The last giveaway also included an engraved cutting board with the Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes logo. It was a great way to incorporate the “Fuel your performance with Wisconsin potatoes” concept into an entire weekend, and especially in a location where people had a hard time avoiding it. continued on pg. 54

Top Right: A wide view shows the pit at the La Crosse International Speedway in West Salem. Photo courtesy of Brett Sommers Bottom Right: The Sommers family takes a moment to pause and appreciate being together during the Oktoberfest race. Pictured left to right are Gabe’s brother and spotter, Max, his mom, Sheri, Gabe Sommers and his dad, Scott. Photo courtesy of Brett Sommers BC�T December 53


continued from pg. 53

There’s Nothing Like Spuds on the Grill It was another day of food, grilling and fun in Plainfield, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, October 6, as the grilling duo of Mad Dog and Merrill prepared mouth-watering potato dishes alongside several representatives from Wisconsin potato growing organizations.

With an overcast sky and semi-cool temperatures, the weather was ideal for not only filming a Mad Dog and Merrill episode devoted to Wisconsin potatoes, but also for making creative and comforting recipes with America’s favorite vegetable. Alongside Mad Dog and Merrill were

WPVGA Promotions Committee Chairman Brian Lee of Okray Family Farms in Plover, Sue Thomas of Alsum Farms and Produce in Friesland, Tamra Bula-Garz of Gary Bula Farms in Grand Marsh, Kevin Schleicher of RPE, Inc. in Bancroft and Trina Sankey of Worzella and Sons in Plover. Lee and Thomas kicked off the appetizer round with seasoned red and gold potato chunks, grilled to perfection and ideal for game day. This recipe was quick and easy as the team piled the potato pieces into a zip lock bag and doused them with oil, Parmesan cheese and spices. A little shake of the bag and they

Potatoes on the grill would soon be made into delectable dishes for the Mad Dog and Merrill episode shoot. 54 BC�T December

Above: Representatives from Wisconsin potato growing organizations helped the grilling duo, Mad Dog and Merrill, prepare potato dishes. Pictured left to right are WPVGA Promotions Committee Chairman Brian Lee of Okray Family Farms, Kevin Schleicher of RPE, Inc., Trina Sankey of Worzella and Sons, Tamra Bula-Garz of Gary Bula Farms and Sue Thomas of Alsum Farms and Produce.

were ready to grill and tender in just minutes. Schleicher and Bula-Garz began the main dish round with sliced fingerlings in a cast iron pan. They then topped them with every delicious ingredient imaginable, including cheese, green onions, black olives and spices, to name a few. AMAZING FLAVORS The entire pan was then placed on the grill where the cheese melted, joining all the amazing flavors together. Last, but not least, Sankey joined Mad Dog and Merrill at the grill to prepare a scrumptious dessert. They began by cutting up sweet yet tart red apples into small chunks.

dessert was put back onto the grill to warm through, creating a potato boat apple crisp! Talk about a twist on taters, and what a creative way to feature how this comfort food is a perfect fit as a center-of-the-plate item in every course. But it gets better. The entire episode was filmed in front of a field where crews were actually harvesting potatoes. It was the ideal way to showcase the true “field to fork” story! The episode, which first aired on October 24, will air again on a future date. To see the episode yourself, check out this link: TwxBBe5oyrU.

They then mixed the apples with And if you end up trying these sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and recipes at home, let us know other spices, and put the mixture 21-12 Badger Common'Tater (7.25x4.8).v2.1.outlines.pdf 1 2021-11-12 11:51 into grilled russet potato boats. The what you think!


Mad Dog does his best Groucho Marx impression with a fingerling potato as he prepares for the Mad Dog and Merrill episode shoot featuring Wisconsin potatoes, on October 6, in Plainfield.

BC�T December 55

Auxiliary News By Datonn Hanke, vice president, WPGA

Hello, again, all!

In my last “Auxiliary News” column of the November 2021 issue, I mentioned all the super fun events we’re looking for volunteers to help us with. This issue, I have a brand-new event to talk about, the Harvest Fair! The Harvest Fair is held at State Fair Park in Milwaukee the last weekend in September every year. It’s a fun, family friendly event with a fall harvest theme. There are vendors of all kinds (food, crafts, etc.), kids’ games, entertainment, rides and more. The World Beef Expo is also held at State Fair Park the same weekend. We will be selling baked potatoes with toppings like we do during the State Fair, although serving them from in a tent set up outside. The 2022 date is September 23-25. We are looking for volunteers to help us for the weekend and will need 6-8 people per shift listed below. Hotel rooms (if needed) and stipends for food and gas will be provided. Parking and entrance to this event are free. Please consider signing up to work a shift or two or get a group of friends together to fill a shift. • Friday, September 23

• one shift – 4-11 p.m. (Harvest Fair hours – 5-11 p.m.) • Saturday, September 24 • 1st shift – 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (Harvest Fair Hours – 9 a.m.-11 p.m.) • 2nd shift – 1-6 p.m. • 3rd shift – 6-11 p.m. • Sunday, September 25 • 1st shift – 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (Harvest Fair hours – 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) • 2nd shift – 1-6 p.m. All times are approximate and may change slightly. For more information on the Harvest Fair, visit the website at harvestfair. Please contact Julie Braun at or call 715-623-7683 to sign up for the shifts you are interested in. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary has added an event to its annual lineup—the Harvest Fair at State Fair Park in Milwaukee, September 23-25, 2022—where volunteers will be selling baked potatoes with toppings.

It will be a fantastic, fun fall event and we can’t wait to give it a whirl! Thank you for all you do to help us promote Wisconsin potatoes. I would also like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Until next time,


WPIB Focus

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison





















































56 BC�T December


How Are Your Farm Assets Taxed? It is advantageous to know the difference between taxable, tax deferred and tax advantaged assets By Blaise Heckman, wealth advisor, CliftonLarsonAllen When driving a nail, you can use a pair of pliers, but a hammer works better. The same thought process can be used when thinking about your farm’s assets and how they are taxed.

Based on your specific goals and objectives, financial and tax planning can help you decide which mix of buckets works best for you and how full those buckets should be.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but financial and tax planning is the better tool to use.

TAXABLE BUCKET The taxable bucket is the least restrictive of the three, however a current tax obligation comes with any income and growth the asset might have or generate.

Utilizing the three asset “buckets”— taxable, tax deferred, and tax advantaged—and understanding the different characteristics of each, can help you answer many questions: • How should you balance your farm operations while also funding retirement? • Should you attempt to reduce current tax as much as possible, or plan for future tax liabilities? • What assets are available if your farm experiences a low-income year? 58 BC�T December

Typical assets in this category include: • All farm operations, including cash rent for land and crop sharing • Investment accounts • Money market accounts • Certificates of deposit • Savings accounts One key attribute of this group is the ability to withdraw or realign these

investments at any point without penalty, and with only potential tax due. However, any realized gains associated with the liquidation of the investment, equipment, etc., result in an immediate taxable event. This bucket can be useful when liquidity is needed for farm equipment and land purchases, or as a short-term parking spot for cash between revenue cycles. TAX DEFERRED BUCKET To balance the taxable bucket, a pension plan or traditional retirement account—401(k), 403(b), 457 or IRA—can reduce a current tax liability Above: When thinking about a farm’s assets and how they are taxed, there is no onesize-fits-all solution, but financial and tax planning is a good place to start.

while shifting wealth into the tax deferred bucket where taxes are owed only upon withdrawal.

“Just as the farming world changes every year, so too can your financial alignment.”

However, there may be some flexibility restrictions. For employeesponsored plans, you generally must be separated from employment and over the age of 59 1/2 years old to access the money penalty free. For pre-taxed retirement plans, you must take required minimum distributions at age 72. For farmers, these strategies can be beneficial, for example, when grain prices are high. Some of the tax liability can be deferred to retirement, by which time your tax bracket might be lower. When reducing current tax liability, this bucket might be a good alternative to buying physical assets, such as equipment, as these accounts can act as a form of estate liquidity when passing assets to heirs.

– Blaise Heckman,

CLA wealth advisor

If money is needed for operations during the estate transfer process, heirs can use these assets to continue farm operations. However, this might not be the best fit if you’ll need to access the money before age 59 1/2. TAX ADVANTAGED BUCKET This bucket is funded with after-tax money. If you are using accounts such as a Roth IRA or 401(k), the growth can be withdrawn tax free. Tax-free growth can also be utilized in the cash value portion of some

life insurance policies, and municipal bonds could provide the owner with tax-free income. One of the pros to these accounts is more flexibility when it comes to withdrawals. Since the contributions to a Roth IRA are after tax, they can be withdrawn before age 59 1/2 without penalty. However, the growth cannot be withdrawn without penalty until after that time. The biggest con is that the Roth has continued on pg. 60

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BC�T December 59

How Are Your Farm Assets Taxed?… continued from pg. 59

income limitations for eligibility. Assets with beneficial tax treatment can be a great complement to the other buckets. For example, if you want to retire early (pre-59 1/2) or think you might need access to cash for a large purchase, these strategies might fit your goals. FILLING THE BUCKETS There are a lot of overall factors to consider when determining how and when to fill each bucket: • Current and future tax obligations o It might be tempting to reduce tax liability as quickly as possible, however it may be more beneficial to realize some taxable income now (especially if you’re in a lower income tax bracket this year) and utilize tax-free growth. • Liquidity needs o Purchases of new equipment, cash flow to increase land ownership, early retirement or estate transfers might dictate your allocations. • Eligibility requirements o Select accounts may have age and/or income restrictions as well as funding limitations. Your income and financial needs will likely shift from year to year, so monitor these carefully. While balancing the pros and cons of each bucket, discuss your own scenario with your certified public | Volume 73 No. $22/year | $2/copy





BER 2021 11 | NOVEM



OEDER . SCHR J.D . Farms Schroeder Bros

accountant and wealth advisor. Just as the farming world changes every year, so too can your financial alignment.

Above: At tax planning time, farm families and their advisors should have a financial plan that maps out the future so they can think about some of the unknowns.

At tax planning time, farm families and their advisors should have a financial plan that maps out the future so they can think about some of the unknowns.

is general in nature and is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal, accounting, investment or tax advice, or opinion provided by CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CliftonLarsonAllen) to the reader. For more information, visit

CliftonLarsonAllen’s industry professionals can help you understand the many options you have to pay yourself, fund your operations and prepare for retirement. For more information, contact Blaise Heckman at blaise.heckman@ The information contained herein

CLA exists to create opportunities for our clients, our people and our communities through industryfocused wealth advisory, outsourcing, audit, tax and consulting services. Investment advisory services are offered through CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC, an SECregistered investment advisor.

Badger Common’Tater


FARM SHOULD YOUR LLC? Be Owned by an CERTI FIED 2021 WISCO NSIN rs Directory Seed Potato Growe GEN MEASURING NITROCrops Fixation in Cover ” THE MOST IS POTATO “MILK Alternative? Sustainable Dairy CAPITAL HOW ESTAT E & Affect You Gains Taxes Could n, was about Antigo, Wisconsi potato The weather in get for this year’s as good as it could Farms. at Schroeder Bros. harvest, here

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Potatoes USA News Potatoes Fuel Athletes at Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Above: From left to right, Potatoes USA Senior Global Marketing Manager Jill Rittenberg, Potatoes USA Board member Steve Elfering and Potatoes USA International Marketing Manager Tiffany Thompson offer athletes roasted, salted potatoes at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego.

Potatoes have returned as the official vegetable of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series. Thousands of runners are learning about the performance benefits of potatoes and getting a taste of their fueling abilities while on course. In late October, eager athletes in San Diego visited the Potatoes Fuel Performance booth at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Expo to talk about potatoes and enjoy Potato Poppers with Turmeric samples.

Some athletes shared their stories about why they fuel with potatoes, and others were pleasantly surprised to learn that the vegetable they love is also an ideal fuel. It’s worth noting that very few people commented they prefer sweet potatoes, which has been mentioned more frequently at previous races. Runners were excited to hear that potato samples would be available on course at the Mile 8 Aid Station to help fuel them through the finish,

Top Left: Athletes in San Diego visited the Potatoes Fuel Performance booth at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Expo to talk about the performance benefits of potatoes and get a taste of their fueling abilities. Working at the booth, from left to right, are Jacob Helleckson, Potatoes USA Senior Global Marketing Manager Jill Rittenberg and Potatoes USA Board member Steve Elfering.

and on race day, over 3,000 athletes stopped to fuel with roasted, salted potatoes. Many of the athletes cheered “Potatoes!” as they ran by, and one teary-eyed runner cried as she approached the station because she had accomplished her goal of not stopping until she reached the potatoes. The on-course potatoes were so popular that the samples ran out in less than two hours!

Potatoes USA Senior Global Marketing Manager Jill Rittenberg (first image) and International Marketing Manager Tiffany Thompson (second image) help fuel runners with potato samples.

Building on the success of the San Diego event, potatoes also fueled performance at the Rock ‘n’ Roll events in Washington, D.C., and Nashville, both in November. There were more potato samples to fuel athletes toward performing at their personal best and inspire continued consumption of potatoes. BC�T December 61

Badger Beat Finding Farmer-Led Solutions to Water Quality Concerns

Central Wisconsin nitrate and pesticide groundwater quality workgroup leads research and outreach By By Jed Colquhoun, Amanda Gevens, Russ Groves, Deana Knuteson, Matt Ruark and Yi Wang

Water quality concerns, specifically nitrate levels reaching the drinking water standard of 10 mg/l (milligrams per liter) and pesticide residue detects are industry-wide concerns for the Central Sands production area and are important issues for potato and vegetable growers throughout Wisconsin. In response to these issues, a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has been brainstorming ideas to help the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) in developing and prioritizing potential research projects to look for practical, farmerled solutions. This process has included searching the literature for previously reported work, communicating with colleagues, growers and industry 62 BC�T December

representatives within and beyond the state’s borders and looking globally for practical solutions that have been adopted elsewhere. These ideas were then broadly categorized into short-, mid- and long-term prospects. The goal is to use this list to stimulate conversation among researchers, growers and industry partners and as a framework to prioritize efforts to get research funding.

Above: A winter rye cover crop at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station shows differences in nitrogen recovery from the previous season’s cropping system trials.

NO SIMPLE ANSWER There certainly isn’t a single and simple answer; instead, multi-faceted production practice changes and multiple approaches will need to be implemented. These could include new, out-of-the-box agronomic, biological, systems and mitigation research-based options. It will take time, and while there are no simple, quick fixes, integrating whole farm production systems with many of these new approaches will be the way forward. Simple ideas of fertility rate, timing, product, placement and irrigation management with links between quality and quantity seem to be recurring themes and a good starting place for best management practice research. Other ideas include conservation programs, diversified rotational cropping systems, cover crops,

interplanting and perennial cropping systems. New options, such as real-time sensors, water remediation systems and capture of leachates could be more complex and should be researched with on-farm data. New, efficient modeling approaches or longer-term approaches, such as new nutrient- and water-efficient varieties and input materials (ie. biological or via genetic modification) are all potential options. Shorter term, lower cost research ideas: Growers provide current onfarm data to researchers to learn more about commercial scale applications, conditions associated with groundwater risks and possible solutions. Start calculating real-time, on-farm nitrate balance approach. This approach has been used in corn and has value to start calculating the nutrient use efficiency of potatoes at the farm scale. Use models to help determine amount of leaching and test infield with real world applications. Globally and locally, several models are available ranging from simple “in versus out” approaches to more complex and theoretical. Use an anonymized database to determine “real world” experiences for fertility, irrigation, pesticide use and other management inputs relative to potato yield and quality. Given concerns with using grower data directly, the WPVGA could develop a system to gather the data and get it to researchers in an anonymized format. Adding more data (variety, yields, quality and marketable outcomes) would help make this dataset more effective for research purposes. This big-data approach can help draw conclusions that may not have otherwise been connected and are

challenging in small-scale research. Shorter term, mid-cost research ideas: Work on an economic return module and value of inputs versus yield/ quality outputs. Research idea of the cost of nutrient use versus reality of benefit/yields/ marketable outcomes. There is anecdotal discussion with growers and researchers that the addition of 10 lbs./A (pounds per acre) of nitrogen (cost of ~$40) increases return by $400+/A, but can this be refined and repeated? Agronomic and economic researchers could determine actual returns from application versus anecdotal evidence. Review other economic models specifically to look at how to optimize potato returns (yield/ quality) when using reduced nitrogen in the season. Adding more data on yields (tuber size profile, markets, economic returns) will help determine the break-even point and additional profits attributable to nitrogen application timing and quantity. Look at using less nitrogen in onfarm situations and analyze the impacts on overall and marketable yields for multiple potato varieties. Determine ideal range of fertility needs for mid- and highyielding systems (600+ cwt. [hundredweight]/A). Researchers have heard from some growers that their yields can greatly exceed yields from research projects, so researchers could focus specifically on determining what nitrogen rates or other production practices are needed to push toward high yields. On-farm trials with validated research protocols would be best for these studies. For these higher yielding systems, analyze data to look at new approaches to determine economic

viability. Minimal public data is available for high-yield varieties and systems. This approach would determine the optimal return on investment, with the notion that the economic optimum might not always be the maximum. continued on pg. 64

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BC�T December 63

Badger Beat . . .

continued from pg. 63

Work to better identify nitrates in irrigation water. Investigate the use of real-time sensors to determine water and nutrient levels in crop fields. Research could focus on the addition of sensors, either in the crop or on pivots, to use “real-time” values to accurately detect nitrogen levels in the irrigation water. Since levels seem to vary during the year, having better estimates could help limit excess applications when high levels are found in irrigation water or when irrigation is frequent to overcome dry conditions. Identify and research new irrigation and application technologies for “spoon feeding” (include drip irrigation and banded/directed applications over the potato row). Research is underway in other production areas to explore creative ways to optimize irrigation and nutrient inputs so that they’re only available to the crop when needed, but applications in Wisconsin are unknown. Variety- and soil-specific research could identify application timing and customized methods to apply nitrogen when the crop most needs it and in the optimal location (microfeeding), such as with drag nozzles that place nutrients only over the potato row. Develop and optimize early diagnostics for crop nitrogen status to limit over-application risk or to ensure optimal fertilization. Use in-field plant and soil monitoring to assess both nitrogen demand by the plant and nitrogen availability in the soil (with the idea of developing a nitrogen [N] management tool where N would be applied once demand gets close to exceeding supply). This would build on the preliminary 64 BC�T December

Winter rye was inter-seeded between rows of potatoes at the hilling stage of crop production.

work with model development for shorter season crops like sweet corn and snap beans. The work would entail connecting plant sensing measurements to actual nutrient status as well as soil sensors to monitor nitrate and ammonium availability (with a secondary benefit of predicting how much nitrate has been leached). Utilize new materials that reduce input leaching risk. Recent work in dairy to limit nitrate leaching below the crop root zone after liquid manure application can serve as the foundation for similar

work in potato. Research in potatoes could focus on using fumigation equipment to place materials (such as biochar or humic acid) below the potato root zone prior to planting to capture leachates (nitrates and pesticides). Collaborate with UW engineering researchers through the Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and form interdisciplinary research groups to address grand challenges in materials science. Challenges that would fit these criteria could be funded by the National Science Foundation

Division of Materials Research and could include ideas such as topical materials research programs (biomaterials and polymers). Possible outcomes could be development of materials that would aid in remediation of environmental contaminants. Accurately measure and account for leachates to identify high risk conditions and factors in commercial production. Use lysimeters and other soil and water measurement tools to identify the current leachates and their quantities during the growing season and at many production locations. This work might best be accomplished in the longerterm research pivots described below. Determine nitrogen and pesticide leaching risk based on rainfall quantity and develop or refine

predictive tools to help determine “likelihood” of high rainfall events. Incorporate precipitation forecast tools into a user-friendly smartphone application that would notify growers of site-specific leaching risk precipitation events. The website or phone app could help predict high frequency weather events that could lead to fertilizer application timings that minimize leaching concerns. Shorter term, higher cost research ideas: Research landscape-level economics and provide an analysis of the entire crop rotation to determine the economic impacts of altering rotations. This approach has been discussed as an option to limit nitrogen use relative to the Department of Natural Resources-proposed rule change for NR151.

Expanding crop rotations (e.g., not growing some crops, including fallow periods or incorporating alternative crops) is possible, but is it economically fit and market-driven and is there a viable agriculture infrastructure to validate these changes? Explore existing data sources to accurately determine groundwater pesticide risks. Look at spatial and temporal pesticide detection trends relative to pest spectrum, input choices, application methods, etc. Use the recently published Central Sands Lakes Study model (https:// HighCap/CSLSModel.html) to aid in determining the temporal and spatial flow paths of both surface and subsurface water that contribute to contaminate detection. continued on pg. 66

BC�T December 65

Badger Beat…

continued from pg. 65

Recently developed models could be used to help clarify how leachate levels and areas of concern could change based on input timing, source and location to determine the extent of streamflow/groundwater interaction elements. These models estimate and better define contributing areas for contaminant entry/exit from the hydrologic system. Some researchers have theorized that continued movement toward “softer” pesticides will limit groundwater detections. Existing groundwater sampling databases, such as through the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, could be analyzed over time to see if detections shift as new pesticides are adopted. Evaluate emerging technologies that may remediate water or reduce traditional inputs. It’s known that many pesticides can be filtered from water, such as through reverse osmosis systems. In other areas, research is underway to see if that’s possible and economically viable at the landscape level. A cost/benefit analysis could be conducted to determine options to provide filtration of pesticides from water in watersheds, wells, municipalities and by using other ecological filtration areas (e.g., wetlands, field edges, buffer zones). It may be possible to develop alternative pesticide delivery systems to limit leaching. New pest management approaches and technologies could limit pesticide inputs (e.g. mRNA options for insect control or potentially including sustainable polymers in delivery systems to improve pest control with less active ingredient). 66 BC�T December

Assess industry adoption of now deregulated genetically modified potato varieties that do not require as much fungicide as traditional varieties). Advocate for adoption of GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) for enhanced sustainability. Continue to research both traditional and biotech strategies to reduce need for pesticides with resistant crop varieties. Evaluate early blight heightened risk with reduction in nitrogen application in potato. There is a relationship between reduced N and increased susceptibility to early blight (Alternaria solani), which sets on in late June in Central Wisconsin. Infection establishment creates substantial inoculum and need for greater fungicide input to foliage through the duration of the production season and poses risk for tuber early blight infection. Longer term, higher cost research ideas: The WPVGA could help create a dedicated groundwater research farm. The WPVGA could rent pivots for 5-plus years to host water quality studies. This would provide space for large-scale research plots on grower pivots. The Hancock Agricultural Research Station could still be used for preliminary research plots, but these dedicated pivots could take smallscale research results to operating farms. However, dedicated research personnel and staff may be needed for the “hands-on” research needs. Start by researching the “low hanging fruit” ideas that could be rapidly adopted: 1) Optimize fertilizer and pesticide placement.

Look at placement research to ensure nitrogen is in the crop root zone and able to be taken up efficiently by crops (e.g. hill placement directly to plant or use of slow-release N options). Pesticide applications, timings and materials to limit leaching could also be investigated in the on-farm setting. 2) Explore ways to move away from overhead fertigation. Research conducted in other production areas on alternative application methods could be expanded and customized for the Wisconsin production system. Use new technologies (e.g. remote sensing approaches or other sensing tools) to time crop water and fertilizer needs. 3) Take recent advancements identified in small-scale research to a pivot scale to determine effectiveness and practicality, such as using remote sensing to determine crop nitrogen status in real time. 4) I n the longer term, take successful “out of the box” approaches from small-scale plots to commercial production in a research pivot setting. For example, low nitrogen and drought-resistant alternative rotational crops could be produced initially at the farm scale in these research pivots. Investigate the ability to use living covers to limit leaching below the crop root zone. Both annual and perennial plants could be used to capture excess nitrogen and pesticide inputs, but need to be included in a way that potatoes and rotational crops remain economically viable and practical. Options include perennial cropping

strips in fields (such as alfalfa or deep-rooted prairie grasses) or annual interseeding between potato rows. Develop and implement profitable alternative crops that can be included in an extended rotation to take the pressure off potatoes as the highest profiting crop. Identify different rotational systems and crops that would both add profit and limit water quality concerns (e.g. developing economically solvent low N/low water rotational crops). Develop research-based modeling systems to consider the economics, benefits and risks for relocation, redistribution or prioritization of potato and vegetable relative to groundwater contamination risk. While the Central Sands is generally considered at high risk for

groundwater contamination, that risk is greater in some areas than others based on groundwater depth and flow, soil type and organic matter and other factors. Could high-risk crops be grown in lower-risk areas, and vice-versa? Results could help retain a viable industry while also creating localized production regions to protect groundwater resources. Research genetic traits that improve nutrient and pesticide efficiency. Research is underway to look at genetic and physiological traits to improve nitrogen use efficiency in high nitrogen/high yield potato varieties. Such traits could potentially then be incorporated broadly in potato variety development. While the water quality concerns in the Central Sands have been

exhaustively discussed, practical, farmer-led, out-of-the-box solutions have not been extensively researched. The WPVGA and associated industries can start to change that narrative and the legacy of the Central Sands by creating researcher/grower teams and allocating funding to work on new ideas that retain a vibrant industry. This article represents a starting point for a long-term research discussion with broader audiences. As such, the authors suggest that a grower and researcher working group is established to flesh out these and other ideas, and to make sure that research areas are grounded by practicality and potential for success.

BC�T December 67

New Products Tackle Verticillium Wilt and Take Back Control

Tried-and-true fumigant moves through soil as a gas and helps maintain yield and quality By Dr. Chad Hutchinson, global director of potato research and market support, TriCal Group Farmers have a lot on their minds: pests, frost, heat, commodity prices, too much rain, drought, labor, regulations and even more. To succeed at farming, a thousand things must go right. Farming is stressful on its own. Add in supply chain issues and you are left with tough decisions regarding the best way to move forward for the success of your farming operation. Potato growers who are concerned about verticillium wilt may not have had access this year to products that have traditionally been used to manage the early die complex. Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered. Strike is a heat-seeking missile against verticillium in the soil. It is a tried-and-true soil fumigant that can help you maintain yield and quantity. Strike is excellent at reducing verticillium pressure in potato production. It has been used for decades in many crops to reduce verticillium wilt pressure, such as on strawberries and tomatoes. Verticillium wilt pressure robs profit from your farming operation by limiting yield and tuber quality. If not suppressed, you can find yourself farming to break even. With suppression, you regain the portion of yield that brings you profit. Strike, through suppression of verticillium, can improve marketable yields by extending season length and tuber bulking potential. Strike is a true fumigant moving through the soil as a gas. While it

68 BC�T December

requires adequate moisture for efficacy and safety, most farmers find the water requirements to be minimal and manageable. WHERE THE ROOTS GROW Water is not needed to move Strike through the soil profile. The fumigant can be applied in the spring with its 10-day plant-back window. Strike is injected relatively deep and treats the soil where the daughter tubers and roots grow. Growers are using Strike as an alternative to traditional products because of the verticillium suppression they see in the field. Strike also helps manage common scab, Rhizoctonia and black dot. And repeated use leads to better yields and healthier soils—with Strike, you have the potential over several applications to reduce verticillium to the point where you may not need to treat. If pesticides are used to manage disease pressure, wouldn’t it be better to choose a product that reduces disease load, thus offering

Above: The damage of verticillium wilt, which robs profit from a farming operation by limiting yield and tuber quality, is evident in the untreated field at left. The field at right was treated with Strike soil fumigant.

the opportunity to not treat as frequently? Strike provides a more sustainable way to farm as it reduces active ingredient load per acre compared to traditional products, leaves no residues in the soil, and provides a path off the soil treatment treadmill. Strike is available. Applications are prescription based. See the contact information below to find a TriCal Group representative who would be happy to walk your farm and talk to you about the option that is best for your field. You can’t afford not to use Strike. For more information, contact the TriEst Ag Group, Inc., info@, or call 844-878-5178.

Vive Crop Protection Debuts Fungicide

Company receives EPA approval for three-way biological, chemical and Allosperse Fungicide In May 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved AZterknotTM fungicide from Vive Crop Protection. AZterknot is the world’s first threeway fungicide combination that harnesses the benefits of biologicals, the performance of chemistry and the ease of Allosperse®. Allosperse is a proprietary nanopolymer technology developed by Vive Crop Protection that allows previously incompatible products to be mixed and applied in one application, reducing fuel, time and water usage. Registered in a broad range of crops for soil and foliar applications, AZterknot provides the plant health and disease control benefits of two market-leading active ingredients: Reynoutria extract and azoxystrobin, the disease-fighting active found in AZteroid® FC 3.3 from Vive Crop Protection.

chemical in the same jug,” Anderson relates. “This provides growers the best of both worlds, allowing them to save valuable resources and money while increasing crop yields.” Anderson continues, “AZterknot is the first step in mobilizing the power of both biological and chemical active ingredients, using our Allosperse technology.” PRODUCT PIPELINE “Vive is working on a pipeline of products to integrate a broad range of biological actives with Allosperse,” he says, “and other trusted chemistries to provide grower solutions that were not possible before.”

These two modes of action combine with Vive’s patented Allosperse technology to provide unparalleled handling ease and efficiency, systemic disease control and activation of the plant’s natural defense mechanisms.

According to a recent Lux Research report, Joshua Haslun says, “One of the greatest challenges for biological products is in wide distribution and competition with conventional synthetics.”

Darren Anderson, chief executive officer of Vive Crop Protection, says, “Biologicals are a large and growing segment because they add additional performance and environmental benefits. But, until now, delivering them to the field has been a challenge.”

“Solving for shelf life and compatibility issues when used in combination with synthetic products would be a blockbuster advance for a biological product,” Haslun remarks. “With this in mind, Vive's current partnership with Marrone represents an opportunity to prove the additive value of the Allosperse technology.”

“For the first time, we have used Vive’s patented Allosperse Delivery System to combine a biological and a

Dan Bihlmeyer, vice president of sales and marketing at Vive Crop

Protection says, “AZterknot opens up a world of possibilities for growers looking for the plant health benefits of biologicals and the power of trusted chemistry in one easy product.” “They’ll find that AZterknot activates the plant’s natural defenses and inhibits pathogen growth while providing systemic control of yield-robbing diseases,” Bihlmeyer promises. The U.S. EPA approved AZterknot fungicide to address fungal diseases in important food, fiber and fuel crops. There is a growing demand and an unmet need for a solution to address the annual domestic market of over 200 million acres of potatoes, corn, rice, soybeans, peanuts, cotton and sugar beets. Based on grower case studies, Vive products are estimated to have saved U.S. farmers 34 million gallons of water, 189,000 gallons of fuel and 15,000 hours of farm labor since 2018. AZterknot is available through distributor and retail commercial channels in the United States. For more information, contact Vive Crop Protection,, 888-760-0187.

BC�T December 69

NPC News United Fresh and PMA Announce Merger Strategic priorities of International Fresh Produce Association outlined As reported in The Packer, the United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association announced the name of their new merged organization, starting in January 2022, as the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA). During a virtual press conference, co-Chief Executive Officers (CEO’s) Cathy Burns and Tom Stenzel, as well as the new organization’s Executive Committee members, shared details about the makeup and goals of the IFPA. Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council, stressed that the American grower’s voice be heard during and after the merger of the two organizations with distinctly different missions.

“When the merger plans became public earlier this year, the major question was, ‘How will the American grower’s voice be supported in an international organization?’” Quarles noted. Bruce Taylor, chairman of the new organization and CEO of Taylor Farms, announced the strategic priorities of the association, including: • Serving all sectors of the global fresh produce and floral supply chains, and growing global membership and participation • Providing expertise and business solutions in food safety, new technology, supply chain management, sustainability, leadership and talent development, business operations,

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marketing and more • Conducting government advocacy and leadership to build and maintain a positive business climate in the United States and the North American market • Bringing all sectors of a diverse supply chain together to better understand interconnections and support efficiency and profitability throughout the chain • Engaging with global bodies and allied organizations to promote free and fair trade, international harmonization of standards, and worldwide growth in consumption • Enhancing business-to-business sales and marketing connections across the produce and floral supply chains • Demanding creation to inspire consumers to embrace produce and floral products as essential parts of their lives, while increasing profitable sales of members’ products For more information, visit the IFPA’s new website, https:// continued on pg. 72

70 BC�T December

calcium When you need it Where you need it

More on the importance of calcium in potato crops: Calcium improves cell structure and disease resistance in potatoes. The benefits of in-season calcium applications are often seen in storage when it comes to reducing yield loss due to shrinkage. CaTs® efficiently delivers liquid calcium nutrition to your soil and supports your potatoes through growth, harvest and storage. Scan code for video! ©2021 Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. All rights reserved. CaTs® is a registered trademark of Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.

NPC News . . .

continued from pg. 70

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Ali's Kitchen Enjoy a Dinner for Two One-pan meal is an easy and delicious option for a busy weeknight Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary In the busyness of the holiday season, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to find additional time to create a homecooked meal.

and oil over medium heat.

This one-pan dinner for two is ready in 30 minutes and only requires about 10 minutes or so of hands-on prep, making it an easy and delicious option for a busy weeknight.

Add the chicken to one side of the pan and the potatoes on the other. Cook for about five minutes to brown the chicken and potatoes.

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large oven-safe skillet, melt butter

Season the chicken breasts and diced potatoes with the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.

Flip the chicken and toss the potatoes and cook for another three to five minutes. continued on pg. 74

INGREDIENTS: One-Pan Dijon Chicken and Potatoes: Dinner for Two • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts • 2 medium russet potatoes (cut into 1-inch pieces) • 2 Tbsp. butter • 2 Tbsp. olive oil • 3 tsp. Italian seasoning • salt and pepper to taste

Dijon Sauce • 1 Tbsp. butter • 1 tsp. minced garlic • 1 cup chicken broth • 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard • 1 cup heavy cream BC�T December 73

Advertisers Index

Ali's Kitchen. . .

continued from pg. 73

Transfer chicken and potatoes to a plate and set aside while you prepare the Dijon sauce.

whisk in the heavy cream.


Return chicken and potatoes to the pan and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are fork tender.

In the same skillet, sauté the garlic in the butter for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and Dijon mustard to the pan and stir to combine, then

Season the sauce with salt and pepper.


74 BC�T December

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