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Badger Common’Tater

August 2015

THE VOICE OF WISCONSIN'S POTATO & VEGETABLE INDUSTRY

research, technology & sustainability ISSUE HIGH CAPACITY WELLS Exploring the Facts INTERVIEW Andy Diercks on Sustainability 2015-2016 RESEARCH Funding for Projects BADGER BEAT Agricultural Sustainability

Tony Kizewski, Kizewski Farms.

Photo by Ruth Faivre

Volume 67 Number 8 $18.00/year $1.50/copy


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Badger Common'Tater

On the Cover: Tony Kizewski, Kizewski Farms, Stevens Point, poses by one of his wells and pivot irrigation systems after a recent rain. Irrigation provides the continuous source of water needed to nourish crops between rains, in the Central Sands Region's sandy soils.

8 Badger cOMMON’TATER INTERVIEW:

Andy Diercks, Coloma Farms A view from Coloma Farms’ headquarters looking south towards one of their irrigated fields. All their fields are in close proximity to each other, saving transport and labor time. Photo by Ruth Faivre

Departments: ALI’S KITCHEN.................... 64 AUXILIARY NEWS............... 60 GROUNDED . ....................... 6 MARK YOUR CALENDAR ..... 6

16 High capacity wells

23 badger beat

Exploring the Facts

Agricultural SustainabilitY

34 RUDER WARE

WOTUS: The Odd Jurisdictional Line

Photo by Ruth Faivre

Feature Articles:

15 RESEARCH 2015-2016 WPVGA Potato Research Projects 30 FRANKENFOOD FACTS Pro & Anti‐GMO Groups’ Claims

40 STORAGE VENTILATION PREPARATION Get Ready for 2015 Season 44 PUTT-TATO OPEN WPVGA Associate Division Golf Outing 4

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MARKETPLACE . ................ 58 NEW PRODUCTS ............... 53 NOW NEWS ...................... 48 NPC NEWS ........................ 57 PEOPLE ............................. 50 POTATO BOARD NEWS ..... 55 SEED PIECE......................... 56 TATER BIN.......................... 68 WPIB FOCUS ..................... 54


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WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Andy Wallendal Vice President: Mark Finnessy Secretary: Eric Schroeder Treasurer: Josh Mattek Directors: Larry Alsum, Steve Diercks, Ron Krueger, Jeremie Pavelski, Gary Wysocki Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: President: Heidi Alsum-Randall Vice President: Richard Okray Secretary: Bill Wysocki Treasurer: Keith Wolter Directors: John Bobek, Cliff Gagas, John T. Schroeder, Tom Wild and Dennis Zeloski WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors: President: Chris Brooks Vice President: Wayne Solinsky

Secretary: Steve Bohm Treasurer: Zach Mykisen Directors: Butch Fencil, Cathy Schommer, Sally Surprise, Joel Zalewski Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: Ron Krueger Vice President: Eric Schroeder Secretary/Treasurer: Dan Kakes Directors: Bill Guenthner, Charlie Mattek

WPVGA Staff Executive Director: Tamas Houlihan Managing Editor: Ruth Faivre Director of Promotions & Consumer Education: Dana Rady Financial Officer: Karen Rasmussen Executive Assistant: Julie Braun Program Assistant: Danielle Sorano Spudmobile Coordinator: Jim Zdroik

Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board of Directors: President: Paula Houlihan Vice President: Lynn Isherwood Secretary/Treasurer: Gabrielle Okray Eck Directors: Kathy Bartsch, Deniell Bula, Patty Hafner & Sheila Rine

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

Mission Statement of the WPVGA: “To assist WPVGA members to be successful through education, information, environmentally sound research, promotion, governmental action, and involvement.” Mission Statement of the WPVGA Associate Division: “Our mission is to work in partnership with the WPVGA as product and service providers to promote mutual industry viability by integrating technology and information resources.”

Badger Common’Tater is published monthly at 700 Fifth Avenue, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409 Or, subscribe online: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe/ Subscription rates: $1.50/copy, $18.00/year; $30/2 years. Foreign; $30/year; $50/2 years. Telephone: (715) 623-7683. Mailing address: P.O. Box 327, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409. ADVERTISING: To advertise your service or product in this magazine, call (715) 347-3755, or email: Ruth Faivre: rfaivre@wisconsinpotatoes.com. The editor welcomes manuscripts and pictures but accepts no responsibility for such material while in our hands.

BC�T August

5


Mark Your

Calendar AUGUST 15

WAUPACA AREA TRIATHLON South Park, Waupaca, WI

6-16

WISCONSIN STATE FAIR State Fair Park, West Allis, WI www.wistatefair.com

11-13

2015 EMPIRE FARM DAYS Seneca Falls, NY

11-15 2015 USPB SUMMER MEETING CanadInn/Grand Forks, ND 19

Grounded

NATIONAL POTATO DAY

ANTIGO FIELD DAY 20 Langlade County Ag Research Station, Antigo, WI Stephanie Plaster (715) 627-6236 22 RUN, BIKE, UNITE DUATHLON UWSP, Stevens Point, WI www.unitedwaypoco.org/Duathlon 25-27

2015 WI FARM TECHNOLOGY DAYS Dane County Statz Bros. Inc. Farm Sun Prairie, WI

SEPTEMBER 1 ORGANIC POTATO PRODUCTION MEETING UWEX Building, Madison, WI, Room B121, 10am-2pm 6

29TH ANNUAL SPUD BOWL/SPUD RUN Goerke Park, Stevens Point, WI

8-12

50TH ANNUAL POTATO BOWL USA www.potatobowl.com

9-11

INTERDRONE, INT’L DRONE CONFERENCE & EXPOSITION Las Vegas, NV

1-3

FARM PROGRESS SHOW farmprogressshow.com, Decatur, IL

OCTOBER 23-25

PMA FRESH SUMMIT Georgia World Congress Center Atlanta, GA

JANUARY 2016 12-14 POTATO EXPO 2016 & NPC ANNUAL MEETING Mirage Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, NV 6

BC�T August

Photo by Jim Faivre.

Love of land and the crops it yields is ingrained into farmers’ psyches, a factor that drives them to adapt a lifestyle, not a job, which exists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Stand a farmer next to a field and he will almost always walk into it, feel the growing crops, inspect them for healthiness or damage and even, depending on their stage, taste them. Ask that same farmer what his biggest fear is, and it may surprise you that it is not losing a crop, but rather, losing his land. That is why farmers never sell their land unless absolutely necessary. As an integral part of who they are, they staunchly cherish their land and tend it carefully, replenishing its needs and nurturing its symbiotic relationship with Mother Nature, which delivers new surprises every growing season. Sustainability is ever present in their minds because farmers do not think in days, they think in years. They know that the actions they implement this year will impact the crops the next year and onwards. That is why this issue’s interview focuses on Andy Diercks, Coloma Farms Inc. Andy and his father, Steve, have long embraced philosophies of economic, environmental and social sustainability, striving towards continuous stewardship improvement through their entire operation. This issue also emphasizes research and technology; areas that help ensure the future of farmers' continuous growth and prosperity. Please feel free to email me with your thoughts and any questions. Be sure to sign up to receive a notice when our online magazine is available each month and read it free. Click the link to subscribe or type it in your browser: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/ subscribe

Ruth Faivre

Managing Editor rfaivre@wisconsinpotatoes.com


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Interview

Andy Diercks, Coloma Farms By Ruth Faivre, Managing Editor

Name: Andy Diercks Title: Vice President Company: Coloma Farms Crops Grown/Acreage: 2700 total acres, Potatoes (750), Field Corn (450), Soybeans (400), Rented (1,000) Location: 4 miles west of Coloma on Hwy 21, Adams/Waushara county line divides farm in half Hometown: Coloma Current Residence City: Coloma Years in Present Position: 20 years Previous Employment: Worked three years as a lab technician in Dr. Wyman’s lab during college Schooling: BS in Agricultural Engineering from UW-Madison Activities/Organizations: Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Board and Past President (2002); WPVGA Committees: Process Frozen, Government Affairs, Grower Education/Promotion; United Potato Growers of Wisconsin Board of Directors and Past President (2010); US Potato Board; Board of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and Chairman (2010-current) Awards/Honors: WPVGA Young Grower of the Year, -1998; WPVGA Volunteer of the Year, 2002; WPVGA and NPC Environmental Stewardship Awards Family: Father, Steve; mother, Pat and sister, Kate Hobbies: Skiing/Snowboarding, Biking, Golf, Volleyball, Travel 8

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If you were to describe Andy Diercks, Coloma Farms, with one phrase, it would be “down to earth” because he has a very unassuming, quiet manner that far belies the depth of his experience in several areas of the agriculture world.

educational, research and promotional activities to further the cause of Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable growers.

While Andy will be the first to tell you that he does not know the art of growing potatoes as well as his father, Steve, he uses his engineering background continually to improve the efficiency of the farm. Andy is often behind the scenes, providing technical support and planning for changes that will make better use of equipment, inputs or employees.

When Andy was elected President of Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) in 2002, he became the fourth generation in his family to serve in that position. Andy’s father, Steve, served as WPVGA President in 1989; Steve’s father, Robert Diercks, served as WPVGA President from 1975-76 and Robert’s father, Ben Diercks was the WPVGA’s first President from 1948-49. Robert Diercks passed away in 1994.

Andy and Steve both actively participate in Ag industry legislative,

A strong proponent of the potato and processing vegetable industry, Steve


and Andy’s family operation, Coloma Farms, produces potatoes and other crops on 2,700 acres in Waushara and Adams counties. Steve and Andy are highly regarded for their support of industry research, particularly on sustainability and conservation issues, again, both of which are long-held, strong family influences. The sustainable farming practices used by the Diercks, incorporate the latest University of Wisconsin research, much of which was conducted on the Hancock Ag Research Station followed by field

trials on cooperating farms, including Coloma Farms. Meanwhile, the farm’s office proudly displays two environmental stewardship awards received from both state and national organizations. One of the areas of highest concern to Andy is groundwater, “We need to be looking at the whole area that we live in.” says Andy, who also serves on the State Department of Agriculture Board. “We all depend on our groundwater, and ultimately it is our job to do everything we can to protect it.” continued on pg. 10

Left Top: Andy Diercks, Coloma Farms; Andy Wallendal, Wallendal Supply Inc.; Mike Carter, Bushmans' Inc.; Steve Diercks, Coloma Farms and Jim Drought, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., gather after a recent Water Task Force meeting. Photo by Ruth Faivre. Left Bottom: Andy Diercks in back row, left, next to Wayne Solinsky, Jay-Mar, Inc, takes a break from the recent 15th Annual Putt Tato WPVGA Associate Division golf outing to eat a grilled lunch sponsored for the golfers by K & S Fuel Injection. Andy, a strong WPVGA supporter attends as many WPVGA events as possible. Photo by Ruth Faivre. Right: Andy Diercks checks the monitor of his solar powered irrigation control unit, which is connected to field sensors. The sensors alert the control unit when the crops need water and the control unit releases the precise amount of water required to the irrigating system. Photo by Ruth Faivre.

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Interview. . . continued from pg. 9

To pursue this end, Andy and others are actively collaborating with UW researchers to discover ways to use water more efficiently throughout their entire farm operation. These researchers have shown that growers can withhold irrigation water from some crops, such as soybeans and corn, at non-critical growth stages without reducing yield. For other water-dependent crops, they use innovative software that regulates irrigation, precisely meeting crop demands, therefore reducing water use. Both Diercks are also collaborating with UW to install monitoring wells that continuously track groundwater fluctuations and help predict the impacts of climate and irrigation on nearby streams and lakes. “This will be a lifelong process,” says Andy. “However, if we all work together, we can ensure a sustainable future for everyone in the Central Sands region.” Many people confuse the terms ‘sustainable’ with ‘organic’. While both are ecologically sensible practices, they are judged by a distinct set of standards. How would you describe sustainable farming, particularly in relationship to commercial growers and why do you believe in it? Sustainable farming means many different things depending on the audience. I think our (WPGVA) definition would be producing food while balancing the environmental, social and economic challenges that we face on our farms.

10 BC�T August

Above: Coloma Farms’ office, shown here is now located in the Coloma, WI area but the farming operation originated in White Lake, WI, 20 miles east of Antigo with Andy’s great grandfather Ben and was called Diercks and Sons, which grew seed and fresh potatoes. Photo by Ruth Faivre. Middle: All of Coloma Farms fields are adjacent to one another, a factor that provides a bonus of sustainable efficiencies in equipment usage and labor forces. Photo by Ruth Faivre. Bottom: Andy Diercks and his other family members have won countless awards for their participation in industry associations and work in furthering environmental and sustainability issues. Photo by Ruth Faivre. continued on pg. 12


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Interview. . . continued from pg. 10

We try to make responsible choices on a daily basis knowing that often there are multiple right answers and other times there really are not any right answers. If you think about the consequences of your choices on the environment, your employees and your neighbors, then I think you are on the path to sustainability. To move forward successfully on that path, your farm needs to be profitable so you can make hard choices when necessary. Organic production is one way to move down this path but it is certainly not the only way, nor is it necessarily the best one. Has sustainability always been a focus of Coloma Farms, Inc. and what part have you played in strengthening this focus? Long before I was born, our farm, and those of other WPVGA members, have always been concerned with farming sustainably. They did not have the fancy name we associate with it now but through our research partnerships with UW coupled with a proactive approach both growers and WPVGA always endeavored to grow in the best and most responsible manner possible. I play the same role that my father, Steve, plays and grandfather, Robert played. I use our on-farm experience along with advice from researchers and associate partners to best address the challenges we face. How do you select the crops you grow and varieties within those crops so that you know they are sustainably suited to the local climate, soil, pest and diseases being grown? We can grow a multitude of different crops in the Central Sands given our climate and access to groundwater for irrigation. We try to utilize as much market information as possible so that first and foremost, we remain 12 BC�T August

(L-R) Buzz Shahan, Chris Malek and Andy Diercks prepare for the 2011 United Potato Growers of Wisconsin Annual Meeting.

profitable so that economic stress cannot work against making the right choices on social and environmental factors. We joined United Potato Growers Cooperative to tap into the market information they provide and to be part of a healthy fresh market for our industry. From there, we balance our economic risk with processed chip and frozen potato varieties that are under contract. Lastly, we are very fortunate to have several options for our rotation crops. We enjoy a great working relationship with Seneca Foods on a long-term lease of several hundred acres where they grow canning crops. We work together with neighbors like Heath Farms, Paul Miller Farms, Heartland Farms and Milk Source on a variety of different crops to balance

the rest of the rotation. In any given year, we have eight to ten different crops and eight to ten different varieties of potatoes on the farm. It works well from a disease, pest and environmental standpoint. Plus, we enjoy working with the neighbors to help them become more successful. What integrated crop management practices do you use to insure sustainability, especially in regards to crop rotation and specific cultivation techniques? We try to maintain a minimum of a three-year rotation for our cropping systems. If we can stretch it to four years, the environmental consequences are more positive but sometimes the economic options get tougher. We do not have any special recipe for the practices we use. We use practices we have learned that work


well from our researchers, neighbors or our own experiences. Typically, we fumigate, then deep rip the fall before we plant potatoes, using GPS steering to rip right under where the potato hills will be located to maximize rooting depth, increase available water and decrease nutrient leaching. We zone or strip fumigate on the newer varieties that can tolerate it so we use half as much fumigant. We are also working with Ann MacGuidwin at UW-Madison on a variable rate fumigation trial to see if we can further reduce our use of that product. We hill only one time using reservoir tillage to minimize water movement in the field and we spoon-feed our nutrients to minimize leaching potential. Currently, we are experimenting with moisture sensors to supplement our ET based irrigation scheduling and are starting to use ‘variable rate irrigation’ on some fields as that technology is developing. On our rotation crops, we use strip tillage prior to planting whenever possible to protect small plants from wind damage. People are also an important factor

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Andy Diercks (left) visits with Rett Landers of Northern Star Company, Chaska, Minnesota, at the WPVGA Grower Education Conference and Industry Show in Stevens Point in early February.

in the sustainability equation, mainly since training employees in the principles you support, is expensive and time-consuming, making every employee a valuable asset. How does your operation attract and maintain quality employees?

allowed us to be quite efficient in both employees and equipment.

We are very fortunate in that all of our fields are adjacent to one another. From the north end of the farm to the south end is less than two miles and it is much smaller than that in the east-west direction. That has

We have a father and son team of Walt and David that have been with us as long as I can remember, or in Dave’s case, since he finished high school.

We have seven full time employees, including Dad and myself. Dad’s cousin Mike has been with us almost since the farm moved down here from Antigo in the early 1960’s.

continued on pg. 14

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BC�T August 13


Interview. . . continued from pg. 13

Andy’s father, Steve Diercks, shown here at Coloma Farms, raised Andy to respect the land and nurture it as well as to improve the operation’s farming practices on a consistent basis. Photo by Ruth Faivre.

Joe has been with us for about eight years and we just brought on a new full time employee last year, Frank, who we hope will stay as long as he is willing. All of our employees are hard workers and get along great together so we do whatever we can to keep them here. We have good health and dental insurance programs for our workers and their families. We also encourage them to participate in any outside training or community events in which they are interested. We try to be respectful of how hard we work everybody and allow plenty of time off for family events and vacations. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated full time crew and the bulk of our part time crew returns year after year.

and other materials that our waste management company will take and recycle our pesticide containers and drain oil. We recycle any metal that cannot be reused and we work with our associate division partners to recycle any other specialized equipment or materials that do not fit into the normal waste management channels. The sustainability of commercial agriculture overall heavily depends on a healthy legislative environment that understands and supports agriculture. How has your operation worked to foster support from legislative entities and educate them to agricultural needs?

Eliminating waste is an important aspect of Ag sustainability. What are your best practices in this area, largely in regards to crop waste and matter?

Dad and I try to stay active in industry boards and committees at both the state and national levels. We also try to tell our story to the public so we can help educate them towards understanding that growers are sustainable and environmentally minded.

This has become a very difficult area for agriculture in general to measure but like most farms, we reuse and recycle as much as we can. We are a long ways from being a ‘zero landfill’ company but are getting there since we recycle all the glass, aluminum, corrugated cardboard

I was fortunate to be part of a group of growers that participated in a video for “Into the Outdoors,” an Emmy award-winning show that teaches kids how things work. We ‘walked’ two children through how potatoes are grown, harvested and delivered to their plates.

14 BC�T August

I was also part of the long but determined effort that resulted in the Spudmobile, WPVGA’s new educational vehicle that travels the Midwest sharing the history and vision of the Wisconsin potato and vegetable industry. It was great to see the growers, the Associate Division, the Auxiliary, and the WPVGA staff work hand in hand to make that vehicle possible. We also actively meet with legislators, regulators, students, and other groups to help them understand that we are all trying to make the right decisions on our farms. Our primary focus now is working through the Water Task Force and our Government Affairs committee to develop high capacity well legislation amiable to all potato and vegetable growers. Lastly, I could not be more proud of the countless time, money, and food donated to our local communities by our farm, our fellow growers, our UW partners, the Auxiliary and our Associate Division partners. The recent Feed My Starving Children event that our industry started four years ago and supports annually is a perfect example. There is no better way to show our neighbors and the world that we care than by giving of ourselves when others need help.


2015-2016 WPVGA Potato Research Projects 2015 WPVGA Potato Research Projects

Project Leader

BASE FUNDING

Project Title

Approved

Drilias, Mike/Schmitt, Bill Base Funding Proposal: Potato & Vegetable Production

$20,000

Charkowski, Amy

Base Funding Proposal: Seed Certification

$20,000

Colquhoun, Jed

Base Funding Proposal: Weed Management

$20,000

Endelman, Jeffrey

Base Funding Proposal: Breeding $20,000

Gevens, Amanda

Base Funding Proposal: Disease Management

$20,000

Groves, Russell

Base Funding Proposal: Insect Management

$20,000

MacGuidwin, Ann

Base Funding Proposal: Nematology

$20,000

Navarro, Felix

Base Funding Proposal: Potato Variety & Advanced Selection Evaluation

$20,000

Ruark, Matthew

Base Funding Proposal: Fertility Management Total Base Funding

COMPETITIVE GRANTS

$20,000 $180,000 Approved

Project Leader

Project Title

Bethke, Paul

Imaging Technologies and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Field Research

$20,000

Bland, William

Comparison of Irrigation Trigger Methods

$7,220

Bland, William

Support for ET Estimations and Weather Station at Hancock Research Station

$3,100

Drilias, Mike/Schmitt, Bill Development of Drought Resistant Crop Production Systems

$12,000

Drilias, Mike/Schmitt, Bill Improving Water Use Efficiency in Potato Production

$12,000

Endelman, Jeffrey

Improved Management of PVY in UW Potato Breeding Lines

$12,000

Gevens, Amanda

Evaluating Fungicide Programs for Potato Disease Control

$12,000

Groves, Russell

Insect Management Systems for Potato Production

$5,000

Jansky, Shelley

Identifying Breeding Clones with Early Blight Resistance from a Novel Germplasm Source

$8,000

Jansky, Shelley

Development of Markers Associated with PVY & Verticillium Wilt Resistance in Solanum Chacoense

$12,000

MacGuidwin, Ann

Predicting Potato Early Dying in Wisconsin Potato Fields

$10,080

Rakotondrafara, Aurelie

Engineering Resistance Against PVY Strains in Various Potato Varieties

$12,000

Schoville, Sean

Adaptation in Spatially Structured Agroecosystems: Managing Colorado Potato Beetles in Working Landscapes $12,000

Zedler, Paul

Update & Revision of the Healthy Grown Natural Communities Component, and Development of a Framework for Effective Environmental Sustainability Outreach to Wisconsin's Potato & Vegetable Growers $12,000

Plaster, Stephanie

Langlade County Potato Research Facility Support

TOTAL REQUEST OF RESEARCH PROPOSALS

Total Competitive Grants

$12,000 $161,400

$341,400

BC�T August 15


High Capacity Wells By Ruth Faivre, Managing Editor


Ever since our country was founded, local, state and federal

governments have acknowledged the notable economic contributions of agriculture. Here in the Midwest, even if you were not a farmer, you grew up hearing your parents say, “If the farmers do well this year, our town will have a good year, too,” since most farmers’ dollars were spent first within their own communities. According to Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), agriculture contributes $88.3 billion annually to Wisconsin’s economy and provides employment for 827,000+ people (with every Ag-related job supporting an additional 1.46 Wisconsin jobs).1 Wisconsin is ranked third in the nation for potato production and processing vegetables acres harvested and second in processing production and value, according to the USDA Vegetables 2014 Summary released January 2015. Much of that is attributable to the Central Sands region, where the advent of irrigation back in the 1940s transformed what was a non-farming area due to the sandy soils, which do not readily retain water, into a megalithic growth in potato and processing vegetable production. SIDE BENEFITS That growth also attracted major processing companies like Del Monte, McCain Foods USA and Seneca Foods Corporation to the area along with potato specialists, dehydrating companies, fresh packing warehouses and more. These were followed by crop input, farm equipment and irrigation equipment dealers, fuel suppliers,

plus service providers such as agricultural consultants, banking, insurance and legal entities. The building trades boomed, too, since farmers required more and more storage, processing, equipment and office facilities. The dairy industry burgeoned simultaneously with the potato and vegetable industry because irrigation led to a more steady supply, which helped insure nutrient-rich feed

for milk production. ENTER HIGH CAPACITY AG WELLS Additionally, as farms expanded due to the ability to farm land previously not suited to crops, more water was required for irrigation. That led to the development of high capacity agricultural wells, which provided the gallons per minute needed to run larger irrigation systems. This, in turn, gave rise to the need for more well drillers and related suppliers. Potato and processing vegetable crops are particularly dependent on high capacity wells for a dependable supply of irrigated water, not only to grow but to maintain appearance (shape, color, consistent size and blemishfree), overall quality (taste, sweetness, turgidity to allow them to remain upright, uniform ripeness) and furnish nutrients for human and animal consumption. DAIRY’S STORY High capacity wells opened the door for larger dairy operations, providing the ability to water livestock on a steady basis, thereby leading Wisconsin’s dairy industry, to contribute more than $43.4 billion towards the state economy. continued on pg. 18 BC�T August 17


High Capacity Wells. . . continued from pg. 17

Known as “America’s Dairyland,” Wisconsin ranks No. 1 in the U.S. for cheese production, No. 2 for milk and is gaining strength in dried, condensed and evaporated milk and dairy supplies. The dairy sector’s offshoot of jobs is similar to those of the potato and vegetable industry but also includes veterinarians and feed suppliers and dairy’s total jobs account for more than 40 percent of the 827,000 jobs in the agricultural sector.2 According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc. (WMMB), “Dairy's multi-billion dollar economic impact is broadly dispersed throughout the state. Besides the direct economic contribution of farms and dairy-related companies, the dairy industry also uses machinery, trucks, fuel, financial services and other goods and services from local

companies, generating additional ‘non-dairy’ jobs and income in the state. So, while residents may not realize it, the dairy industry impacts all sectors of Wisconsin's economy.”2 WMMB also states that, “dairy infrastructure also plays a critical role in the health of Wisconsin's economy. Because of Wisconsin's extensive farm base, combined with agriculture's industrial and service contribution, the overall impact of farming on Wisconsin's economy is huge.”2 RIGHT TO FARM On July 11, 2012, the importance of the dairy industry’s contributions to Wisconsin’s financial strength was reinforced through a Wisconsin Supreme Court case, Adams v. Wisconsin Livestock Facilities Siting Rev. Bd., 2012 WI 85, in which the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard

arguments on whether towns or cities can hold farms to tougher water-quality standards than state law requires. The Wisconsin Supreme Court sided with the Larson family, a Wisconsin dairy farm family, against the town of Magnolia, concluding that the town cannot set pollution control measures for siting or expanding Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) that are more strict than those measures laid out by the Wisconsin Legislature, which passed Wisconsin’s Livestock Facility Siting Law and Rule in 2004.2 This legislative action was necessary to retain Wisconsin's diminishing dairy farming processing industry, which is a major contributor to Wisconsin’s economy. continued on pg. 20

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Portage County High Capacity Well Static Water Level Check Static Water level (ft) 11 16 43 16 76 14 27 53 34 10 14 8 5 42 8 54 29 78 53 6 19 33 74 16 33' 9" 38' 1" 39'2" 34' 6" 19' 9" 17'6" 7'9" 15'9" 8'9" 29'7" 10'9" 8'1" 28'4" 9'9" 11'2" 7'4" 5'9"

Hicap Well #

Date Drilled

Date Measured

73372 73203 73153 24302 72437 72610 72494 72422 72304 71935 72022 71734 70783 71518 69990 70263 70548 1589 453 24280 24021 23961 23915 23869 413 24197 23928 1584 24137 23919 23636 23637 23679 23926 68877 24066 23925 23804 24060 24145 68312 23800 24080 23716 23715 23846 1860 2232 23709 23754 70191 23648 23700 23916 23908 1302 23647 24286

11/14/2013 11/5/2013 7/3/2013 5/29/2013 2/28/2013 1/29/2013 10/26/2012 11/15/2012 9/21/2012 5/22/2012 5/18/2012 9/29/2011 5/2/2011 4/15/2011 7/30/2010 4/14/2010 4/12/2010 6/5/1995 8/2/1990 6/14/1986 10/3/1976 6/15/1975 6/16/1971 10/25/1966 1990 1981 1971 1995 1978 1971 1958 9/13/1958 9/2/1961 5/19/1973 7/2/2007 5/3/1978 12/9/1971 1964 8/17/1977 5/10/1979 7/24/2006 6/22/1964 8/25/1977 4/10/1972 1/4/1995 8/1/1995 5/17/1996 4/14/1998 5/13/1960 10/1/1961 6/30/2009

11/12/2014 11/12/2014 11/12/2014 11/12/2014 11/12/2014 11/12/2014 11/12/2014 11/12/2014 11/12/2014 11/17/2014 11/12/2014 11/12/2014 11/13/2014 11/12/2014 11/13/2014 11/13/2014 11/13/2014 11/13/2014 11/13/2014 11/13/2014 11/13/2014 11/13/2014 11/13/2014 11/13/2014 11/7/2014 11/7/2014 11/7/2014 11/7/2014 11/7/2014 11/7/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014

4/30/1964 4/14/1971 7/5/1970 11/5/1993 5/1/1959 4/7/1987

9/11/2014 9/11/2014

12'6" 14'5" 13'8" 6'9" 12'4" 12'9" 7'0" 52'6" 27'5" 33'0" 31'9" 31'6"

9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014

14'0" 7'1" 17'4"

9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014 9/11/2014

If wells are + or - 1' from original depth are called the "Same," then‌

Static when Drilled (ft) 10 21 42 19 77 25 29 54 37 12 16 9 3 47 6.5 59 30 74 65 4 28 35 73 17 42 36 40 36 20 19 5 21 6 20 7 13 30 18 15 11 8'8" 39 14 15 11 8 6 55 31 14 37 32 22 12 11 19 Total Total

Figure 1: Graphs depicting high capacity well static level checks data from 58 Central Sands region wells. Source: GZA (Data provided by Roberts Irrigation and WDNR)

Same Static 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13

Lower Static 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 18 13

Higher Static 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 37 29 BC�T August 19


High Capacity Wells. . . continued from pg. 18

CHALLENGES However, even with the major economic bearing high capacity wells have had on our state, groundwater pumping by agricultural, municipal and industrial entities has endured increasing scrutiny by many governmental, private and environmental groups in the past few years. Many of these groups claim that groundwater pumping is draining Wisconsin’s aquifers and the debate has loomed large in the Central Sands region. Scientific information and studies do not support those claims. NEW GROUNDWATER ANALYSIS Recently, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. (GZA), founded in 1964, a highly respected consulting firm with a wealth of experience in impartial reports of groundwater and

environmental conditions throughout the Midwest and many areas of the United States, completed an analysis of groundwater levels in the Central Sands region using well data provided by Roberts Irrigation and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). With over 500 professionals engaged in water issues, engineering and regulatory permitting, GZA provides tremendous depth and perspective in the development, management and protection of groundwater supplies and is a leader in groundwater services such as assessment of source and quality and remediation alternatives. GZA has gained the respect of the regulatory community for impartial and high quality work. James F. Drought, P.H., Vice President and Principal Hydrogeologist with GZA and reviewer of the water level data

in the Central Sands region, has over 25 years of professional consulting experience in the development, protection and management of groundwater supplies, groundwater soil and groundwater remediation, and litigation support services. Drought received a Master of Science Degree in Contaminant Hydrogeology from the University of WisconsinMilwaukee, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Geography and Biology from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Drought also serves as an Associate Faculty Member in the Environmental and Civil Engineering Department at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Drought is a Professional Hydrologist and a member of the National Ground Water Association, Wisconsin Ground Water Association, and Federation

Figure 2: Chart depicting 2011-2013 Portage County rainfall totals versus pumpage of high capacity wells in that same area. 20 BC�T August


of Environmental Technologists. SUBSTANTIATIONS This new groundwater analysis from GZA reviews historic water level data from 58 Central Sands region wells dating back to the 1950s (Figure 1). According to James F. Drought, this initial analysis reveals that high capacity well pumping on the Central Sands wells he reviewed, has not adversely impacted aquifer storage, as the static water levels measured in 2014 remained relatively consistent in comparison to the static water levels measured during the initial installation of wells.

In that presentation, Bob Smail stated, “There is ample groundwater and the local economy is driven by groundwater sources. Groundwater supplies drinking water, water for the food processing, paper and other industries.”

VOICES OF REASON

Regarding groundwater withdrawals, Smail said, “There was a 35% increase in total withdrawals across the county from 2011 to 2012. To give context to the volume of water, spread equally over the land surface of the entire county, in 2011, the water would be l.5 inches deep and 2.5 inches in 2012. It sounds like a lot of water, but thinking in terms of rainfall, it would be a couple of good rainfalls.”

In March 2014, Bob Smail, WDNR water supply specialist, gave a fully detailed presentation on The State of Groundwater Use and Management in Portage County to the Portage County Board's Groundwater Citizens Advisory Committee.

Smail explained further, “The numbers fall within a fairly small margin compared to precipitation in any given year. The variability in climate and weather are the biggest drivers in changes seen in hydrology on the landscape.”

Two additional charts (Figures 2 & 3) further illustrate that high capacity well pumping does not adversely impact aquifer storage. The bar chart, Portage County Rainfall Totals Versus Pumpage of High Capacity Wells (Figure 2) in that same area, utilizes State of Wisconsin statistics. According to these statistics, in 2011, the rainfall total was 498 billion gallons while high capacity wells only pumped 21 billion gallons of water. Although sources of water loss exist other than pumping, years 2012-2013 also showed that rainfall totals were far greater than gallons of water pumped by high capacity wells. The Impacts of High Capacity Well Pumping on Stream Flow chart (Figure 3), depicts a Portage County stream east of Stevens Point that shows the impact of both agriculture and municipal high capacity well continued on pg. 22

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Impacts of High Capacity Well Pumping on Stream Flow

High Capacity Wells. . . continued from pg. 21

pumping on stream outflow feeding the Wisconsin and Mississippi river systems. When high capacity wells for irrigation are pumping water from the deep aquifer during the growing season, water can be diverted from nearby streams to replenish the aquifer. The degree of the diversion from the stream river system is dependent upon factors such as location and the distance of wells from streams, steam size and numerous site-specific geologic factors. Moving forward, all stakeholders will continue to work towards developing sciencebased solutions to help maintain stream flows. http://datcp.wi.gov/Newsroom/Facts_and_ Figures 2 http://media.eatwisconsincheese.com/ dairyimpact/facts 3 http://datcp.wi.gov/Environment/Livestock_ Siting/index.aspx

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Figure 3: Illustration of a cutaway of Plover River area agricultural, municipal and residential wells.

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Badger Beat

Agricultural sustainability for Wisconsin’s Potato & Vegetable Growers By Paul Mitchell, Nicola Wille, Fengxia Dong and Deana Knuteson

Agricultural sustainability means different things to different people. In reality, it is only in hindsight that we can know what is actually sustainable. How can anyone really know how we should farm today to ensure that we would still be able to continue farming 100 or more years from now? Differences in strategies for dealing with this uncertainty are at the root of much of the debate and disagreement surrounding agricultural sustainability. We are not going to overview or summarize this debate and some of the main strategies, but rather focus on results – what have we accomplished at UW and in Wisconsin for research and related activities. First, we briefly describe the conceptual framework we use for agricultural sustainability assessment. Second, we present specific results for Wisconsin potato growers and Midwestern processing green bean and sweet corn growers. Finally, we overview some research in progress.

First and foremost, growers prefer a grass-roots approach that actively engages them in the design and management of an agricultural sustainability program. Growers bear the brunt of the economic outcomes of their sustainability choices, plus many of the environmental and social outcomes on their farms and in their communities, and should be an integral part of any program design. Growers’ active participation and leadership helps ensure a practical program balanced among the three components of sustainability, which can be reasonably implemented by

a large portion of growers. Furthermore, growers generally want a practice-based approach to agricultural sustainability because it is consistent with many other agricultural programs, but the practices to be adopted must be science-based with demonstrated benefits. This requires a collaborative effort between scientific experts and growers to ensure that practices are both practical and enhance sustainability. Growers’ efforts to satisfy value-chain sustainability requirements will be

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Badger Beat. . . continued from pg. 23

consistent with the value they realize. Existing sustainability programs are generally cost centers for growers – they complete assessment paperwork as a cost of doing business or for market access. Thus, growers want a cost-effective sustainability program. Because most growers sell to multiple buyers and grow multiple crops, they want a harmonized program acceptable to the entire food supply chain, which incorporates a wholefarm approach. A harmonized whole-farm approach will improve assessment efficiencies, since much of the needed information is often similar, regardless of crops or markets. Most growers also want a program that incorporates non-crop lands they manage that generate important sustainability benefits, an aspect missing from crop-oriented sustainability assessments. Additionally, growers desire a regionally appropriate and flexible program that adapts to changing technologies and a rapidly evolving marketplace. CONCERNS Most growers are uncomfortable reporting detailed information about their operations to corporations, government agencies or other third parties and are understandably apprehensive about releasing personal privacy and confidential business information particularly regarding methods of production, costs and profits. Growers prefer a sustainability program that only collects necessary data and maintains confidentiality. Growers do want enhanced communication with the supply chain and consumers. They welcome programs that inform the general public of growers’ long-term commitments to sustainability and stewardship accomplishments. Finally, growers want a program that 24 BC�T August

helps educate them as to why certain practices or steps to achieve specific outputs are beneficial to them. Over the years, several people in Wisconsin and the region have devoted time, energy and effort to develop a program to satisfy these requirements. Potatoes and processing vegetables have been the focus of much of this effort, as have cranberries and soybeans. INITIAL PHASES The process of developing a practical agricultural sustainability program begins with forming a leadership team that includes growers, university faculty, private crop consultants, value chain representatives (processors, distributors, handlers and retailers) plus government agencies and NGOs. This team identifies overall goals and desired outcomes for the sustainability program and then acquires and allocates resources to begin developing and implementing the program. These steps are well known to those familiar with the development and establishment of the Healthy Grown® program. The team then regionalizes general and national sustainability priorities and outcomes by identifying specific practices appropriate to local production systems that are practical to adopt and help achieve the overall goals. A regionally appropriate selfassessment tool is created listing science-based, good farming practices with demonstrated and relevant sustainability benefits for that region and crop system. IMPLEMENTATION A grower association group then works with individual growers to measure their practice adoption based on the self-assessment tool. The resulting self-assessment data is pooled over all grower members and analyzed to establish a best-practices frontier to evaluate how the grower

members are doing as a group. Next, this group uses the population summary of these data to identify practices to target for outreach and education for its members and to determine knowledge gaps that need further research. In this phase, the group may also help growers change plans and integrate new practices into their operations. Finally, the cycle begins anew as the leadership team reevaluates the selfassessment tool, data collection/ analysis and effectiveness of outreach and research. They then render whatever updates or adjustments are needed to improve the overall program. SIMPLICITY To participate, growers simply fill out a quick on-line survey of their farming practices, after which they receive personalized feedback on how their practices compare to those of fellow growers. The program identifies specific practices to adopt allowing growers to become more like the “best” growers in their state or region. These comparisons and recommendations are delivered to growers using a personalized scorecard with a sustainability dashboard. The program’s positive peer pressure combined with education to encourage adoption of good farming practices. This program helps grower associations foster continuous grower improvement by identifying where growers need to improve both individually and as a group, thereby achieving positive change. DATA ANALYSIS The adoption data from the sustainability self-assessment tool is analyzed using UW-developed innovative algorithms. Raw adoption data from the growers’ selfassessments is first pre-processed


using non-negative, polychoric principal component analysis, a mathematical process that reduces the number of variables, makes them continuous and removes correlation among them. Next, common-weight data envelope analysis is used to generate individual grower sustainability scores – a number between ‘0 and 1’ that indicates how intensely each grower adopts the good farming practices in the self-assessment relative to his peers. The process determines a weight or “points” for each practice in the original self-assessment, with the weights depending on the adoption profile of all the farms in the assessment. Two main types of output are then generated. First, distribution of sustainability scores for farms shows how intensely the group of farms

adopts the good farming practices in the original self-assessment. Second, each personalized grower scorecard discloses how each grower compares to his peers in the different aspects of sustainability with specific recommendations of practices the grower can adopt to most improve his score based on the practice weights. This analysis process not only helps growers measure their current status but also documents improvements over time. This entire analytical process, ‘grades’ growers on a curve with the best growers getting a 1.0 and the rest of the growers ‘graded’ relative to the top growers. The distribution of the scores indicates how the growers do as a whole while each grower’s individualized report indicates where they did well along with where they need to improve to keep up with the rest of the growers.

WISCONSIN GROWER RESULTS We conducted two sustainability self-assessments for Wisconsin potato and processing vegetable growers in consultation with UW extension and research specialists, crop consultants, processing company field managers, WPVGA grower members and Midwest Food Processing Association members. In January 2013, 44 green bean growers and 67 sweet corn growers from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois completed a self-assessment, in total representing about 10% of the planted acres in the region for each crop. In October and November of 2013, 71 Wisconsin potato growers completed a potato self-assessment, representing 90% of the acres in the state. The processing vegetable assessment included questions continued on pg. 26

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Badger Beat. . . continued from pg. 25

involving nearly 180 practices while the potato assessment encompassed about 160 practices.

Wisconsin Potatoes

The focus was to determine grower use of good management practices with documented positive outcomes, such as integrated pest management, basing nutrient applications on soil and plant tissue tests and comparable labor and farm business management practices. The specific practices on each assessment are available from the authors. Growers completed paper copies for the processing vegetable assessments, but were able to utilize a web-based survey tool for the potato assessments. Summaries of results based on simple data averages are available online: http://

Midwestern Sweet Corn

wisconsinpotatoes.com/growing/sustainablepractices/, http://nisa.cals.wisc.edu/wp-content/ uploads/2013/11/SCRIreport_2page_FINAL.pdf

From these assessments, we were able to determine statistics like this: 97% of the potato growers used soil sampling to determine crop nutrient needs, 90% rotate insecticide modes of action to manage pest resistance and 70% plant winter cover crops, with 87% using living windbreaks. The potato assessment analyzed all practices at once and only focused on generating a summary of the grower population. The processing vegetable assessments not only generated a population summary, but also individualized grower scorecards that were sent to the growers anonymously in April 2015. The practices for the processing vegetable assessments were separated into ten different categories (see example scorecard for the list). The 10-20 practices in each sustainability category were then analyzed separately, to give each farm a score for each category, and then data envelope analysis was used over the scores for the ten categories to give a single grand sustainability score for each farm. 26 BC�T August

Midwestern Green Beans

Distribution of final whole-farm sustainability scores for Midwestern sweet corn and green bean growers and Wisconsin potato growers

The figures below show the distribution of the grand scores for Midwestern sweet corn and green bean growers and Wisconsin potato growers, and then the example grower scorecard for one random Wisconsin green bean grower and the associated recommended practices for each sustainability category. DISCUSSION AND INTERPRETATION The average sustainability score was

0.939 for Wisconsin potatoes, 0.905 for Midwestern sweet corn growers and 0.887 for Midwestern green bean growers, while the respective minimum scores are 0.759, 0.700 and 0.744. These high averages and minimums imply that in general, these potato and vegetable growers are reasonably similar in terms of practice adoption and most growers adopted most or many of the practices considered


good farming practices. Average growers adopt these good farming practices at a level of about 90% as intense as the best growers among their respective groups, with the lowest only getting to as low as 70%. The plots of the score distributions show there are some differences among the crops. Many potato growers are tightly clumped at scores near the maximum of 1.0, with only a few growers in the lower tail. Sweet corn scores are similar, but have a smaller clump of scores near the maximum of 1.0 and a thicker distribution for the lower tail.

5. Having the ability to trace product from field to the distribution chain Around 90% of Wisconsin potato growers completing this assessment use these practices already, so that those growers with lower scores likely were not using one of more of these practices. The assessment data for sweet corn and green beans were analyzed in more detail. The figures show the grand scores for the whole farm, but for each of the ten sustainability categories, distributions like below were generated (i.e., 20 plots). This is too much information to

digest, and so the “sustainability dashboard” was created. For each sustainability category, the band runs from 0 to 1. The red star and vertical bar indicate the grower’s score, while the darker horizontal bar indicates the score range for the middle half of the growers (the 25th to the 75th percentile), which we call the industry average range. For example, the grower has a score in community sustainability just above the average range, with most growers receiving high scores overall, continued on pg. 28

However, scores for green bean growers show little clumping and are fairly evenly distributed between the maximum and minimum. All three of these distributions are rather tight. Similar assessments for Wisconsin cranberry growers and for Wisconsin and Illinois soybean growers (not shown) have lower averages and longer tails, implying that the potato and vegetable growers are more similar in terms of practice adoption. An advantage of the analytical process used to derive these scores is that it can identify the specific practices that contribute most to grower scores. The analysis of the potato practice adoption data did not separate practices into categories or develop specific recommendations. However, the five practices with the largest weights in the potato analysis were: 1. Following guidelines for nutrient management applications 2. Using insect scouting to determine when to treat 3. Maintaining irrigation and water use records 4. Attending science-based field days and educational meetings to learn about farm, crop and ecosystem management

Sustainability dashboard from a random scorecard for a Midwestern green bean grower illustrating individual grower scores and score distributions by category. BC�T August 27


Badger Beat. . . continued from pg. 27

but over a relatively wide range. On the other hand, for ecosystem restoration sustainability, the grower has a score just below the average range, with low scores typical among all growers, while for production management, the scores are on average higher and fall in a narrow average range. Another advantage of the grower scorecard is a set of personal practice recommendations – two practices for each sustainability category that the

grower does not use, but if adopted, would most improve his score for that category. These grower-specific recommendations take more effort to create, but are a key element motivating adoption of new practices to drive continuous improvement in an industry. Grower scorecards were sent to cooperating growers this spring through the Midwest Food Processors Association, so some Wisconsin

processing vegetable growers should have received these cards in the mail. We would appreciate any feedback growers may have. WHAT NEXT? At this time, we have various research papers in progress to get the algorithms published in peerreviewed literature as a way to validate the process and develop academic credibility. The only paper published at this time describes the fundamental algorithms, with the application to Wisconsin cranberry growers. In review is a paper on Wisconsin and Illinois soybeans that shows the impact on the industry score distribution if low-scoring growers adopt more practices. Another paper in review describes desirable program characteristics, grower scorecards and the algorithms for doing the analysis using separate categories, with green beans and sweet corn as the empirical example. This was presented at a conference in the Netherlands and is the basis for the figures in this Common’Tater article. Finally, we have a paper started on the impact of increasing the sustainability score on the optimal cost of production. This paper will be the first attempt to get at the tradeoff economic consequences involved with increasing sustainability. This particular paper proves we can estimate this tradeoff conceptually and empirically.

Recommended practices from a random scorecard for Midwestern green bean growers. 28 BC�T August

We will be seeking funding to collect more data, which we are hoping might be of interest to Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable growers. The more active sustainability research we can conduct, the greater our chance of building the reality of a practical agricultural sustainability program for growers.



Frankenfood Facts Pro & Anti‐GMO Claims By Dr. Layla Parker-Katiraee

Dr. Layla Parker-Katiraee holds a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario. She is currently a Senior Scientist in Product Development at a California human genetics biotech company. You can read her blog at frankenfoodfacts.blogspot.com, her LinkedIn profile or follow her on Twitter (@BioChicaGMO). All views and opinions expressed are her own. The Innate Potato is a biotech or genetically modified crop that was recently approved1 for cultivation in the US. It was developed by J.R. Simplot Company, www.simplot. com. This article will review the potato in three sections: overview of the potato itself, summary of peer reviewed articles about the potato and my conclusion including whether I would consider buying it for my family. THE SPUD The Innate Potato uses RNAi to silence four different proteins. RNAi2 is the same methodology used to make the non-browning Arctic Apple3. Very briefly, RNAi or RNA interference is a naturally occurring process in cells that can turn off or silence specific RNA molecules, and consequently, the proteins that they make. In the past few decades, scientists have harnessed RNAi to turn off genes that they are studying. If you add a properly designed sequence of DNA corresponding to the gene you are interested in silencing, it will 30 BC�T August

produce an RNA molecule that will trigger RNAi and then, wham! The protein gets shut down. In the context of our discussion on the Innate Potato, it is important to note that a protein from a different organism has not been added. It is not like the mythical "fish genes in a tomato.” The DNA sequence that was added is from the potato itself, which is why Simplot called it the Innate Potato4. Thus, it is not a ‘transgenic’5 crop, where the gene added is from a species distant to the potato. It is a cisgenic crop, where the genes came from closely related species; in this case, either from the potato itself or from a wild potato native to Mexico (Solanum verrucosum). So what proteins are silenced in the Innate Potato and why? Four different proteins are silenced involving three different traits: 1. PREVENTION OF POTATO BRUISING (very similar to the nonbrowning Arctic Apple). Potato bruising6 is caused when damaged cells release an enzyme known as

A genetically modified potato breaks through the soil surface in a pot inside a J.R. Simplot’s lab.

polyphenol oxidase (PPO), which interacts with different compounds creating the black or dark grey color. In the Innate Potato, the PPO enzyme is "turned off" only in the tuber but remains in the leaves7. Currently, many steps are taken in potato farming and handling to prevent bruising, but it does not seem to be enough. Potato bruising costs the industry at least $298 million annually8. Keep in mind that those bruised potatoes do not make their way to the store, translating into a lot of food waste. Simplot asserts9 that the potatoes will not turn brown for several days, compared to just 10 minutes with a normal potato. 2. Reduction In Acrylamide Produced. Acrylamide is a chemical compound, which is also a known carcinogen at high doses. We use it in the lab fairly frequently. When I started doing lab work, I had


the annoying task of making our acrylamide solutions, since I was the lowly undergrad. I took heavy precautions: a full mask, a full lab coat, etc. Once I got into my PhD, our lab had more funding, so we would buy the acrylamide solutions predissolved. Now that I am in industry, we buy our acrylamide lab items ready-to-use. Such is the nuisance of acrylamide that no one wants to deal with it. So what is acrylamide doing in potatoes? When potatoes are heated, a chemical reaction, known as the Maillard reaction, occurs between asparagine, an amino acid and sugars such as the naturally occurring sugars in the potato. When I was discussing this article with my spouse, he knew all about the Maillard reaction because it causes browning in food such as meats or bread. A Texan, he read about the Maillard reaction while doing research on how to cook the perfect steak. Acrylamide also forms at high temperatures, such as when potatoes are fried in a fryer. In the Innate Potato, the amount of the enzyme that synthesizes asparagine is reduced; consequently, the result is less acrylamide. Simplot’s website claims10 that the Innate Potato produces up to 70% less acrylamide than other potatoes cooked at the same temperature. 3. STARCH QUALITY & POTATO COLOR IMPROVEMENTS. For information on this trait, I relied on information from a Q&A with one of Simplot's VPs11 on Biofortified’s website. They reduced the amount of sugar in the potato, which can result in consistent golden color. Their website and the Q&A say "under certain conditions,” but do not explain those conditions in more detail. THE PAPERS In the first paper12, freely available via the company's website, the

authors attempt to silence two genes that synthesize the amino acid, asparagine. They had success in greenhouse trials, but to their surprise, the field trials failed: the potatoes were really small and cracked. However, the ‘control’ potatoes grew fine, suggesting that it was not something environmental but rather the silencing of the two genes that caused these problems. They went on to do a series of experiments where they silenced the two genes individually. They produced potatoes with quality equivalent to the control potatoes but with reduced asparagine levels by silencing only one of the genes just in the potatoes, (scientists can often control what part of the plant in which they want to turn a gene off/on). They managed to reduce amounts of asparagine by 60-80%. The second paper13 starts by outlining that the Russet Burbank strain of potato is more pest resistant, but is seldom used because it has issues with discoloration and sensitivity to bruising. Additionally, it accumulates high levels of sugar in cold storage,

N V S

ELSON’S

As a side note, this sentence in the Materials and Methods was somewhat hilarious: "Sensory evaluations of French fries were performed by a panel of eight professionally trained experts at the optimum time of three minutes out of the fryer." Who is a professionally trained expert on French fries sensory evaluation? More importantly, how can I get that job? The authors did a series of tests to confirm that the potatoes grown in the field actually had the physical traits they wanted. For example, when testing for bruising, they ‘physically impacted’ the potatoes and after two weeks, fries were made out of them to see if they blackened. continued on pg. 32

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which not only result in higher levels of acrylamide, but also makes French fries less golden. The paper set out to address these issues by a.) reducing the levels of the enzyme that causes bruising (explained in the previous section), and b.) reducing the amounts of two enzymes associated with starch formation so that fried potatoes have a more appealing hue and have less acrylamide.

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Potato is made by the J.R. Simplot Company and is the first genetically engineered crop developed by the company19 to gain commercial approval.

Frankenfood Facts. . . continued from pg. 31

• It does not have the DNA sequence for antibiotic resistance. • It addresses genuine health concerns that some may have (reducing acrylamide in our diet), as well as environmental concerns (reducing food waste). Yet, despite the lack of GMOiness, the potato has been opposed by several anti-GMO groups. The Simplot Innate Potato’s gene for bruising has been ‘turned off so more fries should make it into the fryer for less waste!

I would have LOVED to be a Grad student on that project. Imagine spending your time throwing around potatoes, all in the name of science! The article included several pictures of French fries depicting the goldenhue of the modified potatoes. They also performed a few experiments showing that the modified potatoes kept their ‘agronomic performance’. When compared to the control potatoes, the modified potatoes were less susceptible to blight, were of similar sizing and had more starch content. Overall, the paper's findings suggest that silencing of the three genes did not produce a negative impact and possessed all the desired traits. CONCLUSIONS I could not find any papers that convincingly indicated that there is enough acrylamide in fried potatoes to create a significant health concern. Additionally, no reputable organization states that acrylamide in food causes cancer in humans. National Cancer Institute lists information14 on the topic. In fact, a few studies15 that examined the incidence of cancer and dietary acrylamide failed to find any association. Keep in mind that we 32 BC�T August

eat natural toxins every day16, but not in amounts that are of concern. However, dietary acrylamide is enough of a concern to some people that all places that serve French fries in California have the ubiquitous (and therefore, useless) warning stating that the establishment has food known to the state of California to cause cancer or birth defects (i.e. Prop 6517). Therefore, it seems that this could be a potato of interest to the general public and the food industry. Many of the usual arguments against GMOs do not hold for the Innate Potato. Here is why I think that the Innate Potato has less ‘GMOiness’ (and by GMOiness, I mean that subjective, intangible thing that makes people protest introduction of GMO into the marketplace): • It does not need any additional pesticides or treatments. • The sequence added is not from a virus or bacteria that cross the species barrier. • It is not made by a company usually associated with GMOs, such as Monsanto or Dow Agro. Many oppose GMOs on the basis that they promote a monopoly for these companies; however, the Innate

To be honest, I am not terribly interested in the acrylamide reduction trait; because again, I have not read anything to suggest that acrylamide in our diet is at levels that cause harm. However, I would buy the Innate Potatoes if they are not much more expensive because they are less wasteful. I do think that the food industry should adopt them because they could make a genuine impact on reducing food waste from the farm to the store and because those ridiculous Prop 65 warnings annoy me. I am also very curious to see how they are going to handle the labeling of the potato. The potato is designed to be nutritionally different from other potatoes, so it is not substantially equivalent. As you may know, the reason why genetically modified ingredients are not labeled in the United States is because they are nutritionally equivalent to their non-genetically modified counterparts, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will they just list "Innate Potato" as an ingredient? To learn more about the Innate Potato, please see this recent Q&A18 with a Regulatory Compliance Specialist from Simplot. Additionally, there is a lot of information about the potato and the science behind it is on Simplot’s website.


FOOTNOTE WEB LINKS 1. http://www.isaaa.org/gmapprovaldatabase/event/default. asp?EventID=381 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_interference 3. http://frankenfoodfacts.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-look-into-nonbrowning-apples-or.html 4. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/08/business/geneticallymodified-potato-from-simplot-approved-by-usda.html?_r=0 5. http://www.agweek.com/event/article/id/24433/ 6. http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/potatoes/Research&Extension/Topic/ Harvest FactorsAssociatedWithPotentialPotatoBlackspotBruising02.pdf 7. http://www.simplotplantsciences.com/index.php/about/the-science 8. http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edcomm/pdf/BUL/BUL0725.pdf 9. http://www.biofortified.org/2013/05/qa-with-haven-baker-innatepotatoes/ 10. http://www.simplotplantsciences.com/index.php/about/overview

11. http://www.biofortified.org/2013/05/qa-with-haven-baker-innatepotatoes/ 12. http://www.simplotplantsciences.com/resourcesfiles/Tuber-specifi csilencingofasparaginesynthetase-1.pdf 13. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf062477l 14. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes-prevention/risk/diet/ acrylamide-fact-sheet 15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12556964 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14999788 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25403648 16. http://frankenfoodfacts.blogspot.com/2014/12/natural-pesticideswhat-have-i-been.html 17. http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65.html 18. http://www.itsmomsense.com/qa-with-simplot-scientist-nicolenichol/ 19. http://www.isaaa.org/gmapprovaldatabase/advsearch/default.asp ?CropID=Any&TraitTypeID=Any&DeveloperID=61&CountryID=An ApprovalTypeID=Any

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Ruder Ware

WOTUS: The Odd Jurisdictional Line

By Russell W. Wilson

This article reviews the second of three important U.S. Supreme Court cases that examine the jurisdictional reach of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) by interpreting the definition of the “waters of the United States.”

Riverside Bayview Homes, Inc., 474 U.S. 121 (1985) (“Riverside Bayview”), where the Court held that non-navigable wetlands adjacent to traditionally navigable water were included within the definition of the “waters of the United States.”

The first case was United States v.

As a result, the U.S. Army Corps

of Engineers (“Corps”) was within its jurisdiction in pursuing enforcement against a developer who began construction activity in a wetland adjacent to traditional navigable water. The next case, Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 531 U.S. 159 (2001) (“SWANCC”), reached the opposite conclusion with respect to intrastate, isolated ponds and mud flats not adjacent to traditional navigable water. Unlike the unanimity in Riverside Bayview, the decision in SWANCC rested upon a majority of five. Justice Rehnquist wrote the majority decision; he was joined by Justices O’Connor, Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas. Justice Stevens, who was joined by Justices Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer, wrote the dissenting opinion. The physical area was a 533-acre parcel in Kane and Cook counties in Illinois previously used for mining sand and gravel that had been abandoned since 1960. During the period of abandonment,

34 BC�T August


a successional stage forest had emerged and remnant excavation trenches had evolved into permanent and seasonal ponds of varying area and depth. The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County applied for local land use approvals, which were granted. The agency also applied pursuant to section 404 of the CWA to the Corps for a permit to dredge or fill wetlands. The Corps asserted jurisdiction pursuant to the “Migratory Bird Rule” portion of its definition of the “waters of the United States.” The Corps denied the permit, and SWANCC sued to challenge the agency’s jurisdiction. The federal district court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that jurisdiction reached intrastate, isolated ponds not adjacent to wetlands. The 5-4 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the isolated ponds and mud flats were outside the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. Congressional intent is derived from the plain language of the statute. In this instance, the CWA defines “navigable waters” as the “waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.” Congress did not, however, define the term “waters of the United States.” Upon congressional authorization, agencies promulgate regulations through the rulemaking process so as to implement the laws that Congress enacts. In order for regulations to be enforceable, they must comport with congressional intent. In this instance, the Corps promulgated regulations initially in 1974 and later in 1977 (33 C.F.R. § 328.3(a)(3)), the latter of which includes as a definition of “waters of the United States”: “waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds, the use, degradation or destruction of which could affect

interstate or foreign commerce…” In 1986, the Corps added a provision to clarify jurisdiction as to intrastate waters: “a. Which are or would be used as habitat by birds protected by Migratory Bird Treaties; or

isolated ponds and mud flats that provide habitat for migratory birds based upon administrative definitions promulgated by the Corps in 1977 and 1986? The majority held that the Corps’ definition exceeded congressional intent under the CWA’s enactment in 1972 and its amendments in 1977.

“b. Which are or would be used as habitat by other migratory birds which cross state lines; or “c. Which are or would be used as habitat for endangered species; or “d. Used to irrigate crops sold in interstate commerce.” The Corps relied upon subsection “b” – habitat for other migratory birds that cross state lines – to deny the Cook County Agency’s application to fill or dredge the ponds and mud flats. The majority opinion and the dissent demonstrate sharply divergent views as to what Congress intended as to the meaning of the “waters of the United States” and hence, the jurisdiction of the CWA. The Majority Opinion In the majority’s view, the case raised two questions. First, can the CWA be interpreted to extend to intrastate,

Second, if the statute can be interpreted in accordance with the Corps’ interpretation (specifically its Migratory Bird Rule promulgated in 1986), could that interpretation be supported constitutionally under the power to regulate interstate commerce? The legislative and administrative history is intricate. Congress passed the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. The 1972 amendments gave the basic structure to what is known as the CWA. Congress again passed amendments to the CWA in 1977. The statute defines the term “navigable waters” as the “waters of the United States.” The statute, however, does not further define the “waters of the United States.” The Corps then developed the meaning continued on pg. 36

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Rudar Ware. . . continued from pg. 35

of the “waters of the United States” through the rulemaking process. The Corps’ initial definition was narrow. In 1974, the Corps defined “navigable waters” under section 404 to mean “those waters of the United States which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, and/or are presently, or have been in the past, or may be in the future susceptible for use for purposes of interstate or foreign commerce.” The majority opinion in SWANCC points out that the Corps had emphasized transportation or commerce as the determinative factor. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"), which generally administers the CWA, opposed what it viewed as the Corps› inappropriately narrow view of its jurisdiction under Section 404. As a result, the Corps expanded the definition of the “waters of the United States” in 1977. At this time the expanded definition included “isolated wetlands and lakes, intermittent streams, prairie potholes, and other waters that are not part of a tributary system to interstate waters or to navigable waters of the United States, the degradation or destruction of which could affect interstate commerce.” Thereafter, Congress passed its 1977 amendments to the CWA. The majority opinion holds that in doing so Congress did not plainly indicate its intent to endorse the expanded definition of the “waters of the United States” that the Corps had promulgated earlier that same year. The Corps’ unsuccessful argument was twofold. First, it argued that Congress implicitly approved the Corps’ 1977 definition because Congress failed to pass a House Bill that would have expressly restricted the definition. (As will be seen in the dissenting opinion, below, the 36 BC�T August

failed House Bill would have defined the term “navigable waters” as the “navigable waters of the United States.”) The majority opinion states, however, that it is only with “extreme care” that it recognizes “…congressional acquiescence to administrative interpretations of a statute…” The majority points out that “[t]he relationship between the actions and inactions of the 95th Congress and the intent of the 92nd Congress in passing § 404(a) is also considerably attenuated.” The Court points out the action or inaction of a subsequent Congress is less informative of the intent of an earlier Congress. Accordingly, the majority opinion finds the failure of the House Bill to shed little light on Congress’ intent in defining “navigable waters” in 1972.

The Court found the Corps’ second argument to be “equally unenlightening.” The second argument relates to what Congress did enact in 1977. At that time Congress passed section 404(g)(1), which authorizes states to apply to the EPA for permission to administer their own permit programs with certain restrictions: “to administer its own individual and general permit program for the discharge of dredged or fill material into the navigable waters (other than those waters which are presently used, or are susceptible to use in their natural condition or by reasonable improvement as a means to transport interstate or foreign commerce…, including wetlands adjacent thereto) within its jurisdiction…” The Corps argued that the “other than those waters” language in


section 404 indicated a congressional recognition of a broad definition of navigable waters that includes nonnavigable, isolated, intrastate waters. The majority, however, describes “other than those waters” as too vague a basis on which to discern what Congress intended when it defined “navigable waters” in the 1972 CWA. The majority opinion states that in Riverside Bayview “we recognized that Congress intended the phrase ‘navigable waters’ to include ‘at least some waters that would not be deemed ‘navigable’ under the classical meaning of that term…But § 404(g) gives no intimation of what those other waters might be. It simply refers to them as ‘other waters.’” The majority opinion states that the “other than those waters” language does “not conclusively determine the construction to be placed on the use of the term ‘waters’ elsewhere in the Act (particularly in § 502(7), which contains the relevant definition of ‘navigable waters’)…” The majority opinion concludes that it will not take “the next ineluctable step after Riverside Bayview Homes.” In the view of the majority, doing so would read the term “navigable waters” out of the statute. Noting that the term “navigable waters” was interpreted in Riverside Bayview as having “limited import,” the opinion counters that “…it is one thing to give a word limited effect

and quite another to give it no effect whatever.” The majority opinion finds that Congress in 1972 clearly had in mind “traditional jurisdiction over waters that were or had been navigable in fact or which could reasonably be so made.” However, even if congressional intent were ambiguous, the majority opinion would not defer to the Corps’ interpretation. In 1986, the Corps’ promulgated its Migratory Bird Rule. The majority opinion states that protecting birds whose migratory routes cross state lines would “push the limit of congressional authority” under the power to regulate interstate commerce. The majority opinion gave short shrift to the finding of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which had found in the case that“…millions of people spend over a billion dollars annually on recreational pursuits relating to migratory birds.” Finding no clear congressional statement of intent to regulate “an abandoned sand and gravel pit such as we have here” under the Commerce Clause, the majority opinion would refuse to give any deference to the Corps’ 1977 expanded definition even if the Court felt that the term “navigable waters” is ambiguous (which the Court holds is not the case). That being the case, the majority

found it unnecessary to rule on the second issue—could the Corps’ Migratory Bird Rule pass constitutional muster under the Commerce Clause. The Dissenting Opinion The dissent asserts that the majority opinion draws the Corps’ jurisdictional boundary on an “odd line.” In a play on words, the dissent characterizes the CWA as “watershed” legislation triggered by the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire. The dissent traces the ancestry of the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899, its various amendments and the enactment of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948, including its various amendments that led to the CWA. The dissent observes that the various Rivers and Harbors Acts regulated discharges (not including sewage) into certain waterways as “highways for the transportation of interstate and foreign commerce.” In contrast to the narrow commercial scope of the various Rivers and Harbors Acts, the CWA “proclaimed the ambitious goal of ending water pollution by 1985.” The dissent notes that during the middle of the 20th Century, “the goals of federal water regulation began to shift away from an exclusive focus on protecting navigability and toward a concern for preventing environmental degradation.” continued on pg. 38

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Rudar Ware. . . continued from pg. 37

The dissent describes the “major purpose” of the CWA as establishing a comprehensive long-range policy for the elimination of water pollution. “Because of the statute’s ambitious and comprehensive goals, it was, of course, necessary to expand its jurisdictional scope. Thus, although Congress opted to carry over the traditional jurisdictional term “navigable waters” from the [various Rivers and Harbors Acts] and prior versions of the [Federal Water Pollution Control Act], it broadened the definition of that term to encompass all “waters of the United States”… Indeed, the 1972 conferees arrived at the final formulation by specifically deleting the word “navigable” from the definition that had originally appeared in the House version of the Act. The majority today undoes that deletion.” (Emphasis in the original.) According to the dissent, Congress knowingly endorsed the Corps’ position by its refusal in 1977 to narrow the jurisdictional scope of the CWA as enacted in 1972. The dissent explains that in 1975 the Corps adopted the interim regulations that the Court later approved in Riverside Bayview. In 1977, the Corps adopted the final version of the regulations. Opposition developed in Congress; a House bill was proposed that would have narrowed the jurisdiction of the CWA by inserting the modifier “navigable” so as to read “navigable waters of the United States” (as opposed to the then existing definition – “waters of the United States.”) The Senate, however, objected to the insertion of “navigable.” The Conference Committee agreed with the Senate’s approach and deleted the adjective “navigable.” According to the dissent, the deletion of the adjective “navigable” in 1977 was not an unnoticed omission. 38 BC�T August

Rather, the dissent points to the intentional deletion as having been the subject of “extensive debate” in both the House and the Senate over wetlands preservation. The House version, had it been enacted, would have “excluded vast stretches of crucial wetlands from the Corps’ jurisdiction, with detrimental effects on wetlands ecosystems, water quality, and the aquatic environment, generally.” The dissent notes that the Conference Committee adopted the Senate’s approach and abandoned the effort to narrow the definition of “waters.” The dissent states that the “net result of that extensive debate was a congressional endorsement of the position that the Corps maintains today.” According to the dissent, Congress was “fully aware of the Corps’ understanding of the scope of its jurisdiction under the 1972 Act.” The dissent goes on to say that “[t]he majority’s reading drains all meaning from the conference amendment.” In the dissent’s view, “once Congress had crossed the legal watershed that separates navigable streams of commerce from marshes and inland lakes, there is no principled reason for limiting the statute’s protection to those waters or wetlands that happen to lie near a navigable stream.” According to the dissent, the Corps’ definition “requires neither actual nor potential navigability.” Accordingly, the dissent finds no jurisdictional difference between the wetland parcel adjacent to Black Creek in Riverside Bayview and the isolated, intrastate ponds and mud flats in SWANCC. Moreover, the dissent would affirm the validity of the Migratory Bird Rule as constitutional under the Commerce Clause as a class of activity that, in the aggregate, substantially affects interstate commerce. Placing

fill material into wetlands, the dissent observes, “is almost always undertaken for economic reasons.” The “overwhelming majority” of acreage for which the Corps issues section 404 permits to dredge or place fill materials into wetlands is for “commercial, industrial, or other economic use.” The dissent reasons, accordingly, that the CWA does not regulate land use; it regulates the dredging of wetlands and the discharge of fill into wetlands. “Moreover, no one disputes that the discharge of fill into ‘isolated’ waters that serve as migratory bird habitat will, in the aggregate, adversely affect migratory bird populations.” The dissent quotes Justice Holmes in Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 416 (1920), who had observed that “the protection of migratory birds is a textbook example of a national problem.” (Emphasis in the original.) The dissent notes that while the benefits of a landfill would be disproportionately local to the northern Illinois area, the costs (e.g., fewer aquatic migratory birds) “would be widely dispersed and often borne by citizens living in other States. Citing Missouri v. Holland again, the federal interest in protecting migratory birds is “the first magnitude.” “Because of their transitory nature, they ‘can be protected only by national action.’” This article is a part of a series exploring the "waters of the United States." © 2015 Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C. Accurate reproduction with acknowledgment granted. All rights reserved. This document provides information of a general nature regarding legislative or other legal developments, and is based on the state of the law at the time of the original publication of this article. None of the information contained herein is intended as legal advice or opinion relative to specific matters, facts, situations, or issues, and additional facts and information or future developments may affect the subjects addressed. You should not act upon the information in this document without discussing your specific situation with legal counsel.


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Storage Ventilation Preparation By Tim Pearson, BTU Ventilation

Another storage season is approaching. Whether your equipment is new or old it is important to keep it in the best shape possible. Here are some tips to help keep it in good working order. You can do a lot of this work yourself or elect to have your ventilation contractor do it for you. Either way, preventative maintenance will pays for itself. FANS Fans are the heart of the ventilation system yet are often overlooked. • Visually check Fan motor mounts for tightness • Visually check electrical wiring conduits. If not secured they can rub on the fan guard or fan frame and cause an electrical short. A few zip ties can solve that problem • Check fan guards for breaks or loose

bolts. Damaged fan guards can cause further damage to the fan blade. Broken fan guards can be a sign of unbalanced blade or loose motor mount causing vibration. • Check fan blades for cracks especially around the center hub, check for chipped blades. • Check fan housing for cracks at welds, especially if your fans are over 10-15 years old. • Fan blades should be clean and free of residue. CIPC or even dust residue will often cause a fan blade to become unbalanced. Steam cleaning or wire brushing will get the job done. VARIABLE FREQUENCY DRIVES If fans are not equipped with VFD’s, consider having them installed. VFD’s are a great storage management tool, reduce energy cost and have

a short payback, but do require a little maintenance. • Power off at the end of the storage season. This will reduce potential damage from external power events, like lightning, when they are not in use. • Clean VFD heat sink; the aluminum radiator located in the back of most VFDs. Heat sink can get dirty with sprout inhibiting chemicals or dirt. Blow out with compressed air and brush with soft brush. • Clean Off Cooling Fans. On most VFDs, the cooling fans run whenever the VFD is running and are necessary to keep the VFD’s Electronics cool. Cooling fans are a common maintenance Item, replace as needed. • Inspect electrical connections. VFDs have capacitors that can hold a charge for a few minutes. Make sure they have been powered off for at least 3 minutes. Check all electrical connections for tightness and any discolored wires, which indicate a sign of overheating. VFDs mounted adjacent or near to fan walls are susceptible to vibration causing terminals to get loose. • Keep water away from VFDs while cleaning electrical rooms. A drop of water or chemical into the VFD electronics can cause serious damage. MOTOR STARTERS OR CONTACTORS • Power off all electrical circuits. • Open the contactor cover and inspect overloads for signs of overheat. • Check for loose or discolored wires and discolored terminals.

40 BC�T August


• Have technician look at it if you are not sure if it is in good working order or needs repair.

Dirty Condenser Coil blocks air flow and reduces Refrig Efficiency

REFRIGERATION CONDENSING UNITS These are expensive and should be properly maintained by a qualified mechanical contractor. However, there are a few preventative maintenance items that you can do in advance. MAKE SURE ALL POWER IS SHUT OFF BEFORE PERFORMING ANY OF THE BELOW ITEMS • Visually inspect electrical panels for any discolored wiring or terminal blocks, burned contactors or relay contact points. oil and dirt so that it does not cause a false alarm in the future.

• Compressor contactors should be replaced every 3-4 years • Condenser and/or Compressor VFD – same maintenance as Fan VFD (see above). • Check Condensing fans for electromechanical issues such as loose motor mounts, fan blades not in line with other Fans, broken motor mounts or fan guards. • Inspect for refrigeration leaks. Leaks will appear as oil spots or oily dirt covered area. Refrigerant blends with the refrigeration oil in a system, when it leaks out the location will appear oily. Refrigerant leaks can be costly and should be repaired by a qualified technician as soon as possible. Repaired area should be thoroughly cleaned from

• Condenser Coil Cleaning

Wash as if you were combing the fins.

- Rinsing steps may need to be repeated a couple of times to get them clean. You should be able to see light thru the coils.

- MAKE SURE POWER IS SHUT OFF TO CONDENSING UNIT

- Cover any electrical devices or junction boxes with plastic or plastic bags prior to washing.

- Cleaning will improve efficiency of the unit and extend its life, once a year is a must.

- Condenser coils can be cleaned with a garden hose and a flat nozzle.

• Evaporator Slab Coils or Unit Coolers

- Rinse from the downstream side first to push most of the dirt out the upstream side. Condensing Fan guards may need to be removed to reach into the coil area.

- Same steps as condenser coil cleaning, except use steam or hot water.

- Use low-pressure steam or “near steam” hot water to remove any chemicals or organic matter from the coil fins.

- Rinse from the upstream side.

continued on pg. 42

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BC�T August 41


Storage Ventilation Preparation. . . continued from pg. 41

- Do Not Use high pressure as it may damage the coil fins

- Special Coil fin cleaning agents are available, but steam generally gets the job done. • Check for any loose or missing electrical cover. • Many refrigeration valves and fittings have caps or screw on covers to prevent leakage or protect fitting/valve from the environment. They should be replaced if missing. • New computerized refrigeration controls have a lot of sensor wiring. Check that all sensor cables are secure and not touching hot gas piping. A few zip ties will save a lot of hassle and possibly service calls. EVAPORATIVE COOLER (CELL) This natural refrigeration tool is often overlooked when it comes to maintenance. • Drain and dry at the end of storage season. Drain bypass and supply plumbing. Drain water tank. Water sitting in tanks breeds bacteria. Water “wicking” at the bottom of media can deteriorate media. • Use a wet/dry vac and a few hand towels to clean tank. • Clean supply water filter. If supply water filter is not in place, consider installing one. Filter will reduce maintenance and assure water header is performing per design. With a filter installed, supply headers should not need any cleaning. Filter should be checked and cleaned on a regular basis during storage season. • Check for hard water/mineral deposits on the face of the media, most of it will show on the upstream side. Mineral deposits are a sign that there is not adequate water feed to the media. Mineral deposit is hard to clean, but you can hose it down and use a soft brush to brush some if it off 42 BC�T August

without damaging media. • Adjust float valve so that water level is just below bottom of media. Water level above the bottom of media will cause ‘wicking’. Wicking will soften and eventually deteriorate the media. • Check media saturation. If media is not completely saturated or ‘streaking’, water distribution header may be plugged or the pump size insufficient. Media manufacturers have a formula to calculate GPM requirements based on total media area. Your ventilation supplier can provide you with this info. • Tip – On a dry day with the system running and intake doors open, cell media should be fully saturated. If not you may need a larger pump. HUMIDIFICATION – CENTRIFUGAL

• Drain and clean water tank. It will help extend the life of the water pump. • Inspect the float valve for proper operation. • Clean disk. If the disk has mineral build up, Lime-Away will polish it up nicely. • Spin the disk by hand before starting the new season. Motor bearings sometimes seize up a little if they had moisture in them when they were last shutoff. • Check that the disk is not binding against the teeth while it spins. Reposition the disk if necessary. HUMIDIFICATION – HIGH PRESURE • Change or clean water filter. • Check motor belt or direct shaft coupling


Streaking- Supply header needs Cleaning

• Clean or replace plugged nozzles. • Some systems have a flush valve at the end of the line to flush debris out. You could remove last nozzle if you do not have a flush valve to perform this maintenance task. FRESH AIR INTAKE DOORS • Check for mechanical issues, loose actuator assembly and inspect door clamp. • Make sure the intake door seals well when it is in closed position. Door spring should be slightly depressed. • A shot of silicone spray on the actuator shaft will help keep the actuator seals lubricated and squeak free.

a great alternative. • A Little Anti-Seize on the bulb threads will reduce vibration and extend life expectancy. EXHAUST The entire air system depends upon proper exhaust. • Check that exhaust dampers or exhaust doors open and close freely. • Exhaust dampers have plastic or metal pivot bearings that can wear out. They should be inspected annually. • Exhaust doors often have absorber shocks that reduce rapid movement

in either direction. Absorber shocks should be checked. BUILDING ‘CLIMATIZATION’ After all the maintenance is done, it is a good idea to let the system run and ‘climatize’ the building for two to three days before the storage season starts. This will give you confidence that everything is ready to go and helps prepare the building environment for product. Proper maintenance is all about the details. A smooth running ventilation system with accurate controls will increase produce quality, save time and increase profitability.

CONTROL SYSTEM • All Temperature, humidity and CO2 sensors should be calibrated and checked by a qualified technician. • Nothing is nicer than a clean control panel. • Check inside for water damage or sign of water presence since this maybe an indication of water condensate coming into the panel during operation. A simple fix is to seal conduits entering the panel. This is important to monitor since water damage to controls can be very costly to repair. LIGHT TREE • Use 60-watt rough service bulb. 75W equivalent LED bulbs are BC�T August 43


And…they are off and running with a total of 42 foursomes competing to win in the 15th Annual golf outing.

PUTT-TATO OPEN

WPVGA Associate Division Golf Outing Article & Photos by Ruth Faivre, Managing Editor

A sunshiny day welcomed golfers to the 15th Annual Putt Tato WPVGA Associate Division golf outing, hosted at the Bull's Eye Country Club in Wisconsin Rapids on July 8. The four-person scramble with a shotgun start was a huge success with 42 foursomes participating. Lunch for the golfers of burger, brats, chips and cookies was sponsored by K & S Fuel Injection. A dinner barbeque was held immediately following the golf competition with scramble winners announced and raffle prizes drawn for a number of golfers. 15th Annual Putt Tato WPVGA Associate Division golf outing winners were as follows: TEAM WINNERS 1st John Eckendorf, Doug Posthuma, Steve Diercks, Jim Ferk - 58 2nd Ray Grabanksi, Cory Gerzmehle, Roger Gerzmehle, Brett Gerzmehle - 60 3rd

Jay Warner, Andy Diercks, Dick Okray, Mike Carter - 61

16th Jason Maki, Keith Kosarek, Butch Raasch, Craig Kersemeier - 67 24th Dale Nelson, Shawn Bula, Brad Knights, Gary Preboski – 70 33rd Butch Fencil, Nick Laudenbach, Eric Johnson, Eric Petruski - 75 LAST Tom Grall, Brion Hackbarth, Ann Hoffman, Becky Heck - 85 44 BC�T August

Master of Ceremonies, Chris Brooks, from Central Door Solutions, LLC, gives the green light to the golfers!


FLAG EVENT WINNERS #1

Long Putt (All)

#2 Long Drive (Men)

Dave Stiehl Dick Okray

#4 Closest To Pin (Women) Becky Heck #5

Long Putt (Men)

Tom Grall

#7

Long Drive (Women)

Laura Mattek

#9

Closest 2nd Shot (All)

Jason Maki

#11 Shortest Drive (Women)

Laura Mattek

#12 Closest To Pin (Men) Cory Gerzmehle #14 Closest 3rd Shot (All)

Jay Warner

#15 Closest To Pin (Women)

Jeff Sommers

#16 Closest 2nd Shot (Men)

Mike Bolanda

#18 Long Putt (All)

Brian Maas

Top: The WPVGA staff shown in the middle (L-R) of Karen Rasmussen, Danielle Sorano and Julie Braun handled the raffle tickets and displayed the door prizes. Right: And, the winning team for the 15th Annual Putt Tato consisted of (L-R) Jim Ferk, Doug Posthuma, John Eckendorf and Steve Diercks, who garnered first place with an overall score of 58. Bottom: Luke Zelinski and Bill Zelinski represented Big Iron Equipment with Jeff Sommers, Wysocki Produce Farm, Inc. and Greg Merrihew, Advanced Farm Equipment, LLC. completing their group continued on pg. 46

BC�T August 45


PUTT-TATO OPEN. . . continued from pg. 45

46 BC�T August


OPPOSITE PAGE Top Left: No one is ever safe from ‘rabbit ears’ as demonstrated by Russell Groves’ high jinks behind A.J. Bussan, while Dr. Jeff Wyman and Paul Mitchell pretend not to notice! Top Right: Not everyone can color coordinate as well as (L-R) Tyler Mancl, Mike Bolanda, Mike Barker and Tim Worzella but they pulled off the look perfectly and finished their rounds in style. Middle Left: You could call this the ‘kilt clan’ with Jesse Teal and Kenton Mehlberg (L-R in the middle of photo), dressed with Scottish flair while Mike Helbach (far left) and Steve Tatro (far right) stuck with typical Midwestern golf attire. Middle Right: Andy Torske of Milestone Equipment, Tom Talleckson of Lockwood Equipment, Paul Cieslewicz of Sand County Equipment and Jeff Lauritzen of Lauritzen Farms, manned the links as a fierce foursome. Bottom: The teams moved quickly through the course but at one point Marv Hopp, Rich Wilcox, Scott Worzella and Eric Wallendal had a bit of spare time for a quick photo shoot. CURRENT PAGE Top: Third place winning team with a combined score of 61, Mike Carter, Jay Warner, Dick Okray and Andy Diercks, brought along their own personal band and entertained many on the links. Bottom: Hoping for a long drive, Brion Hackbarth puts all the gusto he can muster into his shot, while fellow teammates, Tom Grall, Ann Hoffman and Becky Heck keep their fingers crossed that it will be a winning shot.

COMPANIES

BC�T August 47


Now News

Tech Alert! Wireless Irrigation Takes Technology to New Levels Growers across the country continue to embrace the latest in irrigation technology, according to one of the largest irrigation companies in the world, Lindsay Corporation, maker of Zimmatic by Lindsay irrigation systems. Tom Faulkner raises potatoes, corn, wheat and alfalfa, on his south central Idaho farm near Gooding. Faulkner recently installed Lindsay’s FieldNET Pivot Control on several of his older center pivot irrigation systems, including a pivot manufactured in the mid-1960s. Pivot Control is a new controller designed to retrofit almost any

Lindsay FieldNET and Pivot Control.

existing electric pivot. Pivot Control, in conjunction with FieldNET wireless irrigation management, allows full control and monitoring of pivots, pumps, wells, injectors, flow meters and other devices connected to the pivot. “This new technology on the older pivots is really handy because you are able to program different irrigation patterns into the system,” Faulkner

says. “As long as I have a cellphone signal, I can start and stop my pivots remotely or just move the pivots dry so the guys spraying or applying fertilizer can do their thing.” Reece Andrews, FieldNET Business Manager for Lindsay, says new irrigation technology products such as Pivot Control continue to see early and rapid acceptance by growers looking to reduce labor costs and

With FieldNET, growers can control their entire irrigation system direct from smartphones, tablets or computers. 48 BC�T August


increase overall irrigation efficiency in their operations. “With farms consolidating, multiple pivot brands are being used,” Andrews says. “Products such as FieldNET and Pivot Control allow these operators to have one user interface on any system, regardless of brand or control panel. Increasingly, growers want to be able to control their entire irrigation system, from the pivots to the pumps and sensors, remotely and wirelessly from either their smartphones, tablets or computers.” Andrews points to FieldNET VRI (variable rate irrigation) 360-sector control product as another easy tool for growers to potentially increase yields and optimize water and energy. “VRI makes it easy for growers to work with agronomists and crop advisors to create irrigation recommendations that are unique to the field and crop conditions. Instead of applying one inch of water for a full circle, VRI allows growers to apply the right amount of water to each sectional area of the field according to its unique needs,” states Andrews.

Zimmatic by Lindsay dealer Jerry Knutson, owner of Oasis Irrigation, Plainfield, Wisconsin, says, “Lindsay’s technology additions of FieldNET, Pivot Control and VRI products have been a huge boost to our business. Customers value the overall increase in irrigation efficiency and thought processes of reducing precious water resources to their crops by applying water where it is needed, rather than just a set uniform rate.” For Idaho grower Faulkner, irrigation technology continues to get better and better and make irrigation more convenient and efficient. “I think the technology is really moving fast and it’s interesting to see how it works and evolves. I’m doing things slow and steady on my operation and applying the technology as I feel comfortable with it,” Fulkner says. Lindsay’s Andrews says irrigation technology, including wireless irrigation monitoring and control

of entire systems, will continue to advance as farms consolidate and growers operate pivots that vary in age and by brand. “Growers will basically be using technology that goes with them,” Andrews explains. “If a grower is leasing land and five pivots that have different competitor control panels, they can have full monitoring and control of those pivots with products like FIeldNET and Pivot Control, and take that technology with them in the future if needed.” Knutson adds, “All of my customers who have invested in FieldNET, are seeing more productive work during the day, because they are not driving all over their farm starting, stopping or checking on systems. That also translates into more ‘quality time’ with their families during the evening, and weekends for the same reasons. Many customers have told me that FieldNET has helped change their life.”

Andrews says agronomists and crop advisors like VRI 360-sector control because they can create unlimited, professional irrigation plans for growers and upload the plans into FIeldNET or Pivot Control. FieldNET wireless irrigation management provides comprehensive options to control entire irrigation systems. With an app on both major smartphone and tablet platforms, growers can see what their irrigation systems are doing and control them from virtually anywhere in the world using a smartphone, tablet or computer. With FieldNET wireless irrigation management, Andrews says, growers can manage and control pivots, laterals, end guns, injectors and pumps. They can also monitor and record water usage, energy usage, tank or pond levels, soil moisture and weather information. BC�T August 49


People

MASDA Ag Leaders Visit Alsum Farms

Alsum Farms & Produce, Inc. hosted forty agriculture leaders during the annual meeting of the Midwestern Association of State Departments of Agriculture (MASDA) on June 23. Commissioners, Secretaries and Directors of state departments of agriculture from twelve Midwestern states, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin got a behind the scenes tour into the growing, packing and shipping of Wisconsin potatoes. “Alsum Farms & Produce appreciated the opportunity to showcase Wisconsin potato and vegetable production to the top agricultural leaders in the Midwest,” said Heidi Alsum-Randall, National Sales and Marketing Manager of Alsum Farms & Produce. In addition to the tour of the Alsum potato packing shed attendees experienced the Wisconsin Spudmobile. This state-of-the-art mobile education vehicle focuses on potato and vegetable production and

July 2015

Badger er Common’Tat THE VOICE

OF WISCONSI

N'S POTATO

UE ECTION ISS CROP PROT INTERVIEW Service, Inc. Reabe Spraying Damon Reabe, OL INSECT CONTR NEW TWIST ON orne Pathogens Limiting Foodb AHEAD G MOVIN Funding LPRCP GERRI OKRAY rs & WPVGA Salutes Her Reade

SERV ICE, INC. REAb E SpRAYING Quandt Photo by Robert

50 BC�T August

& VEGETABL

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Number 7 Volume 67 $18.00/year

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takes visitors on a visual journey from the farmer’s field to the dinner plate. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection hosted the annual meeting of the Midwestern Association of State Departments of Agriculture (MASDA), held June 21-24, 2015, at the Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin. Alsum Farms & Produce, Inc. (www. alsum.com) is a grower, packer and shipper of potatoes, re-packer of onions and a wholesale distributor of a full line of fresh fruits and vegetables. Headquartered in Friesland, Wisconsin, Alsum Farms is a member of Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association and also a member of the eco-friendly Wisconsin potato Healthy Grown® initiative. Top: Larry Alsum (navy shirt at right) welcomes his MASDA guests with Wendy Alsum Dykstra, directly at his left side. Photo by Christine Lindner. Bottom: Jim Zdroik (red shirt) explains Wisconsin's potato production process to Alsum Farms & Produce’s MASDA visitors. Photo by Christine Lindner.

Badger Common’Tater

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Duane L. Lipke Obit Duane L. "Bud" Lipke, age 90, passed away peacefully at his residence on Friday, July 3, 2015 after a courageous battle with Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia. He was born on the Lipke Farm in the Town of Deerfield, Waushara County, on June 6, 1925, the son of Leonard and Harriet (Achsah) Lipke. He married Orian "Polly" Humphrey on September 15, 1944. Duane and his wife farmed in the Hancock area for many years; first dairy production, and later growing potatoes for Ore-Ida, along with snap beans, soybeans, and other irrigated crops. Dad believed in the quote of George Washington: "Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man." Also, his spirituality was evident in his daily living.

Duane was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Orian "Polly" Lipke, one grandson, Timothy Lipke, his parents, and all ten of his siblings. Memorial services were held, Wednesday, July 8th, 2015, 11:00 am, at the Leikness & Stahl Funeral Home, Plainfield, with the Reverend Don Smith officiating and Burial at the Hancock Cemetery. The family asks that memorials be made in the form of a blood donation to your local blood bank.

Duane L. "Bud" Lipke continued on pg. 52

Ventilation

Survivors include one son, Harlan (Shirley) Lipke, Plainfield; three daughters, Lucille (Jim) Davis, Anchorage, AK, Trudy (Jack) Buchanan, Hancock, and Cheryl (Lee) Flyte, Coloma. Duane is further survived by nine grandchildren: Dr. Tracy Lipke-Perry, PhD, (Todd), Duluth, MN, Dr Trixie Lipke-Otto, MD, (John), Chicago, IL, Byron Davis (fiancée Dasha V.), Anchorage, AK, Brad (Lindsay) Davis, Anchorage, AK, Jami Buchanan, (Brian Novak), Appleton, Eric (Eliza), Buchanan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Adam (Carrie) Flyte, Coloma, Jessica (Matt) Rettler, Coloma, and J.R. (Kristen) Flyte, Westfield. He is also survived by fourteen greatgrandchildren: Samantha and Paige Davis, James and Brianna Buchanan, Mikayla, Tristan, and Taylor Flyte, Karissa, Makenna, Addyson, and Elliana Rettler, and Henry, Charlie, and Lola Flyte.

• Ventilation • Humidification • Climate Control • Refrigeration 47418 US Highway 10 • Perham MN 56573 BTU Ventilation 218-346-3357 Toll Free: 888-884-8070 www.btucorp.com BC�T August 51


People. . . continued from pg. 51

Melissa Sylte Named 2015 Honoree For Produce Business’ 40 Under 40 Melissa Sylte, Marketing Manager at RPE Inc., was named a 2015 honoree of Produce Business magazine’s 40 Under 40 Awards. The 40 Under 40 program recognizes leaders in the produce industry who are under the age of 40 and are making significant industry and community contributions. Honorees are featured in Produce Business’ website and June 2015 print issue. Sylte completed her undergraduate education at University of Wisconsin and gained valuable marketing experience owning her own agribusiness while still a student. She then served as Development Director of a regional non-profit organization and Assistant Director of Marketing at Indiana University. In her current role as Marketing Manager at RPE Inc., Sylte created a professional internal marketing department for the company and its partners, successfully launched multiple consumer brands and planned and executed successful integrated marketing campaigns to support and sell those brands. Additionally, Sylte helped develop

strong internship and community outreach programs, which further enhance the company’s marketing efforts. Outside RPE Inc., Sylte is involved with Wisconsin FFA Alumni Association and was a Co-Chair of Rally to Fight Hunger and Day of Service for Wisconsin FFA members for the past six years. She is also on her local public museum’s Development Committee and volunteered for ThedaCare Foundation’s annual fund drive since 2010, serving as their Chair since 2014. Sylte’s recognition comes just six months after her brother and RPE Inc. Senior Agronomist Michael Copas, was awarded a 40 Under 40 award from Vance Publishing for his work in agricultural research at RPE Inc. “We are thrilled to have these individuals as a part of our RPE family,” says Russell Wysocki, President and CEO. “Our organization continues to grow and it is our goal to seek out talented individuals for every aspect, allowing us to continue to be the expert for category growth, innovation and product development

Melissa Sylte, Marketing Manager at RPE Inc.

for potatoes and onions.” RPE, a second-generation family farm, is a category leader and key grower/ shipper of year-round potatoes and onions. RPE prides itself on maintaining a high level of business integrity that includes commitments to environmental sustainability, as well as category innovation and retail solutions.

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.

52 BC�T August


New Products

SAFE-T-PULL PRO Helps Avoid Towing Tragedies In 1991, a farmer, performing everyday tasks, was towing equipment on his farmstead. In the process, a chain snapped, then struck and killed him. According to Kirk Brandvold, Safe-T-Pull company representative, “That tragedy led the founders of Safe-T-Pull to invent a more efficient way to pull trucks without the risk of a cord recoiling and crashing through tractor or truck cabs. The original model is now upgraded to Safe-T-Pull PRO, which offers an innovative hitch system and towing accessory that pulls stuck vehicles and equipment through tough conditions and even wet spots, quickly and easily, helping growers stay safer. Safe-T-Pull PRO minimizes exposure

Top: The tractor driver connects quickly and easily and safely tows the Paramount Farms truck. Middle: Paramount Farms has several Safe-T-Pull PRO systems on tractors and trucks. Here, a tractor driver prepares to connect Safe-T-Pull PRO to a truck for towing. Bottom: Several of Heartland Farms trucks have Safe-T-Pull PRO installed on their trucks’ tow hook mounts.

to dangerous pulling situations, where chains and cables can break and damage sustained to transmissions or vehicle frames. It also saves up to five minutes per pull over conventional chain or strap systems. Injury prevention is another benefit, first by eliminating the chains and cables and secondly by eliminating

potential falls associated with muddy conditions since you can operate the entire system from the safety of your vehicle. No need to get out of your vehicle to hook it up. Drivers can even "unhook on the go." A pressure compensated valve regulates the hydraulic fluid flow to the lift cylinder so the device rises continued on pg. 54 BC�T August 53


New Products. . . continued from pg. 53

at a steady, controllable speed. “Heavy duty, Safe-T-Pull PRO is field tested on loads over 80 tons and adaptable for most tractors,” states Peterka. “Top of the line, it is a much improved alternative for pulling stuck trucks out of potato and vegetable fields.” The Safe-T-Pull system consists of a truck hitch that fastens on your truck's existing tow hook mounts, providing a centralized loop from

which to pull and a hydraulically operated tow bar that mounts to the drawbar of your tractor, pay loader or bulldozer. Each truck hitch is designed specifically for the truck’s make and model. The hitch pulls evenly from both frame rails, greatly reducing risk of frame or radiator damage. Safe-T-Pull PRO patented cam design swivels equipment as it is being towed around corners and keeps the

pulling arm centered making hook up simple and fast. Its shock absorbing design cushions the pull on takeoff unlike dangerous chains. The PRO also folds up to 90 degrees for storage and tight maneuvering. Locally, Paul Cieslewicz, Sand County Equipment, Bancroft, WI, handles sales and service for Safe-T-Pull products, including Safe-T-Pull PRO. You can contact Cieslewicz at (715) 335-6652 or paul@ sandcountyequipment.com.

New Zing! Fungicide Provides Excellent Blight Control Gowan USA introduces Zing! Fungicide, a new premix combining two proven active ingredients into an easy-to-use liquid formulation. The combination of zoxamide and chlorothalonil work together to enhance performance. These products have been successfully

controlling diseases for several years in these crops with no documented resistance in the field. Zing! Fungicide provides excellent control of early blight, late blight, downy mildew, anthracnose and Alternaria spp. diseases in an easy to use SC formulation.

Used as a preventive fungicide, Zing! Fungicide offers two FRAC codes M5 and 22 to deliver multiple modes of action to enhance control, defend against disease resistance, and add longevity to your treatment program.

WPIB Focus Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison Month

Jul-13

Aug-13

Sep-13

Oct-13

Nov-13

Dec-13

Jan-14

Feb-14

Mar-14

Apr-14

May-14

Jun-14

Year-to-Date

CWT

1,245,187.84

561,590.05

991,078.83

3,114,438.10

2,627,700.74

2,160,770.84

1,872,969.27

1,976,498.93

1,958,659.50

2,405,670.29

2,123,171.39

3,967,430.41 25,005,166.19

Assessment

$74,679.68

$33,695.37

$59,464.80

$186,867.82

$157,665.35

$129,645.84

$112,268.32

$118,698.94

$117,449.69

$144,358.33

$127,363.74

$238,124.46 $1,500,282.34

Jul-14

Aug-14

Sep-14

Oct-14

Nov-14

Dec-14

Jan-15

Feb-15

Mar-15

May-15

Jun-15

Month

Apr-15

Year-to-Date

CWT

1,618,594.66

584,167.62

1,071,362.65

3,145,808.22

2,930,799.68

2,055,822.91

1,632,134.39

2,314,996.35

1,657,022.61

2,227,004.05

1,764,186.27

3,185,614.36 24,187,513.77

Assessment

$97,295.75

$35,049.99

$64,101.70

$188,748.83

$175,821.97

$123,346.96

$97,909.10

$138,906.57

$99,470.40

$133,643.78

$105,821.29

$191,136.75 $1,451,253.09

54 BC�T August


Potato Board News

Sharing Successes In preparation for the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) programs to be launched July 1, the United States Potato Board (USPB) staff and marketing committee chairs met separately with the international representatives and domestic agencies in Boulder, CO. The weeklong meeting featured a joint meeting on Wednesday where the two groups met to share successes from the past year and discuss the evolving consumers and markets, both in the U.S. and international markets. The ability to share strategies, programs and tactics across the two marketing programs is one of the significant advantages of the new structure of the marketing department and programs at the USPB. In the separate international and domestic meetings, the details of the programs developed for FY16 were discussed, with an emphasis on the strategic underpinning driving these programs. “By bringing all the Reps and Agencies together, we were able to ensure the programs are in alignment, while further clarifying the challenges being faced in all markets,” noted USPB Chief Marketing Officer, John Toaspern. “The input from the Committee

Chairs was very valuable.” The USPB Domestic Marketing Program is ready to reach the ‘Food Enthusiasts’ with potato messages that resonate with this group across all channels: retail, foodservice, nutrition communications and direct consumer advertising. The USPB International Marketing Programs are poised to continue to expand demand for potatoes, but also work extremely hard to fight for U.S market share in all markets!

BC�T August 55


Seed Piece

WPIB Approves Budget & Elects Board Officers At its June 2015 meeting, held in Plover, the Wisconsin Potato Industry Board approved its budget for the July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 fiscal year. The WPIB also re-elected Heidi Alsum-Randall (Friesland, District 3) as its new President for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

The WPIB approved a budget of $1,502,800.00 for fiscal year 2015-16. This budget is higher than the 201415 budget of $1,422,78.00. The WPIB budget breakdown is as follows:

Election of Officers

In addition to Alsum-Randall, board officers for 2015-16 will be as follows: Vice President: Richard Okray, Plover, District 2; Secretary: Bill Wysocki, Bancroft, District 2; and Treasurer: Keith Wolter, Antigo, District 1. The rest of the 2015-16 WPIB includes: John Bobek, Markesan, District 3; Richard Okray, Plover, District 2; Heidi Randall, Friesland, District 3; John T. Schroeder, Antigo, District 1; Tom Wild, Antigo, District 1 and Dennis Zeloski, Lake Mills, At-Large. Top: 2015-2016 WPIB Board Members: Tom Wild, Bill Wysocki (Secretary), John T. Schroeder, Dennis Zeloski, Cliff Gagas, Keith Wolter (Treasurer), Heidi Randall (President) and John Bobek. Photo by Ruth Faivre. Right: Richard Okray, Plover, was newly elected to WPIB, District 2, replacing Justin Isherwood, Plover, and also elected to the office of WPIB Vice President. Photo by Ruth Faivre. 56 BC�T August

WISCONSIN POTATO INDUSTRY BOARD PROPOSED 2014-2015 BUDGET BUDGET PROPOSALS

APPROVED

Research w/ Network Breeding Program Promotion & Consumer Education Seed Promotion Chip Division Wis. Potato Growers Auxiliary WPVGA Administration/Education Administrative Contract (WPVGA) Lock Box Non-Stock Filing Bond Insurance Directors & Officers Insurance WDATCP Contract Audit Reports Storage Research Facility Pledge Groundwater Management GZA Research

$334,000.00 $30,000.00 $325,000.00 $44,000.00 $45,000.00 $12,000.00 $650,000.00 $23,500.00 $30.00 $10.00 $460.00 $1,900.00 $6,400.00 $5,500.00 $0.00 $0.00 $25,000.00

Total 2015-2016 Budget

$1,502,800.00


NPC News

NPC Holds 2015 Summer Meeting By John Keeling, NPC Vice President and CEO July 8-10, growers and industry leaders from across the country met in Kalispell, Montana, to discuss public policy and organizational objectives at the National Potato Council’s (NPC) 2015 Summer Meeting.

• Dr. Vikram Mehta, The Center for Research on the Changing Earth System, understanding the global climate • Brad Perry, Northwest Farm Credit Services Farm Credit’s role in rural communities

Meeting attendees participated in NPC’s Legislative, Environmental, Trade, and Grower and Public Relations Affairs Committee meetings where a wide range of important grower community topics was discussed.

NPC also had a special guest, U.S. Marine Corps and Navy Reserve Veteran, Sgt. Chuck Lewis, who spoke to the audience on the sacrifices that others have made for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Topics included sustainability initiatives, pollinator health, federal nutrition policy, National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funding, truck weight reform, GMO labeling and the U.S. Government trade agenda.

Attendees participated in a silent auction followed by a live auction, which helped raise money for NPC's annual scholarship program that provides $10,000 in tuition assistance to a high-performing graduate student pursing an advanced degree that enhances the potato industry.

The meetings also included updates from industry partners, including Nasser Dean and Allen Scarborough of Bayer CropScience, Matt Lantz of Bryant Christie, Richard Burres of ConAgra Foods, Sam Thornton of Syngenta, and Monte Anderson, Erik Gonring and Doug Cole of Simplot. In addition to committee meetings and legislative updates, attendees received an overview of the state's agricultural issues from these speakers: • John Youngberg, Montana Farm Bureau, the story of Montana seed • Dr. Nina Zidack, Montana Seed Potato Certification • Dr. Michelle Flenniken, Montana State University, the role of honey bee health

On the final day of the meeting, attendees took a tour of the Flathead Lake Biological Station, embarked on a two hour Flathead Lake lunch cruise tour, toured NPC President Dan and Jan Lake’s Lake Seed Lab and greenhouse facility, and ended the day at the Lake family home in Ronan for a BBQ with local farmers and ranchers. “I am proud of how far this organization has come and where it currently sits on the national level. For such a small industry, NPC carries a big stick and grower participation in meetings such as this helps establish and maintain that type of identity,” said NPC President Dan Lake at the podium while kicking off the 2015 Summer Meeting.

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Marketplace

Spudmobile Visiting Midwest Events By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education When we think of the phrase “Buy Local,” it is easy to imagine it only pertaining to products from the state in which we live. “Buy Local” is much broader and actually encompasses not only Wisconsin, but also surrounding states in the Midwest. It is for this reason that the WPVGA Promotions Committee discussed having the WPVGA Spudmobile cross state lines when visiting community, family and industry-related events. Spudmobile recently tested out its interstate capabilities by participating in the Fourth of July parade in Harmony, MN. Located in southeast Minnesota, visitors and residents of Harmony celebrate Independence Day all day long with food, music and fun activities for kids such as bounce houses and water balloon cannons. The entertainment continued with an afternoon parade, which included the Spudmobile this year! As usual, the Spudmobile welcomed visitors inside the vehicle prior to the parade to educate them regarding Wisconsin potatoes and encourage them to “Buy Local!”

Jerry and Barb Bushman visit the Spudmobile in Harmony, MN, July 4.

While this is Spudmobile’s first outof-state trip, many more are sure to follow. News of Wisconsin’s traveling billboard’s ‘broadening its horizons’ is hitting retailers, some of whom already requested a Spudmobile visit for their store locations in other states. This is all part of the bigger picture

in spreading Wisconsin’s “Buy Local” message. If you are interested in scheduling the Spudmobile for a particular event in Wisconsin or the Midwest, contact WPVGA at 715-623-7683. In addition, check out some of the other recent events the Spudmobile has visited recently in Wisconsin.

Above: Community members and visitors look on as the Spudmobile passes through the Harmony, MN, Fourth of July parade, July 4. RIght: WPVGA Coordinator of Community Relations Jim Zdroik stands with Jerry Bushman at the Spudmobile in Harmony, MN, July 4. 58 BC�T August


The Spudmobile welcomes visitors at the Stoughton Fair in Stoughton on Thursday, July 2.

Stoughton Fair attendees enjoy a view of the Spudmobile in Stoughton, July 2.

Above: Attendees to the Tundra Super Late Models race at the La Crosse Fairground Speedway get a firsthand glimpse at Wisconsin’s traveling billboard, the Spudmobile, on July 3. Left: The Spudmobile spices up the crowd by taking the first lap on the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway on July 3 for the Tundra Super Late Models race. BC�T August 59


Auxiliary News

Board of Directors Election By Lynn Isherwood, Vice-President, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary

Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Auxiliary held its Annual Meeting and State Fair group meeting on June 25 with the first order of business presenting and approving the new fiscal year's budget. Activity/project reports included: STATE FAIR: Operated by 136 volunteers for 11 days, who sold 57,225 potatoes and 1,033 cookbooks. WPS FARM SHOW: Offered our baked potato and baked fries booth; We Volunteers sold 512 baked potatoes, 978 servings of French Fries, 92 servings of nachos, 878 sodas and 33 cookbooks filled with delicious potato recipes, all of which garnered over $5,700 in sales, $900 more than last year. FAMILY FEATURES RECIPE PAGE: Great Grillers: Potatoes Make Healthy Meals in Minutes achieved a circulation of 5.6 million. KIDS DIG WISCONSIN POTATOES: 257 classrooms participated this year.

Left to right: Sheila Rine, Kathy Bartsch, Paula Houlihan, Gabrielle Okray Eck, Deniell Bula, Lynn Isherwood and Patty Hafner.

SMARTER, STRONGER, SAFER HEALTH FAIR: Successful outing at the Antigo High School. WPVGA INDUSTRY SHOW: Auxiliary members staffed the display booth, answering questions and distributing potato-based recipe samples. WISCONSIN POTATO PLACEMATS: Printed and distributed 156,000 potato fact placemats to Wisconsin restaurants.

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THIS BUSINESS CALLED AGRICULTURE: Sponsored this agriculture-oriented workbook for Wisconsin fourth graders. SCHOLARSHIPS: Awarded several scholarships in conjunction with the WPVGA Associate Division. SPUDMOBILE: Increased number of appearances and supplemented WPVGA activities. The Auxiliary elected their 2015-2016 Board of Directors as follows: Paula Houlihan, President; Lynn Isherwood, Vice-President; Gabrielle Okray Eck, Secretary; Board Members Sheila Rine, Kathy Bartsch and Deniell Bula. Bartsch and Bula are new to the Board. The Board welcomes the new members and honors outgoing members Ali Carter and Jacquie Wille. We look forward to a fantastic year again as we enhance ongoing projects and plan new ones.


WPGA Sponsors 5th Annual Feed My Starving Children Event Hundreds of volunteers from WPGA; WPVGA, its Associate Division and other contributing sponsors; many farms and private donors; local churches and Peyton's Promise, a Central WI group fighting hunger, met on June 20 at the Noel Hangar in Stevens Point with the hope of feeding infants around the world. For three two-hour shifts, more than 500 volunteers packed 108,864 servings of potato meals filled with dehydrated potato, sweet potato and soy that just need water to be ready to eat. These ingredients are essential to feed infants ages 7-12 months old, who are transitioning from mother's milk to other solid foods like rice to help them grow healthily to their next level of early childhood. Faith-based Feed My Starving Children regularly holds traveling rice packing events, but typically, not potato packing events. The enthusiasm of local potato growers keeps the group returning year after year. "For a child that is starving, this means everything in the world," said Mark Carter, CEO of Bushman's Inc.

"The food we pack is specifically designed to help children not only get past their hunger issues but to help develop them into a position where they can succeed long term." WPVGA raised the majority of the $24,000 needed to produce the event. The packed meals are destined for several areas. Currently, Feed My Starving Children representatives

Left: Old friends and long-time participants, Paula Houlihan, Patty Hafner, Sheila Rine, Lynn Isherwood, Ali Carter and Jacquie Wille pose by one of the packed cartons of meals. RIght: Everyone gathered to say a solemn moment of prayer before the packing began.

say the greatest need is in Haiti, the Philippines and North Korea. WPGA wishes to thank those who planned and directed this event volunteers who worked to prepare pack and ship the meals; the Noel family for the use of their facility as well as those of you who so kindly donated funds towards the event. continued on pg. 62

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Auxiliary News . . . continued from pg. 61

UPDATE: Ali Carter received word that some of the meals packed at the WPVGA’s 2015 Feed My Starving Children event have shipped from the FMSC warehouse. The organizations receiving these meals are both located in Haiti. One is the Church of Bible Understanding, www.cbuhaiti.org, which operates two orphanages and serves about 160 children. They also harbor children who need special attention when other orphanages are unable to give them the care that they need. Additional boxes were sent to Food for the Poor, www.foodforthepoor. org. Their mission is to support both the materially poor along with the poor in spirit by providing food, housing, education, water and emergency relief. It is nice to know where the food that our volunteers packed and placed their heart, time, and finances towards, will be used. It brings home the reality of how a single person’s efforts can actually make a difference. 62 BC�T August

Top: Many of the helpers have volunteered for several years like this team that ran their duties like a well-oiled machine. Above: This hardworking crew kept up a face pace. Below: No matter what the age, young and old gathered alike to help this worthy cause.


Top Left: Tamas Houlihan manned the Spudmobile for volunteers wanting to visit between shifts. As always, the Spudmobile was quite the draw, entertaining guests with potato facts and entertainment. Left: WSAW-TV, Channel 7, shot a segment about the Feed My Starving Children event and videotaped co-founder, Mike Carter, CEO of Bushmans' Inc. who spoke about the history and success of the event. Above: This family teaches their children that you can make a difference, even at a young age.

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BC�T August 63


Ali's Kitchen Column & Photos by Ali Carter, WPVGA Auxiliary Member

I recently had the pure pleasure of joining the Bushman family at their home for lunch. This was an invitation I was quite tickled to receive and I spent weeks anticipating the special day knowing that I was to enjoy a meal steeped in Polish history and family tradition.

Ali's Recipe

Creamed Lettuce over Mashed Potatoes Serves 4

- 2 cups sugar - ½ cup + 1 Tbs. white vinegar - ½ cup water (or to taste) - ½ cup Half & Half - 1-2 lbs. side pork, diced - 1 onion, diced - 5 potatoes, diced - 4 Tbs. butter In a mixing bowl, mix the 2 cups sugar with the white vinegar and water. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, add the Half & Half to the vinegar/sugar mixture. Set aside. In a separate bowl, tear the leaf lettuce into pieces and sprinkle a pinch of salt over the leaves. Set aside. In a frying pan, fry diced side pork and diced onion. While pork and onions are frying, peel potatoes and dice. Boil the potatoes until tender. Once boiled, drain the potatoes. Add butter to the potatoes and mash. If potatoes are not creamy enough for your liking add 2-3 Tbs. of milk or Half & Half. Mix the pork and onions into the mashed potatoes in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the cream sauce and lettuce previously prepared. To serve simply ladle the creamed lettuce over the mashed potatoes in individual serving dishes, season with salt and pepper and enjoy! 64 BC�T August

Pictured above (L-R): Jerry Bushman, Barb Bushman and Caroline Trzebiatowski.

I arrived at the Bushman family’s door, camera in hand and with a hearty appetite. Jerry and Barb Bushman warmly welcomed me into their home and as I stepped into the kitchen, I breathed in the tantalizing aromas of the beginnings of Creamed Lettuce over Mashed Potatoes. While Jerry entertained us with Bushman family stories, other members arrived and mingled together reminding me of the closeness this family shares. I felt honored to be a part of their day. I was introduced to Jerry’s Aunt Caroline…a lovely woman whom I later learned is more like a sister to Jerry than an aunt. Caroline and Barb walked me through the steps of the recipe and had the kitchen running more smoothly than anything I had seen before. Barb explained to me that although this recipe has a number of steps, it is certainly easy to break down and prep ahead of time. I will tell you it is SO very worth the little effort this meal takes to prepare.


When I arrived, Barb had already mixed the ingredients for the beginnings of the cream sauce, the sugar had dissolved and the bowl was simply waiting for the addition of the Half & Half. Once that was added and we all did a quick little taste-test and approved it, we added the lettuce (picked fresh from Caroline’s garden), to the bowl, which we then set aside. We turned our focus to frying the side pork, stirring until it was slightly crispy and ready to mix with the star of the show…the mashed potatoes.

Once the potatoes finished boiling and were fork tender, we added milk and butter. Then we mashed and whipped the potatoes until fluffy. We mixed the fried side pork and onions into the potatoes.

GET INVOLVED, STAY INFORMED, BE AWARE! Join Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and keep abreast of what is happening in your industry. Find out how to become a member today. Go to: wisconsinpotatoes.com/about/members

continued on pg. 66

Stake a claim in your future today! BC�T August 65


Ali's Kitchen. . . continued from pg. 65

However, the creamed lettuce was just the one dish in a full course of Polish favorites! Pork chops simmered in a delicious sauce were pulled from the oven (another cherished Bushman family recipe), and fruit salad was placed on the table.

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This was truly a feast! Everything I sampled was delicious. The warm creamy mashed potatoes swimming in the sweet tanginess of the creamed lettuce urged me to reach for a second helping. Just as I leaned back in my chair, fully satisfied and sure I couldn't possible eat another bite, Barb returned to the dining room with another traditional Bushman family recipe, a Chocolate Chiffon cake made by Caroline in honor of Jerry’s birthday. This light cake and velvety frosting was the perfect finale to a fabulous meal!

A sincere

“Thank You” to Jerry and Barb Bushman for allowing me to be a part of their day and for sharing this recipe with me. This is certainly a meal that I plan to recreate for my family and I am sure it will become one of their favorites.

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Tater Bin

Drone Strike By Justin Isherwood

What do I think about drones? I am glad you asked. The year was 1956 when the Rattlesnake Patrol of the Boy Scouts of America got involved with drones. Honest, it was not our fault. Not that we killed anyone with our drone, but we did take out an enemy position. OK, so only we saw that barn as the enemy. Not that this was our original intent, but war is like that, it was collateral damage. Downside being, explain that to your dad. Model airplanes were quite the rage when I was a kid. They were plastic models with all of 1,634 parts, including decals and bomb bay doors that ominously opened. At least that was the original idea, but only if you applied the glue precisely.

Model glue at the time was Testors in a tube that turned the bedroom workshop into an anesthesia mask. A cyanacrylate solvent when applied in excess reshaped what was supposed to be an elevator into something that did not move. With dozens of models to my credit, my mom thought I was hooked on model making. These models covered every aircraft type from WWI-era Fokkers and Nieuports to heaps of WWII bombers and fighters. Every self-respecting kid had in his bedroom a swarm of fighters and menacing bombers hanging on monofilament. My bedroom was a miniature rendition of the Battle of Britain with Messerschmitts and Spitfires duking it out. As a kid, I took up kinship with

airplanes and championed those planes like a sports star. If some kids were worshipful of Eddie Matthews and Mickey Mantle, there were others devoted to P-38s with tiger teeth or Spitfires with a twelve cylinder Merlin, good for 35,000 feet in about 20 minutes. Stall speed 63 mph with flaps and under carriage down, engine reduced to 9# boost. Eight Browning .303 caliber machine guns available at 1,150 rounds per minute, with the last 25 tracers to let the pilot know he was out of ammunition. At a gun show in 1961, my brother acquired a single .303 caliber round marked Swynnerton Armory, a round that once flew in a Spitfire. It was like having a sliver of the true cross. Plastic models graduated to enginepowered airplanes, in the vernacular of that age known as string flight. String flight was not for every kid, especially those who could not tolerate dizziness. The object of hand-held flight was to tend that hot dog model airplane at 60 mph around a 24-foot radius. String control was to affect the elevator setting, climb, dive and include the wondrous trick of a straight-up climb, known as going over the top, hopefully leveling out before crashing ignominiously at the other end of the string. 60 mph is 88 feet per second, so the stunt required a quick reaction time. Crashing did not do the airplane any good.

68 BC�T August


The tiny engines in those airplanes were marvels, no valves; just a piston pumping up and down against a glow plug, the fuel was 25% nitro. A smell so intoxicating that we would start that engine in our bedroom, thin out the mixture with the screw so the RPMs went from dull putter to a screech three octaves above high C. The fragrance of burnt nitro is as bracing as close-range perfume. The problem with string flight was its circular flight pattern; besides producing dizziness, it was a touch boring. With any airplane, there is a gut-level need to watch it fly off safely. The trick to accomplish this was to set the elevator just a trifle above horizontal flight so the plane was not a straight-line missile that at 80 mph and six feet of altitude put a scare in the neighbor’s cows. Neighbors get

�The year was 1956 when the Rattlesnake Patrol of the Boy Scouts of America got involved with drones.� prickly about their cows. That trifle of elevator adjustment was for a flight angle that on theory ought to clear any local buildings, like a barn. In our case, an old barn, one thought derelict if occasionally filled with straw, whence the term straw barn. One can only imagine what happens when a nitro-fueled airplane, or to use the modern term drone, hits the side wall of a barn dead-on at 80

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

mph, 108 feet per second, 25% nitro, glow plug, quarter ounce left in the tank. Setting the elevator angle by “trifles” is not an exact science; trifles have yet to find their way into Standard English units of measurement. Seems we missed by half a trifle. Dead-on into the north-facing door of unpainted pine, sun-warmed, semi-flammable barn, poor thing never knew what hit it. continued on pg. 70

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BC�T August 69


Tater Bin . . .

Advertisers Index

continued from pg. 69

One moment standing there on the landscape proud as an old barn can be, the next a towering inferno, though it did not rage as long as a proper inferno should, being empty and awaiting the next oat straw harvest. We did not confess. Our dad went on to blame the trailer court kids playing with matches, or alternately the well-known town drunk who regularly holed up in that barn to smoke his own special blend of discarded cigarettes, rain soaked cigars, admixed with sumac leaves. Seems our dad was thinking of tearing it down anyway since the roof was not doing the straw much good. This was how we kept to the Boy Scouts 2014 Potato Adsince copy.pdf that 1 2/14/2014 oath for honesty, barn12:17:58 was PM

coming down anyway, why confess?

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That fall we stored the straw in very neat stacks covered with a tarp, the stacks allied next to the cow barn. A lot more convenient than that straw barn a half a mile down the lane.

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Our dad openly admitted he was glad to have it gone, and once the foundation stones were buried, the field was bigger, with a new sense of freedom, not having to steer around the old barn. We did wonder where the town drunk holed up after that barn, thinking another resource ought to be provided. For the record, it was the Rattlesnake Patrol, Boy Scouts of America, who invented the world’s first drone strike. We are not sorry either.

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Oasis Irrigation LLC 715-335-8300

PIVOT

LATERAL

PUMP STATION

SOIL MOISTURE

WEATHER

FLOW

N6775 5th Avenue • Plainfield, WI 54966

Separators and Filtration Solutions

Separators and Filtration Solutions

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Separators and Filtration Solutions

Separators and Filtration Solutions

Separators and Filtration Solutions