1705 Badger Common'Tater

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Badger Common’Tater

May 2017


Vegetables Issue

Volume 69 Number 5 $18.00/year $1.50/copy

POTATO GROWERS UNITE! Influence Passage of SB 76 SHOULD YOU EXPAND Your Farm Operation? 2016 A GREAT YEAR For Veggie Production GROWING CELERY Is a Balancing Act Doug Lee, farm manager for Trembling Prairie Farms, sets up drip tape to irrigate celery rows.


John Ruzicka

Vice President, Guth Farm, Inc.


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On the Cover: Shown setting up drip tape to irrigate celery rows, Doug Lee, farm manager of Trembling Prairie Farms, says he puts a minimum of 1 inch of water on the crop a week. The celery is then harvested by hand using knives. “We have a unique machine built here at the farm that has the ability of making two elevated beds 36 inches apart, while laying drip tape 4 inches below the surface on each bed,” he explains.

8 Badger cOMMON’TATER INTERVIEW: John Ruzicka

Vegetable farmer John Ruzicka of Guth Farm, Inc., is shown here with his son, Clayton, checking seed depth and population in a beet field. John says the farm started growing beets as a way to diversify the operation, and answer the call for increased beet production from canneries. The beets have done well in the sandy soil of Bancroft, located in the Central Sands area of Wisconsin.

Departments: ALI’S KITCHEN................... 61 AUXILIARY NEWS.............. 42 BADGER BEAT................... 36

18 DOUG LEE BRINGS HIS EXPERTISE TO CELERY Started in a greenhouse, celery is then transplanted





More than 400 exhibitors displayed their products at the WPS Farm Show

International Marketing Committee promotes U.S. seed potato exportation

Feature Articles: 14 WPVGA APPLAUDS State Senate’s passage of SB 76 science-based water policy 38 EXPANDING YOUR FARM? Be sure to ask what’s driving the need for growth 52 2016 WAS A GOOD YEAR for Wisconsin vegetable acreage and overall yield 4

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EYES ON ASSOCIATES....... 50 MARK YOUR CALENDAR..... 6 MARKETPLACE.................. 56 NEW PRODUCTS............... 44 NPC NEWS........................ 54 PEOPLE ............................ 58 PLANTING IDEAS................ 6 WPIB FOCUS..................... 48

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

Treasurer: Nick Laudenbach Directors: Paul Cieslewicz, Kenton Mehlberg, Zach Mykisen & Joel Zalewski Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: Bill Guenthner Vice President: Charlie Mattek Secretary/Treasurer: J.D. Schroeder Directors: Jeff Fassbender, Dan Kakes

WPVGA Staff Executive Director: Tamas Houlihan Managing Editor: Joe Kertzman Director of Promotions & Consumer Education: Dana Rady Financial Officer: Karen Rasmussen Executive Assistant: Julie Braun Program Assistant: Danielle Sorano Coordinator of Community Relations: Jim Zdroik Spudmobile Assistant: Doug Foemmel

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

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

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

Subscription rates: $1.50/copy, $18.00/year; $30/2 years. Foreign subscription rates: $30/year; $50/2 years. Telephone: (715) 623-7683 Mailing address: P.O. Box 327, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409 Or, subscribe free online: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe/ ADVERTISING: To advertise your service or product in this magazine, call (715) 630-6213, or email: Joe Kertzman: jkertzman@wisconsinpotatoes.com. The editor welcomes manuscripts and pictures but accepts no responsibility for such material while in our hands. BC�T May


Mark Your

s (1917 Oct 5)


Menomonee Falls New



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8 PARDEEVILLE TRIATHLON Chandler Park, 8 a.m. Pardeeville, WI 12 ASSOCIATE DIV. PUTT-TATO OPEN GOLF OUTING Lake Arrowhead Golf Course Nekoosa, WI 16-18 PMANA (POTATO MARKETING ASSOC. OF NORTH AMERICA) MEETING Wisconsin Dells 20 HARS FIELD DAY Hancock, WI 27 ANTIGO FIELD DAY Langlade County Airport Antigo, WI


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Planting Ideas This one’s about advancements, at least one victory and looking back at how far agriculture, and particularly potato and vegetable growing, has come. We’ll start by looking back. A phone call and subsequent email came over the phone and digital lines from Paul and Michelle Miller of Paul Miller Farms, Inc. Paul had come across a 1917 newspaper article from the Menomonee Falls News. Shown above, the October 5, 1917 news item explains that the Plainfield High School closed for two weeks to give hundreds of students a chance to assist farmers in harvesting “the immense potato crop in this county.” It goes on, “The potato crop here is the all-important one, and farmers have from 10 to 70 acres of potatoes. Every man, woman and child who can spare the time will help to save the crop before cold weather comes.” “The crop is good in Waushara County,” the article continues, “and buyers are paying 75 cents per bushel for potatoes. This is the first time the Plainfield High School has ever closed for the potato harvest. The county schools have also closed.” We’ve certainly come a long way. Yet, like potato growers in 1917, it was a good year for Wisconsin vegetable growers in 2016, with production, acreage and yield showing strong results. See the related article in this issue. In another feature titled “Should You Expand Your Farming Operation?,” Chris Seelen, a shareholder and member of the Ruder Ware Ag Focus Team, gives some good, sound advice, cautions and tips on why growth might or might not be a good idea for particular growers. In the “victory” category is the State Senate’s passage of SB 76, a bill that includes science-based water policy legislation sponsored by Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and is supported by the WPVGA. This is the “Vegetables”-themed issue, so make sure you read the “Interview” with John Ruzicka of Guth Farm, Inc., and how and why he grows a variety of vegetables, including a sizeable amount of beets. Also see “Doug Lee Brings Expertise to Celery” about the farm manager of Trembling Prairie Farms who is an experienced celery grower. Please email me with your thoughts and questions. If you wish to be notified when our free online magazine is available monthly, here is the subscriber link: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe.

Joe Kertzman Managing Editor jkertzman@wisconsinpotatoes.com


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John Ruzicka, Vice President, Guth Farm, Inc. By Joe Kertzman, Managing Editor

NAME: John Ruzicka TITLE: Vice president/secretary COMPANY: Guth Farm, Inc. LOCATION: Bancroft, WI HOMETOWN: Bancroft, WI YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: 10 years SCHOOLING: Almond-Bancroft High School (2000 graduate) ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: AlmondBancroft School Board, Portage County Farm Safety Agency Committee and Portage County Groundwater Citizens Advisory Committee FAMILY: Wife, Amanda, and son, Clayton (3 years old) HOBBIES: Biking, running, reading, attending University of WisconsinStevens Point basketball games with his son and spending time with family Above: John Ruzicka says Guth Farm, Inc. started growing beets as a way to diversify the operation, and answer the call from canneries for increased beet production. Beets have done well on the farm’s sandy ground. 8

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“Our farm started out like a lot of farms, with livestock and row crops,” relates John Ruzicka, vice president and secretary of Guth Farm, Inc. “My great grandfather started an apple orchard that continued with my grandfather into the 1960’s.” “They sold fresh apples and apple cider at a roadside stand, and stored apples through the winter in a hand-built cellar that we still use for storage today,” Ruzicka adds. Declining road traffic, aging trees and the advent of irrigation, and thus enhanced vegetable growing, saw the farm transition into the present era. John represents the fifth generation working the farm. How did you get into growing vegetables in the first place and why? Vegetables are a natural fit for this area. Canning companies realized that plentiful water and sandy soils made this a very attractive area to raise quality, high-value crops, and my grandfather saw the potential to transform the operation into what it has become today. How many acres of beans, peas, corn, beets and carrots do you grow

a year and what else do you farm? We have 315 acres of snap beans, 150 acres of peas, 1,160 acres of sweet corn, 400 acres of beets and 40 acres of carrots. We have about 100 acres of alfalfa on highly erodible irrigated and dryland acres, and 160 dryland acres split between corn and cereal rye for grain. Why beets, and what are the pluses and minuses in your mind of growing beets? We started growing beets as a way to diversify the operation, and answer the call for increased beet production from canneries. They have done well on our sandy ground. We are in a good location during

harvest, as a large portion of our crop only has to travel about 10 miles to get to Del Monte in Plover. We are able to harvest quickly after a rain event, which gives us an advantage over beets grown on heavier soils in other parts of the state. Are there any specific challenges of beet growing in Wisconsin? Pests? Diseases? Irrigation, harvesting, other? Beets have a lengthy list of pesticide plant-back restrictions, and a lot of the restricted chemicals are used on the other crops in the rotation, so many of the chemical applications are planned one to two years before the beets are grown. There is a limited number of herbicides labeled for beets, so weed control can be a challenge. Wind erosion can be very detrimental to the beet seedlings, so we do a lot of rotary hoeing and shallow irrigation passes in anticipation of wind events. Beet seedlings have a hard time breaking through crusting soil, so the shallow irrigation applications help soften the soil to get them through. We can spoon feed nutrients through the water, which allows us to keep the plants growing well into the fall and lowers the risk of nutrient leaching. We use an Asa-Lift harvester to grab the beets by their tops when harvesting, so healthy plants are

important to minimize harvest losses. What type of soil do the various vegetables you grow prefer/do best in? Most of the crops we grow prefer sandy, well drained soils. The crops tend to do better when we can spoon feed water and nutrients, and keep them from staying wet for too long. The crops can be harvested soon after a rainfall event, at the peak of freshness, ensuring good quality. Do you store them, ship them? Explain. Most of our crops go directly from field to the canning plant.



Occasionally, we have stockpiled beets and carrots in large open piles to get them harvested before freeze up. We do not have any potatotype storage facilities for our crops, so getting them processed ASAP is crucial, especially during warm weather. The beets are mostly shipped straight off the field to our customers in continued on pg. 10

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Above: Beets travel on conveyor belts on their way to cardboard bins at Guth Farm, Inc. in Bancroft, Wisconsin.







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Interview. . . continued from pg. 9

open-top flat-bottom or live-bottom trailers. We clean and size the beets in the field to cater to the customer’s needs. We can also wash and pack the beets in 2,000-pound cardboard bins, and in the past, we have had them packed in 50-pound potato bags. We are always willing to do what it takes to satisfy the customer! Are they all for processing? And who are your customers or where do your vegetables go? Most of our crops are for processing. We grow for Seneca Foods, Del Monte, Bonduelle North America and Lakeside Foods. Besides the larger canning companies, we also sell some of the beets for

10 BC�T May

fresh market and to other smaller processors around the country. Do you enjoy farming in the Central Sands/Central Wisconsin, and why or why not? This is a great area to farm in. We are centrally located among most of the canneries. There are a lot of great suppliers of fertilizers, chemicals, equipment and anything else we need to keep our operation going. We have relationships with a lot of businesses that go back several generations. Do you hope to pass the farm on to your own kids, and if so, why is this important to you? I do hope to pass

it on to my kids someday. I grew up with a great interest in the family operation and I can see the same attitude in my son, Clayton (he is 3). He really enjoys “helping” me in any way he can, and it’s really exciting to watch him learn about farming. When I make big decisions, I always try to look 20-30 years into the future, with the next generation Left: Beet seeds are loaded into the planter hopper. Right: Corn stubble is turned under and the seedbed is prepared using a moldboard plow. Below: Trailer loads of beets from Guth Farm, Inc. are lined up to be processed at Del Monte Foods in Plover.

in mind. I’m very proud to be the fifth generation running the family business and it is my responsibility to do what I can to leave it better for the sixth generation. How has the farm and farming in general changed or evolved since you’ve been in operation? The advances in technology have been amazing. I’m old enough to remember planting and cultivating on an open tractor, which is something rarely seen around the area anymore. Now we sit in the tractor and watch the planter do its thing while the tractor drives itself. I’m a big believer in efficiency, and I’m always trying to make things a little faster and more economical. Our farm was lagging in those areas, and we’ve worked hard to streamline and modernize the way we do things. continued on pg. 12 Right: John Ruzicka holds some beets while out taking samples before harvest.


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Interview. . . continued from pg. 11

What do you take pride in the most as a vegetable farmer? It’s very satisfying to watch the vegetable crops go from the field to the can or jar, and know that we’re able to provide a safe, reliable source of food for people. I take pride in doing things the right way, being a responsible steward of the land and making sure I’m leaving the farm in better shape for the next generation than it was when I started. What do you enjoy the most about farming? I enjoy the entire process, from planting to harvest to preparation for the next crop and

everything in between. I enjoy the challenge of adapting to whatever the day may bring. I am always trying to evolve and try new things, trying to grow a better crop. We farm in a great area and I’m thankful for the friendships we have with our neighbors and fellow farmers. We also have a great group of hired men that help make everything click in the operation, with very low turnover rates. Working with people you can trust and who know the operation makes life a lot easier. Has technology played a role in your operation, and if so, how, in

Above: John Ruzicka walks in a snap bean field after checking the planter settings. Below: Beets are grabbed by their tops using the Asa-Lift harvester.

vegetable growing? Technology plays a big part in our operation. We use GPS guidance to steer our tractors. Automatic rate controllers help us precisely apply fertilizer and pesticides exactly where they are needed. Our dry spreader uses variable rate technology to apply lime and dry fertilizers based on soil test maps, and is equipped with an onboard scale to ensure we are applying the right amount of product. All our dryland is no-tilled, and we use conservation tillage on a portion of our irrigated acres, and GPS guidance plays a big part in that. We can use tram lines in our pre-plant fertilizer and chemical applications to avoid driving where the crop rows will be. Has your acreage increased and by how much, and what do you most wish for the future of the farm? Our farm has grown from 625 acres in the 1960’s to about 2,300 acres today. I would like to see the farm grow as opportunities arise, but don’t want to see it become so big that there becomes a detachment from the land. Wisconsin ranks high in the nation

12 BC�T May

for many of the vegetables you grow (leads the nation in production of snap beans and beets for canning, and ranks second in carrots and third in sweet corn and peas). Are you proud of this fact? I am proud to be a part of the vegetable industry. Farmers are very good at what they do, and I don’t think we get enough credit for the food we help put on the table. I think the beet growers in Wisconsin could almost be counted on one hand, so we’re part of a pretty small group. I’m proud to be a part of the leading beet producing state. How will technology shape vegetable growing in the future? Machinery? Digitally? Vegetable seed breeding continues to improve, with better disease packages bred into the crops. I think it’s a real shame that GMO crops have such a bad reputation in the eyes of the public. I don’t think the average person realizes how many pesticide applications could

be saved if we were able to grow GMO sweet corn.

Above: The red barn with “1918” on the side is a landmark often used to guide people to Guth Farm, Inc.

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WPVGA Applauds Passage of Senate Bill 76

Wisconsin growers praise action on science-based water policy legislation The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) applauds the State Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 76, the science-based water policy legislation sponsored by Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). “This legislation is critical for Wisconsin farmers who rely on highcapacity wells to irrigate farmland and feed families across the globe,” says WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan. “It also provides certainty for Wisconsin farmers who rely on the ability to utilize irrigation to grow the nutritious vegetables that are the pride of Wisconsin.” The legislation maintains Wisconsin’s stringent environmental requirements and well construction standards for repaired, replaced 14 BC�T May

and reconstructed wells. The bill importantly requires the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to conduct a critical study of highcapacity wells and their potential impacts on surface waters in areas in the Central Sands region of Wisconsin. “This scientific study will assist with the development of future voluntary measures or regulatory changes and will make sure those decisions are guided by science,” Houlihan explains. “Wisconsin farmers were strong advocates for this legislation and we commend Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald for his leadership in authoring SB 76.” “In addition,” Houlihan says, “the amendment to refine the study area authored by Sen. Patrick Testin

The Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin played host to not only the Senate’s passing of solid science-based water policy, but also “Ag Day at the Capitol,” the largest gathering of farmers from across the state.

further enhances the quality of the science that will be developed as a result of this legislation.” Houlihan said he and members of the WPVGA are hopeful the bill will see swift passage by the State Assembly this spring. SB 76 didn’t just pass without major support from potato and vegetable growers, ag industry leaders and associates, however. It was a substantial group effort. GROWERS OUT IN FORCE “We Need Your Help! Come to Madison and Support High Capacity Above: Growers and associates were out in full force in Madison, Wisconsin, March 15, 2017, to support legislation (AB 105/SB 76) that provides certainty for Department of Natural Resources (DNR)-approved high capacity wells. Specifically, the bill allows for the repair, reconstruction and replacement of existing wells.

Well Legislation” was the heading of an email that went out to all WPVGA members on March 10, 2017, encouraging them to ride along to the Capitol on March 15 and support AB 105/SB 76 high-capacity well legislation. The call was heeded. More than 40 growers and associates took advantage of a bus that the WPVGA rented to travel to Madison, and the opportunity to attend a public hearing in support of high-capacity well legislation. In all, more than 50 growers and industry professionals filled the courtroom in a strong showing of support. The legislation, specifically AB 105/SB 76, does the following: • Provides Certainty for DNRApproved High-Capacity Wells. AB 105/SB 76 allows the repair, reconstruction and replacement of existing, DNR-approved high-capacity wells. Repaired, reconstructed or replaced wells would not be allowed to pump any more water than had originally Above: WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan addresses lawmakers, March 15, in support of AB 105/SB 76 and answers their questions on why the passing of the legislation would protect growers and high-capacity wells that have already been approved by the DNR.

been approved by the DNR. • Preserves Property Values. AB 105/SB 76 allows landowners to transfer their property through estate planning or sale with the DNR-approved high-capacity wells. This provision does not allow any new groundwater withdrawals. These wells have been approved by the DNR and are a critical part of Wisconsin’s existing agricultural infrastructure upon which extensive investments have already been made.

•M aintains Environmental Compliance & Well Construction Standards. All reconstructed and replaced wells must comply with applicable environmental, well construction and other standards and conditions. AB 105/SB 76 ensures that the highest well construction code standards will be applied to any repaired, reconstructed and replaced wells. •M andates a Hydrologic Study. Under this bill, the DNR must continued on pg. 16

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evaluate and model the hydrology of Pleasant Lake and any other waterbody within the identified Central Sands watersheds. The DNR must evaluate cumulative impacts as a part of this study and make recommendations to the Legislature about any special regulatory or related

measures that should be applied to groundwater withdrawals at the conclusion of the study. These studies are of critical importance to understanding the interaction between groundwater and surface water. The WPVGA supports this scientific work to gain reliable data and further science-based

regulation. • Requires Water Meters in Study Areas. AB 105/SB 76 requires owners of any new, replaced or reconstructed high-capacity wells that are in a study area to install water usage meters and provide data on water usage to the DNR.

Growers Gather for Ag Day at the Capitol WPVGA representatives lobby lawmakers as a unified voice for agriculture The largest gathering of farmers from across the state, Ag Day at the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, March 8, 2017, included a variety of farm groups there to learn more about priority state issues and to lobby their state lawmakers as a unified voice for agriculture. The forum got underway with lunch, a briefing on state issues and a walk to the Capitol to meet with representatives to advocate on issues that affect growers. Among hot topics were high-capacity well legislation, the 2017-’19 state budget, infrastructure, rural broadband, and education and research funding. Major sponsors of the event were the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA); the Wisconsin Farm Bureau; Rural Mutual Insurance Company; GROWMARK Inc.; Dairy Business Association; Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin; Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association; Wisconsin Corn Growers Association; Wisconsin Pork Association; Wisconsin Soybean Association; Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association and the Wisconsin Horse Council. Jordan Lamb of DeWitt, Ross & Stevens law firm in Madison updated attendees on current high-capacity well legislation. In addition, she says another pressing issue that will 16 BC�T May

arise early in 2017 is the debate and approval of the 2017-’19 state biennial budget. Every two years, the State of Wisconsin must adopt a two-year budget, and Gov. Scott Walker delivered his proposed biennial budget to both houses of the Legislature on February 8. The Legislature will review and amend the budget throughout the spring before sending it back for final gubernatorial review near the end of June. WATERSHED PROTECTION “We are pleased that Gov. Walker included in his proposed budget another $500,000, over the biennium, for DATCP [the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection] to distribute to the Producer-led Watershed Protection Grant Program and water quality projects,” Lamb says. “The WPVGA strongly supports this initiative, as we believe that long-term solutions must be developed locally, by farmers and communities working together.” “This program is supportive of the model for producer-led environmental solutions that will provide long-term success for Wisconsin farmers,” Lamb adds. “We are concerned that the Governor’s budget recommends that the University of Wisconsin Board

of Regents be required to create ‘a plan’ that incorporates: (a) a policy for monitoring faculty and adjunct teaching workloads that includes a comprehensive requirement for each faculty and adjunct to report teaching hours to the system; (b) a policy for rewarding faculty and adjuncts who teach more than a standard academic load; (c) updating personnel systems as necessary; (d) collecting and reporting of teaching hour data individually from each faculty member or adjunct; and (e) reporting of aggregate teaching hour data on accountability dashboard,” Lamb continues. The inclusion of this requirement is concerning for Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable industry because it could negatively impact the state’s agricultural economy by discouraging faculty who are dedicated to applied research. The research is essential to businesses and growers who rely on their support for research needs. The WPVGA strongly supports additional investment in agricultural research and will work with the Opposite Page, Left: Jordan Lamb of DeWitt, Ross & Stevens law firm in Madison, Wisconsin updates attendees of “Ag Day at the Capitol” on highcapacity well legislation. The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) had 12 representatives visit legislators in the Capitol on March 8 as part of the Ag Day activities.

Legislature and the university to better understand the potential effects of this recommendation as the budget progresses. In addition, the WPVGA is urging the Legislature to consider all funding options for generating additional revenue for the state transportation fund. “We support the review and careful consideration of initiatives to

generate additional revenue for local road infrastructure,” Lamb says. The WPVGA also strongly supports maintaining or increasing general funding available to UW-Madison and the UW system. “We know that there is a meaningful and distinct connection between applied research and a healthy agricultural economy,” Lamb concludes.

Right: Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst), center, met with representatives of the WPVGA during Ag Day at the Capitol in Madison. From left to right are Tamas Houlihan, Executive Director of the WPVGA, Alex Crockford, Director of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program, Sen. Tiffany, Eric Schroeder, President of the WPVGA Board of Directors and Ron Krueger, WPVGA Board of Directors. Among issues discussed with Sen. Tiffany were those involving rural broadband, high-capacity wells and rural education funding.

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Doug Lee Brings Expertise to Celery

Planting celery on Trembling Prairie Farms in June 2016, a unique machine makes two elevated beds 36 inches apart while laying drip tape 4 inches below the surface on each bed. It has two Checchi & Magli carousel planter units, so with a machine operator, two planters and one person following to change trays and fill misses, it is possible to plant four rows at a time.

From starting seeds in a greenhouse to open pollination, growing celery is a balancing act By Joe Kertzman and Doug Lee A farm manager for Trembling Prairie Farms in Kingston, Wisconsin, Doug Lee has some experience growing vegetables. “Farming has been in my family since I was born,” he says. “My dad had a dairy farm until I was eight years old. We then moved close to Leach Farms [Berlin, Wisconsin] where my dad worked growing both lettuce and celery. I have personally been involved with celery for about 35 years.” That’s where Trembling Prairie Farms came into the picture. Owned and operated by John Bobek, his wife, Connie, and their four kids, the farm’s management practices include a focus on crop rotation. The Bobeks, in an experiment in 2012, explored other crops for their potato and onion rotation, growing broccoli, cauliflower and celery. Celery came out on top, and now, besides potatoes and onions, Trembling Prairie Farms grows celery.

celery, it has only been working with seed that is ‘open pollinated,’” Lee notes. “That process involves selecting plants for seed production that are true to type, where nature is the pollinator, which includes insects Badger Common'Tater AD (7x3).v1.outlines.pdf 1 2017-03-28 9:33 AM “Though04-17 I have a long history 1-3page growing and wind.”

“A hybrid is the cross between two inbred strains to produce uniform characteristics. The hybrid is hand pollinated,” he notes, “by using the pollen from one inbred to fertilize the other inbred. I have yet to see continued on pg. 20

BC�T May 19

Doug Lee Brings Expertise to Celery. . . continued from pg. 19

a good celery hybrid, because I believe most of the selection work is based on the West Coast climate. With the open pollinated process, on the other hand, one can fine tune a variety on location.” Lee says the seed production selection process starts with trying to find the characteristics the grower desires. In the Midwest, cool nights at the beginning of the season can induce early seed stalk development, which leads to a plant that is certain to break down. “I attempt to select a type that is not susceptible to that trait,” he explains. “I work to select type with uniformity, correct petiole length and mass, disease resistance, etc. With open pollination, there can and will be different types within the same field. In new lines, it takes years of selection to create a uniform crop 20 BC�T May

that remains true to type.” With too many “off types” of celery in the field through open pollination, some have to be discarded, and size variation makes it difficult to create a uniform pack. Though Lee has grown seed in the past, he works with other’s selections, attempting to tailor the crop for Wisconsin’s climate and market. SEEDING CELERY The celery seed is started in a greenhouse using a 10-inch-by-20inch tray with 200 cells, and about 60 to 65 days prior to transplanting it into the field. That means in late February through May, Lee’s focus is on seeding celery in a greenhouse. Celery demands adequate moisture and fertilizer, and a temperature range of approximately 65 to 70 degrees.

Left: Celery seed is shown above a pelleted version, the latter coated with an inert material to make it round, uniform and easier to plant with a mechanical seeder. Right: Photographed in March, the celery plants are 18 days old, having been seeded on February 21.

Though Trembling Prairie Farms does not have a greenhouse, Lee says they are considering going down that road. “We have to decide the type of structure and the cost benefits,” he reasons. “Right now, we hire local greenhouses and a professional greenhouse grower in Michigan.” What the farm does have is an interesting way of transplanting celery. “We have a unique machine built here at the farm that has the ability of making two elevated beds 36 inches apart, while laying drip tape 4 inches below the surface on each bed,” he explains.

“The machine has two Checchi & Magli carousel planter units, so one person can plant two rows. With a machine operator, two planters and one person following to change trays and fill misses, it is possible to plant four rows at a time,” Lee allows. “Our planter averages about 8,000 celery plants an hour, so it takes us roughly five hours to transplant the 39,000 plants per acre. This past year we added auto steer to the tractor and we found that it shuts off below .3 mph, but luckily we are able to plant just fast enough to keep it steering,” he adds. The transplanting season starts May 1 and ends at the beginning of July. Celery takes about 140 to 150 days from seeding in the greenhouse to harvest. In the Midwest, almost all celery acreage is grown on muck soils due to its ability to hold moisture, and the inherent high fertility and low pH levels. “I was part of two experiments trying to grow celery in the Central Sands, and both were unsuccessful, I believe, based on water and fertility,” Lee says. “With the amount of water celery uses, it appeared that the fertilizer was leached past the root zone of the celery. We grew it through to harvest, but the celery was unusable as it was skinny and stringy.”

requirements as far as sizes and totals to harvest. We have special 14-inch knives used for the standard stalk length,” Lee relates. “A cutter is required to cut, trim and place the celery on one of three


continued on pg. 22

Allied Cooperative is dedicated to working in partnership with our growers, providing the products, services, and expertise you need for maximum success in your growing operation. We provide dry and liquid fertilizer products, crop nutrients, yield enhancers, liquid calcium, custom application, delivery services, fuel, propane and more. Our Pest Pros division further expands our expertise in the areas of crop scouting and laboratory services. With our attentive service and wealth of expertise, it’s our goal to be your most reliable and trusted resource.



Celery’s biggest requirement is water, and Trembling Prairie Farms uses drip irrigation, putting on a minimum of 1 inch per week. The celery is then harvested by hand using knives. “We start each morning with our crew prepared for our daily

portable carts that each holds a sink with chlorinated water in it. The cart might also hold new cartons


EARLY & MATURING VARIETIES The Trembling Prairie Farms planting and harvest schedule is based on variety, day length and projected sales. Lee and Bobek chose an early variety to be able to start harvesting around July 10-15, and then some longer maturing varieties for August and September harvesting.

Above: Celery is shown in a greenhouse two weeks prior to planting.

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Doug Lee Brings Expertise to Celery. . . continued from pg. 21

and plastic sleeves, and the packer determines final sizing and quality before they place the celery into the cartons,” he says. “The finished cartons are then stacked and banded to a pallet on a wagon and transported to our storage area,” Lee concludes He estimates that at least 80 percent of fresh market celery seen in stores is hand harvested. The best reasons for hand harvesting are the need for fresh market celery, to achieve a clean cut to the stalks and no mechanical damage, resulting in

22 BC�T May

better quality.


Sales are based on customer requirements. “We package based on size and if there is to be a plastic sleeve on the stalk or if the celery is to be ‘naked,’ or without a plastic sleeve,” Lee explains.

Lee says the key to quality celery is getting it cooled down quickly and keeping it at 34 degrees Fahrenheit for two weeks, as a good guideline. Removing heat quickly from the fieldharvested celery is important.

“The common carton counts are 24, 30, 36 and ‘hearts.’ The counts represent the number of stalks that are in an industry-standard waxed carton size. Hearts are usually an 18 double-count per sleeve, bringing it up to 36 hearts in a carton,” he details.

“Upon reaching our storage area, we put our pallets of boxed cartons in a vacuum cooler that removes the heat by the process of evaporative cooling,” he relates. Bottom: Freshly cut celery is shown in one image with a harvesting knife on the left side, and then again in and out of Trembling Prairie Farms packaging sleeves.

“The vacuum cooler works on the principal of removing air pressure from an airtight chamber, which in turn reduces the boiling point of water, evaporates the excess water, absorbs heat and lowers the product temperature.” This takes celery from 75 degrees to approximately 38 degrees in about 50 minutes. The celery is then put in a cool room at 34 degrees until ready for shipment. The celery is transported in refrigerated trailers, but problems do arise when the cold chain is broken while getting the celery to its final destination. If the celery warms up, it allows for condensation within the plastic sleeve, which then promotes early breakdown of the product. Celery is a ready to eat vegetable, and there’s not a cooking step to kill any bacteria. “I personally have the large responsibility for our safety program,” Lee says. “We are Harmonized Gap certified, and part of the reason we have chosen drip irrigation is to keep water other than natural rainfall or dew off the celery. Food safety is our highest priority.” “Our goal is to grow the celery business as we gain customers to a point where it shares equally in revenue with our onions and potatoes,” Lee stresses. “And as the

farm grows we hope to provide an opportunity for the next generation.”

Left: The freshly planted celery bed is a thing of beauty on a fine day in May 2016.

“Being here for only two years,” he recalls, “the first time I drove onto the farm I noticed a sign that read ‘Devoted to Integrity, Quality & Service.’ I can attest to that.”

Right: Trembling Prairie Farms manager Doug Lee, front with back to camera, helps label celery cartons stacked on a trailer in the field.

MIddle: The first celery planting of the season is shown on June 15, 2016.

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Now News WPS Farm Show Lets Modern Agriculture Shine More than 400 indoor and outdoor exhibitors displayed their best products

For 57 years running,

the WPS Farm Show, held on the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Grounds in Oshkosh, Wisconsin has proven to be the ideal venue for showcasing agriculture’s newest, finest and most advanced tools of the trade. Held on March 28-30, the Farm Show boasted more than 400 indoor and outdoor exhibitors. Farming is a high-tech business, and the WPS Farm Show is the perfect place to get a taste of what’s happening in modern agriculture. Visitors from Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Canada and elsewhere made the trip to check out the latest in farm machinery, tools and services. Highlights included a three-day silent auction benefitting the Wisconsin FFA Foundation, seminars on energy-efficient equipment and techniques, and a kiddie tractor pull on Wednesday at 1 p.m. The Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary and volunteer members host a booth each year in the food tent, where they serve locally grown and supplied baked potatoes and Current Page: The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Grounds in Oshkosh, Wisconsin is an ideal place to display farm machinery and equipment at the WPS Farm Show, as exhibitors like Fairchild Equipment and Riesterer & Schnell can attest.

24 BC�T May

French fries, with produce provided by McCain Foods. Each year, the event attracts approximately 20,000 people. In the agriculture world, the WPS Farm Show is a big deal.

email farmshow@wisconsinpublicservice.com, or call toll free: 866-920-3276.

The WPS Farm Show is a proud member of the Farm Show Council. For more information, please

Right: The Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary and volunteer members host a baked potato

Left: If welcoming smiles count for a successful booth exhibition at the WPS Farm Show, then Jay-Mar’s crew, including, from left to right, Brion Hackbarth, Ann Hoffman and Tom Grall, worked the crowd to their advantage.

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and French fries booth, with product provided by McCain Foods, at the WPS Farm Show. Booth workers include, from left to right, Carol Gagas (serving fries and smiling), Jody Baginski (behind Carol in yellow shirt), Julie Braun (with back turned in blue shirt) and Karen Rasmussen of the WPVGA, and Josie Spurgeon (far right) of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program. continued on pg. 26

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Now News. . . continued from pg. 25

Evapotranspiration (ET) Data Service Ready for Season Wisconsin Irrigation Scheduling Program (WISP) also upgraded to Version 2.0 If you had daily evapotranspiration (ET) values emailed to you for use in irrigation scheduling, you likely noticed that they stopped arriving in your email inbox last June. This interruption in service was due to a power outage and subsequent server failure at the University of WisconsinMadison campus where the data is produced. As it turned out, the failure was severe enough to require that a significant amount of the 20-year-old software had to be rewritten and at the same time updated. In addition to the software failure, the people who had developed and dutifully maintained the system over the years were no longer available to assist. Working with resources from Dr. Amanda Gevens and the WPVGA, the University Extension hired software

Figure 1

developers to rebuild and restore the service, which unfortunately took the better part of the 2016 growing season to complete. The good news is that new system is complete and operational and resumed sending ET emails. The system will only send ET emails

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between April 2 and November 14 each year to cut down on inbox clutter, and the email subscription service is a completely self-service system. If you were receiving ET emails last summer and are not now, or would like to subscribe, you will need to create a subscription. Access to the subscription service has not changed from the old system. Simply go the UW Extension Agriculture Weather website (agweather.cals.wisc.edu), select the “Sun/Water” tab and click the “Wisconsin” link under Evapotranspiration Model to access the screen shown above. Click on “here” in the text to the left of the red arrow in the screen shot above to see the registration screen. To subscribe to the service, you will be asked to enter your email address. If you are a new user, select the “register” button and a confirmation email link will be sent to you. Click on the link and the setup screen will appear. If you have an existing subscription, a validation code will be emailed to

26 BC�T May

you. Copy and paste the validation code into the input box, press “Return” and the setup screen will appear. Note that latitude and longitude data are entered in degrees and decimal degrees, and longitude is a negative number (Figure 1). The university has also upgraded the Wisconsin Irrigation Scheduling Program (WISP) (wisp.cals.wisc. edu) to Version 2.0. The most notable change to Version 2.0 is that that it no longer uses Google authentication, meaning that you are free to use any valid email address for your account. An account manager was also added that allows you to easily change your account email and/or password. You can access the new account manager using the button located in the left margin area that appears after you log in. In addition, WISP will also now

Figure 2

reset growing season specific data automatically on February 15 of each year, while maintaining your field and pivot setup. Only the Field Status and Multi-edit pages will be cleared for the next growing season.

If you want to save your daily data, you must use the “Create Report” in the “CSV Format” link on the Field Status page to save your data prior to February 15 of each year (Figure 2). continued on pg. 28



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Now News. . . continued from pg. 27

Farm Safety & Education Memorial Fundraiser Held Event honors Mike Biadasz who died last August in a tragic farm accident A community came together in loving memory of Mike Biadasz for the “Mike Biadasz Farm Safety & Education Memorial Fundraiser,” held Saturday, March 18, 2017, at the Rosholt, Wisconsin Fair

Grounds. Mike sadly passed away in a farm accident Monday morning, August 15, 2016, when overcome by toxic fumes emitting from a manure pit he was working.

The effects of his death were felt by the entire Central Wisconsin farming community, who gathered to not only celebrate Mike’s life, but also to raise funds to educate farmers about manure pit management and safety. The fundraiser included polka music by Steve Burclaw and Friends, from 2-6 p.m., and music by Grand Union, from 7:30-11 p.m. Free will donations were accepted at entry to help pay for the entertainment, and kids pedal tractor races and a corn toss contest ensued. Along with food and drink, there were basket, 50/50 and 10-liner raffles and a silent auction, all to raise money for farm safety education. Above: State Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) (center in red Wisconsin Badgers jacket) poses with the Biadasz family during the Mike Biadasz “Farm Safety & Education Memorial Fundraiser.” Rep. Shankland declared August 15, 2017, Mike Biadasz Day and presented the family with a plaque (held by Mike’s dad, Bob Biadasz) recognizing them for their incredible efforts to educate farmers about manure pit management and safety. Approval for Mike Biadasz Day unanimously passed the State Assembly. Left: A cake for Mike Biadasz’s 30th birthday was part of the “Farm Safety & Education Memorial Fundraiser” held March 18 at the Rosholt Fair Grounds. Mike, who would have turned 30 years old on March 22, lived by the adage “Live today like you are going to die tomorrow, but farm today like you are going to farm forever.”

28 BC�T May

State Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) declared August 15, 2017, Mike Biadasz Day and presented the family with a plaque recognizing them for their efforts to educate farmers about manure pit management and safety.

A cake for Mike’s 30th birthday was part of the Farm Safety & Education Memorial Fundraiser. The cake decorations included an adage Mike, who would have turned 30 years old on March 22, took to heart: “Live today like you are going to die tomorrow, but farm today like you

are going to farm forever.” Approval for Mike Biadasz Day passed the State Assembly in a unanimous vote. A manure pit safety seminar was held on April 7 at Shooter’s Restaurant, Banquet & Recreational Facility in Plover.

Bio S.I. Microbial Solutions Now Available in Wisconsin Doty Town Hall meeting introduces growers to new microbe-utilizing products Bio S.I. Technology, LLC, a manufacturer of microbial solutions for agriculture, livestock, home lawns, gardens and septic systems, introduced its products to growers at the Doty Town Hall outside of Mountain, Wisconsin, on March 31.

S.I. Select Seed & Soil Inoculant, Agricultural Formula + Humic Acid, SD 25 Field Stubble Digester and the RadiCoat Seed Treatment Kit are formulated with soil-borne microbes and do not contain laboratory engineered or manipulated microbes.

Doug Traxel, national sales manager of Bio S.I., and Wayne Tucker, vice president of sales and marketing, explained how products such as Bio

Every product, Tucker explained, is made to improve the health of the soil so crops have more nutrition, helping the environment at the

same time. With the motto “Rebuild, Restore and Renew,” the goal is to build soil microbial population, and use the right fertilizer and chemicals at reduced rates to help lower the environmental impact. continued on pg. 30

Above: Bio S.I. National Sales Manager Doug Traxel, left-rear in the vest, and Bio S.I. Vice President of Sales and Marketing Wayne Tucker, far right, address growers at the Doty Town Hall near Mountain, Wisconsin. Traxel and Tucker introduced potato and vegetable farmers to the company’s products, now available in Wisconsin, such as Select Seed & Soil Inoculant and SD 25 Field Stubble Digester that integrate microbial solutions to convert fertilizers to forms that plants can easily utilize, and break down plant stubble and recycle leftover nutrients for the next crop. BC�T May 29

Now News. . . continued from pg. 29

With the company’s products available through T.I.P. (Tatro Irrigation & Potato), Bio S.I. Technology is one of only a dozen manufacturers in the United States that produce microbes. “All of the products are certified organic but do not have to be used that way,” Tucker explains. “You want your organic or microbial level in your soil to remain at a stable level, but you want your humus level to go up,” he adds. “If you get an inch of rain and you have a 1 percent humus level, you’ll lose all your microbes, but if you have a 1.5 or 2 percent humus level, you won’t lose any of them.” “It takes one million microbes to take care of one fungus spore,” Tucker relates. “If your soil is loaded with, let’s say, phosphate, these little microbes set you up for the next

crop. They use the phosphate to feed the plants.” REBUILDING SOIL LIFE According to Tucker, the Bio S.I. Select Seed & Soil Inoculant reduces the pathogen load, increases tilth and water filtration, maximizes nutrition, restores biological diversity to the soil and reduces nematodes, scab and

pink rot. “We have strawberry farmers who haven’t used fungicides in five years, which is unheard of,” he exclaims, “and potato farmers who haven’t used fungicides in three years.” SD 25 Stubble Digester is used to accelerate the pace that plant residue converts to humus, which can be used by plants. It digests wheat and corn stubble, and recycles the leftover nutrients. “Our philosophy is that problems arise when microbial populations are depleted or otherwise out of balance. The formulas help with the number of microbes and nutrients, the uniform emergence of crops, the uniform size of potatoes and vegetables and help introduce earthworms back into the soil in droves,” Tucker says. “We’re talking about a program,” he stresses. “The microbes aren’t the silver bullet, but they’re part of the program.” For more information, contact Bio S.I., P.O. Box 784, Argyle, TX 76226, 866-393-4786, doug@biositechnology.com, or visit www.biositechnology.com. Or contact T.I.P., 1619 County K, Custer, WI 54423, 800-225-9727, tip@tipinc.net, www.tipinc.net. Above: As Wayne Tucker, foreground with his back to the camera, introduces Bio S.I. products to growers at the Doty Town Hall, a discussion follows on how the solutions have the potential to revive nutrients in the soil and make them more available for plants to use, decrease the amount of fertilizer and chemicals applied to crops and increase yield.

30 BC�T May

United Offers 50% Discount on Membership Dues United Potato Growers Cooperative of Wisconsin adds value to being a member For 12 years, the United Potato Growers Cooperative of Wisconsin has worked to make sure that Wisconsin potato growers earn money growing potatoes. To date, Wisconsin leads the nation in returns back to the grower. While a vision and desire to maintain that status continues, the Wisconsin Cooperative is bringing the value of membership with the organization to new levels. For the 2017 crop, if you are a past member who has decided to rejoin the United Potato Growers Cooperative of Wisconsin, you will receive a 50 percent discount on your membership dues for the year. Also, if you have never been a member of the Cooperative and would like to join, you too will receive a 50 percent discount on your dues for the 2017 crop. United of Wisconsin is also privileged to be working with various partners in the industry, such as AMVAC in conducting their product demonstration program, as well as others that offer rebates on sales

back to United members. It is a pleasure to welcome Jay-Mar as a partner, with the company offering a rebate on select products to United of Wisconsin members at the end of the year. Jay-Mar’s rebate plan offers a 2 percent return on the purchase of the following products: • Yield Boost – Foliar fertilizer • First Response – Foliar fertilizer • Mic-Ro-Pac – Foliar fertilizer • Grow + – Foliar fertilizer • Interra – Humic and fulvic acid • Artista – Humic and fulvic acid/ mycorrhizae/carbohydrates/ amino acids • Phosphyter – Foliar fertilizer with phosphite • Chameleon – Spreader-sticker • Impact – Organosilicone spreader • Meth-N-Oil – Methylated seed oil penetrant Other companies are considering rebate programs of their own for United of Wisconsin members. Stay tuned for future updates. If you are interested in membership with the United Potato Growers Cooperative of Wisconsin, or have questions, please contact Dana Rady at 715-623-7683 or drady0409@gmail.com.

Above: United of Wisconsin is privileged to be working with AMVAC in conducting their product demonstration program. AMVAC was kind enough to have provided this beautiful image of cut seed potatoes. Below Left: As a new United Potato Growers Cooperative of Wisconsin member, Jay-Mar is stepping up to offer a 2 percent return on the purchase of select products, several of which are shown here, to United of Wisconsin members at the end of the year.


® Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. Blackhawk is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. ©2017 Dow AgroSciences LLC M35-373-001 DAS (4/17) 010-43767

BC�T May 31

POTATOES USA NEWS Pizza Boxes Detail “Piping Hot Possibilities With Potatoes” As part of its “The 9th Wonder Mailer Campaign,” Potatoes USA sent out pizza boxes to the nation’s top product developers, retail food manufacturers and key industry influencers detailing the “piping hot possibilities with potatoes.”

To support Potatoes USA’s efforts to inspire ingredient manufacturers about the possibilities that exist with potatoes, the Potatoes USA team developed “The 9th Wonder Mailer Campaign.” As part of the campaign, the marketing team sent out pizza boxes detailing the “piping hot possibilities with potatoes” to the nation’s top product developers,

retail food manufacturers and other key industry influencers. The boxes contain seven inspiring new potato recipe concepts, a chef’sgrade stainless steel potato slicer and an invitation for a one-on-one culinary workshop to demonstrate the recipe concepts with the Potatoes USA partner chef and Sterling-Rice

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International Marketing Committee Touts Potatoes The Potatoes USA international marketing committee met prior to the Annual Meeting in Denver, March 15 and 16. The committee heard how U.S. potato exports have grown 183 percent in the past 20 years and now account for close to 20 percent of production. To better understand the potential for future growth in exports, the committee reviewed the current world demand for potatoes and potato products. World trade in potatoes has grown 13 percent over the past five years, led by 20 percent growth in trade of frozen potato products. U.S. exports, despite the decline in 2014/’15 have grown 10 percent during this five-year period. Based on the trendline, U.S. exports will surpass the $2 billion mark in 2019. However, there are real and potential impediments to this growth led by the strength of the dollar, especially versus the currencies of competitors like the European Union, Canada,

China and New Zealand. Potential trade disputes created by protectionist actions by the U.S. government would also limit export growth. The objectives of the Potatoes USA international marketing program are to increase U.S. potato exports, expand access for U.S. potatoes, make sure consumers know potatoes’ key health benefits and get more people eating U.S. potatoes in more ways. To achieve these goals, the international foodservice program is inspiring culinary professionals to offer more potatoes on their menus through the following activities: menu development events, trade education, technical training, reverse trade missions and promotions of U.S. potato dishes on menus. continued on pg. 34

Above: Quick & Easy Potato Recipes are one way Potatoes USA can reach its objectives of expanding access for U.S. potatoes, making sure consumers know potatoes’ key health benefits and getting more people eating U.S. potatoes in more ways.

Serving Wisconsin & Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Antigo (715) 627-4844 Amherst Junction (715) 824-3151 Wautoma (920) 787-3307 Wisconsin Rapids (715) 423-6280 Above: The Potatoes USA international food service program is inspiring culinary professionals such as Tony de Graaf of Taiwan, who is shown here competing in the second Spud Nation Throwdown Chef Cook-Off at the 2017 Potato Expo, to offer more potatoes on their menus.



Potatoes USA News. . . continued from pg. 33

To protect and grow U.S. market share, “Why Buy U.S.” messaging is delivered through many different activities. The ingredient program delivers innovative ways to use potatoes as an ingredient in new products. This is done through product application studies, event marketing, trade education and sampling activities.

press online and in print, radio and TV. Recipe videos are a big part of the social media content.

GROW U.S. POTATO SALES The international retail program works to grow sales of all U.S. potatoes and products through instore promotions, retailer education and reverse trade missions. The consumer program celebrates the potential of U.S. potatoes in the international markets.

U.S. seed potato exports are promoted through field trials in the target markets and registration of U.S. varieties in these markets. In the summer of 2017 a reverse trade mission will bring current and potential buyers of U.S. seed potatoes to the U.S. for meetings and field visits.

Consumer communications rely heavily on social media, but also public relations, which generates a great deal of coverage in the

These programs rely heavily on increased access for U.S. potatoes and products to be successful. To achieve this, Potatoes USA works

34 BC�T May

Just as in the United States, potato nutrition is very important in the international markets and has received excellent coverage from numerous events, ranging from fun physical-based activity to serious scientific panels.

with the National Potato Council and state potato organizations through the Phytosanitary Initiative and American Potato Trade Alliance. Recent successes include greater access for chipping potatoes to Japan and increased access for fresh and seed potatoes to a number of countries in Central America. Many other efforts are ongoing. The international marketing committee meeting wrapped up with a confirmation of the decisions for fiscal year 2018 programs made at the committee meeting in January. These include the development of a non-commercial foodservice program focused on schools and corporate cafeterias; conducting indepth market research in Brazil, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates; and focusing more on the “potatoes = performance” message for nutrition messaging.

Friday, June 23, 2017 Bass Lake Country Club W10650 Bass Lake Road Deerbrook, WI 54424 Since 1998, this tournament raised over $50,000, which was donated to Wisconsin potato research.

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maiL payment to: WSPIA, P.O. Box 173, Antigo, WI 54409 Make checks payable to Wspia. BC�T May 35

Badger Beat More N Response Data for Sweet Corn: Do Varieties Differ by Planting Date? By Matt Ruark, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Soil Science

In an effort to better understand the relationship between

sweet corn planting date and optimum N (nitrogen) requirement, a research study was funded by the Midwest Food Processors Association. The first year of a multi-year study was conducted at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station in 2016.

Results: • Variety #1 appeared to plateau at about 120 lb.-N/ac. (acre), but then bumped up in yield with 240 and 280 lb.-N/ac. rates for the first planting date, with yields peaking around 225 lb.-N/ac. at the second planting date (Figure 1). • Variety #2 peaked around 205 lb.-N/ ac. for the first planting date, but Figure 1: Nitrogen response curve of Variety #1 for two different planting dates in 2016 at HARS (arrows indicate optimum N rate). 36 BC�T May

yields kept increasing up to 280 lb.-N/ac. at the second planting date (Figure 2). • Variety #3 had relatively similar optimum N rates between planting dates (Figure 3).

Of course, this is only one growing season, so we need to be careful to not over-interpret this data, but it does indicate that varieties may have different N requirements to optimize


Sweet corn yield (ton/ac)

Three sweet corn varieties were tested, and though for now I’m going to keep the varieties anonymous, they are all commonly grown varieties in the Central Sands area of Wisconsin. Seven N rates were applied for each variety planted on either May 18 or June 14. All response curves were analyzed with second- or third-order polynomials, all of which had high R2 values (≥0.92).

Each variety expressed different N response curves by planting date. Variety #1 required more N on the first planting date, Variety #2 required more N on the second planting date and Variety #3 required roughly the same amount N regardless of planting date.


R² = 0.92

May 18th


R² = 0.99

6.00 4.00

June 14th

2.00 0.00 0


100 150 200 Nitrogen fertilizer rate (lb-N/ac)



Figure 1. Nitrogen response curve of Variety #1 for two different planting dates in 2016 at HARS (arrows indicate optimum N rate).

yield. This research will continue another one or two growing seasons.

There are two special caveats to consider here: 1) only the highest four rates (160, 200, 240 and 280 lb.-N/ac.) received N at tassel (40 lb.-N/ac.); and 2) the N rates at the V4 and V7 timing varied across N rates. For example, the 120, 160 and 200 lb.-N/ac. rates received 50 lb.-N/ac. at V4, while 240 and 280 lb.-N/ac. rates received 70 and 90, respectively. So, it is possible the yield benefit came from having more N early rather than having more N at V7. That is always a limitation of N rate trials that rely on split applications. The second interesting result is that in all cases the optimum N rate was well in exceedance of the 150 lb.-N/ac. “recommendation” in the A2809, which is used for nutrient management planning. While previous N rate research hasn’t shown optimum N rates as high as those seen in 2016, it is clear that 150 lb.-N/ac. recommendation is too conservative on irrigated sands.

R² = 0.94

Sweet corn yield (ton/ac)

9 8


May 18th

6 5 4 3

June 14th

2 0 0


100 150 200 Nitrogen fertilizer rate (lb-N/ac)




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Figure2:2.Nitrogen Nitrogenresponse response curve of Variety #2two for different two different planting HARS Figure curve of Variety #2 for planting dates indates 2016 in at 2016 HARS at (arrows (arrows optimum indicate N optimum indicate rate). N rate).

12 R² = 0.98


May 18th

8 6

R² = 0.96

June 14th

4 2 0 0


100 150 200 Nitrogen fertilizer rate (lb-N/ac)



Figure 3. Nitrogen response curve of Variety #3 for two different planting dates in 2016 at HARS

Figure 3: Nitrogen response curve of Variety #3 for two different planting dates in 2016 at HARS (arrows (arrows optimum indicate N optimum indicate rate). N rate).

April 2017

Badger er Common’Tat

R² = 0.98


Sweet corn yield (ton/ac)

There are two other interesting aspects of the results from the 2016 growing season. First, sometimes the agronomically optimum N rate was the highest used in the study (280 lb.-N/ac.). In this study, all plots received 20 lb.-N/ac. as starter fertilizer, with the remaining N being applied across two or three applications (V4, V7 and tassel).


Badger Common’Tater


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Whether you are a grower, industry partner or simply enjoy rural life, sign up to receive this prestigious publication in print version, delivered direct to your mailbox for $18/year (12 issues). wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe BC�T May 37

Should You Expand Your Farming Operation?

According to ag lenders, the most important question is why you want to grow your business By Chris Seelen, shareholder/member Ruder Ware Ag Focus Team Flyte Family Farms in Coloma, Wisconsin, has grown a lot over the years. Not only has Flyte grown tons of crops, but the business itself has also grown, expanding to include five greenhouses and 3,200 acres. Adam Flyte and his wife, Carrie, started their business growing corn, soybeans and fresh vegetables, which they sold at seasonal farm stands. In 1999, Adam and Carrie expanded into hydroponics. But, expansion has been gradual. “As opportunities presented themselves, and if they made financial sense, we expanded to meet demand,” says Adam, who built one greenhouse in 1999, one in 2000, two more in 2001 and another in 2004. Along the way, Adam and Carrie also acquired three farms. 38 BC�T May

The Flyte Family Farms business expansion has been a success. But, what makes a business expansion successful? What should you consider when deciding whether to expand your own business? What do ag lenders say about business expansion? Here are some things to consider: Why now? According to ag lenders, the most important question is why do you want to expand? “You need to ask yourself, ‘What’s driving the need for expansion?’” says Rich Wilcox, an ag lender who is a vice president at BMO Harris Bank. Terry Johnson, vice president of ag/ commercial lending at Pioneer Bank agrees. “It all starts with the ability of the producer to explain why he or she wants to expand,”

Johnson notes. In a 2012 article on growth management strategies, David Coggins, executive vice president and chief banking officer at Investors Community Bank, wrote that, “Operators have all kinds of reasons for growing/expanding … It all comes down to finding out your own ‘why’ before developing a plan to get there.” WHY EXPAND? In the case of Flyte Family Farms, the “why expand?” question was answered when Adam and Carrie saw Above: A drone image of Flyte Family Farms, LLC shows the hydroponic greenhouses, with the 10-acre organic blueberry patch in the background and more organic acreage among the surrounding fields.

demand for hydroponics that also fit the couple’s educational backgrounds in horticulture and agri-business. That would be classified as a good reason to expand. What are bad reasons to expand? “My neighbor is expanding, or I read an article that says you need to expand to be profitable,” Johnson answers. Going big doesn’t always mean becoming profitable, and that leads to the next consideration. Is your current operation profitable? Ag lenders will tell you there is nothing magical about business expansion that will make you more profitable. “If you have high operating ratios now, you’re probably going to have high ratios in expansion,” says Johnson, who indicates you should take a look at your existing operation and figure out how to become more

profitable before expanding.

prices drop?

If your goal is to increase revenue, then expansion should not be the first step you take. Rather, Coggins writes, you should take “advantage of all the opportunities to ‘get better’ before you work on ‘getting bigger.’”

COMMODITY PLAN Therefore, it is very important that growers have a plan in place for dealing with a downturn in commodity prices. If revenue falls short, how are they going to pay for the costs of expansion?

Wilcox concurs, asking, “Can you work to do better before you strive to do more?” Have you factored in a drop in commodity prices? When commodity prices are high, it is natural for farmers to want to expand their business so they can make more money. But, Johnson cautions that growers should not “make long-term decisions based on short-term economics.” Johnson points out that expansion is a 20- to 25-year decision that a farmer might make when prices are high, but what happens when

“I would advise them to think it through and record their thoughts as part of a business plan that would include projections of best-case, middle-case and worst-case scenarios with odds of each,” says Wilcox. To protect against fluctuations in commodity prices, Flyte Family Farms diversified its products. Flyte grows corn, soybeans, hay and sweet corn. Flyte also has 800 acres certified as organic. Organic crops include blueberries, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, seed corn and hay. continued on pg. 40

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Expanding Your Farm. . . continued from pg. 39

Maintain healthy equity in your assets. Johnson advises that businesses should “not borrow their last dollar in expansion.” “You may need to borrow additional money in the future to deal with unexpected costs. If you have strong equity, you can get through the hard times,” Johnson says. Wilcox agrees that expansion may cause some issues that were not anticipated. Therefore, he asks, “Is the business strong enough financially to absorb a post-expansion drop in equity or missed problems with expansion plans?” MANAGE DEBT LOAD Adam Flyte acknowledges that managing your debt load is very important and that “working capital is key.” So, what percent of your assets is it smart to borrow against? From a collateral standpoint, Wilcox answers, “A business should borrow no more than 70 percent of the asset value on the high side. Lower levels might be smarter.” From an ownerequity standpoint, Wilcox does not recommend getting below 40 percent assets to debt. Ideally, the goal would be a “debt to assets ratio of 50 percent or less,” Johnson says. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Expansion sometimes means family members or friends are coming together to boost business. But, your family or friends may disagree on their roles or how the business will be conducted. Wilcox wants to know, “Is the family and employee base on board with expansion plans?” Johnson relayed a story about a father who expanded his dairy business so he could farm with his five sons. Later, when the operation was struggling, the sons admitted at a family meeting they didn’t like 40 BC�T May

milking cows. The moral of the story is communication between family members and business partners is critical.

you lots of questions. “The questions are designed to help you understand whether expansion is appropriate for you,” he explains.


Coggins writes, “Your banker is going to look at a whole host of factors in considering your request for expansion, from working capital to long-term cash flow assumptions, transition and construction phase issues, contingencies and having a well-documented plan.”

Expansion may also bring you additional responsibilities and headaches. Coggins writes that an expanded organization can test your management skills and you need to ask yourself the hard question of whether you have the talent for taking on a bigger and much different job and a more strategic role in the organization. Seek Out Trusted Advisors. A good ag lender can be a helpful adviser. Johnson notes that you should not run away from a lender who asks

Adam Flyte agrees that your ag lender can be a critical part of your success. The lender is a “friend and a partner,” Adam relates. Finally, be aware that legal issues can arise as you expand your business. Such issues include: partnership

or LLC operating agreements, construction agreements, estate and succession planning, leases and offers to purchase, and employment agreements, to name a few. So, don’t be afraid to add an attorney to your

circle of trusted advisors. Chris Seelen is a shareholder in the Ruder Ware law firm and a member of the firm’s Ag Focus team. Chris represents lenders in bankruptcy court and state court.

Above and Opposite Page: Adam Flyte and his wife, Carrie, started their business growing corn, soybeans and fresh vegetables, which they sold at seasonal farm stands. Flyte Family Farms has grown to include its own farm market, and in 1999, Adam and Carrie expanded into hydroponics. But, expansion has been gradual.

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See Us i 41 Bo

Auxiliary News By Ali Carter, Vice President, WPGA

I recently read a statistic that stated the

happiest and most fulfilled individuals are part of a solid network of likeminded people. This caused me to spend some time reflecting on the importance of each of us forming community relations with one another and of regularly being

involved in that community. The Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary (WPGA) believes strongly in offering opportunity to its members and industry peers to build business contacts, be of service to others and expand leadership skills while supporting the Wisconsin potato industry. Basically, the WPGA believes in building community!

Above: Potato offerings at the Wausau Sip and Sample include curried potato soup, potato flatbread, Potato Candy Cups, Mashed Potato Mint Brownies and other delicious hors d'oeuvres and desserts. Bottom: WPGA Past President Jacquie Wille (right) sits on a couch chatting with Auxiliary members during the Wausau Sip and Sample event.

The past few months have allowed for fun events to be placed on the calendar where members did just that. The WPGA hosted Ladies Night Out events at Michelle’s Restaurant in Stevens Point, Wisconsin and at The Refuge in Antigo, where women from the industry mingled together, enjoyed food and drinks, and learned of the benefits of Auxiliary membership. Drawings were held, door prizes won, and a number of women signed up to share their talents and insights as new members of the Auxiliary. In March, the WPGA invited members and interested industry peers to

42 BC�T May

a Sip and Sample in Wausau as an opportunity to catch up with friends and associates and to enjoy unique ways to cook and bake with Wisconsin potatoes. LET THE SAMPLING BEGIN Guests had a chance to sample curried potato soup, potato flatbread, Potato Candy Cups, Mashed Potato Mint Brownies and other delicious hors d'oeuvres and desserts. All left with recipes in hand and new acquaintances made. The WPGA Spa Day in April is always Left: Enjoying Ladies Night Out at Michelle’s Restaurant in Stevens Point are Auxiliary Board members, from left to right, Kathy Bartsch, Marie Reid and Jody Baginski. Together with several women from the industry, they mingled, savored food and drinks, and learned of the benefits of Auxiliary membership. Right: Even the registration table at Ladies Night Out is a place to catch up and enjoy each other’s company. From left to right are WPGA President Paula Houlihan, Auxiliary member Sheila Rine and Past President Jacquie Wille.

a welcomed evening by members who look to enjoy a bit of pampering and shared friendship with their fellow industry leaders.

strives to continue offering these opportunities for members to build community and promote the Wisconsin potato industry!

Not only were these all opportunities for current WPGA members to make new business contacts and be reacquainted with old friends, but the events hosted were also a chance for potential new members to hear about the WPGA. During each of the events, attendees learned about the Auxiliary’s involvement in the area on behalf of the industry, the outreach to consumers and the philanthropic activities. During these events, the WPGA saw its membership increase. An organization is only as strong as its members, and the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary continues to grow! We have received positive feedback after each networking event and the WPGA Membership Committee

SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW WPVGA MEMBERS When you need goods or services, please consider asking our Associate Division Members for quotes or explore what they have to offer. Together, we make a strong organization and appreciate how wonderful we are as a group. BC�T May 43

New Products JCB Agriculture Launches Two Fastrac Tractors as flagships of the line and in celebration of the company’s 25th anniversary JCB is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its innovative Fastrac tractor with the introduction of two new powerful models as the flagships of the line. The new 8000 Series tractors add to the appeal and performance of the company portfolio and feature: • More power and torque from engines that meet Tier 4 Final emissions, increasing performance potential • The all-new Command Plus cab with improved comfort and all-around visibility • Sharp hood styling with improved forward visibility and improved lighting • New, fully hydrostatic, high-speed approved dual steer with optional Rapid Steer • New tire options that increase supplier choice • New heavy-duty axle components that facilitate track width of up to 10 feet The new tractors—the 8290 and 8330—build on the unprecedented response to JCB’s 160-to-235horsepower Fastrac 4000 series, which is already gaining ground in the marketplace. The most obvious changes to the tractor models are the distinctive styling and new Command Plus cab. But, under the skin, the Fastrac 8290 and 8330 have engines with more power and torque, a new, highspeed, approved hydrostatic steering system and new tire options. A more compact front linkage and PTO (Power Take-Off) package and a larger deck area behind the cab add to the tractors’ versatility and productivity potential. 44 BC�T May

“The new Fastrac 4000 Series has been very well received by seasoned and new Fastrac users alike,” says Ray Bingley, general manager of JCB North America Agriculture. “Its unique combination of size, performance, control and comfort is delighting operators across a wide range of applications and farming environments.” “Now, we are integrating several of the 4000 Series’ most appealing features into our largest Fastrac models to further increase their versatility, enhance the operator experience and improve performance levels,” Bingley adds. ENGINE & TRANSMISSION The Fastrac 8290 and 8330 each continue to incorporate an 8.4-liter, six-cylinder engine, but that engine now meets U.S. Tier 4 Final

Above and Opposite Page: A new Command Plus cab and distinctive styling define the JCB 8290 and 8330 Fastrac tractors that also boast increased power and torque over previous models, sharp hood styling with increased visibility, improved lighting, hydrostatic high-speed dual steer and Rapid Steer options, new tire options and heavyduty axle components that facilitate track width of up to 10 feet.

emissions standards. However, the revised engine specification is not just about emissions compliance—it also provides more power and torque, using a twin turbocharger installation that delivers quick responses when the operator needs more power. At rated speed, the Fastrac 8290’s engine develops 280 horsepower to match the output of the outgoing Fastrac 8310. Engine power then peaks at 306 horsepower as revs are pulled down under loads.

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The new 8330 model, however, takes the Fastrac to new performance heights with a rated power output of 335 horsepower rising to 348 horsepower under full load, which represents a generous 42-horsepower or 14 percent increase in power. At the same time, peak torque goes up by 10 percent to 1,500 rpm (revolutions per minute), gives to 16,000 Gallons Vertical Tanks: which 16 Gallons the tractor even greater ability to • UV inhibitors molded in for longer tank life “hang on” as the •going Easy togets read tough. molded in gallonage indicators • 2” or 3” outlets available on larger tanks

Cone Tanks: 70 Gallons to 12,000 Gallons • Tanks come standard with total drain bolted fitting • Conical bottom with flat spot for total drainage • 18” lid is standard on all large tanks

“This level of performance gives our • Molded in tie down lugs • Siphon tubes to help with drainage flagship tractor a•significant step up • UV inhibitors molded in for longer tank life 18” lid is standard on all large tanks in performance with heavy • Engineered welded steel stand available • Molded in tietillage down lugs for securing tanks equipment, demanding • 3 - Year warranty from date of shipment • 3 - YearPTO-driven warranty from date of shipment implements and heavy manure tanks Don’t forget to pick up your Pumps, fittings, accessories and hose from Ag Systems. and spreaders,” Bingley added. “The www.agsystemsonline.com 8330 is the most productive Fastrac to emulate a power shift. This feature modes prioritize optimum engine ever.” and transmission settings for power, of the V-TRONIC transmission is economy, constant PTO speed, unique among CVT drives and can TRANSMISSION constant field speed or road travel. be helpful to operators with limited The V-TRONIC continuously variable The system can operate automatically or no experience using a step-less transmission offers different modes transmission. or be used manually to deliver either selected by the operator using the PULL TYPE SPREADERS, HIGH CLEARANCE SPREADER continued on pg. 46 Fastrac’s touch screen display. These seamless speed changes or in steps


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JCB ACTIV TRACTION is a key feature that helps the 8000 series Fastrac maintain grip during field operations. It draws information from a radar speed sensor, hydraulics system and cruise control to manage engine output and maintain traction for maximum performance. The engine and cooling pack are housed beneath a new hood styled to add to the purposeful character of the Fastrac 8000 Series tractors while ensuring easy service access. The hood carries additional work lights above the grill to illuminate the area ahead of the tractor more effectively and a more pronounced slope at the nose for clearer visibility. Headlights are set into the grill so there is no longer any need for the bull guard assembly of the current model. COMMAND PLUS CAB The new Command Plus cab provides space, comfort and practicality in abundance, with a supportive driver’s seat that can swivel a full 50 degrees to the right and 20 degrees to the left so that operators can keep an eye on rear-mounted and trailed equipment in comfort. The operator sits a little further forward than before, which raises the ride quality to an even higher level, and the additional space behind the cab makes it simple to install a mounted sprayer, supplementary seed or fertilizer hopper, or a fifthwheel-type hitch for hauling heavy equipment.

The forward-raked cab structure adds to the sense of interior space but also improves visibility and cab access, and its near-vertical windscreen reduces heat absorption on a sunny day. Deep door glass and side windows, and wide lower windshield glazing provide good visibility all around, and a fixed roof window option brings even more light into the airy cabin. Opening rear three-quarter windows offer natural ventilation, and climate control maintains a comfortable working temperature and quickly clears the windows of early morning condensation. A comprehensive array of work lights maintain visibility around the tractor when working early in the morning and late at night, and an optional LED package, which features up to 18 lights in all, provides maximum illumination for tractor operators frequently working when dark. STEERING & SUSPENSION The Fastrac 8000 Series continues with coil springs and dampers, front suspension and active rear axle suspension to maintain an even ride height and provide the unique standard of comfort that Fastrac operators enjoy. A unique, hydrostatic dual steer system replaces the power-assisted mechanical system used previously. It is two hydrostatic systems in one, using an advanced control valve to continuously monitor pressures and flows in both systems.

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First, the system meets the failsafe requirements for a tractor capable of the Fastrac 8000’s 43 mph top speed in the event of hydraulic or engine failure. Second, it provides the operator the crucial combination of precision, feel and low effort, whether on the road or working in the field. It also introduces the new feature of selectable Rapid Steer, which halves the number of turns lock-to-lock from four to just two, making life easier for the operator during headland turns. The dual steer system is compatible with GPS guidance for which the optional hardware is installed together with Rapid Steer. The Fastracs come with JCB’s LiveLink telematics system as standard, which provides valuable location and operating information, as well as proactive service scheduling and remote fault-finding in partnership with JCB dealers. NEW TIRE OPTION Tire manufacturer BKT has joined Michelin and Trelleborg in developing high-speed-rated tires suitable for the JCB Fastrac 8000 tractor’s weight, speed and power. The “E”-rated 43 mph BKT Agrimax Sirio is a new design in 540/65 R38 front and 710/70 R38 rear sizes with a tough carcass featuring highly flexible sidewalls. It is now available as a factory-fitted alternative to the Trelleborg TM800 High Speed. A popular option for added traction and flotation is a Michelin combination of 650/65 R34 AxioBib and 900/50 R42 MachXbib tires. ABOUT JCB JCB is a privately-owned global company that manufactures over 300 different machines from 22 plants on four continents, including the United Kingdom, India, Brazil and the United States. Equipment lines offered include: backhoe loaders, telescopic handlers, tracked excavators, wheel loaders, rough terrain forklifts, compact excavators, skid steer loaders, compact track loaders and the unique Fastrac tractor. For more information, visit www.agriculture.jcbna.com.

PATTERN MASTER Reduces Particle Drift when spraying, is available nationwide and fits all ground application spray booms K-B AGRITECH, LLC is pleased to announce that the company has received a U.S. patent for the PATTERN MASTER™, a simple device that significantly reduces particle drift for agricultural spraying. The PATTERN MASTER fits all ground application spray booms and is now available nationwide. The PATTERN MASTER is an “air spoiler” that attaches in front of and below each spray nozzle. The top portion is made of stamped aluminum and the bottom portion is comprised of specially engineered polyurethane bristles (that displace wind and prevent structural damage to the boom). The PATTERN MASTER works to reduce particle drift by interrupting air turbulence/wind shear created by the boom during the sprayer’s forward travel. This simple device also creates a downdraft in front of the spray nozzle, which allows the nozzle pattern to fully develop, resulting in significantly greater deposition and coverage of the spray solution. The result is less particle drift and increased coverage. In an effort to reduce off-site pesticide movement from particle drift, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has introduced a voluntary program known as “DRT” (Drift Reduction Technologies), modeled after successful programs

previously implemented in Europe and Australia. To participate in DRT, manufacturers of technologies with potential to reduce spray drift are required to conduct appropriate studies and provide test results to the EPA. The EPA then reviews results and ultimately awards a “Star Rating.” STAR RATINGS Technologies can earn 1 to 4 stars, with 1 representing 25 to 50 percent reduction in spray drift and 4 stars providing greater than 90 percent reduction in spray drift. Using DRTverified pesticide spray technology can benefit pesticide applicators, the environment and the public by: • reducing loss of pesticide from the application site • keeping more of the applied pesticide on the crop, improving its effectiveness • reducing pesticide exposure to people, wildlife and the environment

• reducing risks of damage and liability from off-target deposition of the pesticide In addition to the previously stated benefits, growers who adopt an EPA-approved DRT technology will eventually be allowed to reduce the size of spray buffers mandated on product labels by the EPA for the protection of Threatened and Endangered Species. K-B AGRITECH, LLC is currently conducting the requisite studies to submit to EPA for review for their Star Rating. With the negative attention brought about by the illegal use of the older formulations of dicamba, sprayed over the top of dicamba-tolerant soy and cotton in the Delta this past growing season, the need for new and innovative technologies to reduce spray drift are obvious. In addition to being very effective for this purpose, PATTERN MASTER spoilers are economical. Applicators can equip a 120-foot spray boom with 72 nozzles for less than $8,000. Considering that insurance deductibles for spray drift of legally applied pesticides can be $10,000 to $15,000 per occurrence, PATTERN MASTER spoilers should be on every sprayer! Please visit www.drt.ag to learn more about this exciting new technology, including the latest news and updates. Or contact K-B AGRITECH, LLC, N6875 5th Ave., Plainfield, WI 54966, www.drt.ag. BC�T May 47

WPIB Focus WPIB Selects “Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship” Award Winner Shunping Ding recognized for research into pathogens causing early blight in potato One of five recipients of the 2017-’18 College of Agricultural & Life Sciences (CALS) Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Awards, Shunping Ding’s graduate research for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Plant Pathology Department focuses on the investigation and management of the potato early blight complex (EBC). Early blight is one of the major diseases limiting potato production worldwide, and specifically in Wisconsin. “EBC” refers to the combined diseases of early blight caused by Alternaria solani and brown spot caused by A. alternata. The Wisconsin Potato Industry Board (WPIB) “Wisconsin Distinguished

Graduate Fellowship” was developed to support a graduate student who demonstrates excellence in research in the areas of groundwater resources or potato research. As Ding’s research advisor, Amanda Gevens, an associate professor and Extension plant pathologist at UWMadison, says, “Shunping is mindful of the importance of her research in characterizing the early blight pathogen populations to enhance control.” DRIVEN BY PROBLEM SOLVING “Shunping is driven by solving practical problems that have greater implications, such as crop loss, which ultimately results in loss of income

for producers, loss of stability for local and regional economies and ultimately a loss in food supply,” Gevens adds. Ding achieved academic success as an undergraduate at Henan University in China and at Beloit College in Wisconsin. She went on to earn a master’s degree in microbiology from the University of Hong Kong, where she focused her research on the identification of fungi associated with trees in subtropical Hong Kong. “My research aims at gaining an improved understanding of the EBC pathogen biology, overall population response to fungicides and plant resistance,” she notes.

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison Month








































































48 BC�T May

“My passion for potato disease research will not only facilitate me in pursuit of my doctoral degree, but will also enhance current management of the EBC and prepare me for future work in the potato system,” Ding concludes. Four other recipients of the CALS Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Awards are: EmilyClare Baker of the Microbiology Doctoral Training Program; Ning Li in the Biological Systems Engineering Degree Program; Elizabeth Miller of the Molecular & Environmental Toxicology Degree Program; and Anthony Nuemann in the Microbiology Doctoral Training Program.

Nuemann is the winner of the Richard M. Heins Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, and Baker, Li and Miller are recipients of the Louis and Elsa Thomsen Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowships, all of which support graduate students who demonstrate excellence in research. Congratulations to all five fellowship winners. Right: Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship award winner Shunping Ding joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Plant Pathology in 2013, and the Potato and Vegetable Pathology Program in spring 2014. She has a genuine interest and dedication to plant pathology research in both basic and applied areas.

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BC�T May 49

EYES ON ASSOCIATES By WPVGA Associate Div. President, Sally Suprise, Ansay & Associates

Hello everyone, It is hard to believe we are in mid-April already and things are gearing up all around the state in preparation for another growing season. I am pleased to say that I was able to attend the public high-capacity well hearing in Madison, Wisconsin, on March 15. The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) provided a bus to Madison with approximately 48 supporters of Bill SB 76 on board. The bill allows for the repair, replacement and reconstruction of previously approved high-capacity wells while maintaining Wisconsin’s stringent environmental requirements and well construction standards.

We had several speakers in support of the bill, including WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan and Andy Diercks of Coloma Farms. At the hearing, there were 172 votes in favor of and 121 opposed to SB 76.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! July 12, 2017 Associate Division Putt-Tato Open Golf Outing July 20, 2017 Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day

I extend a huge "thank you" to all who attended in support of SB 76. On March 22, the Associate Division held its monthly meeting with our two newly elected board members, Kenton Mehlberg of T.I.P. and Paul Cieslewicz of Sand County Equipment. During the WPVGA Associate Division meeting, we reviewed all the feedback responses from the surveys that were distributed to exhibitors at the February Grower Education Conference & Industry Show. I'm happy to say that we had mostly positive feedback and some very Left: WPVGA Board Member Andy Diercks of Coloma Farms speaks in favor of Senate Bill 76 at the public high-capacity well hearing in Madison, Wisconsin, on March 15.

50 BC�T May

good suggestions for improvement that we will take into consideration. PUTT-TATO OPEN PREP The Associate Division is preparing for our upcoming Putt-Tato Open golf outing, which will be held July 12, so mark your calendars! We will be sending out information on sponsorship opportunities in the near future, and as always, we will have a silent auction with many great items up for bid! Here’s hoping we have beautiful weather and good attendance for the Putt-Tato Open. This is always a great day of fun and networking. To all who attended the 2017 WPVGA Growers Ed Conference and participated in the silent auction, I extend another thank you! The proceeds of that silent auction go toward the Avis M. Wysocki Memorial Scholarship, which was established in 2016 to honor Avis. Avis was a founding member of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary and active in the Wisconsin potato industry as a whole. The Avis M. Wysocki Memorial Scholarship winner will receive $2,940 in scholarship funds this year from the silent auction, along with a special contribution from the Auxiliary. Applications and additional information can be obtained online at www.wisconsinpotatoes.com, or by calling the WPVGA office at 715-623-7683. One last note, mark your calendars for the 2017 Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day, July 20, 2017. Be Safe, be content and be happy!

Sally Suprise WPVGA Associate Division President

Above: Mark your calendars for July 12 and the Associate Division Putt-Tato Open golf outing. You never know who you’ll meet there, as former Associate Division board member Dale Bowe (left) of Wisconsin Public Service and Associate Division Vice President Casey Kedrowski (right) of Roberts Irrigation can attest, having bumped into Spudly at the 2016 event.

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Wisconsin Vegetable Growers Saw Productive 2016

From cabbage to carrots and snap beans to sweet corn, Wisconsin acreage and yield impressive By The United States Department of Agriculture/National Agricultural Statistics Service In 2016, there were 66,600 total acres of snap beans harvested in Wisconsin with a total production of 7.28 million hundredweight (cwt.) Fresh market production accounted for 8,000 cwt. and had a value of $282,000. Production of snap beans for processing totaled 363,552 tons and was valued at $45.1 million. Wisconsin maintained its number one ranking in production of processing snap beans. U.S. snap

52 BC�T May

bean production totaled 20 million cwt.

in 2016. U.S. sweet corn production totaled 73.9 million cwt.

Sweet corn production in Wisconsin for 2016 totaled 10.3 million cwt. from 60,300 harvested acres. Fresh market production totaled 582,000 cwt. and was valued at $16.2 million. Processing production accounted for 486,749 tons and had a value of $33.2 million.

Wisconsin farmers produced 1.26 million cwt. of green peas in 2016, and there were 27,100 harvested acres. Fresh market production totaled 2,000 cwt. for a total value of $338,000. The 63,050 tons of processing green pea production had a value of $12.5 million. Pea production in the U.S. totaled 6.88 million cwt.

Wisconsin remained in third place for processing sweet corn production

5,500 ACRES OF CUKES Fifty-five hundred acres of cucumbers were harvested in Wisconsin in 2016 for a total production of 678,000 cwt. Fresh market production accounted for 15,000 cwt. and had a total value of $745,000. Cucumbers for pickle production totaled 33,172 tons and was valued at $7.30 million. U.S. production of cucumbers for pickles totaled 17.7 million cwt. Wisconsin farmers produced 2.14 million cwt. of carrots in 2016 from 4,500 harvest acres. Fresh market production totaled 13,000 cwt. and was valued at $1.43 million. Processing carrot production accounted for 106,150 tons and had a total value of $8.64 million.

Nationally, carrot production totaled 30.3 million cwt. There were 6,000 acres of cabbage harvested in Wisconsin in 2016 with a total value of production

of $47.6 million. Utilized production of pumpkins in 2016 totaled 189,000 cwt. from 1,800 harvested acres. All pumpkins were for the fresh market and had a total value of $3.57 million.

BC�T May 53

NPC News Noble Foundation Supports Soil Health Symposium Soil Health Institute teams with foundation to improve potato production The last week of March 2017 saw a group of 20 potato growers, agronomists, researchers and state potato organization representatives participate in a two-day workshop held in Ardmore, Oklahoma, on soil health in potato production. The purpose of the workshop,

supported by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and facilitated by the Soil Health Institute, was to identify the opportunities and obstacles to improving soil health in potato production. A report summarizing the results of the workshop is being developed and will be made available throughout

the industry. Industry input on the report will help set national soil health strategy for the potato industry and identify research and extension objectives. NPC appreciates the support offered to the industry by the Noble Foundation.

NPC Signs International Food Assistance Letter Food for Peace provides meals to millions of school children worldwide The NPC joined more than 60 organizations on a letter to House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and ranking member Sanford Bishop (D-GA) in support of international food aid delivered by the Food for Peace and the McGovern-Dole School Feeding Programs. 54 BC�T May

Food for Peace is a program that has provided life-saving food assistance to vulnerable populations and reduced hunger and malnutrition throughout the world since 1954. The McGovernDole program provides millions of children in foreign countries access to education by serving a meal every school day.

The letter urged the subcommittee to maintain at least fiscal year 2016 funding levels for both programs for fiscal year 2018. The program was recommended for outright elimination by the incoming Administration in its budget blueprint for fiscal year 2017.

NPC Sends NAFTA Letter to President Included are recommendations on improving trade for potato exports In a letter to President Donald J. Trump on April 10, the National Potato Council (NPC) provided specific recommendations on how the Administration can improve the terms of trade for potato exports under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). The potato industry is strongly supportive of building on the successes it has seen over the life of NAFTA. Canada and Mexico are currently the second and third largest markets for U.S. potato products. With greater access to U.S. fresh and processed potatoes in Mexico and Canada, the United States would experience increased job growth on farms, in processing plants and in the transportation industry. Conversely, an outright withdrawal from NAFTA would mean the loss of over $500 million in direct potato exports to Mexico and Canada and substantially greater indirect losses. A key improvement that NPC supports is an enhanced "SPS Plus" phytosanitary chapter to reduce the use of unscientific pest and disease issues as non-tariff barriers. Such an improvement would eliminate burdens that have blocked fresh potato exports to Mexico for over a decade. In Canada, NPC believes anti-dumping determinations must be based on solid economic analysis conducted by neutral third parties and not by those benefiting from their imposition. Right: In a letter to President Donald J. Trump signed by NPC Executive Vice President and CEO John Keeling, the National Potato Council explains that the potato industry supports improving conditions for trade with Canada and Mexico.


1300 L Street, NW, Suite 910 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 682-9456 phone www.nationalpotatocouncil.org

April 10, 2017 The President The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Dear Mr. President: trade that we rtive of improving the conditions for The potato industry is strongly suppo the enhancements should be additive to These o. Mexic and a Canad with confront d in the 1993 North American Free Trade secure rs growe potato U.S. that sses succe Agreement (NAFTA). A. Canada is U.S. potato exports are those in NAFT Two of the most valuable markets for n in exports annually. Mexico is millio $315 over with es potato for t the second largest marke n annually potatoes, receiving over $253 millio 17.8% currently the third largest market for two countries respectively comprise These cts. produ ssed proce frozen primarily in ts. expor potato U.S. total of and 14.3% ntially larger valuable markets, exports could be substa Despite the current size of these two that potato exports to Mexico es believ ry indust potato The if improvements were made. fresh and with full unrestricted access for all U.S. could grow to $500 million annually ce exports of Canada of $300 produ would tions condi same Those processed potatoes. ms, in would generate additional jobs on-far million annually. These increased sales other related sectors. As potatoes are and n ortatio transp in ssing, proce agricultural ica. jobs would occur throughout rural Amer produced in 35 states these new U.S. outright, the current zero A NAFT from raw withd to were It should be noted that if the U.S. the Most Favored Mexico would immediately revert to tariffs on processed potato exports to % depending upon the applied 50-70 to zero from se increa would Nation rate. Tariff rates ut the zero mic impacts would be substantial. Witho quota, and the resulting negative econo of the market share in Mexico. We must most take would etitors comp n duty, our foreig ers its overall its afforded in NAFTA as the U.S. consid maintain the current zero-duty benef o and Canada of over $500 million in sales to Mexic approach to this agreement. The loss would negatively impact U.S. jobs. orate an ent, it would be of great benefit to incorp As we look forward to a new agreem A which strengthens the NAFT in r chapte (SPS) ry sanita Phyto enhanced Sanitary and t petitions. ting countries consideration of impor ies Priorit fresh foundation of sound science in the impor o for y NAFTA Industr to Mexic Potato access ted from receiving full restric tly curren is ry 10, 2017 indust April potato le, The U.S. examp For sistent application of SPS standards. incon and ntific unscie an to due es cites potato country yet presence of pests and viruses in their Mexico refuses to acknowledge the access for US viruses as a reason to refuse market the presence of those same pests and A could provide NAFT d otiate reneg a in r chapte ry potatoes. A strong phytosanita requirements current application of non-science based opportunities for a resolution of the concept was originally included in the Plus” “SPS This o. Mexic to ts for fresh potato expor A could and a similar enhancement to NAFT Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement s from non-tariff SPS barriers. iment imped the e reduc ntially substa d the actions in British Columbia have chille In Canada, long-standing antidumping challenging antidumping for system t curren a’s Canad t. opportunities to expand that marke t potatoes to letely against those seeking to expor duties is flawed and weighted comp economic analysis conducted by solid on based be must duties g Canada. Anti-dumpin nded barriers claiming to be affected. Such unfou neutral third parties and not by those ent. agreem the within ated elimin be should for potatoes based exemption” restricts free commerce The Canadian system of “ministerial product before U.S. stic dome of ge shorta a e nstrat demo on unnecessary requirements to terial Exemption ce. Some modifications to the Minis product is allowed to enter any provin the requirement to identify a domestic but d mente imple and iated negot system have been U.S.-produced restrains trade in potatoes and other shortage prior to any export shipment cts. produ agricultural terms of trade nistration’s interest in improving the The potato industry supports the Admi may begin in the next few iation negot the that stands under for the U.S. under NAFTA and ed in any final entioned improvements will be includ months. It is hoped that the aforem s. partie the agreement between these recommendations. Thank you for your consideration of Sincerely,

John Keeling Executive Vice President and CEO Cc:

Senate Finance Committee try Committee Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Fores House Ways and Means Committee House Agriculture Committee

BC�T May 55


By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions & Consumer Education

Trade Show Opens Doors to Wisconsin Potatoes It’s difficult for anyone to fully comprehend an industry or field if they are unfamiliar with it, having no prior experience to give them a reference point. They can’t be expected to understand what lies behind the door of an unknown entity. This is true for people who don’t possess knowledge of the potato industry or the process of how potatoes get from the fields to their plates. That’s why utilizing avenues like the Midwest Foodservice Expo in

56 BC�T May

Milwaukee to educate consumers and foodservice professionals about Wisconsin potatoes is such an asset. Put on by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA), the Midwest Foodservice Expo completed another year on March 13-15, 2017, at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. The Expo helps connect the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) with 7,500 attendees who are interested in learning more about the industry and how they can support the “Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin” effort. And the potato

Above: From its booth at the Midwest Foodservice Expo in Milwaukee, March 13-15, the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association gave away potato chips and provided brochures and nutritional information on several potato varieties, as well as ways to prepare them.

chips WPVGA provides at the booth are a great way to bring in visitors as well! Attending the show has been a fantastic way for the WPVGA to maintain its presence in the Milwaukee area along with Spudmobile visits to various events, while also finding new ways of expanding in the immediate vicinity and beyond. Right: The Midwest Foodservice Expo is the region's premier annual food service and hospitality industry trade show and conference. As the largest industry event in Wisconsin, the Expo brings top food service executives and professionals together with leading suppliers from around the country, offers 18 hours of educational programming and provides relevant solutions to today's business challenges.

2017 Food Safety Classes Wrap Up for Year The 2017 Food Safety training for the Wisconsin potato industry has officially come to an end for another year, resulting in almost 100 people receiving certificates in the various classes offered.

overlap between Produce Safety and Preventive Controls, Produce Safety encompasses growing and transporting to a storage or processor. Preventive Controls covers storage, processing and distribution.

As part of this year’s lineup, the WPVGA followed requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The classes offered were Produce Safety, HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) Certification and Preventive Controls training.

Basically, if your organization is holding, packing and distributing food for human consumption, it will fall under the Preventive Controls rule.

Although potatoes are exempt under the Produce Safety rule, as they fall under the “rarely consumed raw” list, many representatives from industry organizations attended to stay up to date and proactive on what is occurring in the food safety world. Potatoes, however, are not exempt under the Preventive Controls rule, which is one that goes hand in hand with HACCP certification. The two, though, are not one in the same, nor can one replace the other. While admittedly there is some

FEDERAL REGULATION It’s important to note that FSMA is a federal regulation, and doesn’t include requirements your customer would be asking for, as has been the case in the past with certain audit schemes. While there has been discussion of the federal government conducting audits to ensure compliance with the Produce Safety and Preventive Controls rules, it is not known exactly if/how it will be implementing that. PrimusGFS is in the process of coming out with another version of the standard to include a section on Preventive Controls. This could result in PrimusGFS auditors being

responsible for verifying Produce Safety and Preventive Controls compliance, and then submitting verification paperwork to the Food and Drug Administration. Regardless of what transpires, WPVGA remains committed to helping Wisconsin potato industry members stay as proactive as possible, and will be providing additional classes in early 2018. Currently, the compliance date for Preventive Controls is in 2018. If you typically have your audit late in the year, you can plan on taking the class earlier. However, if your audit is earlier in the year, you may want to consider taking the Preventive Controls class for Human Food between now and the end of the calendar year. For a list of classes and locations in Wisconsin, please visit: https://fspca.force.com/FSPCA/s/ course_registration/Course_Registration__c/00B360 00007edjpEAA?language=en_US. Feel free to contact me at 715-623-7683 or drady@ wisconsinpotatoes.com with any questions about WPVGA’s food safety program. BC�T May 57

People New Potatoes USA Leadership Elected Executive committee serves one-year term for marketing/promotion board The Potatoes USA grower membership elected new leadership during its Annual Meeting held in Denver, Colorado, March 13-16. The Potatoes USA Executive Committee is comprised of the chair, immediate past chair and the co-chairs of each committee. They will serve a oneyear term from now through the Potatoes USA Annual Meeting to be held in March 2018. Following are the new Executive Committee members and their positions: Chair: John Halverson, Arbyrd, MO Domestic Marketing Co-Chairs: Jerry Tominaga, Rupert, ID, and David Tonso, Center, CO 58 BC�T May

Research Co-Chairs: Steve Gangwish, Kearney, NE, and Dan Moss, Declo, ID

programs run on a July-through-June fiscal year.

Immediate Past Chair: Mike Pink, Mesa, WA

Programs are targeted at consumers, food manufacturers, chefs and nutritionists in the domestic market. In the targeted international markets, these programs engage importers and distributors, foodservice operators, food manufacturers, consumers and retailers.

International Marketing Co-Chairs: Marty Myers, Boardman, OR, and Doug Poe, Connell, WA Industry Outreach Co-Chairs: Jason Davenport, Arvin, CA, and Jay LaJoie, Van Buren, ME Finance Chair: Phil Hickman, Horntown, VA The marketing committees will work over the next 12 months to guide how the Potatoes USA staff will implement the Board’s marketing and promotions programs. These

Potatoes USA board members were Above: The new Potatoes USA Executive Committee is, back row, from left to right, Mike Pink, Jay LaJoie, Jason Davenport, Blair Richardson, John Halverson, Doug Poe, Marty Meyers, David Tonso and, in front row, from left to right, Steve Gangwish, Phil Hickman, Jerry Tominaga and Dan Moss.

also sworn in during the Annual Meeting. Of those sworn in, there were 20 new producers and two new importers, as well as 16 producers and one importer who were sworn into their second three-year terms. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Representative Hakim Fobia swore in the members. All board members are elected by the potato producers in their states, then confirmed and appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Members are elected as representatives of their respective states to serve on the board. They can serve two three-year terms by being re-nominated after completion of their first term. The number of producers per state is determined by production volumes provided by the USDA at the beginning of each calendar year. The following lists the new and the re-nominated board members

appointed to serve for the next three years: New Board Members Jim Allen (Alliance, NE); Erin Baginski (Antigo, WI); Kyle Barclay (Kennewick, WA); Melissa Bedlington-Kleindel (Lynden, WA); Jennifer Borowicz (Crookston, MN); Melva Calloway (Quincy, WA); Tom Enander (Grenora, ND); Tim Gonzalez (Amherst, TX); Jaclyn Green (Bakersfield, CA); Aaron Hepworth (Burley, ID); Bryan Jones (St. Augustine, FL); Travis Meacham (Moses Lake, WA); Marty Myers (Boardman, OR); Shelley Olsen (Othello, WA); Sheldon Rockey (Center, CO); Kevin Searle (Shelley, ID); LaVel Stoker (Burley, ID); Chad Sullivan (Pasco, WA); Tyler, Tschirky (Pasco, WA) and Keith Wolter (Antigo, WI) New Importers Ed Barnhill (Clermont, FL) and Vernon Thomas (Centreville, NB, Canada)

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Re-Nominated Members Brandon Berce (St. Agatha, ME); Bob Conger (Rexburg, ID); Mark Finnessy (Plover, WI); Katie Floming (Savanna, IL); Gerald Greenwalt (Quincy, WA); Kerry Heilig (Moses Lake, WA); Casey Hoverson (Larimore, ND); Kael Koompin (American Falls, ID); Thomas Kress (American Falls, ID); Jay LaJoie (Van Buren, ME); Dwight Little (Newdale, ID); Mike Madsen (Plymouth, WA); Brandon Schaapman (Quincy, WA); Eric Schroeder (Antigo, WI); Bill Sheldon (Ray, ND) and Jerry Tominaga (Rupert, ID) Re-Nominated Importer Sanjiv Kakkar (Hamilton, NJ) About Potatoes USA Potatoes USA is the federally mandated marketing and promotion board of the 2,500 commercial potato growers operating in the United States. For more information on Potatoes USA’s mission to “Strengthen Demand for U.S. Potatoes” and the programs in place to do so, please visit PotatoesUSA.com/grower. continued on pg. 60

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BC�T May 59

People. . . continued from pg. 59

USDA Welcomes New State Conservationist Angela Biggs will work with local farmers to further agricultural conservation The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Wisconsin welcomes new state conservationist Angela Biggs. Angela will oversee 55 local NRCS Service Centers across the state and over 200 employees, who work with local farmers and landowners directly in those USDA Service Centers. Angela spent many summers on her grandparents’ small dairy farm in Northeast Iowa. She also has a background in biology and sustainable horticulture. Angela began her career with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Division of Soil Conservation as an environmental specialist focusing on water quality. In 2002, she joined the NRCS in Iowa as a soil conservationist and worked in multiple NRCS offices before becoming a district conservationist.

Angela has also worked for NRCS in Vermont, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and Washington, D.C. She most recently worked in the Midwest (Illinois) for seven years as an assistant state conservationist. She is happy to assume her new role as Wisconsin’s state conservationist and looks forward to meeting and building relationships with local landowners, farmers, partners and more. WORKING WITH PRODUCERS “I am honored to be the new state conservationist in Wisconsin. I look forward to meeting and working with producers, partners and staff in this position to further learn about the many great things Wisconsin is already doing to help conserve natural resources and to continue to move the state forward in agricultural conservation,” explains Biggs.

Seeking an Agronomist Plan and oversee growing potatoes and vegetable crops (conventional and organic) on our 3,500-acre potato and vegetable farm. Responsibilities will include working directly with farm managers and other personnel on analyzing and evaluating crop performance, supervising fieldwork (scouting, testing, monitoring, and data integrity) of all fields, collecting plant and soil samples, and maintaining applicable fertilizer and chemical application records. The Agronomist will plan and oversee crop rotations, introduce new varieties, and communicate benchmarks and advancements in agricultural practices and technology. This individual will need to plan and react to problem areas in crops with great knowledge and care. He/she will need to have a cohesion of passion and ambition for achieving the best, naturally be good at critical thinking and problem solving, and will need strong organization and communication skills. Must have a four-year college degree in Agronomy or Soil Science. Salary is competitive with knowledge and skillset. 5 Years experience preferred.

Jeanne McCain • Plover River Farms Alliance Farms, Inc. 292 Maple Bluff Road, Stevens Point, WI 54482

Apply by May 10: Plover River Farms Alliance Farms, Inc. 60 BC�T May

“NRCS is here to help Wisconsin landowners and farmers in making sound choices to ensure healthy land and water,” she adds. Angela replaces Jimmy Bramblett, who is currently NRCS deputy chief for programs in Washington, D.C. Biggs is the 10th state conservationist to serve Wisconsin since the agency began in 1935. “I am pleased to welcome Angela to this important position within NRCS. Angela will bring fresh ideas and her experience working in state government to a very successful existing conservation partnership in Wisconsin. NRCS is proud to name Angela as the next state conservationist in Wisconsin,” said Kevin Wickey, NRCS central regional conservationist. Through voluntary incentive-based programs, NRCS works directly with farmers and landowners to provide technical expertise and financial assistance to make conservation work on private lands. For more information, visit www.wi.nrcs. usda.gov.

Ali's Kitchen Potato Flatbread is Far from Underwhelming

Column and photos by Ali Carter, Vice President, WPGA Auxiliary

Mini Potato Flatbread (Gluten Free) INGREDIENTS:

I had the pleasure of hosting a recent Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary event at my home. This was a “Sip and Sample” highlighting some unique ways to cook with Wisconsin potatoes. Leading up to the Sip and Sample, I spent weeks testing my recipe ideas and tweaking familiar recipes. We went through a lot of potatoes at our house during those weeks! All the time and effort was worth it, and the evening of the event arrived with my buffet table piled with beautiful dishes and delicious samplings. My counters were lined with slow cookers filled with curried potato soup and bottles of wine paired to enhance the hors d’oeuvres we placed on our plates. One of my favorite recipes from the evening is for Mini Potato Flatbread.

This may surprise you since, to look at the little breads, you may be left with the impression that they are rather underwhelming. But what excites me about the recipe is the flexibility it offers. At the Sip and Sample, I baked up a couple pans of Potato Flatbread and seasoned the little breads with an herb topping, then offered a soft cheese and a beet hummus for dipping. For a sweet twist, I baked a second pan of slightly larger flatbread and topped the breads with a creamy mascarpone and fresh berries, then sweetened them all with a drizzle of honey. For today we will focus on the herbed flatbread and the beet hummus—a fresh and healthy snack option!

• Plain dehydrated mashed potato flakes (enough to make 2 cups of prepared mashed potatoes) • 1/4 cup melted butter (cooled a bit—too hot, and it will cook your egg) • 1 egg • 1 cup rice flour • 1/4 cup potato starch* • 2 teaspoons baking powder • 1/2 teaspoon salt * If you are unable to locate potato starch, you can substitute tapioca flour

Herb Topping INGREDIENTS: • 2 tablespoons melted butter • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder • 2 teaspoons dried onion • 1 teaspoon dried parsley • 1 teaspoon dried basil • 1/4 teaspoon pepper • 1/2 teaspoon salt

continued on pg. 62 BC�T May 61

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Ali's Kitchen. . . continued from pg. 61

Roasted Beet Hummus Dip • 1 medium beet (about the size of your palm) • 2 cloves garlic • 1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained • Juice of a half lemon • 2 tablespoons tahini • 1/3 cup olive oil • A pinch of salt • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley

Directions: Mini Potato Flatbread with Herb Topping Preheat oven to 450°F Prepare the plain mashed potatoes by following the directions on the box or package (see Tip 1). Add the mashed potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and the egg and mix well with the mashed potatoes. Mix until smooth. Add the rice flour, potato starch, salt and baking powder. Mix gently just until this forms to a smooth dough.


AG Systems - The Handler............ 45

Preheat oven to 450°F 1. Line a baking dish with tin foil. 2. Wash the beet and cut away the stem and leaves. 3. Place the beet onto your foil-lined baking dish and then cover with tin foil. 4. Roast for about 45 to 60 minutes. Once a fork easily pierces through the beet, it’s ready. 5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. 6. Using a small knife, peel your cooled beet and dice it into bite-sized pieces. 7. Place the diced beet, chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini and salt into a food processer and blend on high for a few seconds. 8. Turn food processor off. Using a spatula, scrape the ingredients from the sides of the processor bowl. 9. Add the olive oil and continue to blend for a minute or two more until everything is nice and smooth. Note: You may need to add a little more olive oil if your hummus is looking too thick. 10. To serve, place hummus in bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil to the top and then a sprinkle of the fresh parsley.

AG Systems - Sprayer Parts........... 32

powder, dried onion, dried parsley, dried basil, pepper and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and place it on a cutting board that has been lightly dusted with rice flour. Cut the dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball with your hand and then gently flatten into a small circle with your fingers and place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each circle of flatbread with a bit of the melted butter and sprinkle with the herb mixture.

Cover the dough well with plastic wrap to protect it from drying out and place it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

(This dough needs to be kept chilled to be easily managed. If the dough begins to stick to your hands and the cutting board, place it back in the refrigerator).

While the dough is chilling, mix together the herb topping. Combine the garlic

Bake for about 10-15 minutes, just until lightly golden brown.

Tip 1: You do not need to use instant potatoes. This recipe can be created by peeling two or three medium-sized Wisconsin russet potatoes, cubing them into bite-sized pieces and boiling until tender. Drain and mash the boiled potatoes and measure out 2 cups worth.

your flatbread. Poppy seeds and sesame seeds are delicious toppings for these little flatbreads. Or try a sweet version by baking plain flatbread and then brushing each disk with a little bit of melted butter once you have removed the flatbreads from the oven and then sprinkling them with cinnamon and sugar.

Tip 2: Get creative and use different herbs to top 62 BC�T May

Ag World Support Systems............. 5 Allied Cooperative........................ 21 Ansay & Associates....................... 15 Badgerland Financial.................... 51 Big Iron Equipment....................... 25 Certis USA....................................... 3 Dow AgroSciences........................ 31 Fencil Urethane Systems.............. 46 GZA Environmental....................... 13 Insight FS...................................... 33 J.W. Mattek................................... 17 Jay-Mar......................................... 23 Nelson’s Vegetable Storage Systems Inc........................ 9 North Central Irrigation................ 27 Oak Ridge Foam & Coating Systems, Inc.................................. 34 Oasis Irrigation............................. 64 Plover River Farms Alliance Farms, Inc..................................... 60 Riesterer & Schnell....................... 26 Roberts Irrigation........................... 2 Ruder Ware.................................. 59 Rural Mutual Ins........................... 11 Sand County Equip....................... 41 Schroeder Brothers Farms.............. 7 T.I.P............................................... 39 Volm Companies........................... 19 Wick Buildings LLC........................ 30 WPVGA Putt-Tato Open................ 63 WPVGA Spud Seed Classic............ 35 WPVGA Subscribers...................... 37 WPVGA Support Our Members.... 43 WSPIA........................................... 49

WPVGA Associate Division 17th Annual Golf Outing & Barbeque

WPVGA Associate Division

Lake Arrowhead Golf Course Nekoosa, Wednesday, July 12, 2017 We will golf rain or shine! REGISTRATION DEADLINE: June 23, 2017

The WPVGA Associate Division will host the 17th Annual Golf Outing at the Lake Arrowhead Golf Course in Nekoosa. The golf outing is followed by a splendid dinner barbeque and raffle prize drawings. The golf format is a four-person scramble with a shotgun start limited to the first 36 foursomes and sign up is a first-come basis, so sign up soon! Don’t miss out! Registration will start at 9:30 a.m. and the scramble will begin with a shotgun start at 10:30 a.m. Cost is $75/person which includes 18 holes of golf with cart. Proper golf etiquette is expected. Lunch is available for all golfers that day courtesy of an associate sponsor. The dinner barbeque is held immediately following golf and is open to everyone in the industry whether you choose to golf or not. Tickets are required. ‘Barbeque only’ ticket price is $15/person. Make checks payable to WPVGA. Please contact Julie Braun, 715-623-7683, if you have any questions.

GRAB ATTENTION! SIGN UP TO BE A SPONSOR Platinum Level Gold Level Silver Level Lunch Sponsor Sponsor A Hole Sponsor A Raffle Prize Call Julie Braun at 715-623-7683 for more details.

You can sponsor a hole for a minimum $200 donation in cash or prizes. Call Julie Braun, 715-623-7683, for more details.


❑ Yes! I will golf. I am registering ______ golfers.

Group Leader Name: _____________________________

(Fee for golf only is $75 per person. This does not include barbeque.)

Company Name: _________________________________

❑ I wish to order _______ Barbeque Tickets at $15.00 per ticket.

Address: ________________________________________ City, State, Zip: __________________________________

❑ I would like to sponsor a hole at the golf outing. My donation of $_________ is enclosed.

Phone: __________________________________________ These are the people in my group: 1. ______________________________________________

Golf Fee: Number of Golfers x $75


Barbeque Tickets: Number of Tickets x $15


+ Hole Sponsor/Donation


Total Amount Enclosed:

2. ______________________________________________


Please return completed form and payment to: WPVGA • P.O. Box 327 • Antigo, WI 54409-0327

3. ______________________________________________

P.O. Box 327 Antigo, WI 54409

Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage Paid Stevens Point, WI 54481 Permit No. 480





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