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$18/year | $1.50/copy | Volume 70 No. 4 | APRIL 2018

THE VOICE OF WISCONSIN'S POTATO & VEGETABLE INDUSTRY

IRRIGATION & SPECIALTY EQUIPMENT ISSUE

INTERVIEW:

Angela Santiago Co-founder & CEO, The Little Potato Company

DON’T BRING PATHOGENS Home from Foreign Travels MAKE VARIABLE-RATE Irrigation Work for You CENTRAL SANDS LAKE Study Begins in Summer WHY IS PLOIDY In Potato Important?

In many ways Angela Santiago, CEO and Co-founder of The Little Potato Company, stands in a field alone, breathing new life into “small potatoes.”


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On the Cover: Perhaps it’s fitting that CEO and Co-founder Angela Santiago of The Little Potato Company stands in a flowering field of potatoes, as the market has been growing and thriving for the tiny little Creamers she and her father started growing over 20 years ago. Currently, eight Wisconsin potato growers ensure a steady supply of fresh Creamer potatoes, harvesting nearly 2,000 acres across the state.

8 BADGER COMMON’TATER INTERVIEW: They might be diminutive in size, but not in taste, says Angela Santiago about the yellow Creamer potatoes (shown), along with a host of varieties, that The Little Potato Company contracts, markets and sells. In 1996, Jacob van der Schaaf, a Dutch immigrant, told his daughter, Angela, that he couldn’t find any potatoes in Canada with the same delicious taste “and creamy insides” he remembered from his youth. The rest is history.

DEPARTMENTS: AUXILIARY NEWS.............. 60 BADGER BEAT................... 24 EYES ON ASSOCIATES........ 44

16 PRECISION IRRIGATION PUTS WATER AT ROOTS Variable-rate irrigation can pay dividends in the end

31 NOW NEWS World Potato Congress to be held in the “Cradle of Diversity”—Cusco, Peru

61 ALI'S KITCHEN

MARK YOUR CALENDAR..... 6 MARKETPLACE.................. 46

This family recipe for Kathy’s NEW PRODUCTS............... 48 Hash Brown Potato Casserole is so good, Ali had it framed! NPC NEWS........................ 58

PEOPLE ............................ 28

FEATURE ARTICLES:

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

20 BUT IT’S JUST A LITTLE TUBER … Bringing plant material into U.S. is restricted

POTATOES USA NEWS...... 52

40 CENTRAL SANDS LAKE STUDY to evaluate irrigated ag on groundwater aquifer

SEED PIECE........................ 38

54 WHY IS PLOIDY IMPORTANT? It could change breeding of new potato varieties

WPIB FOCUS..................... 28

4

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WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Josh Mattek Vice President: Gary Wysocki Secretary: Rod Gumz Treasurer: Wes Meddaugh Directors: Mike Carter, Mark Finnessy, Bill Guenthner, Eric Schroeder & Eric 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: Casey Kedrowski Vice President: Joel Zalewski

Secretary: Cathy Schommer Treasurer: Rich Wilcox Directors: Chris Brooks, Paul Cieslewicz, Nick Laudenbach & Kenton Mehlberg Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: Charlie Mattek Vice President: Dan Kakes Secretary/Treasurer: Roy Gallenberg Directors: Jeff Fassbender & J.D. Schroeder

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: Kathy Bartsch Vice President: Devin Zarda Secretary/Treasurer: Deniell Bula Directors: Jody Baginski, Brittany Bula, Paula Houlihan & 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 advance the interests of WPVGA members through education, information, environmentally sound research, promotion, governmental action and involvement. Mission Statement of the WPVGA Associate Division: To work in partnership with the WPVGA as product and service providers to promote mutual industry viability by integrating technology and information resources. Badger Common’Tater is published monthly at 700 Fifth Avenue, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409

Subscription rates: $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 April

5


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CRAZYLEGS CLASSIC RUN/WALK State Street and W. Dayton/N. Fairchild, Capitol Square, 10 a.m. Madison, WI

Planting Ideas

MAY 27-31

WORLD POTATO CONGRESS Cusco, Peru

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ASSOCIATE DIV. PUTT-TATO OPEN GOLF OUTING Lake Arrowhead Golf Course Nekoosa, WI

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HARS FIELD DAY Hancock, WI

22-26

POTATO ASSOC. OF AMERICA ANNUAL MEETING Boise Centre Boise, ID

26

ANTIGO FIELD DAY Langlade County Airport and Research Station Antigo, WI

Variety is the spice of life, and if all goes well, in the potato business, it also equates to larger market segments, product offerings, commodity margins and return on investments. Wouldn’t that be nice? Some businesses, like The Little Potato Company, are betting on it, with Co-founder and CEO Angela Santiago, as this issue’s main interviewee, giving her take on consumer demand for potato varieties. Santiago isn’t mincing words, saying the market has been boring, with little to no variety and not a lot of creativity in potato size, color, breeding, offering and marketing. She’s looking to “spice things up,” so to speak. It seems variety is a theme, with the upcoming World Potato Congress, March 27-31, being held for the first time in the cradle of diversity—Latin America, and specifically Peru, the home of the potato. The potato, which was domesticated in the region some 8,000 years ago, continues to play a prominent role in the country’s economy and cuisine. Most of the world’s more than 4,000 potato varieties never left the Andes, and Peru is home to about 3,000 of those native potatoes. In a related and fascinating feature, “But it’s Just a Little Tuber …,” Dr. Ronald D. French, lead plant pathologist and program manager for the Plant Germplasm Quarantine Program, USDA-APHIS-PPQ-Field Operations, warns industry members traveling to Peru about the danger of bringing tubers back home as seed to “try them out” in their countries. Not only is it illegal, but it could also have devastating consequences on domestic crops.

2

RHINELANDER AG RESEARCH STATION FIELD DAY Rhinelander, WI

2-12

WISCONSIN STATE FAIR Wisconsin State Fair Park West Allis, WI

In his first “Eyes on Associates” column as president of the WPVGA Associate Division, Casey Kedrowski, salesman for Roberts Irrigation, briefly addresses low commodity prices and says he and his peers are hoping for an end to the trend. Casey also says he’s yearning for spring to arrive, but he guardedly uses the expression, “Spring will finally arrive after three snows on a robin’s tail.” He hopes that’s inaccurate this year. With spring comes awakening and renewal, and nowhere is that more evident than in the agriculture industry. Here’s hoping it’s the best spring ever!

19-22

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

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Interview ANGELA SANTIAGO, co-founder and CEO, The Little Potato Company Ltd. By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

NAME: Angela Santiago TITLE: Co-founder and CEO COMPANY: The Little Potato Company Ltd. LOCATION: DeForest, WI HOMETOWN: Born in New Glasgow, Novia Scotia, and grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: Since inception of company, so 21 years!

“My dad and I washed the first crop by hand in our bathtub,” says Angela Santiago, chief executive officer and co-founder of The Little Potato Company. And, thus, begins a success story, one seemingly straight out of the annals of U.S. history. Only the story belongs to Canada and has roots in Dutch culture. Jacob van der Schaaf, a Dutch immigrant, told his daughter, Angela, that he couldn’t find any potatoes in Canada with the same delicious taste “and creamy insides” as he remembered from his youth. So, in 1996, he put an idea to Angela: why not test out the market for little potatoes?

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: n/a SCHOOLING: Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history, and a business diploma ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and Global Food Network AWARDS/HONORS: Alberta Venture Award, United States Potato Board “Cool Companies Award,” Alberta Best Workplace, Growing Alberta Leadership Award, Canada’s 50 Most Engaged Workplace, YPO “Women of Vision,” “Top 40 Under 40,” and Agri CEO Club “Entrepreneur of the Year” FAMILY: Husband of 18 years, Frank, and four children—three boys and a girl HOBBIES: “Ha! I wish … I love traveling for pleasure, not work, and photography.” 8

BC�T April

They grew their first acre of potatoes by hand, planting, weeding and harvesting it themselves. The first crop was a success, so father and daughter made use of an old root cellar where Angela began the arduous task of sorting, washing and bagging the potatoes. Then, it was packing them into the back of her hatchback and setting off for farmers’ markets and restaurants. “I think I always had an entrepreneurial spirit in my blood, but I never recognized that,” Angela says. “I saw that in my dad.” “He had never farmed before. Do you believe that? He’s always had a love of agriculture and became a farmer in his mid-60s. It’s never too late.

My dad started a whole new career in his 60s,” Angela reflects. QUALITY & UNIQUENESS Chefs were early fans, valuing the little potatoes for their quality and uniqueness. The esteemed Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel was one of their first accounts. Their potatoes were popular with consumers, too, and a regional retailer soon began stocking them. Demand quickly overtook what Jacob and Angela could do themselves, and they bought their first washing and Above: The newest development for Angela Santiago, co-founder and CEO of The Little Potato Company, is a $20 million, 132,730-square-foot U.S. processing facility in DeForest, Wisconsin.


packing plant, in 2000, in Edmonton, Alberta. Angela and Jacob also modified the equipment to handle the tiny potatoes, which require appropriate delicacy, and allied themselves with excellent growers in Canada and the United States. Within four years, they expanded to their current production facilities in Edmonton. They even successfully lobbied the government to allow for smaller packages of potatoes, making the product more convenient for consumers to store and use.

significant grower and distribution network throughout the U.S. and Canada for its proprietary line.

Above: Harvesting little Creamer potatoes in Wisconsin is becoming a common sight, with 2,000 acres now planted in the state.

A WIDE VARIETY Varieties include Baby Boomer, which has yellow skin and pale yellow-white flesh; Blushing Belle, with reddishpink skin and yellow flesh; two varieties of Perline, with light yellow skin and flesh; and Purple Prince, with purple skin, yellow flesh and purplish lines; as well as Something Blue and Terrific Trio.

In June 2016, on the dawn of its 20th anniversary, The Little Potato Company and contractor Ryan Companies U.S., Inc., broke ground on a $20 million, 132,730-square-foot U.S. processing facility in DeForest, Wisconsin, northeast of Madison.

The company also offers value-added innovative Microwave and Oven/Grill Ready packs of Creamers and glutenToday, The Little Potato Company free spice packs with no added owns exclusive rights to six varieties of Creamer potatoes and has a flavors, preservatives colors. 18-04 Badger Common'Tater 1-3page AD (7x3).v1.pdf 1 2018-03-09 or9:03 AM

Celebrating its grand opening on July 27, 2017, the food processing and distribution facility includes 11,730 square feet of office space and 121,000 square feet of cooler, dry warehouse and processing space. continued on pg. 10

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9


Interview. . . continued from pg. 9

The cooler space is expandable to serve the company’s projected growth, and already the first U.S. facility employs more than 100 local, passionate potato lovers.

Wisconsin’s reputation for highquality potato production, plus the state’s business climate and tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation were some of the reasons why The Little Potato Company was attracted to the state, says Tamas Houlihan, executive director of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association. But what also attracted The Little Potato Company was the warmth

and generosity of the DeForest and Madison communities. “The connections with Wisconsin’s growers and the community at large made us feel at home,” Santiago says. Several Wisconsin potato growers ensure a steady supply of fresh Creamer potatoes, including Coloma Farms, Kevin Sigourney, Bula-Gieringer Farms, Bula Potato Farms, Flyte Family Farms, Taterland Farms, Baginski Farms and Schroeder Brothers Farms. What do you most remember about those early days growing potatoes with your dad? I was in my early 20s, had just finished university and was not really committed to being in the potato business. Like, who does that nowadays? Well, apparently, I do. continued on pg. 12

Above: The Little Potato Company Creamers come in Dynamic Duo, Terrific Trio, Microwave Ready and Grill Ready packages, and varieties that include Little Charmers, Perline, Something Blue, Purple Prince, Fingerlings, Boomer Gold and Blushing Belle. 10 BC�T April


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Interview. . . continued from pg. 10

I did, however, love entrepreneurship. The Little Potato Company wasn’t my first shot at being in business for myself, so I figured I would end up a business owner. I loved the self-motivating and the learning as you go approach with starting a company. You learn so much about a lot when you do everything yourself in the beginning.  I’m an insatiable learner. It keeps me

inspired, refreshed and rejuvenated. “OK, I found out a way not to do it, and now I’ll do it a different way.” What is the biggest takeaway from the early days of working out of a root cellar? Don’t give up. Don’t think you know everything—ask for help and advice. What are you most proud of? It’s got to do with our incredibly passionate, smart, experienced people who have

been assembled in the company, who have chosen to come here and make an impact. That’s who I appreciate and think of, and together we’re making a difference. We are changing the potato category and the way that people look at potatoes. It’s very exciting to be part of a change that won’t be undone. In what way are you changing the potato category? If you look, historically, and over the last 10-15 years particularly, potato consumption has been on the decline and is now, finally, flattening out. How do we get people eating potatoes again? They’re full of nutrition, they’re vegetables. Eating healthier is a trend, not a fad. People want to eat healthy, but their lives have changed—they’ve gotten busier. Top Left: It was a merry Christmas when The Little Potato Company partnered with the Southwestern Wisconsin Second Harvest Food Bank, donating $66,000 toward its “Share Your Holidays Food Drive.” Above: The tiny Creamer potatoes require appropriate delicacy. It’s a very different crop compared to big potatoes in many ways—the genetics, planting, harvesting, storage (shown), packing and selling.

12 BC�T April


So, when you have a product like our Creamer potatoes that combine healthy aspects and can be made quicker, because they’re small and can be microwaved in five minutes, then you have a beautiful marriage of health and convenience.

peeling required, and a good source of Vitamin C, potassium and iron.

And when you can leave the skin on, and the nutrition is in the skin, then you are feeding people a better type of food.

Fast forwarding to your new $20 million head office and processing facility in the village of DeForest, why did you ultimately choose Wisconsin? What is it about the state that ultimately swayed you

We’re helping rejuvenate the market by giving people what they want and need.

The reaction of so many people is that they taste great, too. Creamers have more flavor than bigger potatoes.

Have you been finding quality employees? Wisconsin is unfortunately facing a labor shortage that doesn’t seem to be a short-term challenge, so like many businesses in the area, we are dealing with this. continued on pg. 14

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Are those the reasons for the appeal of Creamer potatoes and why they took off? Yes, people want convenient food products but don’t want to give up healthy. And little potatoes are perfect fit for this, easy to cook in 20 minutes, with no Above and Opposite page: From its new $20 million food processing and distribution facility in DeForest to a field in Coloma, The Little Potato Company has invested heavily in the state, including 1,900 acres and eight growers.

to invest in the facility? Well, Wisconsin is a great potato growing state, logistically close to a large population base, and the people in the Midwest are incredible.

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Interview. . . continued from pg. 13

What are your goals for Wisconsin and beyond throughout the Midwest? We want to continue to grow more Creamer potatoes in Wisconsin and increase our capacity in our DeForest packing plant. In total, The Little Potato Company contracts just under 14,000 acres, and in Wisconsin we have 1,900 acres. And so quickly—we just opened a plant last year, and, holy smoke, we’re at 2,000 acres in the state. How have the growers been to work with? Have they adjusted to growing little tubers? The growers in Wisconsin have been great to work with, have been extremely supportive of what we are doing and have invested a lot of time and money to support the growing, harvesting and storage of Creamer potatoes. What are the challenges of growing little potatoes compared to larger tubers? Machinery? Methods? Other? It’s a very different crop compared to big potatoes in many ways—the genetics, planting, harvesting, storage, packing and selling. The little potatoes are planted between 4 and 6 inches apart, compared to other potato varieties that are spaced between 12 and 17 inches. It’s a small vegetable that requires special treatment and equipment,

typically equipment that is not found in North America. We’ve been creative in converting machinery from other industries. Our very fist packaging machine was built for jelly beans. We don’t use it anymore, but there are a lot of examples like that—looking for

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machines outside of the potato industry. I think you have two packaging facilities and five distribution centers throughout the U.S. and Canada— where exactly—and who are your distribution partners? We have three packing facilities, two in Canada and our newest in Wisconsin. Lots of work goes into our packaging and marketing, and we have a great team that delivers such a great finished package. We deal directly with retail, for example Costco, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Pick ’n Save, most major retailers and in all 50 states, including Hawaii Above: In 1996, Angela Santiago (shown today in a field) and her father, Jacob, grew their first acre of little potatoes by hand, planting, weeding and harvesting it themselves.


and Alaska. We sell our Creamer potatoes in over 15,000 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to Canada, we have growers in California, Washington, Florida, Missouri and now Wisconsin. And we have great distribution partners throughout North America. What does the future hold, and what are your hopes/goals for the future of The Little Potato Company? We want to Feed the World Better! “Save the potato. Feed the world better” is our mission statement. And we want to do so by making great Creamer potato products that help families eat healthier and conveniently.  

nourishing, flavorful and diverse. And we’re bringing varieties back into the market. It’s been a boring industry that hasn’t adopted well to what consumers wanted, and that has shown over the long term, and it shows now. People don’t have any idea of the diversity, color, shapes and sizes these potatoes come in.

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Why are more varieties important? You know what, if you look at origins of the potato, it started in Latin America, and it’s extremely diverse.

Left: When The Little Potato Company held a field day in Coloma, Wisconsin, growers showed up in droves. Right: Among many varieties, small red Creamers are grown in Wisconsin for The Little Potato Company.

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The potato started off small, in all shapes, sizes and colors … purple, orange, red and all colors ... even as the potato moved through Europe and North America, and so this is going back to roots of the vegetable. It is meant to be small, highly

What does the future hold for the Wisconsin processing facility, and what are your goals there? Lots! We will continue to grow more acres of Creamer potatoes in Wisconsin, so that will mean continued and increased productivity in our

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Make Variable-Rate Irrigation Work for You Higher yields and ROI are the ultimate goals of mapping, monitoring and varying moisture By Joe Kertzman and Lamar LaPorte What’s the water-holding capacity of my potato field? How do I know the moisture I’m applying is reaching the root zone of plants and not leaching out under, over or across the root zone without being taken up by the plants? Is my field over- or undersaturated? Are there areas that need more moisture and others that could use less? Are puddles and low, wet spots the only way I can tell if my field is overirrigated? Though logical questions, they also seem obvious and elementary, or are they? Has the science of irrigation, and specifically variablerate irrigation, evolved, and to what degree? Can a grower really control the water intake of plants on every area of the farm? Lamar LaPorte, owner of Precision Water Works in Plainfield, Wisconsin, has seemingly been in irrigation for most of his life. “I started running irrigation guns for 16 BC�T April

Empire Farms in West Plainfield when I was in eighth grade. After college, I worked for Ray Gear of Central Sands, who at the time was the Zimmatic dealer for the state,” LaPorte relates. “I worked there for three years.” “Then I went to work for North Central Irrigation for a total of about five years,” he says. “I left and came back into the industry a couple of times in between.” A NEW TECHNOLOGY LaPorte says the first talk he remembers of variable-rate irrigation, or VRI, was with Scott Polzin of North Central Irrigation. “Scott had asked me to come back to work, and this was one of the new technologies that the irrigation industry was working on,” he says. At the time, variable-rate irrigation was still a new technology, even, LaPorte stresses, to the companies that were providing it. “A lot of what we do at Precision Water Works [PWW] has been gleaned and modified from growers across the nation. I have traveled

Above: Precision Water Works offers software and mapping services that help growers pinpoint and fix problem areas, such as the low, wet spots, in their fields.

a bunch since I started PWW, and it has given me the opportunity to talk with irrigation managers, farm managers and owners of some of the most technological farms in the nation,” LaPorte details. “I was not only looking at precision irrigation, but precision farming in general,” he says. “Something that works in Nebraska or Colorado might not be the best for Wisconsin or Central Illinois. I did a lot of reading and a lot of talking to really smart people throughout my travels.” So how can Precision Water Works help growers monitor moisture in their fields? “We provide field mapping service, moisture probe data service, probe reports, irrigation consulting,


precision ag consulting and yield variability analysis,” LaPorte explains. On-the-go electromagnetic (EM) mapping is one technological tool, using accurate Global Positioning System (GPS) logging to provide a method to map and identify contrasting and variable soil moisture areas, or wet and dry spots. MANAGEMENT TOOL LaPorte says a map that accurately identifies heavy (wet) and light (dry) boundaries of soil is a valuable aid in day-to-day farm management. More importantly, he indicates that variable-rate irrigation, or properly applying and varying moisture to dry areas and not applying it to oversaturated areas, can improve a grower’s overall yield by 5 percent. “Five percent yield increase is significant,” he stresses. “Big growers didn’t realize it at first. They looked at 5 percent as a small number and not worth it, but when I ran the numbers

and showed them the return on investment, they came to embrace it.”

Above: An electromagnetic (EM) heat map of a field shows lighter (dry) and heavier (wet) soil locations.

“We try to optimize every acre,” he adds. “By applying the correct amount of moisture and reducing leaching, we keep more of the inputs in the root zone and can actually reduce inputs.”

is electro conductivity [EC],” LaPorte explains. “The EC is collected with a Veris unit that is pulled by a tractor. It looks like a mini disc and has blades that actually make soil contact.”

“There are two ways that we map. One is electromagnetic and the other

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“The EM is a little different,” he continues. “It uses an continued on pg. 18

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BC�T April 17


Make Variable-Rate Irrigation Work for You. . . continued from pg. 17

electromagnetic field and does not need to come in contact with the soil. Both technologies give us the same results, that being a correlation between the readings we get and the soil’s moisture holding capacity.” “Although we can also collect pH and organic matter,” LaPorte adds, “what we are first looking for is the lighter and heavier soil. Georeferencing the different soil types in the different areas of the field allows us to treat certain areas with more or less water, depending on the need.” GROUND-BASED SENSORS Precision Water Works uses groundbased sensors to measure apparent EC of the soil and provide one mean (average) weighted value from 1-3 feet in depth. Fine textured soils have a higher EC value than coarse textured soils. Similarly, wet soils have higher EC

values than dry soils, and EC can be used as a measure of a soil’s waterholding capacity.

Above: Electro conductivity (EC) data is collected using a Veris unit that is pulled by a tractor. The Veris unit looks like a mini disc and has blades that make soil contact.

Soil moisture probes are other tools in the variable-rate irrigation toolbox. And if a sprinkler system is being used, individual nozzle control is also

required to target different irrigation depths to soil-managed areas.

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“By monitoring water events with moisture probes, we can real-time assess how deep each water event has penetrated,” LaPorte says. “We also monitor the root growth and usage of the plant.” Matching the water events depth to the depth of the root activity helps keep the nutrients and moisture in the root zone where it can be utilized. “For some of our probe customers, we provide a weekly probe report,” LaPorte notes. “It basically summarizes what happened over the last few days and helps them interpret their own graph and data.” The depths or layers of soil, and how deep water should be applied, are identified and determined using Virtual Agronomist software in preparation for field variability calculations. RAW DATA After the EM mapping is complete, Precision Water Works takes the raw data that correlates the different soils and uses technology to find the variability within the soil.


That’s what Precision Water Works offers—software and mapping services that help growers pinpoint and fix problem areas in their fields. And the soil areas may require different management, for example when cultivating, fertilizing or planning irrigation schedules. As far as software is concerned, the way the prescription that LaPorte writes for the software is loaded is determined by the brand of irrigator. “Some prescriptions are loaded through the telemetry, some are loaded at the panel with a thumb drive and some can be loaded off a laptop,” he says. “Those are the kinds of things we do for the grower or help teach the grower how to do.” LaPorte says he can help growers work with all three irrigator brands— Valley, Reinke and Lindsay. “The data format is driven by the individual company and what product that company has. Some are in Shapefile, some in CSV [commaseparated values], and some formats are proprietary to that company. It just depends,” he says. Individual nozzle control on irrigators allows water to be shut off when traveling across raceways and oversaturated areas. PULSE TECHNOLOGY Pulse technology is how the irrigation hardware controls a lesser amount of water in a certain area. “If the system

has sprinkler control, and if an area of a field needs less water, it pulses the sprinkler on and off to deliver a lesser amount,” LaPorte says.

Above: Once wet and dry soil areas are identified, it is possible to recommend irrigation speed control—or areas to increase or decrease irrigation—as this map shows.

Valves don’t always need to be added to irrigators. “Sometimes a grower can get by with speed control and sometimes there is a need for individual sprinkler control,” LaPorte explains. “These are things we try to go over with the customer before he spends money on hardware.”

teamed up with to put some numbers to the ROI [return on investment] of practicing precision agriculture,” LaPorte adds. “The Central Sands area is tough because most of the growers do not have precision yield data, but that is changing.”

The ultimate goals are to increase water use efficiency, increase yields and maximize profitability over an entire field. “Having forward-thinking customers has certainly helped,” LaPorte allows. “John and Andy Wallendal were some of my first local customers that saw the technology, and it made sense to them. I can’t thank them enough.” “I have a colleague in Utah that I have

“I would sum up by saying this is not a ‘set it and forget it’ technology,” he stresses. “If anything, it will take more work than traditional ‘poke the button’ and walk away methods.” “If you are willing to take the time to utilize the technology to its fullest potential,” he concludes, “it will pay back in dividends.” For more information, contact Precision Water Works, attention Lamar LaPorte, 715-335-8000, lamar@pwwinc.net, www.pwwinc.net.

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But it’s Just a Little Tuber …

There’s danger in bringing pathogens along with tubers home to the U.S. from foreign travels By Ronald D. French, Ph.D., lead plant pathologist/program manager, Plant Germplasm Quarantine Program (PGQP), USDA-APHIS-PPQ-Field Operations Traveling around the world for tourism or business offers the opportunity to sample and taste the exotic and non-exotic cuisines that each location offers. For the potato aficionado, traveling to Andean countries such as Peru, Bolivia, Chile or Ecuador opens the possibility of tasting a diverse potato selection that varies in shapes, sizes and colors of the potato skin and flesh. It is the Andean region of South America where most of the 5,000 different varieties of potato can be found, from sea level to over 15,000 feet above sea level. The Andean region is not only the center of diversity for the potato, but also the center of origin for many of the pests of potato.

With the 10th World Potato Congress fast approaching, May 27-31, 2018, in Cusco, Peru, it is appropriate to discuss the dangers of bringing back pathogens and the importance of the quarantine lab in the process of transporting useful germplasm to the United States.

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Above: The International Potato Center (Centro Internacional de la Papa, CIP), an international agricultural research and development institution that focuses on root and tuber crops, hosts the largest potato gene bank in Lima, Peru. The gene bank holds over 7,088 accessions of potato. Photo courtesy of Ronald French, USDA-APHIS-PPQ-FOPGQP

It is not uncommon for many travelers abroad to visit farms and farmers’ markets and, occasionally, decide to take some potato tubers home as seed to “try them out” thousands of miles away from the tubers’ point of origin. Many do not realize that growing conditions may be unsuitable for the foreign potatoes in this country. Further, bringing back certain foods and plant material (including potatoes) is restricted or prohibited, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations, because of the potential for introducing plant pests and pathogens (fungi, bacteria, nematodes, viruses and viroids) that could seriously disrupt, damage and jeopardize U.S. agricultural production and


affect exports to other countries. BIOVAR, STRAIN OR TYPE Even if a specific plant pathogen and the disease it causes already exists in the United States, one can always introduce a new race, population, biovar, strain or type that could be more aggressive than what is already found domestically. No matter how small a tuber is, it could harbor much smaller pathogens of quarantine importance, such as water mold or Phytophthora infestans, which causes late blight; Ralstonia solanacearum, the cause

of bacterial wilt; potato spindle tuber viroid; potato mop top virus; potato virus T and potato cyst nematodes. Even the botanical seed or true potato seed (TPS), similar in size to tomato seed, is known to transmit plant pathogens such as potato virus T and potato spindle tuber viroid, and to carry fungal seed pathogens on the exterior of the seed. Bringing in prohibited plant material and/or failing to declare items such as potatoes can end up costing “up to $1,000 per first offense for continued on pg. 22

Above: Side-by-side images illustrate mild or initial symptoms of potato yellow vein disease on the lower leaves of a potato plant (left) and more pronounced symptoms on the upper leaves of a plant (right). Photo courtesy of Ronald French, USDA-APHIS-PPQ-FO-PGQP Below: The true potato seed (TPS), or botanical seed of potato (Solanum tuberosum), is very small and similar in appearance to tomato seed and can be a source for the introduction of some pathogens that are seed borne or transmitted. Photo courtesy of Ronald French, USDA-APHISPPQ-FO-PGQP

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But it’s Just a Little Tuber. . . continued from pg. 21

non-commercial quantities.” The fine is the same for mailing the potatoes, and if potatoes are determined to be for commercial purposes, fines may be much higher (https://www.cbp.gov/travel/ clearing-cbp/bringing-agriculturalproducts-united-states). To prevent the illegal entry of potato germplasm (tubers, seed, plant) and other crop germplasm of prohibited genera, the USDA APHIS PPQ Plant Germplasm Quarantine Program (PGQP) was established to protect U.S. agriculture and natural resources against the entry, establishment and spread of economically and environmentally significant pathogens. PGQP imports potatoes, bamboo, gooseberries, grasses, kiwis, pome fruits, rice, stone fruits, sugarcane, sweet potatoes, woody ornamentals

and other minor crops of quarantine importance. Imported plants are used in research, variety development, germplasm curation and commercial production across the United States (http:// www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health/ quarantine-programs).

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Above: Molecular biologists and technicians at PGQP routinely sample plant tissue from newly arrived potato and other crop germplasm in order to extract DNA and RNA for detection of plant pathogens. Photo courtesy of Ronald French, USDA-APHIS-PPQ-FO-PGQP

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government researcher, arboreta or repositories, and university scientists who wish to import plant parts for propagation of prohibited genera. LEGAL WAY TO IMPORT In the case of potatoes, this is a legal way to import new varieties or the genetic material that will give rise to new varieties of potatoes. Testing for numerous pathogens is done using diagnostic methods such as transmission electron microscopy, bioassays/indicator plants, nucleic acid hybridization, ELISA (enzymelinked immunosorbent assay), PCR (polymerase chain reaction), reverse transcription PCR and quantitative PCR. PGQP is also beginning to validate newer diagnostic technologies, such as next generation sequencing, for future testing of germplasm. Unlike a plant diagnostic clinic, PGQP not only detects the presence of

pathogens in the imported plants, but as is the case with most pathogens found on potatoes, it can also eliminate the detected pathogens by tissue culture therapy. Meristem-tip culture, chemotherapy, thermotherapy (warm), and potentially, cryotherapy (cold), can be used alone or in combination to treat the plant material so a pathogen-free plant can be released to the importer the following year. With culinary tours to cities that have numerous traditional dishes that use an assortment of potato varieties, or business meetings such as the World Potato Congress in Cusco (http:// potatocongress.org/), the potential is there for travelers to bring back potato tubers or TPS. Travelers may not know that potatoes for propagation are restricted, regulated and/or prohibited from entering an airport, border crossing or seaport without proper

Above: This picture shows the apical shoot tip from which the meristem will be excised and grown in a special medium to regenerate a pathogen-free plant. Photo courtesy of Ronald French, USDA-APHIS-PPQ-FO-PGQP

documentation and must first be quarantined prior to release. Be aware that when someone brings back food or plants, they could also be bringing back pests and pathogens with the potential to hurt the potato industry, other crop industries and the natural resources of the United States.

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Badger Beat

Complete Control of Common Scab is Elusive Common scab of potato is notoriously difficult to manage with chemical or biological treatments By Amanda J. Gevens, Richard Lankau, Bryan Webster, Yu Chen and Stephen Jordan

Common scab of potato is an intractable disease of the crop resulting in reductions in quality and often storability due to disrupted periderm. The disease is caused by soil borne, filamentous, Gram-positive bacteria in the genus Streptomyces. The bacteria produce spores and behave much like fungal pathogens. The Streptomyces genus includes species and strains that are pathogenic to potato, primarily Streptomyces scabies, but also species that are not pathogenic to potato. This disease is notoriously difficult to consistently manage with chemical or biological treatments. Varietal resistance needs to be a foundational strategy in building an integrated

management approach. While cultural practices, including water and pH management, can mitigate disease severity, no single

Above: Common scab is caused by soil borne, filamentous, Gram-positive bacteria in the genus Streptomyces.

practice completely controls the disease. Over the past eight years, my program has been conducting research to better understand strategies to limit common scab severity.

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COMPLETE CONTROL ELUSIVE Results from most treatment schemes, including biological and biopesticides, are generally variable between years. From a few treatments, including Blocker at planting, we do see consistent reduction in common scab, but never complete control. Despite the low return on discerning effective treatments for common scab, this work serves to continue exploration of several biological and bio-pesticidal treatments, as well as


application timing, placement and rate strategies. In my post as a University of Wisconsin (UW)-Extension plant pathologist, it can be just as important to identify treatments that do not work as it is to identify those that do.

Above: Symptoms of common scab vary, but when severe, they can render tubers unmarketable.

We’ve explored the diversity of Streptomyces species causing common scab of potato in Wisconsin, revealing persisting predominance of S. scabies.

The research, in partnership with Plant Research Geneticist Dr. Shelley Jansky of the UW-Horticulture Department and the U.S. Department

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of Agriculture, has also improved understanding of the genetics of unique lesion phenotypes continued on pg. 26

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Badger Beat. . . continued from pg. 25

(netted, raised, pitted) and host resistance. We have helped growers address their question of the role of cut versus whole seed on inoculum introduction to daughter tubers. DIRECT HOST INTERACTIONS To sum it up here, there was a trend of less common scab on daughter tubers with cut seed versus whole seed. And seed with anywhere from 5-to-50 percent common scab severity resulted in similar incidence and severity of disease on daughter tubers. In pathology, we often take a more simplified approach to characterizing pathogens so that we can better understand direct host pathogen interactions.

26 BC�T April

Much has been learned in this regard with respect to the genetics of pathogenicity and virulence of individual strains of the pathogen. However, for a complex soil borne pathogen like Streptomyces, we need to be more thoughtful and respectful of the complete microbiome or biology of the growing environment to best understand disease and its management within the trinity of soil health: biological, chemical and physical components. Over the last few years, with the very fortunate hiring of Dr. Richard Lankau, an ecologist with programmatic focus on understanding how plant-associated microbial communities mediate plant health, the UW-Madison Department of Plant Pathology has had greater capacity

to look at soil microbial characters in association with plant health in agricultural and forest systems. Richard has taken the opportunity to visit with several Wisconsin potato growers and has generated interesting preliminary evidence of soil microbe relationships with potato common scab suppression and tuber yield potential. This work, along with ongoing efforts in areas of crop resistance improvement and treatment evaluation, provides strong support to the generation of sustainable common scab management solutions for our Wisconsin potato industry and beyond.


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People Heartland Farms Honored as Top Producer Finalist Innovative young grower leads family operation to new levels of success Jeremie Pavelski, president of Heartland Farms in Hancock, Wisconsin, was honored in late January as a 2018 finalist for Farm Journal’s annual Top Producer of the Year Award. He received recognition in Chicago among more than 700 of his peers. Sponsored by Crop Science, a division of Bayer, and Case IH, the Top Producer of the Year contest is in its 19th year and represents the best in the business of farming. Pavelski was among three finalists chosen by a panel of judges based on entrepreneurial originality, financial and business progress, and industry and community leadership. For Pavelski, serving as president of Heartland Farms combines two passions: agriculture and technology.

This innovative young farmer is leading his family’s operation, which began in 1873, to new levels of success. Heartland Farms is a partnership between Jeremie, his father, Richard, Dave Knights and T.J. Kennedy. Spanning 24,000 acres, the top crop on the farm is potatoes, though sweet corn, canning peas, green beans and soybeans are also grown. Annually 8,000 acres are dedicated to potatoes, most of which end up as potato chips. After attending college, Jeremie joined the farm as IT (Information Technology) director. As a data junkie, he started incorporating new field, agronomic, office and financial technologies to improve efficiency.

RAPID DATA ANALYSIS Not only does the farm collect more data than ever, it also analyzes and makes decisions on it at rapid speed. This information is shared with every team member for cost-effective decision making. Heartland Farms includes 120 fulltime and 150 part-time employees. The success of the operation depends on its team. The farm’s leaders conduct triannual employee reviews and offer regular training, as well as mentoring opportunities. They provide catered meals to every employee at harvest Above: Top Producer Editor Sara Schafer (right) congratulates Jeremie Pavelski (left) of Heartland Farms in Hancock, Wisconsin, for being named a 2018 Top Producer of the Year finalist. Photo courtesy of Tina Smothers, Top Producer

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

Jul-16

Aug-16

Sep-16

Oct-16

Nov-16

Dec-16

Jan-17

Feb-17

Mar-17

Apr-17

May-17

Jun-17

Year-to-Date

CWT

1,596,377.06

706,549.4

1,283,527.92

2,874,985.48

3,531,201.37

1,995,664.44

3,035,619.25

2,285,371.71

17,309,296.63

Assessment

$96,214.65

$46,392.12

$87,862.17

$200,067.53

$246,554.05

$139,662.51

$212,457.84

$160,044.60

$1,189,255.47

Jul-17

Aug-17

Sep-17

Oct-17

Nov-17

Dec-17

Jan-18

Feb-18

Month

Mar-18

Apr-18

May-18

Jun-18

Year-to-Date

CWT

1,396,699.63

728,925.87

1,091,193.52

2,115,859.48

3,758,248.10

1,577,177.03

2,869,518.15

1,938,094.28

15,475,716.06

Assessment

$97,708.18

$51,117.39

$76,383.31

$148,116.2

$263,042.39

$110,407.00

$200,922.03

$135,724.59

$1,083,421.09

28 BC�T April


and offer bonuses based on good attendance. Beyond being a large employer for the area, Heartland Farms is committed to its community. Pavelski holds numerous roles in leadership and community organizations. The operation and the Pavelski

family have committed to donating $450,000 to support their local school’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program. They’ve also committed $500,000 to help start a Breast Care Center in Stevens Point. In being named a 2018 Top Producer of the Year finalist, Pavelski receives in-person and phone consultations

with a CEO coach and a trip to the 2018 Commodity Classic, courtesy of Bayer, in addition to a trip to Chicago for the 2018 Top Producer Seminar. To read more about Jeremie Pavelski and the other farmers honored this year, visit www.TopProducerSeminar.com.

NPPGA President Chuck Gunnerson Announces Retirement Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA) President Chuck Gunnerson announced his upcoming retirement at the February 20 NPPGA Annual Meeting in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Eric Halverson, incoming NPPGA Board chairman, indicated that Gunnerson would continue in his role as president until the Board has found a suitable replacement. Gunnerson farmed and operated the Ada Produce Company, a red potato packaging facility in Ada, Minnesota, until 2004, when he decided to pursue an early retirement. His love of the industry brought him back to lead the NPPGA when he assumed the role of interim president in October 2008 and became president on July 1, 2009. Gunnerson says, after 40 years in the potato industry, he looks forward to retirement and spending time with his family. Past chairman of the Red River Valley Potato Growers Association (RRVPGA, currently NPPGA), Gunnerson also served as president of the National Potato Council (NPC) in 2000 and as chairman of the Minnesota Area One Potato Council for 20 years. SERVED IN VARIOUS CAPACITIES He was chairman of the Northern

Crops Council from 1998-’99 and has served in various capacities on several agricultural commodity boards. Gunnerson has received numerous honors, including the “1997 RRVPGA Meritorious Service Award,” The Grower magazine “1999 Potato Man of the Year,” the NPC “2004 Golden Potato Award,” the NPC “2012 Presidents Award” and the “2017 Distinguished Service to The Minnesota Potato Industry Award.” A nationwide search for Gunnerson’s replacement has already begun, according to NPPGA’s Communications Director Ted Kreis.

Above: Outgoing NPPGA President Chuck Gunnerson

MARKET LEADING CONTROL OF COLORADO POTATO BEETLE AND FAST, EFFECTIVE CONTROL OF OTHER KEY PESTS.

“Chuck has been a strong leader for the past nine and a half years, but the Board is confident they will receive some strong applicants,” Kreis says. An outside human resource specialist will assist NPPGA in its search for a new president. Interested applicants can visit www.nppga.org for a complete job description and application instructions. continued on pg. 30

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BC�T April 29


People. . . continued from pg. 29

Vive Crop Protection Names Communications Manager Vive Crop Protection, Inc. is pleased to announce that Arlene Warner has joined the company as communications manager. Warner joins Vive after a 29-year career in agricultural communications, mostly spent at AdFarm, working with both large and small companies in the crop production industry. “We’re very pleased that Arlene has joined our team,” says Vive Crop Protection President Darren Anderson. “Arlene’s experience working with some of the biggest

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players in the industry is valuable as we continue to build our portfolio of products and grow our customer base.” Warner reports to Tony Zatylny, vice president of business development, and works out of the Toronto, Canada, office. About Vive Crop Protection Vive creates new ways to employ trusted products using the Allosperse® Delivery System. Allosperse improves the targeting and performance of pesticide active ingredients, helping farmers do more with less, while increasing crop quality and yield. Visit ViveCrop.com for more information.

Above: Arlene Warner joins Vive Crop Protection as communications manager.

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Now News Storage Research Facility Offers Services Potato and vegetable growers encouraged to partner on storage research The University of Wisconsin (UW) Storage Research Facility is currently planning the 2018-’19 storage research season and wants to hear from you! Built in 2006 and located at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station in Hancock, Wisconsin, this state-ofthe-art facility contains nine 2,000 cwt. (hundredweight) bulk storages, nine storage lockers, 1,000-pound mini-bulk storage boxes, a processing lab and a quality assurance lab. 

please contact Troy Fishler or Amber Gotch at 715-249-5961. There are currently bulk, locker and 1,000-pound mini-bulk storage options available for the coming storage season. Additionally, the UW’s Storage Research Facility offers laboratory

services to growers, researchers and industry, including potato quality assessment. Present services include quantification of sugar concentrations (in-season chemical maturity and storage sugar profiling), continued on pg. 32

The Storage Research Facility collaborates with the UW-Madison faculty, industry partners and potato and vegetable growers across the state. If you have a storage research project you would like to sponsor, or a request for research you would like to see conducted at our facility, Above & Right: The University of Wisconsin Storage Research Facility, located at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station, is offering to partner with potato and vegetable growers across the state in anticipation of the 2018-’19 storage research season. BC�T April 31


Now News. . . continued from pg. 31

chip HunterLab color, fry sample Photovolt reflectance values, and specific gravity as well as high-quality photo documentation of chip and fry samples, pressure bruise scoring, black spot bruise screening and storage rot evaluations. To schedule a tour or to learn more on how the Storage Research Facility can be of service to you and your organization, call 715-249-5961 or stop by the Hancock Agricultural Research Station at N3909 County Road V, Hancock, Wisconsin.

Above: One-thousand-pound mini-bulk boxes make up just one option for growers at the Storage Research Facility, with others including locker and bulk storage, as well as processing and quality assurance labs.

World Potato Congress to be Held in the Cradle of Diversity

which was domesticated in the region some 8,000 years ago, continues to play a prominent role in the country’s economy and cuisine.

Most of the world’s more than 4,000 native potato varieties never left the Andes

The WPC slogan for the event is, thus, “Back to the beginning to plan for the future.”

When potato experts and industry representatives gather in the highland city of Cusco, Peru for the 10th World Potato Congress (WPC) on May 27-31, they’ll not only learn about the latest potato research and technologies, they’ll also experience the diversity and cultural significance of the potato in the crop’s center of origin.

America until it was conquered by Spanish conquistadores in the early 16th century.

The timeless city of Cusco was the capital of the Incan empire, which ruled much of northwest South

It is also an ideal location for the WPC, since the potato was a vital crop for the Incas. The potato,

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Potato of Cedar River for Jon Jacobs Maine. Burbanks is different Aroostook County, Harvesting Russet his parents did it years ago in than Company today

While Spanish colonization of South America launched the potato’s dissemination across the globe, most of the world’s more than 4,000 potato varieties never left the Andes, and Peru is home to about 3,000 of those native potatoes. WPC participants will be able to see and taste some of the colorful spuds, especially on May 30, which is Peru’s National Potato Day. FIELD TRIPS Optional field trips on May 31

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to the Potato Park, where indigenous communities conserve an array of native potatoes, or the National Institute for Agrarian Innovation’s (INIA) Andenes Experimental Station, where agronomists grow native varieties on Incan terraces, offer excellent opportunities to experience the crop’s biodiversity and cultural significance. And because the WPC will be held in conjunction with the XXVIII Congress of the Latin American Potato Association, participants will be able to meet colleagues from across the region.

world’s largest collection of potato diversity in its Lima gene bank. CIP, INIA and more than 20 other public and private sector institutions collaborated on promoting the

Partnering with growers who

continued on pg. 34

Partnering with growers who

Take Pride Take Pride in their kidney beans.

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The WPC organizing committee includes INIA and the International Potato Center (CIP for its name in Spanish), which conserves the

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Above: The potato was domesticated in Peru approximately 8,000 years ago and continues to play a prominent role in the country’s economy and cuisine. Photo courtesy of @ClaudioGuzman/ FAO

consumption of native potato varieties years ago, resulting in more than a 150 percent increase in sales of native potatoes in Peru.

If you 715-664-8342 are interested in growing kidney beans for Chippewa cbrown@cvbean.com Valley Bean, please contact 715-664-8342 Charles Wachsmuth at cbrown@cvbean.com charleswachsmuth@cvbean.com

and the trusting partnerships we create with our Trust. Commitment . Respect. growers. We are looking for partners to grow with us. Our promise to you as a grower.

Trust. Commitment . Respect. Our promise to you as a grower.

BC�T April 33


Now News. . . continued from pg. 33

Demand for those native varieties continues to grow as they are served in gourmet restaurants and exported as potato chips. This is good news for the more than 700,000 smallholder families in Peru’s Andean highlands who depend on potatoes for income.

WPC participants will learn about an array of initiatives and other innovations during plenary presentations about the biodiversity, food security and business of potatoes on May 28 and 29.

But those who are fortunate enough to attend the event will also enjoy exploring Cusco’s colorful plazas and cobbled streets, tasting its Novoandina (modern Andean and Peruvian) cuisine and admiring the region’s stunning landscapes.

CSS Farms Selects RPE as Marketing Partner Sales and marketing expertise targeted for Agri-Pack potatoes and onions CSS Farms, a multi-state agriculture company producing onions, and chip and specialty potatoes, and RPE—category leader and year-round grower/shipper of potatoes and onions—announce the selection of RPE as exclusive marketing partner of Agri-Pack. Agri-Pack is a CSS Farms subsidiary and Pasco, Washington-based grower/packer/distributor of potatoes and onions.

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Grabner noted that RPE and CSS Farms have worked effectively together since 2010 as joint venture partners in Tasteful Selections, an industry leader in the bite-size potato category, growing it from 1.5 percent of the United States market eight years ago to 18 percent today. “We are pleased,” Grabner says, “to add a vital and strategic piece to our business by establishing this exclusive

CSS Farms Managing Partner Reagan Grabner said the partnering

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arrangement with RPE, a proven entity with a lengthy track record.” Larry Denke will continue to represent sales at the Agri-Pack Pasco office as he has for the past 13 years, with support from RPE’s sales and marketing teams throughout the United States. Effective March 12, the Pasco office will become an RPE location and Denke an RPE employee. Customer accounts-payable and accountsreceivable will be managed by RPE. FUTURE GROWTH Since the 2017 mid-year acquisition of Agri-Pack by CSS Farms, a commitment to positioning the business for future growth has been apparent. “I already have witnessed significant investment in the business to bring even more innovation to our operations in the Northwest,” Denke explains. “Adding RPE’s sales and marketing expertise is an integral piece of our commitment to deliver the best value to our customers and consumers.” RPE, in the past decade, expanded from a company operating almost exclusively in Wisconsin to a diversified organization selling from every onion- and potato-producing state in the United States and Canada.


Russell Wysocki, RPE president, expects Agri-Pack operations to anchor a comprehensive onion program supplying food service companies, restaurants, retailers and other entities servicing and selling directly to consumers. “Agri-Pack will be the cornerstone of an expanding onion program that contributes to growth of an entire industry, just as we have demonstrated with the potato

industry during the last 10 years,” Wysocki says. RPE, as a sales and marketing entity, has considerable experience working with growers and customers alike to introduce innovations while expanding the potato and onion categories. “We are looking forward to bringing exciting things to the onion category,” Wysocki remarks. “There is a joint

Above: CSS Farms sought out RPE, Inc.’s sales and marketing expertise to grow its Agri-Pack grower/packer/distributor line of potatoes and onions and deliver the best value to customers and consumers. Bill Wysocki is shown at the RPE headquarters in Bancroft, Wisconsin, next to pallets of russet baking potatoes and onions.

vision between the companies of how to grow the onion industry in a mutually-beneficial way for AgriPack, RPE and everybody along our supply chain.” continued on pg. 36

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Now News. . . continued from pg. 35

Portage County Farm Tech Days Awards Grants Funds support fair associations and Don Hamerski Memorial Scholarship Fund The Portage County Farm Technology Days Executive Committee has announced that it will be distributing funds to support the Rosholt Fair Association, Portage County FairAmherst and the Don Hamerski Memorial Scholarship Fund. The funds, resulting from residual sales of event equipment and Lenco collectibles, will support local agricultural programs in Portage County. The Rosholt Fair Association, Portage County Fair-Amherst and Don Hamerski Memorial Scholarship Fund will receive $7,000 each to go toward agricultural-related capital improvements or scholarships. The Rosholt Fair Association will be using the funds to build a new bovine wash area on the Rosholt fairgrounds, making it safer, more efficient and aesthetically more appealing. The Portage County Fair-Amherst will be applying the funds for improvements to the small animal and dairy barns on the Amherst fairgrounds. The remaining funds will be used to add to the scholarship fund established in memory of Don Hamerski. The scholarship will be available to applicants pursuing an education in agriculture, farming or agriculture-related business or trade, and who meet the application criteria. This scholarship will award up to $500. Hamerski, a third-generation potato and vegetable grower from Plover,

36 BC�T April

Wisconsin, passed away in August 2016. He was president of Hamerski Farms, Inc., and was inducted into the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Hall of Fame in 2017. The grant presentations were held on Thursday, February 1, at Feltz’s Dairy Store in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. About Wisconsin Farm Technology Days On August 12-14, 2014, Portage County hosted Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, a three-day outdoor event, at the host farms of Blue Top Farms and Feltz Family Farms. The event showcased the latest developments in production agriculture, including practical applications and recent research

Above: Recipients of grants awarded by the Portage County Farm Technology Days Executive Committee are, from left to right, Tim Pederson, president of the Portage County Fair-Amherst; Lisa Mercurio-Wroblewski, Rosholt Fair Association Board of Directors; Chris Martin, president of the Rosholt Fair Association; and Jon Hamerski, Hamerski Farms, Inc.

and technological developments. About Agriculture in Portage County, Wisconsin Portage County has diverse agriculture, which provides employment for about 13 percent of the county’s workforce and contributes $1.11 billion in economic activity, more than 18 percent of the county’s economic activity. The county has more than 1,000 farms and 280,000 acres in agricultural production.


Gov. Walker Supports Rural Economic Development Ag Day at the Capitol executive order provides markets for agribusinesses “We are always honored to have Governor Walker attend Ag Day at the Capitol, but this year his visit was extra special,” says Jim Holte, president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. Following his address to approximately 400 farmers announcing new rural and agriculture initiatives, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed an executive order to provide markets for family farmers and agribusinesses. “As our state’s farmers are faced with low commodity prices, we are encouraged that the executive order asks the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to amplify its efforts to increase the

markets for Wisconsin products both domestically and internationally,” Holte states. “Among the Governor’s rural and agriculture initiatives, we are pleased he is looking toward a long-term investment in rural areas with his proposed Rural Economic Development Fund of $50 million a year,” Holte adds.

conservation groups in addressing water quality and soil preservation. “The additional $500,000 the Governor proposes to invest in this program is welcomed,” Holte says. The young people of Wisconsin agriculture are the future of farming in the state, and youth are kept in mind throughout Gov. Walker’s rural economic development proposals.

CONSERVATION PRACTICES The Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant program lets farmers be an active voice in discussions regarding conservation practices in their area.

“We are thrilled that the funds from the Dairy 30×20 program, which has already achieved its goal, will be recycled into scholarships for young people heading back to a rural community,” Holte remarks.

The popular grant program encourages farmers to work with land conservation departments and

“These rural economic initiatives are most definitely a step in the right direction,” he concludes.

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View a directory of the Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato Growers on your smartphone.

BC�T April 37


Seed Piece

U.S. Seed Banks Stretch Coast to Coast USDA operates 20 gene banks that preserve seed genetics of major grain crops By Sonja Begemann, Farm Journal seeds and crop production editor

When you buy a new car, you buy insurance to protect it. The same can be said about seeds. When agriculturalists discovered their irreplaceable value, they realized seeds needed to be protected. As a result, there are 20 gene banks in the United States alone that hold hundreds of thousands of modern, historical and wild relatives of crops. These seeds hold the keys to future genetic changes. “Almost all the soybean disease resistance we have now originated from the seed collection and was crossed into commercial varieties,” explains Randy Nelson, a USDA–Agricultural Research Service (ARS) geneticist at the University of Illinois, who manages their seed bank. The 20 U.S. gene banks keep the varieties in temperature-controlled

and data-tracked facilities. Curators manage supply, check out varieties to researchers, maintain genetic purity and develop collections by acquiring germplasm. In the United States, seed bank preservation is essential to the future of agriculture, particularly for soybeans. “Soybean production as it is today would not be possible without this germplasm,” Nelson says.

Researchers have barely tapped into the genetic diversity of soybeans available through gene banks. Soybean breeders have used less than 1 percent of the germplasm available, Nelson adds. 600,000 SOYBEAN VARIETIES In the U.S. system, there are close to 600,000 different varieties, with the University of Illinois’ collection holding nearly 22,000 kinds of soybeans and other soybean relatives. In Ames, Iowa, Candice Gardner and staff conserve 53,000 varieties of more than 1,400 crop species for USDA–ARS. The Ames facility, established in 1947, was the first U.S. seed gene bank. It’s like a time capsule. “We have corn seed in our cold room that’s 50 years old and will still germinate at 85 percent,” Gardner says. She also notes viability and shelf life of seed varies by species. Soybean seeds at the Illinois facility can maintain viability for more than 15 years. “To make sure we are sending good seeds, we regrow them every 10 years,” Nelson says. “We grow more than 2,000 varieties a year.” Left: In the United States, and elsewhere throughout the world, seed bank preservation is essential to the future of agriculture, with each gene bank holding modern, historical and wild relatives of crops. Graphic courtesy of Farm Journal.

38 BC�T April


Maintaining genetic purity is critical—a challenge Nelson says is easier to do with self-pollinating crops. Crops such as corn are more complicated since they can easily cross-pollinate. “In maize, everything is control pollinated,” Gardner explains. “We hand pollinate maize, while insectpollinated species are grown in screened cages with bees and flies.” GENETIC INTEGRITY Those managing U.S. gene banks must maintain genetic integrity of each variety when re-growing seed stock. Genetic purity is critical because researchers rely on these

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varieties as they search for new seed technologies. “Historically and still today, the biggest use of the seed collection is for disease resistance,” Nelson says. Researchers can look for specific resistant qualities to cross into varieties. Disease resistance isn’t the only quality researchers seek, and as interest in seed composition increases, so does the value. Researchers are looking for genes responsible for stress tolerance, yield, composition, nutrition and other traits that bring value.

Gene banks hold the genetic keys to agriculture’s future success, and there are safety nets in place to preserve seed viability. In the United States, gene banks have backup collections stored at the National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado, where some seeds can last up to 75 years. Norway’s Svalbard Global Seed Vault stores copies at negative (-) 18 degrees Celsius and holds 825,000 crop varieties. Even if power fails, the vault can safely store seed for an additional 25 years.

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Central Sands Lake Study Begins This Summer

DNR aims to determine impact of groundwater withdrawals on region’s lake levels By Bob Smail, water supply specialist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Both scientific literature and media coverage have focused on agricultural groundwater withdrawals as cause for significantly reducing groundwater and surface water levels in the Central Sands region of Wisconsin.

This issue has been a source of interest for several years, rising to the attention of the Wisconsin legislature, which, in 2017, directed the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to evaluate and model the hydrology of Pleasant

Lake, Plainfield Lake and Long Lake in Waushara County. The resulting Central Sands Lake Study will begin in summer 2018 to further evaluate the potential impact of irrigated agriculture and other factors on the groundwater aquifer and surface waters of the Central Sands region. The Central Sands region is so named for the defining geological feature of the area—a broad area partially defined by sandy soil that is a remnant of the last glaciation. The goal of the project is to create an advanced hydrological model Above & Left: Plainfield Lake is part of a study that Bob Smail (shown speaking at the 2018 Industry Show in Stevens Point, Wisconsin) says the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is undertaking to evaluate and model the hydrology of three Waushara County lakes.

40 BC�T April


of the lakes that can be used to estimate impacts from individual wells, cumulative pumping from wells across the region, land use changes and changes in vegetative cover. The model, which will include new methods and data developed in recent years, including weather, evapotranspiration and recharge, will contribute to estimating impacts from groundwater withdrawals and land use on future lake levels. To begin the study, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) will focus on gathering field observations of the local geology, aquatic ecology and hydrology to properly build the model. This includes geological borings and the installation of new monitoring wells, lake level gauges and streamflow gauges. The WDNR is grateful to the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) for its support in upgrading and maintaining several monitoring wells installed by the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.

Above: The map shows the Central Sands region of Wisconsin, and specifically the location of Plainfield, Long and Pleasant lakes, which are part of the Central Sands Lake Study.

HYDROLOGY OF STUDY AREA While the basic science to be used in this study is well-established, there are gaps in our understanding of the geology and hydrology of the study area. The three lakes in the Central Sands Lakes Study are all quite different. Pleasant Lake, southeast of Coloma, is a relatively deep (maximum depth of 30 feet) kettle lake formed when large chunks of glacial ice broke off and were buried in sediment of a retreating glacier. When one of the chunks of ice eventually melted, it left a depression in the land surface where the ice once was. The lake is a popular fishing and recreation destination, and its shoreline is developed for homes and cabins.

Left: Kettle lakes, such as Pleasant Lake southeast of Coloma, are formed when ice blocks are buried in glacial sediment and subsequently melt. Image courtesy of Mickelson, David M., Geology of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Š2011 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Reprinted courtesy of The University of Wisconsin Press

channels versus the surrounding areas. Plainfield and Long Lakes, located a few miles east of Plainfield, are tunnel-channel lakes. These are formed within valleys carved by meltwater streams flowing underneath glaciers. Because of this unique feature, data collection is necessary to determine differences in sediment in the tunnel

Even though Plainfield and Long Lake were formed by similar processes, the two lakes themselves are quite different. Fairly shallow, with a maximum depth of 14 feet, Long Lake is surrounded by cabins and used for fishing and recreation. continued on pg. 42 BC�T April 41


Now News. . . continued from pg. 41

However, historical variation in lake levels may sometimes limit recreation. By comparison, Plainfield Lake, surrounded mostly by public land, is very shallow (maximum depth of 12 feet) with a gently sloping bottom. This means that even small changes in lake level can dramatically change the size of the lake. It has a limited fish population and is used for waterfowl hunting. Notably, Plainfield Lake includes an extensive population of Fassett’s Locoweed. This a threatened plant native only to Waushara, Portage and Bayfield counties in Wisconsin, and depends on water level variation for survival. “SIGNIFICANT” IMPACTS A major challenge in this study will be determining if any observed or predicted impacts on the lakes from groundwater withdrawals

are “significant.” Historically, lake levels in the area fluctuate considerably because of climatic variation. Therefore, this study will look specifically at whether groundwater withdrawals have a significant impact on lake levels in addition to the climatic variation. This determination of significance will be done relative to the ecological, economic and recreational conditions of each lake. At this point, WDNR does not have any formal guidance for determining significance and will rely on the Right: The map shows the location of tunnel channels (green lines) relative to the maximum extent of the Laurentide Ice Sheet approximately 25,000 years ago. Image courtesy of Mickelson, David M., Geology of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. ©2011 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Reprinted courtesy of The University of Wisconsin Press

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detailed study of each lake’s ecosystem. If the study indicates that impacts from groundwater withdrawals are significant, the WDNR may recommend to the legislature specific measures to minimize the observed impacts. The law also requires any recommended special measure to be subject to public review and hearing as well as an economic impact analysis conducted by WDNR. This analysis, if necessary, would include potential economic impacts to local growers and the local economies. This project represents a tremendous opportunity for Wisconsin to advance water science and develop a better understanding of how to manage our shared resources for the benefit of all. To achieve this, WDNR will rely heavily on institutional partners at the United States Geological Survey, University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. In addition, WDNR will seek opportunities to continue its partnership with the WPVGA

and its individual growers. For more information, please visit the project website at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Wells/HighCap/ CSLStudy.html, or email DGCentralSandsStudy@ wi.gov or call 608-266-2299.

Above: The native range of Fassett’s Locoweed (Oxytropis campestris) is limited to Waushara, Portage and Bayfield counties in Wisconsin, including Plainfield Lake, which has an extensive population. Image courtesy of Tom Meyer, Wisconsin DNR

PRESIDENT

NORTHERN PLAINS POTATO GROWERS ASSOCIATION

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA) is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual to fill the role of President. The position is responsible for representing the interests of NPPGA members by providing industry leadership, managing association operations, developing programs, overseeing research efforts, and coordinating events. Candidates should possess strong industry related leadership experience and a bachelor’s degree. Position offers a competitive salary and benefits package. For a more complete job description visit the home page at www.nppga.org Apply by sending resume to communication@nppga.org BC�T April 43


EYES ON ASSOCIATES By WPVGA Associate Div. President, Casey Kedrowski, Roberts Irrigation

Good day, farmers and

associates alike. I’m Casey Kedrowski, and I’d like to introduce myself to anyone who may not recognize my name. I am the new WPVGA Associate Division president. Currently a salesman at Roberts Irrigation, I live in Plover, Wisconsin, and am married with two kids. As many of you can attest, having kids who are four and seven years old sure keeps a person on their toes! I have been in the industry now for five years and have enjoyed meeting and spending time with many of you. As I sit here in my office, staring out the window on a bright, sunny day, I can say with complete certainty that I am ready for spring. I haven’t seen a robin yet, but the old saying is, “Spring will finally arrive Below: In sales/design for Roberts Irrigation, newly elected WPVGA Associate Division President Casey Kedrowski says Wisconsin Senate Bill 76, allowing for the repair, replacement and transfer of approved high-capacity wells, is helpful in ensuring growers can irrigate their crops whenever necessary.

44 BC�T April

after three snows on a robin’s tail.” I sure hope that’s inaccurate this year! It seems like all I can think about right now is getting outside and going for a walk or pushing my kids on the swing set. Do I seem a little anxious? Maybe, but before you know it, there will be dirt flying and seeds being planted. I like to think I’ve learned a few things in the last five years about farming, water and many other facets of agriculture. WELLS & COMMODITIES Some of the more important issues that I’ve kept my eyes on are the highcapacity well situation and commodity prices. It seems like every time I hear anyone talk about corn prices, it is always with a grim outlook, and milk prices are the same way. The Associate Division, along with just about everyone else out there, is hoping for the end of low commodity prices to be near so we can get back to normal … or at least closer! As for high-capacity wells, Wisconsin Senate Bill 76 that was passed into

law June 2, 2017, allows for the replacement, repair and transfer of ownership of an approved high-capacity well. SB 76 will be very helpful in ensuring everyone is able to irrigate their crops whenever it is necessary. That’s a win in my opinion and a step in the right direction. Thank you to everyone who let their voice be heard. Lastly, I want to note that almost all the people I’ve worked with, or sat on committees with, have been fantastic and very helpful. It’s a great feeling to know that, in this industry, there are people who will help you out and have your back. It comes down to putting business aside and just being a good person and a good friend. Thank you! I hope everyone stays safe and warm as we approach another busy season. Cheers,

Casey Kedrowski

WPVGA Associate Division President


ASSOCIATE DIVISION / AUXILIARY

Scholarships Now Available

The WPVGA Associate Division and Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary are pleased to inform you of scholarships totaling $6,000, available to students at post-secondary institutions. The Associate Division and Auxiliary Boards of Directors will award the full $6,000, but may decide to award several smaller scholarships based on the number of applicants and their merits. The purpose of these annual scholarships is to provide financial assistance to students whose immediate families are members of the WPVGA. There is also a special additional scholarship that will be awarded to the top candidate among all applicants. The Avis M. Wysocki Memorial Scholarship was established in 2016 to honor Avis, who was a founding member of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary and an integral part of the Wisconsin potato industry. Through a fundraiser held by the Associate Division earlier this year, along with a special contribution from the Auxiliary, this year’s winner of the Avis M. Wysocki Memorial Scholarship will receive $2,555 in scholarship funds.

DUE BY

MAY 1, 2018 Applications can be obtained online at www.wisconsinpotatoes.com or by calling the WPVGA office at

(715) 623-7683 If you have any questions, please call Julie Braun at the WPVGA office.

PLEASE RETURN COMPLETED FORMS TO: Julie Braun WPVGA PO Box 327 Antigo, WI 54409-0327 or, Email Completed Form to: jbraun@wisconsinpotatoes.com

The scholarships detailed above can be used to defray educational expenses and are open to students in undergraduate and post-graduate programs. Applicants must be residents of Wisconsin and are eligible to reapply in subsequent years regardless if they have been previously awarded a scholarship. The selection of a scholarship winner is based on the following criteria: • Merit – e.g. G.P.A., extra-curricular activities, etc. • Financial need. • Other information provided in the application. • The recipient must attend an accredited Wisconsin school of higher education as a full-time graduate or undergraduate student. • The recipient must meet the entry requirements of the selected accredited Wisconsin school of higher education (grade point average, etc.). Some of the information requested in the application may be considered personal or confidential. You may choose not to provide such information; however, the selection committee making decisions requests information on your financial status since Associate Division and Auxiliary scholarships may be partially based on financial need. You are encouraged to complete the scholarship application form in a professional manner. The applicant must properly complete and type the formal application. Hand-written applications will not be considered. Remember, the application will be the only representation of you that the selection committee has a chance to see.

BC�T April 45


Marketplace

By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions & Consumer Education

Potatoes Are “Something Special from Wisconsin” Wisconsin has a lot of products that are special and unique. And it’s a good day when you can visit one area and see everything the Badger State has to offer. Such was the case for the 7,500 attendees of the Midwest Foodservice Expo, March 12-14, at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, as they enjoyed three days of all the products available to foodservice in Wisconsin. This was especially apparent in the “Something Special from Wisconsin” pavilion at the exposition, where the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) displayed its booth promoting Wisconsin potatoes.

specifically in the Something Special from Wisconsin area of the tradeshow.

While WPVGA has exhibited at the show hosted by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association for several years, this is the first time Wisconsin potatoes have had a presence

At the booth, which was located right next to Alsum Farms & Produce, samples included chips and other giveaways like recipe tear pads, potato nutrition brochures and potato

stress balls to those who stopped by. WPVGA’s booth also featured several pull-up banners, three of which featured pictures of National Hockey League All-Star and two-time Olympian Joe Pavelski, who hails from Plover, Wisconsin. The banners sport the “Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes” message and mention how important potatoes are in preparing for and recovering from physical activity. “From an energy boost to a recovery snack, Wisconsin potatoes help you Above: Matt Smith of Alsum Farms & Produce (behind booth at left) and Michael Gatz of Bushmans’ Inc. (behind booth, right) promote Wisconsin potatoes by handing out potato samples and bags of chips at the Midwest Foodservice Expo in Milwaukee, March 12-14. Both booths were within the “Something Special from Wisconsin” area of the Exhibition Hall. Left: Sue Thomas (right, blue shirt and apron) and Matt Smith (black jacket), both of Alsum Farms and Produce, speak with a booth visitor about buying local at the Midwest Foodservice Expo.

46 BC�T April


prepare to be your very best,” is the phrase on each banner next to a very active Pavelski skating in his hockey uniform. One banner also shows Pavelski with a group of young hockey players, which is great in relaying the importance of teaching healthy choices and maintaining active lifestyles to younger generations. Right: A banner (right) featuring two-time Olympian and NHL All-Star Joe Pavelski and the “Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes” message decorated WPVGA’s booth in the “Something Special from Wisconsin” area of the Midwest Foodservice Expo. As the “Something Special from Wisconsin” area allows only one banner up at a time, WPVGA alternated between several promotional banners throughout the duration of the show.

Spudmobile is a Big Hit at St. Patrick’s Day Parade It wasn’t quite St. Patrick’s Day yet when the Spudmobile cruised through downtown Milwaukee, but that didn’t mean crowds weren’t lining the streets to celebrate early for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade through the city’s center. This is the second year in a row “Wisconsin’s Traveling Billboard” has had the privilege of being invited to participate in yet another holiday that celebrates the Irish and the heritage of potatoes. Here are a few images that showcase the vast crowd that gathered in Milwaukee’s streets, March 10, and learned a bit more about the third largest potato-producing state in the nation, simply by attending a parade!

BC�T April 47


New Products

KoolJet Offers Plenum Potato Storage Cooling Direct plenum fan system developed for cooling potato storages with minimum energy Developed for cooling potatoes, the KoolJet SMA “Through the Door” designs have unleashed significant flexibility and energy savings. By installing the KoolJet System directly in the correctly sized plenum, with controlled dampers for fresh air and variable-speed system fans, the entire potato pile can be effectively cooled using minimum energy.

The KoolJet system can operate as designed, using the Dual-Kool Interleaved circuits to closely match the actual heat load far better than a traditional approach, and the pile fans can be equipped with drives to greatly reduce their electrical energy when the demand is stable. Dual-Kool technology, using interleaved coils and VSD (variable

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. 48 BC�T April

speed drive) condenser fans, provides the ability to operate refrigeration at the right level to significantly reduce energy use. FREE-COOLING can be accomplished by using automatic motorized dampers and fresh-air vents that feed the airstream to the pile.  There are KoolJet systems that include FREE-COOLING modes and systems that utilize coils installed in the return-air ducts for certain constructions. The KoolJet controls are self-contained but can be directly controlled by the farm’s storage control systems.  The KoolJet unit is portable so farmers can simply move the cooling to buildings where needed. A simple sliding door and a concrete pad allow complete portability around the farm to take the cooling to where the heat is. Simply connect the power to provide outstanding performance and reliability. For more information, contact KoolJet, 866-748-7786, info@kooljet.com, www.kooljet.com.


Kocide 3000 Approved for Organic Agriculture Copper fungicide/bactericide developed for vegetables, small fruits, tree crops and vines Kocide® 3000-O copper fungicide/ bactericide receives approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use in the organic production of vegetables, small fruits, tree crops and vines. Available from Certis USA, Kocide 3000-O is NOP (National Organic Program) approved and OMRI® (Organic Materials Review Institute) listed. Jim Black, Certis USA director of business development, says, “Our growers need the flexibility of producing their crops organically. We’re pleased to provide organic producers access to the copper fungicide they’ve relied upon for their commercially grown crops.” “Kocide 3000-O is an excellent

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addition to the Certis USA product line of more than 25 organically approved biopesticides,” Black adds. Kocide 3000-O is a technologically advanced copper fungicide that is formulated to deliver a maximum concentration of biologically active copper ions while providing outstanding plant safety.

LOWER USE RATES The advanced formulation allows for lower use rates than competitive copper fungicides and provides effective control of a broad range of bacterial and fungicidal diseases, including walnut blight, bacterial spec and spot, citrus canker, mildew, fire blight and bacterial blast. continued on pg. 50

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New Products. . . continued from pg. 49

Michael Harowitz, Kocide business manager at Certis USA, says, “Kocide copper fungicides have provided growers with reliable, proven performance for more than 50 years. We are excited to be offering Kocide 3000-O for organic as well as conventional production.”

control,” Harowitz adds.

“Available now, Kocide 3000-O has the same label as Kocide 3000 and offers the same excellent disease

Certis USA products provide valuable solutions by meeting the challenges faced by today’s growers who are

Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, Certis USA is a leading manufacturer and distributor of a broad line of biopesticide products for specialty agricultural and horticultural markets, and the home and garden market.

seeking sustainable alternatives, resistant pest management and harvest solutions, and low pesticide residues for market flexibility and export accessibility. For more information about Certis USA or its products, please visit www.certisusa.com.

Roundup Ready PLUS Touts Pattern Master Spray System Growers receive 20 percent discount purchasing spray system through Roundup Ready PLUS K-B Agritech announces that its award-winning Pattern Master Spray System will be available beginning immediately through Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions. Growers purchasing the Pattern Master System will save $1,440 for a typical 120-foot boom with nozzles spaced 20 inches apart. The program runs through August 31, 2018. Custom applicators and growers using the Pattern Master System will benefit from reduced particle drift, plus increase the amount of spray that hits the intended target.

The drift-able fines that are subject to off-target movement are kept under the boom longer, improving the odds of hitting desired vegetation. Studies conducted with watersensitive paper show a minimum 60 percent increased particle deposition with the Pattern Master System in place compared to the same nozzles and boom without the spoiler.

even the TTI (Turbo TeeJet Induction) with 15-degree offset.

Using the same type of lasers deployed in wind tunnel experiments, K-B Agritech proved the Pattern Master System kept 64 percent greater drift-able fines directly underneath the spray boom when using the AI11004 nozzle with a 10 miles per hour wind.

Most sprayers can be retrofitted with Pattern Master kits in 3-4 hours using only a wrench and ratchet. Each kit comes with the required stainless steel hardware.

INCREASED DEPOSITION In a field test with the spoilers in place, deposition of a copper-based fungicide was increased by 69 percent in the lower part of a crop canopy (4-6 inches off the ground). Pattern Master Spray Systems are designed to work with all sprayers, including pull types and selfpropelled units. They are designed to work with all single-orifice nozzles, 50 BC�T April

Spring-loaded spoilers are included for the breakaway sections in case of a ground strike.

The benefits of Pattern Master go well beyond Dicamba, which requires ultra-coarse and extremely-coarse spray quality, because the nozzles used to spray contact herbicides, insecticides and fungicides produce considerably more drift-able fines. The Pattern Master System will help increase pesticide performance across the board. For more information, visit: www.drt.ag or www.roundupreadyplus.com/offers. Or contact K-B Agritech, LLC, 715-600-6001, kurt_kamin@ yahoo.com.


Spud seed classic

Friday, June 22, 2018 Bass Lake Country Club W10650 Bass Lake Road Deerbrook, WI 54424

WSPIA Golf Outing

Deadline for sponsorship commitments to be included in June Badger Common'Tater: May 10, 2018* DINNER SPONSOR $2,000 • Company name and logo on three 12-foot banners placed in prominent areas including dinner area • Company name and logo in Badger Common'Tater • Verbal Recognition and name on sign at event • Registration and dinner for four golfers

GOLD RUSH SPONSOR $1,500 • Company Name and logo on two 12-foot banners placed in a prominent area on the course • Company name and logo in Badger Common'Tater • Verbal recognition and name on sign at event • Registration and dinner for two golfers

SILVERTON SPONSOR $1,000 Bushman's Riverside Ranch • Company name and logo on one 12-foot banner placed in a prominent area on the course • Company name and logo in Badger Common'Tater • Verbal Recognition and name on sign at event • Registration and dinner for one golfer

CONTACT DANIELLE SORANO for more details (715) 623-7683 Make checks payable to WSPIA

MAIL PAYMENT TO: WSPIA, P.O. Box 173 Antigo, WI 54409

SUPERIOR SPONSOR $500

• Company Name and logo on one 8-foot banner placed in a prominent area on the course • Company name and logo in Badger Common'Tater • Verbal recognition and name on sign at event

OCCUPIED HOLE SPONSOR $300 • Company name on hole sign • Rights to occupy a hole on the course and provide giveaways* *If alcohol is being served, it must be purchased through the golf course • Verbal recognition and name on sign at event

BASIC HOLE SPONSOR $200 • Company name on hole sign • Verbal recognition and name on sign at event

Since 1998, this tournament raised over $85,000, which was donated to Wisconsin potato research. BC�T April 51


Potatoes USA News Potatoes USA Expands Athletic Performance Footprint with Active.com In January, Potatoes USA launched a partnership with ACTIVE.com to expand its digital footprint for performance-specific messaging. ACTIVE is the leader in online event registrations, ranging from 5k running races and marathons to softball leagues and local events.

focused online articles. The ads have generated over 670 visits to PotatoGoodness.com.

The site also makes it easy for people to learn and prepare for training with expert resources, performance plans and fitness calculators.

The campaign also includes communications with ACTIVE’s 1.7 million email newsletter subscribers and social media followers, as well as access to their greater network of athletic performance influencers such as Run Eat Repeat, to serve up performance recipe ideas and share potato nutrition information.

As part of the partnership, Potatoes USA has consistent digital ads on ACTIVE’s nutrition and running-

The ACTIVE editorial staff’s first performance-specific piece about potatoes, “The Secret Super Veggie

That’s Ideal for Runners,” was published in early February, with another custom content piece to come in spring. ACTIVE’s site generates 8 million unique monthly visitors.

New Infographics Highlight Potato Nutrition Nutrition is increasingly on the minds of food developers and research and development chefs, as they want to develop products that meet consumer demand for healthy, clean and gluten-free foods. To ensure potato nutrition is top of mind and to continue to educate key audiences on all benefits that potatoes deliver, Potatoes USA has created two new infographics aimed at highlighting the many positive nutrition attributes of potatoes. The infographics are designed to communicate the information in a highly visual, eye-catching manner.

52 BC�T April

The nutrition information is relevant to food professionals and consumers alike, so the infographics can be used across multiple programs and initiatives. If you’d like to help tout

the nutritional benefits of potatoes, the files are available for download from the Potatoes USA Digital Asset Management System.


Super Poly Tanks from AG Systems

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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 • Molded in tie down lugs

Task Force plans and review•field trial outcomes Siphon tubes to help with drainage to make recommendations to the • UV inhibitors molded in for longer tank life • 18” lid is standard on all large tanks Potatoes USA International • Engineered welded steel stand available • Molded in tieMarketing down lugs for securing tanks • 3 - Year warranty from date of shipment • 3 - Year warrantyand from date of shipment Committee for future markets program direction. Don’t forget to pick up your Pumps, fittings, accessories and hose from Ag Systems.

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Potatoes USA is seeking nominations for members of the Seed Task Seed Task Force meetings occur each Travel expenses are provided for Force group, which consists of January during the Potatoes USA individuals selected as formal voting representative seed growers, Winter Meeting on the margins members. To make a nomination or for more information please exporters, certification officials, of Potato Expo and biannually in the researchers and state/national summer during the International Seed contact Amy Burdett, leaders. Symposium in Denver, amy@potatoesusa.com. PULL TYPE SPREADERS, HIGHColorado. CLEARANCE SPREADER

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BC�T April 53


Why is Ploidy in Potato Important? With the World Potato Congress coming up in Peru, it’s time to review diploid and tetraploid potatoes By Shelley Jansky, Ph.D., research geneticist and professor, USDA-ARS and UW-Madison Potato breeders love to talk about ploidy, which refers to the number of sets of chromosomes in a plant. However, while it is not our intent, our conversations often cause more confusion than clarity. From the perspective of almost anyone else in the potato research and production worlds, ploidy does not matter. The way you grow, manage, store, eat or study potato is not impacted by ploidy. So, why do potato breeders obsess over ploidy? In fact, ploidy truly does impact nearly everything we do. To explain why, let’s start with a brief history of potato. 54 BC�T April

About 8,000 years ago, the people of southern Peru first began to cultivate potato. In their continual search for new sources of food, they discovered that they could dig up the small tubers under plants in the mountains, cook them and eat them.

sets of chromosomes, just like the farmers, their llamas, their corn plants and most other living things they encountered.

They saved the largest ones and began planting them near their homes. Bees carried pollen from other potato plants in the area to create hybrid seeds. These pre-Inca farmers let the seeds grow and selected the plants that produced the largest tubers.

CHROMOSOME CONTRIBUTION Normally, when two diploid potato plants are crossed, each contributes one of its two sets of chromosomes to its offspring. This maintains the diploid chromosome number. Each plant has one set of chromosomes

These were the first potato breeders and the potato plants in their gardens were diploid. That is, they had two

Above: University of Wisconsin-Madison Research Geneticist and Professor Shelley Jansky says ploidy has the potential to dramatically change the way we produce new potato varieties.

But then something strange happened.


from its mother and one from its father. Potato has 12 chromosomes in a set, so a diploid potato has two sets of 12, or 24 chromosomes. In genetics terminology, a set is abbreviated with the letter “x.” So, “2x” means diploid, or two sets of chromosomes. The strange event in the farmers’ gardens in the highlands of Peru was called sexual polyploidization. That phrase is a mouthful, but it is descriptive. Sexual means that a cross was made. Polyploidization means that offspring with many (poly) sets of chromosomes (ploidy) were produced. This happened because of mutations in the genes that control the machinery of sexual reproduction (meiosis). When these genes mutated, chromosome number was not halved as expected during sexual reproduction, and each plant contributed two sets of chromosomes to its offspring instead of one. So, now some of the potatoes in these gardens had four sets of chromosomes, two from each parent. In the potato breeding world, we call these plants tetraploid, and they have 12 x 4 = 48 chromosomes. So, without realizing it, these farmers now had both diploids and tetraploids in their gardens. Other strange crosses occurred, creating triploid (3x) and pentaploid (5x) plants. These plants were shared with neighbors and carried to nearby villages. Eventually, potato migrated north to Central America and south to Chile. POTATO MIGRATION Potatoes were carried to Europe by Spanish explorers thousands of years later, in the latter half of the 16th century. However, these potatoes did not come from their place of origin in Peru where the latitude is about 15 degrees south.

distinguish among South American varieties based on ploidy. Diploids may or may not be higher yielding than triploids, tetraploids or pentaploids.

use the length of the day as their cue to produce tubers. In Peru, days are always about 12 hours long, so potato plants there are adapted to produce tubers when they have 12 hours of sunlight. In Europe, a 12-hour day happens during the spring and fall equinox. It would not be productive to grow Peruvian potatoes in Ireland if they don’t decide to tuberize until late September. The only potatoes that would have been adapted to Europe would have been the ones that migrated to southern Chile, where the latitude is 42 degrees south. The day length in southern Chile is comparable to that of southern Europe, so potatoes would have the environmental cue to tuberize in the summer. So, what does this have to do with ploidy? Well, for reasons that are not clear to us, the only potatoes that migrated to southern Chile were tetraploid. There is no obvious reason for this, as the cultivated potatoes throughout the remainder of South America ranged from diploid to pentaploid.

My suspicion is that it is only by chance that the potatoes in southern Chile are tetraploid. But, since these were the only potatoes that would have survived in Europe, and then spread to the remainder of the world, the crop that we call potato is tetraploid. GENETIC POTATO LOAD So, let’s go back to the question of why potato breeders like to talk about ploidy. Because potato varieties have four sets of chromosomes, we face challenges that our colleagues in other crops, like corn and soybean, don’t have to deal with. Perhaps the biggest one is genetic load. If there are four copies of every gene, it is easy for a bad one to hide behind three good ones. When we make a cross, some of these bad genes get exposed—they are no longer hiding— and we see offspring with poor vigor, yield and/or tuber type.

There are no features that would allow the farmers (or us) to

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continued on pg. 56

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We know this because potato plants BC�T April 55


Why is Ploidy in Potato Important?. . . continued from pg. 55

Genetic load is high in potato. A breeder typically discards 95 percent of new genetic combinations, largely because they are expressing the bad alleles that were hidden in the tetraploid parents. How do we deal with this problem? Corn breeders faced a similar problem a century ago. Even though corn is diploid, it too had a high genetic load because corn varieties were open-pollinated and breeders were not selecting and eliminating the bad genes. Then, the corn breeders realized that they could self-pollinate corn, expose the bad genes, select against them and gradually reduce the genetic load. The initial corn inbred strains were very weak, but with selection over time, inbred strains have become highly vigorous and fertile. We could try to do the same thing with tetraploid potato, but it would take a very long time to eliminate the bad genetics, because there are many more opportunities for the harmful genes to hide in a tetraploid genome. INBRED POTATOES? So, could we make diploid potatoes and then inbreed them? The answer is, “yes,” we can. Sixty years ago, my Ph.D. advisor and former University of Wisconsin potato breeder, Stan Peloquin, discovered that we can use a genetic trick to reduce the chromosome number in potato.

produce diploid (2x) egg cells. The Phureja pollinator tricks the egg cell into believing that it has been fertilized, so it begins to divide and develop into an embryo in a seed. Since the egg cell is diploid, the unfertilized embryo is also diploid. This is essentially a virgin birth in the potato world, and we call this process parthenocarpy, which translates into “virgin fruit.” Each egg cell has two of four genetically different chromosomes from its mother. So, all egg cells are different from each other because each got different combinations of chromosomes.

This trick involves pollination of tetraploid potato varieties with a particular South American diploid that we call a Phureja pollinator.

RANGE OF GENES When we grow seeds produced by parthenocarpy, we see a wide range of plants, reflecting the range of genes they inherited. Potato breeders call these parthenocarpic plants dihaploids.

Remember that, during sexual reproduction, each parent contributes only half of its chromosomes to its offspring. So, a tetraploid (4x) potato variety would

Haploid means a plant with the chromosome number of a gamete (an egg). We add “di” to remind us that these plants are diploid (2x). So, a dihaploid is a diploid (2x) plant

56 BC�T April

Figure 1: With each pair of chips processed from a different dihaploid plant, they vary in tuber size and chip color.

that has grown from an unfertilized egg cell (2x) of a tetraploid (4x) variety. Figure 1 shows chips from a set of dihaploids derived from White Pearl. Each pair of chips is from a different dihaploid plant. You can see that they vary in tuber size and chip color. So, now we can make diploid potatoes from tetraploid varieties and then self-pollinate them to reduce the genetic load carried by tetraploid varieties. We need to use another genetic trick to self-pollinate, but that is a story for another day. Suffice it to say that we have a lot of genetic tricks up our sleeves. Through the generous support of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), we are planning to carry out a large dihaploid extraction project this summer. We expect most of these dihaploids to have poor vigor and fertility, as


there will be few places for bad genes to hide in these new diploids. However, some will be agronomically acceptable and we will select those for additional breeding efforts.

Even more exciting than the creation of inbred strains, though, is that when we cross two measly strains, we produce vigorous high-yielding hybrids. See Figure 2.

STANDARD-SIZE DIPLOIDS In my own breeding program, I have seen diploid potatoes that produce tubers similar in yield and size to those of standard varieties.

Corn breeders discovered hybrid vigor a century ago, and I see no reason that we can’t experience the same revolution in potato breeding. Private potato breeding companies in Europe are making good progress in developing diploid hybrid potato varieties.

I am convinced that we can breed potato varieties at the diploid level, where we can discard the bad genes and assemble the good ones using powerful breeding strategies developed by our plant breeding colleagues in other crops such as corn and tomato. Most of these strategies cannot be applied to a tetraploid crop. In our first efforts to create diploid inbred strains, we have encountered inbreeding depression, as expected. But, this is necessary to expose and discard the bad genes hidden in modern potato varieties.

BREEDING LINES It is time to move in the same direction here. Dave Douches at Michigan State and I have been leading this effort in North America. We appreciate the support of the WPVGA to generate dihaploids that will serve as foundational breeding lines in this new system. So, why should we care about ploidy? It won’t change the way you grow potatoes or the way we eat potatoes, but it has the potential

to dramatically change the way we produce new potato varieties. We expect this diploid hybrid breeding system to be able to respond to new challenges more quickly. When a new pathogen or other stress presents itself, we will be able to breed new genes into existing varieties without changing them in other ways. These new varieties will enter the seed production system as true seeds rather than tissue culture plantlets. However, at least in the near future, there will be no change in the way they are handled after mini-tubers are produced. Producing a potato crop from true seed is a story for another day and another time. Figure 2: Shows a pair of inbred strains (left and right) and their hybrid offspring (middle). This is the same hybrid vigor that corn breeders discovered a century ago and that has led to tremendous improvements in the productivity of corn varieties.

BC�T April 57


NPC News

Potato Industry Makes Voices Heard at D.C. Fly-In Electronic Logging Device mandate, NAFTA and TPP were top issues The National Potato Council welcomed over 120 attendees to the 2018 D.C. Fly-In, February 26-March 1, at the Capital Hilton three blocks from the White House. Agriculture industry professionals, including several Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association members, pressed Congress and the Trump Administration on priority issues for the industry.  Some of those representing Wisconsin included Jim Wysocki of Wysocki Produce Farm, Nicolas Bushman of Bushmans’ Inc., Eric Schroeder of Schroeder Brothers Farms, Larry Alsum of Alsum Farms & Produce, Charlie Husnick of Baginski Farms and Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association Executive Director Tamas Houlihan. “We were very inspired by the level of engagement, both by our attendees and with the offices they visited. Clearly there’s a recognition of the importance of our issues and a desire to find some solutions,” says John Keeling, CEO of the National Potato Council.   “We had an outstanding group of speakers for this year’s event,” he adds. “We heard from both Senate and House Agriculture Committee Chairmen as part of an all-star line-up of Congressional speakers on Tuesday afternoon.” The Fly-In attendees fanned out on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to press

58 BC�T April

for priority issues for the potato industry. Concerns over the Electronic Logging Device mandate, funding for agricultural research, NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) and TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) benefits to the potato and vegetable growing industry, and the ag labor crisis were front and center in meetings with Congressional offices. Thursday morning, the attendees headed to the U.S. Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency for meetings with regulators on trade and crop protection tools. “We’re excited by our attendance

and believe it has a lot to do with the issues coming out of Washington, particularly in an election year,” Keeling says. Above: Jim Wysocki of Wysocki Produce Farm Inc. (brown suitcoat, forefront) and Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association Executive Director Tamas Houlihan (light-gray suit) sit on either side of Congressman Ron Kind (left in large image), (D-WI), during the Potato D.C. Fly-In. Nicolas Bushman of Bushmans' Inc. is at far right in the large image next to Ethan Holmes, one of Kind's staff members (back, right). The Wisconsin contingent was in Washington D.C. to represent their fellow growers back home and discuss issues that affect them all.


Potato Expo Attendees Raise $11,000 for Food Bank During January’s Potato Expo, $11,000 was raised from attendees for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. The donations funded 2,200 nutritious weekend meal kits for school children who are food insecure. 

Idahoan and Basic American Foods both provided potato product that was included in the meal kits. The meal kits will be distributed throughout the school year to children at an elementary school

Above: During the 2018 Potato Expo, Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel and Expo Corporation employees assembled meal kits, which included donated Idahoan Foods Golden Grill Potatoes and Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes, for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

in Orlando, which is supported by the philanthropic efforts of Harris Rosen, the owner of the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel where Expo occurred this year.  

Doud Confirmed as Agriculture Ambassador On March 1, Gregg Doug was confirmed by the Senate as Agriculture Ambassador at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). This position serves as the lead agriculture negotiator at USTR. Doud’s nomination had been held up due to Senate concerns over certain provisions in the NAFTA negotiations. “Gregg Doug brings a wealth of knowledge to this position,” says NPC CEO John Keeling. “We’re pleased that the Senate took the action to confirm him, as the NAFTA negotiations are reaching an important stage.”

BC�T April 59


Auxiliary News By Devin Zarda, vice president, WPGA

Spring fever has officially kicked in around

here, or at least I know spring fever is strong at the “Zarda Zoo” (my own little nickname for the household). How am I dealing with it? I needed to get out of the house. And what could be better than having a girl’s night? On March 8, the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary hosted a “Ladies Night Out” in Antigo. Previously, we have hosted mixers in the Antigo and Stevens Point areas. We decided to try something new this year and held a paint-andsip class for members and their membership-eligible friends. We had an instructor come out and help us so that everyone would be happy with their paintings, whether they are artists or novices. And how appropriate was it that we painted Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head? Well, why Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head? Our goal was to, number one, have fun, and secondly to create a picture that could be taken home for participants to remember

60 BC�T April

their night out with the Auxiliary. Overall, this was a fantastic night of creating connections with other women, getting out of the house and leaving with an awesome painting. Do you wish that you would have known about this event? There is one simple way for you to know about all upcoming events. Make sure that you’re on our mailing list by keeping your membership dues paid and your physical address current. We send out letters inviting and reminding our members of all Auxiliary events.

Above: One way to combat spring fever was for the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary and invited guests to have a paint-and-sip Ladies Night Out, in Antigo. An art instructor was invited along so the ladies could paint Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads to the best of their abilities, and it was apparently a resounding success.

If you aren’t a member of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary and would like to be, please reach out to the WPVGA office at 715-623-7683. I look forward to connecting. Sincerely,

Devin


Ali's Kitchen This Family Recipe is so Good, It’s Framed!

Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary

Kathy’s Hash Brown Potato Casserole

Is anyone else in love with old recipe cards passed down from family members? Or is that just me? During a time when recipes are a simple click away, there is something about an actual recipe on paper (the more smudged and crinkled the better) that brings some happy nostalgia for me. In fact, I have such an affinity for them that I have two special recipe cards framed and on display in the hallway leading to our kitchen. One

is for my grandmother’s insanely delicious and addictive potato doughnuts and the other is for my mother-in-law’s potato casserole. And it is the potato casserole that I am happy to share with you today! I think it took me less than 10 minutes to prepare this casserole and place it in the oven. So simple! And it can be prepped ahead of time and then heated later when you’re ready to eat.

1 2-pound bag thawed hash browns ½ stick melted butter ½ cup chopped onion 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese 1 can cream of chicken soup 1 pint of sour cream French onions for topping

continued on pg. 62

BC�T April 61


Advertisers Index

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

Ag Systems, Inc. - Sprayer Parts.....22 Ag Systems, Inc. - AG-800..............53 AgCountry Farm Credit Services.............................30 Allied Cooperative.........................18 Big Iron Equipment........................17 Certis USA........................................3 Chippewa Valley Bean Co..............33 CPS Great Lakes.............................11 David J. Fleischman Farms.............39 Dow AgroSciences.........................29 Fencil Urethane Systems...............14 Hammer-Lok..................................21 Jay-Mar..........................................15 J.W. Mattek....................................26 Mid-State Truck.............................19 Nelson’s Vegetable Storage Systems Inc.....................34 North Central Irrigation.................25

SHARED BOUNTY The recipe directs you to bake it in a 3-quart casserole dish, but I had volunteered to provide a meal for a sweet family nearby and decided these potatoes would be the perfect side to bring. So, I chose to use two disposable pans (I believe they were 8x8 inches)—one pan for the family to bake later and one pan for my family that evening. The recipe also calls for French onions as the topping, but I discovered that I had forgotten

to add that little detail to my grocery shopping list.

Northern Plains Potato Growers Association....................43

I debated for about half a second whether I wanted to drive back to the store and decided the idea was unappealing to me, so I got creative and made some bread crumbs from the leftover cornbread I had sitting on our counter.

Oasis Irrigation..............................64

I’ll admit that I personally prefer the French onions, but we were all pleased with the bread topping too.

Swiderski Equipment.....................35

I hope you all enjoy this nostalgic family recipe as much as I do!

V&H Inc. Trucks.............................13

Riesterer & Schnell........................55 Roberts Irrigation ............................2 Rural Mutual Insurance.................49 Sand County Equipment................24 Schroeder Brothers Farms...............7 Spectrum Technologies...................5 Syngenta........................................27 T.I.P................................................23 Vantage North Central...................42 Volm Companies..............................9 Warner & Warner..........................59

DIRECTIONS: • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit •M  ix all ingredients except the French onions together and place in a buttered casserole dish • Top with French onions and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour

Wirz Inc.........................................20 World Potato Congress..................63 WPVGA Associate Division Scholarships...................45 WPVGA Spud Seed Classic.............51 WPVGA Subscribers.......................32 WPVGA Support Our Members.....48 WSPIA............................................37

62 BC�T April


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1804_Badger Common'Tater  

Irrigation & Specialty Equipment Issue showcasing an Interview with Angela Santiago of The Little Potato Company, a feature in Making Variab...

1804_Badger Common'Tater  

Irrigation & Specialty Equipment Issue showcasing an Interview with Angela Santiago of The Little Potato Company, a feature in Making Variab...