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$22/year | $2/copy | Volume 71 No. 02 | FEBRUARY 2019

THE VOICE OF WISCONSIN'S POTATO & VEGETABLE INDUSTRY

2019 EQUIPMENT/SUPPLIES & POTATO EXPO COVERAGE

IT WAS A COOL SCENE In Austin for Potato Expo U.S. GROWERS HELP African Potato Farmers PREVENT CORROSION ON Farm Machinery and Vehicles T.I.P. AGRONOMISTS TALK Nitrogen, Phosphorus & Calcium Curtis Gagas plants potatoes on a field near Rosholt, Wisconsin, in 2016. Gagas Farms currently uses a Lockwood Air Cup Planter.

INTERVIEW:

Curtis Gagas

Gagas Farms Inc.


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On the Cover: Curtis Gagas of Gagas Farms Inc., in Stevens Point,

Wisconsin, says there’s been an upgrade of equipment since the potato planting photo was taken in 2016. Gagas Farms now uses a Lockwood Air Cup Planter, which boasts a large seed hopper, steerable axles, GPS capabilities, and fast and accurate seed spacing.

8 BADGER COMMON’TATER INTERVIEW:

Operator Paul Skibba drives a Case IH 225 CVT, windrowing potatoes on Gagas Farms in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. A fourth-generation potato and vegetable grower, Curtis Gagas says he is proud that his family has been farming the same land for 90 years. At age 86, his grandfather, Don, still actively works the farm, his father, Cliff, is a full-time grower, and mother, Carole, somehow manages to do all the accounting after working her full-time job.

DEPARTMENTS: ALI’S KITCHEN.................... 61 BADGER BEAT.................... 50 AUXILIARY NEWS............... 55

18 HELPING ETHIOPIANS GET DISEASE-FREE SEED Growers donate to develop potato tissue lab and more

40 NPC NEWS

Wisconsin’s Larry Alsum elected President of the NPC Executive Committee

47 POTATOES USA NEWS

Potato Expo attendees encouraged to “Work Out Like a Potato Grower”

FEATURE ARTICLES: 22 COMPLETE COVERAGE of the 2019 Potato Expo that took place in Austin, Texas 42 PREVENT CORROSION by having farm machinery and vehicles sprayed annually

58 T.I.P. HOSTS THIRD ANNUAL Redox University at Green Bay’s Hinterland Brewery 4

BC�T February

EYES ON ASSOCIATES......... 60 MARK YOUR CALENDAR...... 6 NEW PRODUCTS................ 56 NOW NEWS....................... 33 PEOPLE.............................. 53 PLANTING IDEAS.................. 6 SEED PIECE........................ 30 WPIB FOCUS...................... 49


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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

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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 Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board of Directors: President: Kathy Bartsch Vice President: Devin Zarda Secretary/Treasurer: Datonn Hanke Directors: Jody Baginski, Brittany Bula, Deniell Bula & Marie Reid

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

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

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

Subscription rates: $2/copy, $22/year; $40/2 years. Foreign subscription rates: $35/year; $55/2 years. Telephone: (715) 623-7683 Mailing address: P.O. Box 327, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409 Or, subscribe free online: 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 February

5


MARK YOUR

Calendar FEBRUARY

14 20 20-28 25-28

MARCH

11-14 20 21-22 26-28

POTATO MARKETING ASSOC. OF NORTH AMERICA (PMANA) SPRING MEETING Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas, NV WISCONSIN COVER CROPS CONFERENCE Holiday Inn, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Stevens Point, WI POTATO INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE Oregon and Washington, D.C. POTATO D.C. FLY-IN Capital Hilton Washington, D.C. POTATOES USA ANNUAL MEETING Hilton City Center Denver, CO AG DAY AT THE CAPITOL Madison, WI WPVGA PROMOTIONS RETREAT Great Wolf Lodge Baraboo, WI WISCONSIN PUBLIC SERVICE FARM SHOW Experimental Aircraft Association grounds Oshkosh, WI

MAY

14 JEFFREY A. WYMAN MEMORIAL GARDEN GOLF OUTING University Ridge Golf Course Madison, WI

JUNE

10-12 21

JULY

10-12 16 18 23-25 25

UNITED FRESH McCormick Place Chicago, IL WSPIA SPUD SEED CLASSIC GOLF OUTING Bass Lake Golf Course Deerbrook, WI NPC SUMMER MEETING Chula Vista Resort Wisconsin Dells, WI ASSOCIATE DIV. PUTT-TATO OPEN GOLF OUTING The Ridges Golf Course Wisconsin Rapids, WI HANCOCK AG RESEARCH STATION FIELD DAY Hancock, WI WISCONSIN FARM TECHNOLOGY DAYS Walter Grain Farms Johnson Creek, WI ANTIGO FIELD DAY Langlade County Airport and Research Station Antigo, WI

Planting Ideas They not only want their picture taken and

shown each year in the Badger Common’Tater, but they also downright expect it! It’s less of a demand, really, and more of a fun tradition. Let me explain. From left to right in the image above, Shelly Szawlowski (sitting, front row), Ronald Smiarowski (behind Shelly), Daniel Corey, Bernie Smiarowski, Ben Corey and Colin Szawlowski, all from the East Coast—Maine and Massachusetts—tell me that they have their picture taken each year at the Wisconsin Chip Committee and Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) Banquet, following Potato Expo, and get it into the Common’Tater, plain and simple. That’s it. It’s become a tradition. And who am I to argue? It’s all part of the fun and camaraderie that’s characteristic of the Chip Committee and WSPIA Banquet, an annual tradition in and of itself. During Potato Expo, the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and WSPIA staff members hand out invitations for the banquet to not only state growers and WPVGA members, but also to potential business partners, industry professionals and those who members might want to get to know, network among and share in appetizers, conversation and refreshments. Also tradition is for University of Wisconsin Professor Emeritus Walt Stevenson to emcee the reception, for WPVGA staff members to sit outside the door and collect invitations and have attendees leave business cards or fill out their names for door prizes, and for Walt to draw names and award the gifts during the reception. People like the familiar, especially in the unfamiliar surroundings of Potato Expo. They relish the fact that, after the Chip Committee and WSPIA Reception each year, Potato Expo holds its own, larger reception, complete with live music, dinner, more appetizers, refreshments and desserts. The Wisconsin reception has become the “in between” event, much like going to a restaurant or tavern between a wedding and reception, only more significant and rewarding—especially if you’re lucky enough to win one of the coveted door prizes, a few of which are cash money! Some traditions are good, and the Chip Committee and WSPIA Reception falls into that category. See complete Potato Expo coverage in this issue and enjoy! Please email me with your thoughts and questions. If you wish to be notified when our free online magazine is available monthly, here is the subscriber link: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe.

Joe Kertzman

Managing Editor jkertzman@wisconsinpotatoes.com


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Interview

CURTIS GAGAS, Fourth-Generation Grower, Gagas Farms Inc.

By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

NAME: Curtis Gagas TITLE: Fourth-generation potato and vegetable grower COMPANY: Gagas Farms Inc. LOCATION: Stevens Point, WI HOMETOWN: Polonia, WI YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: 12 PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: Route 66 Bus Lines (owner) SCHOOLING: Stevens Point Area Senior High, class of 2006, and University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: Town of Sharon supervisor, Rosholt Fire District and Rosholt Fireworks Committee AWARDS/HONORS: 10 years’ service and captain of the Rosholt Fire District FAMILY: Wife, Alyssa HOBBIES: Polka dancing and restoring vehicles 8

BC�T February

“No one really knows why Great-Grandpa Henry started farming here, but I’m sure it has to do with the level ground, fertile soil and abundance of stones,” says fourth-generation potato and vegetable grower Curtis Gagas. “His father had a farm about four miles north of here in an area called North Star,” Curtis adds. “When my Grandpa Don took over the land, he was milking seven cows. He was like most farmers back then, raising a few potatoes,” he continues. “As time went on, my dad [Cliff] and Uncle Gene started working full-time and continued to add more cows and acres.” They were milking 40 cows when they decided to get out of the dairy business, in 1989, and become more active in cash cropping. “It’s been important for me to stay here because the farm has been operating in this current location for almost 90 years,” Curtis says. “It has taken a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifices by the prior generations to get us to the point we are now.”

“I guess you could say it’s in our blood,” he remarks, “and it would be hard to see it ever go away.” Above: Perhaps the weather-worn sign at Gagas Farms Inc., of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is telltale of not only the extreme weather conditions the state’s potato and vegetable growers were forced to deal with in 2018, but also of the 90 years the fourth-generation operation has been at the same location. Representing three of those generations are, from left to right, Cliff, Don and Curtis Gagas.


Potato harvest is underway at Gagas Farms in 2016.

Are there any other family members involved in the farming operation, and if so, who? Grandpa is still actively working on the farm, and he’s doing well for being 86. My dad is full time, my mom (Carole) works at the mill, but still finds time to take care of the bookwork. My wife, Alyssa, currently works for a local farm in their accounting department, and although she is not involved with our farm, she has expressed interest in helping with the books in the near future. Uncle Gene is semi-retired, and he has three children who all have other jobs. I have two siblings, but they are not on the farm, either. I am the only one of the next generation involved with the farm.

Cliff Gagas runs the potato harvester on a field in Ellis, Wisconsin, his tractor of choice being an International 3488 Hydro for pulling the digger.

and riding the harvester.

of a pickup.

When we would lay irrigation pipe, I got to drive the truck, even though I could barely reach the pedals.

The conversation lasted probably two hours about how that tree had been there since he bought the farm, where the windmill, corn crib and other buildings were located at the time, and how the early days of farming used to be.

I started showing beef cattle at the fairs when I as 12 years old and continued that until graduation. I was 15 when I started driving potato truck under the digger. My best memory on the farm was when a tree fell in the yard during a windstorm. After the storm passed, Grandpa and I were looking at the tree, which started a conversation while we sat on the tailgate

Did you always know you wanted to be a farmer, and if so, why? Not really—I’d have to say when I was in high school, I didn’t know what path continued on pg. 10

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What are your earliest and best memories on the farm? I’d like to think I’m the same as most farm kids growing up. Grandma was the babysitter many times. That means going out and looking at the equipment, playing in the barn, riding the bike under irrigation systems and getting into mischief. I remember searching through the scrap piles to find treasures that I could maybe make something out of. About the time I turned 8, I was promoted to rock picking, also working on the line with potatoes

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9


Interview. . .

continued from pg. 9

Mark Gagas harvests corn with one of the two combines on the farm in 2015.

I was going to take. I knew that the farm was an option, but I looked at other careers, all of which I can do, such as machinist, construction and mechanic. The more I worked on the farm after school and during the summer, I realized that I wanted to be in agriculture. It is a job that never gets old because you are doing something different throughout the seasons. After graduating from the Farm and Industry Short Course at UW-Madison, I took a job with Johnson Harvesting

Valued seasonal employees at Gagas Farms grade and load out Burbank potatoes for McCain Foods.

out of Minnesota—a custom harvester traveling the grain belt and running about 60,000 acres a year. My thought was to try that job for the summer, but I only lasted two weeks. I was doing what I liked to do, but I was doing it for someone else, so I came back and have been here since. What varieties of potatoes and how many acres of each are you currently growing? This last year, we raised 290 acres. There were 40 of reds, 105 acres of Burbanks and 145 of Silvertons. Are you a process and fresh market

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grower, and who are your customers? We raise about half of our acres for process, with all the Burbanks going to McCain Foods for a direct plant contract. We temporarily store the reds and then ship them to Seneca Foods in November. The Silvertons go for fresh market and are graded out by RPE Inc. and Midwestern Potatoes, LLC. We usually store around 100 acres and hold them until January or February. The balance of potatoes off the field get stored at the packaging sheds. Gagas Farms recently won the McCain Foods “Reserve Champion Potato Grower, Class A Field Direct Contract” award for the 2017 growing season. What practices and quality control do you implement that might have helped you win the award? I believe that being a smaller grower is one of the reasons we are able to raise a quality crop. With less than 300 acres devoted to potatoes, we can plant when conditions are the best, which, this last year, really challenged us. But I feel that we had good emergence and stand, even with the late plant. I’m also able to get hilling done at the best time for nutrient uptake and weed control. We spray all the potatoes by aircraft, eliminating sprayer tracks, which we


all know lead to decreased yields and quality, and increased storage issues. Irrigation timing is also key, and much easier to manage on the smaller scale. When it comes to harvest, on an average year, we can better monitor the crop coming out of the ground and going into process or storage, making sure tuber temperature and quality are where we want them. What other vegetables do you grow on the farm, how many acres of each and for what market? We plant, on average, 300 acres of sweet corn for Seneca Foods and Bonduelle Food Service. We also have up to 80 acres a year of peas for Seneca. We raise roughly 600 acres of field corn that we dry and store in our bins, and 600 acres of soybeans, which we also have the ability to store. In addition to growing our crops,

Curtis Gagas, who likes using the older Mack chassis, has been sandblasting and painting the Mack trucks on Gagas Farms as needed. He even designed and made a spring-loaded tarp system that fit the farm’s needs perfectly. Shown is one of the completed Mack trucks that Curtis and the employees recently put into service.

we do about 1,500 acres of custom harvesting for neighbors. Have there been advances in technology since you’ve been

working on the farm, and if so what? It’s not whether there have been advances, but when they’ll ever continued on pg. 12

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BC�T February 11


Interview. . .

continued from pg. 11

stop. It seems as soon as you upgrade technologies, it doesn’t take long until they’re outdated. When I first started, we were running ground drive piston pumps for liquid, which were very simple once you had them set, even though it was guessing and setting for about half a day to get it right. Now, everything is run through our displays, which makes changing rates between fields quick and easy. We have been running Trimble guidance on all planting and tillage tractors for the last seven years. It’s was a big jump, but it does make it easier to monitor the operation you’re performing, while also keeping operator fatigue down. We also use the displays in our combines to do yield mapping. One thing I truly believe in is finding a PF (Precision Farming) salesman and forging a good working relationship. This technology is advancing faster than we can keep up with it, but if you have a good rep, he or she will do their best to keep you up and running. How has the farm grown or progressed? Dad and Gene really grew the farm about 20 years ago, adding roughly 500 acres in a short time. We have taken on some more land since then, and I’d say we’re comfortable

continued on pg. 14

Burbanks are unloaded into the grading line at Gagas Farms for sizing.

with the acres we are running and doing improvements to make the land easier to farm. We have pretty much everything under irrigation, which wasn’t the case 10 years ago.

One investment that took place seven years ago was the addition of our grain dryer and bins. We just built another bin this summer, putting total storage up to 130,000 bushels. continued on pg. 14

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 12

Above: A picture from the seat of a hilling tractor, this is a crop of Silvertons being hilled for the second time. Right: A GPS (Global Positioning System) makes it easier to monitor potato planter performance to ensure even spacing.

Before we built them, all of us would get up at 4 a.m., take a truck to the elevator, sit and wait until 7 a.m. when they opened, and after unloading, they were full. It takes a long time to harvest when

you’re only able to run in five loads a day. Now, if there’s a line to deal with, it’s only one truck in front of us and it’s ours. New machinery, and what? We upgrade our equipment as needed and as allowed. But in the past few years, we’ve been able to buy several pieces of equipment, including a pair of Case IH 350’s for fieldwork, a pair of Case IH 125’s for smaller jobs, upgraded most of our tillage implements, several new irrigation systems, and we added a couple more trucks to our fleet.

When it comes to industry organizations, not only does your voice get heard, but you also get to see a whole new side of things and gain a better understanding of why things are done the way they are.

Going past the new machinery, we just completed a large construction project this last year. Our warehouse was originally constructed in the early 1960’s and was 40-foot-by-100-foot in size, with a 24-foot lean-to added on a few years later.

Mom and Dad are also very active with promoting the industry through community events, such as the Spud Bowl, State Fair, and WPS Farm Show.

We removed the lean-to and put on a 6,000-square-foot addition with 18-foot sidewalls. The new addition includes a 40-foot-by-100-foot bay, which can be used as potato storage, and a 20-foot-by-100-foot cold storage area.

I can say, with being elected to the town board when I was 26 years old, that I have learned more than I would have ever imagined, especially about strict financial planning and budgeting.

Your dad has been heavily involved with the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and Wisconsin Potato 14 BC�T February

Industry Board (WPIB) over the years, serving as WPVGA president, and your mom is in the Auxiliary. Why is that important, and do you hope to carry on the tradition? I think it’s a great idea to be involved with your industry, community or local governments.

I have occasionally helped out in the past with these events as well.

You also learn public speaking very quickly. I’d encourage everyone to make at least one of their local meetings once a year and voice their compliments or concerns. As far as joining the WPVGA or WPIB, I’m sure


The food safety and security requirements that we are currently facing are a challenge, and I’m sure it’s only going to get more complex and expand into more crops. I understand the importance of growing a clean, safe crop, but completing the audits requires a lot of preparation, training and recordkeeping. Being smaller in size, it takes one of us (usually dad) away from our usual work. I’m sure the IoH (Implements of Husbandry) laws that went through a few years ago will be back in the spotlight soon. I can see that they need some revisions. it will only be a matter of time.

grain prices.

What are the biggest challenges on the farm today? The biggest talk that you hear a lot about is the trade wars and their negative effect on

While it has hurt many producers, I think in the long run, once everything gets straightened out, it will be beneficial for the farmers.

Other things I can think of are increasing land price and rents, water usage and urban sprawl. I hear very often of producers not being able to find good, qualified help, continued on pg. 16

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BC�T February 15


Interview. . .

continued from pg. 15

so I’d have to say we are lucky. Our two non-family, full-time employees have been with us for many years, and our seasonal help has been consistent and great.

What are your own strengths and specialties on the farm? I watch the new technologies and equipment coming out and look into ones I feel may be beneficial to us.

But everyone moves on, so I’m sure that will be a challenge I will be facing in the future.

Sometimes, we might be better off modifying what we already have instead of buying new. I deal with all

the guidance systems, getting them and calibrations set up for the year. I’m good at mechanical work, electrical, welding and fabricating, and I do the painting of trucks and equipment. Throughout the year, I’m always looking at where something can be made better or more efficient. From there, I gather ideas, do research and try my best to come up with a solution. Some don’t always pan out, but I have done some unique projects around here. What are your biggest accomplishments or what are you most proud of? One thing I’m proud of is how our truck fleet has grown and improved. I’ve always liked using the older Mack chassis. It is dependable, easy to work on and the parts are very similar on the year range of trucks we run. We now have 10 of them in service. Over the years, I have been sandblasting and painting them as needed.

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About 10 years ago, we were looking into different options for tarp systems on the bulk boxes but didn’t care for what was available at the time. I designed and made a springloaded tarp system that fit our needs perfectly, for about 20 percent of the cost of a manufactured tarp. I still use this on the trucks today. Dad mentioned to me three years ago that we needed a better way to nurse water and chemical for spraying. I worked that winter setting up a sprayer truck with a 2,400-gallon tank and a van body to contain the chemicals. Inside, the van body also has two cone bottom tanks for mixing and measuring, a jug rinse sink, pressurized air for barrel pumps and pressurized water lines for rinsing out the tanks and barrels. This has cut down refilling time and makes the task much easier.

16 BC�T February


What’s your favorite part of farming? Anything you dislike? Putting a crop in the ground, taking care of it for the year, then harvesting it is an experience that the average person will never get. It’s rewarding to see what you can produce. I enjoy the hours, seeing the sun coming up and going down while you’re working in the field. Most people cannot say that, but that’s me. I like the fact that there is always something different to do all year and it’s never the same work you’re performing day in and day out. Working with family is also a good thing—we do get along very well, which isn’t always the case with a family business. Even if I have a bad day, I don’t let it get to me, and I’ll look forward to tomorrow. As far as dislikes, working

in some extreme weather at times gets to me, especially hot, humid days. I’m sure I’m not the only one. What have you learned not to do in growing potatoes? Don’t let them freeze. This year is the first time I’ve ever experienced frozen potatoes, along with many other young growers and employees. But I think the best way to answer this question is that we learn what not to do by learning what to do. What do you hope for the future of Gagas Farms or what do you envision for the future? My hopes are to farm here, on the same property, for as long as I can. I want to keep this a familyrun operation, including close ties and good relationships with neighbors and friends for as long as I’m here. I’m not sure how much bigger the farm will grow in the future, only time will

tell. I’d like to explore other crops and their markets. The only way that this can happen is by gaining the knowledge and expertise from prior generations and going through the same things they did—hard work, dedication and sacrifices. A little luck probably wouldn’t hurt either. Is there anything I’ve missed, Curtis, that you’d like to add? I would just like to thank you, Joe, for the chance to complete this interview with you. I’d also like to say, so far, it’s been a good industry to work in, and the people involved are truly helpful and great. I’m looking forward to this next year and can’t wait see what it will bring.

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“Decades of Knowledge - Steady Innovation - Top Results” BC�T February 17


U.S. Growers Help African Potato Farmers Feed Families Ethiopia Sustainable Food Project helps develop a potato tissue lab and seed distribution system The big-hearted people at Heartland Farms have donated to help Ethiopian technicians develop a potato tissue lab and seed distribution system in the African nation over the last 10 years. Ten years ago, there was no way to get disease-free seed out to the farmers in Ethiopia, Africa, but as a result of donations through the Ethiopian Sustainable Food Project (www.ethiopianfoodproject.org),

improved potato varieties yield three times more than local varieties. It’s a story that dates back further than a decade, however. Charlie Higgins, president of Norika America, LLC, and his wife, Judy, were Peace Corps volunteers in Ethiopia from 1969-1971. “I started going back to help them set up a potato tissue culture lab a decade ago,” Higgins relates.

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“Dick Pavelski of Heartland Farms in Hancock, Wisconsin, and other U.S. growers helped me set up a nonprofit and give donations to support this work in Ethiopia,” he adds. “We’ve been supporting the project ever since.” Higgins says potatoes produce more food per acre than any other crop the Ethiopians can grow, and this is critical if a farmer is trying to feed his family on less than five acres. “Pavelski, who farms 15,000 acres, once told me he could not think that small,” Higgins relates. OX-CART HARVEST “A team of oxen has some similarities to a four-row Lenco harvester,” he adds, “but it takes some imagination. Potato farmers have some things in Above: As a result of donations through the Ethiopian Sustainable Food Project, improved potato varieties yield three times more than local varieties in this African nation.


common all over the world.” Retired from his own seed potato farm, Higgins Farms, Charlie has worked in the past as the director of research and development for Heartland Farms, as well as for L. Walther & Sons, Inc., in Three Rivers, Michigan. He was part of a team of managers at the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, a 50,000-acre farm operation in Farmington, New Mexico, where he spent 11 years managing 5,000 acres of potatoes, including 1.25 million cwt. (hundredweight) in storage. Currently president of Norika America, Higgins manages European, largely German, table varieties and offers them to North American certified seed potato growers and consumers. Varieties include Wendy, Molli, Soraya, Alegria, U.S. Blue, Paroli, Allora, Cascada, Merlot, Tacoma,

Penni, Diplomat and Golden Globe, and some of his customers are Wisconsin growers such as Baginski Farms, Bula Potato Farms, Eagle River Farms and Schroeder Brothers Farms. He is also a chip variety consultant for Potatoes USA and has done agronomic consulting for Frito-Lay. Potatoes love to grow in rocky soil, perhaps because the rocks collect

Above: Potatoes love to grow in rocky soil, perhaps because the rocks collect heat in the spring. A skilled Ethiopian oxen operator can roll the potatoes out without damage, so his wife and kids can pick them up to store in the house, and the kids don’t seem to mind being out of school.

heat in the spring. However, farmers have special curses for rocks when they break plow blades or bruise tubers.

continued on pg. 20

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U.S. Growers Help African Potato Farmers Feed Families . . . continued from pg. 19

A local potato variety at left yielded 100 cwt. (hundredweight)/acre. The improved variety, Baleta, yielded 300 cwt./acre when clean seed was available.

SCHOOL OF HARD ROCKS “A skilled Ethiopian oxen operator can roll the potatoes out without damage, so his wife and kids can pick them up to store in the house,” Higgins says. “The kids don’t seem to mind being out of school.” “A lot of the farmers tell us potatoes allow them to send their kids to school,” he stresses. The improved varieties result in

enough yield for the African growers to sell part of their harvest and have plenty of food between harvests. As in Wisconsin, potato farmers hate freezes in Ethiopia. The potato fields in some of the accompanying photos are over 9,000 feet above sea level, so freezing of the tubers is a risk. Potato farmers hate late blight all over the world, and a typical Ethiopian family cannot afford

imported fungicides, so they depend on the genes that their country’s potato breeders have introduced from CIP (International Center of Potato Research in Peru) parents into improved varieties. Thus, they can maintain 90 percent of potential yields without fungicides. Every community in the United States has a farmer that tries improved potato varieties or new technologies.

Left: Charlie Higgins (left), president of Norika America, checks a potato for bacterial wilt in Ethiopia. Among other volunteer efforts, Higgins has helped Ethiopian technicians develop a potato tissue lab and seed distribution system over the last 10 years. Above: Technicians and growers visit an Ethiopian potato test plot where local and improved varieties are grown side-by-side. 20 BC�T February


A potato market is readied in Ethiopia at an altitude of 12,000 feet.

Every village in Ethiopia has a variety innovator as well. MONEY TALKS When the lead farmer starts making money, the neighbors get over their suspicion of new varieties and start buying seed from the lead farmer. And like Wisconsin farmers, Ethiopian growers make great hosts. They always like to invite visitors in for a cup of coffee and lots of potato talk. Ethiopia is the source of the coffee tree, so they serve the best coffee in the world. Price depression at harvest is a problem worldwide. The Ethiopian Sustainable Food Project is helping African scientists develop solar dehydrators to make potato flour and other dehydrated vegetables for growers and their customers to store

when you ask any farmer how the crop will be before harvest. Mother Nature controls at least 40 percent of the yield most years, and sometimes she takes the whole crop, even with the best management.

in their pantries. Farmers worry about debt the world over. Mother Nature is nasty some years, so how do you repay any loan and still feed the family? The Ethiopian Sustainable Food Project gives disease-free seed of the improved varieties to lead farmers under an agreement that they give 10 percent of the crop back to the project. They are running over 95 percent compliant.

Will the rains come? Will the rains stop on time? What if the ox dies? If you are interested in donating to the Ethiopian Sustainable Food Project, please visit www. ethiopianfoodproject.org.

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BC�T February 21


It Was a Cool Scene in Austin for Potato Expo 2019

It’s a music town, a tech town, and for a few actionpacked days, Austin, Texas, was a potato town By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater If you couldn’t find something of interest, to your taste or that made you smile or enjoy yourself at the 2019 Potato Expo, January 9-10, in Austin, Texas, perhaps you weren’t trying hard enough. With the exhibition hall a short walk from the Hilton and Fairmont host hotels, the trade show offered everything from a baked potato bar, an “Innovation Hub,” Process Seed, Chip and Fresh Breakout

sessions, demonstrations, keynote speakers, luncheons and networking receptions. Potatoes USA held its Winter Meeting at the Austin Hilton, January 7-8, before the open of Potato Expo, and there was good news to share. John Toaspern, chief marketing officer for Potatoes USA, said retail potato sales are up 2 percent this year, and all volume sales for fresh are up except for russet potatoes.

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There’s been a 3.2 percent increase in domestic demand for potatoes, and exports have seen a 6 percent increase in the last four years. Kim Breshears, director of marketing programs for Potatoes USA, noted a 21 percent increase in visitors using www.potatoesusa.com, including a 44 percent increase in people looking for potato-related recipes. The goal of Potatoes USA is to increase the long-term demand for U.S. potatoes, and the national marketing association does it through outreach, domestic and foreign marketing, import and export analytics, merchandising, education, research and even product development. Above: The Austin-based, nine-time Grammy Award-winning band, Asleep at the Wheel, performed live at the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Austin during the closing reception of Potato Expo.


Playing the roles of lunch ladies for Denver Public Schools, to demonstrate Potatoes USA’s efforts in getting potatoes into school breakfast and lunch menus, were Kendra Keenan (left) and Rachael Lynch (right), assistant and global marketing managers, respectively, for Potatoes USA.

Campaigns include everything from professional chefs demonstrating recipes using U.S. potatoes (“Potatoes are the MVP of Ingredients”) to performance campaigns (“Potatoes Fuel Performance” and “What Are You Eating?”).

Stretching exercises were in order during the Potatoes USA Winter Meeting, which preceded Potato Expo in Austin, Texas, but the jury’s still out on whether Eric Schroeder (right) of Schroeder Brothers Farms in Antigo, Wisconsin, actually participated.

The Potato Business Summit on Wednesday, January 9, sponsored by AMVAC, Simplot, Vive and John Deere, and put on by the Potato Marketing Association of North America, United Potato Growers of America and United Potato Growers of Canada, was information packed.

GLOBAL POTATO OUTLOOK Included in the Potato Business Summit were economic, crop input, European market, farm technology and fresh potato market outlooks, as well as fresh retail and frozen updates. continued on pg. 24

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Potato Expo 2019. . . continued from pg. 23

Above: Taking a short break from the Potato Business Summit on Wednesday, January 9, are Josh Knights (left) and Richard Pavelski (second from left) of Heartland Farms in Hancock, Wisconsin, and John T. Schroeder (second from right), of Schroeder Brothers Farms in Antigo, talking to Larry Alsum (right) of Alsum Farms and Produce in Friesland.

The Potato Business Summit provides a comprehensive overview of foreign and domestic markets, trade with other countries, tariffs, climate change, the fresh, frozen and dehydrated potato sectors, the changing retail landscape, technology and future outlooks. Cedric Porter, co-editor of World Potato Markets newsletter, noted that potatoes only account for 15 percent of agriculture’s greenhouse

Above: Wearing the blue shirts that identify them as being on the Potato Expo Steering Committee are, from left to right, Larry Alsum of Alsum Farms and Produce in Friesland, Wisconsin, Tamas Houlihan, executive director of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, and Mike Wenkel, executive director of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission.

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Porter also said, if potatoes were discovered in Latin America today, instead of thousands of years ago, they’d be considered a super food— fat-free, cholesterol-free, sodiumfree, gluten-free, low-calorie, nonprocessed vegetables that are a good source of carbohydrates, Vitamins B6 and C, and potassium. In addition to the 180-plus exhibitor booths and chances to network with more than 1,800 industry professionals, Potato Expo also offers a concurring Innovation Hub where experts give presentations on stage and on a variety of subjects related


The Wisconsin Certified Seed Potatoes booth provided a nice place at Potato Expo for University of Wisconsin (UW) Extension Vegetable Pathologist and Associate Professor Amanda Gevens (left) to catch up with UW Professor Emeritus Walt Stevenson (right).

As part of the “Innovation Hub” concurrent with Potato Expo, Kyle Coleman, marketing director of NovaSource North America, gave his “Insights into Metam Sodium Movement in Soil: How to Improve Application Patterns.”

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Topics ranged from early blight resistance to Metam sodium movement in soil, to enhanced fertilizer efficiency, nutrition research, precision agriculture, preserving tuber quality, enhancing soil health, field scouting, potato storage, and research and big data

Potatoes USA presented the 4th Annual “Spud Nation Throwdown” hosted by Simon Majumdar, a worldrenowned broadcaster, food writer, author, cook, Food Network judge and TV personality.

Three local Austin chefs competed in the event, which focused on potatoes and the unique and vibrant food scene in Austin, to see who would take the “Top Spud” title. continued on pg. 26

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Potato Expo 2019. . . continued from pg. 25

Simon Majumdar (left), a broadcaster, food writer, author, cook, Food Network judge and TV personality, in conjunction with Potatoes USA, presented the 4th Annual “Spud Nation Throwdown.” Three chefs competed in the event, including Brian Moses (right), executive chef of Olive & June, an Italian restaurant in Austin, who eventually won the event and was crowned “Top Spud.”

MUSIC & FOOD (POTATOES) That honor eventually went to Brian Moses, executive chef of Olive & June, an Italian restaurant in the city known for incredible music (Austin City Limits) and food. In addition to hosting the 4th Annual Spud Nation Throwdown, Majumdar also showed his own passion for

potatoes, demonstrating his favorite potato dishes—Patata Vada and Smashed Potatoes. Potatoes USA invited Potato Expo attendees to “Workout Like a Potato Grower” during a high-energy, 30-minute, bootcamp-style fitness class before the tradeshow opened on Thursday, January 10.

The Potatoes USA booth at Potato Expo was more of an experience than a static location, including a “What Are You Eating?” interactive basketball game and a larger-than-life Texas A&M cowboy holding potatoes. 26 BC�T February

A.J. Bussan (left), senior production agronomist for Wysocki Produce Farms in Plainfield, Wisconsin, and Kurtis Charling, manager of FieldNET Business Solutions and Lindsay Corporation (right), discussed “Using Science, Research and Big Data to Simplify Potato Irrigation Management” as part of the “Innovation Hub” during Potato Expo.

Potatoes USA is making a strong statement, in conjunction with a focused marketing campaign, about potatoes and the performanceboosting benefits of America’s favorite vegetable.

Jeff Suchon, farm manager for Bushman’s Riverside Ranch in Crivitz, Wisconsin, holds a Wisconsin Seed Potatoes shirt he won as a door prize at the Wisconsin Chip Committee and Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) Reception, Thursday, January 10, in the Hilton Austin following Potato Expo.


Innovations and activities during Potato Expo included a working model of a Volmstack robotic palletizer at the Volm Companies booth, and AMVAC’s own prize booth where visitors stood and grabbed as many pieces of paper, complete with pictures of potatoes on them, some with colored dots that indicated what prize(s) they won, the slips blowing around as they tried to snag them.

The Potato Association of America facilitated cutting-edge research as part of its Poster Sessions during Potato Expo. Remote sensing, managing nitrogen,

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of the areas covered. As part of the keynote speaker addresses, Roy Spence, an continued on pg. 28

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Potato Expo 2019. . . continued from pg. 27

From left to right, Judy and Susie Schroeder of Schroeder Brothers Farms, and Erin Baginski of Baginski Farms, all of Antigo, WI, enjoy the Wisconsin Chip Committee and WSPIA Reception following Potato Expo.

Socializing at the Wisconsin Chip Committee and WSPIA Reception are, L-R, Kevin Schleicher of Wysocki Family of Companies, Andy Diercks of Coloma Farms and Gary Beadles of RPE, Inc.

entrepreneur, CEO, advertising executive, Austin A-lister and bestselling author, discussed “Finding Purpose in Work and in Life with Reverend Roy.” Tony Payan, a U.S. and Mexico trade policy expert, shared his perspective on North American trade in our current era of uncertainty. With the ever-evolving political landscape and rising tensions between the U.S. and Mexico, Payan covered the status of trade agreements between the countries.

Larry Alsum (left), of Alsum Farms and Produce, was elected president of the National Potato Council (NPC) Executive Committee during the NPC Annual Meeting, January 11, and is congratulated by outgoing president, Cully Easterday (right).

CLOSING RECEPTIONS After all the excitement, it was time to wind down, and there was no better way to do so than with a couple receptions on Thursday night,

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. 28 BC�T February


Dick and Carol Okray (left and right) made Ray Keenan (center), chairman of the United Potato Growers of Canada, feel right at home during the Wisconsin Chip Committee and WSPIA Reception. Dick is chairman of the United Potato Growers of America.

January 10, after Potato Expo. The Wisconsin Chip Committee and Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association held its annual reception at the Hilton Austin immediately following Potato Expo, with refreshments, door prizes, cheese and sausage appetizers, networking and some nice old-fashioned camaraderie.

From left to right, Romain Cools, president of the World Potato Congress, Paula Houlihan of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary and Jaap Delleman, editor of Potato World Magazine, were all smiles at the Wisconsin Chip Committee and WSPIA Reception in Austin, TX.

new clients, listening to presentations or viewing demonstrations, Potato Expo and Austin, Texas, were good

places to be the second week of January 2019, and a fantastic way to start the year off fresh.

University of Wisconsin Professor Emeritus Walt Stevenson did the honors of emceeing the event and giving out coveted door prizes. From one reception to another, Potato Expo held its own post-trade-show “Potato Fest” in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Austin, where appetizers, dinner and refreshments were served to the music of an Austin-based, ninetime Grammy Award-winning band, Asleep at the Wheel. What a way it was to close an event! Immediately following Potato Expo, on January 11 and 12, the National Potato Council held its Annual Meeting at the Hilton Austin. For more on it, see “NPC News” in this issue. Whether it was connecting with current business partners, meeting BC�T February 29


Seed Piece

New Breeding Methods & Fresh Market Reds More than 600 red clones have been grown and photographed at HARS By Jeffrey Endelman and Maria Caraza-Harter, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The two most commonly grown red potato varieties in Wisconsin are Red Norland and Dark Red Norland, which are both “sports” (i.e., mutants) of the original Norland variety released in 1957. According to the variety release publication, a major selling point for Norland was its “early maturity and the ability to produce high marketable yields early in the season” (Johansen et al., 1959), which is also true of the red and dark red variants.

Agricultural Research Station (HARS). Each clone was grown in a 15-foot plot, mechanically harvested into crates and then run through a wash line and optical sizer. From this crate, seven-to-eight representative tubers were photographed using a Photosimile Lightbox and digital camera (Figure 1). A MacBeth color card was included in each photo to standardize color during the image analysis.

To breed new red potato varieties with early skin set and attractive color, the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison Department of Horticulture’s Potato Breeding Program has developed a precise method to quantify these traits based on image analysis. Over the past several years, more than 600 red clones have been grown and photographed at the Hancock

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“Figure 2” compares the 2016 photos of the Norland variants against four varieties developed at UW-Madison. The 2016 trial was planted April 21 and harvested August 8, with vine-killing applications of diquat

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Figure 1: As part of its effort to breed new red potato varieties with early skin set and attractive color, the UW-Madison Potato Breeding Program has been photographing red clones at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station (HARS) using a Photosimile Lightbox and then analyzing the images.

on July 22 and July 29. On the far left of Figure 2 are Red Norland and Dark Red Norland, with the latter showing its tendency to produce tubers with patches of lighter skin. In the middle in Figure 2 are Villetta Rose and Red Endeavor, for which foundation seed was released to growers through the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) SpudPro program in 2006 and 2014, respectively. In the upper right of Figure 2 is W8405-1R, which was released by SpudPro in 2016 and officially named “Red Prairie” in 2018. In the lower right is W8893-1R, which was released by SpudPro in 2017 and is a candidate for naming in 2019.


Figure 3: Shown are the skinning percentages for the potato varieties in Figure 2.

In terms of skin set, Red Endeavor appears to have the most skin missing in Figure 2. This impression was quantified by applying color thresholds to each image to delineate the tuber surface from the black background, as well as the white exposed tuber cortex from the red skin. The ratio between the white tuber

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Figure 2: The composite image shows red potato varieties grown at HARS.

cortex and total tuber surface area is the percent skinning shown in Figure 3. Red Endeavor had 8 percent skinning compared to 1 percent for Red Norland and 2-3 percent for

the other clones. In terms of skin color, W8893-1R looks darker than the other clones in Figure 2. This impression was also

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Seed Piece. . .

continued from pg. 31

Figure 4: This is the bicone geometry of the Hue, Chroma, Lightness color model. Image courtesy of Jacobolus and SharkD, distributed under CC BY-SA 3.0

quantified through image analysis by using thresholds to exclude external defects, followed by conversion of the RGB color values for the red skin pixels to the biconic Hue, Chroma, Lightness (HCL) color model (Figure 4). Hue is the polar angle of the bicone, which ranges from -180 to 180 degrees and corresponds to a traditional “color wheel,” with red at 0 degrees, yellow at 60 degrees and magenta at -60 degrees. Chroma corresponds to the radius, with larger values indicating more saturated color (grayscale has 0 chroma). Lightness is the height of the bicone and ranges from 0 (black) to 1 (white). Table 1 contains the HCL values for skin color for the six red varieties shown in Figure 2. Confirming the visual impression, W8893-1R had the

Figure 5: Shows a yield and size comparison between Dark Red (D.R.) Norland, Red Prairie (W8405-1R) and W8893-1R, grown at HARS. The first vine-kill application was 100-110 days after planting (depending on the year).

lowest Lightness at .28, while Red Norland was the highest at .38. W8893-1R also had the smallest Hue and Chroma values, and research with a larger group of advanced breeding lines has shown the three HCL traits are correlated. The results shown here are based on a single plot from a single harvest in 2016, but we have replicated this experiment over space and time, and the trends are similar. Besides their attractive appearance, the new varieties Red Prairie and W8893-1R have performed well with respect to yield and size in field trials at Hancock. Figure 5 compares the total yield and size profile of these new varieties against Dark Red Norland

Table 1. HCL values of skin color for the images in Figure 2. Clone

Hue

Chroma

Lightness

over a four-year period. The size profiles for the three varieties were similar, but Red Prairie consistently out-yielded Dark Red Norland by about 100 cwt. (hundredweight)/acre. W8893-1R was the lowest-yielding of the three, falling short of Dark Red Norland by about 50 cwt./acre on average. Spacing and nitrogen fertility trials are planned for W8893-1R, for the 2019 season, to explore how management can improve its yield potential. Certified seed of Red Prairie and W8893-1R is available from Wisconsin growers, so we hope this article stimulates interest in trying these promising new varieties. Acknowledgments This research has been supported by Specialty Crop Block Grant 16-02 from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association and the University of Wisconsin Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.

Red Norland 0.6o 0.35 0.38 o Dark Red Norland -3.8 0.35 0.35 Villetta Rose -5.1o 0.32 0.33 o Red Endeavor -2.7 0.32 0.32 Reference Johansen RH, Sandar N, Hoyman WG, Lana o Red Prairie -1.8 0.36 0.37 EP. 1959. Norland: A new red-skinned potato o variety with early maturity and moderate W8893-1R -5.8 0.30 0.28 resistance to common scab. American Journal 1: HCL values of skin color for the images in Figure 2. Table of Potato Research, Vol. 36, pp. 12–15. 32 Besides their attractive appearance, the new varieties Red Prairie and W8893-1R have performed well with re BC�T February yield and size in field trials at Hancock.


Now News

Play the Jeffrey A. Wyman Memorial Golf Outing Proceeds go to develop the Wyman Memorial Kitchen Garden at UW-Madison The Jeffrey A. Wyman Memorial Garden Golf Outing will be held on May 14, 2019, at the University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wisconsin. The event will begin with a continental breakfast at 10 a.m., registration and cart assignments at 10:30, and a shotgun start for the scramble at 11 a.m. A box lunch will be provided. At 5 p.m., golf winners and prizes will be announced followed by dinner at 6. Proceeds from the Jeffrey A. Wyman Memorial Garden Golf Outing will be used to develop the “Wyman Memorial Kitchen Garden” in the Allen Centennial Gardens at the University of Wisconsin (UW)Madison. The memorial plot will be dedicated to Dr. Jeff Wyman, a Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association Hall of Fame member, long-time professor of entomology at UW-Madison and an avid gardener. The garden plot will be named in his honor and will include aspects from his professional work in vegetable entomology, while also highlighting his personal love of gardening.

Proceeds from the Jeffrey A. Wyman Memorial Garden Golf Outing will be used to develop the Wyman Memorial Kitchen Garden in the Allen Centennial Gardens at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison. A Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association Hall of Fame member, researcher and professor of entomology at UW-Madison, Wyman, who could often be found in his garden at home, passed away September 15, 2018, at the age of 73.

Two of Jeff’s signature garden carts will be crafted and given to the memorial to be used to display vegetables and for student education. Additional sponsorship/donor opportunities are available. Visit www.wisconsinpotatoes.com/

sitemap/wymangolf/ for details. Tax deductible donation receipts will be provided at event. Contact Brian Flood, wymangolf@gmail.com, for more information. continued on pg.34

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Now News. . .

continued from pg. 33

John Deere Earns Six AE50 Awards Company honored for innovations that improve production agriculture John Deere was presented with six AE50 Awards for outstanding innovations that improve production agriculture.

designs in the food and agriculture industry with its AE50 Awards, as chosen by international engineering experts.

Each year, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) recognizes 50 of the most innovative product-engineering

John Deere received AE50 awards for the following innovations: • CommandPro™ joystick for 6R Tractors

Left: John Deere offers a factory-installed option of a new suspension track system in 30- or 36-inch belt widths. Right: The new 700FD HydraFlex Draper is available in three sizes up to 45 feet long.

• Bale Mobile app • 2660VT Variable-Intensity Tillage tool • Tracks for S-Series Combines • A machine performance app that’s part of its Generation 4 CommandCenter™ • 700FD HydraFlex™ Draper Award winners were recognized for ingenuity in product development, and for saving producers time, costs and labor while improving safety. “This year’s AE50 Awards reaffirm the innovative spirit of our employees and illustrate our company’s commitment to bringing those linked to the land the most useful, highquality products possible,” says Joel Dawson, director of production and precision ag for John Deere. “Around the globe, John Deere engineers work tirelessly to create exciting new products and technology to benefit our customers,” Dawson adds.

34 BC�T February


CommandPro was released in August 2018 and is a customizable, ergonomic, multi-function control lever that operators can use to control tractor speed, direction and implement functions. CommandPro is available on John Deere 6R Series Tractors.

can be operated at speeds up to 10 miles per hour (mph) and is versatile enough to meet tillage needs of farmers in the spring or fall.

Introduced last June, the Bale Mobile app helps hay and forage producers get detailed information, improve efficiency, identify bale characteristics and track yields for easier decision making. DOCUMENTS BALING PROCESS Bale Mobile was designed to allow tractor operators to see their information in near real time while it documents the baling process. A true multi-season machine, the 2660VT features an adjustable gang angle design and all-new frame to place the right amount of weight per blade to handle a wide range of soil, crop residue and field conditions. Introduced last summer, the 2660VT

Three of the 2019 AE50 Awards John Deere received were for harvesting solutions. These included the redesigned suspension track system for S-Series Combines, 700FD HydraFlex Draper and a Machine Performance app. Combines equipped with the new track system can be driven up to nearly 25 mph, reducing transport time between fields. The angled, wider and taller tread bar design of the new tracks improves traction, balance and ride comfort while extending tread life. EFFICIENT COMBINE OPERATION Customers can employ The MyOperations™ app to view and adjust their John Deere S700 Series Combines using their mobile phones from anywhere at any time, making combine operation more efficient.

Possible adjustments include: rotor speed, concave clearance, fan speed, chaffer clearance and sieve clearance. Introduced in May 2018, the Gen 4 CommandCenter Machine Performance app on the S700’s display, paired with JDLink™ Connect, enables this functionality. The new 700FD HydraFlex Draper now comes standard with a dualposition drum. This allows the operator to select an upper or lower setting, equivalent to a 16- and 14inch drum, respectively. All 700FD Draper Platforms ship from the factory with the drum in the 16inch position, which is standard. For bushy crops, such as canola, putting the drum in the upper position will allow a greater throughput. Detailed information about these awardwinning products and features can be found on JohnDeere.com continued on pg. 36

Seed Potatoes

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Now News. . .

continued from pg. 35

Midwestern BioAg & Environmental Tillage Systems Team Partnership brings retail savings on TerraNu Technology and SoilWarrior Systems Midwestern BioAg (MBA), a leader in cutting-edge fertilizer technology and soil health, and Environmental Tillage Systems (ETS), developer of the SoilWarrior—the only complete strip-till unit on the market—have partnered to launch a rebate savings program for ag retailers. Pairing TerraNu® Technology from MBA and SoilWarrior® strip-till systems from ETS, the rebate program provides an incentive for ag retailers to incorporate the two technologies to build soil health for

growers and improve nutrient-use efficiency in the strip. “Reports from strip-tillers in the field using TerraNu with their systems have been extremely positive, both in

Let’s get it straight.

handling and application. Midwestern BioAg is excited to partner with ETS, expanding the reach of our TerraNu Technology,” says Jim Krebsbach, vice president of sales with MBA.

You know your farm. We know precision ag. Together we can optimize every inch of your land with the data generated during field work. Vantage, an elite network of precision ag specialists backed by Trimble Agriculture, works closely with you to understand the unique needs of your operation. Our exclusive focus on precision agriculture technology enables us to integrate all of your hardware and software— regardless of brand—with complex machine, field, soil and weather data to provide you with answers to shape decisions year‑round. PRECISION WITH PURPOSE.

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TerraNu is designed to provide soil health benefits in an easy-to-apply granule that maximizes nutrientuse efficiency. The carbon base of TerraNu acts as a natural biological stimulant, feeding soil biology and improving soil health. ONE-PASS EFFICIENCY The SoilWarrior provides one-pass efficiency and optimized variable-rate nutrient placement by incorporating fertilizer throughout the strip to create a nutrient-rich zone. “Environmental Tillage Systems is excited to be a part of this program with Midwestern BioAg. TerraNu fertilizer is designed to promote nutrient efficiency and build soil health just like the SoilWarrior,” says Brent Brueland, vice president of sales and marketing for ETS.

Ag retailers who purchase and apply TerraNu with SoilWarrior strip-till equipment during 2019 are eligible to receive rebate savings on both their TerraNu fertilizer and SoilWarrior equipment investments. “ETS is a leader in the striptill industry, bringing the best technologies and soil health practices to their customers. Developing a partnership to improve soil health in

the zone with SoilWarrior equipment and our precision, carbon-based TerraNu fertilizers was a natural fit,” Krebsbach says. For full program terms and conditions, please contact a Midwestern BioAg wholesale representative by visiting: www. midwesternbioag.com/about/ wholesale-team/ continued on pg. 38

Bushman’s Riverside Ranch Specializing in Silverton Russets

Seed Cutting & Suberization is Available!

Contact: Jeff Suchon, Farm Manager 715-757-2160 office • 715-927-4015 cell

Or call Jonathon or John E. Bushman: 715-454-6201 BC�T February 37


Now News. . .

continued from pg. 37

Reinke Recognizes Roberts Irrigation Plover company named Top Ten Dealership in United States and Canada

Reinke has recognized Roberts Irrigation Company in Plover, Wisconsin, as one of the top 10 highest selling dealerships throughout the United States and Canada, citing the company’s marketing year success. Roberts Irrigation was also honored as the top selling dealership in the North Central Territory and given a Diamond Reinke Pride award. The organization was honored during

Paul Roberts, second from left, accepts the Top Ten Dealership Award from the Reinke team on behalf of Roberts Irrigation.

Reinke’s annual convention in Spokane, Washington.

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Land Drainage

“I congratulate Roberts Irrigation on receiving these awards,” says Reinke Vice President of North American Irrigation Sales Mark Mesloh. “Reinke appreciates the dedication they have to the growers in their community. We’re proud to work with them and have them representing the Reinke brand.” Reinke dealerships from across the United States and Canada gather each year to attend the company’s sales convention. The convention’s awards ceremony recognizes select Reinke dealerships for their hard work and dedication to sales and marketing throughout the past year. The Reinke Pride awards are determined as part of an incentive program that distinguishes superior achievement levels according to an evaluation based on a dealership’s exterior and interior housekeeping and maintenance, indoor and outdoor displays, safety, retail environment, merchandising, professionalism, promotions, event participation and market share.


AgCountry to Return $42.5 Million in Patronage Cooperative marks largest cash payback to date in challenging economy With a continued challenging agricultural economy for farmers and ranchers, AgCountry Farm Credit Services is proud to announce that $42.5 million will be returned as 2018 cash patronage to eligible member-owners. This marks the largest patronage amount to date for the cooperative. AgCountry patrons have received over $135 million in cash patronage since 2014. AgCountry’s patronage program grants the Board of Directors the ability to distribute a portion of the association’s net income to its member-owners when financial conditions allow for it. This marks

the fifth consecutive year AgCountry is paying out a patronage dividend to its member-owners. “We continue to see a tough economic climate across Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin,” says Board Chair Leif Aakre. “Because of the strong position our association is in, it is important to give back to those who make our cooperative

successful.” “Our mission is to serve agriculture and rural America,” says AgCountry President and CEO Marc Knisely. “We are focused on fulfilling that mission regardless of the economic environment. Cash patronage is one aspect of our commitment to provide the best total solution for our patrons.”

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NPC News Alsum Elected President of NPC Executive Committee National Potato Council holds Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet The National Potato Council (NPC) held its Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet Friday, January 11, with the meeting continuing Saturday, at the Hilton Austin, Texas, following Potato Expo. As part of the Annual Meeting, the NPC voting delegates nominated and confirmed Larry Alsum of Alsum Farms and Produce in Friesland, Wisconsin, as president of the Executive Committee. In addition, Dominic LaJoie retained his position as vice president of environmental affairs; Bob Mattive became vice president of finance and office procedures; R.J. Andrus stayed on as vice president of grower outreach and industry research;

Britt Raybould held her position as vice president of legislative and government affairs; Jared Balcom remains vice president of trade affairs; and Cully Easterday becomes the immediate past president of the Executive Committee. During the Awards Banquet, Easterday passed the gavel to Alsum in honor of being elected president of the Executive Committee. Easterday also shared a hilarious “My Life” video and presented awards to several NPC members. First, though, Jimmy Ridgeway of Yara and Zeke Jennings, managing editor of Spudman, presented the Emerging Leader Award to Shawn Boyle, president of the Idaho Grower

National Potato Council (NPC) Executive Committee Immediate Past President Cully Easterday (right) passes the gavel to newly elected President Larry Alsum (left) during an awards banquet Friday, January 11, at the Hilton Austin.

Shippers Association, for excellence in promoting the industry and being a “Pitbull with leadership skills.” Yara is the sponsor of the Spudman Emerging Leader Award. GOLDEN POTATO AWARD Justin Dagen of Dagen Heritage Farms in Karlstad, Minnesota, received the NPC’s highest honor, the Golden Potato Award, for his significant contributions and longtime dedication to the industry and serving on the NPC Executive Committee, for a year as president in 2011. Perhaps most notable and fitting was The Packer Editor Tom Karst presenting John Keeling, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the NPC, with the 2018 Potato Man for All Seasons award for his extraordinary leadership, indelible impact and legislative work affecting the industry since he was hired into his role in 2001.

The Packer Editor Tom Karst (right) presents John Keeling (left), Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the NPC, with the 2018 Potato Man for All Seasons award for his extraordinary leadership, indelible impact and legislative work affecting the industry since he was hired in 2001. 40 BC�T February

NPC Executive Committee Immediate Past President Cully Easterday (right) bestows Justin Dagen (left), of Dagen Heritage Farms, with the NPC’s highest honor, the Golden Potato Award, for his significant contributions and longtime dedication to the industry and serving on the NPC Executive Committee, for a year as president in 2011.

Keeling, who will be retiring from the position in 2019, has the ability, according to Karst, to bring parties of unlike minds together to get something accomplished, walking the walk and talking the talk, and retaining a “folksy demeanor, which is just want the potato industry needed.” Karst said Keeling “cuts a long shadow


Jimmy Ridgeway (left) of Yara and Zeke Jennings (right), managing editor of Spudman, present the Emerging Leader Award to Shawn Boyle (center), president of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association, for excellence in promoting the industry and being a “Pitbull with leadership skills.” Yara is the sponsor of the Spudman Emerging Leader Award.

and will be hard to replace.” Of his many accomplishments, Karst said it was Keeling’s success in moving the NPC corporate offices to Washington, D.C., including hiring a whole new staff, that exceeded all expectations, as well as his interaction with policymakers and 50 years of

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legislative experience. Easterday also presented awards to his wife, Shani, and President’s Awards to NPC members and fellow Washington State potato growers, Lynn Olsen and Ed Schneider, for their love, friendship, guidance and support over the years.

Cully Easterday (center) grants President’s Awards to NPC members and fellow Washington State potato growers, Lynn Olsen (left) and Ed Schneider (right), for their friendship, guidance and support over the years.

One got the feeling at the end of the banquet that Easterday is leaving the NPC Executive Committee in good hands in 2019 and for years to come, with quality individuals taking leadership roles and responsibilities.

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Prevent Corrosion on Farm Vehicles & Machinery Would you spray a $45,000 truck annually if it would still look new in 10 years? By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

This might be oversimplifying it a bit, but the business plan for Mike Caves Rust Stop of Plainfield, Wisconsin, is straightforward— help business owners understand that spraying their vehicles annually will prevent rust and save money.

Mike Caves, owner of Mike Caves Rust Stop, says farming and mechanics have been part of his life since his teenage days in the 1970’s. “As a teenager, I baled hay and picked grubs and rocks,” he allows. “I then enrolled at Midstate Technical

College in Wisconsin Rapids, after high school, to learn diesel mechanics and heavy truck construction.” “These experiences served me well over the next 35 years while operating and maintaining farming equipment for such Central

Wisconsin farms as Randy and Larry Bacon Farms, Paul Miller Farms and H&J Williams Farms,” he says. “Randy and Larry Bacon Farms holds a special fondness for me because I worked alongside my father for 15 years until he retired in 1996,” Caves adds. Caves is still maintaining farming equipment and vehicles, opening a Pro Fleet Care rustproofing franchise in 2014 and going full time in 2017. The founders of Pro Fleet Care have been in the automotive rustproofing industry since 1984, using a unique blend of chemicals and solvents, specifically ROC 40 and ROC 50, to extend the lives of vehicles. When the oil-based products ROC 40 and ROC 50 are sprayed onto the undercarriage, boxes, frames and parts of a farm implement or vehicle, Above: Mike Caves of Mike Caves Rust Stop opened a Pro Fleet Care rustproofing franchise in 2014.

42 BC�T February


they penetrate hard-to-reach areas and neutralize the harmful effects of rust. PRE-EMERGENT SALTS With the introduction of preemergent salts, rust has become an added cost of doing business in Wisconsin and other northern states, making fleet owners particularly distraught. The new salts and road deicers stick to vehicles longer and are more active at lower temperatures, causing severe body rot, parts failures and wiring harness issues, all because of corrosion. “I ask my customers, ‘Do you want your machinery to look the same in 10 years as the day you bought it new?’,” Caves proposes. “If the answer is ‘yes,’ I’d suggest having me spray my products on your machinery.” “These are two exceptional anti-corrosion products that

Oil-based products are applied using a fogger gun, which also has end attachments for different applications. Extension wands and ladders are used to reach taller trucks, implements and machinery.

have been tested and improved over the last 30 years,” he says, “and they do not have an offensive odor, either, like others on the market.”

The less viscous or thinner oil—ROC 40—spreads to those hard-to-reach areas. The more viscous or heavy oil—ROC 50—protects treated continued on pg. 44

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Prevent Corrosion on Farm Vehicles & Machinery. . . continued from pg. 43

Mike Caves Rust Stop customers include Heartland Farms, Woyak Farms and H&J Williams Farms.

metal longer. “ROC 40 defies gravity by creeping into cracks and crevices and remaining there after pushing out all the moisture,” Caves says. “I see this

44 BC�T February

product push water out of the cracks and crevices.” “I also spray wiring to keep it from becoming corroded,” he adds. “The ROC 40 will even reseal itself.”

Caves sprays all farm machinery and vehicle parts from door panels to roof lines, frame rails, brake lines, wheel wells and rims.


CHOICE OF VISCOCITY He sprays the less viscous ROC 40 inside door panels, on firewalls, inside the frame, under cabs and on wiring. He uses the more viscous ROC 50 on high-traffic areas like wheel wells and frame rails. A wand is used to spray the product with a fogger gun through 3/8-inch holes drilled inside the panels and rockers of vehicles. The holes are plugged with plastic caps afterwards. The fogger gun also has end attachments for different applications. Caves crawls underneath vehicles to spray undercarriages, and extension wands and ladders are used to reach taller trucks, implements and machinery. “I read an article on the products and service in the Farm Show Magazine, in 2009,” he explains. “After reading the article, I felt it would be a great small business opportunity and be an asset to the area.”

“Farm trucks driven on Wisconsin roadways are introduced to salt and the newer brine that seems to cling to everything,” Caves continues. Farmers may think that by simply pressure washing their machinery after harvest and storing it for the winter, the implements are safe from corrosion, but that is not necessarily true,” he says. “Water gets forced into cracks, and you can often see seams showing rust and paint bubbles. It really is important to protect farming machinery and trucks from the ground up,” Caves asserts. In fact, Caves says farmers should be as diligent spraying their machinery with anti-corrosion products as they are changing the oil or performing other types of maintenance. POTATO TRUCK PROTECTION Caves sprays ROC 40 and ROC 50 on potato bin pilers, picking tables, continued on pg. 46

A wand is used to spray the product with a fogger gun through 3/8-inch holes drilled inside the panels and rockers of vehicles. The holes are plugged with plastic caps afterwards.

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Prevent Corrosion on Farm Vehicles & Machinery. . . continued from pg. 45

Mike Caves has used the oil-based products ROC 40 and ROC 50 for everything from protecting H&J Williams Farms fertilizer box truck frames to extending the life of Insight FS spreaders and preserving antique equipment for Dave Bacon Construction.

planters and trucks; the chains of self-unloading semis; corn planters; dump trucks; fertilizer trucks and spreaders; low boys; nurse trucks; semi-trailers; service trucks and tractors. His customers include Dave Bacon Construction; Insight FS of Antigo and Wautoma; H&J Williams Farms; Heartland Farms; Hometown Feed Mill; Jerry Hetzel of Oak Grove Farms; Kevin Sigourney Farms; Sand County Equipment; Taterland Farms and Woyak Farms. “My business is mobile. Farmers do not have to come to me; I come to the farmers with my truck and trailer,

and my trailer is equipped with spray guns and 100-foot hoses on reels to reach all areas of the machinery, and all the tools and equipment to prepare and spray vehicles.” The price for Caves’ service varies depending on the size of the equipment. It costs $180 to protect an extended cab pickup for one year, and up to $310 to protect a potato truck with cab and box for one year. “I like to throw some numbers out there to get people thinking about the value of my product,” he says. “If you spend $90,000 on a piece of equipment and spray it for $310 a year, spending a total of $3,100 for

Rine Ridge Farms, Inc.

46 BC�T February

Caves says corrosion, if not treated, can become a safety issue with brakes and electrical problems, and that extensive corrosion can even cause frame breakage. “I don’t like to use the words 100 percent effective for these products, because nothing is 100 percent,” he notes. “If you choose to do nothing, you will have corrosion. I like to say it will bring you 99.9 percent satisfaction.” For more information about the products and services, visit http://profleetcare.com/, or call Mike Caves, 715-572-9510.

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Potatoes USA News

2019 Potato Expo Attendees “Work Out Like a Potato Grower”

The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association provided jump ropes as part of its partnership with Potatoes USA in sponsoring the first-ever “Workout Like a Potato Grower,” a fitness class that took place Thursday morning, January 10, during Potato Expo. The Colorado Potato Administrative Committee donated water bottles, and the Idaho Potato Commission supplied sweat towels.

Potato industry members started their day with a high-energy, bootcamp-style “Workout Like a Potato Grower” fitness class Thursday morning, January 10, during Potato Expo in Austin, Texas. Local Austin-area fitness instructor, Suanne Adams, led participants of all levels through a variety of exercises to invigorate their day. Participants were able to fuel their workout with Potato Energy Bites, a recipe created by Registered Dietitian Emily Cooper. The fitness class garnered the attention of the local Austin Fox TV station, which broadcast live from the event where Potatoes USA CEO Blair Richardson and Potatoes USA Board Member Eric Schroeder shared with viewers how potatoes help fuel athletic performance by providing the carbohydrates, potassium and energy athletes need to perform their best. The first-ever “Workout Like a Potato Grower” event was sponsored by Potatoes USA in partnership with the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, which provided jump ropes, the Colorado Potato

Administrative Committee, which donated water bottles, and the Idaho

Potato Commission that supplied sweat towels.

continued on pg. 48

A Bunczak Sale on the H&J Williams Farm Estate On Saturday, March 9- Starting at 10 am! 953 3rd Avenue, Hancock, WI 54943 (715) 323-1819 (Lewis Holmes, Farm Manager)

Directions: From the intersection of County V and I 39 in Hancock, take County V south 1½ miles to County C, west on C for 5 miles to 3rd Ave, north on 3rd Ave, ¼ mile to farm on left. This is a very well maintained line of farm machinery, kept in the shed at most times. Tractors: JD 9320, 4X4, duals on all 4, 3,040 hrs; JD 8120 MFWD, axle duals, Linco GPS, 3,377 hrs; JD 4960 MFWD, axle duals, 8,524 hrs; JD 7920 MFWD, axle duals, 4,525 hrs; JD 7730, MFWD, axle duals, 2,800 hrs; JD 4455, MFWD, 11,361 hrs; Oliver fork lift. Potato & Farm Equipment: JD 637 30’9” disc, 26” blades w/rolling basket (1 year old, excellent); 2009 Underhaug 4 row UP 3745 potato planter; JD HX15 bat wing mower; JD 1770 12 row Cons. Till corn planter, dry fert; JD 7000 6RN corn planter; JD 825 12 row cultivator; JD 714 disc chisel, 19 shank; JD 9’ blade; JD 915 V ripper, 7 shank; JD 400 12 row rotary hoe; JD 215 14’ disc, 20” blades; JD 2800 8 btm var width plow w/packers, on land hitch, SAR; 2- Neture injection pumps on trailers (1 yr old); 3 injection pumps on trailers; Wilmar 40’ fert. Spreader; Chandler 50’ fert. Spreader; 6” and 8” irrigation pipe; JD 686 7’ snowblower; Westfield 8-51 auger. Trucks: 1994 Ford Utility truck w/boxes; 1997 GMC fert. Tender; GMC 7000 dump bed; 1981 IHC 1900S dump truck, tandem; Chevy C-50 water truck; 1985 GMC fertilizer truck; IHC fuel truck; 1989 Ford F800 diesel dump truck; GMC General semi tractor & 48’ Fruehauf van trailer. Shop Tools: Millermatic 250 welder; Beaver hot water washer; Grasshopper 729 mower; TPI 7000 diesel generator on trailer; Toro 22hp riding mower; drill press; Milwaukee tool set; many misc. tools.

For a more detailed listing and photos go to www.bunczak.com Terms: Cash or check with bank letter of credit and proper ID. Not responsible for accidents, errors or omissions, all items sold as-is, no warranties express or implied.

Sale Conducted by Bunczak Real Estate & Auctions • 4821 Cty C, Rosholt, WI 54473 (715) 341-2306 • Wisconsin Registered Auctioneers: Joe Bunczak #264, Paul Bunczak #129 For your Real Estate and Auction needs call us, with more than 40 years of experience.

Visit us online at www.bunczak.com BC�T February 47


Potatoes USA News. . . continued from pg. 47

Alsum Farms Utilizes Performance Messaging The company incorporates Potatoes USA’s performance messaging on the brand’s packaging to communicate how potatoes nurture our bodies. The response to the brand name and imagery has been positive from both consumers and the media, so positive that a handful of produce publications, such as The Produce News, have reached out to the company for more information. In conjunction with the launch of Harvest Delites, Alsum Farms has been utilizing Potatoes USA’s “What Are You Eating?” campaign materials at numerous events, including the PMA Fresh Summit. SWAG BAGS The materials were also a key component of the 2nd Annual Alsum

Alsum Farms & Produce Inc., of Friesland, Wisconsin, successfully launched a new brand, Harvest Delites, with fresh market Wisconsin russet potatoes in five- and 10-pound poly bags.

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YOUR INTEGRATED SEED SOLUTION MINITUBERS CONTACT Matt.Barrow@CSSfarms.com | 719-676-2791 EARLY GENERATION SEED CONTACT Lydia.Hamilton@CSSfarms.com | 208-501-5824 48 BC�T February


everyday athletes to perform at their best and fuel their active lifestyle.”

for Local FFA chapters.

Farms Tater Trot 5K, which included the campaign’s canopy tent and table tent, and magnets, stickers and lip balms in participant swag bags.

Alsum’s Nikki Jedlowski, logistics manager and Tater Trot 5K event coordinator, says, “Potatoes fuel performance, and the Tater Trot 5K promotes the healthy, flavorful and fresh attributes of the spud, targeting

Alsum Farms hosted more than 100 runners, walkers and local FFA supporters, raising more than $2,000

These types of events are a great opportunity to promote the nutritional benefits of the potato, as well as the “What Are You Eating?” campaign.

WPIB Focus

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison

Month

Jul-17

Aug-17

Sep-17

Oct-17

Nov-17

Dec-17

Jan-18

Feb-18

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

10,668,103.63

Assessment

$97,708.18

$51,117.39

$76,383.31

$148,116.20

$263,042.39

$110,407.00

$746,774.47

Jul-18

Aug-18

Sep-18

Oct-18

Nov-18

Dec-18

Month

Jan-19

Feb-19

Mar-19

Apr-19

May-19

Jun-19

Year-to-Date

CWT

1,631,620.99

1,724,518.33

1,223,827.03

2,489,512.74

2,711,563.12

2,010,017.18

11,791,0459.39

Assessment

$114,203.25

$125,436.11

$95,267.11

$199,179.55

$216,890.04

$160,823.98

$911,800.04

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When you come in for seed, fertilizer and crop protection, you are covered. BC�T February 49


Badger Beat

Optimizing Nitrogen Inputs for Goldrush By Matt Ruark, UW-Madison Department of Soil Science

Fertilizer guidelines should be determined by field-based research

results. The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association has provided funding for the past three years to conduct research on optimizing nitrogen (N) fertilizer inputs for Goldrush potatoes.

This research was conducted in 2015, 2016 and 2017 at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station (HARS). The agronomically optimum N rate (AONR) was determined on marketable yield, where culls and potatoes less than four ounces were subtracted from the total yield. Seven in-season N rates were used (0, 60, 120, 180, 225, 270 and 315 lb.-N/acre). The rates of 180 lb./acre or greater were applied across three splits (emergence, tuber initiation and two weeks after tuber initiation). The 60 lb./acre rate was applied at emergence and the 120 lb./acre rate was split across emergence and tuber initiation. All plots received an additional 33 lb./acre applied with starter fertilizer at planting.

The data can be analyzed two different ways. The first method uses the marketable yield averaged across three years (Figure 1). Fitting the data with a quadratic curve indicates that the optimum N rate was 214 lb./acre and the average yield at the optimum N rate was 411 cwt. (hundredweight)/acre. Adding in the starter fertilizer results in a “recommended� N rate of 247 lb./acre, which is nearly identical to the current recommendation of 250 lb./acre in the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison guidelines. However, the range in optimal marketable yields across the three years spanned from 354 to 486 cwt./ acre. To address this, we can use a second approach where we convert the yields to relative yields.

In this approach, for each year, we take the N rate with the greatest yield and make it 100 percent. All other yields are assigned a percentage less than 100 percent (Figure 2). In this analysis, the optimum N rate increased to 225 lb./acre, which becomes 258 lb./acre after adding in the starter N. Again, this is quite similar to the UW-Madison guideline of 250 lb./acre, which is recommended for total yields between 550 and 650 cwt./acre. The total yields for this study were between 450 and 575 cwt./acre. Conducting research at HARS has tremendous advantages for nitrogen rate studies. First, I can control all N inputs into the plots. Second, I use large chunks of land for the research in order to easily and intensively sample. This allows for a large amount of data to be collected efficiently. However, there are some drawbacks to only conducing N rate work at one location and then developing fertilizer guidelines. The obvious issue is lack of spatial diversity. Slight changes in soil texture, soil organic matter, irrigation amounts, groundwater nitrate levels and landuse history can affect study results. At HARS, the SOM (Soil Organic Matter) is .8 percent, soil is mapped as a Plainfield loamy sand and the previous crop is soybean.

Figure 1: Average marketable yield by N rate (the average of three years). The N rates do not include 33 lb.-N/acre applied as starter fertilizer. 50 BC�T February

While results in Figures 1 and 2 appear to confirm the current UW-Madison guidelines, there is more to consider. First, we can obtain relatively large yields with only 33 lb./acre of starter fertilizer N.


Marketable yield was 330 cwt./acre with no in-season N and was about 80 percent of the maximum yield. The nitrate concentration in irrigation water at HARS is 20 to 25 parts per million (ppm), based on irrigation amounts per year, and 40 to 60 lb./ acre of N was applied as nitrate-N. NITROGEN IN IRRIGATION WATER The large amount of N through irrigation water (and not fertigation) can influence the response to N and thus the conclusions of the study, which are used to update N guidelines. Another issue with the high yields at low N rates has led to difficulties calibrating in-season diagnostics (petiole-nitrate, leaflet-N and NDVI —Normalized Difference Vegetation Index).

Figure 2. Average relative marketable yield by N rate (the average of three years). The N rates do not include 33 lb.-N/acre applied as starter fertilizer.

All of this suggests two important things about potato as a field crop: (1) It can utilize small amounts of N

Here we’ve identified at least four important variables that can dictate the optimum N rate of potato on any

quite effectively; and (2) It continues to increase in yield with small increases in N.

individual field: (1) SOM; (2) amount of N through irrigation; (3) previous crop; and (4) timing and form of N fertilizer. continued on pg. 52

2018 University of Wisconsin Calcium Potato Trials A 2018 UW research study compared TerraNu® Calcium to other calcium sources for potato nutrition. The study was conducted on chip potatoes, Atlantic variety, by Dr. Matt Ruark and his team at the University of Wisconsin-Hancock Agricultural Research Station. Potato quality assessments were conducted by UW and Techmark, Inc. Study conclusions: 99 TerraNu Calcium improved gravity and reduced the amounts of sucrose and glucose, when compared to gypsum, pelletized gypsum and control. 99 Applying TerraNu Calcium reduced total defects (internal and external) between 2-21% when compared to other treatments.

Hancock, WI | 2018 Left: TerraNu Calcium applied Right: Check, no TerraNu Calcium applied

BC�T February 51


Badger Beat. . .

continued from pg. 51

These can all influence the maximum yield obtained and the “background” amounts of N in the soil. There are four different ways that these and other factors can influence the response curves in Figures 1 and 2. First, it should be noted that any changes to management that lead to

an increase in yield would also mean that more N is taken up by the potato. EFFICIENT FERTILIZER APPLICATION It’s possible that this increase in yield could occur at the same N rate should fertilizer be applied efficiently (in this scenario, the same N rate is used, but the potato is able to obtain more N

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Contact John Miller: (701) 248-3215 52 BC�T February

But since N supply from the soil is low, it is more likely that more N would be required to achieve the greater yield. Thus, greater yields can change the curve by increasing the N requirement or maintaining the N requirement through improved efficiency. The other two ways the curve can be changed are under the condition where yield does not change. The first change is that the shape of the curve is maintained, but simply shifted left or right. In this scenario, imagine the entire curve in Figure 1 being shifted to the right, resulting in a greater amount of N needed to optimize yield.

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from the fertilizer already applied).

The second change is that the optimum N rate is still the same, but the slope of the curve leading up to the optimum is steeper. In Figure 1, the slope is relatively flat leading up to maximum yield, a result of there being a lot of N in the system. For this example, imagine lower yields at the lower N rates in Figure 1, and thus a much steeper response line leading up to optimum N rates. What does all this mean? My point here is not to confuse, but to present the remaining questions that exist in order to develop meaningful nitrogen rate guidelines for potato on irrigated sands. The future of N rate work on potato must be to conduct research at locations other than HARS. This will require greater collaboration among researchers and the potato industry, but it will be of great benefit to all.


People

WPVGA Welcomes Jane Guillen Aboard Part-time program assistant is a friendly voice and face in the Antigo office

The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) has hired Jane Guillen as its new parttime program assistant, working in the Antigo office. Jane brings with her a wide range of experience in office procedures and life in general. Born and raised in a small Ohio town, Stryker, until she was 20 years old, Jane’s adult life has been spent in the Atlanta area. While in Atlanta, she has worked in several corporate offices and has learned from each. She’s worked with everyone from executives to disgruntled Waffle House customers, so she’s seen it all! According to Jane, she’s “a people person.” Moving to Antigo from sunny Atlanta

a year ago was a huge change. She came to be with her daughter, sonin-law and three granddaughters. Although it was hard to leave friends, family and church, her granddaughters, ages 8, 5 and 10 months, are her heart. Fortunately, social media makes it a little easier to keep up with friends and family in Georgia. Gardening, reading, walking and church choir take up any spare time from working and grandkids. A new venture, pickleball, may come into play in Antigo—a fun, low-impact paddle sport! The WPVGA welcomes Jane and knows already that she’s going to fit right in. Congratulations, Jane!

Pickleball, anyone? The WPVGA welcomes Jane Guillen as its new part-time program assistant, working in the Antigo office. Jane brings a wealth of office experience and enjoys spending time with her granddaughters, gardening, reading, walking, church choir and pickleball— a fun, low-impact paddle sport. Play ball! continued on pg. 54

The Hancock Agricultural Research Station wishes you a great 2019 crop and storage year! Also, a big Thank You! Hancock Ag Research Station N3909 County Rd. V, Hancock, WI 54943 Tel. (715) 249-5961 Email: hancock@cals.wisc.edu

We want to thank many businesses and individuals who in 2018 contributed to the success of our research and outreach activities. Special thanks to those whose generous donations on resources or time helped sustain our research farm and Storage Facility activities; among those are:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

AgRay Vision Systems

Amvac Bayer Case IH Program Crops Production Services (CPS) Farmers Implement LLC Gowan Heartland Farms McCain Foods Nelson’s Vegetable Storage System’s Nufarm Paul Miller Farm Roberts Irrigation Ron Bula Syngenta Waushara County Master Gardeners Willis Family Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association WVPGA Associate Division

BC�T February 53


People. . .

continued from pg. 53

World Potato Congress Hires International Advisor World Potato Congress (WPC) President Romain Cools is very pleased to introduce Dr. André Devaux as the newest WPC international advisor. “André is a man who has illustrated he can act local and think global. During his work as director for CIP [International Center of Potato Research] in Latin America, his idea to launch a global campaign with the slogan ‘Imagine a world without potatoes’ has been put into action,” Cools says. Dr. Devaux has a Ph.D. in agriculture science from the Université Catholique Louvain (UCL), Belgium, and has more than 35 years of professional experience in the Global South. He has extensive and proven expertise in managing multidisciplinary teams to strengthen agriculture innovation in Latin America, Africa and Asia, with special emphasis on production and utilization of the potato for enhancing food security in the context of agricultural innovation systems and inclusive value chain development. Dr. Devaux has published more than 50 articles, books and reports. His experience is mainly with CIP, yet he also has working experience with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). POTATO PRODUCTION At the beginning of his career, Dr. Devaux worked on improving potato production systems, collaborating with national partners in Peru, Rwanda, Pakistan and Bolivia. He then led CIP’s research and development work on inclusive 54 BC�T February

value chain development, creating and coordinating the Papa Andina program in the early 2000’s. Through this program, CIP developed the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA), a methodology to engage smallholder farmers, market agents, researchers and other service providers in a collective process to promote innovation and exploit potential business opportunities, taking advantage of potato biodiversity. This approach, developed and first applied in the Andes to increase the competitiveness of potato value chains and participation of smallholders, has been recognized worldwide and has won several international awards such as the World Challenge Award 2007 (http:// www.theworldchallenge.co.uk/ potato-goldmine.html). Through South-South collective learning, the approach has been introduced and enhanced by local organizations focusing on value chains in different parts of Africa and Asia. With the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Dr. Devaux coordinated an edition of an inter-institutional publication on “Innovation for Inclusive Value-Chain Development.” AG INNOVATION This book synthesizes lessons from agricultural innovation and value chain development, drawing on cases involving recent work associated with CGIAR (formerly the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research) and its partners in Africa, Asia, and Latin America (http://www. ifpri.org/publication/innovationinclusive-value-chain-developmentsuccesses-and-challenges).

Dr. André Devaux brings more than 35 years of professional experience to his role as the newest World Potato Congress international advisor.

More recently, Dr. Devaux has coordinated CIP’s strategic program on Resilient Food Systems, focusing on climate smart root- and tuberbased agri-food systems with a gender perspective. Since 2012, he has assumed the position of CIP’s Latin American regional program director, coordinating project implementation in this region and promoting partnership. WPC Director Dr. Peter VanderZaag states, “André is a uniquely creative scientist who has the gift of developing strategies for strengthening the potato value chain and simultaneously mobilizing resources and people to make it happen.” “This was particularly evident as he led the CIP work in the Andean region of South America, the home of the potato! We are most fortunate to have André join our team,” VanderZaag says. Welcome André to the World Potato Congress team!


Auxiliary News By Devin Zarda, vice president, WPGA

Hey, friends!

I want to introduce you to a wonderful lady who helps the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary (WPGA) behind the scenes. Maria Pohle is our go-to lady down in Milwaukee. Since the majority of our Auxiliary Board and Committee lives in northern and central Wisconsin, we sometimes need someone in the Milwaukee area to help coordinate everything that goes on. Our group members who go down to the State Fair to work the baked potato booth know Maria, but I haven’t gotten a chance to brag on her, so I figured she would be the perfect person to interview this month. Let’s talk to Maria! What is your position at the fair? I am a co-coordinator under Jody Baginski and Marie Reid of the WPGA baked potato booth. How long have you been going to the fair? On and off for 35 years. How long have you been assisting the WPGA at the Wisconsin State Fair? Around 15 years. | Volume 71 No. $22/year | $2/copy

THE VOICE OF

O WISCONSIN'S POTAT

Y 2019 01 | JANUAR

TRY & VEGETABLE INDUS

INDUSTRY SHOW PREVIEW ISSUE

INTERVIEW:

l Michael Shafe

s Inc. Sunnydale Farm

TO GROW ERS PLAN orus Reduce Phosph CORN THAT FIXES Its Own Nitrogen

NTATI ONS RESEA RCHER PRESE ence Ed Confer Set for Grower IN CAN A SINGLE PROTE ing Control Plant Flower

bed shaper, of an Eco-Ridge With the help potatoes are hills of Yukon nice, uniform e Farms. achieved on Sunnydal

Tell us about your time at the potato booth. My first job in the baked potato both was serving at the outside window. I started helping Brenda Bula the next year because my friend, Karen Werwinski, from Stevens Point, originally couldn't help anymore. The first workers I used were hers and that included my kids, too. My son and Karen’s daughter were dating— now they are married just about 10 years with two kids. Time sure flies! What is your favorite part of working at the State Fair? I love the early morning walk-in time when the large animals are being exercised, especially the horses. What do you wish people knew about the fair? I wish they knew how many different things there are to do, and how hard everyone there works. OK, now it’s time for the real question. How do you top your tater? I like my baked potato topped with cheese, salsa, maybe sour cream, and chives. Is there anything you want to say to our groups who come down to

Badger Common’Tater

THE VOICE OF THE WISCONSIN POTATO & VEGETABLE INDUSTRY

Maria Pohle is co-coordinator, under Jody Baginski and Marie Reid, of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary baked potato booth at the Wisconsin State Fair.

the fair every year? I’ve enjoyed and appreciated all the groups through the years. Every one of them works hard and has fun; that is the stuff life is made of. I feel blessed to have met so many good people on this job. I’m looking forward to this year. Well, thanks, friends. I hope you’re all staying warm, the potatoes in storage look good and you’re ready for spring to be here. Talk with you soon,

Devin

Subscribe Today!

Whether you are a grower, industry partner or simply enjoy rural life, sign up to receive this prestigious publication in print version, delivered direct to your mailbox for $18/year (12 issues). wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe BC�T February 55


New Products

Patrykus Farms Offers American Made Products

“American Farmer Proud to Be Both” logo adorns apparel, mugs, tumblers and decals

Patrykus Farms Inc. trademarks the “American Farmer Proud to Be Both” logo, selling 100 percent Americanmade products such as coffee mugs, tumblers, T-shirts, hats, hoodies and vinyl decals. One of the largest growers of processed carrots in the United States, Patrykus Farms, of Bancroft, Wisconsin, also recently partnered with veteran-owned and operated Nine Line and Grunt Style apparel to offer differently designed T-shirts and hoodies. Owned and operated by Dave and Kelly Beggs, along with their sons and wives, Zachary and Frances and Dalton and Stephanie, and grandchildren, Patrykus Farms enters the fifth generation of growers. The employees are very much part of the success of the business. With a shortage of farm labor these days, everyone on the farm wears many hats. Patrykus Farms employs women and men, young and old, all 56 BC�T February

constantly learning from each other. Patrykus Farms really is a family farm. The Patrykus and Beggs families have always been patriotic. Kelly’s father, Bob, served in the Navy during the Korean Conflict, and Dave’s father, Arnold, served in the Air Force during World War II. There is no shortage of flags on the farm or on the farm equipment. The U.S. flag is seen waving on the back of the carrot harvesters in the sun, rain and snow. LOVE OF AMERICA & FARMING Quite some time ago, the families were getting one of the semis ready to enter a local parade when they decided to express their true love for both America and farming, and came up with the tagline “American Famers Proud to Be Both.” Farmers take a beating all the time, yet they remain resilient. The American farmer isn’t extravagant. The American flag is also resilient,

Above: Patrykus Farms Inc. trademarks the “American Farmer Proud to Be Both” logo, selling 100 percent American-made products such as coffee mugs, tumblers, T-shirts, hats, hoodies and vinyl decals.

so the Patrykus Farms goal was to find American-made products on which to attach the new logo. The philosophy was and is to support the farmer and the flag. So, all the products offered with the “American Farmer Proud to Be Both” logo are made in America. The merchandise would be less expensive with the logo on other countries’ products, but that is not being true to the goal of helping fellow Americans. Patrykus Farms invites you to wear and use its American-made products in support of the American farmer and the hard work invested every day to put food on the table. For more information, visit www. americanfarmerproud.com, or contact Patrykus Farms, 6414 Brady Road, Bancroft, WI 54921, phone: 715-366-2424, email: americanfarmerproud@gmail.com.


Tong Launches Next Generation Fieldloader PRO

Machine ensures soil and debris are removed from crop in field, reducing transport Tong Engineering, leading United Kingdom manufacturer of vegetable handling equipment, has announced the launch of its next generation Fieldloader machine, the Fieldloader PRO. Based on the same principles as Tong’s proven Fieldloader, which offers in-field and on-farm cleaning and loading of crop, the Fieldloader PRO has been designed with even greater flexibility, transportability and the gentlest handling in mind. “Talking to our customers, there is a definite emphasis on reducing ‘crop miles’ and the amount of harvestrelated soil on the roads by loading crop at the field side,” says Edward Tong, managing director at Tong Engineering. “The Fieldloader PRO will receive and clean crop at high capacities straight from trailers filled by the harvester, ensuring soil and debris are removed from crop in the field while significantly reducing unnecessary transport of crop from field to farm,” Tong explains. At 32 feet long in transport mode, the self-contained and compact Fieldloader PRO features a highcapacity reception hopper feeding a choice of crop cleaning units. The Fieldloader PRO is built with a spacious four-man inspection area before crop transfers to Tong’s newstyle foldable cart elevator, which cradles crop deep into the bulker trailer. The new machine also comes complete with a super-silent onboard generator, which provides power efficiency for in-field cleaning, or can be bypassed for mains power when operating on-farm.

WIDE CART ELEVATOR “What makes the Fieldloader PRO different is the multiple cleaning options available to customers, as well as the new wider cart elevator that can be specified up to 5 feet wide,” Tong explains. “The new Fieldloader PRO is designed to be extremely versatile, being suitable for multi-crop use and working effectively on potatoes, carrots and onions,” he adds. “Customers can also choose any Tong cleaning unit as part of the machine, including the advanced EasyClean separator available with Auto-Touch HMI controls. The high-speed PU coil cleaning system and star coil cleaning units are also available. The customer really can configure the Fieldloader PRO to meet their exact requirements,” Tong ensures. Built on a heavy-duty chassis, the Fieldloader PRO can be easily transported on the road from field to site and features robust support legs for ultimate performance

during operation. Like all Tong equipment, the new Fieldloader PRO is built with the company’s Blue Inverter Technology, offering an all-electric inverter variable-speed drive for the very best energy efficiency. Tong’s industry leading AutoTouch HMI controls with intelligent diagnostics and maintenance features are also an option on the new machine. Depending on specification and crop type, the Fieldloader PRO can be built to effectively clean and load up to 150 tons of crop per hour. “This next generation machine has been designed as a complete in-field crop cleaning and loading powerhouse that will ensure growers can respond quickly and efficiently to contract demands,” Tong concludes. For more information, contact Carole Metcalfe at Tong Engineering, phone: 01-790-752771, or email carole. metcalfe@tongengineering.com. BC�T February 57


Ag Grow Solutions by T.I.P. Hosts 3rd Annual Redox University Guests gathered at Green Bay’s Hinterland Brewery for company presentations and product overviews Hosted by Ag Grow Solutions, Redox agronomists were happy to share their company’s carbonbased fertilizer products during the 3rd Annual Redox U held at the Hinterland Brewery in Green Bay, Wisconsin, December 18. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in

business, Redox is ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certified and held to high standards, according to the team of agronomists. Cody Moon, son of Company Founder Darin Moon, says Redox places importance on university research, and in 2018 alone, performed 20 separate field trials just in the Upper Midwest. Redox Agronomist Eric Massey introduced a new organic line of OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute)-certified products, including Triplex Micro Organic; Triplex Zinc Organic; H-85 Organic; Mainstay Calcium Organic; and Mainstay SI Organic. This year's Redox University focused

on soil health and chemistry along with five main solution topics: root development; soil moisture management; crop quality; plant stress; and yield/nitrogen efficiency. Local results and programs were also highlighted as part of the presentation. Nitrogen may be the most important nutrient because it’s a component of literally every cell in the plant. In the case of nitrogen, more is not always better. NITROGEN OVER-APPLICATION Nitrogen is often over-applied and the results from this are overlooked and somewhat camouflaged. Nitrogen is a nutrient the plant will take up in excess without any complaint.

Above: It was a packed house when Ag Grow Solutions hosted the 3rd Annual Redox University, December 18, at Hinterland Brewery in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Steve Tatro, owner of T.I.P., sits in the rear center, and in attendance, flanking Tatro and facing the camera are, Devin Zarda (pink shirt), vice president of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary, and her husband, Kyle Zarda (hat), shop manager of Wirz, Inc. in Antigo, Wisconsin. Left: Andy Verhasselt, an agronomist with T.I.P.’s Ag Grow Solutions, explains the chemistry of Redox carbon-based fertilizers and how to best formulate them for plant uptake during critical growth stages. 58 BC�T February


“I have the same problem with chocolate chip cookies,” Andy Verhasselt, an agronomist with T.I.P., says. Nitrogen applied to the soil readily converts to highly plant-available forms. While plants readily assimilate nitrogen, key metabolic processes in the plant must occur efficiently for the plant to optimize the nitrogen. It is not difficult to promote assimilation of nitrogen in the plant, but proper nitrogen utilization is often a key limiting factor. “When the plant does this, it does not necessarily use that nitrogen, but it will build or grow areas to store it,” Verhasselt explains. Without balancing nitrogen inputs, it becomes increasingly difficult to get potassium, calcium and other cations into the plant. ELONGATED INTERNODES “Certain crops express this with large tops, suckers, elongated internodes, etc. These things are sometimes overlooked as being detrimental because the field has that dark-green, picturesque look to it,” Verhasselt says. “Depending on what Mother Nature does to us in a given growing season, over-application of nitrogen can be detrimental to overall yield and quality,” he adds. Disease infiltration, lodging and an imbalance of cations in the plant are possible effects of over-application. Elongated cells without the addition of balanced calcium nutrition will lead to increased chances of bacteria and fungi entering the plant, as well as increased chances of lodging and tops on the ground due to lack of support and excessive top growth. The role of calcium for cell wall strength and integrity in the plant is well understood. However, the very important role that calcium plays in root growth is often overlooked. Inadequate plant-available, soluble

Eric Massey (left), agronomist for Redox, introduces the company’s organic line of OMRIcertified products, while T.I.P. agronomist Kenton Mehlberg (right) gives his full, undivided attention.

calcium will severely limit root growth. CALCIUM OVERLOOKED “Calcium is probably the most overlooked and under-utilized plant nutrient in our arsenal,” Verhasselt remarks. “Every single plant process—root growth, tissue growth, seed production, fruit production and cell structure—are highly dependent on calcium.” Verhasselt insists every plant in the field is deficient in calcium in some way. Calcium is also just as important for soil structure as it is a plant nutrient. It helps hold the soil together and creates proper pore space to hold moisture, which in turn creates a home for beneficial biology and soluble plant nutrients. Optimum phosphorus nutrition is often associated with the quality and quantity of the root system. Natural soil chemistry conditions tend to quickly tie up conventional phosphate fertilizers into chemical compounds that cannot be used by the plant. Conventional phosphate is often applied in excess to compensate for this undesirable soil reaction. Although this is true, phosphorus’ function in the plant goes well beyond the early stages of growth and root development.

PHOSPHORUS’ PRIMARY ROLE Phosphorus’ primary role for the plant is that of energy (ATP). It is crucial to the growth of all plant parts, not just roots. Plants need energy throughout the whole season and not just in the spring. Many of the on-farm trials this year proved that small in-season inputs of phosphorus were successful in driving plant function and promoting yield and quality. Having the ability to place efficient nutrition where you need it and know it is available is very advantageous. In addition to these topics, Ag Grow Solutions offer salt-free products, a line of biologicals, slow-release liquid nitrogen, nitrogen stabilizers, protected plant nutrients, calcium solutions for soil structure problems and comprehensive soil samples. New this year is the line of OMRIcertified products by Redox. Ag Grow Solutions also expanded its facility to better serve its customers and keep up with continued growth, and wants to thank customers for their continued support. Contact Redox and Ag Grow Solutions through T.I.P., attention Kenton Mehlberg, 715-630-4768, or Andy Verhasselt, 715-323-5115, tip@tipinc.net, or visit www.tipinc.net. BC�T February 59


EYES ON ASSOCIATES By WPVGA Associate Div. President Casey Kedrowski, Central Door Solutions

My how time flies!

This is my eleventh article as the WPVGA Associate Division President and probably my second-to-last. There’s not much I want to talk about that I haven’t covered already. I was telling my wife about this last night and she asked if I’m going to miss it, and of course I answered, “Yes.” Are you kidding me? Being on these boards and committees is one of the greatest choices I’ve made as a young professional. From learning things like working together and listening to everyone’s ideas to being able to agree to disagree, I’ve said it right from the beginning, you have to do what makes you happy and is best for you

and your family, even if you ruffle some feathers in the process. This is a motto I’ve taken to heart and try to live by, as we are never promised tomorrow. Aside from being a “good person” and doing the “right thing,” what else is there? Well, it depends who you ask. I’ve been lucky enough to meet all kinds of people in the past 10 years who all have different goals in life and things that make them “tick.” Is wealth your goal? How about happiness? Maybe health and wellbeing? There is no right answer that I’ve been able to find, but just being a good person is one heck of a start. How do we do it?

Every day, and maybe multiple times a day, you get tested and you get a chance to sharpen up on these skills. The fact of the matter is that I don’t care what makes you happy, or even what makes you unhappy, but what I care about is how you treat others and how you treat me. After all, it’s still early in 2019 and it’s never too late to try something new. I look forward to seeing everyone in the coming months with smiles on their faces. Thanks again! Cheers,

Casey Kedrowski

WPVGA Associate Division President

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Ali's Kitchen

Prepare These Chicken Fajita Stuffed Potatoes

They’re so yummy topped with avocado, cilantro and homemade ranch dressing! Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Recently, Mike complimented me on being a doer and a planner, and I (humbly, I hope) agreed with him. I am a doer and a planner ... until I’m not. We all have moments when life gets away from us, we become a tad bit lazy or something unexpected throws us off our best intentions. I tend to notice this most in my life when it comes to our meals. Things go rather smoothly when I take the time to create a weekly menu, meticulously search the pantry to make use of what we currently have on hand and carefully grocery shop for the items we lack. I’m able to keep everyone happy and

fed, and I always have the answer to the question, “What’s for dinner?” Those are the days when I feel like the doer my husband thinks that I am. Sometimes, though, life gets a bit crazy. You have last minute company arrive for a three-day visit, then the dog gets sick and you find yourself spending the morning at the emergency vet, and while there, you suddenly remember that you had promised to drop off pans of brownies for the church youth group and have nothing prepared to bring them. After a few days like this, I found myself standing in front of my fridge, numbly staring at the few items inside, surrounded by hungry guests and children, and with my own tummy rumbling. I was about to suggest dining out for lunch, but then my eyes landed on the pile of potatoes I had baked a few days earlier and the rotisserie chicken that I had picked up on my last grocery shopping trip. HANDY IN A PINCH I’ve shared with you before that we tend to keep these items on hand, and they certainly help when all your doings and planning go awry! continued on pg. 62

Fajita Chicken Stuffed Potatoes Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Servings: 4

• 4 medium-size russet potatoes (baked) • 2 tbsp. olive oil • 1 small yellow onion (sliced) • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken • ¼ tsp. paprika • ⅛ tsp. chili powder • ½ tbsp. cumin • ½ tbsp. garlic powder • Salt and pepper to taste • 1 ripe avocado • 3 tbsp. fresh cilantro (roughly chopped) BC�T February 61


Homemade Ranch Dressing

Ali's Kitchen. . .

continued from pg. 61

I rewarmed the potatoes, shredded the rotisserie chicken, mixed up our go-to homemade ranch dressing and recreated a version of a meal I’ve made dozens of times. You truly can’t go wrong topping a potato with delicious filling, and these Fajita Chicken Stuffed Potatoes are perfect whether you’re in need of something quick on those crazy unplanned days or you plan ahead and place them on your weekly menu. This meal comes together in about 15 minutes but add additional time if you’re baking your russet potatoes at the same time as you’re preparing the meal. Because our potatoes had been baked days earlier, I simply placed them in the microwave for a few minutes to warm them. You could also reheat them in the oven if you’d prefer. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled depending on how many hungry people you’re feeding. You could certainly use store bought ranch dressing, but I urge you to take the extra couple of minutes to mix up your own dressing with this recipe, it is so yummy. Trust me. DIRECTIONS Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet or pan. Add the sliced onion and sauté for about five minutes, or until the onion is slightly caramelized.

• 1 cup mayonnaise • 1 tsp. salt • 1 tsp. black pepper • 2 tbsp. dried dill • 1 tsp. parsley • 1 tsp. onion powder • 2 tsp. garlic powder • 2 tsp. white vinegar • 2 tbsp. milk (I used canned coconut milk but use what you prefer.)

Directions: Place all ingredients into a mason jar. Secure the lid onto the jar and give it a good shake. Feel free to add a bit more, or less, milk and vinegar to create the consistency you prefer. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks. Place the chicken, paprika, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder in the pan with the onions and continue to cook until the chicken is warmed through. While the chicken mixture is cooking, slice the top ¼ inch or so off each baked potato. You can discard this piece. Using a fork, gently fluff the inside of each potato. Stuff/top each potato with the chicken fajita mixture, top with a few slices of avocado and sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Add a dash of pepper and salt and a drizzle of homemade ranch dressing. Enjoy! Find more recipes at www.LifeOnGraniteRidge.com.

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2019 Equipment/Supplies & Potato Expo Coverage issue, complete with features on U.S. Growers Helping African Potato Farmers, Preventing Corr...

1902_Badger Common'Tater  

2019 Equipment/Supplies & Potato Expo Coverage issue, complete with features on U.S. Growers Helping African Potato Farmers, Preventing Corr...

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