1905_Badger Common'Tater

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$22/year | $2/copy | Volume 71 No. 05 | MAY 2019


VEGETABLES & FARM SAFETY/INSURANCE ISSUE COOL BEANS! Kidney Beans Remain A Fundamental Staple TIPS FOR FARMERS ON Long-Term Care Costs WAYS TO MEASURE Evapotranspiration MANAGING WHITE MOLD In Potato & Vegetable Crops

Nephews of this issue’s interviewee, Bryan Sheller, Wyatt (left) and Dayton (right) proudly display onions grown on Crystal Farm, Inc.


Bryan H. Sheller

Crystal Farm, Inc.

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On the Cover: Now those are onions! Nobody could be prouder than

Wyatt (left) and Dayton (right), nephews of Bryan H. Sheller, this issue’s interviewee. Bryan’s sister, Hannah, provided the image taken in 2017 on Crystal Farm, Inc., in Montello, Wisconsin. That’s Hannah’s husband and Wyatt and Dayton’s father, David Wolsdorf, in the background of the cover image.

8 BADGER COMMON’TATER INTERVIEW: The featured interviewee this issue, Bryan Sheller (left in tractor cab), harvests onions with his father, Steve (right in the open tractor), on Crystal Farm, Inc. Steve and his wife, Janet, own the third-generation potato and onion farm, working full-time alongside Bryan and his brotherin-law, David Wolsdorf. Together they grow 75 acres of onions and 65 acres of fresh market red potatoes annually in the muck soils of Montello, Wisconsin.


14 ADD KIDNEY BEANS TO YOUR CROP ROTATION The attraction of diverse crops is as strong as ever


Auxiliary sponsors baked potato and French fries booth at WPS Farm Show


Spudmobile remains as popular as ever at events where the vehicle sets up

NEW PRODUCTS................ 46 NOW NEWS....................... 17 NPC NEWS......................... 34 PEOPLE.............................. 35

FEATURE ARTICLES: 24 NEW TECHNOLOGIES make measuring evapotranspiration a bit more tangible 38 TIPS FOR GROWERS on long-term care costs and avoiding risk to their farms

PLANTING IDEAS.................. 6 POTATOES USA NEWS........ 28

42 WHITE MOLD: understand and manage the disease in potato and vegetable crops WPIB FOCUS...................... 33 4

BC�T May


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To Kee ng. p Wisconsin Stro

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For more information about the farm dividend program and how you may qualify, contact your local Rural Mutual agent.

WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Wes Meddaugh Vice President: Rod Gumz Secretary: Mike Carter Treasurer: Gary Wysocki Directors: Bill Guenthner, Charlie Mattek, Alex Okray, 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: Kenton Mehlberg Vice President: Paul Cieslewicz Secretary: Sally Suprise

Insurance Company


Treasurer: Rich Wilcox Directors: Chris Brooks, Julie Cartwright, Kristi Kulas & Nick Laudenbach Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: Dan Kakes Vice President: Jeff Fassbender Secretary/Treasurer: Matt Mattek Directors: Roy Gallenberg & 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

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 May



Calendar MAY



1 10-12 15 21

WALK WISCONSIN Pfiffner Park Stevens Point, WI UNITED FRESH McCormick Place Chicago, IL SILVER LAKE TRIATHLON Silver Lake Park, 7 a.m. Portage, WI WSPIA SPUD SEED CLASSIC GOLF OUTING Bass Lake Golf Course Deerbrook, WI

6 9-12 13 16 18 23-25 25

PARDEEVILLE TRIATHLON Chandler Park, 8 a.m. Pardeeville, WI NPC SUMMER MEETING Chula Vista Resort Wisconsin Dells, WI POINT DUATHLON UW-Stevens Point Allen Center Stevens Point, 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

2 10 17

RHINELANDER FIELD DAY Lelah Starks Farm Rhinelander, WI ANTIGO TATER TROT Antigo City Park, 8:30 a.m. Antigo, WI WAUPACA AREA TRIATHLON South Park, 7 a.m. Waupaca, WI

1-2 17-19

WGA INNOVATION EXPO Kalahari Resort Wisconsin Dells, WI PMA FRESH SUMMIT Anaheim, CA




Planting Ideas It’s people who make a difference.

A wise gentleman once predicted that, if I paid attention, I’d see the same people volunteering their time and efforts at numerous events in my community. They are the “doers” who don’t like to sit idly by and watch as others work. Not only is that true, but it’s also personalities that bring different perspectives to the table and make organizations like the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) run smoothly and do what it’s meant to do. The mission of the WPVGA is to advance the interests of association members through education, information, environmentally sound research, promotion, governmental action and involvement. In the image above are WPVGA Director of Promotions & Consumer Education Dana Rady (left) and Outgoing Promotions Committee Chairman Chris Brooks (right) of Central Door Solutions. In the four years Chris spent as committee chairman, he was instrumental in retail store giveaways, including a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and Cub Cadet UTV (utility terrain vehicle), as well as the purchase of a trailer to be pulled by the Spudmobile that’s wrapped with a decal featuring Wisconsin potatoes in foodservice. And Chris oversaw an updated exterior wrap on the Spudmobile, to name a few promotions initiatives. Brooks has also been a fantastic resource for opportunities like the WPVGA’s sponsorship of Short Track and Tundra Super Late Models car racing. In addition, he serves on the WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors. But more to the point, he brings a personality, as does Rady, to the Association and committees he serves. People are what make the initiatives work, and if completely successful, it’s people who make the work fun in the long run, when all is said and done. Nothing is easy, but with the right attitudes, motives and agendas, achieving success for the industry is ultimately fulfilling and fun. Please see “Marketplace” for more on a recent Promotions Retreat where ideas and initiatives were shared, presented, discussed and approved, including an annual budget, to take forward in serving the industry for another year. 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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farm and food safety manager, Crystal Farm, Inc. By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

A fear of running out of muck land in Michigan brought

Bryan H. Sheller’s grandfather, Herb Sheller, to Montello, Wisconsin, where he began to farm in the 1950s. Herb bought swampland and cleared it for what is now Crystal Farm, Inc.

NAME: Bryan H. Sheller TITLE: Farm and food safety manager COMPANY: Crystal Farm, Inc. LOCATION: Montello, WI HOMETOWN: Montello, WI YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: 5 SCHOOLING: Montello High School ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: FFA FAMILY: Parents, Steve and Janet Sheller; wife, Amy; children, Bentley and Kaylee; sister and brother-in-law, Hannah and David Wolsdorf, and their sons, Dayton and Wyatt HOBBY: Hunting Above: Bryan Sheller goes for a walk on the farm with his kids, Kaylee (carried by her dad) and Bentley (right). Located in Montello, Wisconsin, Crystal Farm, Inc. has been in the family since the 1950’s and currently produces 75 acres of onions and 65 acres of red potatoes for the fresh market. A potato field is pictured in mid-summer. 8

BC�T May

“My parents, Steve and Janet, currently own the farm and work fulltime,” Bryan explains. “My brotherin-law, David, and I are also employed full-time, so I am third generation.” In all, Crystal Farms, Inc. grows 75 acres of onions and 65 acres of red potatoes for the fresh market. “We sell the onions to Gumz Muck Farms for their consumer packs, and we sell potatoes off the field to Alsum Farms and Produce,” Bryan explains. How did you eventually end up farming red potatoes and onions? My grandfather, Herb, started growing onions right away. Along the way, the farm has also grown head lettuce, carrots, beets, celery, spinach, peppermint and spearmint. In 2007, we stopped growing carrots. After looking for something else, we tried growing red potatoes and have been ever since.

You’re not too far from Endeavor and Gumz Muck Farms and others who also grow onions. Is there something about the area that is conducive to growing onions? Yes, our entire farm is in muck soils. It’s not so much the area that allows us to grow the onions as it is the ground. What specifically do you enjoy about growing potatoes and vegetables in the Montello area? The Montello area is where I grew up and so I am very familiar with it. It’s a small community that works well together. Was it a good career choice, and why or why not? Yes, it was. I love farming and all the challenges and rewards it offers. Have there been changes or advancements on the farm as far as technology or machinery, and if so, what? A few years ago, we put up a bigger machine shop to work out of.

Onions are loaded into wagons during harvest at Crystal Farm, Inc.

It allows us to do more projects with the available space, to bring down maintenance costs and fabricate our own tools and equipment. It’s heated, which gives us a 365-days-ayear opportunity to work out of it. We are also trying to upgrade tractors when possible with GPS capabilities and transmissions to better suit our vegetables needs. What are your biggest challenges today in growing potatoes and onions? As opposed to the past? Our biggest challenge the last few years has been keeping water off the fields. We are also trying to stay up on the current food safety programs required to grow and sell vegetables. What are your greatest advantages, and why do you think you do a nice job in your area? All farmland being in one location is a big advantage. Also, it’s smaller, but allows us to keep labor costs down. As a family, we work well together and love what we do. My dad has always farmed, and in 1995, my mom

started farming full-time with him. My wife, Amy, and kids had no agriculture background but have come to love and appreciate it. My brother-in-law, David, works fulltime on the farm. My sister, Hannah, teaches agriculture in our local high school.

We are all very passionate about our farm and the agriculture community. Are your neighbors appreciative of what you do? Explain. We feel they are. We feel we have a great relationship with our neighbors who also farm. It gives everyone an opportunity to help if needed. continued on pg. 10

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 9

Healthy corn and onion fields are shown on Crystal Farm, Inc., in Montello, Wisconsin.

Crystal Farm, Inc. onions are planted via this handsome machine in two rows on raised beds and 36-inch centers.

Do they enjoy having a potato and onion grower in their backyard? Yes, they do, especially when trading for fresh vegetables.

potatoes and onions? We round out

Do you have rotational crops or other crops you grow in addition to

the rest of our farm with soybeans and corn. How many people do you employ full-time and seasonally? We have

David Wolsdorf digs potatoes using an open-top tractor, going two hills at a time with smaller equipment because of the muck soil on Crystal Farm, Inc. 10 BC�T May

four full-time employees between my parents, myself and my brother-inlaw, and we try to hire an additional four people seasonally. What do you most take pride of in your business and how it’s handled?

Fresh-dug onions are shown in the field in 2017.

Three generations of Crystal Farm, Inc. family members are, front and center, Dayton Wolsdorf (left) and Bentley Sheller (right); and in the back two rows, left to right, Steve Sheller; Hannah, David and Wyatt (held by Dad) Wolsdorf; Amy and Kaylee (held by Mom) Sheller; Janet Sheller; and Bryan Sheller.

Quality crops—we are always looking to new technology or practices to ensure the best for ourselves and our buyers. What type of rows are you planting for both potatoes and onions? Spacing and machinery? And why does this work for you? Both the onions and potatoes are grown at 36-inch centers. It allows us to use the same tractors and equipment because the wheel spacing is consistent.

Most of the onion equipment is fabricated in our shop, and a lot of the potato equipment is older two-row units to keep the weight down for the muck soils. Is there room for growth, either on your farm or in the area? Maybe. We would like to stay raising specialty crops, but available muck land and land prices make that difficult. We do have more swampland we’d like to clear, but due to laws,

It’s happy days on the farm for Kaylee and Bentley (background) Sheller when they get to sit in the drivers’ seats.

are currently unable to. What are your goals each year on the farm? Again, it’s quality crops. Good yields paired with quality products is what we strive for every year. How about for the future—what would you like to see happen to the farm? We’d like to stay farming and possibly expand or be able to clear more of our own land. We strive to keep up to date with continued on pg. 12


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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 11

technology and practices to ensure we can be a family farm. Are there kids showing interest who you can pass the farm down to? I have two children and so does my brother-in-law. They are young yet, but all love spending time on the farm. I hope one day they enjoy and appreciate the agriculture lifestyle. Above: Steve Sheller (center), owner of Crystal Farm, Inc., is shown with two of his grandsons, Dayton (left) and Wyatt (right) on a loader tractor. Dayton is also shown standing in an onion wagon. RIght: A John Deere tractor is shown pulling a roller used for planting onions on raised beds.

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.

12 BC�T May

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Cool Beans! Kidney Beans provide natural fertilizers that enrich soil, leave behind nitrogen and use less water By Tessa Rose, Chippewa Valley Bean It’s been 50 years since the first crop of dark red kidney beans was grown in Dunn County, Wisconsin. Russell Doane, 87 years old, still tells the story of his quest to find a crop that would set him apart

from Midwestern corn and soybean growers in the mid-1960’s.

appealing to the eye and offered rich color among the greens.

During this time, Midwestern supper clubs were introducing the salad bar with great success and seeking out options for their diners that were

Additionally, there were government support programs, dating back to World War I, available for farmers growing dry, edible beans

Top: Dark red kidney beans proved to be a crop that would set Russell Doane of Chippewa Valley Bean and Doane Ltd. apart from the corn and soybean growers of the Midwest. The “Welcome” sign stands at Chippewa Valley Bean and Doane Ltd. in southeast Menomonie, Wisconsin. Bottom: Kidney beans continue to be a fundamental staple in diets around the world, not only to combat malnutrition, but also in alleviating poverty and boosting agricultural sustainability. 14 BC�T May

that, in the case of kidney beans, would guarantee growers $8 per hundredweight. A man forever thorough in his research, Russell tracked down the phone numbers of two men who would convince him to take the leap: Condon Bush of Bush Brothers; and Dr. M. Wayne Adams, who would later go on to develop the soughtafter Michigan Montcalm dark red kidney bean, introduced for its genetic tolerance to halo blight. The rest, as they say, is history. Because current corn and soybean prices continue to provide lackluster returns, the attraction of crop diversity is still as prevalent as it was in 1969. However, the strong market is surely not the only benefit of growing beans. Crop rotations are always vital, yet beans are unique in providing natural fertilizers that enrich the soil, leave behind nitrogen and other nutrients

Pulse plants take nitrogen from the atmosphere and fix it in nodules on their roots where it can be utilized to enhance growth and protein synthesis.

Russell Doane was a featured farmer in the August 23, 1974, edition of the Eau Claire Leader Telegram.

for the next crop, and therefore reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.

by 2050, making a crop with such soil and water efficiency an asset in the solution of global food security.

That minimal carbon footprint is becoming an expectation to a consumer base increasingly concerned with environmental sustainability. In addition, kidney bean crops use about one-tenth the water of other protein sources.

FUNDAMENTAL STAPLE Kidney beans continue to be a fundamental staple in diets around the world, not only to combat malnutrition, but also in alleviating poverty and boosting agricultural sustainability, particularly in lesser developed countries.

Multiple studies predict the world population will increase 70 percent


continued on pg. 16


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Cool Beans. . .

continued from pg. 15

These benefits not only apply to kidney beans, but to all pulse crops. While part of the legume family, the term “pulse” only refers to the dry, edible seed within a legume pod.

and weekly chances to win prizes, taking the Half Cup Habit Challenge is a free and easy way to circle back to those dusty New Year’s resolution goals.

Aside from dry beans, common examples of pulses include dry peas, chickpeas and lentils. Pulses can be traced back as far as 10,000 years ago to northern Israel, where researchers recently found evidence of fava bean cultivation.

Thanks to tireless work from The Global Pulse Confederation, pulses captured the attention of the United Nations (UN) in 2016. To highlight the countless benefits of pulses to both producers and consumers around the world, the UN declared 2016 the International Year of the Pulse (IYP).

Today, they’re grown in most regions of the world and provide nutritional diversity that is virtually unmatched by any other crop. The amount of protein in beans is two-to-three times that of conventional cereal grains (e.g. wheat, quinoa, rice and barley). Just a cup of cooked pulses provides more than half the amount of daily recommended fiber. Studies have shown that those who eat at least a half cup of pulses per day also have higher intakes of protein, calcium, potassium, zinc, folate, iron and magnesium, while also enjoying a lower intake of total and saturated fats. This study has prompted partners of the pulse industry to take action and create the “Half-Cup Habit Challenge” to encourage the consumption of one-half cup of pulses three times per week for healthy weight maintenance and overall well-being. With dozens of free recipes, prep tips

WORLD PULSES DAY The overwhelming success of IYP paved the way for the UN General Assembly to declare each February 10th “World Pulses Day,” beginning in 2019. This exposure has been instrumental in a worldwide movement for health and food security. A half-century after that first crop of kidney beans, business is booming. Today, three generations of the Doane family come to work each day, and the company now holds the title of the world’s largest processor of kidney beans. Doane Ltd., the farming side of the operation, is responsible for growing approximately 3,000 acres of beans each year. Over 100 family farms all around the Midwest also partner with Chippewa Valley Bean, the marketing and processing arm of the business, to provide the additional

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16 BC�T May

acreage needed to continue supplying kidney beans to nearly every corner of the world. Due to the parallels between vegetable crops and pulse crops, farmers who are experienced in growing vegetables find introducing kidney beans to their rotations a smoother transition than most. Attention to detail is crucial to both, from the specialized equipment needed to harvest down to the food safety and traceability aspects of growing a safe and wholesome food item. Harvesttime temperatures aren’t an issue for kidney beans like they can be for other vegetable crops, which helps maximize fall harvest efficiency. Collectively, the team at Chippewa Valley Bean has over 150 years’ experience in growing and harvesting kidney beans, with a full-time agronomist on staff available for field visits, questions and comprehensive crop planning. The team’s expertise and leadership in the global market guarantee strong contract prices that are virtually unmatched. For more information about Chippewa Valley Bean and how introducing kidney beans in a crop rotation can benefit a farm, please visit www.cvbean.com. Reach out to agronomist Byron Fischer at bfischer@cvbean.com, or by calling 320-815-0233.

Now News

WPVGA Participates in Ag Day at the Capitol

Meetings had strong focus on ensuring agriculture programs are well funded Article courtesy of Amy Eckelberg, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation On March 20, more than 300 farmers and agriculturists met in Madison, Wisconsin, for this year’s Ag Day at the Capitol, including a strong contingent from the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA). The program kicked off with a transportation panel comprised of Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation (WFBF) President Jim Holte, Wisconsin Counties Association Executive Director Mark O’Connell and Dan Cunningham, Forward Janesville, Inc. The panel members discussed transportation items in Gov. Tony Ever’s budget proposal and what funding possibilities would be viable moving forward.

Members of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association met with several key legislators and attended the Ag Day at the Capitol on March 20, 2019, in Madison. Growers and industry members met with Senators Jerry Petrowski, Patrick Testin and Tom Tiffany, as well as Representatives Scott Krug, Patrick J. Snyder and Nancy VanderMeer. Key issues included water quality initiatives, transportation, the University of Wisconsin Extension and the state budget. Pictured are, from left to right, Ron Krueger, Dale Bowe, Devin Zarda, Tamas Houlihan, Andy Wallendal and Michael Wolter.

“Maintaining and funding rural roads is desperately needed in Wisconsin,” Holte said. “We cannot lose sight of the importance of rural infrastructure for our farmers and rural residents.” The featured guest speaker was Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary-designee Brad Pfaff, who talked with attendees about dairy, hemp and water. He emphasized his rural roots and upbringing on a farm in rural La Crosse County and shared his plans to have DATCP help farmers in whatever way it can. After legislative issue briefings by various speakers, attendees walked to the Capitol to meet with their legislators. continued on pg. 18 BC�T May 17

Now News. . .

continued from pg. 17

“This year’s meetings had a strong focus on the Governor’s budget proposal and ensuring agriculture programs are well funded,” Holte noted. “Farm Bureau members also stressed the importance of farmers having a seat at the table for waterrelated discussions.”

Rural Mutual Insurance Company and GROWMARK Inc. were major sponsors of the event. Co-sponsors, in conjunction with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, included the Dairy Business Association, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association, Wisconsin Corn

Growers Association, Wisconsin Hemp Alliance, Wisconsin Horse Council, Wisconsin Pork Association, Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, Wisconsin Soybean Association and the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.

Keep Eating Your Veggies!

Wisconsin tops in production, remains number one in processing snap beans Article courtesy of Pam Jahnke, “Fabulous Farm Babe,” farm director, Wisconsin Farm Report Radio In 2018, there were 66,000 total acres of snap beans harvested in Wisconsin with a total production of 6.6 million cwt. (hundredweight). Fresh market production accounted for 330,000 cwt. and had a value of $17.2 million. Production of snap beans for processing totaled 312,840 tons and was valued at $32.5 million. Wisconsin maintained its number one ranking in production of processing snap beans with 38 percent of the nation’s production. U.S. snap bean production totaled 17.6 million cwt. Sweet corn production in Wisconsin, for 2018, totaled 9.59 million cwt. from 56,400 harvested acres. Fresh market production totaled 326,000 cwt. and was valued at $8.74 million. Processing production accounted for 463,100 tons and had a value of $31.4 million. Wisconsin remained in third place for processing sweet corn production in 2018. U.S. sweet corn production totaled 73.3 million cwt. Wisconsin farmers produced 978,600 cwt. of green peas in 2018. There were 23,300 harvested acres. Fresh market production totaled 1,000 cwt. for a total value of $275,000. The 48,881 tons of processing green pea production had a value of $11.5 18 BC�T May

There were 3,300 acres of cabbage harvested in Wisconsin, in 2018, with a total production value of $10.7 million.

million. Pea production in the United States totaled 5.07 million cwt. CARROT COUNT Wisconsin farmers produced 1.72 million cwt. of carrots in 2018 from 4,000 harvested acres. Fresh market production totaled 3,400 cwt. and was valued at $469,000. Processing carrot production accounted for 85,570 tons and had a total value of $6.62 million. Nationally, carrot production totaled 33 million cwt. Fifty-one hundred acres of cucumbers were harvested in Wisconsin in 2018

for a total production of 612,000 cwt. The value of production for cucumbers was $12.9 million. U.S. production of cucumbers totaled 15.5 million cwt. There were 3,300 acres of cabbage harvested in Wisconsin in 2018 with a total production value of $10.7 million. Utilized production of pumpkins in 2018 totaled 214,700 cwt. from 3,700 harvested acres. All pumpkins were for the fresh market and had a total value of $2.79 million.

Future Leaders Complete Member Development Program All 25 participants awarded certificates from five-month WPVGA industry course On March 19, 2019, all 25 participants in the WPVGA Member Development/Leadership Training Program were awarded certificates of achievement for completing the Above: Pictured in Antigo, Wisconsin, after the final session of the WPVGA Member Development/Leadership Training Program are, front row (left to right), Tamas Houlihan (WPVGA), Michael Wolter (Mike Wolter Riverside Farms), Matt Mattek (J.W. Mattek & Sons), Jim Zdroik (WPVGA), Aaron Kakes (Kakes Farms), Cassie Krebs (Gumz Muck Farms), Devin Zarda (Wirz Inc.), Lynn Leahy (Heartland Farms) and Brian Lee (Okray Family Farms); back row (left to right), Charlie Husnick (Baginski Farms), Datonn Hanke (Swiderski Equipment), Kevin Schleicher (Wysocki Family of Companies), Kalie Christensen (Gumz Farms), Ryan Fassbender (Seidl Farms), Moriah Rataczak (Gumz Muck Farms), Brittany Bula (Bula Land Company), Nate Knutson (RPE), Nick Brekken (Wysocki Family of Companies), Kayla Smith (Insight FS), Jarod Cieslewicz (Sand County Equipment), Doug Foemmel (WPVGA) and Rich Wilcox (The Portage County Bank). Not pictured are Ted Melby (Paragon Potato Farms), Alex Okray (Okray Family Farms), Doug Posthuma (Alsum Farms & Produce) and Matt Smith (Alsum Farms & Produce).

five-month course focused on the Wisconsin potato and vegetable industry. The program consisted of five one-day sessions, each focusing on issues of critical importance to the potato and vegetable industry.

Sessions focused on the WPVGA’s core functions of government affairs, research, promotion and education, as well as providing training on communication and public relations. The program was designed to prepare members of the WPVGA to be future leaders. It provided them with the opportunity to learn about and participate in the various facets of the industry by exposing them to relevant information, resources, activities and networking opportunities. continued on pg. 20

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BC�T May 19

Now News. . .

continued from pg. 19

“I firmly believe that this program was highly beneficial, not only to the attendees, but to the industry as a whole,” says WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan. “The program helped educate, train and develop the future leaders of Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable industry.”

greatest assets,” Houlihan adds, “and help maintain a positive business climate for agriculture.”

INDUSTRY’S GREATEST ASSETS “Members who actively participate in the organization are the industry’s

“I was extremely impressed with the attitude and dedication demonstrated by all of the participants,” he

Houlihan says he was very pleased to help growers and industry members develop as leaders and motivate them to commit their time and energy to the betterment of the industry.

remarks. “The program required a significant time commitment as well as travel, and all 25 completed the program. It was encouraging to me to see so many individuals who are willing to use their intelligence and talents to serve the industry.” “Many important and complex decisions lie ahead for our industry,” Houlihan concludes. “By creating this leadership base today, we are investing wisely in our future.”

Swiderski Equipment Awarded Five Star Rating AGCO honors top 33 dealers in North America for 2018 performance Swiderski Equipment Inc. was recently recognized by AGCO Corporation for achieving a Five Star rating in its 2018 Dealer Excellence Program, AGCO’s annual dealer evaluation review.

Only 33 dealers in North America achieved this prestigious status in 2018, and just two Wisconsin dealers. Dealers are evaluated on many performance areas, with all linking back to providing AGCO customers

with the best possible service and experience. “We are excited to receive this award and designation from AGCO,” Swiderski Equipment Chief Operating



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Officer Sly Krautkramer says. “I am proud of our entire team, from sales to parts and service, and all other areas of our business. “We worked hard to provide outstanding customer service and be an equipment and service partner for our customers,” Krautkramer adds. “We are proud to stand among an elite group of dealers across the United States and Canada.” PERFORMANCE EVALUATION The AGCO Dealer Excellence Program evaluates dealers’ performance in all areas of the business, including sales, parts, service, marketing, training, financial management and facilities, with the ultimate goal of improving customer satisfaction. “Achieving a Five Star rating is difficult, and only a small number reach this high level of recognition each year,” says Bill Hurley, vice president, Aftersales, Customer Support and Distribution Development, AGCO North America. “We are proud of the commitment Swiderski Equipment Inc. has made to their customers and to AGCO,” he states, “and we congratulate them on this meaningful accomplishment.” Swiderski Equipment Inc. is one of Wisconsin’s premier and long-established agriculture and construction equipment dealerships.

For over 90 years, Swiderski Equipment has provided a diverse offering of agriculture, construction and consumer equipment and products. Five store locations in Mosinee, Wausau, Thorp, Antigo and Waupaca combine to operate one of the most valued networks of agriculture and

Above: Swiderski Equipment Inc. was well represented at the 2019 WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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Auxiliary News By Devin Zarda, vice president, WPGA

The French fry and baked potato booth, sponsored and operated by the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary, was hopping at the 2019 WPS Farm Show, March 26-28, on the Experimental Aircraft Association grounds in Oshkosh.

Hello, friends! I hope spring has been treating you well. Every March, like clockwork, the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary (WPGA) operates a baked potato and French fry booth for three days during the WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh. Overall, everyone who stopped by the booth seemed thrilled with their French fries and baked potatoes.

22 BC�T May

The aproned volunteers working the French fries and baked potato booth at the WPS Farm Show are, from left to right, Marilyn Wierzba (barely visible behind Sally), Sally Suprise, Josie Spurgeon and Karen Rasmussen.

This year, we also had the Spudmobile at the show so attendees could learn more about their potatoes. Since the weather decided to cooperate, the Spudmobile was consistently filled with people wanting to check it out.

A special thanks goes out to Auxiliary members Carole, shown here serving French fries to a customer, and Cliff Gagas, who have always gone above and beyond to help at the WPS Farm Show booth.

WPS Farm Show. Thank you, Carole and Cliff, for always assisting us!

Let’s be honest, they want to play the bug game. If you’ve ever played the bug game, you know how addicting it can be!

In addition to Cliff and Carole, volunteers working the baked potato and French fry booth were Sarah Agena, Kathy Bartsch, Julie Braun, Kari Burns, Scott Doyle, Melissa Heise, Lynn and Justin Isherwood, Karen Rasmussen, Josie Spurgeon, Dusty Stuczynski, Sally Suprise, Marilyn Wierzba and Sharon Wysocki.

There are two Auxiliary members who deserve a special recognition. Carole and Cliff Gagas have always gone above and beyond in volunteering at the booth during the

If you would like to help at the WPS

In all, volunteers sold 538 baked potatoes, 1,101 orders of Wisconsin French fries, 66 orders of nachos, 729 sodas and 41 WPGA cookbooks.

Farm Show, please reach out to the office at (715) 623-7683 for more information. We are always looking for more volunteers for all our programs, including the booth at the show. Talk with you soon,

Devin Below and facing page: The Spudmobile was a hit at the 2019 WPS Farm Show and a great outreach and promotional tool used to engage attendees about the benefits of Wisconsin potatoes and buying local and Healthy Grown. Visitors enjoyed the Field to Fork exhibit and, especially, the bug game.

BC�T May 23

Ways to Measure Evapotranspiration New technologies make the science of measuring ET a bit more tangible By Ammara Talib, Ankur Desai and Mallika Nocco, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Water goes in, plants grow up

and water goes out. Sounds simple, right? Yet, precise and accurate measurements of the wily ways of where water goes on a farm turn out to be not so easy.

It does turn out, though, that new technologies are making measuring one of the most invisible aspects of the water cycle, evapotranspiration (ET), a bit more tangible. Irrigation scheduling and agricultural water management are based on precipitation data and ET estimates. Hence, it is important to understand supply (soil moisture, groundwater, precipitation and snow) as well as the demand side (ET) of water, especially with increasing water demand for 24 BC�T May

expanding agriculture. Evapotranspiration (ET), or the loss of water to the atmosphere, is the sum of evaporation from the soil and wet plants plus transpiration from plants. ET is measured in millimeters (mm) or inches per day. This rate expresses the volume of water lost per area per time from a cropped surface. Vegetation regulates transpiration by closing leaf stomata, and soils lose water both through evaporation and percolation to groundwater. Accurate ET information at hourly

to daily timescales can detect vegetation responses to water stress and impacts to groundwater recharge in near real�time. PRECIPITATION & SOIL MOISTURE Since precipitation and subsequent surface and root zone soil moisture contribute to this composite variable of ET, it cannot be measured directly from space or with a single simple sensor. Evapotranspiration is not easy to measure. Here, we look at four modern experimental methods

Above: University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers Jonathan Thom (left) and Ammara Talib (right) work on maintaining an eddy covariance flux tower located on a Heartland Farms potato field in the Central Sands area of Wisconsin. Flux tower research is being funded by the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association to measure evapotranspiration on the potato field and in a nearby pine plantation. Image courtesy of Ankur Desai

Eddy covariance flux towers, such as this one on a Heartland Farms potato field (center, left of pivot), measure evapotranspiration (ET) from atmospheric measurements. They can directly measure water flux from an ecosystem, such as agricultural land or forest, by relating the fluctuations in vertical wind speed with water vapor concentration in the air carried by turbulent wind gusts. Flux observations are measured 10-20 times a second and converted to half-hourly ET. Image courtesy of Mallika Nocco

of measuring ET, namely lysimeters, satellites, land surface models and eddy covariance flux towers. Lysimeters are large, cylindrical tanks that precisely weigh how much water is stored in a soil column. They are buried underground. Changes in weight of a soil column is converted to change in water storage using the surface area of the weighing lysimeter and the known density of water. ET is computed as the residual after accounting for precipitation, drainage, surface runoff and the net change in soil water storage as measured by the lysimeter. Errors in the other measurements (precipitation or runoff) influence the accuracy of a lysimeter. However, using lysimeters is one of the best ways to directly measure ET at a single patch of ground. Still, these point-based measurements cannot be directly used for estimating

regional water loss to atmosphere with multiple lysimeters. EARTH-OBSERVING SATELLITES Much like the cool feeling from a fan blowing across sweaty skin on a hot day, when a surface loses energy in form of surface ET, it cools down. The cool and warm surfaces can be distinguished by remote sensing Earth-observing satellites that can map infrared heat radiated from Earth. The NASA MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) and similar satellites can detect these changes in surface heat and relate those, along with information about vegetation from other satellites, to ET. The key challenge with satellites is that they either fly over a single location infrequently, or for continuous measurements, the “geostationary” orbit is too high to map individual farm fields.

An eddy covariance flux tower is pictured on a pine plantation in the Central Sands area of Wisconsin. Image courtesy of Joe Raboin

Also, most satellites cannot see through clouds. Thus, satellites alone cannot predict about plant stress in real time and can’t easily be used for irrigation scheduling. Last July, NASA launched a new satellite, ECOSTRESS (ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station), that provides ET estimates at 1-acre spatial resolution with a five-day repeat visit. ECOSTRESS will provide direct estimates of ET using newer approaches. continued on pg. 26 BC�T May 25

Ways to Measure Evapotranspiration . . . continued from pg. 25

Figure 1: Left, the water cycle for potatoes is based on satellite, lysimeter and eddy covariance observations combined from two potato fields for four growing seasons (June, July and August) of 2015-2018.

Figure 2: Above, the pie chart compares average water supply and demand for potatoes from 2013-2018.

Satellites can sometimes be combined with meteorological data and used to run computer simulation models to estimate ET. The models are based on physics theories of heat and water transport from the surface to the atmosphere. However, for the models to measure ET accurately, estimates of other parameters such as plant stomatal conductance and aerodynamic

resistances are needed. In addition, these models are uncertain for complex terrain or heterogeneous surfaces. Eddy covariance (EC) flux towers are the most direct way to measure ET from atmospheric measurements. They can directly measure water flux from an ecosystem (such as agricultural land or forest) by relating the fluctuations in vertical wind speed

with water vapor concentration in the air, carried by turbulent wind gusts. Flux observations are measured 1020 times a second and converted to half-hourly ET. With current advances in technology, the eddy covariance method is gaining popularity. However, caution must be taken, as numerous calculations and calibrations are required to maintain accuracy. By combining eddy covariance flux towers, models, satellites and lysimeters at two Central Sands farms in Wisconsin, we can begin to see how the water cycle behaves over potato fields (Figure 1). Over this four-year period, 2015 was comparatively a dry year and 2018 was a wet year. Surface soil moisture follows precipitation, while ET does the opposite. Over longer-term averages, we note that ET exceeded precipitation from 2013-2018. Crop growth is subsidized by additional water supplied through irrigation (Figure 2).

26 BC�T May

On average, net water supplied for crops was 19.5 inches per growing season, while 13.3 inches (~68

on the total water budget. Looking more closely at a single site, we can also compare ET among satellites, flux towers and models (Figure 3). The model here is from a national estimate of surface water and energy cycling. That model underestimates ET relative to the others, while the satellite-based Wisconsin Irrigation Scheduling Program potential ET overestimates actual flux tower ET in fall. The University of Wiscnoin-Madison Ecometeorology lab is actively researching new methods to develop highresolution (30 m) maps of farm scale ET and water loss by Figure 3: Different methods were used to measure ET at Heartland Farms from the summer of 2018 to spring 2019.

percent) water per year was lost to atmosphere. Ongoing data collection will allow us to look at the whole year to see the effect of shoulder season ET

crops, using ECOSTRESS, MODIS and other satellites. Field measurements of ET and soil moisture are essential to making this product successful. The hope is that new field-scale weekly ET maps will indicate when plants are under stress and allow farmers to use their limited water resources efficiently.

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Potatoes USA News

Potatoes USA Elects 2019-’20 Leadership

Potatoes USA concluded its 47th Annual Meeting, March 14, with the election of a new board chairman and executive committee. Phil Hickman of Horntown, Virginia, will serve a

one-year term as chairman, making him the Board’s first chairman from Virginia. Hickman has served on the Potatoes USA Board for 11 years and most

recently served as co-chair of the Domestic Marketing Committee. He has been farming since 1974, when he and his brother began Dublin Farms at the ages of 20 Above: The majority of the Potatoes USA Executive Committee remains the same as the previous year. Members are, back row, from left to right: Jason Davenport of Arvin, California; Dan Moss of Declo, Idaho; Phil Hickman of Horntown, Virginia; Heidi Alsum-Randall of Friesland, Wisconsin; Jaren Raybould of Saint Anthony, Idaho; and Sheldon Rockey of Center, Colorado. Seated in the front row, left to right: Blair Richardson, Potatoes USA CEO; Chris Hansen of Bliss, New York; Steve Streich of Kalispell, Montana; Eric Schroeder of Antigo, Wisconsin; and Steve Elfering of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Not pictured: Marty Meyers of Boardman, Oregon.

28 BC�T May

and 22, respectively. Hickman grew up farming on property that has been in his family for over 100 years and has harvested potatoes on different portions of the land every year. “My experience working on a small farm gives me the ability to work well with each region. This is going to be valuable as I work to get each region to work together on the common goal of building demand for U.S. potatoes,” says Hickman. The majority of the Potatoes USA Executive Committee remains the same as the previous year. Executive Committee members are:

Hickman mentioned one area of focus will be to increase retail sales. Lastly, he conveyed that Potatoes USA works to grow the entire U.S. potato industry.

organization works to help all aspects of the industry and that’s something we need to remember as we continue to move forward,” Hickman concludes.

“The fact that I’m chairman shows Potatoes USA is for every farm, no matter the size or focus. The

Hickman is a graduate of Virginia Tech and his passion outside of potatoes is Virginia Tech football.

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• Jason Davenport of Arvin, California, was re-elected to chair the Finance and Policy Committee • Marty Myers of Boardman, Oregon, and Steve Streich of Kalispell, Montana, were re-elected to cochair the International Marketing Committee • Sheldon Rockey of Center, Colorado, and Heidi Alsum-Randall of Friesland, Wisconsin, were reelected to co-chair the Industry Outreach Committee • Jaren Raybould of Saint Anthony, Idaho, was re-elected and Steve Elfering of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was elected to co-chair the Domestic Marketing Committee • Chris Hansen of Bliss, New York, and Eric Schroeder of Antigo, Wisconsin, were re-elected to co-chair the Research Committee In Hickman’s acceptance speech, he thanked outgoing Chairman Dan Moss of Declo, Idaho, for his tremendous leadership in the potato industry. He hopes to continue what Moss has done best—keeping everyone in the industry focused in the same direction.

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BC�T May 29


By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education

Promotions Retreat Brings New Opportunities & Leadership Despite Mother Nature’s wishes for winter to continue given her gift of April snow showers, we find ourselves in another planting and growing season as well as with opportunities to further advance Wisconsin potatoes through collaboration and promotion.

Retreat held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Baraboo, Wisconsin. At this meeting, valuable discussions fueled continued excitement for the current status and future of educating and promoting Wisconsin potatoes across the state and Midwest.

March 21-22 marked the completion of another successful Promotions

The WPVGA Promotions Committee is excited to welcome newly-elected

Chair Christine Lindner from Alsum Farms and Produce. Lindner works in national sales and marketing at the potato-packing and shipping organization located in Friesland. An alumna of the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison, Lindner served as Wisconsin’s 63rd Alice in Dairyland, in 2010, and has a fervent enthusiasm for agriculture, having grown up on her family’s fourthgeneration dairy farm. Since coming to work for Alsum Farms and Produce five years ago, Lindner eagerly carries out her “farm Above: As part of the 2019 Promotions Retreat in Baraboo, Wisconsin, the WPVGA-sponsored Kids From Wisconsin song-and-dance troupe (matching blue shirts, front-right-center) gave a presentation to the Promotions Committee for continued support. As a member of the performing group herself, Zoe Gatz (center, blue shirt and glasses), daughter of Mike Gatz, Bushmans’ Inc., and his wife, Connie, shared how valuable the program has been for her and why she appreciates featuring Wisconsin potatoes during performances. Below: WPVGA Director of Promotions Dana Rady (left) presents Chris Brooks of Central Door Solutions with a gift of gratitude for his contributions as Promotions Committee chairman over the past four years.

30 BC�T May

to fork passion and love of marketing communications.” “I’m honored to earn the trust of the Promotions Committee and work in collaboration with members to build awareness and drive demand for Wisconsin potatoes and vegetables at retail and foodservice, and ultimately to consumers in the Midwest and beyond,” Lindner says. “Having served on the Promotions Committee for the past two years, I’ve enjoyed working with members for the good of Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable growers and look forward to helping guide the organization’s marketing efforts into the future.” UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE Lindner takes over for outgoing Chairman Chris Brooks, owner of Central Door Solutions in Plover. An Associate Division Board member, Brooks brought a unique perspective to the Promotions Committee during

his four years leading the group. In that time, he was instrumental in retail store giveaways, including a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and Cub Cadet UTV, as well as the purchase of a trailer to be pulled by the Spudmobile that was later wrapped in a full-body decal featuring Wisconsin potatoes in foodservice, and he oversaw an updated exterior wrap on the Spudmobile, to name a few promotions initiatives. Brooks has also been a fantastic resource for various opportunities that committee members have undertook, found valuable and have continued for several years, such as WPVGA’s sponsorship of Short Track and Tundra Super Late Models racing. These are two sponsorship opportunities the group will repeat in the upcoming fiscal year along with Mad Dog and Merrill, Kids From Wisconsin and working with Registered Dietician Sarah Agena.

Newly-elected Promotions Committee Chair Christine Lindner, who works with national sales and marketing at Alsum Farms and Produce, brings valuable insights and ideas to marketing Wisconsin potatoes within the state and throughout the Midwest. continued on pg. 32

BC�T May 31

Marketplace. . .

continued from pg. 31

The newly-approved budget also includes repeated funds for the Spudmobile, tradeshows, food safety training, Healthy Grown grower outreach, TV advertising, Powered by Potatoes teams and events, and billboard advertising.

of UW-Madison, it quickly became apparent that this was an important opportunity in which to become involved.

One of the newer opportunities for the upcoming year involves the Badger State’s capital. In 2021, Madison will be welcoming its newest attraction, the Madison Public Market. Plans are currently underway for the project that is focused on promoting products and industries from Wisconsin, including agriculture. IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY Following a detailed presentation at the 2019 Promotions Retreat, along with encouragement from prominent industry members and contributors such as researcher Jed Colquhoun

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With money allocated toward the Madison Public Market in next year’s budget, committee members are prepared to continue earmarking funds over the next five years per the Madison Public Market Foundation’s terms. The WPVGA Promotions Committee is also researching other organizations to potentially partner with at the Madison Public Market, thereby allowing for the purchase of a larger educational space. Upon completion of payment on the fifth year, the duration of the leased booth space will be for the next 15 years. That’s 20 years to make an impact in an area where legislation

is prominent, and people of the city are curious about where their food comes from as well as how it’s produced. It’s one of the many opportunities Lindner says she’s excited to see come to fruition. “I’m very pleased by our committee’s work at the recent annual Promotions Retreat to evaluate current programs, explore new ideas and put a marketing plan and budget in place to help drive awareness and consumption of Wisconsin potatoes and vegetables among consumers,” she remarks. “The marketing initiatives help our growers achieve a profitable return for their crop,” Lindner concludes.

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Spudmobile Popular with WPS Farm Show Attendees Wisconsin’s traveling billboard first debuted, August 2014, at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Portage County. It’s amazing how popular the vehicle continues to be at events where it is set up every year! The WPS Farm Show is one such popular event the WPVGA looks forward to attending every year. Despite the weather Mother Nature dishes out, there is rarely a shortage of visitors to the Spudmobile where they learn about the industry and linger to try to beat their neighbor’s

Left: These kids can’t help but laugh while sitting in the Spudmobile potato beanbag chairs, complete with butter pillows, at the WPS Farm Show, March 26-28, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

record at one of the console games inside. Of course, it helps that quality Wisconsin potatoes are provided not too far away. The Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary generously donates their time every year to sell baked potatoes and French fries at the show. This in and of itself is huge in bringing the educational aspect of the industry full throttle. Not only can people go through the Spudmobile and experience being

Right: Doug Foemmel loves his job! WPVGA’s Spudmobile assistant brought the vehicle to the WPS Farm Show, March 26-28, at the Experimental Aircraft Association grounds in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and welcomed visitors throughout the day.

a farmer via the interactive exhibits inside the vehicle, but they can also taste the potatoes Wisconsin farmers produce at the baked potatoes and French fry booth. What better way to tell a field-to-fork story than to actually see and experience it in action?

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$1,350,151.64 BC�T May 33

NPC News

NPC Opposes Petition on Planted Seed Treatment Regulatory changes would put untreated seed potatoes at risk

In the last week of March 2019, the National Potato Council (NPC) filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging the rejection of a petition from the Center for Food Safety (CFS) that seeks to change federal rules for use of insecticides on planted seeds. The NPC comments state that the “changes in regulatory approach to seed potatoes treated prior to planting would have a dramatic impact on the ability of growers to protect them from soilborne and other pests at a time when the seed potatoes are most vulnerable.” “From a potato grower’s perspective, the effort by CFS to push for

A planter is loaded with cut seed potatoes on a Wisconsin farm. Proposed regulatory changes by the Environmental Protection Agency would impact the ability of growers to protect seed potatoes from pests.

additional regulatory restrictions for seed treatments demonstrates a shocking lack of understanding

of the current EPA registration and review process,” NPC’s filed comments stated.

and congressmen from potatoproducing states watched the talks closely and pushed for full market access.

It is estimated that over $38 million annually in U.S. potato exports are currently jeopardized by the ongoing tariff retaliation.

China Talks Heat Up U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin visited Beijing, China, March 28-29, attempting to solidify negotiations on an agreement to stem the ongoing trade war. It is believed President Donald J. Trump will ultimately want to formally conclude the negotiations with his counterpart, President Xi Jinping, in the coming months. Potato access to China remains one of the goals for negotiators. A substantial number of U.S. senators 34 BC�T May

People John “Jack” Jilek Died at his Antigo Home John “Jack” Jilek died at his City of Antigo home on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at the age of 91. He was born September 7, 1927, in Antigo, son of the late Julius and Catherine (Callahan) Jilek. He married Pat Mulligan on August 1, 1977, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and she survives. Jack was a 1945 graduate of Antigo High School and a lifelong resident of the area. He was a Langlade County potato grower. After his retirement from fulltime farming, he continued to work for Wild Seed Farms.

He was active in his profession, serving in positions with the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association, Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association and U.S. Potato Board, and was a delegate to the U.S. Potato Council. SERVED THE COMMUNITY Jack also served the community on the Langlade County Board for eight years. He was a member of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church. In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, Mary Pat Jilek of Madison and Annie (Dave) Noorzad of Fremont, California; two sons, Gerard Jilek of Oregon, and

Let’s get it straight.

John “Jack” Jilek 1927 - 2019

Joe of Madison; three stepdaughters, Gwen Utnehmer of Antigo, Jean Brandt of Duluth, Minnesota, and Janie Utnehmer of Milwaukee; three stepsons, Roger (Karen) Utnehmer of Wausau, Patrick continued on pg. 36

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BC�T May 35 AG-289A-BCT_Vantage_Brand_Print Ad_Get It Straight_7.25x4.75inch_0817.indd 1

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People. . .

continued from pg. 35

(Bonnie) Utnehmer of Temecula, California, and Billy (Marie) Utnehmer of Sonoma, California; a sister, Judy Bauknecht of Antigo; and many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Jack was preceded in death by a daughter, Terri Wong, and two sisters, Marge Walters and Catherine “Cassie” Bauknecht.

A memorial mass took place on Tuesday, March 26, at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Neva, with Father Matt Simonar officiating. Interment was in Queen of Peace Cemetery.

Conroy J. Soik Passes Away Peacefully Conroy J. Soik, 56, Junction City, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, April 4, 2019. Private family funeral services were held at Martens/Rembs Funeral Home, Junction City. Burial took place in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Custer. Conroy was born on October 16, 1962, in Stevens Point, to Myron and Frances (Firkus) Soik. He was a 1981 graduate of Stevens Point Area Senior High and a 1985 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He married Mary L. Trelka on November 14, 1986, in Stevens Point. Conroy and Mary were husband and wife, business partners and best friends, and had an absolutely wonderful life together. They became part of Culver’s family in 2002. Conroy’s life evolved around Mary and their children.

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He is lovingly survived by his wife, Mary, and their children, Samantha Soik (Chad Nooyen), C.J. Soik, Katie (Dylan Suchocki) and Cassidy Soik (Jeremy Becker); and grandchildren, Wyatt and Leo and more to come. He is also survived by his father, Myron Soik, Stevens Point; siblings, Curt Soik, Stevens Point, Michelle (Kevin) Wasieleski, Plover, Bruce (Stacey) Soik, Stevens Point, Mark (Barb) Soik, Stevens Point, Judi (Ron) Gosh, Amherst and Lynda (Kevin) Schroeder, Plover; and sister-in-law, Lyndel Soik, Stevens Point. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

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snap camera, it shows n. lens on a drone using a fisheye in Crivitz, Wisconsi A photo taken Riverside Ranch on Bushman’s beans being picked

36 BC�T May

BEAUTIFUL POLKA DANCER He enjoyed the Texas Hold ’em bar league in Green Bay and his apple trees. He was Mary’s number one barrel-racing fan, and he and Mary polka danced together beautifully.

Conroy J. Soik 1962 - 2019

He was preceded in death by his mother, Frances; beloved grandparents, Felix and Regina Soik and Edward Firkus, grandmother, Margaret Firkus, and stepgrandmother, Helen Firkus. A special thanks to everyone who loved him. In lieu of flowers, please surprise someone with a random act of kindness.

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Glendon Herbert Wolter Passes On Glendon Herbert Wolter passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, April 5, 2019, under the care of his family with the assistance of LeRoyer Hospice. He was 68 years old. He was born January 12, 1951, in Antigo, son of the late Herbert and Delilah (Hartman) Wolter. He married Jeannie Benishek on October 30, 1976, at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Polar, and she survives. Glen was a 1969 graduate of Antigo High School, and he continued his education at UW-River Falls. He served in the Army National Guard. Glen worked hard and loved farming. He was a potato grower, operating Hyland Lakes Spuds with his brother, John. The farm continues in the family, with Glen’s son now operating the business. He served as president of the Potato Industry Board and on the Antigo Cheese Company Board of Directors. He was one of the founders of Springbrook Dairy and an investor in Weston Lanes and Northland Heat Treating. Glen loved all sports. He enjoyed hunting, horse racing and watching the Badgers, Packers and Brewers. He played softball, basketball and golf. His passion for sports included teaching his children and watching athletes from Antigo throughout their careers. MEMORIES FOR MANY Never without a sense of humor, he created memories for many, including friendly debates every morning during breakfast at the Dixie Lunch. Glen was a lifetime member of St. Peter Lutheran Church, where he was an elder and served on church governing boards for over 20 years. Faith, family, friends and farming were most important to Glen. In addition to his wife, survivors

include three daughters, Kelly (Bruce) Meredith of Mequon, Kimberly (Collin) Garness of Wabasha, Minnesota, and Kalynn (Kevin) Baughman of Antigo; a son, Keith (Danielle) Wolter of Wausau; six grandchildren, Paige, Hadley and Reese Wolter, Trey and Mila Meredith, and Raelynn Garness; a sister, Caroline (Tom) Wild; two brothers, John (Debra) Wolter and Mike (Corinne) Wolter; and four additional brothers-in-law, Norbert Schroepfer, Gerald Greisinger, Dennis Lichtenberg and Leon Summ. He was preceded in death by his parents; his stepmother, Hilda Wolter; and four sisters, Rosemary Schroepfer, Ruth Greisinger, Patricia Licthenberg and Beverly Summ. A funeral service took place at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Polar, with Rev. Donald Engebretson officiating.

Glendon Herbert Wolter 1951 - 2019

Interment followed the service at St. Peter Lutheran Church Cemetery. Memorials can be directed to the St. Peter Lutheran Church Scholarship Fund, originally established by Glen as the Herb Wolter Scholarship in memory of his father. The fund assists church members attending higher education.

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www.omex.com/usa/contacts BC�T May 37

Tips for Farmers on Long-Term Care Costs Ways potato and vegetable growers can avoid risk to the farm from medical costs By Attorney Aric Burch, Ruder Ware LLSC

Harry and Sally want to pass their farm operation to their children. Ideally, they would also like to receive some income from the farm.

home or assisted-living facility, the farm may be at risk.

Because Harry and Sally do not have long-term care insurance, they are worried that if they need medical assistance (e.g., Medicaid) to help pay for long-term care such as a nursing

Do they need to plan for the farm if it is a business asset? The good news for Harry and Sally is that business assets are typically exempt assets for medical assistance purposes.

A few common issues for Harry and Sally to think about follow.

Historically, this meant that the value of their farm would not count as an asset preventing them from receiving medical assistance benefits. However, recent policy changes have created some uncertainty. This is especially true for rental property, including rental of acreage or cropland for farming purposes. If Harry and Sally plan to keep some cropland to rent as a way of generating income for their retirement, the cropland may not be exempt. This means the entire value of the cropland would be counted when applying for medical assistance. PART OF ESTATE Even if their farm is deemed to be exempt, there is bad news. Any ownership of their farm will be part of Harry or Sally’s estate after their death. As part of their estate, there is a risk that the state will look to recoup the costs it paid for Harry or Sally’s longterm care by filing a claim against their estate that may include a lien.

A potato or vegetable farm is too valuable an asset for families to worry about losing to long-term care costs. Luckily, there are ways to plan now to avoid problems in the future. Cucumbers are grown on a farm in Plover, Wisconsin. 38 BC�T May

The farm, even if an exempt business asset, may be in danger because the estate must satisfy the state’s claim and/or lien. The estate’s business interest—namely, the farm—gives

value to the estate, but liquidity is an issue. If the estate has no other resources to pay the claim, the family will feel pressure to find a way to preserve the farm and generate the cash needed without selling a portion of the farm. Why not just give the farm to the kids to make sure it is safe? Harry and Sally ask a very popular question. However, there are at least three drawbacks to giving the farm away. First, if Harry and Sally give their farm to their children, they will be giving away their means to the income they wanted as part of their retirement. Just like many families who have substantial land holdings, their intent is to rent out the cropland to supplement their social security income. If their children own the land, their children would be entitled to the income.

There are ways to protect potato and vegetable farms for generations to come against longterm care costs. Joe Seis of Sterling Farms, LLC, and his daughter, Jessie, harvest potatoes in 2017.

Second, giving the farm away means Harry and Sally will no longer own or control the farm; their children will. The children will determine how to run the farm and whether to sell it.

Sally’s plans for the farm. Even if Harry and Sally are certain their children will not sell the farm, their children’s lives pose potential unforeseen risks to the farm.

This may not be ideal for Harry and

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Tips for Farmers on Long-Term Care Costs. . . continued from pg. 39

IN CHILDREN’S HANDS Children go bankrupt. Children get divorced. They may even need nursing home care before their parents. If something happens in their children’s lives, Harry and Sally’s plan to keep the farm in the family, and out of harm’s way, may be at risk. A third reason for Harry and Sally to not give the farm to the children is taxes. By giving their farm to their children, Harry and Sally will be setting up their children to potentially pay more in capital gains tax than necessary. If their children must sell part or all of the farm, the children’s capital gains tax will be determined by the difference in the sale price and the price Harry and Sally paid for the farm. If, however, Harry and Sally own the farm when they die, capital gains tax

will be determined by the difference in the sale price and the value of the farm on the day of the surviving parent’s death.

by the state for benefits paid on either Harry or Sally’s behalf, thus avoiding any issues with the state after their death.

This usually results in less capital gain. Giving their farm away may protect it from the nursing home, but now Harry and Sally’s children may lose money to Uncle Sam.

A trust can also allow the farm to be part of the surviving spouse’s estate, which typically helps children pay less in capital gains in the future.

Is there a better way to preserve the farm? To help Harry and Sally protect the farm and maintain control, they could transfer their ownership interest to an irrevocable trust. The transfer to a trust has implications for any future medical assistance (e.g., the five-year look back period). The gift to the trust, however, rather than a gift to their children, will allow Harry and Sally to maintain control of the farm, if desired. The trust is also not subject to a claim

So, by contacting an elder law attorney and planning early, Harry and Sally can explore options to maintain control of the farm, possibly continue to receive income, help ensure the farm will not be subject to an unwanted claim by the state after death and provide more favorable capital gains treatment for their children. Planning will help Harry and Sally keep an eye on their farm and avoid being mashed by long-term care costs in the future.

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BC�T Mayx 5” 4 40 COLUMN 7.708” x 5”



Eyes on Associates By WPVGA Associate Div. President Kenton Mehlberg, T.I.P. / Ag Grow Solutions

Well, it’s planting season in Wisconsin once again. In early

April, the first potatoes of 2019 started going in the ground, which is normal timing as far as the calendar. Unfortunately, Mother Nature threw another curve ball ... 70’s and sun one day, and by the end of the same week, some parts of the area were forecasted to receive nearly a foot of snow! Hang on, it will get better one of these days. No matter what happens, by the time you read this issue, spring will be well along and planting should be also. I wish everyone a safe and productive planting season. The WPVGA Associate Division had another busy month. I am proud to report that we recently decided to contribute $10,000 to support this year’s National Potato Council (NPC) Summer Meeting. NPC is the national advocate for the economic well-being of U.S. potato growers on federal legislative, regulatory, environmental and trade issues. The potato industry in Wisconsin and nationally directly benefits from NPC involvement. The NPC supports U.S. potatoes by monitoring issues affecting the strength and viability of the industry and influencing regulators and legislators on critical issues. Larry Alsum is president of the NPC Executive Committee this year, and it is the first time that we have had a president from Wisconsin in many years. Since the president is from the state, we will be hosting the summer meeting, July 10-12, at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

This is an opportunity for the state to show support for the potato industry here and abroad, and I am glad the Associate Division can be a part of it. GRANT PROPOSALS At our last Associate Division meeting, we reviewed and discussed the 2019 grant proposals. A total of $12,599 of grant proposals were submitted. As always, we encourage those submitting grant proposals to seek out and contract business from fellow WPVGA Associate Division members, asking for quotes and exploring how members might be able to help each other. Collectively, we all have a lot to offer; we just need to ask sometimes. Thank you to those who submitted proposals. If you have not yet marked your calendar for the 2019 Putt-Tato Open golf outing, please do! It will be held July 16 at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. Don’t forget to register for this great industry event. We are in the process of putting together another great line-up of raffle prizes. Please consider becoming a sponsor for one of these great prizes to promote your business

President of the National Potato Council (NPC) Executive Committee, Larry Alsum of Alsum Farms & Produce, Friesland, Wisconsin, speaks on behalf of NPC at the 2019 Grower Education Conference & Industry Show. The WPVGA Associate Division is proud to financially support the upcoming 2019 NPC Summer Meeting, July 10-12, in Wisconsin Dells. It is the first time the NPC has had a president from Wisconsin in many years.

or organization and support the event at the same time. The success of the Putt-Tato Open is dependent on your participation, so thank you in advance for your support. In next month’s column, I will discuss why the Putt-Tato Open is such an important fundraiser and how we as a division use the proceeds from the golf outing to benefit others. Safe travels and good luck planting. See you next month.

Kenton Mehlberg

WPVGA Associate Division President BC�T May 41

Badger Beat Managing White Mold in Potato & Vegetable Crops Wisconsin has seen an increase of white mold occurrence in snap beans, potatoes and tomatoes By Dr. Amanda Gevens, University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension plant pathologist

In recent years, growers have seen an increase in white mold in

multiple crops in Wisconsin. A recent report from Dr. Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison field crops Extension pathologist, summarized the history of the disease in Wisconsin, as follows. The disease was initially detected in soybean in central Illinois, in 1948, and escalated into a chronic problem by the 1970’s in several northcentral states, especially where soybeans

were grown in rotation with other susceptible crops. By the early 1990’s, the occurrence of white mold became widespread

Above: Dr. Amanda Gevens (right) gives a research presentation at the 2017 Rhinelander Field Day.

throughout the region and had progressed from a sporadic disease to an annual threat to soybean production. In my observation of vegetable crops over the past decade in Wisconsin, we have seen an increase in incidence and severity of white mold in several crops, including snap bean, potato and tomato. In some years, we see the disease show up on pumpkins, cabbage and carrots as well, with significant yield- and quality-limiting effects. White mold is a plant disease caused by the soilborne fungus, Sclerotinia

Figure 1: The images at left and center show tan- to orange-colored apothecia that can be seen at the soil surface under conditions of high soil moisture. The photo at right illustrates typical symptoms and signs of white mold on snap bean pods. The black structures are sclerotia forming within plant tissue. Photos at left and center are courtesy of Dr. Jaime Willbur, Extension plant pathologist, Michigan State University 42 BC�T May

sclerotiorum. The disease can cause losses in yield and quality in a broad range of crop species due to damage on many above-ground plant parts, including foliage, crowns, fruits and pods (Figure 1).

FLOWER INFECTION The airborne spores typically infect plant flowers and create diseased stems and pods. In other crops, the sclerotia can germinate directly and infect plants at the soil line or can directly infect fruit.

The pathogen can infect many crops (over 350 plant species!) such as snap beans, cabbage, carrot, pea, pepper, potato, pumpkin, soybean and tomato. Additionally, sunflower, fruit crops and weeds like dandelion and wild clover can be susceptible.

White mold symptoms on potato first appear, two to three weeks after row closure, as water-soaked lesions on lower stems or on any plant part that is in contact with the soil. Potato cultivars vary in susceptibility.

Because the host range is so broad, inoculum builds up in the soil over time. The soilborne survival structures, or sclerotia, can survive for up to eight years in the soil and can germinate under the plant canopy when near the soil surface to form apothecia (mushroom-like structures that produce airborne spores) (Figure 1).

After water soaking, the pathogen typically produces white cottony growth (mycelia) that quickly spreads to other foliar parts, lower in the canopy, if conditions are wet for several hours. As disease progresses, the stems can girdle, and foliage will wilt. If conditions become dry, lesions will also dry out and become tan to bleached-white in appearance.

Sclerotia, or the pathogen’s long-term storage structures that can remain in soil for many years, form on or outside of infected tissue. The sclerotia are irregularly shaped and can greatly range in size depending on the plant part they form on or within. Masses change in color from off-white to black as they mature. White mold symptoms have not been observed on below-ground plant parts. REDUCE DISEASE RISK Management requires an integrated approach, including a three-plus-year non-host crop rotation, irrigation management and chemical and/or biological control to reduce disease risk. Sclerotia typically die within three to five years if they’re not deeply buried. While deep burial limits inoculum germination in the short term, if the continued on pg. 44



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BC�T May 3/12/19 10:00 AM 43

Badger Beat. . .

continued from pg. 43

field is deeply tilled in the future, the pathogen will resurface and remains viable longer.

Successful infection requires a continuous leaf wetness period of 16 to 48 hours at 54 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Direct drilling or spinning grass seed, wheat or cover crops into standing bean residues can keep sclerotia at or near the soil surface. Alternatively, sclerotia could be left on the soil surface by leaving residues in place without planting a winter or cover crop.

Wider row spacing and row orientation with the prevailing winds can help keep plants and the soil surface drier. Avoid over-fertilization with nitrogen, as that increases canopy size. RESISTANCE VARIATION No commercially available snap bean cultivars have complete resistance. Potato, tomato and several other vegetable cultivars vary in their resistance to the white mold pathogen, but in general, earlier maturing cultivars tend to exhibit the most disease.

Non-hosts of the pathogen include sweet and field corn, wheat, small grain cover crops and annual and perennial grass seed crops. White mold is favored by a dense, closed plant canopy. Keeping plant surfaces dry reduces disease. Apothecia form and release spores when soils are continuously moist.

We conducted two years of research on the effectiveness of fungicides on

white mold of potato at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station, however our disease incidence and severity remained very low and we could not discern white mold differences among treatments. The programs designed to target white mold and early blight with treatments in early and late July (specifically July 9 and 23, 2018) were highly effective against early blight as seen in other trial locations. Treatments included tank mixes of a base protectant of chlorothalonil plus either boscalid (Endura, FRAC 7), fluopyram + pyrimethanil (Luna Tranquility, FRAC 7 + 9), or pydiflumetofen or adepidyn + fludioxonil (Miravis Prime, FRAC 7 + 12).


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In a 2014 report, Dr. Jeff Miller of Miller Research LLC in Rupert, Idaho, determined that sequential applications of base protectants alone (chlorothalonil and mancozeb) significantly reduced early blight, but increased white mold compared to the non-treated control plots. However, when he included fungicides such as boscalid (Endura) or fluopyram + pyrimethanil (Luna Tranquility) to a program with a base protectant, there was significant reduction of both early blight and white mold. FUNGICIDE PROGRAMS Initiation of fungicide programs was at row closure, with subsequent sprays at either 10- or 14-day intervals depending upon the cultivars, resulting in a total of four applications. Several fungicides are registered for white mold control in vegetable crops in Wisconsin. Below, I include a noncomprehensive list of fungicides that have activity on white mold of potato given the likely readership of this trade magazine. While several of the fungicides are, or include, a FRAC 7 fungicide (SDHI or Succinate dehydro-genase inhibitors), they fall into four unique subgroups of SDHI’s and can result in disease control differences. Fungicides Active on White Mold of Potato boscalid FRAC 7 (Endura); fluazinam FRAC 29 (Omega 500F); fluopyram FRAC 7 (Velum Prime); fluopyram + pyrimethanil FRAC 7 + 9 (Luna Tranquility); iprodione FRAC 2 (Rovral 4 Flowable); metconazole FRAC 3 (Quash); penthiopyrad FRAC 7 (Vertisan); picoxystrobin FRAC 11 (Aproach); pydiflumetofen + fludioxonil FRAC 7 + 12 (Miravis Prime); pyraclostrobin FRAC 11 (ie: Headline); pyraclostrobin +

fluxapyroxad FRAC 11 + 7 (Priaxor Xemium); and thiophanate methyl FRAC 1 (ie: Topsin M WSB) My program continues to pursue field research trials to evaluate best white mold disease management plans in potato and snap bean crops. Our

goal is to define fungicide selection and application timing for best management of white mold, along with early blight in Wisconsin fields. For more information on fungicides please visit: http://learningstore.uwex. edu/assets/pdfs/A3422.PDF

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New Products Tasteful Selections Continues Small-Bite Campaign Inspiring happiness in the form of bite-size potatoes is goal of the year-long endeavor Great things can come in small bites, which is why Tasteful Selections®, in partnership with RPE Inc., launched its Small-Bite Campaign. Following the comprehensive rebrand of the company’s full line of bite-size potatoes, Tasteful Selections is thinking small but going big. Over the course of the next 10 months, follow Tasteful Selections and all the small-bite inspiration! With quick cook times, thin skins and consistent sizing, Tasteful Selections’ flavorful bite-size potatoes will be

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Sand Equipment, LLC • Cell: See Us At 498-6651 Booth #C5510See Us in the Safe-T-Pull Shop: County (715) 335-6652 • Fax: (715) 335-6653 (715) Paul Cieslewicz Owner Wisconsin Public Service Service 8364 Monica PO Box • Bancroft, WI 54921 Wisconsin Public Shop: (715) 335-6652 • Fax: (715)Road, 335-6653Cell: (715)228 498-6651 Booth #C5510 Farm Show, Oshkosh Monica Road, P.O. Box 228 • Bancroft, WI 54921• www.sandcountyequipment.com E-mail:8364 paul@sandcountyequipment.com Farm Show, Oshkosh Demo’s Available E-mail: paul@sandcountyequuipment.com • www.sandcountyequipment.com Theirsall makes of equipment th th March ServicingServicing all makes of equipment March 2824th-26th. , 29Ours & 30th


Sand County Equipment, LLC 46 BC�T May

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says RPE Marketing Director Tim Huffcutt. “We are excited to offer prizes and fresh recipes that will inspire happiness and well-being to our consumers.” A happiness package including free potatoes, a Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Camera, happiness journals, spa items and more is up for grabs in the new theme. “We want our bite-size potatoes to bring happiness to your kitchen,” says RPE President Russell Wysocki. “With the next theme of our Smallbite Campaign, “Happiness in a small bite,” our hope is that our potatoes and prizes can bring a bite of happiness to your day!”


See how Tasteful Selections can bring happiness to your 2019— visit www.tastefulselections. com/happiness-in-a-small-bite/ and enter to win the happiness package! About Tasteful Selections Tasteful Selections, LLC is a vertically integrated familyowned collection of farms pioneering and leading the bite-size potato category. To ensure high standards of quality, flavor and freshness, Tasteful Selections owns and operates the entire process of planting, growing, harvesting and packaging—field to fork fresh in every bite.

About RPE Category leader RPE is a grower/ shipper of year-round potatoes and onions, providing category innovation and retail solutions as the exclusive sales and marketing partner of Tasteful Selections and its bestquality, bite-size potatoes. continued on pg. 48

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BC�T May 47

New Products. . .

continued from pg. 47

Bio S.I. Technology Offers Remediation Products Microbial biologicals treat petroleum spills such as diesel, aircraft fuel and gasoline Bio S.I. Technology is one of a handful of companies that grows and ferments microbes in the United States. With over 27 years in the industry, Bio S.I. grows many sorts of microbes for different industries, and one of the more popular consortia consists of microbes that eat diesel, gasoline, aircraft fuel and many other types of petroleum-based products. The Bio S.I. Remediation Kit is designed for small contaminated areas where control is needed for treatment programs around oil/gas well heads to ensure proper regimens are followed and the correct number of products are being used.

This remediation kit comes with the products needed for cleaning up spills from equipment, refueling stations, ruptured tanks, etc. It includes the M-R-S #7 Remediation Formula (microbes), Activator (humic acid) and Melaco (carbohydrates) for getting the site cleanup off to a fast start. The kit will generally treat 1,250 square feet four times, depending on levels of contaminant, environment and how fast the cleanup needs to occur. The kit contains one gallon of M-R-S #7 Remediation Formula, one quart of Activator and one quart of Melaco.

The items are in a five-gallon pail with a screw-on lid that is used to carry extra water to the site (if needed) for mixing the ingredients to be applied over the site. M-R-S #7 Remediation Formula is the microbes that will be used to remediate the spill. Microbes are an efficient and environmentally friendly way to clean up spills around refueling tanks, equipment leaks/ spills and oil/gas well heads. It is safe and cost-effective compared to dig-and-haul methods. Users must still check to see if local authorities require the dig-and-haul method.



As agriculture has evolved, the nature of the industry has become more complex and regulated. At Ruder Ware our attorneys act as legal counsel for producers and businesses providing products and services for the agriculture industry, and partner with a client’s current trusted advisors, such as accountants and lenders. Contact us today to see how our team approach yields the best results for your farm or business.

48 BC�T May

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HUMIC SUBSTANCES Activator is a mixture of humic substances and other nutrients to help the microbes in M-R-S #7 break down hydrocarbon spills more efficiently. It aids in the growth and stimulation of microbial activity at the site. This product is totally consumed by the microbes over time during the remediation process. Melaco is a microbial energy source that helps kick off rapid growth of the microbes. It is totally consumed by the microbes over time. The Bio S.I. Remediation Kit is a must-have in the energy sector and around farm fuel tanks or any heavy equipment facility that has fuel tanks onsite. Fire departments, city park maintenance facilities, military bases, railroads, farms, etc., would

also benefit from using the Bio S.I. Remediation Kit. Bioremediation is not new. It has been used by nature for millions of years. Bioremediation is the use of microbes and other soil life to return the natural environment altered by contamination to acceptable standards, rather than digging and hauling the contaminated soil from the original site and contaminating a new site with this soil. M-R-S #7 Remediation Formula is designed to clean up environmental spills. Any hydrocarbon-based substances such as oil, diesel, gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel and non-synthetic hydraulic fluids are candidates for bioremediation. This means that a spill of these types can be cleaned up to acceptable

levels in situ (in place). In situ remediation reduces cost, limits liability, and in some cases gets one out of the chain of custody continued on pg. 50

The pHoundation of Your Operation Sound management starts with soil pH maintenance Soil pH dictates nutrient availability and pH levels below 6.0 can reduce yield by as much as 30 percent. Rather than correcting pH every few years, agronomists now recommend a regular pH maintenance program. 98G corrects soil pH faster than aglime and maintains consistent, yield maximizing pH levels year after year. Maintain your operation’s pHull potential with 98G. Ask your local crop advisor about 98G,or visit calciumproducts.com/98G.

BC�T May 49 00883_CalciumProducts_98GGrower_Ads_pHound_Corn_7.25x4.75.indd 1

8/16/18 1:36 PM

New Products. . .

continued from pg. 49

for contamination that must be remediated at some time in the future at many times the cost of doing it right away. M-R-S #7 Remediation Formula can be applied using ground spray rigs, backpack sprayers, pump-up sprayers or any method to get even coverage and wet the area sufficiently without causing run off. APPLY WITH N-P-K It helps to add a small amount of N-P-K (Nitrogen-PhosphatePotassium) along with humic/fulvic acid and some sort of energy source (quick food for the microbes) to the application. The amount of product and time it takes to remediate a spill depends on the type of spill, the environment and type of soil.

Remediation Formula will treat 1,250 square feet 6-8 inches deep. The amount used will vary by site and contaminant. No two sites are alike. The site must remain at a level of around 30-40 percent moisture and, in some cases, covered with some sort of media to keep direct sunlight from drying the soil out rapidly. Use all the adjuvants mentioned above to help the microbes get started. Users should know the contamination level before starting treatment. Send a sample in to a certified lab to determine what is there, the concentration and best method of treating the site. Never just start treating. Benefits of using M-R-S #7 Remediation Formula: • Eliminates digging and hauling

In general, one quart of M-R-S #7

the contaminant •R emediation can be done with containment barriers to control effects of storm water. • S afe and environmentally friendly way to handle spills • E asier to manage remote areas where transportation is difficult or impossible •B io S.I. Technology Remediation Products are available in a variety of sizes, from quarts to 320-gallon pallet totes and tankers. For more information, contact Doug Traxel, national sales manager, Bio S.I. Technology, P.O. Box 784, Argyle, TX 76226, 866-393-4786, doug@biositechnology.com, www.biositechnology.com.

What do you expect from the seed potatoes that you buy?

The varieties that yo

u need.

The early generation that you want.

The quality and yie ld that you have come to expect.

Wisconsin has it!

For a directory of Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato Growers or a free video, contact:


Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association, Inc. P.O. Box 173, Antigo, WI 54409 715-623-4039 www.potatoseed.org

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

Rock River Laboratory Releases Corn Harvest Tool InField Updates provides timely sample moisture and nutrition statistics by region Rock River Laboratory, Inc. has launched InField Updates, a new crowdsourced in-app tool that helps growers dial in the harvest timeline of corn intended for silage. Nutritionists, agronomists and their growers can now review timely fresh Dry Matter (DM), Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) and Starch statistics geographically to determine the optimal chopping schedule for their acres. “Hitting the ideal harvest window is a vital component to processing good feed for the coming year,” says Zachery Meyer, Rock River Laboratory director of operations. “Any tool that Rock River Laboratory can develop to quickly provide consultants and farmers with the data they need to plan for a successful harvest is an easy investment for us.” Development of InField Updates was sparked by the annual need for timely moisture assessment of

corn intended for silage to predict chopping timing. The tool relies on the support of the industry to supply freshly chopped corn samples to Rock River Laboratory, which is requesting the help of all growers and consultants to make this tool beneficial for everyone.

PRODUCER BENEFIT “We’ve all seen how crowdsourced and community-based apps can make life easier, be it for a safer, faster drive continued on pg. 52

Samples submitted using the laboratory’s new minimally priced “Fresh Chopped Corn” package will receive DM, NDF and Starch analysis to help populate the information for InField Updates. Results data is mapped based on location electronically submitted while maintaining the privacy of both the individual submitting and the exact address location. The sample submitter will also receive their own specific sample analysis results direct to their email or on the Rock River Laboratory web portal. BC�T May 51

New Products. . .

continued from pg. 51

to your destination or to pick where you’re eating for dinner,” Meyer says. “Now there is an opportunity for our agriculture industry to utilize this technology for the benefit of producers, all while upholding the privacy of those sharing their sample results.” To provide on-the-go access, InField Updates resides within Rock River Laboratory’s FeedScan app, the smartphone and tablet application for electronic sample submission. InField Updates is free to everyone and does not require login credentials, however downloading the free FeedScan app is required in order to access the InField Updates tool. Users of InField Updates can review mapped data by selecting an area on the map that narrows data points to a 52 BC�T May

10-mile radius to ensure the analysis levels provided are relevant to the geographical area selected. Those who wish to contribute to the effort in addition to benefiting from the information can send freshly chopped corn intended for silage samples under the Fresh Chopped Corn package using the FeedScan app (with location services enabled) to submit at the closest location to the field where the samples were collected. Physical submission of the fresh samples can be completed conveniently at one of many Rock River Laboratory drop boxes along their Convenience Routes. Users can find the closest Convenience Route drop boxes by visiting http://bit.ly/ ConvenienceRoutes. FeedScan is available for download at

the App Store (search FeedScan) and in Google Play. For InField Updates instructions and more information, visit the tool’s Resource Center at: http://bit.ly/InField_Updates. Founded in 1976, Rock River Laboratory is a family-owned laboratory network that provides production assistance to the agricultural industry through the use of advanced diagnostic systems, progressive techniques and researchsupported analyses. Employing a team of top specialists in their respective fields, Rock River Laboratory provides accurate, costeffective and timely analytical results to customers worldwide, while featuring unsurpassed customer service.

Ali's Kitchen These Roasted Potatoes Are Perfectly Crispy Follow the recipe to enjoy beautifully browned potatoes with creamy, soft insides Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Roasted potatoes can often be found as the feature side dish at our dinner table, and for good reason; they fit perfectly with nearly every meal, they are simple to prepare, and roasted potatoes are super tasty.

This method is a bit time intensive. Between prep time and cooking time, you’ll need to dedicate close to an hour and a half to this recipe, but the steps are simple and straightforward, and the extra effort is worth it.

Today we’re going to take the best things about roasted potatoes and highlight them in a beyond delicious way!

You will be rewarded with super crispy, beautifully browned potatoes with perfectly creamy soft insides. continued on pg. 54

Perfectly Crispy Roasted Potatoes

• 4 pounds russet potatoes • 2 tbsp. salt • ½ tsp. baking soda • 5 tbsp. olive oil • Salt and pepper to taste

BC�T May 53

Advertisers Index

Ali's Kitchen. . .

continued from pg. 53

AgCountry Farm Credit Services....47 Big Iron Equipment........................39 Bushmans’ Inc.................................3 Calcium Products...........................49 Chippewa Valley Bean Co. ............26 Compeer Financial.........................11 Fencil Urethane Systems...............16 Great Plains Manufacturing...........29 Heartland Ag Systems (formerly Ag Systems, Inc.).....32, 44 Jay-Mar, Inc....................................21 John Miller Farms..........................45 J.W. Mattek....................................31 KerberRose S.C................................9 Nelson’s Vegetable Storage Systems Inc...................................15

Directions Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, making sure your oven rack is placed in the center position. Wash (and peel, if you prefer) the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Larger chunks are best since they offer the most contrast between crispy exterior and soft interior. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add the potatoes, two tablespoons of salt and the baking soda to the pot and give a gentle stir. Boil the potatoes until very soft (approximately 10 to 15 minutes). You should be able to easily pierce a potato chunk with a fork. When the potatoes have fully cooked, drain them well and return them to the pot. Allow the excess moisture to evaporate by letting the potatoes rest for a minute or two in the pot before moving on to the next step. A GOOD SHAKE Add the olive oil, salt and pepper to the potatoes. Place a lid on the pot. 54 BC�T May

North Central Irrigation.................40

Holding tightly, give the pot a good shake. You want to shake vigorously enough to fluff up the edges of the potatoes, but not so roughly that you end up with mashed potatoes.

Nutrien Ag Solutions.......................2

Spread the potatoes onto a baking sheet, doing your best to arrange them into a single layer.

Riesterer & Schnell........................19

Place potatoes into the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and stir the potatoes, being sure to turn each piece of potato over to help them crisp evenly.

Oasis Irrigation..............................56 Okray Insurance.............................28 Omex USA......................................37 Roberts Irrigation ..........................20 Ruder Ware...................................48 Rural Mutual Insurance...................5 Sand County Equipment................46 Schroeder Brothers Farms...............7 Swiderski Equipment.....................43 Syngenta........................................13

Return pan to the oven and continue roasting until potatoes are a deep golden brown and nicely crispy (approximately another 30 to 35 minutes), stirring the potatoes and shaking the pan occasionally.



WPVGA Subscribers.......................36

Find more recipes at www.LifeOnGraniteRidge.com.

WPVGA Support Our Members.....12

Vantage North Central...................35 Warner & Warner..........................17 WPVGA Spud Seed Classic Sponsorship.......................55


Friday, June 21, 2019 Bass Lake Country Club W10650 Bass Lake Road Deerbrook, WI 54424

Deadline for sponsorship commitments to be included in June Badger Common'Tater: May 10, 2019* DINNER SPONSOR $2,000 • Company name and logo on three 12-foot banners placed in prominent areas including dinner area • Company name and logo in Badger Common'Tater • Verbal recognition and name on sign at event • Registration and dinner for four golfers

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




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

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

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

• Company name and logo on one 12-foot banner placed in a prominent area on the course • Company name and logo in Badger Common'Tater • Verbal recognition and name on sign at event • Registration and dinner for one golfer CONTACT KAREN RASMUSSEN for more details (715) 623-7683 Make checks payable to WSPIA *

We WILL accept sponsors after this date.

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

Since 1998, this tournament raised over $95,000, which was donated to Wisconsin potato research.

P.O. Box 327 Antigo, WI 54409

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




Technology I Precision Application I Decisions

Design I Dealer Network I Parts & Service

Technology I Precision Application I Decisions

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Technology I Precision Application I Decisions

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LEADING, NOT FOLLOWING. Others consistently try to imitate, but always fail to duplicate. We’ll help you solve your greatest challenges with the most innovative


products and technology. Irrigate with confidence as you simplify your irrigation management, Others consistently try to imitate, but always


reduce downtime andhelp increase youryour peace of mind. Season with afterthe season. fail to duplicate. We’ll you solve greatest challenges most innovative Others consistently try to imitate, but always products and technology. Irrigate with confidence as you simplify your irrigation management,

Talk toduplicate. your localWe’ll Zimmatic by Lindsay dealer to see how today’s will lead to fail to help®you solve your greatest challenges withinnovations the most innovative reduce downtime and increase your peace of mind. Season after season.

tomorrow’s success. products and technology. Irrigate with confidence as you simplify your irrigation management, Talk to your local Zimmatic ® by Lindsay dealer to see how today’s innovations will lead to

reduce downtime and increase your peace of mind. Season after season. tomorrow’s success.

Talk to your local Zimmatic ® by Lindsay dealer to see how today’s innovations will lead to 2017Lindsay. Lindsay.All Allrights rights reserved. reserved. Zimmatic Zimmatic and and FieldNET FieldNETare aretrademarks trademarks tomorrow’s success.©©2019

ororregistered its subsidiaries. subsidiaries. registeredtrademarks trademarksof ofthe theLindsay Lindsay Corporation Corporation and its

© 2017 Lindsay. All rights reserved. Zimmatic and FieldNET are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Lindsay Corporation and its subsidiaries.

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N6775 5th Avenue Plainfield, WI 54966 IRRIGATION LLC N6775 Avenue N6775 5th5th Avenue Plainfield, WI WI 54966 Plainfield, 54966 715-335-8300 N6775 5th Avenue Plainfield, WI 54966

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