$22/year | $2/copy | Volume 71 No. 07 | JULY 2019
THE VOICE OF WISCONSIN'S POTATO & VEGETABLE INDUSTRY
KENTON MEHLBERG T.I.P. & AgGrow Solutions
CROP PROTECTION ISSUE Kenton Mehlberg (left) and Jared Cook of Rocky Mountain Ag discuss crop strategies while scouting a potato field last August.
WPVGA UPDATE By Tamas Houlihan RESISTANCE IS NOT FUTILE Defy Stem Rot and Drought INSIGHT FS HAS GROWN Alongside Potato Industry RESEARCHERS FIND WAYS To Support Hemp Growers
A Good Crop Starts with a Good Root System Success is built from the ground up. We have strategies to help from start to finish.
TUBER SIZE: Supreme and Dikap
POTATO SKIN SET & STORABILITY: Mainstay SI and Mainstay Calcium
Many Variables Affect Crop Quality
The Redox Solution: Potato Quality, Skin Set & Storability • Calcium is a key structural component of strong cell walls • Strong cell walls lead to potatoes that harvest firmer with better shelf life • Tuber size potential is defined during the early stages of cell development. • Proper nitrogen metabolism correlates directly to improved potato size. • During periods of rapid sizing it is very important to minimize plant, water, and environmental oxidative stress
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On the Cover: Sometimes the best ideas are those shared or
generated through conversation, and the agricultural industry is an open book when it comes to thought sharing and idea disclosure. This issue’s interviewee, Kenton Mehlberg, agronomy sales manager for T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions, is shown at left discussing crop strategies in a potato field with Jared Cook of Rocky Mountain Ag.
8 BADGER COMMON’TATER INTERVIEW:
How many one-row diggers can you fit on a flat-bed trailer? From the looks of it, three models built by T.I.P. Inc. of Polonia, Wisconsin, fit perfectly and are ready for delivery to customers. In his interview this issue, Kenton Mehlberg, agronomy sales manager for the company, explains that T.I.P.’s lineup has grown over the years to include a full line of potato and vegetable equipment to help growers from seed to harvest.
DEPARTMENTS: ALI’S KITCHEN.................... 54 AUXILIARY NEWS............... 43 BADGER BEAT.................... 50
26 INSIGHT FS HAS LONG HISTORY IN POTATOES
Company has grown with Wisconsin potato industry
30 NEW PRODUCTS
Harriston Clamp Planter boasts short seed drop & individual row shutoffs
Holly Garvin shows off her half-marathon medal after finishing “Walk Wisconsin”
EYES ON ASSOCIATES......... 23 MARK YOUR CALENDAR...... 6 NOW NEWS....................... 18 NPC NEWS......................... 53 PEOPLE.............................. 38
15 WPVGA UPDATE! Executive director covers key Wisconsin potato industry issues
PLANTING IDEAS.................. 6
40 SCIENTISTS DEVELOP a soybean plant that staves off stem rot and defies drought
POTATOES USA NEWS........ 47
48 RESEARCHERS EXPLORE best practices for industrial hemp production and harvest
WPIB FOCUS...................... 45
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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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com. The editor welcomes manuscripts and pictures but accepts no responsibility for such material while in our hands. BC�T July
9-12 13 13 16 18 23-25 25
NPC SUMMER MEETING Chula Vista Resort Wisconsin Dells, WI POINT DUATHLON UW-Stevens Point Allen Center Stevens Point, WI MK OFFROAD TRIATHLON + SPLASH N DASH Veterans Memorial Park Deerbrook, 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 12-15 17
RHINELANDER FIELD DAY Lelah Starks Farm Rhinelander, WI ANTIGO TATER TROT Antigo City Park, 8:30 a.m. Antigo, WI POTATOES USA SUMMER MEETING The Westin Nashville Nashville, TN WAUPACA AREA TRIATHLON South Park, 7 a.m. Waupaca, WI
WGA INNOVATION EXPO Kalahari Resort Wisconsin Dells, WI PMA FRESH SUMMIT Anaheim Convention Center Anaheim, CA
POTATO EXPO The Mirage Las Vegas, NV
WPVGA GROWER EDUCATION CONFERENCE & INDUSTRY SHOW Holiday Inn Convention Center Stevens Point, WI POTATO D.C. FLY-IN Capital Hilton Washington, D.C.
Planting Ideas The theme of this issue is crop protection,
and, boy, does it ever come through loud and clear, as do the ideas of servicing and helping growers increase yield and become more efficient. I received a phone call from Paul Cieslewicz of Sand County Equipment asking me if I wanted to come take a look at a new Harriston Clamp Planter with Individual Row Shutoffs on Jerry and Cheryl Hetzel’s Oak Grove Farms. That’s Jerry at left in the photo above, standing in front of the Harriston planter, alongside Jarod Cieslewicz (center) and Paul Cieslewicz. I accepted the invitation, and in addition to taking some photos and learning the ins and outs of the planter, the conversation turned to service, standing behind a product and helping the growers learn to operate machinery efficiently in the field. Selling someone a product isn’t enough. For more about the planter, see “New Products” in this issue. Crop protection and service after the sale is also the name of the game for this issue’s interviewee, Kenton Mehlberg of T.I.P. Inc. and AgGrow Solutions. Kenton says, although the company has diversified over the years, one thing hasn’t changed—the goal is to find and present growers with the best technology in the world to help them be more efficient and profitable. See the complete Interview in this issue. Continuing the theme, I had a chance to drop in Insight FS and talk to Bill Page, a sales and specialty agent who’s been in the industry for over 40 years and doesn’t look a day over 50. He must have started young. When asked why he’s stayed at it for more than four decades, he cites the people and job variety, stating specifically that his job is helping potato farmers do better. “That’s how I sell,” he notes. See the related article within. More features cover how University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers are supporting state hemp growers with best practices in production and harvest, meeting the needs of the folks out there trying to implement hemp cropping. Other scientists have developed a soybean plant that staves off stem rot and defies drought, again, to help growers struggling with disease resistance. Read about these efforts and more in this issue. Please email me with your thoughts and questions. If you wish to be notified when our free online magazine is available monthly, here is the subscriber link: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe.
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Interview KENTON MEHLBERG,
T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions, WPVGA Associate Division president By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater
“We have diversified as a company over the years, but one
thing that hasn't changed is our goal to find and present our growers with the best technology in the world to help them be more efficient and profitable,” says Kenton Mehlberg, agronomy sales manager for T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions in Polonia, Wisconsin.
NAME: Kenton Mehlberg TITLE: Agronomy sales manager COMPANY: T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions LOCATION: Polonia, WI HOMETOWN: Stevens Point, WI YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: 9 SCHOOLING: Bachelor of Science degree in business and economics, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: WPVGA Associate Division and Wisconsin Association of Hazardous Materials Responders (WAHMR) AWARDS/HONORS: WPVGA Associate Division president FAMILY: Wife, Melissa, and son, Henry HOBBIES: Hunting, fishing, food plotting, traveling and spending time with family 8
Tatro Irrigation and Potato (T.I.P.) is currently run by Steve Tatro and was started by his father, Bill, in 1974. At that time, T.I.P. was an equipmentonly business. “We started as a Lockwood dealer and shortly after became the first Double L dealer east of the Mississippi River,” Mehlberg explains. “In the 1980’s, T.I.P. Inc. brought the first cup planters to North America from Norway [Underhaug/ Kverneland].” T.I.P.’s equipment line has continued to grow over the years to include irrigation, custom manufactured equipment and the company’s own turf equipment line. “From the very beginning, T.I.P. has been family owned and operated, and will continue to be moving forward,” Mehlberg states. “Our largest segment of the business has always been in the potato
and root crop industry, where we represent several equipment manufacturers from North America and across the world,” he remarks. T.I.P.’s full line of turf improvement products for natural and artificial surfaces are manufactured in-house, and the company’s dealer network stretches across the world with locations in Scotland, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and Europe, as well as in almost every state across the country. “About 10 years ago, we added the AgGrow Solutions division and that has been a growing part Above: On any given day, Kenton Mehlberg, agronomy sales manager for T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions, can be found taking care of customers, delivering product, marketing, working on logistics or scouting fields, as shown in his “selfie” at a potato field while looking for signs of early hooking and overall plant development.
T.I.P. Inc. owner, Steve Tatro (left), and agronomy sales manager, Kenton Mehlberg (right), manned a booth during the 2019 WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
of our business ever since,” Mehlberg says. T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions are separate arms of the company, so what equipment and services does T.I.P. offer? T.I.P. is our equipment and manufacturing company that offers a full line of potato and vegetable equipment to help the growers from seed to harvest. Some of our equipment lines include Miedema/Dewulf, T-L Irrigation, Double L, Amazone and Bauman. We also custom manufacture many pieces of equipment to fit the specific needs of our customers. We provide service and parts for all
An AgGrow Solutions tanker is loaded at T.I.P. Inc., in Polonia, Wisconsin, for a spring delivery.
our equipment and have a full parts department to service most makes and models regardless of whether we sell them or not. Explain what products and services AgGrow Solutions offers. AgGrow Solutions is a division of T.I.P. Inc. and distributes products from several companies, including Redox, AgroLiquid, SPS, Bio SI Technologies, Ag Bio Tech and Organisan. We carry conventional and organic fertility product lines for all crops and blend our own line of “Plot Dr.” food plot specific fertilizers. We employ four full-time agronomists and offer soil sampling,
scouting and agronomy services to go along with our product lines. Our goal at AgGrow Solutions is simple—help growers do more with less by being more efficient. What sets the products apart from others? We are very fortunate to have such excellent product lines to offer our growers. Some of our products are truly second to none. Redox is the only ISO (International Standards Organization) 9001-certified carbon fertility manufacturer in the world, and this speaks volumes about the consistency of their products day continued on pg. 10
Interview. . .
continued from pg. 9
in and day out. All our product lines and crop-specific strategies are designed to help growers reduce inputs and promote stronger plants. We understand that growers face challenges from a variety of things, and we have tools that are agronomically, economically and environmentally superior. When did you start with T.I.P. and has your role evolved over the years? 2010 was my first year with T.I.P. I initially worked with our turf equipment line and handled marketing for the company. I really enjoyed that because we build every piece of equipment inhouse. We handle everything from manufacturing to marketing, sales and service. Seeing our equipment being used at golf courses and athletic facilities, including many all over the world, has been gratifying.
Eric Schroeder (left) of Schroeder Brothers Farms in Antigo, Wisconsin, and Kenton Mehlberg (right) dig pre-harvest seed potatoes, September 2018, to determine stem and overall tuber counts.
It was also in 2010 that, through some of our turf connections, we were introduced to Redox, a specialty fertility company from Burley, Idaho.
AgGrow Solutions division of our company. I have been marketing and managing the AgGrow Solutions division ever since and currently am the agronomy sales manager.
This would be the beginning of the
As far as agronomy, what attracted
you and still attracts you to T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions? What are the selling points of the company for a guy such as yourself? Our family atmosphere, expertise within multiple industries, including the potato and vegetable industry, and our unique product lines are all great attributes that our company can offer. I have always enjoyed the diversity of our business, something that has and continues to be a huge selling point for us. Has your customer base also evolved? Yes, the customer base has definitely evolved over time. We still have many of the same customers, but as an industry, agriculture is evolving A division of T.I.P. Inc., AgGrow Solutions distributes products from several companies, carries conventional and organic fertility product lines for all crops and blends the company’s own line of “Plot Dr.” food plot fertilizers. Shown is an AgGrow Solutions blend facility.
10 BC�T July
and so are our customers. With the addition of our AgGrow Solutions division, we have added many customers outside of our traditional base. I think we have the most to offer to the progressive-minded growers who want to evolve their operations as the industry changes around them. With the current atmosphere in agriculture, there are more growers with this mindset. What does your typical day consist of? The beauty of being involved with a small business is that no two days are the same. In a week’s time, I feel as though I am working at several different jobs, so a typical day rarely exists. This is one of the favorite parts of my job.
President of the WPVGA Associate Division, Kenton Mehlberg (center) and board member Sally Suprise (left) serve corn to University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and horticulturalist Shelley Jansky (right) during the 2017 Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day. Suprise was president of the Associate Division at that time.
Depending on the time of year, I can be taking care of customers, scouting fields, delivering product, marketing or working on logistics.
By far my favorite part of every week is the time I get to spend with growers. I am so fortunate to be
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continued on pg. 12
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BC�T July 11
Interview. . .
continued from pg. 11
Why are you proud to work for T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions? As a company, we have always tried to seek out the best technology to help the grower be more efficient. Over the years, we have literally traveled the world to do so. This holds true with our equipment lines as well as our fertility lines. I am extremely proud to work for a second-generation family business and am excited to contribute and be part of running the third generation. Steve has been an incredible boss as well as a mentor, and I have him to thank for so many things. What message would you like to relate to potato and vegetable growers of how or why they should consult with you and how you can help them? I have always operated my personal business with the idea that, if I am not adding value, then I am wasting time. We operate AgGrow Solutions with the same mentality. We understand that having good products isn’t good enough anymore. One of the biggest things that sets us apart is not only our products, but also our knowledge of the crops we put them on.
Knowing when, where and how much is so much easier said than done in the world of agronomy. We pride ourselves on knowing the answer to these very specific questions and working with our growers to leverage our strategies and increase return on investment. This is the crop protection-themed issue of the Badger Common’Tater. How is the company helping to protect crops? Crop protection is one of the most important and growing areas that we work in. One of the main areas that we focus on is plant
stress and how this can affect crop quality. All plants deal with a variety of stresses caused by the surrounding environment. Much like in humans, the accumulation of oxidants in plants is a natural process. Antioxidants are naturally produced by plants to neutralize the negative impacts that oxidants have on their cells. Many of our fertility inputs provide soluble nutrition in addition to promoting the production of antioxidants. This is beneficial for any crop because it helps the plant’s ability to overcome environmental stresses and keep it from becoming susceptible and weak in the first place. The ability of the plant to overcome stress is influenced by many factors such as quality of the root system, irrigation efficiency, soil health, nutrient balance, IPM (Integrated Pest Management) practices and weather. Above: The self-propelled sprayer was custom manufactured by T.I.P. to fit the specific needs of the company’s customers Left: T.I.P. offers a full line of potato and vegetable equipment, including the Miedema MB 111 box filler for loading multiple crates simultaneously.
12 BC�T July
One of the earliest Double L pilers in the area is delivered to T.I.P. Inc., the first Double L dealer east of the Mississippi River.
The only one we cannot help growers with is the weather, though I wish we could some days. What technological advancements has T.I.P. and/or AgGrow Solutions embraced that help growers? Agriculture as a whole needs to do more with less as we move into the future, and we have embraced this challenge at T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions. T.I.P. has several new equipment lines that offer state-of-the-art technology to help the grower, including automated storage equipment such as box fillers, pilers and smart graders, and advancement in tillage that’s coming this fall. All of this is designed to save labor and time. AgGrow Solutions has embraced soluble carbon chemistry as an alternative to conventional chemistry relating to plant and soil interaction. Everything in nature that has metabolic function contains carbon, and it is essential that carbon be a part of every chemical reaction. Creating carbon in a readily available form that can chelate, complex and buffer soil and plant nutrient
solutions is very beneficial. Through higher efficiency and simply getting more out of every pound, we can use less, waste less and maximize output for the grower. You are the president of the WPVGA Associate Division, and Steve has been a strong supporter of the WPVGA for years, serving two terms on the Board of Directors. Why is it
Kenton Mehlberg digs potatoes in Plover, Wisconsin, to determine how the tubers are bulking.
important to you to be involved with the association? I personally and professionally find value in the time that I invest to maintain and improve the health of our industry. It does nobody any good if we all sit idly by and watch from the sidelines. As a company, we have always had continued on pg. 14
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BC�T July 13
Interview. . .
continued from pg. 13
the same philosophy about our own business and our involvement in the industry. We understand that the time and money that we invest not only strengthens our industry, but also our local economies and businesses. As president of the Associate Division, I am fortunate to be in a position to set a positive example on how to promote and support our great industry. We’ll always be involved in the association in any way we can. Is the focus of T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions changing or becoming more clear, and if so, what is it? I think one of the only constants in our business is change. As an
industry, things are changing faster now than ever, or at least it seems that way. T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions are no different. What does the future hold for the company? More of the same as we continue to seek out technology to help growers be more efficient. The next generation will be a part of the business transition over the coming 5-10 years. What do you personally hope for the company or the industry in the future? I hope for better consumer awareness and education about our industry. People need to be aware of where their food comes from and what it takes to get it to their refrigerator.
I think the best people to educate them are the growers because they are consumers, too. Every day, there are more mouths to feed in this world, and I think that if the consumer had a better understanding of what it takes to produce the food they eat, it would change their perspective. I hope as an industry we can find a way to make this connection Is there anything you’d like to add that I might have missed, Kenton? Yes, I would like to say thank you to all our customers out there who support us year after year. Without them, none of what we do would be possible.
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WPVGA Update from the Executive Director Covered within are key issues and happenings in the Wisconsin potato industry With the 2019 potato planting season now behind us, I’d like to provide our members with an update on some of the key issues and happenings in the Wisconsin potato industry. NPC Summer Meeting Set for Wisconsin Dells Very soon, dozens of potato growers from across the United States will converge on Wisconsin for the National Potato Council Summer Meeting. Congratulations to current NPC President Larry Alsum who has the honor of hosting this prestigious event. In addition to the NPC meetings, there will be a special retirement celebration for long-time NPC CEO John Keeling on Thursday, July 11, followed by a scenic Wisconsin Dells dinner boat cruise that evening. A farm tour is scheduled for Friday, July 12, which will include stops at Alsum Farms, Trembling Prairie Farms (which will feature celery harvesting) and an afternoon visit to J. Henry & Sons bourbon distillery.
be met! Dr. Renee Rioux has accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the University of Wisconsin Plant Pathology Department and will serve as the Director of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program. Dr. Rioux hails from Maine where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Maine. She then focused her studies in plant pathology with a Master of Science (MS) in the subject from the University of Maine, and subsequently a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison. Renee also minored in plant breeding and plant genetics during her doctoral studies in Wisconsin. During her MS studies, she focused on potato diseases, then moved to work on turf diseases while gaining her Ph.D. Since graduation, Renee has worked in industry, most recently as a product development manager with Bayer Crop Science in disease and pest management.
Above: Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Executive Director Tamas Houlihan provides an update on events and initiatives of interest to grower and associate members.
This position is very important to our membership, especially those involved in certified seed potato production. The WPVGA is pleased to welcome Dr. Rioux to the UW Plant Pathology faculty as the highest authority on seed potato certification in Wisconsin. Lubinski Hired as Langlade Ag Research Station Manager and Seed Potato Inspector Cole Lubinski has taken the new position of Seed Potato Research and Outreach Specialist within the continued on pg. 16
If you haven’t already done so, please make plans to attend one or all of these meetings and events set for July 9-12 at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Visit: www. nationalpotatocouncil.org for more details. UW Hires Dr. Renee Rioux to Lead Seed Potato Certification Program In July, the number one goal identified by the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association will
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BC�T July 15
WPVGA Update . . . continued from pg. 15
Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program. Cole started work the first week of June and will divide his time between operating the Langlade County Agricultural Research Station and working within the Seed Potato Certification Program to provide potato inspection and seed potato outreach. Cole is a graduate of UW-River Falls with a bachelor’s degree in crops and soil science and an emphasis in sustainable agriculture. He has several years of experience with farming, applicating and repairing farm machinery, most recently with Mortenson Bros. Farms in Plainfield.
Boots-on-the-ground work has continued on the Little Plover River Watershed Enhancement Project (LPRWEP) throughout the spring and early summer of 2019. During the groundbreaking ceremony in October of 2018, Village of Plover Administrator Dan Mahoney (fourth from right) addressed attendees and explained the goals of the LPRWEP. Of those in attendance were, from left to right, Wisconsin Rep. Katrina Shankland, WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan, legislative Rep. Scott Krug, Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point, jacket vest), and to the immediate right of Mahoney, Nick and Dianne Somers of Plover River Farms.
On another note, a big “thank you” goes out to Alex Crockford and Kevin Gallenberg for all their help in making sure the research plots went in as planned at the Langlade Ag Research Station in Antigo this spring.
Little Plover River Project Moves Forward In October of last year, the WPVGA joined the Village of Plover and other partners at a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the commencement of the Little Plover River Watershed Enhancement Project (LPRWEP).
Alex and Kevin worked closely with the UW potato research team to ensure the plots were planted as scheduled.
Since its inception, the project has received more than $2.1 million in investments, including funds from the Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and state government, as well as the WPVGA. Boots-on-the-ground work has continued on this project throughout the spring and early summer. The Association’s primary goal in working on the project is to maintain flow and protect the Little Plover River watershed and its associated streams, lakes and wetlands while promoting a sustainable agricultural industry. Many of our members are active environmentalists who truly love and appreciate the land and water upon which they work. This is an extremely positive collaboration that is demonstrating how a number of different stakeholders with varied interests can work together to voluntarily find solutions to complex and sometimes difficult situations.
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Our industry is currently facing serious challenges in the areas of water quantity and quality. This project is a shining example of how cooperation can be more effective than regulation. WPVGA Completes Member Development/Leadership Training Program
In March, the WPVGA completed a five-month Member Development/ Leadership Training program. 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, while explaining the core missions of the WPVGA related to research, education, promotion and governmental affairs. I firmly believe that this program was highly beneficial, not only to the 25 participants, but to the industry as a whole. By conducting this program, we are helping to educate, train and develop the future leaders of Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable industry. Many important and complex decisions lie ahead for the industry. By creating this leadership base today, the industry is investing wisely in its future. Plans are to continue this program on an every-other-year basis. Golf Outings Support Industry Initiatives At this time of year, the WPVGA and its members participate in several industry golf outings. While some may think these events are simply a chance to get together for fun and socializing, they truly do much more.
In May, the WPVGA was involved in the first Jeffrey A. Wyman Memorial Garden Golf Outing in Madison. This highly successful event honored WPVGA Hall of Famer Dr. Jeff Wyman and raised funds to develop the “Wyman Memorial Kitchen Garden” in the Allen Centennial Gardens at UW Madison. The event also generated start-up funds for a long-term graduate student fellowship. The Spud Seed Classic, held each year in June in Antigo, raises funds specifically for research. In fact, the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association recently used funds raised from this annual golf outing to purchase a much-needed new irrigation system for the Langlade Agricultural Research Station. In July, the WPVGA Associate Division puts on the Annual PuttTato Open Golf Tournament. This event has turned into a major benefit for the industry, as funds raised from this outing are used to make donations to the big three potato ag research stations (Hancock, Antigo and Rhinelander) as well as for industry organization grants, annual scholarships, Water Task Force initiatives, governmental affairs causes and more. The WPVGA greatly appreciates the Associate Division’s efforts in putting on a great event that truly does benefit the growers and the industry as a whole.
Kevin Schleicher of Wysocki Family of Companies tastes a potato chip during the “Research & Technology” session of the WPVGA Member Development and Leadership Training Program. The session was held in the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Storage Research Facility of the Hancock Agricultural Research Station. There, participants took part in a potato chip taste panel to assess glucose and sucrose levels of chipping varieties.
In closing, I would like to once again thank all the members of the WPVGA. While everyone cannot be a farmer, everyone can encourage and appreciate them. I am honored and proud to work on your behalf. Sincerely,
Executive Director, WPVGA
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BC�T July 17
Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees Many Wisconsin farmers practice sustainability and easily fit the criteria Know a Wisconsin farmer or forester who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2019 Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award®. Sand County Foundation, the nation’s leading voice for the conservation of private land, presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 13 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Wisconsin, the $10,000 award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association. Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat
David Geiser of Gold Star Dairy in Calumet County, Wisconsin, was the 2018 recipient of the Leopold Conservation Award.
management on private working land. In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage. FOREFRONT OF A MOVEMENT “Leopold Conservation Award recipients are at the forefront of a movement by America’s farmers and ranchers to simultaneously achieve economic and environmental
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success,” says Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation president and chief executive officer. “This award showcases outstanding farmers who are going above and beyond to make sure they are protecting land and water resources for the next generation,” agrees Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau president. “I know many of our state’s farmers have already implemented sustainable farming practices and could easily fit the criteria. I encourage all who are eligible to apply,” Holte says. The Leopold Conservation Award will be presented at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in December. Nominations can be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application can be found at: https:// sandcountyfoundation.org/uploads/ Wisconsin-2019-CFN.pdf. Applications must be postmarked by August 5, 2019. Mail applications to: Leopold Conservation Award c/o Sand County Foundation, 131 W. Wilson Street, Ste. 610, Madison, WI 53703.
GAP Water Sampling Underway
AgSource Laboratories announces route, times and locations of pickups AgSource Laboratories announces the 2019 GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) water sample pick-up service times and locations for growers who need to get samples to the laboratory in a safe and timely fashion. In cooperation with the University of Wisconsin Hancock Agricultural Research Station and the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) office, AgSource will be picking up samples three days a week and routing them to the AgSource Laboratories facility located in Marshfield, Wisconsin. “This service is perfect for growers who need to take water samples for E. coli and coliforms, as well as any other water tests,” notes Eric Helms,
director of market development for AgSource Laboratories. “We saw increased participation last year and are grateful to the Hancock Research Station and WPVGA for allowing AgSource Laboratories to use their offices for our pick-up route again this summer,” Helms says. Potato, vegetable, cranberry and fruit growers collect GAP water samples from irrigation and postharvest water sources from May to October. GAP CERTIFICATION Growers will need to comply with the 2015 Final Rule on Produce Safety of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), passed in November 2015, which requires E. coli testing. Audit organizations also require total coliform testing in order to be GAP
ple Drive Drive Iaple 54467
certified. Because of the 30-hour maximum sample hold time, water samples should be taken no earlier than 6 a.m. for pick-up the same day on Tuesdays and Fridays in Hancock, and 12 p.m. on Wednesdays in Antigo. From now until October 4, sterile bottles and submission forms can be picked up and dropped off at the two route locations. continued on pg. 20
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BC�T July 19
Now News. . .
continued from pg. 19
Hancock – Supplies are located in the main office building on a table directly inside the door of the first-floor landing. The building is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The address: N3909 County Rd V, Hancock, WI 54943.
Call AgSource Laboratories at 715.898.1402 with questions about the van route. Please do not contact the Hancock Ag Research Station or the WPVGA office for questions on GAP water testing or routes.
Pick-up Date/Time: Tuesday 8:30 a.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. Tuesdays • July 9, 16, 23, 30 • Aug 6, 13, 20, 27 • Sept 3, 10, 17, 24 • Oct 1
COST OF WATER ANALYSIS To meet audit testing requirements, growers will need both total coliform and E. coli tests with results that count the bacteria colonies. The cost for both total coliform and E. coli tests is $30 per sample. Growers will be billed after samples are analyzed. It’s also possible to submit soil or plant tissue samples at either drop-off location. Contact AgSource Laboratories first to notify them. Please do not contact the UW Agricultural Research Station in Hancock or the WPVGA office.
Fridays • July 12, 19, 26 • Aug 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 • Sept 6, 13, 20, 27 • Oct 4
Antigo – Pick up sterile bottles for E. coli and total coliform tests during business hours, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The address: 700 5th Ave., Antigo, WI 54409 Pick-up Date/Time: Wednesday 2:00 p.m. • July 10, 17, 24, 31 • Aug 7, 14, 21, 28
• Sept 4, 11, 18, 25 • Oct 2
For more information, please contact AgSource Laboratories, 3700 Downwind Dr., Marshfield, WI 54449, 715-898-1402, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about AgSource Laboratories’ drinking water, wastewater and pathogen testing options, visit www.agsourcelaboratories.com.
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Gear Up for 39th Annual Antigo Tater Trot
Proceeds benefit Antigo High School cross country/track teams and more Area runners are gearing up for the 39th annual 10-kilometer Tater Trot, which will take place Saturday, August 10, 2019, at City Park in Antigo.
invited to gather after the races to celebrate. An awards ceremony with door prize drawings for all participants will follow in the park.
In addition to the 10k run, individuals of all ages may also participate in the 1-mile fun run or the 4-mile walk/run.
Plus, this year, there will be cash prizes of $100 for the overall 10k male and female top finishers and $50 for the overall 4-mile male and female top finishers!
Above: The 2018 Antigo Tater Trot 10-kilometer race begins.
Health Foundation; Schroeder’s Gifts; Brickner’s of Antigo; J.W. Mattek & Sons; City Gas Co.; Waukesha Bearings; Parsons of Antigo; and Dewans. continued on pg. 22
PROCEEDS BENEFIT COMMUNITY All proceeds from the race will benefit Antigo High School cross country/track teams and other community organizations. Since 1980, the Tater Trot has donated nearly $75,000 to area organizations involved in track and field events within the community.
The 1-mile fun run starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by the 10k run at 9 a.m. and 4-mile walk/run at 9:05 a.m. All events will be electronically timed. Those interested in participating in any of the Tater Trot events can register online at www. antigotatertrot.com. Registration costs include a five-pound bag of potatoes and a T-shirt for the 10k and 4-mile participants! Participants and supporters are
Additional past recipients include the Antigo Park, Recreation & Cemetery Department; All Saints Catholic School; Peace Lutheran School; and the Unified School District of Antigo. The 39th Annual Tater Trot is presented by CoVantage Credit Union and Volm Companies with help from the following Yukon Gold and Silver sponsors: Antigo Optimists Club; Aspirus Langlade Hospital; The Shopper; PrintWear; Hyland Lakes; Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association; Insight FS; Subway; Community BC�T July 21
Now News. . .
continued from pg. 21
Compeer Financial Awards Grants to County Fairs The fair tradition plays an important role in agricultural youth development The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America, the corporate giving program, has awarded 19 Fair Facility Upgrade Grants totaling $57,000 to county fairs across Wisconsin. Across the organization’s 144-county territory, 55 grants were awarded. The grants, which total $164,740, will touch the lives of more than 1.6 million fair organizers, participants and attendees. “The purpose of these grants is to help make upgrades and repairs to fairgrounds and facilities so fairs can continue to bring people together to experience agriculture,” says Karen Schieler, senior corporate giving specialist. “The fair tradition plays an important role in agricultural youth development,” she adds, “celebrating their hard work and contributions to rural communities. And fairs in general bring our communities together each year to have fun and enjoy rural life.” Groups received grants of $2,750 to $3,000 each. The list below outlines grant recipients and a brief description of the projects funded: • Alto 4-H and Farm Bureau Fair, to upgrade blacktop on fairgrounds • Bayfield County Fair, to repair roof, fascia boards, gutters and replace trusses and rafter ends in horse barn • Buffalo County Fair, to purchase swine, sheep and goat scale • Burnett County Agricultural Fair, for updated lighting and safety signage in cattle barn • Columbia County Fair Association, to construct a concrete platform with walls for manure storage • Crawford County Meat Animal Auction, to extend the swine and sheep barn 22 BC�T July
• Dodge County Fair Association, for new roof, soffit and fascia, and updated lighting and electrical on milk house • Grant County Fair, to remove old fountains and install water cooler bottle filling stations • Green County Ag Society and Mechanics Institute, to improve electrical service in beef barn • Jackson County Agricultural Society Inc., for gates and pens for small animals • Monroe County Agricultural Society, to purchase new animal scales, platforms and heads • Ozaukee County Agricultural Society, to pave road and walkway leading to 4-H barns • Racine County Agricultural Society Inc., to repair and rebuild livestock wash rack • Rock County 4-H Fair, to replace roof, repair front door and siding on 4-H Fair Museum • Sheboygan County Fair Association, to replace concrete aisles in livestock buildings • St. Croix County Fair Inc., for updated lighting in judging arena • Vernon County Agricultural Society
Inc., for new rabbit cages •W ashburn County Junior Fair Association, to replace signs on buildings and entrance •W innebago County Fair Association, to purchase gates for beef barn, signs for fairgrounds and to restore entrance archway Since the program began, a total of $344,740 has been awarded to 119 fairs, touching the lives of more than 3.5 million fairgoers and participants. The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America will offer this program again in March 2020. About the Fund for Rural America The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America is the corporate giving program of Compeer Financial structured to support the company’s mission to enrich agriculture and rural America. The Compeer Financial Board of Directors has dedicated 1 percent of annual net earnings to support the fund’s focus areas of education, youth engagement, rural development, community enrichment, agricultural advocacy and development, and cooperative initiatives. The fund is managed by a board of trustees made up of team members from Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and members of the Compeer Financial Board of Directors. More information about opportunities available through the fund can be found at Compeer.com/giving-back.
Eyes on Associates
Scholarships Awarded on Merits of Applicants Top students honored whose immediate families are WPVGA members It is all part of a mission to strengthen the Wisconsin potato and vegetable growing industry through education. Each year, the WPVGA Associate Division and Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary team up to raise funds through golf outings, membership dues, a silent auction, cookbook sales, baked potato and French fries booths and more to be able to present dedicated and deserving students with scholarships. The Avis M. Wysocki Memorial Scholarship is awarded to the top candidate and funded not only through a silent auction the Associate Division holds during the Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, but also from a special contribution made by the Auxiliary. Established in 2016, the Avis M. Wysocki Memorial Scholarship honors its namesake, who was a founding member of the Auxiliary and an integral part of the Wisconsin potato industry. To remain objective, the names of the students are taken off their applications when the board members review and evaluate them,
thus the awarding is done completely on the merits of the applicants themselves and the information they provided. In all, the Auxiliary and Associate Division teamed to award seven deserving students whose families are members of the Wisconsin Potato
N V S
MIKAYLA FLYTE, winner of the Avis M. Wysocki Memorial Scholarship, is the daughter of Adam and Carolyn Flyte of Flyte Family Farms, LLC in Coloma, Wisconsin. The Flytes continued on pg. 24
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& Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) with $7,975 in scholarships.
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Eyes On Associates. . . continued from pg. 23
promote the Healthy Grown program through a fall corn maze, Spudmobile visits and more. Enrolled as a business/pre-law major at Ripon College for the fall 2019 semester, Mikayla carried a 4.0 cumulative grade point average in high school, was named to the National Honor Society, took home National Spanish Honors and became an American Legion Patriot’s Pen Essay Winner in 2015 and a Voice of Democracy Essay Winner in 2016. A varsity cross country All Conference runner and two-time state qualifier, Flyte is a member of the Ripon College track team. She plans to use her education to later benefit the rural community where she grew up by practicing law and working closely with the family farm. KATRINA POKORNY has been president, sentinel historian and a community service organizer and volunteer for FFA and is a recent graduate of Waupun High School. She will be entering the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Honors Program in the fall of 2019. Katrina is the daughter of Kim and Doyle Pokorny, the latter of whom
works as a project manager for M.P.B. Builders Inc. in Ripon, Wisconsin. A member of the high school student council, tennis and volleyball teams, student government, yearbook team, powerlifting club and an all-conference softball player, among much more, Katrina had the opportunity to travel to Haiti to teach a group of adults how to make valueadded beeswax products and hopes to return several times. She has chosen public health as her career field to be able to help those in need and bring awareness to the importance of agriculture and ag
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education while assisting the poor. SHANNON SACHS is the daughter of Douglas Sachs, Mortenson Brothers Farms, and Martha Cavanaugh. An incoming freshman at UW-River Falls, Shannon is enrolled as an agriculture education major, minoring in animal science with an emphasis on equine. Involved in the FFA where she won several awards, Shannon was also the first runner-up in the Miss Teen Rodeo Wisconsin contest, an Amherst Little Britches Rodeo queen and Little Britches Rodeo of Wisconsin state qualifier. She hopes to teach and help youth understand what agriculture is, where it comes from and the hard work that goes into it. Shannon also wants to have her own horse business on the side and continue participating in rodeos. KELSEY FENSKE, daughter of John and Maggi Fenske, Fenske Farms, is a political science major at Marquette University with 77 earned college credits and a 3.33 grade point average. Involved with the Marquette Student Government and Student Engagement Committee, Kelsey worked as an operations intern for Gov. Scott Walker and as an outreach intern with the Republican Party of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
BRETT INGLI is the son of Amber Delong and Joshua Ingli, who works for WPVGA member company OEM Fabricators, Inc. A recent Durand High School graduate, Brett was a three-time class president, 2nd Team football defensive back, football team captain and student council president.
An FFA Member of the Year and Top Fundraiser Seller, Lauren was also named 2018 Langlade County Fairest of the Fair and was the vice president and class representative for Students Against Destructive Decisions. She is pursuing a degree in graphic communications and technologies and hopes to not only design products, but also educate kids who don’t live on a farm about the importance of agriculture. TAYLOR KROGWOLD is the daughter of Kerry and Stacey Krogwold, with Stacey the accounting and human resources manager for Bushmans’ Inc. Taylor is a Rosholt High School graduate enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Stout majoring in business management. She was a participant in 2018 Badger Girls State for cross country, a threetime Academic All State Award winner from 2016-2018, and twotime Academic All-Conference Award winner in 2016 and 2017.
Congratulations to all the scholarship winners whose worthy achievements and future goals have not only put them on a path to success, but also bode well for the future of Wisconsin’s agriculture industry.
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LAUREN RINE, daughter of Daniel and Sheila Rine, Rine Ridge Farms and the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary, is an Antigo High School graduate enrolled at Northcentral Technical College for the fall 2019 semester.
Taylor hopes to own her own business as an entrepreneur. Though she understands the seemingly unending work involved, she views the sales, marketing and managing of a business as intricate pieces of a puzzle, and in her current job, enjoys brightening the days of customers with a simple smile.
She plans to apply to law school and pursue a degree in constitutional law that will enable her to work on a legal team within political campaigns.
He is enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in a major, environmental engineering, that he hopes to channel towards positively affecting his community and potentially the world. Brett says he wants to be a community member who can give back.
Tim Worzella, Worzella and Sons, Inc.
AgRay Vision Systems
209-334-1999 • email@example.com • www.agrayvisionsystems.com BC�T July 25
Insight FS Has Grown Alongside the Potato Industry Playing many roles over 40 years, Bill Page talks progression in the field Though his degree is in agriculture education, Bill Page of Insight FS says there is no instruction for potatoes other than on-farm learning, and that’s why he likes it. A sales and specialty purchasing agent for Insight FS in Antigo, Wisconsin, Page says, “There are a lot of people who can do corn and soybeans well, there’s info and you can find it. Here, in potatoes, you have to go and do it.” “Area growers and researchers know how to grow potatoes and have been willing to talk to us,” Page adds. Insight FS is an agricultural cooperative serving customers in 24 locations across Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Headquartered in Jefferson, Wisconsin, Insight FS provides feed, agronomy, energy, agri26 BC�T July
finance, seed and turf products and services, as well as grain marketing to patrons. There are approximately 45 full-time and 27-30 seasonal employees in the Antigo location, with $30 million in sales, and 285 full-time Insight FS employees working across the state of Wisconsin. Page, who has more than 40 years of experience in the industry, says chemistry solves many crop problems if growers are able to put the right stuff and enough of it on plants to increase uptake at or near the root zone.
“When I started, you put 1,000 pounds of P205 [phosphorus pentoxide] and K20 potash in-row. Then, testing showed that if you put on half that amount of potash, you didn’t have salt toxicity to the plant. So, they took the potash half from the spring and spread it on in the fall to better hold nutrients,” he says. “The FS system goes everywhere,” Page adds, “Maine, Montana, Florida and elsewhere.” When asked why he’s stayed more than four decades with one company, he cites the people and job variety.
Above: A sales and specialty agent for Insight FS in Antigo, Wisconsin, Bill Page has seen the company grow from selling products to the dairy industry and a few potato growers to a full-service agricultural cooperative serving customers in 24 locations in the state and Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Fertilizer tanks are lined up and ready to fill trucks at Insight FS in Antigo, Wisconsin.
Insight FS, headquartered in Jefferson, Wisconsin, has come a long way from the day when the Antigo location had a 20-by-30-foot chemical shed, and now has 36,000 square feet of warehouse in one building and 11,000 square feet of storage in another.
EXPANDING INTO POTATOES “So, in 1977, we were a $1.5 million company selling to mostly dairy and a few potato growers. Mike Kunz hired me and wanted to get into the potato industry,” Page relates.
“You have some companies that bring in raw products and will make 10-30-0 and blend from there, and then you have middle guys who buy the 1020-0 from someone else and do the blending. Then you have us. We buy
the blended end product,” Page says. Service is an integral part of the Insight FS equation, with company reps helping growers with spreading continued on pg. 28
“Mike hired a controller in May, he hired me in August and Al Huffman, who retired here after 25 years, in December, and made a big push into the potato business. Now we’re probably over $30 million in sales,” Page states. With only a small chemical shed in the 1970s, and no liquid fertilizer back then, Insight FS sold mostly dry fertilizer and lime with no delivery service. “Now it’s almost the opposite, with nearly everything delivered,” Page says. “We have three spray rigs, four fertilizer spreaders, three lime spreaders, over 40 pull-type spreaders, four semis, two van trucks and people delivering.” “Now if you’re a big grower, you have to use liquid fertilizer,” he remarks. “Because there wasn’t a good means of moving dry fertilizer from the tractor to the planter and into the ground, liquid was the way to go.” That turned out to be a huge advantage for Insight FS, which had liquid fertilizer brought in from the South. BC�T July 27
Insight FS Has Grown Alongside the Potato Industry. . . continued from pg. 27
A propane delivery truck is parked at Insight FS with the Antigo water tower visible in the background.
fertilizer in the fall. “Very few people do their own spreading anymore,” Page remarks. “Now with technology the way it is, it’s amazing what you can do for the guys.” “They can buy stuff from anywhere. I’m not here to sell them something,” he insists. “I’m here to help them make more money. Price and service has to be equal.” CROP PLANNING In the fall of the year, Page says Insight deals in a lot of potash, Gypsoil, K-Mag, 0-0-22, 0-0-62, calcium and magnesium for upcoming crops. In the spring, fertilizer delivery is key when planting, along with getting the growers any products they might need in-furrow.
As the company moved along during Page’s time, Insight FS started providing other services, put in a gas station, made on-farm fuel deliveries on the oil side of it and is now in the feed business. With that came more salespeople and support staff. Along the way, there were discoveries and growers became more efficient. “We were spraying three times to kill plants, and now we’ve cut that in half, and that was huge as far as endproduct reduction,” Page says. “Then we found out we didn’t have all the chemistry we needed for early blight,” he adds. “A healthy leaf fights off disease better, and we needed to keep them greener longer. That problem went away when early blight
fungicides came along.” The “Next Gen Precision Ag” division of Insight FS includes such services and technologies as GPS soil testing, soil maps, yield monitoring and mapping, Wi-Fi reporting in real time on spray rigs, GPS tractor and laptop setup, variable-rate planting on corn planters and layers of additional tools and information. “I think we’ve gone through stages— the right fertility program, the right nitrogen, that kind of thing, and we’ve moved into the chemical stage,” Page reasons. “There’s the medicine show with all the products out there. How do we find out which ones work and which don’t? Some guys want to try
SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW WPVGA MEMBERS When you need goods or services, please consider asking our Associate Division Members for quotes or explore what they have to offer. Together, we make a strong organization and appreciate how wonderful we are as a group. 28 BC�T July
new stuff. What’s coming next?” he wonders. “There are a huge number of biological companies. Is there something there in one of them— some that work? How do you find what you need that will work for you?” Page asks. “It’s fun. I like that part, especially if we can find something that works and solves a problem.” Volume-wise, Insight FS offers mostly fungicides, herbicides, vine killers and insecticides. On the fertilizer side, as far as tonnage, potash, urea, ammonium sulfate and diammonium phosphate (DAP) rank at the top. Lime and Gypsoil are also moved out in bulk. Page names helping growers and the history of the industry as his favorite parts of the job. “I like that my job is helping potato farmers do better. That’s how I sell,” he concludes.
Potash remains a top seller for Insight FS, an agricultural cooperative serving customers in 22 locations across Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
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4 COLUMN x 5” 7.708” x 5”
BC�T July 29
New Products Harriston Clamp Planter Boasts Individual Row Shutoffs Floating shoe and short seed drop provide consistent depth and spacing while planting A simple, proven and reliable design that’s made in the U.S.A., the Harriston Clamp Planter with Individual Row Shut-Offs is built with growers’ needs in mind. Available in widths from 4-to-12 rows, the Clamp Planter features a floating row unit, floating shoe, short seed drop, Harriston hydraulic drive and positive bowl feeding system, as well as an extensive variety of options. Such options include the GPS-
compatible rear steer for better accuracy throughout the field, a clutch kit for individual row shutoff— with GPS or manual switch controls— fertilizer attachments, hopper extensions, walking tandem wheels and much more. The 8-row Clamp Planter pictured is the first in the state of Wisconsin, shown on Jerry and Cheryl Hetzel’s Oak Grove Farms, and is pulled by a John Deere tractor with Lakestate tanks supplied
by Sand County Equipment. The Harriston Clamp Planter handles a range of seed potatoes, from 0.6 to 5 ounces, and is adjustable using a 15/16-inch wrench in 30 minutes’ time. It is ideal for planting the smaller potatoes, Hetzel says, contracted through The Little Potato Company. FASTER PLANTING “Because of the large-size fly wheels that the clamps are on, it can plant faster,” Paul Cieslewicz of Sand
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WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES 30 BC�T July
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.
County Equipment in Bancroft, Wisconsin, says. “At 3 ½-inch spacing, it’s over a mile per hour faster than traditional cup and pick planters, and when you add that up at the end of the day, it’s a huge deal.” “We are also the only ones with a large seed hopper—it’s the largest in the industry,” Cieslewicz adds. “We’re putting 60-some bags in per acre. We can make it last for one full round in the field, and everyone else can only make a half a round. So, we’re not using a crop shuttle at all.” Cieslewicz also says the leading-edge, clutch-operated row shutoffs save two acres of seed potatoes per pivot. “If you have 90 pivots, that’s 180 acres you wouldn’t plant. It’s always planting in squares,” he explains.
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The large fly wheel the clamps are on allows the Harriston Clamp Planter with Individual Row Shutoffs to plant seed potatoes faster and more efficiently.
The Harriston model also features Telco photoelectric sensors for seed counting that can keep track of every seed piece to tell you exactly how many seeds per acre you are putting in the ground. For more information, contact Sand County Equipment, attn: P. Cieslewicz, 715-335-6652, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sandcountyequipment.com. Or visit www.harriston-mayo.com. continued on pg. 32
A clutch kit for individual row shutoff saves two acres of seed potatoes per pivot.
THE VOICE OF THE WISCONSIN POTATO & VEGETABLE INDUSTRY
Farms Wolter Riverside
Grown” now “Healthy r A healthy and shown on Schroede potato field is Wisconsin. Bros. Farms, Antigo,
“In this game, you save people labor or money, and that’s what you have to do,” Cieslewicz remarks. “If you were running multiple planters and we could plant the same number of acres with the same or better accuracy and with one less planter, tractor and operator, that would be a huge savings for the farmer.”
Whether you are a grower, industry partner or simply enjoy rural life, sign up to receive this prestigious publication in print version, delivered direct to your mailbox for $22/year (12 issues). wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe BC�T July 31
New Products. . .
continued from pg. 31
Finally, There’s a Choice in Bag Closures! Schutte and NNZ partner to distribute Clipps for bags in the produce market For many years, U.S. customers have had only one source for their plastic bag closures. Now there is a choice. Steve Greenfield, director of sales
and marketing for NNZ Inc., explains, “For many packers, there has been a single source of plastic closures for poly and mesh bags in the United
John Miller Farms, Inc Minto, ND
States due to a patent. So, for a very long time,” he adds, “U.S. customers had no choice but to use this product.”
North Dakota Certified Seed Potatoes 2018 Crop Year Silverton Goldrush Dark Red Norland Red Norland Viking Dakota Pearl ND7799C-1 Waneta
G-2 G-2 G-2 G-2 G-2 G-2 G-2 G-4
“I believe in the value of patents, but I also believe in free market capitalism,” Greenfield states. “So once a patent has run out, it allows the market to dictate whose product to use.” Schutte Bagclosures from the Netherlands has partnered with NNZ Inc. to distribute Clipps closures for bags in the produce market. Schutte is a worldwide manufacturer of bag closures with more than 60 years’ experience in the product category. Schutte and NNZ stand for quality while delivering reliability at a fair price. COMPATIBLE CLIPPS Clipps run smoothly on all existing automated bagging machinery and come in the same styles and opening sizes as the current product. NNZ Inc. will be stocking the product in seven company warehouses throughout the United States to allow for just-in-time delivery without a two-week delay for production.
Contact John Miller: (701) 248-3215 32 BC�T July
The product is packaged in the same quantities as the current product (number of clips/roll, number of rolls/
case, number of cases/pallet) so that no new calculations are necessary to determine what is needed for production and ordering. In addition, the Clipps product has been competitively priced, which
allows for a cost savings to the customer base. “Competition is good for all,” Greenfield remarks. “It fosters innovation and ultimately it benefits the customer. While patents have
NACHURS Products Authorized Six nutritional formulations approved for use with Bayer XtendiMax NACHURS®, an industry leader in plant nutrition products since 1946, announces the approval of six nutritional formulations for use with Bayer’s XtendiMax® herbicide featuring VaporGrip® Technology. These formulations include micronutrient products as well as slow-release nitrogen and NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) products, which are all powered by NACHURS Bio-K® technology, the most soluble, available and efficient form of potassium on the market today. “Today’s high-yielding crops require more available potassium to meet nutrient demands,” states Tommy Roach, NACHURS director of specialty products and product development. “Being able to provide plant nutrition while simultaneously applying chemicals is a great way to improve plant health, enhance nutrient use efficiency and elevate crop productivity at the same time,”
Roach adds. The company’s currently approved products include: NACHURS K-fuel®, playmaKer®, N-Rage® Max, Finish
their place, it is always good to have a choice. Now the market has that choice. Hopefully, people will choose the Clipps product.” For more information, call NNZ Inc. at 800634-7666, or visit www.clippsamerica.com.
Left: Tommy Roach, director of specialty products and product development for NACHURS, gives a presentation on the role potassium plays in potato plants at the 2018 Potato Expo.
Line®, NACHURS 6% Mn EDTA and NACHURS 10% Boron. For further information, contact your local NACHURS representative or visit www.nachurs.com
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www.clippsamerica.com • email@example.com BC�T July 33
By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education
Teamwork Results in New Look for Spudmobile! Teamwork is a beautiful and valuable thing. In fact, few things in life are accomplished without help and a true team-oriented approach. One of the most recent examples of this team-oriented approach from an industry perspective lies in Wisconsin’s traveling billboard, the Spudmobile, and the vehicle’s recent upgrades. As a prominent example of success for Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable industry, the Spudmobile has welcomed thousands through its doors since its 2014 debut and has
effectively educated consumers on where their food comes from and how farmers care for Mother Nature to provide quality products in a sustainable manner. Because of its impact on surrounding communities and other areas in the Midwest, keeping the vehicle looking innovative and fresh and the interior exhibits appealing from a creative standpoint is a significant priority. Several Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) committees and boards recognized
this priority and committed to getting involved. The Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) Board and the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary (WPGA) generously contributed a total of almost $10,000 toward upgrades to the Spudmobile. The two upgrades of focus for the Promotions Committee were giving the vehicle a facelift by re-wrapping the exterior and making one of the interior exhibits, that was previously static, interactive. Now, instead of seeing a static map of Wisconsin, visitors can interact with Above: Imagery of delicious loaded baked potatoes is colorful and vibrant on the driver’s side of the Spudmobile, part of the updated vehicle wrap. The wrap was completed by CC Graphics of Wisconsin Rapids, in February 2019, and paid for entirely by the WPVGA Associate Division. Left: Roasted red potatoes grace a plate on the passenger side of the Spudmobile as part of the updated vehicle wrap, which also features a Wisconsin potato field, social media icons and a call for everyone to “Ask for Wisconsin Potatoes” at their local grocery store.
34 BC�T July
a 58-inch touchscreen TV mounted to the wall. The screen features a map of Wisconsin with potato-producing counties and locations of agricultural research stations and industry organizations such as the WPVGA, State Farm in Rhinelander and the U.S. Potato Genebank in Door County. MEET GROWERS FIRSTHAND It’s an exhibit that is taking the educational component to a whole new level, as visitors will meet the growers firsthand and be able to visit their farms with the swipe of a finger! When visitors touch a county on the interactive screen, the names of farms in that county are displayed by location. Users can then touch a farm name and receive information about the operation, such as its location, year it was established, potato varieties planted, other crops grown and number of acres to name a few.
They will also see images provided by each farm of the owners and employees, equipment, fields and the products produced there. Another feature of the updated exhibit is the background graphic. Featuring historical images from Wisconsin growers, research stations and the WPVGA, the images showcase the roots of today’s potato industry in Wisconsin, which creates an awesome dynamic. The past and the present, early farm generations with the current, pre-technology and post, it’s truly valuable to be able to show the public how deep Wisconsin’s roots run in agriculture and the commitment to having that continue for generations to come. President of the WSPIA Board, Dan Kakes of Kakes Farms in Bryant says board members are happy to contribute toward this project. “The Spudmobile has been a highly advantageous asset to our industry in communicating the importance and benefits of agriculture to the public,” says Kakes. “In a day and age when consumers are becoming further removed from the industry that provides their food, the Spudmobile is bridging that gap again, from potato seed all the way to the dinner plate,” Kakes remarks. “We as the WSPIA Board are privileged to be a part of that.”
The updated Grower Map Exhibit, designed and installed by Elevate97 in Green Bay, includes a background graphic featuring historical images from Wisconsin growers, research stations and the WPVGA.
The WPVGA Associate Division Board covered the cost of the Spudmobile’s exterior wrap with a total cost of $20,000, a significant investment. Then consider that the Associate Division raises its own money through
Left: WPVGA’s page is shown on the updated Grower Map Exhibit as designed and installed by Elevate97 in Green Bay. RIght: A screen shot shows Plover River Farms in Stevens Point on the updated Grower Map Exhibit. Each page for the various farms is similar in providing information along with images that visitors can scroll through to become more acquainted with the farming operation. This connection will go a long way in broadening the educational opportunities available inside the Spudmobile for consumers.
events like the Putt-Tato Open golf outing and Grower Education Conference & Industry Show. GREAT INDUSTRY CAUSE Associate Division President Kenton Mehlberg of T.I.P. Inc./Ag Grow Solutions in Custer says it’s the success of these events that allows the Associate Division to support great industry causes like the Spudmobile. “The Spudmobile serves as the focal point of the WPVGA’s promotional efforts,” Mehlberg says. “The goal and purpose of the Associate Division has always been to help foster and promote the various functions of our industry. The new wrap on the Spudmobile was another great opportunity for us to contribute.” The Associate Division covered the cost of the exterior wrap back in 2014, as well, a cost of almost $12,000. “I believe that as a division, we find value in the time that we invest to maintain and improve the health of our industry. With this approach, the time and funding that we commit not only strengthens our industry, but in turn our local economies and businesses,” Mehlberg adds. continued on pg. 36 BC�T July 35
Marketplace. . .
continued from pg. 35
Furthermore, he says growers and associates have a responsibility to educate the consumer on where their food comes from. Mehlberg recognizes the Spudmobile as a logical tool to utilize in doing just that. “Educating the consumer is critical today and will continue to be
important as we move into the future,” he states. “In order to do this effectively, we have to take our message out to the consumer. The Spudmobile does an excellent job of this and will continue for years to come.” “I consider myself fortunate to be in a
position to contribute to the assets of our industry such as the Spudmobile,” Mehlberg says. “I know the rest of the Board feels the same way.” It’s yet additional pieces of the project that are adding to the bigger picture of making the connection between field and fork.
Walk Wisconsin Kicks Off Sponsored Summer Events If you like to stay active and aren’t a biker, runner, swimmer or weightlifter, maybe you’re a walker! Saturday, June 1, marked yet another successful year for the Walk Wisconsin event organized by the Stevens Point Convention and Visitors Bureau, part of an ongoing initiative to keep Portage County active! With the option to choose from non-
competitive full, half and quarter marathon distances, the event involves participants of all ages and activity levels.
at this year’s event in Pfiffner Park, Stevens Point, as well as a listing of the other Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes events occurring this year.
It is also one of many events WPVGA sponsors, in addition to covering the costs of those who participate and are part of a “Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes” team.
2019 Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes Event lineup:
Here’s a look at the fun had by many
•W alk Wisconsin – June 1 (held)
•C razyLegs Classic – April 27 (already held)
SNOWDEN • PIKE • ATLANTIC • LAMOKA MEGACHIP • HODAG • MANISTEE SILVERTON • NIAGARA
36 BC�T July
• Silver Lake Triathlon – June 15, (cancelled) • Pardeeville Triathlon – July 6, (current) • Point Duathlon – July 13 • Antigo Tater Trot – August 10 • Waupaca Area Triathlon – August 17 It’s the finish line for these ladies at Walk Wisconsin in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, June 1, 2019. Pictured from left to right, and proudly sporting their “Home Grown Wisconsin Potatoes” shirts, are Julie Lampert, Charlene Zagrzebski and Dana Williams.
continued on pg. 32
Getting ready to begin the half marathon at Walk Wisconsin are, back row, left to right, Christopher Garvin, Shane Kluck and Seth Kluck, and front row, left to right, Lori Kluck and Holly Garvin.
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Elizabeth Gessert (left) and Jess Reblin (right) show off their medals after finishing the half marathon at Walk Wisconsin on Saturday, June 1.
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Meet the 72nd Alice in Dairyland Abigail Martin is a fourth-generation registered Holstein dairy farmer
Abigail Martin has been selected as Wisconsin’s 72nd Alice in Dairyland. As Alice, Martin will work as a communications professional for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Her job will be to educate the public about the importance of agriculture in Wisconsin. Martin, of Milton, has a passion for all things Wisconsin: good cheese, the Wisconsin Badgers and her farm family. She is the fourth generation on her family’s registered Holstein farm. It
was there that she found a love for dairy cattle and long summer days at the county and state fairs. Her interest in agriculture led her to pursue a degree in dairy science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On campus, she was involved in the Association of Women in Agriculture, Badger Dairy Club, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and was on the intercollegiate dairy judging team. She has held previous roles in marketing at the Rock County 4-H, East Central/Select Sires and the Babcock Hall Dairy Store.
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Upon graduation in May 2018, she accepted a role with DeLaval Inc. in the North American Marketing and Communications Department. EXTREME HONOR “Being chosen as Alice in Dairyland is an extreme honor,” Martin says. “As Alice, I will demonstrate a strong commitment to learning and sharing about our great state and its robust agriculture industry.” Martin was selected at the culmination of three days of final interview events in Green County. The events included agribusiness tours, speeches, a public questionand-answer session and media interviews. The other candidates were Sarah Achenbach, of Eastman; Cassandra Krull, Lake Mills; Mariah Martin, Brooklyn; and Tess Zettle, Juda. Martin started working as Alice on June 3. She succeeds 71st Alice in Dairyland, Kaitlyn Riley, of Gays Mills.
Plover, WI • 715-341-3445 | 800-236-2436 | firstname.lastname@example.org 38 BC�T July
Abigail Martin is selected as the 72nd Alice in Dairyland.
As Alice, Martin will travel upwards of 30,000 miles speaking at events and giving media interviews. She’ll also work with the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin to educate children across
the state about dairy and agricultural products. Several other Wisconsin organizations contribute to making Alice in Dairyland visible and recognizable to the public. For example, Martin will wear a custom mink garment to promote Wisconsin’s fur industry,
and she’ll drive an E-85 flex-fuel Ford Explorer to promote the state’s ethanol industry. While working, Martin will wear a 14-carat gold and platinum brooch or tiara, both of which feature amethysts and citrines, gems indigenous to Wisconsin.
To schedule the 72nd Alice in Dairyland for an event or classroom visit, contact Program Manager Ti Gauger at 608-224-5115 or Ti.Gauger@wisconsin.gov. Follow Alice online at facebook.com/ DATCPAliceInDairyland or twitter. com/Alice_Dairyland.
DeWitt Attorneys Make List of IP Stars The law firm of DeWitt LLP announces the inclusion of four of its attorneys in the 2019 Intellectual Property (IP) Stars list of highly recommended practitioners, as released by Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars. The IP Stars are private practice professionals who have been highly recommended by their peers and clients. The IP Stars list, which was recently released, recommends DeWitt and its attorneys David Biek, Joseph Miotke, Charles Sara and Christopher Scherer as top patent and trademark practitioners in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Biek practices from the firm’s Minneapolis office and specializes in business transactions, intellectual property, international law, noninfringement and patentability opinions, due diligence and patent litigation.
Miotke practices from the firm’s metro Milwaukee office and specializes in intellectual property law, international law, litigation and patent litigation. Sara practices from DeWitt’s Madison office and specializes in intellectual property and international law. Scherer is the co-chair of DeWitt’s Intellectual Property Group and practices from the metro Milwaukee office, specializing in intellectual property and international law. Managing Intellectual Property IP STARS is the leading specialist guide to IP firms and practitioners worldwide. Managing IP has been researching and ranking firms since 1996. This research has expanded over the years, with more than 80 jurisdictions now covered, making it the most comprehensive and authoritative
analysis of the industry. About DeWitt DeWitt LLP is one of the 10 largest law firms based in Wisconsin, with an additional presence in Minnesota. It has nearly 140 attorneys practicing in Madison, metropolitan Milwaukee and Minneapolis in a variety of legal areas and has the experience to service clients of all scopes and sizes. The firm is known for its work in several areas, including intellectual property, patents, trademarks and copyright law, civil rights litigation, construction litigation, corporate law, employment, environmental, employee benefits, estate planning, family law, government relations, health care, litigation, real estate and tax law. More information is available at dewittllp.com. BC�T July 39
Resistance is not Futile
Scientists develop a soybean plant that staves off stem rot and defies drought By Nik Hawkins, editor of Grow, Wisconsin’s magazine for the life sciences If there’s anything that could be called the archenemy of Midwestern soybean producers, it might be Sclerotinia stem rot. Once thought of as only a sporadic problem in the region, the disease has become a recurring and widespread threat. Sclerotinia stem rot is perhaps better known as white mold, a name derived from the fine, pale filaments that spread over infected stems, leaves and pods. The disease thrives under wet and cool conditions. That’s when the fungus that causes it, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, tends to persist, especially when plants are flowering. And when it peaks, it can be an absolute scourge to soybean fields with high yield potential. Severe infection from white mold weakens the plants. They begin to grow askew, wilt and die, leading to much lower than optimal yields. Between 2010 and 2014, white mold cost U.S. farmers $1.2 billion in losses. But a solution to this problem may soon be on the way. By identifying and targeting specific genes that regulate the soybean response to S. sclerotiorum, a team of researchers in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Plant Pathology generated plants with increased resistance to white mold. As a bonus, the plants show greater tolerance to drought.
Healthy soybean plants flower in a field at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station near Marshfield, Wisconsin, in July 2018. Photo courtesy of Michael P. King
“We’ve made significant progress in understanding how S. sclerotiorum hijacks plant defenses and causes disease,” says Mehdi Kabbage, assistant professor of plant pathology
and leader of the research team. “We’ve uncovered some promising genetic targets for increasing resistance in soybeans.”
40 BC�T July
The team includes associate professor and Extension specialist Damon Smith and research associate Ashish Ranjan. Their work is built
on previous studies showing that certain molecules, called reactive oxygen species (ROS), play a key role in regulating how plants respond to attacking pathogens. REACTIVE OXYGEN SPECIES At low levels, ROS act as helpful signaling molecules, part of the communication system that controls the basic functions of plant cells. But at high levels, the molecules become toxic. “The plant cell recognizes this particular threshold and basically commits suicide, which is to the advantage of the pathogen,” Kabbage says. Prior work has established that ROS are produced by enzymes called NADPH oxidases. The researchers focused their initial investigation on the underlying mechanisms of this process.
we noticed that the silenced plants were staying green longer, even after we stopped watering them for days,” Kabbage says, “and it made sense.” “A lot of stresses like drought and cold also induce ROS, eventually causing plants to die,” he continues. “So, if you can delay the plant from reaching that toxic threshold, it makes sense that you would get tolerance to other
ROS-inducing stresses.” USEFUL TRAITS Because the plants with silenced genes displayed such significant and useful traits, the research team generated stable transgenic versions that will be tested in the field against a broad range of stresses. They first need to go through the excruciating process of increasing continued on pg. 42
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They found that specific soybean NADPH oxidases are activated following infection with S. sclerotiorum, resulting in the production of damaging ROS levels. “So, it appears that the fungus might be hijacking the soybean ROS machinery to its benefit by modulating the expression of NADPH oxidases in the host plant,” Kabbage explains. Next, the team used a gene-silencing technique in the lab to inhibit the activity of NADPH oxidase genes in soybean plants. They found that the modified plants produced less potentially damaging ROS following S. sclerotiorum infection and showed a remarkable level of disease resistance compared to control plants. The researchers also discovered, quite by coincidence, that the modified plants could withstand long periods without water. “When we were done doing our work with these plants, and they were in pots waiting to be cleaned,
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BC�T July 41
Resistance is not Futile. . . continued from pg. 41
seed quantities, generation by generation, until they have enough plants to conduct trials. Their target was the 2019 field season. “We’ve invested a lot of money over the years to develop something just like this,” says Robert Karls, executive director of the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, which provided funding for the current project and prior soybean research at the UWMadison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). “We’re excited because we’re going to be able to offer a new tool for growers to help them produce beans more efficiently and help their bottom line,” he adds. A great deal of science has gone into developing ways to manage white mold, from more effective crop rotation methods to better tillage and planting practices and improved irrigation management.
Characteristic white mold symptoms include white, cottony mycelium on the stem of soybean plants, as seen in this photo taken in an experimental plot at UW–Madison’s Hancock Agricultural Research Station. Photo courtesy of Damon Smith
There are also soybean varieties with moderate genetic resistance to the pathogen. But this is the first time that a genetic tool has been developed to establish or enhance white mold resistance in soybean germplasm. For this accomplishment, the researchers were named finalists for the 2017 Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Innovation Award.
Given that white mold can infect more than 400 other plant species, including lettuce, sunflower and potato, the method for creating the resistant plant may have applications beyond soybeans in the future. This study was funded by the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board and the North Central Soybean Research Group.
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5/7/19 11:08 AM
Auxiliary News By Devin Zarda, vice president, WPGA
July is not a month
that immediately pops into mind when thinking about the year’s end. However, for the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary, our year runs from July to June, so we’re gearing up for another season. A farm family member, I can see a fresh start happening right now. There are no potatoes in our warehouse—it’s clean—and there hopefully isn’t a crazy amount of work to do besides monitoring water. It’s the calm between a crazy, wet planting season and what everyone is hoping will be an easy harvest. I’m feeling introspective, so let’s look at everything that has been accomplished by the Auxiliary in the 2018/2019 year. STATE FAIR We had another stellar year at the State Fair and preparations are well underway for 2019. Fingers crossed we have great weather. It’s always nice volunteering in the baked potato booth and seeing many familiar faces. KIDS DIG The Auxiliary just finished up our last harvest party with a visit to Howe
Elementary School in Green Bay. We had over 80 schools participate in the Kids Dig Wisconsin Potatoes program, visited three with the Spudmobile and held three harvest parties. We collaborated with a few larger schools, which resulted in two-day visits to give all students enough time to experience the Spudmobile. MEMBERSHIP EVENTS We enjoyed two paint-and-sip nights, and instead of simply learning how to paint, we had two businesses come in and help us create signs with phrases or sayings. These events are always a highlight and a chance to catch up with friends and acquaintances. Keep your eyes on your mailbox because we might have something different up our sleeves for the 2019-’20 season! SCHOLARSHIPS The Auxiliary awards scholarships
Above: Participating in the WPVGA Member Development Program are, from left to right, Devin Zarda, Kayla Smith, Datonn Hanke, Brittany Bula, Kathy Bartsch and Kevin Schleicher.
to qualified students whose parents are Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) members. The hardworking students go through a rigorous screening process before being chosen by a committee made up of members from the Auxiliary and WPVGA Associate Division. Congrats to all the students who were awarded a scholarship (see “Eyes on Associates” in this issue). WPS FARM SHOW Every March, the Auxiliary has a booth at the WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where, for three days, members and friends serve baked potatoes and French fries. We had another successful run this year. MEMBER DEVELOPMENT The WPVGA encouraged leadership and growth within the industry by continued on pg. 44 BC�T July 43
Auxiliary News. . . continued from pg. 43
offering a Member Development/ Leadership Training Program that included five consecutive monthly sessions beginning in November 2018. Each one-day session focused on issues of critical importance to the potato and vegetable industry, and the Auxiliary had three members participate: Brittany Bula, Datonn Hanke and yours truly. Overall, the 2018-’19 season was a busy one, and I don’t see things slowing down, so watch for us to announce our next event or volunteer opportunity! Talk with you soon,
Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board member Deniell Bula serves French fries at the 2018 WPS Farm Show.
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44 BC�T July
WPIB Focus McNamee Lands Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Award Agronomy graduate honored for research into improving groundwater use efficiency The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Science (CALS) has selected the 2019’20 graduate fellowship recipients. Elizabeth McNamee is awarded the Wisconsin Potato Industry Board (WPIB) “Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship,” which supports a graduate student who demonstrates excellence in the areas of groundwater resources or potato research. McNamee’s award-winning research project focuses on improving groundwater use efficiency through precision irrigation and irrigation scheduling in the Wisconsin Central Sands.
With an unconfined aquifer in the Central Sands supplying water to the agriculture industry, precision irrigation and irrigation scheduling have the potential to increase crop water use efficiency and decrease groundwater withdrawals. “Growers determine precision irrigation zones by mapping the soil electrical conductivity [EC] of their fields,” McNamee says. “In sandy, coarse-textured soils, fields have minimal variability of EC, raising questions on when farmers should invest in costly irrigation technologies.” WATER CONSERVATION “My research uses field observations
"I am 100 percent confident Elizabeth will make a huge contribution to science in the Wisconsin Central Sands and beyond." - Christopher Kucharik
Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship award winner Elizabeth McNamee researches groundwater use efficiency through precision irrigation and irrigation scheduling in the Wisconsin Central Sands.
and agroecosystem modeling to investigate the conditions under which precision irrigation and irrigation scheduling conserve water without compromising yields,” she notes.
continued on pg. 46
Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison Month
$1,631,436.60 BC�T July 45
WPIB Focus. . .
continued from pg. 45
A professor and chair of the Department of Agronomy at UWMadison, Christopher Kucharik has known McNamee since the fall of 2014 when she enrolled in his graduate level Environmental Biophysics course.
Professor Kucharik eventually served as McNamee’s primary graduate Ph.D. advisor.
high-capacity wells and water withdrawals in a changing climate,” Kucharik remarks.
“Elizabeth’s research has high potential to influence policy decision making down the road and could help steer future legislation regarding
“One of the models she uses—the Wisconsin Irrigation Scheduling Program [WISP]—is being implemented at Isherwood Family Farms to determine whether it is able to help save water applied via irrigation better than traditional farmer intuition,” he adds. SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTION “I am 100 percent confident Elizabeth will make a huge contribution to science in the Wisconsin Central Sands and beyond,” Kucharik concludes. McNamee’s doctoral work is timely, important and crucial to forming a better understanding of the interactions between climate, agricultural land management and water use. “The opportunity to connect with growers and communicate my results at the WPVGA Annual Meeting will be an extremely valuable experience as I work towards a career in agricultural extension,” McNamee says. Pablo Martin Gonzalez Barrios, enrolled in the agronomy graduate degree program, won the Jack and Marion Goetz Graduate Fellowship with an emphasis on genetics and general environmental research. Winners of the Louis and Elsa Thomsen Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowships that support graduate students who demonstrate excellence in research are Laura Alexander, Microbial Doctoral Training Program; Jeremy Lange, Genetics Graduate Degree Program; and Nathan Thomas, Integrated Program in Biochemistry.
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Congratulations to all recipients of the CALS fellowship awards.
Potatoes USA News
Top Panamanian Chefs Compete Using U.S. Potatoes
In mid-May 2019, 10 of Panama City’s top chefs had the opportunity to engage in a grueling head-to-head competition. The chef contestants, many of whom have participated in globally acclaimed and televised cooking competitions, gathered at the Universidad Interamericana de Panama De Cam, a trade university aimed at teaching young culinarians skills in a professional kitchen. The event was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Delta Airlines and Potatoes USA. The chefs had one hour and a host of kitchen pantry items to prepare one entrée for the judges that had to include two forms of U.S. potatoes in the dish. The judges, Chef Gabriel Palchik, the global corporate chef for Delta Airlines, Pedro Masoliver, the host and judge of “Top Chef Panama,” who is also known as the “Simon Cowell of Panamanian cuisine,” and R.J. Harvey, the global foodservice marketing manager for Potatoes USA, evaluated
the Panamanian chefs on taste, use and prominence of U.S. potatoes and creativity.
Food Show in New York City, as well as a gift certificate to a well-known kitchen store in Panama.
INTENSE COMPETITION The competition was intense, as the judges were extremely discerning and held the chefs accountable for flavor, culinary technique and proper execution.
The chefs really thought outside the box, crafting dishes such as a Potato and Shrimp Takoyaki Fritter, Potato and Mushroom Stuffed Dumpling with Potato Foam, Potato Tart with Spun Sugar and Papas con Leche, a spin on the infamous Latin American dessert, Arroz con Leche, or rice pudding.
After the first round, four chefs were told to pack their knives and go, while the final six chefs were tasked with creating a potato-themed dessert using two formats of U.S. potatoes in just 45 minutes. The first-, second- and third-place winners received varying prizes, including a seat to participate in a reverse trade mission to the United States and learn all about U.S. potatoes, a trip to the Summer Fancy
The winner of the competition, Sergio Landero, operates a fast casual, diner-style restaurant in Panama City and was also a finalist on “Top Chef Panama.” His lightly sweetened potato tart wowed the judges and earned him the right to be “Top Spud.”
Above: The chefs crafted such dishes as a Potato and Shrimp Takoyaki Fritter, Potato and Mushroom Stuffed Dumpling with Potato Foam, Potato Tart with Spun Sugar and Papas con Leche, a spin on the infamous Latin American dessert, Arroz con Leche, or rice pudding. RIght: Ten Panamanian chefs competed for the right to be called “Top Spud,” creating tasty dishes using U.S. potatoes. BC�T July 47
Supporting State Hemp Growers Researchers explore best practices for industrial hemp production and harvest Last year, after Wisconsin passed legislation making it legal to grow industrial hemp in the state, around 200 farmers gave it a go. It proved challenging for many, and University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison agricultural experts in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and the Division of Extension did their best to help, gathering and sharing production practices developed in other states that legalized production earlier.
The leaders solicited project proposals and awarded $35,000 to a project that brings together an interdisciplinary team of CALS/Extension researchers from agronomy, horticulture, soil science, plant pathology, biological systems engineering and agricultural and applied economics, as well as Extension educators in three counties.
But the need for Wisconsin-specific information was apparent.
BEST PRACTICES On the research side, the project will explore best practices for production and harvest in organic and conventional systems across a range of industrial hemp varieties.
“It became clear that we needed to do something to increase capacity, to make sure we’re meeting the needs of the folks out there really trying to implement hemp cropping,” says Patrick Robinson, associate dean of agriculture and natural resources in the Division of Extension. “It can take a while to find long-term resources to build capacity in a new area,” Robinson adds, “so we decided to create a more rapid response to this emergent need.” To respond, CALS and Extension leaders partnered to fund a one-year research and outreach project to support industrial hemp growers.
48 BC�T July
The outreach component involves a series of field days that will be held at the project’s four field trial sites, which are located at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station in Columbia County, private farms in Buffalo and Iowa Counties, and a county farm in Chippewa County. Research-based information generated through this project will also be distributed to county-based Extension educators to share with farmers. “Our goal, as always, is to provide
Above: Hemp grows in a North Dakota field. Photo courtesy of North Dakota Department of Agriculture Above Left: Rodrigo Werle, a University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor of agronomy and Extension specialist, is the leader of the industrial hemp project.
accurate advice on the best agricultural practices for Wisconsin growers,” says project leader Rodrigo Werle, a UW-Madison assistant professor of agronomy and Extension specialist. “When we are talking with growers, we must have solid science behind our recommendations,” Werle stresses. Wisconsin was once a leading producer of industrial hemp, primarily for rope, until legal production was prohibited by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1938. In 2018, hemp production became legal again in Wisconsin at the state level, overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program. HEMP A COMMODITY CROP The 2018 Farm Bill, which was signed into law in December 2018, reclassified industrial hemp from a
narcotic to a commodity crop, making it legal to grow at both the state and federal level, and paving the way for research to begin at the university.
This happened to several Wisconsin farmers in 2018. UW scientists hope their research will greatly reduce this risk for farmers.
Industrial hemp is a member of the cannabis family, but with low levels of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Particularly, there is concern that fertilizers may increase levels of THC. “So, we’ll be testing that in research plants,” Werle says.
Today, farmers grow industrial hemp for fiber, seed and oil. There is a lot of interest in growing hemp for cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound that is being marketed as a supplement for a wide range of health applications.
UNWANTED PLANTS Last year, the state’s hemp growers struggled to control undesirable plants that competed with the crop. Werle, an expert on controlling unwanted plants in cropping systems, will use the field plots to explore the best control options.
In 2018, around 250 farmers applied through DATCP to grow industrial hemp in Wisconsin. This year, more than 1,400 applied. The UW project’s field trials will look closely at how various agronomic practices affect THC levels in the plants. If the THC concentration rises above the legal limit of .3 percent dry weight, the crop must be destroyed.
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The field days will provide an opportunity for the project’s researchers to share findings from their plots, as well as to hear challenges and successes from farmers who are growing the crop. “This work is a partnership with CALS, Extension and the farmers actually doing the production,” says Doug
Reinemann, CALS associate dean for extension and outreach. “They’re helping us understand the questions that need to be answered, and we’ll continue to work with them to develop answers.” In a state where the dairy industry has been struggling for multiple years, there is a lot of hope and excitement that hemp can provide a new source of income for cash-strapped farmers. It’s important, however, to approach hemp with an appropriate amount of caution, say agricultural experts. “It’s going to be important to figure out the market for the various components of industrial hemp,” notes Reinemann. “How much is each component actually worth and who will be purchasing and processing each product?” “We need to know this so Wisconsin farmers can figure out if this is a crop that makes sense for them economically,” he concludes.
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Contaminant Risks in Wisconsin Groundwater-Fed Streams Study assesses neonicotinoid accumulation and potential harm to local ecosystems By Russell L. Groves, Megan Lipke and Benjamin Z. Bradford, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Entomology
In July 2018, our laboratory reported on the insecticide detections
observed in high-capacity wells present in portions of central and southern Wisconsin. A logical follow-up to these investigations now includes assessments of neonicotinoids in the groundwater-fed streams that flow through these regions. Neonicotinoids are a popular and widely used class of insecticides whose water-soluble nature and 20-year usage history has led to questions about their potential to accumulate in the environment and harm local ecosystems. When first registered in the United States, in 1995, these compounds promised increased efficacy, longlasting systemic activity, lower application rates, low vertebrate toxicity and reduced environmental persistence. Such benefits contributed to the rapid adoption and widespread use of this class of insecticides, which now account for over 25 percent of the global pesticide market. Neonicotinoid usage in the United States remained below 500,000 pounds per year until 2003, when the expansion of crop registrations and the introduction of additional active ingredients led to a rapid increase in total usage. Virtually all corn and soybean seeds planted in the United States are now treated with either imidacloprid or thiamethoxam seed treatments 50 BC�T July
intended to protect the developing seedlings from early-season pests. This heavy usage, combined with the water-soluble nature of neonicotinoids and their potential to harm beneficial wildlife, has brought their environmental fate (e.g. the life cycle of a chemical) into sharp focus. VARIOUS SOURCES OF CONTAMINATION Contamination of surface and groundwater occurs from major agricultural sources such as spray drift during application, deposition of contaminated dusts released during drilling of treated seeds, surface runoff and leaching, as well as greenhouse runoff, sewer and storm water drainage and residential usage. Neonicotinoid compounds can persist for extended periods of time in soils depending on the solubility, stability and sorption characteristics of each compound as well as external abiotic factors such as soil type, temperature, exposure to sunlight, water volume and external biotic factors including microbial degradation and uptake by plants. High water solubility and long
Above: Dr. Russell L. Groves speaks at a “Syngenta Maximizing Potato Production” event at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, in 2018.
environmental persistence times contribute to the potential for these compounds to migrate through the soil column and contaminate groundwater-fed streams, the consequences of which for aquatic invertebrates remains unknown. In 2008, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WI-DATCP) added tests for select neonicotinoids as a part of a groundwater monitoring effort. The effort was in response to significant public concern among rural communities about the rapidly expanding use of this new class of insecticides and their potential for accumulation in groundwater resources. These surveys revealed concentrations of one or more neonicotinoid compounds in dozens of test wells, including water drawn from a small number of high-capacity, overhead center-pivot irrigation systems. Our present study has recently been supported to assess the magnitude, spatial extent, and temporal dynamics of neonicotinoid contamination in groundwater-fed streams in select regions of Wisconsin
at a higher spatial and temporal resolution than existed within the monitoring data available from state agencies. NEONICOTINOID CONTAMINATION Our focus includes a multi-year study of neonicotinoid contaminants in groundwater-fed streams distributed within vulnerable sections of the Central Sands and the Fox River drainage basins. Groundwater-fed streams in this region provide a broad spatial sampling scale (headwaters to confluence), can be sampled repeatedly during growing seasons and draw from groundwater that underlies different compositions of surrounding crop and non-crop agricultural ecosystems. The study will potentially reveal the extent to which contaminants have permeated the underlying aquifers.
Only very recently has much attention been paid to the potential for neonicotinoids to accumulate in groundwater. In 2008, the Environmental Quality Section (WIDATCP-EQ) began testing for the neonicotinoids. Contaminated irrigation water can even deliver neonicotinoids to fields not treated that year as soil leaching and groundwater transport are longterm processes and can transport contaminated groundwater laterally from adjacent fields. Not only does contaminated irrigation water pose a new and underexplored pesticide exposure threat to beneficial insects, but irrigation water will continue to recycle these compounds to the surface even when no new applications of pesticides are applied to irrigated fields.
Department of Natural Resources and the University of WisconsinStevens Point, we have obtained invertebrate biodiversity data in the form of Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI) values (https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ surfacewater/swdv/), for several candidate streams of interest in this study (Fig. 1).
In collaboration with WI-DATCP, the
continued on pg. 52
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BC�T July 51
Badger Beat. . .
continued from pg. 51
FOUR SELECT STREAMS From the large set of Wisconsin streams for which such data exist, we have selected four, where two fall within an area of intensive agriculture (Tenmile and Fourteenmile creeks in the Wisconsin River watershed of the Central Sands), and two within nearby areas of less intensive agriculture interspersed with natural lands (the Mecan and White rivers east of the Central Sands in the Fox River Valley). Coincident with the streams where invertebrate biodiversity data exist, sites were selected for water sampling. Seven sites were identified along Fourteenmile Creek, 15 sites along Tenmile Creek, six sites along the Mecan River and eight sites along the White River, for a total of 36 sites. Water collection was performed and insecticide contaminant concentrations tested using commercially available, enzymelinked immunosorbent assays. Reporting on 2017 efforts only, three samplings were performed in late summer and fall of 2017, roughly every 45 days, on July 16, August 31 and December 15. In total, thiamethoxam was detected 52 BC�T July
in 43 percent of all samples tested over the three sample dates, and four stream locations (Table 1).
Available: http://pubs.acs.org. ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/doi/ abs/10.1021/jf101303g
A significantly higher proportion of detects (35 out of 40) were obtained from Tenmile and Fourteenmile streams when compared with the sum of detects (5 of 40) from either the Mecan or the White Rivers.
U.S. Geological Survey. Pesticide National Synthesis Project [Internet]. 2016 [cited 1 Jan 2016]. Available: http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/ usage/maps/index.php
Mean concentrations also varied by sample date with higher concentrations observed in early fall when compared with mid-summer detections. References Cited Goulson D. Review: An overview of the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoid insecticides. J Appl Ecol. 2013;50: 977–987. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12111 Morrissey CA, Mineau P, Devries JH, Sanchez-Bayo F, Liess M, Cavallaro MC, et al. Neonicotinoid contamination of global surface waters and associated risk to aquatic invertebrates: A review. Environ Int. Elsevier Ltd; 2015;74: 291–303. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2014.10.024 Jeschke P, Nauen R, Schindler M, Elbert A. Overview of the Status and Global Strategy for Neonicotinoids. American Chemical Society; 2011;
EPA. Preliminary Aquatic Risk Assessment to Support the Registration Review of Imidacloprid. 2016; 305. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection. 2011 Bureau of Agrichemical Management Annual Report [Internet]. Madison, WI; 2011. Available: http://datcp. wi.gov/Environment/Water_Quality/ ACM_Annual_Report/Water_Quality/ Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection. 2014 Bureau of Agrichemical Management Annual Report [Internet]. 2014 [cited 4 Feb 2016]. Available: http://datcp. wi.gov/Environment/Water_Quality/ ACM_Annual_Report/2014_Annual_ Report/Water_Quality/index.aspx Sánchez-Bayo F, Goka K, Hayasaka D. Contamination of the Aquatic Environment with Neonicotinoids and its Implication for Ecosystems. Front Environ Sci. 2016;4: 1–14. doi:10.3389/fenvs.2016.00071
Dan Moss Joins President Trump at Ag Trade Meeting Support announced for producers impacted by China’s retaliatory tariffs On May 23, former National Potato Council (NPC) President Dan Moss, of Declo, Idaho, joined President Donald J. Trump at the White House for an ag trade meeting where new support was announced for producers impacted by retaliatory tariffs in China. “It was an honor to be included in this event at the White House,” Moss says. “The success of the potato industry heavily relies on trade and foreign market access.” “We appreciate the Trump Administration’s long-term desire to enhance U.S. agriculture’s global competitiveness and to mitigate the short-term impact of these negotiations,” Moss adds. China is the sixth largest export market for U.S. potato products with $95 million in annual imports. NPC is hopeful for a substantially expanding market once an agreement is reached between the two countries. “Should the U.S. potato industry gain workable access for both fresh and chip potatoes, China would vault into one of our largest export markets,” says Kam Quarles, NPC CEO. AGRICULTURAL SUPPORT As negotiations between the United States and China continue, the U.S. potato industry appreciates this additional support offered to agriculture. The mitigation package includes direct payments, export promotion and surplus commodity purchases. The trade promotion support is expected to be used by the U.S. potato industry to expand exports to emerging markets. On May 17, the U.S. potato industry
In the front row, left to right, at a recent ag trade meeting, are U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, President Donald J. Trump, American Farm Bureau President Vincent “Zippy” Duvall and Dan Moss, former National Potato Council President.
was pleased to see the elimination of Section 232 tariffs. Mexico responded by removing their 20 percent retaliatory tariff on French fries, and we are pleased to be shipping again duty-free to our third largest fry export market. With this issue resolved, the U.S. potato industry strongly urges Congress to pass the US-MexicoCanada trade agreement (USMCA) immediately. However, the White House announced new tariffs on Mexico two weeks after the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum were eliminated. NEW ROUND OF TARIFFS The new round is in retaliation for Mexico’s inability to slow or prevent an influx of refugees seeking asylum at the U.S. southern border. The President indicated that the new tariffs would begin on June 10 at an additional 5 percent level. From that point, they would ratchet up to a top
level of 25 percent. Unlike the steel and aluminum tariffs, this new round will allegedly apply to all goods from Mexico. White House officials indicated that the Administration would seek to implement these tariffs based upon the national security threat that the asylum seekers pose to the U.S. If these tariffs are implemented, they will greatly complicate the Congressional approval process for the USMCA. It is highly likely that Mexico will retaliate, much as they did against the steel and aluminum tariffs. Specifically, the potato industry was facing $80 million in losses annually from the 20 percent retaliation against frozen French fries that Mexico applied in the previous round. BC�T July 53
Blue Cheese Adds Tang to Potato Salad
Go red, white and blue cheese this summer at picnics and barbeques Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary
Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes for about 10-12 minutes or until they are fork tender. Drain the potatoes, place them into a large mixing bowl and set them aside 54 BC�T July
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We put a colorful spin on the classic potato salad by adding buttery, tangy blue cheese, creating a fabulous side for grilled chicken or hamburgers at your summer picnics and barbeques.
Directions Place the potatoes into a large pot of well-salted water (a 1/2 teaspoon of salt should do the trick).
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This recipe is for all of you who love blue cheese as much as I do.
Blue Cheese Potato Salad • 2 pounds red potatoes, peeled and cut into large bite-size chunks • ¾ cup mayonnaise • ½ cup sour cream • 2 ½ tbsp. white vinegar • ¾ cup blue cheese, crumbled • 4 to 5 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled • ½ cup sliced green onions • Salt and pepper to taste
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to cool slightly.
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While potatoes are cooling, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the crumbled bacon, blue cheese and half of the green onions (reserve the other half for garnish).
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Pour the dressing mixture over the potatoes and gently stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving to allow those flavors to mingle. Enjoy! Find more recipes at www.LifeOnGraniteRidge.com.
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Crop Protection Issue features an Interview with Kenton Mehlberg of T.I.P. & AgGrow Solutions, a WPVGA Update by Tamas Houlihan and in-depth...
Published on Jul 15, 2019
Crop Protection Issue features an Interview with Kenton Mehlberg of T.I.P. & AgGrow Solutions, a WPVGA Update by Tamas Houlihan and in-depth...