1908-Badger Common'Tater

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$22/year | $2/copy | Volume 71 No. 08 | AUGUST 2019




PHIL TOWNSEND Professor of Remote Sensing University of Wisconsin-Madison INCREASE PRODUCTION Through Ag Innovations HOW TO APPROACH YOUR Nutrient Management Plan DRONES AID IN WATER & Nitrogen Management SOYBEAN CYST NEMATODES A Severe Midwestern Threat WISCONSIN HOSTS NPC Summer Meeting

Tina Wu, a graduate student working with Amanda Gevens at UW-Madison, measures spectra of potato plants using a handheld, portable spectrometer.

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On the Cover: The image of Tina Wu, a graduate student working

with Amanda Gevens, was submitted by this issue’s interviewee, Phil Townsend, professor of remote sensing at the University of WisconsinMadison. Tina is pictured measuring spectra of potato plants in a field using a handheld, portable spectrometer, a tool of the trade for assessing plant health, stress and so forth.


Spectral measurements of potato canopies are made at Hancock Agricultural Research Station by members of Phil Townsend’s UW-Madison Spectroscopy Lab. Townsend was awarded a grant from the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association for work focusing on hyperspectral remote sensing to determine nutrients and disease, and drone-based measurements for nutrient and water management and early predictions of yield.

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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

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Subscription rates: $2/copy, $22/year; $40/2 years. Foreign subscription rates: $35/year; $55/2 years. Telephone: (715) 623-7683 Mailing address: P.O. Box 327, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409 Or, subscribe free online: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe/ ADVERTISING: To advertise your service or product in this magazine, call (715) 630-6213, or email: Joe Kertzman: jkertzman@wisconsinpotatoes.com. The editor welcomes manuscripts and pictures but accepts no responsibility for such material while in our hands. BC�T August



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Planting Ideas Straight from the inbox comes a picture of Courtney

Moen (above), an intern at Heartland Farms in Hancock, Wisconsin, who is proud as punch to be pictured in a field of potatoes. Let’s hear straight from Courtney, who relates, “I am currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and my major is Soil and Land Management. So far at Heartland, I have learned how to take emergence and canopy measurements, and even to dig in order to see how many potatoes are coming up underground.” “I have also experienced how to drive a potato hiller! The summer has just begun for me, but I would like to share with you a picture from this past week that I took out in a potato field because these potatoes are just gorgeous,” Courtney continues. “I would even love for you to consider making this the cover of next month’s Badger Common’Tater. Thank you for your time and hope you enjoy.” I did enjoy, Courtney, and I’m sorry it didn’t make the cover, but I figure the editor’s column is the next best thing. There are several reasons I like the note and image—they illustrate the enthusiasm of a young person in not only agriculture but also in something as simple as a beautiful field of flowering potato plants. There’s a lesson for all of us there—no matter how busy the seasons are, how many late hours are spent toiling in the dirt or how bad the weather is, we should all take the time to photograph ourselves or others in a field “because these potatoes are just gorgeous.” Speaking of gorgeous, it was a beautiful week in the Wisconsin Dells for the 2019 National Potato Council Summer Meeting, hosted in part by NPC President Larry Alsum and his crew. See complete coverage of the Summer Meeting and why it went off without a hitch in “NPC News” in this issue. My interview with Phil Townsend, professor of remote sensing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, also went off without a hitch and speaks directly to the theme of this issue—“Research & Sustainable Ag.” Other features cover nitrogen and water management using drones, “Supercharging Ag Science,” soybean cyst nematodes and making nutrient management planning a reality. Enjoy, and stay safe out there. Please email me with your thoughts and questions. If you wish to be notified when our free online magazine is available monthly, here is the subscriber link: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe.

Joe Kertzman

Managing Editor jkertzman@wisconsinpotatoes.com


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professor of remote sensing, University of Wisconsin-Madison By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

All images by Katie Gold, Erin Wagner, Beckett Hills, Ryan Geygan and John Couture

Put simply, Phil Townsend, director of the University of Wisconsin NAME: Phil Townsend TITLE: Professor of remote sensing, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology INSTITUTION: University of Wisconsin-Madison LOCATION: Madison, WI HOMETOWN: Nashville, TN YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: 14 PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Appalachian Laboratory SCHOOLING: Bachelor of Arts degree, University of Virginia, Ph.D. from University of North Carolina ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: American Geophysical Union, and deeply involved in the effort by NASA to build a hyperspectral earthimaging satellite AWARDS/HONORS: Aldo Leopold Fellow, NASA Surface Biology and Geology (prospective hyperspectral satellite mission) algorithm lead FAMILY: Wife, Emily, and three children, ages 14-18 HOBBIES: Backcountry hiking and cycling (riding all year long), a huge music lover and avid reader 8

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(UW)-Madison Spectroscopy Lab, says remote sensing is measuring something without coming into contact with it.

“So, for us, this means imaging,” he relates. “Actually, any photo with your phone or even what you see with your eyes is ‘remote sensing.’ But from a science standpoint, the imaging we do means ‘making spectral measurements or reflectance of light’ from plants.” “The sun is our source of illumination,” Townsend says, “and we image in the wavelengths you and I can see, as well as hundreds of wavelengths that the sun emits but we don’t see.” For potatoes, this means making images, or taking spectral measurements of potato fields to assess plant health, stress and so forth. Townsend was awarded a grant from the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association for work focusing on two areas—hyperspectral remote sensing for nutrients and disease, and drone-based measurements for nutrient and water management to achieve early

predictions of yield. “After some fits and starts, the drone work is going very well and we feel good that we can predict plant nitrogen status from drones,” he remarks. “The hyperspectral work, which is done from small airplanes because the sensors are too large and expensive to trust on a drone, has also gone well,” Townsend adds. “Last year was our first year with the hyperspectral device and it performed as expected. Fortunately, it looks like our methods with the Above: This issue’s interviewee, University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Phil Townsend (right in inset photo), discusses reflectance spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging with USDA-ARS researcher Paul Bethke (left) during a remote sensing conference in November of 2017. The overall background view is of agricultural fields photographed from a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Cessna 180 aircraft on which a HySpex (hyperspectral imaging) camera is flown.

hyperspectral data worked across a wide range of conditions,” he says.

due to the chemical makeup of the plant.

How did you come to specialize in remote sensing? I’ve always loved maps, imagery and photography. My Ph.D. project back in the ’90s was focused on mapping the vegetation types of floodplains in North Carolina, and there was no way to do that all on foot, so remote sensing became the method of choice.

There are two main types of imaging—multispectral and hyperspectral. Multispectral is what most people are familiar with, having three or four wavelengths imaged, usually depicted in red, green and blue, and one near-infrared wavelength.

How is the technology used to help potato and vegetable growers? We are using the technology to take images that track water and nutrient stress, and for disease identification before symptoms are visually apparent. Even a few days’ warning can help growers stay ahead of problems. We can also use this technology in breeding trials to assess performance of new breeding lines.

The data is used make NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) images that show overall crop health and cover, but really don’t tell us much that our eyes can’t see. They are very useful, though, because such images can be used to quickly assess the status of a field. But multispectral images are inferior to hyperspectral imagery for previsual disease detection.

Left: An undergraduate student working with Phil Townsend, Jaime Spychalla measures spectra of potato foliage in a field study of late blight in Michigan. Right: A spectrometer is attached to the end of a boom on a tractor for in-field measurements. The spectrometer has both upward- and downward-looking optics so that it can be used in overcast or cloudy conditions.

While I work with multispectral data from drones, my main work is with hyperspectral imagery—hundreds of wavelengths, each one comprising a band in an image. With hyperspectral images, you can have 50-100 bands in the visible spectrum and more than 200 in infrared wavelengths. All these wavelengths allow you to identify specific chemical bonds in the foliage. continued on pg. 10

Remote sensing is especially useful, because if we can make good measurements, we can eliminate destructive sampling of foliage and the lab work associated with it. Are there different types of remote sensing imagery, and if so, why is that important? Making infrared wavelengths that we don’t see through remote sensing is important for assessing crops because they reflect from plants in different ways

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 9

Such bonds might be related to defensive compounds, plant physiological responses to disease or nutrient or water deficiencies. We image a much larger range of wavelengths than most people do, which allows us to measure a greater number of chemistries important to potatoes. Are we at the point yet of interpreting the data, and if so, how? Yes, we’re interpreting the data, but I’ve also got to say that it’s a new technology being deployed this way, and we’re one of the first groups doing this. We still have a lot to learn. Our analysis is all about pairing the imagery with field data, the latter, for example, from growers or experiments and trials going on at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station. We then analyze what we see on the ground, in the lab and from the images. How can growers use that data? This type of data can be used to make early decisions about nutrient

After some fits and starts, Phil Townsend says his laboratory’s drone work (a drone is shown in action over a potato field) is going well and that he feels good that his team can predict plant nitrogen status using drones.

and water management related to predicting yield, but we think one of the big benefits will eventually be early pest and pathogen detection. Are there many growers adopting this technology and in what ways?

Hyperspectral is not yet viable on a broad scale, but I could imagine groups of growers buying into the imagery. By the mid-2020’s, I expect that there will be hyperspectral satellites with data available globally on a weekly basis. I think this will lead to a sea of change in how growers obtain data regarding their crops. On the other hand, multispectral imagery from drones has exploded over the last few years, and a lot of growers are trying to adopt drone data for management. I think there is still a lot of work to Tina Wu, a graduate student working with Amanda Gevens at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, measures spectra of potato plants in the field via a handheld, portable spectrometer. The closeup image is of a leaf clip used to make spectral measurements.

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be done, and we don’t yet know how to best exploit the drone data for agriculture. The algorithms are not there yet, or perhaps they need refinement to be sure they work consistently in different environments, at different growth stages and with different varieties that have been bred for a variety of qualities.

Shown is a DNR aircraft on which a HySpex hyperspectral-imaging instrument is flown. Phil Townsend says his lab’s hyperspectral work, which is done from small airplanes because the sensors are too large and expensive to trust on drones, has been successful.

I don’t think drone data yet tells us

So, you can tell the chemical and

much more that we can see with our eyes, but it is an effective way to get a bird’s-eye view of the farm and compare one area to another.

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physical composition of vegetation and other material based on the shape of reflectance profiles? Yes, this is the main thing we do with continued on pg. 12

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 11

hyperspectral data. We measure nitrogen, chlorophyll and water content well, and do decently with phosphorus, sugars, starches and some defensive compounds (phenolics) that appear when a plant is exposed to a pathogen. We can also measure the physical structure of leaves and structural compounds (like lignin and cellulose) that may also tell us about plant performance. For example, is the plant allocating its resources below ground (to tubers) or above ground? Other types of remote sensing,

particularly from drones, can measure plant height and canopy closure, which are also useful for tracking growth and productivity. All this information can be used to identify stresses to the plants that may directly affect yield. So how exactly is disease presence or nitrogen deficiency detected in the plants? Disease presence leads to physiological changes in plants, and plants respond differently to different diseases. If a plant is exposed to a pathogen, it may shift resources to defensive compounds, use water and nitrogen

differently or become chlorotic, all of which we can see from this imagery before we see it with our eyes. Why do you think the research is important? I’d really like to think that we can use new technology to help growers. There is a lot of interest in drones, but so far, I do not think we have done a good job figuring out how to make them effective and not just expensive toys. The promise of drones is rapid decision making. In the longer run, I think hyperspectral is even more promising, especially once we get hyperspectral satellites. Above: Potato plants show visible damage. The nearby plants are also affected, but not yet showing visible symptoms. These plants do look different using a spectrometer. Left: Illustrated are differences in types of remote sensing imagery. At left is a traditional true-color photo of potato nutrient trials at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station. In the middle is an NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) image collected from a drone during the same trial, with NDVI widely used to characterize crop condition. And at right is a hyperspectral image of the same trials at Hancock. Hyperspectral imagery collects data in hundreds of wavelengths not visible to the human eye.

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This could greatly improve our ability for precision agriculture, save growers time and money, and perhaps enable nutrient and water management that benefits everyone. How can reflectance spectroscopy improve the efficiency of potato and vegetable growing in Wisconsin? We all have a vested interest in productive agriculture, and in reducing risks to growers related to disease, nutrients and water. As well, these methods can help speed up the research process for breeders and disease specialists looking for solutions to these costly issues, not to mention earlier detection of problems and improved yields. And, improved disease, nutrient and water management could reduce costs (less irrigation, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.). Finally, the environmental benefit could be huge. Is your work only achieved using drones, airplanes and satellites? No, we also use handheld spectrometers for testing individual plants in the field. Several companies are developing good hyperspectral sensors that can go on drones, so I see that becoming a possibility 19-08 Badger Common'Tater 1-3page AD in a few years.

At left is a true color image, and at right is a color infrared image. These are what are commonly used now, and they’re shown alongside data about the multispectral image.

The satellite option will be by the mid-’20s, though there will be some experimental options in the next couple years.

flown on drones, or, most exciting to me, it can be achieved from satellites, I believe it will be a huge boon to ag in general.

Airplanes are the best bet for imaging right now. As far as handheld spectrometers, even though they are useful in field settings, the price of the technology is not quite affordable yet.

But there are other technologies that are coming along that will also be helpful, such as thermal imaging or perhaps even lidar (a detection system that works on the principal of radar, but uses light from a laser), though not so much in potatoes for lidar.

Will reflectance spectroscopy eventually be replaced by something else? There are many technologies that, used together, are helpful. Once handheld spectrometers drop in price, or reflectance spectroscopy (7x3).v1.outlines.pdf 1 2019-07-11 becomes less expensive and can8:37 beAM

Is it practical for growers to use this technology themselves, and if so, how? It’s not now. I hope that drones will have more practical continued on pg. 14

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 13

ag applications soon, but I think a lot of growers will want to pair with companies to achieve quick turnaround times for data and processing. When this technology gets into space, I am betting that the products will be viewable or downloadable from the web, in which case, growers will use them. Some drones are affordable now, but their data is not the best. We still need to work on bringing cost down on all these technologies and make them more user-friendly. To me, the important thing is that research is laying the foundation for a future when sensors become cheaper and this can be done from space (which will likely be free or at least very cheap to users).

and working with growers? I love maps, and plant biology is my passion. I get to merge the two. And at the same time, I can teach about it all and learn more about imaging technologies and how plants function at the same time.

What we are figuring out now will guide future applications. Do you specialize in any other areas of research that relate to potato and vegetable growing? I work with basically all plants! My main interest is understanding how plant performance responds to the environment in which the plant is growing. I am especially interested in what I call “functioning,” which includes plant chemistry, particularly uptake and nutrient use, and photosynthesis. I want to know how we can use new types of remote sensing technologies to measure these things and not have to do it all in the lab. The great thing about remote sensing is it is nondestructive! What are your goals as a professor


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I’d like to pass this on to growers and hope that what I do benefits people. We all need to eat, and we have a responsibility to feed a growing population sustainably. As well, agriculture is not viable if we cannot manage water, nutrients and disease. This all fits into wanting to provide the tools that will do this effectively and efficiently. We have a long way to go, and not everything will work out as we envision, but I hope that we can pave the way for better tools for growers to use in the future.

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While it’s not clear which technologies will be most useful to different growers, and crops may have different needs, I think that the way that science works is that we have a responsibility to test as many of the possibilities as we can. Is there more technology on the horizon that excites you? Ha-ha! As if you cannot already tell, I am very excited about being able to do this with instruments that can be flown on satellites in space.

Recent Ph.D. graduate Katie Morey Gold is pictured at an experiment potato trial near East Lansing, Michigan. Dr. Gold spearheaded the Phil Townsend and Amanda Gevens labs’ efforts to use hyperspectral remote sensing to find late blight in potato before visual symptoms appear. After finishing her Ph.D., Dr. Gold will work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on sensor technology before starting a faculty position at Cornell.

You won’t need to worry about drones and airplanes! There are also technologies coming down the line using fluorescence imaging that might provide rapid assessments.


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Can Drones Aid in Water & Nitrogen Management? University professors and interns investigate UAV flight strategies and imagery By Dr. Mallika Nocco, Alex Chisholm, Logan Ebert, Dr. Jacob Prater and Dr. Sam Zipper Precision agriculture involves applying water, nutrients and other inputs in as fine a spatial grid as needed within a field. Precision management takes advantage of the subtle differences in soil properties that can lead to varying amounts of available water or nitrogen. The benefits of precision irrigation or fertilization could pose a win-win for agricultural production and water conservation in the Central Sands area of Wisconsin. Studies done over the past five years show that there is enough variability 16 BC�T August

in the state’s sandy soils to potentially see production and conservation benefits from precision agriculture. Crops could receive the water and nitrogen that they need while limiting nitrogen leached from the field and the amount of groundwater extracted for irrigation.

Above: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) outfitted with an Altum camera takes off near an eddy covariance flux tower on a flight to measure evapotranspiration in potato.

when they are water stressed.

However, precision management benefits from timely information about crop water or nitrogen stress levels within a field.

Yet, growers would ideally like to catch crop stress before it gets to this point of a visible “tell.” When leaves are wilting or turning yellow, there has already been some loss of potential yield.

We can see the signs of severe crop water or nitrogen stress with the human eye. Leaves turn yellow when they are nitrogen deficient and wilt

SEEING STRESS Fortunately, there are cameras that can “see” stress in wavelengths that are not visible to the human eye.

Figure 1: Plants under nitrogen stress have lower reflectance in the infrared wavelength. Adapted from Little and Summy, 2012

Plants undergoing nitrogen stress reflect less in the infrared part of the spectrum that is not visible to the human eye but can be seen with a multispectral camera (Figure 1). Similarly, plants under water stress have a relatively higher leaf temperature that can be “seen” with a radiometric thermal camera (Figure 2). This lowering in reflectance and increase in radiometric leaf temperature happens before the yellowing and wilting that can be seen

Figure 2: Water-stressed plants close their stomata, which limits transpiration and leads to a higher leaf temperature. Adapted from Labbé et al., 2012

with the human eye, and at a useful time to apply more water or nitrogen to a crop that needs it. This is where Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) come in. There are several ways to capture multispectral and thermal imagery: satellites, airplanes, ground instruments, and more recently, UAVs.

UAVs offer some distinct advantages over the other methods. They are now relatively affordable, provide very high-resolution maps and can be flown below the cloud line. Imagery software can process the data to provide decision support for almost continued on pg. 18

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Can Drones Aid in Water and Nitrogen Management?. . . continued from pg. 17

real-time management decisions. However, there is still a gap between research and implementation of UAVs as a part of regular agronomic operations in the Central Sands. The goals of our project were to develop flight mission protocols, tools and data products useful for water and nitrogen management in the Central Sands, and build agricultural UAV expertise through University of Wisconsin (UW)-Stevens Point students in the community. We are fortunate to have two fantastic UW-Stevens Point interns, Alex Chisholm (Soils and Land Management) and Logan Ebert (Hydrology), working on this project. PARTNERING FARMS We are partnering with two farms where the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association is already supporting research in nitrogen and water management.

Figure 3: This close-up image shows an Altum multispectral and thermal camera affixed to a UAV.

Participants are Heartland Farms, currently hosting an eddy flux tower experiment to measure evapotranspiration and water use in potatoes, and Isherwood Farms, undergoing a nitrogen management experiment measuring nitrogen in the soil, plant tissue, irrigation water and deep drainage. These research partnerships are especially important for validating the UAV imagery we capture with ground measurements of nitrogen and water use. Alex and Logan conduct two-to-three UAV missions each week on Isherwood and Heartland Farms, weather permitting (we can’t fly a drone in the rain!) and using a DJI-Matrice 210 outfitted with a Micasense Altum camera (Figure 3). We used this set-up as it is being marketed towards the agricultural industry—the Altum is a brand-new combination multiband and thermal imager designed specifically for agricultural use.

18 BC�T August

PRACTICAL APPROACH In addition to the scientific questions about which combinations of multiband and thermal imagery are

most useful to understand water and nitrogen stress, we are also asking practical questions to make UAVs more usable for growers in the Central Sands. How high should we fly to balance the resolution of imagery with battery life? How often do we really need to fly (we realize that two-to-three missions per week might be overkill)? Which free flight-planning apps are useful for agronomic purposes and which ones are a waste of time or difficult to use? How do free versus fee-for-service apps compare for data processing? What are some best practices for UAV data collection and processing? Though the science is compelling and important, these practical questions are just as essential for closing the gap between research and application when it comes to UAVs. We expect to present our results— both the scientific and practical sides—at upcoming extension meetings, through online fact sheets and, of course, in formal scientific studies.

Seed Piece Spud Seed Classic a Resounding Success By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater All photos by Stephanie Fassbender

Sure, the annual Spud Seed Classic golf outing, now in its

Above: The 2019 Spud Seed Classic, held Friday, June 21 at Bass Lake Golf Course in Deerbrook, Wisconsin, brought 140 industry professionals together to raise money for programming and research.

As Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Executive Director Tamas Houlihan recently said at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day, July 18, “The golf outings are more than just excuses to get together and have fun, they raise money for programming and research. Proceeds from the Spud Seed Classic go largely toward research.”

MAJOR SPONSORS Major 2019 sponsors were Syngenta (dinner sponsor); AgCountry FCS, Antigo; Bayer CropScience; Big Iron Equipment, Inc.; Bushman’s Riverside Ranch; Kretz Truck Brokerage LLC; Nichino America, Inc.; Nutrien Ag Solutions-Great Lakes; Schumitsch Seed, Inc.; Volm Companies and Wilbur-Ellis Company.

22nd year, is about having fun, blowing off steam after the planting season, camaraderie and networking, but more importantly, it’s about supporting the industry by raising funds for university research and promotion of Wisconsin’s seed potato growers.

In that respect and more, the 2019 Spud Seed Classic, held Friday, June 21, at Bass Lake Golf Course in Deerbrook, Wisconsin, was a

resounding success, including the sun that shined all day, a welcome reprieve from the wet spring. In all, 140 golfers enjoyed the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) event, which, thanks to the generosity of sponsors and golfers alike, raised $14,040, matching last year’s total. Formerly known as the Tony Gallenberg Memorial Golf Tournament, the annual outing has raised more than $100,000, since 1998, with proceeds donated toward Wisconsin potato research.

Prizes, gifts, souvenirs and beverages were doled out by occupied hole sponsors such as CoVantage Credit Union, Insight FS, Gowan Company continued on pg. 20 BC�T August 19

Seed Piece . . .

continued from pg. 19

No one was more cool, calm, collected and ready for the 2019 Spud Seed Classic golf tournament than Randy King of team Culver’s.

and L&S Electric. For a complete list of all hole sponsors, see the Spud Seed Classic ad in this issue.

Inc. took home a cool $500 for being closest to the pin on the par 3 eighth hole.

Many companies made donations to the 2019 Spud Seed Classic, and a delicious dinner was put on by the Bass Lake Golf Course, with raffle prizes presented the night of the event.

Special thanks to Jim Pukall at Bass Lake Golf Course, and of course WPVGA’s own Karen Rasmussen and Julie Braun for putting together the entire golf outing.

Caroline Wild won the coveted 60-inch LG UHD high-definition smart TV, and Marc Stalter of Bushman & Associates,

Representing Bushmans’ Inc., Jordan Lenzner showed good form tee’ing off during the Spud Seed Classic at Bass Lake Golf Course in Deerbrook, Wisconsin.

One last shout-out goes to all the sponsors, and thanks in large part to them, look for the event to continue at Bass Lake Golf Course in 2020.

Above: Ron Krueger of Eagle River Seed Farm (left) and Steve Rosenthal of T H AgriChemicals (right) are all smiles before hitting the links at the 2019 Spud Seed Classic, June 21, 2019.

20 BC�T August

Left: Photographed through the fountain spray at Bass Lake Golf Course, team members from Schroeder Bros. Farms in Antigo, Wisconsin, take their turn on the putting green.

It took a score of 58 to take first place in the 2019 Spud Seed Classic scramble golf tournament. Team members representing Farmers Potato Exchange are, from left to right, Brian Blink, Mike Kaster, Bill Bockes and Dave Cofer.

Farms and hole sponsors like Hyland Lakes Spuds Inc. and Gowan Company took the opportunity during the Spud Seed Classic to tout their businesses on such items as golf tees and balls.

Left: Taking second place at the Spud Seed Classic, with a score of 59, were, from left to right, Nick Bolen, Dennis Mattmiller, Mike Bolen and Tom Schmidt. Below: The Insight FS team tackles the putting green at the 2019 Spud Seed Classic. continued on pg. 22

BC�T August 21

Seed Piece . . .

continued from pg. 21

WPVGA Financial Officer Karen Rasmussen (left) and Executive Assistant Julie Braun (right) are largely responsible for the planning and organization of the Spud Seed Classic golf tournament each year.

22 BC�T August

With prizes awarded for first, second and seventh places, coming in seventh is a good thing at the Spud Seed Classic. Representing Roberts Irrigation with a score of 61 and finishing seventh, the team is, from left to right, Luke Abbrederis, Rich Anderson, Jared Abbrederis and Bill Barnes.

From team T.I.P. Inc., Brian Richert chips one out of the sand trap while Andy Verhasselt watches from the grass.

Above: Wally Eagle of Nutrien Ag SolutionsGreat Lakes apparently likes his “Eat Potatoes & Love Longer” cooler bag filled with goodies that he won as a raffle prize. Left: L-R, Adam Stainbrook, Keith Wolter, Greg Zdroik and Doug Milkowski took time out to pose for a group shot on the course. Below: Representing Roberts Irrigation, Luke Abbrederis throws a beanbag to win a hole prize, while Bill Barnes (left) and Rich Anderson (right) look on.

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Now News

Late Blight of Potato Confirmed in Wisconsin Clonal lineage strain of pathogen isolated in Wood County is US-23 By Dr. Amanda Gevens, University of Wisconsin Madison Extension plant pathologist Late blight on potato was confirmed in Wood County, Wisconsin, on July 18. Sporulation was present but light on most leaves. Lesions were quarter sized on upper leaves. The clonal lineage/strain type of the late blight pathogen is US-23. This has been the most predominant type in the United States in recent years and can be controlled with phenylamide fungicides such as mefenoxam and metalaxyl. It is critical that susceptible potatoes and tomatoes in the Wood County area be treated with a combination of anti-sporulant and protectant fungicides to limit reproduction of the pathogen and new infections.

Sporulation was present but light on most leaves where late blight on potato was confirmed in Wood County, Wisconsin, and lesions were quarter sized on upper leaves.

Antisporulants include Orondis, Forum, Curzate, Tanos, Ariston, Previcur, Revus and Ridomil.


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We have met and/or surpassed the DSV (Disease Severity Value) threshold of 18 in potato plantings across all monitored sites in Wisconsin. This indicates need for preventative fungicide applications for late blight. We have had sporadic weather with high winds and precipitation in several areas. The fungicide listings link, https://wivegdis.wiscweb.wisc. edu/wp-content/uploads/ sites/210/2019/06/2019Potato-LateBlight-Fungicides.pdf, will help in accessing information. There have been no additional reports of late blight on tomatoes or potatoes in Wisconsin since the initial confirmation. Please contact Amada Gevens, gevens@wisc.edu, with further questions or reports.

Sklarczyk Named Spudwoman of the Year Award presented during the NPC Summer Meeting in Wisconsin Dells Now in its third year, Spudman magazine’s Spudwoman of the Year award program was created to highlight women doing great things in the potato industry.

community, serving on the regional Farm Service Agency, Otsego Wildlife Legacy Society and Otsego Community Foundation.

This year’s winner is Alison Sklarczyk, co-owner and lab manager of Sklarczyk Seed Farm in Johannesburg, Michigan.

Sklarczyk was honored during the NPC Summer Meeting, July 10-12, in Wisconsin Dells. She was also featured on the cover of Spudman’s May/June issue.

Sklarczyk’s tissue culture lab produces six million tubers each year that are shipped to growers around the world. In addition, she is a rising leader in the industry, recently participating in the National Potato Council’s Potato Industry Leadership Institute program and becoming an NPC delegate.

The Spudwoman of the Year award is sponsored by Lockwood Potato Equipment. Past winners include Addie Waxman, director of research and development at 1,4GROUP, and Melanie Wickham, former executive director of Empire State Potato Growers.

She is heavily involved in her

continued on pg. 26

Colorado Certied Potato Growers Association “Quality as High as our Mountains”

Seed Growers:

Zapata Seed Company Worley Family Farms SLV Research Center San Acacio Seed Salazar Farms Rockey Farms, LLC Pro Seed Price Farms Certied Seed, LLC Palmgren Farms, LLC Martinez Farms La Rue Farms H&H Farms G&G Farms Bothell Seed Allied Potato

Zeke Jennings (right), managing editor of Spudman magazine, presents Alison Sklarczyk (left), co-owner and lab manager of Sklarczyk Seed Farm, with the Spudwoman of the Year award at the National Potato Council Summer Meeting, July 10-12, in Wisconsin Dells.

RUSSET VARIETIES: Russet Norkotah S3 Russet Norkotah S8 Silverton Russet Rio Grande Russet Canela Russet Mesa Russet Mercury Russet Fortress Russet Crimson King COLORED VARIETIES: Colorado Rose Rio Colorado Red Luna Purple Majesty Masquerade Mountain Rose Winterset

Colorado Certied Potato Growers Association P. O. Box 267 Monte Vista, CO 81144 coloradocertiedpotatogrowers.com Lyla@coloradocertiedpotatogrowers.com (719) 274-5996

Lorem ipsum

BC�T August 25

Now News. . .

continued from pg. 25

Tasteful Selections Fuels Your Next Adventure “Adventure in a Small Bite” campaign enters second month with new recipes Adventure awaits! Expand your flavor horizons and gain new experiences with Tasteful Selections® bite-size potatoes in the next theme of their Small-Bite Campaign. Over the course of the next month, follow Tasteful Selections and all the small-bite inspiration! With quick cook times, bold flavors and exciting new recipes, Tasteful Selections’ appetizing bite-size potatoes are ready in minutes—providing consumers with the fuel needed to energize their next adventure. “When you first set off for an adventure, food is one of the first items you think to bring along,” says

In this new theme, consumers can win an adventure package, which includes free potatoes, a national park pass, a portable Coleman gas stove, camping cookware utensil kit and more. RPE Marketing Director Tim Huffcutt. “Nutritious, convenient and versatile, Tasteful Selections bite-size potatoes are the perfect addition to your travel pack.” “Bite-size potatoes will be the go-to travel ingredient with new recipes,” Huffcutt adds, “like Peanut Butter, Bacon Sweet Potato Bites, Trail Spud Pizza and Campfire Potato Nachos.”

“We want to share just how versatile and fun recipes are with bite-size potatoes,” explains RPE President Russell Wysocki. “In the next theme of our Small-bite Campaign, ‘Adventure in a small bite,’ we hope to inspire new ideas to bring to you and your future meals.” See how Tasteful Selections can fuel your adventures in 2019—visit www. tastefulselections.com/adventure-ina-small-bite/!


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26 BC�T August

Bill Is Meant to Improve Farm Safety

Proposed grant program would provide tractor rollover protection Tractor rollovers are the leading cause of death on farms, but that could change soon if Wisconsin Senate Bill 35 (SB 35) continues to gain traction. The bill to improve farm safety passed the Senate Committee unanimously and is ready to advance to a full Wisconsin State Senate vote. The bill, which has been authored by Sen. Patrick Testin (Stevens Point), Rep. Bob Kulp (Stratford), Sen. Kathy Bernier (Lake Hallie) and Rep. Tony Kurtz (Wonewoc), would provide state funding for Wisconsin’s farm tractor Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) Rebate Program. This program helps farmers retrofit their tractors with a structure that keeps the driver safe in the event of a rollover. “Unanimous, bi-partisan support demonstrates that farm safety is an issue that everyone can get behind,” says Sen. Testin. “I look forward to this bill continuing through the legislative process.” “Workplace safety is very important, no matter what form that workplace takes,” adds Rep. Kulp. “This bill enhances safety and represents a big step forward for Wisconsin farmers.” ROLLOVER SURVIVOR Rep. Kurtz, an organic farmer who survived a tractor rollover, recognizes first-hand the importance of SB 35. “In rural Wisconsin, we know our neighbors, and we don’t want to see them become statistics,” stresses Kurtz. “I want other farmers to have the same outcome that I had when I had my accident.” The ROPS program was founded by the National Farm Medicine Center, part of Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, in 2012. Since then, the program has helped fund the

installation of more than 250 ROPS on tractors in 30 counties. “I’m proud to represent the National Farm Medicine Center, and I appreciate the work they do to address the health and wellness needs of our farm families,” says Sen. Bernier. “With this bill, they can expand on the good work they’ve already been doing.” The bill is ready to advance to a vote


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of the full Senate. A companion bill, Assembly Bill 31, was introduced in the Assembly and is also working its way through the legislative process.

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BC�T August 27

WPIB Focus

Wisconsin Potato Industry Board Members Retain Positions Three members of the WPIB Board of Directors were reelected for another term

Wisconsin potato growers had until June 10, 2019, to vote and elect three members to the nine-member Wisconsin Potato Industry Board. One seat each was open in the Board’s Districts 1 and 2, along with an atlarge position that encompasses all three districts. Eligible growers voted for the candidates in their respective districts or had the option to write in alternative eligible producers. Left: The 2019 Wisconsin Potato Industry Board (WPIB) consists of, back row, left to right: Andy Diercks, Cliff Gagas, John Bobek, Tom Wild and John T. Schroeder; and front row, left to right: Keith Wolter, Heidi-AlsumRandall, Dick Okray and Bill Wysocki. The three members whose terms were up for review and who were reelected to the Board are Diercks, Gagas and Wolter.



swiderskiequipment.com 28 BC�T August

Candidates were nominated during the period that ended April 1, 2019. Nominees on the ballot were: District 1: Keith Wolter, Antigo District 2: Clifford Gagas, Custer At-Large: Andrew Diercks, Coloma With each of the three nominees already currently serving on the Wisconsin Potato industry Board, Wolter, Gagas and Diercks were reelected. Elected growers are to serve threeyear terms beginning July 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2022. The three districts involved in the election represent the following counties: District 1 – Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Brown, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Door, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Florence, Forest, Iron, Kewaunee, Langlade, Lincoln, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Vilas and Washburn. District 2 – Marathon, Outagamie, Portage, Shawano, Waupaca and Waushara. District 3 – Adams, Buffalo, Calumet, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green

The WPIB officers were reelected on June 17 for the July 1, 2019 fiscal year. They are, from left to right, President Heidi Alsum-Randall, Vice President Richard Okray, Secretary Bill Wysocki and Treasurer Keith Wolter.

Lake, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Ozaukee, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Winnebago and Wood.

The Wisconsin Potato Industry Board is responsible for administering Wisconsin’s Potato Marketing Order. The Board secures and distributes funding for research, education and promotion of Wisconsin-grown potatoes.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) mailed ballots to producers the week of May 15. Ballots were required to be emailed or postmarked by June 10.

DATCP administers elections for all Wisconsin market orders. To learn more about the market order boards, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/ About_Us/MarketingBoards.aspx.

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison Month


























3,626,823.59 25,141,352.08













$253,845.89 $1,759,925.52



























2,117,745.05 22,905,018.12













$169,415.32 $1,800,851.92 BC�T August 29

Make Nutrient Management Planning a Reality

Plan compliance is meant to minimize the risk of applied nutrients leaving the field Reading and interpreting a nutrient management plan (NMP) can be intimidating. The plan has a lot of charts, numbers and symbols. Restriction maps include a lot of squiggly lines, differently colored hash marks and a multitude of setback symbols that aren’t immediately obvious.

“While all of these pieces are vitally important, we can approach the NMP with a very simple concept: everything in the plan is there to minimize the risk of nutrients that you apply leaving the field,” explains Zach Sutter, nutrient management planning specialist with Rock River Laboratory. With this in mind, there are a few

things Sutter recommends growers think about before they even open their NMP to ensure that they remain in compliance. There are two ways nutrients leave the field—down and off. “Due to the way nitrogen interacts with the soil, it can easily move down through the soil profile and into groundwater when conditions are right,” says Sutter. “Certain soil types are higher risk than others.” On wet soils and soils that have shallow depth to bedrock, Sutter explains that the groundwater, or the path to groundwater, is close to the area of nutrient application and plant growth. On permeable soils (sandy soils), nitrogen does not cling to particles and water moves quickly through the soil profile. Above: Understanding the basic principles of nutrient management planning and hiring a certified crop advisor to write a plan allows the grower to focus on in-field implementation. Left: A nutrient management plan is a tool for staying in compliance with rules and regulations, and for managing a farm sustainably and profitably.

30 BC�T August

“Growers know their soils better than anyone. Think about which fields might contain these risky soil types and refer to your plan or plan writer for how to safely apply nitrogen on them,” recommends Sutter. Phosphorus is primarily a risk if it leaves the field and enters a body of water such as a lake, stream, pond or river. Sutter shares, “I like to think of it this way: if there was a flat field with no natural water source nearby, there would be minimal risk of phosphorus leaving that field and entering a body of water.” PHOSPHORUS ABSORBTION “Even in a worst-case scenario, much of the phosphorus that does leave the field would be absorbed by forest and grassland before it reaches a water body,” Sutter adds. He advises farmers to think about what fields might be high risk and


s Paid Here, Stay ium He em r Pr




refer to their plan and plan writer for information on management options. The risk of nutrients leaving the field increases as the time between application of nutrients and establishment of a growing crop increases. Soil loss inevitably means nutrient loss. It is an unfortunate fact of our weather and cropping systems that our fields are likely to be bare, or have minimal cover, during the times of highest risk for soil loss (i.e. high precipitation in spring, before planting and fall after harvest). Sutter explains management decisions that reduce soil loss, such as reducing tillage, cropping on the contour, planting cover crops and installing buffer areas, will make compliance easier. “Contrary to some rumors you might have heard out in the countryside, manure can be applied on most farms

in the winter,” says Sutter. “Winter manure applications are the most restrictive elements of an NMP and require careful attention to rate and placement to remain in compliance.” Fall nitrogen applications can be a risk when applied on sensitive soils described above. “Fall applications of commercial nitrogen are mostly not allowed. Manure is allowed on fall nitrogen restricted soils, but there are restrictions based on the soil type,” says Sutter. He advises, “If it isn’t possible to wait until spring to haul on these soils, refer to your plan and plan writer for options.” “Management practices for compliance include rate limitations, waiting until soil temperatures have cooled, surface applying manure and use of nitrification inhibitors,” Sutter says.

continued on pg. 32


To Kee ng. p Wisconsin Stro

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Make Nutrient Management Planning a Reality. . . continued from pg. 31

Winter manure applications are the most restrictive elements of a nutrient management plan and require careful attention to rate and placement to remain in compliance.

KEEPING UP WITH REGULATIONS If the principles of nutrient management planning are simple, the rules, regulations and procedures for putting a plan together are far from it. One big challenge is keeping up to date with regulations. “In the past few years, erosion factors known as ‘T’ and ‘K’ numbers for many Wisconsin soils have been updated by the Natural Resources Conservation Service [NRCS],” Sutter notes. “The NRCS has also put out a new 590 Standard, which has been incorporated into Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection [ATCP] Code 50 by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection [DATCP],” he continues. “Finally, the Department of Natural Resources [DNR] has revised Natural Resource [NR] Code 151 to include new performance standards for shallow soils over Silurian dolomite bedrock,” Sutter says. If it sounds like it must be a fulltime job to keep up with all these 32 BC�T August

acronyms and administrative codes, that’s because it is. Professional NMP writers must be certified, commonly as Certified Crop Advisors (CCA’s), and participate in continuing education to maintain certification. “CCA’s develop relationships with the various government agencies receiving NMP’s, so that the grower can focus on implementing the plan in the field rather than having to worry about details like the submission process or plan formatting,” explains Sutter. An NMP is a tool. It is a tool for staying in compliance with rules and regulations, and it is a tool for managing a farm sustainably and profitably. Understanding NMP’s will make compliance easier and unlock the potential economic and sustainability benefits that come along with creating and following such plans. But growers don’t have to understand every nuance of the multitude of rules and regulations governing NMP’s.

As Sutter shares, “Understanding the basic principles of nutrient management planning and hiring a CCA to write the plan allows the grower to focus on in-field implementation and have the ease of mind that the ‘on paper’ compliance is being handled effectively and responsibly by a professional.” Founded in 1976, Rock River Laboratory is a family-owned laboratory network that provides production assistance to the agricultural industry through use of advanced diagnostic systems, progressive techniques and researchsupported analyses. Employing a team of top specialists in their respective fields, Rock River Laboratory provides accurate, costeffective and timely analytical results to customers worldwide, while featuring unsurpassed customer service.

NPC News Wisconsin Hosts 2019 NPC Summer Meeting NPC President Larry Alsum and crew helped plan the annual event There was no doubting the sincerity of National Potato Council (NPC) President Larry Alsum when he extended an invitation for the 2019 NPC Summer Meeting saying, “It’s with great honor that I welcome you to Wisconsin for the 2019 NPC Summer Meeting. May you enjoy your time here as Wisconsin’s agricultural bounty and the scenic beauty awaits you in Wisconsin Dells.”

a golf tournament at Cold Water Canyon Golf Course located in the Chula Vista Resort, NPC and Potatoes USA Executive Committee Meetings, receptions, luncheons, dinners, guest speakers, farm tours and more. The Wednesday morning breakfast was highlighted by guest speaker

Above: 2019 National Potato Council Summer Meeting attendees enjoyed a Wisconsin Dells dinner boat cruise and a short hike among the natural rock formations that define the dells.

Abigail Martin, Wisconsin’s 72nd Alice in Dairyland, who shared her role in promoting agriculture continued on pg. 34

Larry, president not only of the NPC, but also the president and CEO of Alsum Farms & Produce in Friesland, Wisconsin, helped host the NPC Summer Meeting, held at the Chula Vista Resort, July 10-12, in Wisconsin Dells. One hundred and twelve people registered for the Summer Meeting, including 77 attendees, 26 spouses and nine children, all of whom seemed to enjoy their time spent in meetings, listening to dynamic speakers and presentations, and exploring Wisconsin’s ag industry and natural resources. The schedule of events included

Justin Dagen of Dagen Heritage Farms, Karlstad, Minnesota, holds the microphone while participating in a seminar on “Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others” presented by Courtney Booth (right), a speaker, trainer and coach for the John Maxwell Team.

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretarydesignee Brad Pfaff spoke about the strength and diversity of the state’s agricultural industry during the 2019 NPC Summer Meeting. BC�T August 33

NPC News. . .

continued from pg. 33

National Potato Council President Larry Alsum (right), who helped host the 2019 Summer Meeting, poses with Wisconsin’s 72nd Alice in Dairyland, Abigail Martin, the guest speaker during breakfast Wednesday, July 10.

Nick (left) and Dianne Somers (right), of Plover River Farms, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, share a laugh with Don Sklarczyk (center), Sklarczyk Seed Farm LLC, Johannesburg, Michigan, during the 2019 NPC Summer Meeting.

We’re Hiring Frito Lay, Inc., a division of PepsiCo, is currently interviewing for a full-time position supporting our potato and oat breeding programs in Rhinelander Wi. Normal workdays are 7:00-3:30, M-F and may require infrequent overnight travel and weekend work during planting and harvest seasons.

Farm Lead 1: This full-time position leads the farm equipment operation and maintenance (tractors, planters, irrigation systems, harvesters, etc.) and will include supporting manual field and greenhouse activities as well. Role requires attention to detail, adherence and contributions to safety programs, the ability to lift 50 lbs., as well as the ability to be trained for and maintain pesticide applicator and forklift licenses plus lead at least one safety program. Moderate computer skills preferred. To apply, please go to: fritolayemployment.com and search “234539”. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status.

Email or send your resume or letter of interest to: Frito Lay Hiring Manager • Andrew.sieker@pepsico.com 4295 Tenderfoot Rd. Rhinelander, WI 54501

34 BC�T August

as an ambassador for the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). General sessions during the NPC Summer Meeting included an agricultural outlook from a lender’s perspective as presented by Michael Swanson of Wells Fargo & Company; “Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others,” conducted by Courtney Booth of the John Maxwell Team; and “Weather for Agriculture: What Will 2019 and Beyond Bring?” presented by Dr. S. Elwynn Taylor of Iowa State University. COMMITTEE MEETINGS The NPC Environmental Affairs, Legislative Affairs and Finance and Office Procedures Committees all convened in separate meetings before the Potato PAC (Political Action Committee) Reception and NPC Scholarship Silent Auction & Dinner, Wednesday afternoon

and evening, July 10. Wisconsin DATCP Secretarydesignee Brad Pfaff shared what he considers the strength and diversity of the state’s agriculture industry at breakfast on Thursday before attendees broke out to attend NPC Grower Outreach and

Industry Research, and Trade Affairs Committee meetings.

in 2018 to improve soil health for potato production.

After lunch on Thursday, University of Wisconsin-Madison Associate Professor Matt Ruark detailed the U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Initiative (SRCI) coordinated agricultural project (CAP), as funded

Thursday afternoon and evening highlights included a retirement party for outgoing NPC CEO and Executive Vice President John Keeling, and a

Mike and Ali Carter (left and center) pose with NPC President Larry Alsum during a retirement party for outgoing NPC CEO and Executive Vice President John Keeling.

Paula (front-center) and Tamas Houlihan (right) enjoyed the dinner and festivities during a retirement party for outgoing NPC CEO and Executive Vice President John Keeling. White shirts were part of the event, as John is renowned for wearing white button-up shirts and blue jeans.

continued on pg. 36

Outgoing NPC CEO and Executive Vice President John Keeling obviously liked the cheese-head cowboy hat presented to him by Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association Executive Director Tamas Houlihan during Keeling’s retirement party.

From left to right, Nina Schlossman and John and Rob Keeling soak in the good vibes, respect and gratitude extended to them during John’s retirement party held Thursday afternoon, July 11, as part of the NPC Summer Meeting. BC�T August 35

NPC News. . .

continued from pg. 35

It was a fantastic turnout for farm tours Friday, July 12, during the NPC Summer Meeting. Here attendees pose in front the Alsum Farms & Produce office building and packing/shipping headquarters in Friesland, Wisconsin.


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36 BC�T August

Recently retired NPC CEO and Executive Vice President John Keeling (right) leads a group walking past Alsum Farms & Produce semi-trailers as part of a farm tour held Friday, July 12, during the NPC Summer Meeting.

Dells Dinner Boat Cruise sponsored by the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association.

fish restaurant at a waterfront resort in Poynette, and the J. Henry & Sons Farm and Bourbon Distillery in Dane.

Farm tours on Friday encompassed the packing shed and shipping operations of Alsum Farms & Produce in Friesland, Wisconsin, the muck soils of Trembling Prairie Farms in Markesan, where celery and potatoes are grown, a grill-your-own steaks and

NPC Summer Meeting attendees couldn’t help but walk away with a positive impression of Wisconsin’s diverse soils, crops and farming operations, as well as the beauty of the land where growers work and raise their families. NPC Summer Meeting attendees were treated to a tour of Trembling Prairie Farms in Markesan, Wisconsin, where John Bobek (right in the first image, holding cut celery stalks) talked about growing potatoes and celery in the muck soils.

Grilling their own steaks and fresh fish was all part of the fun for NPC Summer Meeting attendees at a waterfront restaurant and resort in Poynette, Wisconsin, during the NPC Summer Meeting. BC�T August 37


By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education

WPVGA Promotes Buying Local at United Fresh McCormick Place in Chicago was a bustling area, June 10-12, during the 2019 United Fresh trade show. The show proved valuable in communicating the “Power Your Performance with Wisconsin Potatoes” message to those who stopped by the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) booth. Pull-up banners that included full

profile images of two-time Olympian and NHL All-Star Joe Pavelski, along with specific potato-related nutrition facts, decorated WPVGA’s space. They stood alongside other promotional banners that encourage buying local and participation in the Healthy Grown program. WPVGA also featured its “Buy Local” quarter-sized bins that booth volunteers couldn’t keep filled with bags of Wisconsin potato chips as

passersby took their share and later came back for more. In addition to chips, potato peelers and pens sporting the Healthy Grown message and a Wisconsin potato recipe were provided to booth visitors. It was great to see some familiar and returning faces at the show, as well as gain new contacts for the industry, all in Wisconsin’s “Buy Local” market. Above: Promoting the “Buy Local” message is a pleasure for this group during the United Fresh trade show, June 10-12, 2019, at the McCormick Place in Chicago. Pictured from left to right are Marc Stalter of Bushman Potato Sales in Galloway, Wisconsin; Brian Lee of Okray Family Farms in Plover; Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions, Antigo; Wendy Dykstra of Alsum Farms in Friesland; and Michael Gatz of Bushmans’ Inc., Rosholt. Left: Gumz Muck Farms in Endeavor, Wisconsin, enjoyed a booth at the United Fresh trade show for the first time, June 10-12. Pictured from left to right are Doug Bulgrin, Tom Bulgrin and Charles Poches of Gumz Muck Farms.

38 BC�T August

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

Greetings, everyone. It’s hard to believe that summer is nearly

over already. Harvest has begun for some early potato varieties and certain canning crops around the area. Most other crops are progressing nicely with the warm weather we have had the last couple of weeks. Last month was busy for all of us on the Associate Division Board. We had the Putt-Tato Open golf outing and Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day. Last month was also the NPC Summer Meeting in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The Putt-Tato Open was extremely successful and well attended, and we had a great turn out for the Hancock Field Day. We had a beautiful day for our 2019 Putt-Tato open. The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids did a fantastic job of hosting us this year. I would like to thank all those who participated in the golf tournament,

who sponsored the event and anybody who helped in making it successful. We truly appreciate the support, and all the proceeds raised from the outing go back to the industry. We also had a great turn out for the 2019 Hancock Field Day and good weather to go along with it. Swine & Dine prepared lunch again this year and did a fabulous job! Thank you to all, including Research Station Manager Felix Navarro and his crew for hosting the event. MONETARY DONATIONS As part of our commitment to supporting ag research and increasing

public awareness about the industry, the WPVGA Associate Division presented monetary donations to the Hancock Agricultural Research Station, the Langlade County Ag Research Station and Rhinelander Ag Research Station. We are grateful for all the information they provide and the research that evolves from these stations, ultimately benefitting our growers. I would like to take a quick minute to also thank my fellow Associate Division Board members for a job well done again this year on both the golf outing and the Hancock Field Day. Without their time and effort spent planning, these events would not be the success that they are. On the topic of planning, we will soon start planning for what we are confident will be another successful Grower Education Conference & Industry Show in February 2020. Much like our golf outing, the Associate Division spends a lot of time planning to ensure the event is relevant and valuable for all who attend. If anybody has questions, comments or concerns about any of our sponsored events, please share your ideas with an Associate Division member. We would be happy to discuss them as a group.

Lined up on the right side of the table, WPVGA Associate Division Board members, from front to back, Nick Laudenbach, Julie Cartwright, Kenton Mehlberg and Sally Suprise serve food to Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day attendees, July 18. The Associate Division has sponsored lunch, provided by Swine & Dine, at the field day for many years as part of its contributions to the Wisconsin agricultural industry.

Good luck to all those planning harvest. Enjoy what is left of our summer here, and I look forward to seeing you out in the field or via next month’s column.

Kenton Mehlberg

WPVGA Associate Division President BC�T August 39

How to Supercharge Ag Science UW-CALS featured in report showing how U.S. farmers can increase revenues A new report shows how U.S. farmers—facing a surge of weather events and disease outbreaks—can increase production and revenues with innovations produced by federally funded agricultural research. The United States needs to increase its investment in agricultural research, or it risks falling further behind China, according to a new report issued by the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation and 20 FedByScience research institutions. The new report, “Retaking the Field: Science Breakthroughs for Thriving Farms and a Healthier Nation,” highlights research projects in the five “science breakthroughs” areas identified as the most important fields to advance in agriculture by the 40 BC�T August

Above: Matthew Ruark, an associate professor and extension specialist in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Soil Science, is one of several scientists being funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to work on food and agricultural breakthroughs.

year 2030: genomics, microbiomes, sensors, data and informatics, and transdisciplinary research.

policymakers, teachers and the general public on sustainable dairy management practices.

These areas were determined by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine as part of a widespread scientific effort to prioritize agricultural research endeavors.

“Investments in these five science breakthroughs will allow us to achieve a number of broader goals for food and agriculture in the U.S. in the next decade,” says Thomas Grumbly, SoAR’s president.

UW-MADISON FEATURED Sustainable dairy research at UW– Madison is featured in the report.

“But these advancements aren’t possible without federal funding for the research needed to tackle agriculture’s greatest problems,” Grumbly adds. “Farmers are getting hammered right now and they need innovation to at least soften the blows.”

The project, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is increasing sustainable dairy production practices through new management practices, stronger decision-support tools for producers to use on their farms and educating

Representatives from the agricultural and science sectors reconvened earlier this year to identify research

goals that can only be achieved through advancing the five science breakthrough areas. By 2030, innovations in agricultural research like the projects highlighted in this report can:

volume 4 March 20 1 9

• Reduce water use in agriculture by 20 percent


• Reduce fertilizer use by 15 percent


• Significantly reduce the need for fungicides and pesticides in plant production

Science Breakthroughs for Thriving Farms and a Healthier Nation

• Radically reduce the incidence of infectious disease epidemics for livestock • Reduce incidence of foodborne illnesses by 50 percent • Increase the availability of new plant varieties and animal products to deliver food with enhanced nutrient content continued on pg. 42

A new report, “Retaking the Field: Science Breakthroughs for Thriving Farms and a Healthier Nation,” highlights research projects in five Science Breakthroughs areas identified as the most important fields to advance in agriculture by the year 2030: genomics, microbiomes, sensors, data and informatics, and transdisciplinary research.

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How to Supercharge Ag Science. . . continued from pg. 41

“Now is the time to double down on federal investments in agricultural research,” Grumbly stresses. “There are urgent needs to produce more food, fiber and fuel while consuming fewer resources and protecting public health in the face of existing and emerging threats.” The report shows how scientists funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) are leveraging federal resources to advance the five breakthroughs areas. Along with Matt Ruark, an associate professor and extension specialist in the University of WisconsinMadison Department of Soil Science, featured researchers and their teams working on food and agricultural breakthroughs include: Genomics • P. Stephen Baenziger, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln— Creating hybrid wheat for improved productivity and nutrition • Jack Dekkers, Ph.D., Iowa State University—Using genetics to

improve animal health and disease resistance in pigs • Fred Gmitter, Ph.D., University of Florida—Protecting oranges by boosting resistance to citrus greening • Jennifer Randall, Ph.D., New Mexico State University— Leveraging genetics to defend pecan trees against disease and extreme weather Microbiomes • Michela Centinari, Ph.D., Penn State—Harnessing soil and root microbiomes to increase crop productivity • Phillip Myer, Ph.D., University of Tennessee—Improving feed efficiency and nutrition for sustainable beef • Gretchen Sassenrath, Ph.D., Kansas State University—Leveraging the soil microbiome to fight plant diseases • Kate Scow, Ph.D., University of California, Davis—Working with farmers to improve soil health

Released in July 2018, “Science Breakthroughs to Advance Food and Agricultural Research by 2030” identifies innovative, emerging scientific advances for making the U.S. food and agricultural system more efficient, resilient and sustainable.

Sensors • Ralph Dean, Ph.D., North Carolina State University—Deploying sensors to safeguard the food supply • Katy Martin Rainey, Ph.D., Purdue University—Using drones and computer analysis to evaluate new plant varieties • Abe Stroock, Ph.D., Cornell University—Developing sensors for precision irrigation technology

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• Lingxiu Dong, Ph.D., and Durai Sundaramoorthi, Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis—Using digital tools to help farmers plant the right seeds Your distributor:

• Kaiyu Guan, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—

Leveraging supercomputers to predict crop yields and water requirements • Raj Khosla, Ph.D., Colorado State University—Using satellite data to manage water and fertilizer use • Ignacy Misztal, Ph.D., University of Georgia—Developing new tools to understand animal genetics • Robin White, Ph.D., Virginia Tech— Using computing technology to individualize livestock diets

solutions that improve public health, strengthen national security and enhance U.S. economic competitiveness. For more information, please visit www.supportagresearch.org. About FedByScience FedByScience is a collaborative initiative among universities to raise

the visibility of the value of federal investment in food and agricultural research. FedByScience’s online collection of success stories, https://fedbyscience. org/stories-of-discovery/story-bank, highlights cutting-edge science that connects to the concerns of Americans.

Transdisciplinary Research • Rufus Isaacs, Ph.D., Michigan State University—Improving bee health to benefit farmers • Cristine Morgan, Ph.D., Texas A&M University—Improving the way scientists measure and communicate the value of soil • Matthew Ruark, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin–Madison—Connecting expertise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions About the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) CALS is part of the University of Wisconsin¬¬-Madison, which is the flagship and land grant university of Wisconsin. CALS research, education and outreach programs cover the spectrum of agricultural and life sciences. About the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation The SoAR Foundation leads a nonpartisan coalition representing more than 6 million farming families, 100,000 scientists, hundreds of colleges and universities as well as consumers, veterinarians and others. SoAR educates stakeholders about the importance of food and agricultural research to feed America and the world and advocates for full funding of USDA’s Agriculture Food and Research Initiative (AFRI). SoAR supports increased federal investments to encourage top scientists to create agricultural

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New Products John Deere Offers New Software

Company announces 19-1 Gen 4 displays and Machine Sync updates To further enhance the automation, documentation, functionality and security of its Generation 4 4600 CommandCenter™ and 4640 Universal Displays, John Deere has released a 19-1 software update. This latest software includes a higher level of automation activation that enables the company’s Machine Sync harvest functionality on the Gen 4 platform for tractors and combines. According to John Mishler, marketing manager for precision ag technologies at John Deere, the 19-1 software update provides more features that customers will benefit from immediately. “It also enables Gen 4 Display compatibility with more John Deere equipment,” Mishler says, “including 8000- and 9000-Series Forage Harvesters, documentation of weather and field conditions,

44 BC�T August

expands AutoTrac™ functionality and automation on more equipment, and provides additional levels of security than before.” With the 19-1 software update, Gen 4 Displays now show “area remaining” and “estimated time to completion” for many field operations. It also doubles the number of legend colors on the display so operators can view yield, prescriptions and asapplied maps in much greater detail on the display or in the John Deere Operations Center. FIELD & WEATHER CONDITIONS Operators can now manually document weather and field conditions from the cab, which is critical information to include for application and planting records. Data that can be recorded includes wind speed and direction, weather, and soil and field conditions as they

Above: John Deere is expanding its Machine Sync feature, which greatly simplifies harvest by automating the combine unloading process, allowing the operator to focus on harvesting the crop or other machine functions.

change throughout the day. When used with JDLink™ Connect, the information documented on the display can be viewed by any web-connected device through John Deere Operations Center and the MyOperations™ mobile app. In addition, customers can now use AutoTrac Turn Automation and AutoTrac Implement Guidance (Curve Center Shift) with SeedStar™ 4 when planting. These applications allow operators to automate end-row turns and guidance, resulting in easier, faster and more accurate headland turns and ensuring the implement stays

on the intended path. For added security, the 19-1 update gives users the ability to secure John Deere displays and receivers from improper use and theft by using a four-digit PIN. The feature allows users to lock their devices with administrator, operator or master unlock codes for Gen 4 Universal Displays and StarFire™ 6000 receivers. ON-THE-GO UNLOADING Along with the 19-1 software update, John Deere is expanding its Machine Sync feature, which synchronizes tractor and grain cart speed and position with the combine for on-thego unloading during harvest.

Gen 4 Machine Sync uses newer technology already built into all S700 combines and is available at a much lower total solution cost than with previous generations of displays. As part of the Gen 4 Machine Sync application, customers can also use In-Field Data Sharing to wirelessly transmit guidance lines, coverage maps, machine location, grain tank fill level and unloading auger status between machines.

crop or other machine functions,” Mishler says. “Its use has proven to speed up harvest operations and reduce grain loss and stress on both the combine and cart operators during this busy time,” he notes, “especially when harvesting at night or when visibility is compromised.”

Other premium precision applications are included, providing even greater value to customers.

Mishler says the 19-1 software update is now available and encourages customers to download and install it on all their Gen 4 Displays.

“Machine Sync greatly simplifies harvest by automating the combine unloading process, allowing the operator to focus on harvesting the

For more details about the Gen 4 19-1 software release and new Machine Sync update, visit JohnDeere.com or see your local dealer.

Belchim ReLoad Receives EPA Approval

Phosphate fungicide available for use against downy mildew and blight Belchim Crop Protection USA (Belchim USA) is pleased to announce that ReLoadTM, a unique phosphate fungicide, has received approval for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration and is now available for state registration across the United States.

not limited to asparagus, cucurbits, grapes, hops, leafy vegetables, legume vegetables, tuberous and corm vegetables, as well as indoor and outdoor ornamentals and turf, ReLoad is a valuable tool in fungus prevention for golf course superintendents and growers alike.

ReLoad is a 53.6 percent mono- and di-basic sodium, potassium and ammonium phosphate blend that works best in controlling downy mildew and offers an effective and preventative disease control option against pythium blight (Pythium aphanidermatum) and Anthracnose (Colletotrichum cereal).

“Growers have experienced significant marketable yield improvement when using this product, and we’ve also seen firsthand how it protects the beauty of golf courses across the globe,” says Tom Wood, general manager of Belchim USA.

This highly concentrated formula works through a dual mode of action, both preventing oxidative phosphorylation—the metabolic pathway through which cells use enzymes to oxidize nutrients—and stimulating a plant’s natural defense against pathogen attack. Approved for and proven effective on a wide variety of crops, including but

“We’re very excited to bring this unique formulation and its benefits to the United States,” he adds. Currently, the following states have also approved registration for ReLoad: Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Maine, North Dakota, Nevada, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin, with more expected in the near future. More information, including the

official label, can be found on the Belchim USA website, http://www. belchimusa.com/. About Belchim Crop Protection NV Belchim Crop Protection NV (Belchim) empowers farmers through innovative crop protection products and high-end technical support. Founded in Belgium in 1987, it is a global company that expanded its presence into the USA, in 2017. With innovative products, a high level of technical support and a focus on development, registration and commercialization, Belchim offers unique agrochemical solutions for today and tomorrow. To learn more about Belchim Crop Protection USA, please visit www.belchimusa.com.

BC�T August 45

Auxiliary News By Devin Zarda, vice president, WPGA

Hello, friends! I hope your summer is going well. If you’re well into

harvest, I hope the weather conditions are perfect for you! If you’re not quite there or just starting, like us up in Antigo, I hope you’re getting enough rain, that the underground pipes are holding strong and that your spraying program is working like you hoped. But, let’s get down to brass tacks. What has the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary been up to lately? Last month, we held our annual

meeting and banquet at Shooter’s in Plover. We had close to 40 women join us as we said “thank you” for all their assistance with our programs during the 2018/2019 season.

Above: Marie Reid and Jody Baginski were elected to second terms on the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board, which remains unchanged for the 2019/2020 term. From left to right are Datonn Hanke (secretary/treasurer), Kathy Bartsch (president), Devin Zarda (vice president), Reid, Baginski, Brittany Bula and Deniell Bula.

We were treated to amazing food and desserts, and once everyone had enjoyed their meal, we raffled off multiple baskets, including a date night, a wine basket, a “pamper yourself” basket, and everyone’s favorite, a stay in Door County. As for the Auxiliary Board of Directors, Marie Reid and Jody Baginski were elected to second terms on the Board. The officers will remain the same for the 2019/2020 term. Current board members are Brittany Bula, Deniell Bula, Reid and Baginiski. Kathy Bartsch will remain as president, Datonn Hanke is our secretary/treasurer, and I will serve as the vice president for a third year.

Close to 40 women attended the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Annual Meeting and Banquet at Shooter’s in Plover, which included a meal, dessert and raffle prizes, among other agenda items and activities. 46 BC�T August

Talk with you soon,



Rioux to Direct Seed Potato Certification Program UW-Madison Plant Pathology Department welcomes Dr. Renee Rioux The University of Wisconsin (UW)Madison is pleased to announce the arrival of Dr. Renee Rioux as the new director of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program. Dr. Rioux, who was officially welcomed July 18 at the 2019 Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day, joins the UW-Madison Plant Pathology Department as a research/ teaching assistant professor. A Maine native, Dr. Rioux says, “I became enthralled with plant pathology while pursuing my master’s degree on rhizoctonia diseases of potato at

the University of Maine.” Rioux completed her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at UW-Madison, in 2014, and has spent the past five years in private sector research and development roles. “Most recently, I worked for Bayer Crop Science as a product development manager for crop nematicides and bio-fungicides,” she relates. “I am excited to return to Wisconsin with my husband, Nick, who also holds a Ph.D. from UW-Madison, and one-year-old son, Craig,” Dr. Rioux

Dr. Renee Rioux joins the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Plant Pathology as an assistant professor in research and teaching roles, and as the new director of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program.

says, “and am looking forward to getting to know and working with members of the state’s seed potato industry.” continued on pg. 48

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

The varieties that yo

u need.

The early generation that you want.

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

Wisconsin has it!

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


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

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

BC�T August 47

People. . .

Natural History Survey, retiring in 2011.

continued from pg. 47

The University of Wisconsin honored him with the Wisconsin Idea Award, given to a person who embodies the notion that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Fred was a leader in the sustainable agriculture movement, serving on the federal regional Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) for several terms.

Fred Madison Passes Away Frederick William Madison, Jr., age 82, passed away June 3, 2019, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. He was born in Milwaukee to the late Frederick W. and Geraldine (Conover) Madison, Sr. After graduating from Milwaukee Country Day School in 1955, Fred attended Harvard University and transferred to the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison, earning his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in soils. Upon completion of his graduate studies, he was hired as a recruiter for the Peace Corps by its founder and first director, Sargent Shriver. He then served as a legislative assistant for Sen. Gaylord Nelson. During his tenure in that office, he authored the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. Next in his career was his appointment by President Lyndon Johnson to the Upper Great Lakes Regional Commission. Following his reappointment by President Richard Nixon in 1972, He returned to Wisconsin in 1973 to join the faculty at UW-Madison with a joint appointment to the Soils Department and the Wisconsin Geological and

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DISCOVERY FARMS CO-FOUNDER In 2001, Fred co-founded the UW-Extension Discovery Farms, an outreach and research project led by Wisconsin farmers with a focus on the relationship between agriculture and water quality. He was also chairman of the Town of West Point Planning Commission, retiring from that post in 2017, and served as chairman of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board until stepping down this year. Fred and his spouse, Tracy, were active volunteers in local, state and national politics. They were avid supporters of the arts, contributing to the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, as well as the Art Institute of Chicago. At home, Fred was an ardent gardener and was active in a local horseshoe league. He and his family annually traveled to the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area in northern Minnesota, camping canoeing and sky gazing. He was a Packers fan, sharing season tickets with friends, and supported the Badgers men’s basketball and women’s volleyball teams, holding season tickets for both. Fred is survived by his wife, Tracy (Anderson); his son, David of Minneapolis, MN; two daughters, Jessica of Seattle, WA, and Ashley and her son, Owen, of Portland, OR; a sister, Nancy Hayes of Santa Fe, NM; and several nephews and nieces. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Sarah Lawless. A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 17, 2019, beginning at 11:00 am at Park Hall, at 307 Polk St., Sauk City.


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Fred’s family is grateful to the nurses, doctors and all the other health care professionals at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. Memorials may be given to the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness (https://www.friends-bwca. org/get-involved). Online condolences can be made at hooversonfuneralhomes.com.

Soybean Cyst Nematodes Threaten Midwest Cysts and eggs are easily spread by equipment, water or wind The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most destructive soybean pathogen in the United States and Canada and is considered a serious threat to Midwest growing operations. SCN now occurs in every major soybean producing area and can be responsible for sizable yield loss if not identified and managed properly. Managing SCN can be difficult, since

no single tactic will control it. By knowing the potential SCN levels in your fields, you can better minimize losses to this aggressive disease. • SCN can cause yield loss even before a soybean crop appears damaged • Testing for SCN in the fall, close to harvest, will allow time for management decisions • Resistant soybean varieties help keep populations low and good

practices can limit spread •O nce infested, SCN is impossible to eliminate from a field Impact of SCN yellowing and stunted growth are sometimes indicators of infestations, but the symptoms are not always obvious. It is possible to lose up to 30 percent of total yield without the soybean crop looking noticeably damaged. continued on pg. 50

Seth Hildebrandt - Mrs. Schmick, Tri-County Elementary School, Plainfield Data compiled from a joint effort between the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ann MacGuidwin, Damon Smith and Shawn P. Conley) and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.


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Soybean Cyst Nematodes Threaten Midwest. . . continued from pg. 49

Injury from SCN occurs on the roots where the nematodes feed, stunting root growth and limiting nutrient uptake, and this damage can also promote the development of other root and stem diseases in the weakened plants. Therefore, because symptoms can be obscured, or they may not appear, it is important to sample for SCN periodically to see if it is present in each field and then to help determine management strategies once it has been identified.

the soil surface. Being careful to limit the spread of contaminated soil is important to limiting the spread of the infestation. MANAGING POPULATION Managing the size of the SCN population is extremely important to maintaining the productivity of a field. This can be difficult since no single management tactic will control SCN.

Once SCN is established in a field, it cannot be eradicated but can be managed.

Chemical control with nematicides has only a limited effect even in the season when it is applied, and treatments are costly.

Nematodes have very limited mobility in the soil, but the cysts and eggs are easily spread when soil is moved from field to field or within a field, even in the flow of water across

By providing adequate nutrient supply, weed and pest control, and through good water management, it is possible to compensate for SCN damage to a crop. But this doesn’t

Injury from soybean cyst nematode occurs on the roots where the nematodes feed, stunting root growth and limiting nutrient uptake.

reduce the population pressure. Crop rotations are the best way to reduce populations of SCN. Adding resistant varieties of soybeans into a rotation and/or increasing the

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number of non-host crops in the rotation can limit reproduction and growth of the nematodes and reduce the size of the population. Avoid using the same resistant seed variety year after year, as this could lead to the nematodes developing resistance in a new population. Sampling Procedures Samples can be taken anytime during the year, but it makes the most sense to sample fields for SCN in the fall, just before or just after harvest. To effectively check fields for the presence of SCN, limit the area being sampled to no more than a 20-acre section, collecting a composite sample of 15 to 20 soil cores.

Mix the soil cores very well and place in a tightly closed soil bag. Keep the samples at room temperature or cooler and out of sunlight until they can be shipped to an AgSource Laboratories location. The results will be shown as eggs per 100cc of soil. Contact Chris Clark, CCA, AgSource Laboratories, 715-850-2888, www.agsourcelaboratories.com.

Resources Soybean Cyst Nematode Management Guide 5th edition: http://www.soybeanresearchinfo. com/pdf_docs/SCNGuide_5thEd.pdf https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/ intropp/lessons/ Nematodes/Pages/ SoyCystNema.aspx https://www.plantpath.iastate.edu/ scn/

John Miller Farms, Inc Minto, ND

Higher risk areas where SCN may first appear could include the following: – Areas near a driveway or entrance into a field – Along fence lines or areas of poor weed control – In low areas that may have been flooded – Areas of the field where soil pH is above 7 When sampling where SCN infestations are already known to occur: – Collect cores from within 2 inches of the soybean row to a depth of 6-8 inches – Target areas of the field where symptoms or yield loss were identified

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– If “hot spot” areas of high infestation are being sampled, collect soil from the outer edges of the area rather than the center AgSource Laboratories offers SCN testing as an add-test for soil samples, meaning there’s no need for a separate sample. However, if you have a defined problem area, it’s better to take a separate sample from that area.

Contact John Miller: (701) 248-3215 BC�T August 51

Badger Beat

Wisconsin’s Comparative Advantages in Potato Marketing State enjoys low shipping costs, a successful marketing cooperative and the Healthy Grown program By Paul Mitchell, I-Chun Chen and Xiadong (Sheldon) Du University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Entomology

Wisconsin is rightfully proud of its longstanding tradition as

a key state for potato production, but so often our industry and University of Wisconsin (UW) potato team focus on potato production, because that is where our training and experience are. However, this article focuses on potato marketing—what goes on after the potatoes are grown and harvested. Our long-term goal is to understand the sources of Wisconsin’s comparative advantages in potato marketing to help us all strategically focus our efforts to maintain and enhance the competitiveness of our industry.

state have been doing well for the last few years, which may be why Wisconsin potatoes have been on an upward trend.

The North American Potato Market News estimates a grower return index for fresh russets in Wisconsin, as well as Idaho, the Columbia Basin of Washington and Oregon, and the San Luis Valley in Colorado (Figure 1).

Next, our initial analysis of retail scanner data from U.S. grocery stores shows that consumer retail prices do not reflect this Wisconsin price advantage, even though consumer demand is stronger for state brands, especially Healthy Grown.

Based on this index, growers in the

To confirm this index, we first look at wholesale prices for russet potatoes to see how prices in Wisconsin compare to those in other production regions.

Grower Return Index

Idaho Burbank San Luis Valley Columbia Basin Wisconsin

6/27 6/20 2018 6.97 6.79 7.22 10.73 10.73 13.01 9.02 9.02 9.09 12.55 12.55 14.42

Figure 1: The North American Potato Market News “Grower Return Index” for late June 2019 and 2018 shows average annual prices per hundredweight of potatoes in U.S. dollars. Source: https:// napmn.com/ (Accessed 6/28/2019) 52 BC�T August

These initial results suggest that Wisconsin brands could work better with retailers to get higher prices (and profits) for those marketing fresh potatoes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service collects price data for many commodities and makes a variety of reports available on the Market News Portal (https://www.ams.usda.gov/ market-news/fruits-vegetables). Regarding fresh russet potatoes, average daily, weekly and monthly prices are available for different grades and various packing options from multiple shipping points, including Central Wisconsin, the San Luis Valley of Colorado, Upper Valley Idaho and the Columbia Basin. This article uses prices from the “Custom Average Pricing” page/ “Shipping Point Averages” option for the commodity “Potatoes” and the variety “Russet.” Figure 2 reports the monthly average wholesale (shipping point) prices for grade one fresh russet potatoes across all size categories and subvarieties for Central Wisconsin, San Luis Valley Colorado, Columbia Basin (including the Umatilla Basin in Oregon) and Idaho (primarily the Upper Valley, but also data from the Twin Falls-Burley District and Western Idaho). These would be free-on-board (FOB) prices for truckloads of graded and

packaged russet potatoes shipped out of these regions to retailers or wholesalers. The prices are closely tied to those farmers receive, as they include the farm price plus whatever costs the shipper/packer charges for services provided, such as cleaning, grading, packing and brokering sales. For this analysis, the season starts in August of each year and typically follows a U-shaped curve within a season. Prices are relatively high initially for the first, newly harvested potatoes, but then fall as more potatoes become available, and rise again late in the season as the availability of fresh potatoes from storage becomes limited in the following summer. This U-shape is prominent in 2009, 2012 and 2016, while supply or storage issues and demand shocks cause prices within most seasons to deviate from this trend. The other notable trend is that the Wisconsin wholesale prices tend to be higher than for other regions, especially in more recent years. Wisconsin seems to have a wholesale price advantage relative to these other regions. We calculate the wholesale price advantage for Wisconsin as the price minus the other region’s price. For example, the average price in April 2019 was $13.28/ cwt. (hundredweight) for Wisconsin and $9.48 for Idaho, so that the Wisconsin wholesale price advantage was $13.28 minus (-) $9.48 equals (=) $3.79/cwt. relative to Idaho. The wholesale price advantage for a year is the average of the monthly advantage from August in the harvest year to July of the following year. Figure 3 reports these averages of the monthly Wisconsin price advantage for each potato crop year. In 2006, wholesale russet potato prices were about equal in all four regions, and so the Wisconsin price

Figure 2 shows monthly average fresh russet wholesale (shipping point) prices for Central Wisconsin, the San Luis Valley of Colorado, the Columbia Basin and Idaho (August 2009 to April 2019).

advantage was small, ranging from 9 cents/cwt. compared to Idaho to 17 cents/cwt. compared to the Columbia Basin. Since then, the Wisconsin price advantage has remained positive and seems to keep increasing, especially relative to Idaho and the Columbia Basin. Over the last 5 years, this price advantage has averaged $2.62/cwt. relative to Idaho, $2.34/cwt. relative to the Columbia Basin and $0.94/cwt. relative to Colorado.

A linear regression over these 13 years shows that the average annual increase in the Wisconsin price advantage has been over 23 cents/ cwt. per year relative to Idaho and almost 22 cents/cwt. per year relative to the Columbia Basin, but only 7 cents/cwt. per year relative to Colorado. This wholesale price advantage is important, indicating that Wisconsin potato growers (at least for fresh russets) have done a very good job continued on pg. 54

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Setting the Standard for Wear! BC�T August 53

Badger Beat. . .

continued from pg. 53

marketing their products and seem to be getting better at it. From discussions with growers and shipper/packers in the state, looking at the data and some analysis and thought, three possibilities emerge as the sources for this wholesale price advantage: shipping costs, the United Potato Growers Cooperative of Wisconsin and the Healthy Grown® program. The shipping cost advantage Wisconsin enjoys for stores in the Midwest, South and East Coast is an important contributor to higher wholesale prices for fresh russets. RETAIL PLUS SHIPPING A retailer buying fresh potatoes pays the wholesale price (reported to the USDA-AMS) and then pays the shipping cost to haul the potatoes from the shipper/packer to their own retail warehouse and stores. Retailers add these shipping costs to the prices they charge. As a result, retailers from the Midwest, South and East Coast are willing to pay higher wholesale prices for Wisconsin potatoes because they have to ship them a shorter distance than if they bought them from Idaho, Washington or Colorado. The willingness of retailers to pay higher wholesale prices for Wisconsin potatoes depends on the cost of shipping, and thus anything affecting trucking costs impacts this wholesale price advantage for Wisconsin, such as the price of diesel fuel, labor costs for drivers and trucking regulations. Given the variation in fuel and energy prices in recent years, and changes in trucking regulation, the size of this advantage for Wisconsin has fluctuated. United Potato Growers of America started in Idaho, in 2004, and United Potato Growers Cooperative of Wisconsin formed soon after. The marketing cooperatives at both 54 BC�T August

Figure 3: Illustrated is the average monthly wholesale price advantage for fresh Wisconsin russet potatoes each crop year relative to the San Luis Valley of Colorado, the Columbia Basin and Idaho.

the national and state levels have been through ups and downs and legal challenges, but in general, the Wisconsin cooperative has been successful at building membership and maintaining cooperation. As a result, these efforts have contributed to higher wholesale prices for fresh potatoes from Wisconsin, though no analysis is available to estimate the magnitude of its contribution. GROWER COOPERATION Nevertheless, it seems that the ability of growers to cooperate is one of the marketing advantages that Wisconsin has relative to other regions. This spirit of cooperation is valuable and cannot be built overnight, but it has grown out of years of community and institution building by the growers and is paying benefits at this time. Its value should not be underestimated. Wisconsin’s Healthy Grown program is well known to many in the state’s industry, as are its struggles obtaining price premiums in the market. Anecdotally, it seems that the Healthy Grown initiative helps Wisconsin growers build a broader reputation for environmental stewardship that contributes to gaining market access and maybe higher prices.

No direct price premium is paid, and no market data analysis has been conducted to examine this whether there is any effect for Healthy Grown. Nevertheless, Wisconsin growers remain committed to the program and its membership has increased. Overall, this continuing grower commitment to the program suggests that it generates some value even though quantifying its effect on wholesale prices remains difficult. We simply do not have the data. The grower commitment to Healthy Grown is similar to that of the United Potato Growers Cooperative of Wisconsin—farmers believe in the program or cooperative even without supporting analytics or direct payments. Limits exist for these marketing advantages that contribute to higher wholesale prices for Wisconsin potato growers. If Wisconsin wholesale prices rise too high, it becomes economical to ship potatoes from other locations, with the San Luis Valley the next closest location to the East Coast and Southern United States. ATTRACTING COMPETITORS Furthermore, higher wholesale prices can attract competitors, and not only expansion of potatoes into areas with

historically significant production, such as Michigan, New York and Maine, that are closer to the East Coast, but also into Minnesota and even North Dakota. Furthermore, potato growers can operate outside of marketing cooperatives, not only in neighboring states, but also in Wisconsin. In addition, growers in most of these states can create programs like Healthy Grown. The wholesale price data show a clear wholesale price advantage for Wisconsin potato growers, but the bigger the advantage becomes, the more likely competitors will arise. As part of her Ph.D. dissertation, I-Chun Chen is analyzing retail scanner data for fresh russet potatoes. Specific data include monthly price and sales panel information for different brands of fresh russet potatoes between 2006 and 2016 for 363 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the contiguous United States. MSAs are broadly defined urban areas used for many purposes, including market analysis. For example, Wisconsin MSAs include Milwaukee, Madison, Janesville, Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah, Green Bay-Shawano, Wausau-MerrillStevens Point (including Marshfield), Eau Claire-Menomonie, and parts of the Twin Cities, Chicago, and Duluth. Many, but not all, retailers participate in the Nielsen data collection hub, with Walmart and Costco probably the two most well-known retailers not included. Thus, available data are representative of retail prices and sales, but not a complete picture. We first examine retail prices for fresh russet potatoes, comparing state-specific brands to national brands to see if there are differences. STATE AND NATIONAL BRANDS Some brands have a strong affiliation with a region and almost all potatoes

sold under that brand are sourced from one production area, and so we call these “state brands,” while “national brands” source potatoes from multiple production regions to be sold under the same brand. Preliminary results make sense. As wholesale potato prices and the price for diesel fuel increase, retail potato prices also increase, and potatoes with an organic label have higher retail prices than non-organic potatoes. Also, we find that, on average, Idaho brands and Columbia Basin have retail prices slightly higher than national brands, and retail prices for Colorado brands are about the same as national brands. However, Wisconsin brands have retail prices noticeably lower than national brands, with retail prices for Healthy Grown brands higher than non-Healthy Grown brands from Wisconsin. A second analysis examines retail demand for fresh russet potatoes— the quantity sold. Preliminary results show that retail demand for statespecific brands from Idaho, Colorado and the Columbia Basin is lower than for national brands. However, demand for Wisconsin brands is higher than for these regions and higher still for Healthy Grown brands from Wisconsin. Together, these results suggest that Wisconsin marketers could increase demand for Wisconsin brands, especially Healthy Grown, and could likely support higher retail prices. However, we emphasize that these findings are still preliminary and could change, particularly after feedback from colleagues at the national conference. CONCLUSIONS Looking at price and demand data for Wisconsin fresh potatoes, we find that Wisconsin farmers do indeed enjoy higher wholesale prices than

farmers in Idaho, the Columbia Basin and the San Luis Valley in Colorado. This advantage likely arises from a combination of lower shipping costs to serve retailers on the East Coast and in the South and Midwest, as well as the ability of Wisconsin growers to effectively manage a marketing cooperative and the Healthy Grown program. Additional research is needed to quantify the relative importance of each of these sources. We also emphasize the limits to this wholesale price advantage. If wholesale prices for Wisconsin become too high, other growers able to compete on shipping costs or by developing programs like Healthy Grown will appear. One advantage that is hard for other regions to replicate is the cooperative spirit of Wisconsin growers, since the state industry is built on shared history and social institutions that take time to build. At the retail level, initial analysis suggests that Wisconsin could likely do better at potato marketing. Results are still preliminary but indicate that Wisconsin brands have lower retail prices and higher consumer demand than other brands. Results for Healthy Grown are particularly interesting, since they indicate that retail prices and consumer demand are higher for Healthy Grown brands compared to non-Healthy Grown brands from Wisconsin. Overall, this work shows that datadriven research to better understand Wisconsin’s comparative advantages in potato production and marketing can contribute to developing a coordinated strategy to maintain and enhance the competitiveness of our industry. BC�T August 55

Potatoes USA News

New Resource Available on Potato Nutrition!

U.S. potato products have a wellearned reputation for unparalleled flavor, versatility and nutrition among food manufacturers. Fresh, dehydrated and frozen potato ingredients bring value-added functionality to formulations across numerous categories, such as adding flavor, improving texture, increasing yield, simplifying preparation and introducing delicious variety. However, to get the most out of any potato ingredient, product developers must know which options best fit their applications as well as

chemistry and nutrition information about potatoes. All of these important attributes and more are covered in a new resource, “Potato Composition and Ingredient Functionality,� available at www.PotatoGoodness.com. This comprehensive guide will help potato ingredient food manufacturers better understand a variety of topics including macronutrient composition, micronutrients, dehydrated potato specifications and types, as well as functionality in common applications.

Left: As part of in-store promotions at eight Vietnam supermarkets, local retail staff members were trained on proper storage and handling techniques of U.S. potatoes, as well as merchandising best practices.

U.S. Potatoes Highlighted in Vietnam During the month of May, U.S. tablestock potatoes were highlighted in Vietnam to showcase their benefits and proper handling and care. First, local retail staff members were trained on proper storage and handling techniques, as well as merchandising best practices. 56 BC�T August

Then, displays were set up to show the most effective placement of U.S. potatoes for store customers, including a focus on how lighting and positioning affect their shelf life. Demonstrations in eight high-traffic supermarkets during busy timeframes educated consumers on the different

RIght: Demonstrations in eight high-traffic supermarkets during busy timeframes educated consumers on the different preparation methods for U.S. fresh potatoes.

preparation methods for fresh potatoes. Consumers that bought U.S. potatoes received a handout with proper cooking techniques. Promotions increased sales by 52.93 percent after the promotional period ended, showing sustained growth for U.S. potatoes in this market.

Ali's Kitchen

Dig into a Mashed Potato Sundae

More savory than sweet, it makes for a delicious summertime treat Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Have you ever had the odd occurrence of the same random thing showing up in your life over and over? You’re driving down the highway and see a billboard advertising a smalltown festival, then you come across it as you flip through a magazine, and days later you hear an acquaintance mention the fest. This recipe is the random thing for me. Today, I present you with Mashed Potato Sundaes. Yes, you read that correctly—sundaes made from mashed potatoes. If I am completely honest with you, each time I stumbled upon the various versions of mashed potato sundaes, I wrinkled my nose and dismissed the idea. After all, sundaes are for ice cream and you just don’t mess with a good thing! Yet, the more I was confronted with the idea of a savory potato-filled sundae, the more I was intrigued. So, one recent evening at the Carter house, I served my willing and adventurous family glass jars layered with mashed potatoes, gravy, chuck roast, corn, cheese and even bright red cherry tomatoes on top (not a necessary ingredient, but I think it made for the perfect finishing touch).

As with most recipes, you can make this as simple or complicated as you’d like. I took the easy route. By making use of the leftover roast and mashed potatoes from our dinner the night before, our sundaes were ready in no time! QUICK OPTIONS If your fridge lacks leftovers looking to be used to create your Mashed Potato Sundaes, and you are not interested in dedicating the time to prep and cook the ingredients from scratch, your local grocery store is likely filled with quick options! Cooked and shredded roast with gravy and containers of prepared mashed potatoes can usually be found in the refrigerated section. If you’re really feeling inspired, go ahead and get creative with the toppings for your sundaes! In the mood for some spicy heat? Sprinkle on a few diced jalapenos or a dash or two of hot sauce. Looking for a cool crunch? Some creamy coleslaw, a dill pickle or vinegary pickled peperoncinos would be tasty options. Is gravy not your thing? Skip it, and instead layer some barbeque sauce

Mashed Potato Sundae

• 4 cups prepared mashed potatoes • Circa. 16 ounces (or about 1 to 1 1/2 Ibs.) cooked and shredded chuck roast with gravy • 1 cup canned corn • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese • 1/2 cup sour cream • 1/2 cup diced chives • 4 cherry tomatoes • salt and pepper *Serves 4. Adjust amount of ingredients to feed more or fewer people.

continued on pg. 58 BC�T August 57

Ali's Kitchen. . .

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continued from pg. 57

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and baked beans over your shredded roast. Not a fan of cheddar cheese? A generous layer of bleu cheese crumbles might be more to your liking. Giving in to those random nudges and creating my own version of these savory sundaes was a fun way to jazz up a summer meal for the family. The mason jars showed off the flavor-filled layers and allowed some practical and mess-free mobility to enjoy dinner while gathered together outside on patio chairs. I hope you and your crew enjoy them just as much! DIRECTIONS Prepare/re-heat the mashed potatoes, roast and corn. Build the sundae by scooping about one cup of the mashed potatoes into

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Add a layer of approximately 4 to 5 ounces of the roast and gravy on top of the potatoes. Top the roast with a layer of shredded cheese and then 1/4 cup of corn.

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Finish the sundae with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of chives, a cherry tomato and a bit of salt and pepper. Enjoy! Find more recipes at www.LifeOnGraniteRidge.com.

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