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$22/year | $2/copy | Volume 72 No. 06 | JUNE 2020

THE VOICE OF WISCONSIN'S POTATO & VEGETABLE INDUSTRY

HARVEST & SPECIALTY VEHICLES/TRACTORS ISSUE INTERVIEW:

JIM MORTENSON Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc.

REPOSITIONING POTATO: A Nutritional Powerhouse SOIL HEALTH SURVEY Results are Revealing MINECTO PRO OFFERS Potato Pest Control GET TAX CREDITS For Solar Energy The head-on shot captures Burbank potatoes being harvested on Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc.


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The scientific explanation. Calcium is a required element for tuber development. A calcium deficiency in plants results in dividing cells being unable to stay bound together. This causes poor quality potatoes such as reduced size, growth cracks and hollow heart.

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On the Cover: The photo, taken in 2018, captures potato harvest

on Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc., west of Plainfield, Wisconsin. Jim Mortenson and his crew actively farm 13,500 acres of cropland, including chipping potatoes, frozen process varieties for French fries, and red and white potatoes for canning. Additionally, they grow carrots, beets, sweet corn, green beans and field corn.

8 BADGER COMMON’TATER INTERVIEW: Windrowers pulled by Case IH tractors work in unison during the 2019 potato harvest on Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc., in Plainfield. Rows of Lamoka potatoes lie in their wake under a bright blue sky. This issue’s interviewee, Jim Mortenson says he has a fondness for the growing aspect of farming, and it’s what he really looks forward to, as well as a good year monetarily, and that he and all growers get through the season without injuries.

DEPARTMENTS: ALI’S KITCHEN.................... 57 BADGER BEAT.................... 52 EYES ON ASSOCIATES......... 43

28 SEED PIECE

U.S. growers selling seed potatoes to Guatemala via this Potatoes USA program

30 NEW PRODUCTS

John Deere produces face shields for health care workers during COVID-19

50 SOLAR ENERGY TAX CREDITS AVAILABLE

Farmers weigh affordable renewable energy options

FEATURE ARTICLES: 16 POTATO IS NUTRITIONAL powerhouse regularly giving people their deserved fill

MARK YOUR CALENDAR...... 6 MARKETPLACE................... 37 NOW NEWS....................... 38 NPC NEWS......................... 48 PEOPLE.............................. 55 PLANTING IDEAS.................. 6

22 SOIL HEALTH SURVEY results indicate growers thinking about biology of their soil

POTATOES USA NEWS........ 33

34 SYNGENTA’S MINECTO PRO manages difficult-to-control Colorado potato beetle

WPIB FOCUS...................... 46

4

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WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Rod Gumz Vice President: Bill Guenthner Secretary: Wes Meddaugh Treasurer: Mike Carter Directors: John Bustamante, Dan Kakes, Charlie Mattek & Alex Okray 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

3/26/20 3:32 PM

Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: Jeff Fassbender Vice President: J.D. Schroeder Secretary/Treasurer: Jeff Suchon Directors: Roy Gallenberg & Matt Mattek

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 Spudmobile Education & Outreach Administrator: Doug Foemmel Spudmobile Education and Outreach Coordinator: Dale Bowe

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

WPVGA Office (715) 623-7683 • FAX: (715) 623-3176 E-mail: wpvga@wisconsinpotatoes.com Website: www.wisconsinpotatoes.com LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/WPVGA

Secretary: Julie Cartwright Treasurer: Rich Wilcox Directors: Chris Brooks, Kristi Kulas, Sally Suprise & Justin Yach

Mission Statement of the WPVGA: To advance the interests of WPVGA members through education, information, environmentally sound research, promotion, governmental action and involvement. Mission Statement of the WPVGA Associate Division: To work in partnership with the WPVGA as product and service providers to promote mutual industry viability by integrating technology and information resources. Badger Common’Tater is published monthly at 700 Fifth Avenue, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409

Subscription rates: $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 June

5


MARK YOUR

Calendar

JUNE

16-19 19

UNITED FRESH LIVE! Virtual experience WSPIA SPUD SEED CLASSIC GOLF OUTING Bass Lake Golf Course Deerbrook, WI

9 11 14 16 16-29 21-23

RHINELANDER AG RESEARCH STATION FIELD DAY CANCELED due to COVID-19 coronavirus PARDEEVILLE TRIATHLON Chandler Park, 8 a.m. Pardeeville, WI ASSOCIATE DIV. PUTT-TATO OPEN GOLF OUTING Bull’s Eye Country Club Wisconsin Rapids, WI HANCOCK AG RESEARCH STATION FIELD DAY CANCELED due to COVID-19 coronavirus POTATOES USA SUMMER MEETING Virtual meeting FARM TECHNOLOGY DAYS POSTPONED until 2021 due to COVID-19 coronavirus

6-16 8 28-29

WISCONSIN STATE FAIR West Allis, WI ANTIGO TATER TROT Antigo City Park Antigo, WI POTATO DAYS FESTIVAL Barnesville, MN

12 29-10/3

ALSUM TATER TROT 5K Alsum Farms & Produce Friesland, WI POTATO BOWL FESTIVAL Grand Forks-East Grand Forks, ND-MN

15-17 26-27

PMA FRESH SUMMIT Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, TX RESEARCH MEETING West Madison Ag Research Station Verona, WI

6-7

2021 POTATO EXPO Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center Grapevine, TX

2-4 22-24

2021 GROWER ED CONFERENCE & INDUSTRY SHOW Holiday Inn Convention Center Stevens Point, WI POTATO D.C. FLY-IN Capital Hilton Washington, D.C

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

JANUARY 2021 FEBRUARY

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Planting Ideas We’ve got many research bases covered in this issue, including soil health, the adaptability of agricultural pests to changing environments and groundwater quality.

UW-Madison graduate student Zachary Cohen, pictured above, was recently honored with a fellowship established by the Wisconsin Potato Industry Board. The “Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship” honors graduate students who demonstrate excellence in the areas of groundwater resources and potato research. Cohen, the 2020-’21 recipient of the fellowship, works within the Department of Entomology Graduate Program and is interested in understanding the genetic mechanisms and consequences regarding rapid adaptation of insects to changing environments. “Colorado potato beetle is a serious agricultural pest,” he allows, “that has developed resistance to a wide range of insecticides, with distinct modes of action, in a short amount of time.” Please see “WPIB Focus” within these pages for the full story. At the 2020 Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, a survey was conducted to understand the current knowledge of, and interest in, soil health as it relates to potato production. The survey was conducted as part of the Soil Health Project (https://potatosoilhealth.cfans.emn.edu/). Matt Ruark, UW-Madison Department of Soil Science, penned an informative feature article, “Soil Health Survey Results are Revealing,” on the survey responses. Among many revelations are that potato growers indicated soil health is something they consider in their farm management practices. Be sure to check out the enlightening feature in this issue. For his “Badger Beat” contribution, Professor Jed Colquhoun, IPM program director and extension specialist, UW-Madison Department of Horticulture, discusses groundwater quality as a statewide issue. Groundwater concerns range from nitrates and pesticides in agriculture to PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) concerns in consumer and industrial settings. With Gov. Tony Evers declaring 2019 as the “Year of Clean Drinking water,” attention to such issues could manifest itself in regulatory changes that affect the way growers operate. See “Badger Beat” for the full story. 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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“I have had employees whose first jobs were on the farm, and they’ve stuck with me.” –Jim Mortenson

Interview

JIM MORTENSON, owner, Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc. By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

NAME: Jim Mortenson

TITLE: Owner, president and working member of corporation

COMPANY: Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc. LOCATION: Plainfield, Wisconsin HOMETOWN: Antigo, Wisconsin TIME IN PRESENT POSITION: 16 years PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: Worked on family farm

SCHOOLING: Antigo High School ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: Family is fond of and deeply involved with the YMCA of South Wood County (the James and Tracy Mortenson Foundation donating money for a new stretching room), as well as with the Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wisconsin Rapids, and in always making sure to get potatoes and canned goods to the South Wood County Emerging Pantry Shelf several times a year.

FAMILY: Wife of 23 years, Tracy, and children, Max (19), Grace (17) and Audrey (14)

HOBBIES: Agriculture, visiting the YMCA, golf and supporting the James and Tracy Mortenson Foundation 8

BC�T June

Though steeped in history and tradition, Mortenson Bros.

Farms, Inc. did not come to fruition in a usual manner. Regardless, it would turn out to be one of the largest potato and vegetable operations in Wisconsin. Brothers Gary (“Jack”) and James Mortenson owned Mortenson Brothers Trucking and Southside Tire in Antigo, Wisconsin. In the late 1960’s, they hauled potatoes for a farm that could not pay them for their services, so they took over part of the crop. In the summer of 1968, Jack left Antigo to watch over their new potato investment, and, in 1973, he and James formed Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc. Today, Jack’s son, Jim Mortenson, is the president, owner and a working member of the farming operation. “Every one of us kids earned our own money for school clothes. In the fall, from age nine on, we would grade potatoes down near Oxford, in the Plainfield area,” Jim says. “Around the age of 14 or 15, I started filling seeders, and as soon as

I got my license, my life changed. I worked full-time summers for my dad from age 15 on,” he says. “I started counting days until school started again.” Jim helped in handling the irrigation, turning on and off pivots in the Central Sands soil. FONDNESS FOR FATHER “Dad not only taught me, he introduced me to people in the business. I have a deep fondness for my dad who, even before I started my own small company, taught me to interact with people,” Jim remarks. Above: Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc. encompasses 13,500 acres of cropland, including chipping potatoes, frozen process varieties for French fries, and red and white potatoes for canning. Shown in the family photo, from left to right, are Grace, Audrey, Jim (owner and president), Tracy and Max Mortenson, and Teddy (the dog), in front.


“He was very generous to me, giving me land and properties, but more than that, instilling a good work ethic and teaching me how to interact with people, to know what customers need and want,” he says. Interacting with adults at a young age and providing quality service to customers is what Jim credits for his success in starting his own farm, eventually acquiring the family farm and merging the two. “My dad helped me purchase 600 acres and gave me 240 acres right out of the gate when I started farming, by the time I was 23 years old, and that was right around the time I got married, too,” Jim relates. Jim merged the property his father

passed down to him, which included half interest in the farm, with his own acreage.

Above: Cut Superior seed potatoes are loaded into a Harriston pick planter on Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc. west of Plainfield, Wisconsin, in the town of Rome.

When his father, Jack, passed away, Jim bought the other 50 percent interest from his mother, Evelyn, and in 2005, became sole entity of Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc., west of Plainfield.

are actively farming 13,500 acres of cropland. That includes chipping potatoes, frozen process varieties for French fries, and red and white potatoes for canning.

“I can’t emphasize enough, without my mom and dad, what they did for me, and my uncle Jim going way back, I wouldn’t be where I am,” he allows. Are you still growing just over 10,000 acres, or has that changed? Still red, white and russet potatoes for processing? Others? Land based, for our total footprint right now, we

In addition, we grow carrots, beets, sweet corn, peas, green beans and a small amount of field corn. What is your current crop rotation? We rotate every crop, so potatoes, carrots and beets, those are the higher input crops. We are on a three-to-four-year rotation on potatoes, four for carrots, continued on pg. 10

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 9

peas are on a six-year rotation, beans are three, and we try to do a twoyear rotation on corn. Are most of the fields in the Plainfield area? We stretch as far north as Highway 54 between Plover and Wisconsin Rapids all the way south to Highway 82, west to Castle Rock Lake and Petenwell Lake near Necedah, and east to the Wild Rose and Wautoma area. How many workers do you now employ, Jim, and are they all full time or seasonal help? Typically, I would say we have 80-90 full-time employees, and sometimes during our heaviest seasons, 140-150 people. Are your wife, daughters and son working on the farm? I did not marry my wife for her farming attributes. I thought she was the prettiest girl in our school and the most personable. It is a beautiful combination. My son, Max, will probably stick with me whatever I do in this world. That includes farming, and we do own a small trucking company.

Native Americans ride past the Mortenson family homestead in 1902. This is the oldest picture of the property homesteaded by Jim Mortenson’s great-grandfather and his brothers.

My hopes are that all my children will work with me. With the older generation, like my father, the ladies were not really involved. I hope that all my children will be involved with the farm. You cannot always make them, but if I had my dream, they all would. Right now, duties wise, Max is kind of a redheaded stepchild—he gets all the jobs no one else wants to do. He is planting a little bit of carrots, and from 12 years old on, he has worked

harder than I ever did at his age. Tell me a little about your outlook for this year, and your fears or hopes. Everybody working in processing potatoes had a bad outlook at the beginning of the season, with the coronavirus closing restaurants and bars before planting started. My contracts, like those of many growers, got cut. We had a negotiated price, though, and they honored that precoronavirus price. I admire that, and they earned a lot of respect in my eyes. Because of the situation we are in, a lot of the arguing that is typical with farming stopped and we are trying to figure this out together. The potato customers I work with, because of coronavirus, are having a hard time keeping facilities going at 100 percent. Staffing issues have slowed down the pace. One of my potato customers would like to get more product from me, but people are afraid to come to work.

Jim Mortenson (right) and Todd Shortell (left) load Red Robin oat seed into a Gandy Orbit-Air planter on Mortenson Bros. Farms. They use the carrot bedding machine to establish an oat cover crop and raised bed into which they later plant carrots. 10 BC�T June

I am working with them, hauling potatoes a long way. During this time, we rely on neighbors, such as Gene Bula, for nationwide distributing. He is another neighbor I grew up with, our farm touching his.

continued on pg. 12


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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 10

Even though these are trying times, everyone is trying to do their best. It’s funny, come spring, attitudes change. This is redundant with farmers, like a switch going off. You can smell spring in the air, and it is time to stop arguing and get going. We deal with every major canner in the area, and I have great relationships and do business with several potato farmers. My dad was always fond of the potato families who migrated down from Antigo to the Central Sands area like he did. My father was fond of his customers and so am I, and I enjoy doing activities with them outside of farming. I don’t want to let them

down just like I wouldn’t want to let a friend down. They are also neighbors, like Paul Miller—he has been a great neighbor and unsung member of the community. He has donated so much time and money to the area.

Left: Trying to enjoy his retirement in Florida, Don Clemins, formerly of Antigo, Wisconsin, found a good use for his Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc. shirt that had a hole in it. Don’s wife fashioned it into a makeshift mask for use during the coronavirus pandemic.

So, how has the coronavirus affected your business? It has affected my well-being. I can’t go out for a fish fry on Friday evenings, and I’m a social creature. I am aching for that. It is the one part that is frustrating.

Right: The 2019 aerial shot at Mortenson Bros. Farms shows a green dig of Ranger Russet potatoes that went straight to the McCain Foods processing plant.

Farmers have enjoyed one thing— since our farms are essential businesses, we can operate our companies and see our employees. We are not experiencing the blues and isolation, even though the coronavirus has hurt us monetarily.

It is one perk we have experienced; we have been able to carry on our businesses. What are you most thankful for being a Central Sands grower, Jim? I’m thankful that I had the farming community, customers and neighbors helping me out after my father’s death.

Left & Above: Cut Superior potato seed is planted on Mortenson Bros. Farms in the spring of 2020. 12 BC�T June


There have been some pivotal people in my life who took the time to help me out when I was a young man. They made sure I had potato contracts and that everything worked out for me. How has the planting season been for you? This has been the easiest spring I have had as far as potato planting goes. I had three bad springs, this is the fourth year, and we are done planting in record time. Even if our contracts wouldn’t have been cut back, we’d still be done planting by now. We haven’t planted any carrots or beets yet but are starting to do that. I have high hopes for the season. I thought we could never have three bad years in a row. We didn’t have a bad year last year, just a short crop with yields being so low. I would hate to have someone say it can’t happen four years in a row. When you are a farmer, every spring

is like Groundhog Day—open your eyes, and there you are doing it all over again! Has technology helped you become a more efficient potato and vegetable grower? We have all the current technologies, but in the last continued on pg. 14

Above: Standing on the catwalk in a Mortenson Bros. Farms storage building are, from front to back, Melissa Ohlrich, biologist, Jessie Adams, ag engineer, and Grace and Audrey Mortenson. Jim Mortenson said he strives to impress upon Grace and Audrey the importance of women to the farming industry, saying he deals with lady CEO’s, purchasing agents and schedulers who fill integral roles in agriculture.

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 13

few years, what has made the farm more efficient is my current CFO and farm manager. Between the two of them, they have been looking at the workforce, utilization of equipment, monetary capital and how we handle bookkeeping. They’ve changed the way I look at farming. How has your farm progressed as far as technology and machinery goes?

For all farmers, it is the same. We are all using the same stuff, probes for soil moisture, GPS for tractors, most of us have center pivot irrigation and everybody has either converted to or is trying to go with low-pressure irrigation. We us lower horsepower motors, electrical efficiencies, and sample our soils so we can input fertilizer in smaller amounts or know where we need heavier amounts.

Above: Five Case tractors pull duty during potato harvest on Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc. Below: Jim Mortenson bought the carrot bedder, shown, during a mini vacation in Florida three years ago.

It has all become industry standard. We are all trying to do our best to manage inputs and costs of inputs, with technology not just benefiting the pocketbook, but our own eyes, noses and throats, our well-being. What are you most looking forward to in the coming growing and harvest seasons? I have a fondness for the growing aspect of farming, and that is what I really look forward to. This is something I have been planning since 2010 when I built my first big warehouses, storage facilities and racks.

14 BC�T June

I was as younger man then. I’m only 46 years old now, but I have someone handling money and someone handling crews, and I have fallen back in love with growing the food and working with young agronomists on the crop. They are my motivation for


getting up in the morning. That is where I am finding enjoyment, growing crops again and working with some younger people—young agronomists and scientists. They make it worthwhile to come to work. It is gratifying when you can teach someone something that will benefit their future. I have had employees whose first jobs were on the farm, and they’ve stuck with me. They are

building their first houses and having their first children. What do you hope for the future of Mortenson Bros. Farms? A good year monetarily and that we pull it off without any injuries. Agriculture is a dangerous industry. Even the guys who fly the airplanes over our field—I am very fond of people who do specialized work for us, but it is a dangerous profession. Anyone

Left: Jim Mortenson’s son, Max (left), and John Faldet, agronomist, are pictured in front of a carrot and beet planter on Mortenson Bros. Farms. Right: As the sun sets on another day, a Mortenson Bros. tractor pulls a crop cart borrowed from Bula-Gieringer Farms.

getting hurt is sad, and it hurts, too, personally. So, I look forward to a successful, safe and speedy crop.

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Potato is a Nutrition Powerhouse Where diets offer empty promises, potatoes give people their deserved fill By Ben Harris, research associate manager, and John Toaspern, chief marketing officer, Potatoes USA

Back when the potato was still seen as a novelty by most of the world, Andean people were way ahead of the curve in their intimate knowledge of the crop’s wild relatives. In fact, their affinity for the potato was so strong, they were willing to go to extreme measures to consume it—coating tubers in a “gravy” of clay and water most likely as a means of neutralizing toxic compounds like solanine and tomatine.1 Today, the toxicity surrounding

potatoes is not so much coming from within as from without. Just as the potato has learned to cope with a growing consortium of pests and pathogens, it has also had to develop a thicker skin to deflect the vitriol that some direct at it. There is no point in name-dropping. It’s no secret that some of the potato’s most outspoken critics, whether they choose to wield mainstream media or shaky scientific claims as their weapon of choice,

continue to expend a lot of energy in trying to batter the potato as a useless carb, a relic of the past weighing down the world in both a medical and environmental sense. We in the industry, of course, know this could not be further from the truth. But it will take a concerted effort to reposition the potato in the public eye as the nutritional powerhouse and sustainability pioneer that it is, one deserving of a spot on the most cutting-edge of menus. Let the tater haters be—no amount of “gravy” will ever make the potato palatable to them. Our focus needs to be on putting the potato’s virtues front and center for the swing audiences, those who may be on the fence about America’s favorite vegetable yet are ready and willing to listen. Above: Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer John Toaspern speaks to attendees of the organization’s Winter Meeting in advance of the 2019 Potato Expo in Austin, Texas. Left: It will take a concerted effort to reposition the potato in the public eye as the nutritional powerhouse and sustainability pioneer that it is, one deserving of a spot on the most cuttingedge of menus.

16 BC�T June


POTATO’S PLACE IN DIETS What will it take to cut through the noise to reach them? In a word: data. Fortunately, the facts and figures tell a much different story about the potato than the naysayers would have it. Food balance sheets serve as indisputable confirmation of the potato’s place in classic, timeless diets that are regarded without exception as healthy.

SUPPORT FOR MEDITERRANEAN DIET Since then, a succession of prestigious healthcare institutions— the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the Mayo Clinic, among other household names—have followed suit in declaring their support for the Mediterranean diet.5 Strangely enough, despite of, or perhaps because of, the

Mediterranean paradigm being in vogue for so long, and hence subjected to the endless scrutiny of scholars and the general public, no one seems to agree on a definition. Most often, it is described in the broadest of terms: “characterized by the balanced use of foods rich in fiber, antioxidants and unsaturated fats,” a 2013 journal article states.6 continued on pg. 18

The literature also offers up ample evidence for the tuber as a resilient and resource-efficient crop, welladapted for a future in which volatile weather seems likely to worsen while arable land and fresh water sources grow scarcer.2 For the purposes of this article, we will use the Mediterranean diet, arguably the gold standard for good eating, as a case study.3 What makes the Mediterranean unique among “diets” is that it is not really a diet at all. Rather than being manufactured by “expert” outsiders, the culinary patterns that comprise it arose organically across a wide region over the course of decades, essentially making it the largest (in scope and sample size) longitudinal, naturally occurring nutrition study the world has seen. The arc of the Mediterranean diet extends all the way back to the Middle Ages, with scholars attributing its origins to Roman tastes for olive oil, seafood, wine and other hearty, hunger-banishing fare among which the potato is right at home. Only much later did it receive a label, when, in 1993, the nonprofit Oldways, along with the World Health Organization and The Harvard School of Public Health, presented it as a superior alternative to existing food pyramids.4

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Potato is a Nutrition Powerhouse . . . continued from pg. 17

Listing out macronutrients and compounds that appear in dozens, if not hundreds, of diets beyond the Mediterranean does not get us any closer to consensus. But this generality is not such a bad thing. It gives us the opportunity to review the facts and write our own definition, one that brings potatoes to the forefront. Over time, certain vocal parties have succeeded in pushing the tuber further down the pecking order of foods in the Mediterranean model, sometimes excluding it altogether. This trend, in large part, owes itself to the work of scholars who use solitary, narrow measuring sticks, like the glycemic index (GI), to vilify potatoes in absolute terms, an approach that T. Colin Campbell, co-author of the landmark China Study, would wave off as “reductionist biology.”7

Food balance sheets serve as indisputable confirmation of the potato’s place in classic, timeless diets that are regarded without exception as healthy.

You only need to bring a second metric into the equation to see just how flawed this logic is.

by University of Sydney scientist Susanna Holt—there is no food more filling than boiled potatoes: at 323 percent (100, the baseline, is where white bread sits), they are nearly 100 percent more filling than the secondmost satiating food, found to be ling fish.8

NO FOOD IS MORE FILLING According to the Satiety Index (SI) —a food value scoring system coined

Boiled potatoes are almost twice as satisfying as beef (176 percent), more filling than much-celebrated brown

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rice (132 percent) and over four times as hunger-alleviating as a Mars candy bar (70 percent).8 Why would this matter? There are strong indications that satiety correlates to improved weight management. One widely cited study found a high likelihood that “negative energy balance”—i.e. a fat-burning metabolic state—resulted from “lower spontaneous energy intake brought about by enhanced satiety.”9 But in the Glycemic Index’s appraisal, chocolate (GI=~40) would be deemed doubly superior to boiled potatoes (GI=~78). It’s far-fetched to think that a dietician would ever prescribe, to someone striving for balanced eating, a full-on candy bar binge rather than a handful of boiled potatoes that deliver a satiated feeling at a fraction of the calories, and with a host of nutrients to boot. And yet, this is the case when the Glycemic Index becomes the be-all, end-all. The math does not add up continued on pg. 20

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Potato is a Nutrition Powerhouse . . . continued from pg. 18

here, that much is obvious. For the potato’s adversaries, arithmetic does not matter. For most of the populace, however, it does, presenting us with the platform to drive home the point to the public that potatoes, when viewed in a different light, come out on top. NO MERE AFTERTHOUGHT Inevitably this argument won’t cut it for the adversarial parties who will likely attempt the claim that the Mediterranean model and many others like it include the potato as an afterthought, if at all. That becomes a tough claim to make the moment data (courtesy of FAOSTAT) enter the fray. In both per capita consumption and availability, the potato is clearly a prominent staple in the Mediterranean region, and in some cases, it is eaten in greater quantities than in the countries we tend to think of as “potato-centric.” The most recent census data show that in the United States, Japan and Mexico, per capita daily consumption clocks in at 85 kilocalories (kcal), 39 kcal and 28 kcal per day, respectively. If these seem like decent volumes, consider that four core Mediterranean states—Morocco, Greece, Spain and Portugal—outstrip these numbers by a long shot. Their per capita consumption rates are, in

The literature also offers up ample evidence for the tuber as a resilient and resourceefficient crop, well-adapted for a future in which volatile weather seems likely to worsen while arable land and fresh water sources grow scarcer.

turn, 94, 102, 103 and 122 kcal.10

This, Not That!”

That is as close to objective as evidence gets that, in the geographic cradle of healthy eating, potatoes are alive and well as ever.

It comes as little surprise, then, that experts are predicting 2020 as the year that consumers finally rise and rebel against ascetic eating regimens.

For years, diets have governed over the landscape of consumption with an iron fist.

A January 2020 article in Business Insider reported on a recent poll that revealed a majority of Americans were leaning towards “intuitive eating,” which, in contrast to the hard and fast laws of a diet, offers only general guidelines like “honor your hunger” and “feel your fullness.”11

In fact, they have gained such power over us that, at times, we’re guilt-ridden not only when we commit infractions—in the form of “unhealthy” indulgences—but also when we make the most minor and mundane of dietary decisions. THE HEALTH CONSCIOUS For the health conscious, the worry lingers: What if I choose the lesser of two options? Even when the labels look identical to our naked eye, they’re not, according to the creators of websites like “Eat

A growing body of research suggests that intuitive eating elevates selfconfidence, psychological resilience and even exercise habits to a greater extent than standard diets.12 These are anxious times. We are forging ahead into a new decade with everything from trade relationships to entire economies being cast in uncertainty and unease. The potato as the ultimate comfort food offers us needed respite. We should not have to call upon obscure metrics like the Satiety Index to prove the potato’s worth in the modern era.

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In the end, the capacity of the potato to provide physical and emotional fulfillment speaks for itself. Works Cited

Altomare, Roberta, Francesco Cacciabaudo, Giuseppe Damiano, et al. “The Mediterranean Diet: A History of Health.”


Iran Journal of Public Health, May 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC3684452/. Bégin, C, Carbonneau E, Gagnon-Girouard MP, et al. “Eating-Related and Psychological Outcomes of Health at Every Size Intervention in Health and Social Services Centers Across the Province of Quebec.” American Journal Health Promot, February 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/29986603. Boucher, Jackie L. “Mediterranean Eating Pattern.” Diabetes Spectrum, May 2017. https://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/ content/30/2/72. Browman, David & Gundersen, James. “Altiplano comestible earths: Prehistoric and historic geophagy of Highland Peru and Bolivia.” Geoarchaeology, October 1993. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/ abs/10.1002/gea.3340080506. Campbell, TC. “Nutritional Renaissance and Public Health Policy.” Journal of Nutritional Biology, August 2017. https://www.ncbi. nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5701757/. Dinu, M, G Pagliai, A Casini, and F Sofi. “Mediterranean Diet and Multiple Health Outcomes: an Umbrella Review of MetaAnalyses of Observational Studies and Randomised Trials,” May 2017. https:// www.nature.com/articles/ejcn201758.

“Mediterranean Diet.” Oldways. Accessed January 29, 2020. https://oldwayspt.org/ traditionaldiets/mediterranean-diet. Paddon-Jones, Douglas, Eric Westman, Richard D. Mattes, et al. “Protein, Weight Management, and Satiety.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2008 https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/87/ 5/1558S/4650426#111220274.

References Cited

1 Browman, David & Gundersen, James. “Altiplano comestible earths: Prehistoric and historic geophagy of Highland Peru and Bolivia.” Geoarchaeology, October 1993. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/ abs/10.1002/gea.3340080506. 2 See, for example, Hess et al. “The Impact of Changing Food Choices on the Blue Water Scarcity Footprint and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of the British Diet: The Example of Potato, Pasta and Rice.” Journal of Cleaner Production, January 2016. 3 Dinu et al. “Mediterranean Diet and Multiple Health Outcomes: an Umbrella Review of Observational Studies and Randomised Trials.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2017. 4 “Mediterranean Diet.” Oldways. Accessed January 29, 2020.

5 Boucher. “Mediterranean Eating Pattern.” Diabetes Spectrum, May 2017. 6 Altomare et al. “The Mediterranean Diet: A History of Health.” Iran Journal of Public Health, May 2013. 7 Campbell. “Nutritional Renaissance and Public Health Policy.” Journal of Nutritional Biology, August 2017. 8 Ibid. 9 Paddon-Jones et al. “Protein, Weight Management, and Satiety.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2008. 10 Country Food Balance Sheets, FAOSTAT, December 2019. 11 Landsverk. “'Intuitive Eating' Is on the Rise, and Experts Say It's Because People Are Fed up with Diet Culture.” Business Insider, January 2020. 12 Bégin, C, Carbonneau E, GagnonGirouard MP, et al. “Eating-Related and Psychological Outcomes of Health at Every Size Intervention in Health and Social Services Centers Across the Province of Quebec.” American Journal Health Promot, February 2019.

FAOSTAT New Food Balances. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), December 19, 2019. http:// www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/FBS. Hess, Tim, Julia Chatterton, Andre Daccache, and Adrian Williams. “The Impact of Changing Food Choices on the Blue Water Scarcity Footprint and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of the British Diet: The Example of Potato, Pasta and Rice.” Journal of Cleaner Production, January 2016. https:// dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/bitstream/ handle/1826/14742/impact_of_changing_ food_chices-2015.pdf. Holt, SH, JC Miller, P Petocz, and E Farmakalidis. “A Satiety Index of Common Foods.” The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 1995. https://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7498104. Landsverk, Gabby. “'Intuitive Eating' Is on the Rise, and Experts Say It's Because People Are Fed up with Diet Culture.” Business Insider, January 21, 2020. https:// www.businessinsider.com/what-is-intuitiveeating does-it-work-2020-1. Mann, Charles C. “How the Potato Changed the World.” Smithsonian Magazine, November 2011. https://www. smithsonianmag.com/history/how-thepotato-changed-the-world. BC�T June 21


Soil Health Survey Results are Revealing Responses show potato growers are thinking about the biology of their soil By Matt Ruark, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Soil Science At the 2020 Grower Education Conference & Industry Show in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, a survey was conducted to understand the current knowledge of (and interest in) soil health as it relates to potato production in Wisconsin. This survey was conducted as part of our Potato Soil Health Project (https://potatosoilhealth.cfans.umn. edu/) in which we are attempting to connect measurements of soil health with potato yield and potato health,

as well as identify the important soil biological measurements we can use for this assessment. The unique aspect of this project is that it attempts to connect both soil and plant pathology concepts of soil health, and to promote the building of biological activity without further increasing harmful microbes. Most current testing programs for soil health only focus on the simple soil biological tests; our project includes pathogens and complex

Above: Matt Ruark, University of WisconsinMadison Department of Soil Science, addresses attendees to the 2019 Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day.

soil biological tests. By the end of the conference, we had 69 people respond to the survey. Forty-five percent of the respondents were growers, 30 percent were field agronomists or crop consultants, 13 percent were researchers or university extension personnel, and 12 percent were in some other aspect

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of the industry (sales, processing, management, etc.). SURVEY GOALS There were three goals of the survey: to assess the current understanding of soil health; see which soil health practices are most common; and assess how people would like to receive soil health information. The good news is that 78 percent of the respondents said they were interested in soil health, with 6 percent saying no and 16 percent being unsure. Also, 71 percent of the respondents indicated that soil health is something that they consider in their farm management practices. So, while we do not have a comprehensive assessment developed for soil health in potato production, it is something that the farming community is thinking about. Somewhat surprisingly, 78 percent of

Since potato has more opportunity to acquire pathogens and develop disease compared to other crops, growers have had to spend more time thinking about the biology of their soil.

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disease compared to other crops (and specifically those with enhanced genetics), growers have had to spend more time thinking about the biology of their soil. continued on pg. 24

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Somewhat surprisingly, 78 percent of the respondents said they understand what soil health means. My suspicion is that this is much higher than farmers in other cropping systems. Since potato has more opportunity to acquire pathogens and develop disease compared to other crops

Soil Health Survey Results are Revealing . . . (and specifically those with enhanced genetics), growers have had to spend more time thinking about continued from pg. 23

the biology of their soil.

People overwhelmingly indicated that crop productivity and quality was the top aspect of soil health on their farms (Figure 1).

Percent of respondents' answers in each category 90 80

A big part of the Potato Soil Health Project is to understand which soil biological measurements will be most useful. These measurements range from simple chemical extractions to complex microbiome assessments.

Percent (%)

70

This may include measures of both beneficial and pathogenic organisms in soil. The connection between specific (or a series of) soil health measurements and potato yield and health will take some time to unfurl, but it is a key goal of our project. Fifty to 65 percent of the respondents are interested in the connection between soil health and fertilizer and water management. These are exciting aspects of soil health testing.

60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Crop productivity and quality

Fostering beneficial microbes

Suppressing Water inputs Fertilizer This question soil borne and inputs and does not apply pathogens management management to me

Figure 11shows thethe percent of respondents’ answers toanswers the question aspects of“Which soil healthaspects are of greatest Figure shows percent of respondents’ to“Which the question of soil importance unique potato production system?” We asked themproduction to circle all that apply. health areinofyour greatest importance in your unique potato system?” We asked them to circle all that apply.

People overwhelmingly indicated that crop productivity and quality was the top aspect of soil health on

their farms (Figure 1). organic matter (SOM).

An increase in SOM can also lead to anwhich elevation in available nutrients A big part of the Potato Soil Health Project is to understand soil biological measurements will be WATER MANAGEMENT The themeasurements soil, the less likely mostsandier useful. These range from simple to chemical extractions toother complexmeasures microbiome the plant. But The connection to water assessments. we will be able to move the needle of available carbon and nitrogen management will likely come in the soil might also be useful on SOM, but we are developing from increased water retention, in sandy areas. databases to test this. perhaps from increased soil We might not be able to build SOM in sandy soils very well, but we Percent of respondents in each category could possibly speed up carbon and 80 nitrogen cycling. 70

Several recent papers have suggested that permanganate oxidizable carbon (a chemical extraction) or soil mineralizable carbon (a 24-hour incubation) might be useful in guiding nitrogen management, but these studies were conducted on silt loam soils and for corn production.

Percent (%)

60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Cover crops Biofum.

Microbials

Manure

No-till

Does not apply

Figure 2 indicates the percent of respondents’ answers to the question “What soil healthenhancing management strategies do you practice?” We asked them to circle all that apply. Figure 2 indicates the percent of respondents’ answers to the question “What soil health-enhancing management Biofumigants were also grouped with manures, and manure included allwith strategies do you(Biofum.) practice?” We asked them to circle all that green apply. Biofumigants (Biofum.) were also grouped other organicand inputs. “Microbials” refers to inputs. microbial inoculants or soil applied). green manures, manure included all other organic “Microbials” refers (seed to microbial inoculants (seed or

soil BC�T applied). 24 June

We also wanted to get a sense of the use of practices that are generally assumed to build soil health (Figure 2). Cover cropping was the most reported practice. This is not unexpected, of course, as cover crops are commonly used in the Wisconsin Central Sands to alleviate wind erosion.

We also wanted to get a sense of the use of practices that are generally assumed to build soil health (Figure 2). Cover cropping was the most reported practice. This is not unexpected, of course, as cover crops are commonly used in the Wisconsin Central Sands to alleviate wind erosion.


Most other practices were used by 20-32 percent of the respondents. Practices like bio-fumigation, organic amendments and microbial amendments will be evaluated as part of this study (to varying degrees), but plenty of concurrent

work is being done related to such soil health initiatives. Some of these practices will have direct impacts on soil health (e.g. controlling pathogenic organisms or supplying carbon to promote microbial activity) and others will

Above: Tillage practices are an interesting consideration in potato production systems, as we cannot avoid soil disturbance during the growing season. But it could be possible that reduced tillage would improve soil health during the non-potato years in a crop-rotation cycle. continued on pg. 26

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Soil Health Survey Results are Revealing . . . continued from pg. 25

have indirect effects.

“The good news is that 78 percent of the respondents said they were interested in soil health.” –Matt Ruark

Microbial amendments are an example of an indirect effect. They only influence a small volume of INFORMATION DELIVERY soil, butpeople if theytwo improve We asked questionsplant abouthealth information delivery. First, we asked how they would like to and growth, more carbon would be receive information. returned to the soil as crop residues.

People to receive information through our existing programming at the annual Tillageoverwhelmingly practices arevoted an interesting Grower Education Conference, during a summer field day and/or via the Vegetable Crop Update emailPowerPoint presentations—and receive information. consideration in potato production newsletter. videos for our website, but those systems, as we cannot avoid soil

People overwhelmingly voted to were not as popular. disturbance during the growing receive information through our We do expect to produce written materials—factsheets, manuals and PowerPoint presentations—and season. But it could be possible that We will make sure these materials videos for our website, but those were not as popular. existing programming at the annual reduced tillage would improve soil also get distributed at conferences, health during the non-potato years in Grower Education Conference, field days and through the newsletter. We will make sure these materials also get distributed at conferences, field days and through the during a summer field day and/or a crop rotation cycle. newsletter. via the Vegetable Crop Update email Second, we asked those surveyed INFORMATION DELIVERY newsletter. to identify which topics they would We asked people two questions Table 1. Shown below are delivery. responses toFirst, a question regarding of soil health informationwritten people would like like to to hear more about and then We types do expect to produce about information rank them in order of importance. receive. We asked respondents to circle all that apply and then to rank them in order of importance (with 1 being we asked how they would like to materials—factsheets, manuals and The topics proved popular as they all the most important). were selected on over 50 percent of the surveys (Table 1). What types of information are you interested in receiving? (Circle all that apply and then rank)

% of respondents

Final ranking

Number of #1 votes

How current management practices impact soil health

74

1

21

Integrating cover crops into potato production systems

62

4 (tied)

9

Microbial amendments and their effectiveness

65

4 (tied)

7

Alternatives to fumigation for reducing soil borne diseases

63

3

13

How to assess the health of your soil

58

2

8

Long-term economic benefit (or cost) of soil health Best Management Practices (BMPs)

58

4 (tied)

6

Microbiomes and their importance to agriculture

51

7

0

Table 1: Shown above are responses to a question regarding types of soil health information people would like to receive. We asked respondents to circle all that apply and then to rank them in order of importance (with 1 being the most important). 26 BC�T June

The most popular is the connection between current management practices and soil health. We are currently working on assessing the state of knowledge on current management practices and soil health. Management options, like cover cropping, microbial amendments and alternatives to fumigation, will need to be addressed through continued field trials. Assessing soil health and understanding the importance of microbiomes to agriculture will be a key component of this multi-state project. This will require several years and thousands of samples. Lastly, all data will be evaluated by economists to understand the cost and value of improving soil health in potato production systems. Many thanks to those who completed our survey. Please look for future materials from the Potato Soil Health Project later this year.


WPVGA Associate Division 20th Annual Golf Outing & Barbeque

WPVGA Associate Division

Bull’s Eye Country Club Wisconsin Rapids, Tuesday, July 14, 2020 We will golf rain or shine! REGISTRATION DEADLINE: June 26, 2020

The WPVGA Associate Division will host the 20th Annual Golf Outing at the Bull’s Eye Country Club in Wisconsin Rapids. The golf outing is followed by a splendid dinner barbeque and raffle prize drawings. The golf format is a four-person scramble with a shotgun start limited to the first 42 foursomes and sign up is on a first-come basis, so sign up soon! Don’t miss out! Registration will start at 9:00 a.m. and the scramble will begin with a shotgun start at 10:00 a.m. Cost is $80/person which includes 18 holes of golf with cart. Proper golf etiquette is expected. Lunch is available for all golfers that day courtesy of an associate sponsor. The dinner barbeque is held immediately following golf and is open to everyone in the industry whether you choose to golf or not. Tickets are required. ‘Barbeque only’ ticket price is $20/person. Make checks payable to WPVGA. Please contact Julie Braun, 715-623-7683, if you have any questions.

GRAB ATTENTION!

SIGN UP TO BE A SPONSOR For more details call Julie Braun at 715-623-7683 or email

jbraun@wisconsinpotatoes.com

REGISTRATION DEADLINE:

June 26, 2020

✁ ❑ Yes! I will golf. I am registering ______ golfers.

Group Leader Name: _____________________________

(Fee for golf only is $80 per person. This does not include barbeque.)

Company Name: _________________________________

❑ I wish to order _______ Barbeque Tickets at $20.00 per ticket.

Address: ________________________________________ City, State, Zip: __________________________________

❑ I would like to sponsor a hole at the golf outing. My donation of $_________ is enclosed.

Phone: __________________________________________ These are the people in my group: 1. ______________________________________________

Golf Fee: Number of Golfers x $80

$_________

Barbeque Tickets: Number of Tickets x $20

$_________

+ Hole Sponsor/Donation

$_________

Total Amount Enclosed:

2. ______________________________________________

$_________

Please return completed form and payment to: WPVGA • P.O. Box 327 • Antigo, WI 54409-0327

3. ______________________________________________


Guatemala’s National Agriculture Research Institute Field Day featured U.S. potatoes.

Seed Piece

U.S. potatoes are harvested at a field day in San Marcos, Guatemala.

Guatemala Buying U.S. Seed Potatoes Potatoes USA program increases demand and lands international sales

More U.S. growers, including a new exporter, are selling seed

potatoes to Guatemala as a result of Potatoes USA programs and support. Through effective activities aimed at increasing demand for U.S. seed, more opportunities are arising in Guatemala, a target market in Potatoes USA’s International Seed Program. One of Potatoes USA’s first program activities this fiscal year (July 2019June 2020) was the International Seed Symposium, which Guatemala growers and importers attended to learn about the advantages of U.S. seed, discuss the export process with industry members and visit domestic seed potato operations. Following the symposium, grower associations and researchers in Guatemala began trialing U.S. seed potatoes. In the fall of 2019, Potatoes USA representatives conducted a market visit to Guatemala to see the trial sites and the harvesting of U.S. potatoes. The representatives also met with growers, importers, private 28 BC�T June

businesses and government officials to discuss trial outcomes and future purchases of U.S. seed potatoes. SEED POTATO PURCHASES These efforts are now materializing into more purchases of U.S. seed potatoes. FENAPAPA, a Guatemalan grower association that sent representatives to the International Seed Symposium and coordinated trials, plans to buy two containers of Lamoka seed throughout this year. Guatemala’s National Agriculture Research Institute also ordered a combined two tons of Defender and Lamoka seed based off its trial successes. Other Guatemalan growers have

worked with importers and Potatoes USA to combine their orders, decreasing shipping costs for individual farmers and allowing more to buy U.S. seed. Growers from different states are working together to fulfill this order for multiple varieties. With the help of Potatoes USA, seed potato farmers coordinated the shipment to meet all the buyers’ needs. One of the growers is a first-time exporter and is being mentored by Potatoes USA and fellow farmers through this process. With the cooperative efforts of growers and other industry members, Potatoes USA plans to continue activities in all target markets that will further increase demand for U.S. potatoes. For additional information on these activities or the Potatoes USA International Seed Program, please contact Tiffany Thompson at Tiffany@PotatoesUSA.com.


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New Products

John Deere Produces Face Shields Company meets needs of health care workers in response to COVID-19 crisis

John Deere, in collaboration with the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, announces it is producing protective face shields at John Deere Seeding Group in Moline, Illinois. John Deere employees initially produced 25,000 face shields to meet the immediate needs of health-care workers in several of its U.S. manufacturing communities. Materials and supplies were on order to produce an additional 200,000 face shields. The company is using an open-source design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for

the project and leveraging expertise, skills and innovation of its employee base. “Our manufacturing and supply management teams, along with our production and maintenance employees, the UAW and our partners have worked tirelessly to ensure we can lend our support and protect our health-care workers during this crisis,” says John May, chief executive officer, Deere & Company. “By working closely with the communities where our employees live and work,” May adds, “we can help support the needs we’ve identified close to home and, as the project expands, address additional,

Jerry Miller, an assembler at John Deere Seeding in Moline, Illinois, assembles protective face shields for health care workers in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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urgent needs across the country.” SAFETY MEASURES John Deere Seeding Group employees are supporting the special project and utilizing extensive and robust safety measures adopted across the company to safeguard employees. “This is a very proud day for the UAW and our UAW members,” says Rory L. Gamble, UAW president. “I want to recognize the hard work that Secretary-Treasurer and Agriculture Implement Department Director Ray Curry and Region 4 Director Ron McInroy contributed to this effort.” “This included working to put the necessary health and safety provisions in place for our members to begin manufacturing critically needed face shields for the health care workers who are on the front lines of this crisis, saving lives,” Gamble stresses. “We are especially proud of the courageous UAW members who are stepping up to do this critical work,” he states. The production of protective face shields is one of many initiatives John Deere and its employees have executed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Efforts in the U.S. have included the following: • Personal protective equipment donations to health care facilities • 2:1 employee match program encouraging donations to local food banks and the American Red Cross • Production of approximately 18,000 protective face shields for use by factory employees • Employee volunteerism efforts to sew cloth masks for community members, along with a match from the John Deere Foundation for the time invested in this volunteer activity • Launch of a COVID-19 innovations site, https://www.deere.com/ en/covid19/innovations/, to share open-source specifications for related projects, including

John Deere, in collaboration with the United Auto Workers labor union, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, is producing protective face shields at the John Deere Seeding Group in Moline, Illinois.

3D-printed clips to affix face shields to protective bump caps For additional information regarding John Deere’s response to COVID-19,

go to https://www.deere.com/en/ covid19/, or visit the company’s website at www.JohnDeere.com. continued on pg. 32

Make the Best of it!

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New Products . . . continued from pg. 31

Lockwood VACS MOBILE Comes in Table Options Quick-change cleaning machine separates potatoes from rocks, dirt and other trash The Lockwood Manufacturing VACS MOBILE™, which has been dubbed the “ultimate mobile cleaning machine” since its debut in 2018, comes with table options. The ability of the VACS MOBILE to separate rock, dirt and other trash is unmatched. It is self-powered and extremely mobile, being mounted on a semi-trailer. Equally as impressive is its QuickChange™ table technology that allows a grower to pick and/or change out cleaning tables based on their conditions. There are four table options to choose from and the process to change tables is extremely easy in comparison to other cleaning machines on the market. Efficiency is crucial during harvest and the VACS MOBILE offers just that and then some. An efficient potato grower is a happy grower. Increased efficiency in the field brings more profits to a potato farmer’s pocketbook. The VACS MOBILE self-contained design has little setup in comparison to the competition. This industry first machine is made to fit on a

semitrailer and is easily set up on the job site. The VACS MOBILE is towable at highway speeds, something the competition simply cannot do! • Most mobile patented cleaning system on the market • 100 percent self-powered (requires no outside power to operate) • Large-capacity machine to meet all needs • Unsurpassed efficiency at removing foreign material • Greatest number of quick-change tables for any conditions (four)

The Lockwood VACS MOBILE is made to fit on a semitrailer, towable at highway speeds and easy to set up on the job site. 32 BC�T June

• Minimal time and manpower requirements for setup and teardown • Quick-Change table technology allows the VACS Mobile to adapt to any conditions with ease - Learn more about the QuickChange tables: - Star Tables (https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=ZlrPdsefyc&feature=youtu.be) - Extreme Clean™ Table (https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=BGandricoU&feature=youtu.be) - Double Stone Table (https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ oGs9HRX9Ro&feature=youtu.be) • System is completely mounted on one semi-trailer • Tare conveyors are all telescopic, bi-directional and speed controlled, featuring common discharge points and the ability to segregate tare by components For more information, visit www. lockwoodmfg.com, or call Lockwood Manufacturing, West Fargo, North Dakota, at 800-247-7335.


Potatoes USA News Forty-Two Members Sworn onto the Potatoes USA Board Potatoes USA’s Annual Meeting concluded with formal board business, including the swearing in of new members and electing of a board chairman, as well as Administrative Committee members and Executive Committee members. This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) appointed 27 new members to the Potatoes USA Board to serve three-year terms. They were sworn in on March 11 by Kelly M. Robertson, marketing specialist, promotion and economics division, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Specialty Crops Program. Each year, board members are nominated by the industry and are then appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Potatoes USA’s board has about 100 members, including growers, importers and one public member. New Board Members Greg Hebdon, Blythe, Calif. Rob Giesbrecht, Aberdeen, Idaho Kamren Koompin, American Falls, Idaho Andrew Porath, American Falls, Idaho Morgan Andrus, Idaho Falls, Idaho Ryan Moss, Rupert, Idaho Kent Peterson, Shelley, Idaho

Justin Searle, Shelley, Idaho Matt Floming, Thomson, Ill. Dan Blackstone, Caribou, Maine Jennifer Gogan, Littleton, Maine Kathy deVries-Ruehs, Melrose, Maine Scott Hanson, Cornell, Mich. Casey Folson, East Grand Forks, Minn. Troy Sorensen, Alliance, Neb. Tyler Backemeyer, Kearney, Neb. David Fedje, Hoople, N.D. Brad Nilson, Hoople, N.D. Jess Blatchford, Baker City, Ore. Steve Barrett, Lubbock, Texas Dennis Wright, Kennewick, Wash. Chris Olsen, Othello, Wash. Juan Martinez, Warden, Wash. Colt Underwood, West Richland, Wash. Kevin Schleicher, Custer, Wisc. Josh Knights, Plover, Wisc.

Above: Kelly M. Robertson (right), USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Specialty Crop Program, swears in new Potatoes USA Board members.

Mike Carter, Schofield, Wisc. Reappointed Members Jaclyn Green, Edison, Calif. Bryan Jones, Elkton, Fla. Kevin Searle, Shelley, Idaho Jennifer Borowicz, Crookston, Minn. Thomas Enander, Grenora, N.D. Marty Myers, Boardman, Ore. Tim Gonzalez, Littlefield, Texas Tyler Tschirky, Eltopia, Wash. Kyle Barclay, Kennewick, Wash. Melissa Bedlington-Kleindel, Lynden, Wash. Travis Meacham, Moses Lake, Wash. Chad Sullivan, Pasco, Wash. Erin Baginski, Antigo, Wisc. Keith Wolter, Antigo, Wisc. Reappointed Importer Vernon Thomas, Centreville, N.B.

SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW WPVGA MEMBERS When you need goods or services, please consider asking our Associate Division Members for quotes or explore what they have to offer. Together, we make a strong organization and appreciate how wonderful we are as a group. BC�T June 33


Minecto Pro Offers Potato Pest Control

Broad-spectrum foliar insecticide protects potatoes from damage due to Colorado potato beetles and potato psyllids A broad-spectrum foliar insecticide, Syngenta’s Minecto® Pro controls the most important potato pests, including Colorado potato beetles and potato psyllids. Harnessing the power of two complementary active ingredients, cyantraniliprole and abamectin, into one convenient premix formulation, Minecto Pro protects against multiple pest populations that overlap or occur simultaneously. “I have been distributing Minecto Pro for several years, since it received a Wisconsin label,” says Joe Kapral of Wilbur-Ellis Company. “Growers are confident in the results Minecto Pro delivers. Colorado potato beetle control has been consistent with excellent residual activity.” 34 BC�T June

Kapral has been scouting and making pesticide recommendations for Wisconsin potato growers since 1997. In his role as a sales representative for Wilbur-Ellis, he primarily recommends Syngenta’s Minecto Pro as a foliar spray for secondgeneration Colorado potato beetle (CPB) control. “The performance of Minecto Pro is as good or better than other foliar insecticide options,” Kapral says. RESIDUAL ACTIVITY “The residual activity of Minecto Pro is an important benefit,” he adds. “An application will not only control the target pest in the field, but also protect the crop from CPB that migrate from neighboring early harvested potato fields.”

Above: Based on efficacy trial data on potato, Syngenta’s Minecto Pro performs at a high level when it comes to managing difficultto-control pests, including Colorado potato beetle and potato psyllids.

Heavy infestations of CPB can cause severe defoliation and economic damage rapidly, but Kapral has confidence that when applying Minecto Pro, he will get good results. “Excellent coverage,” he stresses, “is important for control. If growers follow labeled rates and application requirements, they will see good results.” Syngenta offers these “Best Use Guidelines” for Minecto Pro: • Must always be mixed with a nonphytotoxic, non-ionic activator


type wetting, spreading and/ or penetrating spray adjuvant or horticultural oil (not a dormant oil) • When pest populations are high, use the highest rate allowed for that pest. • Thorough coverage is essential to obtain best results. Select a spray volume appropriate for the size of the crop and density of foliage. • Apply this product diluted in a minimum volume of 20 gallons/ acre by ground application or 5 gallons/acre by air. Under conditions such as high pest populations, within dense foliage or in adverse application conditions (such as high temperatures), use a greater volume of water to ensure adequate coverage. • For best control of mites, apply Minecto Pro with ground application equipment. For aerial application, the resulting level and duration of control for insects and spider mites could be less than with ground application. • Do not make more than two sequential applications.

Minecto Pro’s formulation has been extensively tested for compatibility with many common foliar fungicides and insecticides.

Introduced in 2017 (in 2018 in California), Minecto Pro is registered for use on the following: citrus, tree nuts, pome and stone fruits, and potato and vegetable crops. Minecto Pro’s pre-mix formulation contains robust rates of active ingredients that work to broaden the pest spectrum and increase the overall performance on many difficult-to-control insect pests, which means higher yields and higher quality fruits, nuts and vegetables. “Specifically, for our potato and vegetable growers in Wisconsin and the Midwest, it is a foliar insecticide that controls Colorado potato beetle, potato psyllid and potato tuber worm,” says Meade McDonald, North American product marketing lead, insecticides, for Syngenta. “In potatoes, Minecto Pro offers a novel mode of action for control of key insects,” McDonald adds, “making continued on pg. 36 BC�T June 35


Minecto Pro Offers Potato Pest Control . . . continued from pg. 35

it an ideal alternative to other classes of chemistry such as neonics.”

• Green peach aphids • Potato psyllids

Syngenta’s Minecto Pro also offers excellent control of spider mites that can manifest in potatoes.

In addition, Minecto Pro has been found to suppress potato aphids and potato flea beetles.

The complete list of insects controlled includes: • Beet armyworms • Colorado potato beetles • European corn borers • Liriomyza leaf miners • Potato tuber worms • Spider mites • Yellow-striped armyworms • Cabbage loopers

“Minecto Pro performance has exceeded grower expectations, especially regarding length of residual control on Colorado potato beetle,” McDonald states.

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Left: For potato and vegetable growers in Wisconsin and the Midwest, Minecto Pro is a foliar insecticide that controls Colorado potato beetle, potato psyllid and potato tuber worm. Right: As a foliar insecticide, Syngenta’s Meade McDonald says Minecto Pro offers the longest-lasting residual control of Colorado Potato beetle in the industry.

Pro require the use of a nonionic surfactant to achieve best results. The Minecto Pro label allows up to a maximum of two applications per growing season, and when used in a program approach for season-long pest control, it should be rotated with other insecticide modes of action. EARLY APPLICATION “For best results,” McDonald suggests, “Minecto Pro should be applied early before pest populations are high.” “Based on efficacy trial data,” he says, “growers can expect Minecto Pro to perform with high levels of control, providing peace of mind when it comes to management of difficult-tocontrol pests.” “Minecto Pro can play an integral part in an insect control program,” McDonald relates, “enabling growers to mitigate the risk of damage to their crops and produce higher yields.” “As a foliar insecticide,” he concludes, “Minecto Pro offers the longestlasting residual control on Colorado Potato beetle currently in the industry.”


Marketplace

By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education

March Ushered in Food Safety Classes In March 2020, the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association continued the tradition of offering food safety training for the industry, though it looked a little different this year. On March 3 and 4, Geri Barone from Professional Food Safety in Illinois came to Wisconsin and conducted the two-day HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) training in person. As its name implies, the class focuses on critical control points and is a requirement for packing houses and wash plants. It is also a requirement under the PrimusGFS (Global Food Safety) initiative. Once the class is complete, attendees receive a certificate that auditors request to see at the time of the audit. This year, 19 people updated their HACCP certificates. As a bonus, Barone held a questionand-answer session immediately following the HACCP class to assist with clarifications on the newest version of PrimusGFS. Another option offered as part of the food safety training this year was a free-of-charge open forum that aimed at providing information relative to the industry regarding various topics. While not a required class, the invited speakers provided beneficial updates regarding health and safety, sustainability and updates from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and

Consumer Protection. The lineup of speakers for the forum included the following: • Kelly Bubolz from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) spoke about hazards and preventative measures organizations can take to ensure the highest levels of safety on their farms. • Laura Scandurra of the Produce Sustainability Alliance (PSA) provided an introduction into the organization as well as its goals moving forward.

HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) training focuses on critical control points and is a requirement for packing houses and wash plants. It is also a requirement under the PrimusGFS (Global Food Safety) initiative.

• Finally, Michael Mosher provided insights into DATCP’s process and status of auditing organizations under the Produce Safety Act, which is a requirement of the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA. Forthcoming will be a separate presentation providing information on social audits given by Amanda Raster with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. Given the circumstances COVID-19 presented mid-March, the open forum took place virtually with several growers attending online. The presentations were also recorded and shared in a Tater Talk article. If you are interested in getting access to these recorded presentations, please email Dana Rady at drady@ wisconsinpotatoes.com.

Michael Mosher provided insights into DATCP’s process and status of auditing organizations under the Produce Safety Act, which is a requirement of the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA. BC�T June 37


Now News

Growers Ready to Meet Food Bank Needs Farmers help bridge supply gap and get produce to those in need As food banks struggle to keep up with dramatic increases in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers and ranchers are eager to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to bridge the supply gap and get farm products to those in need, according to a letter from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and Feeding America. The organizations praised USDA’s leadership through this crisis and offered recommendations for additional steps to ensure food banks across America are stocked. This would allow farmers and ranchers to expand on existing

partnerships with food banks and respond to shifting demands and pressing needs.

While demand has increased across the supply chain and store shelves have emptied from panic buying,

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food banks are seeing as much as a 100 percent increase in demand. REDIRECTING SUPPLY According to AFBF and Feeding America’s proposal, however, this demand can be met by redirecting supply from farmers and ranchers who have lost other markets, such as restaurants and tourism businesses due to closures and stay-at-home orders, by implementing a USDA-run

voucher system. The plan, outlined in an April 10 letter to USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue from the AFBF and Feeding America, allows farmers to work directly with food banks to get products quickly to families in need. In turn, this prevents food waste and helps growers recoup some of their production costs at a time when they are fighting to hold on.

“This is an opportunity for USDA to act quickly to produce a win for food banks and a win for farmers,” the letter states. “It’s a chance for government to serve as a facilitator while clearing bureaucracy and red tape,” the letter adds, “which fits well within the philosophy you have followed in your leadership of the department.”

Attorney General Revokes High-Capacity Well Opinion

2016 opinion limited DNR authority to what was in statutes/administrative rules By Jordan Lamb, DeWitt LLP

On Friday, May 1, 2020, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul issued a letter telling state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Cole that he is withdrawing the 2016 opinion related to high-capacity well permitting, which was issued by then Attorney General Brad Schimel. The 2016 Schimel opinion relied on the assumption that the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in the 2011 Lake Beulah Management District decision, failed to consider the application of 2011 Act 21.

Act 21 is a law that made significant changes to Wisconsin’s administrative rule process and, in Schimel’s opinion, limited the DNR to only the authority that is explicitly related in state statutes and properly adopted administrative rules with regard to reviewing and approving high capacity well applications. It remains to be seen how the revocation of the Schimel opinion will change DNR’s high capacity well application review and approval process.

Prior to the Schimel Opinion, DNR used a more comprehensive analysis that looked at a proposed well’s effect on “waters of the state.” Further, any clarity from the Wisconsin Supreme Court on this issue remains stalled as the pending “Clean Wisconsin Suits,” which also raise the question of DNR’s authority to review and permit high capacity wells, will not be considered by the Court until September 2020 at the earliest.

continued on pg. 40

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BC�T June 39


Now News . . . continued from pg. 39

Tasteful Selections Celebrates 10th Anniversary Decade of milestones includes opening of state-of-the-art facility in 2015 Tasteful Selections® continues to celebrate its 10th year in business. Through positive partnerships and continuous innovation, Tasteful Selections has evolved to its marketleading position as a grower and domestic and international supplier of bite-size potatoes. Over the course of 2020, consumers can join in the continued celebration as Tasteful Selections revisits and celebrates each year of growth. As part of the celebration, Tasteful Selections looks back at the grand opening of its state-of-the-art facility in 2015. “After just five years in business, our Tasteful Selections team was in need of a little more growing room,” says Tim Huffcutt, vice president of sales and marketing operations for RPE, Inc. and Wysocki Family of Companies. “The new building included innovative technology that improves the quality, sustainability and the efficiency of our operations,”

In 2015, after just five years in business, Tasteful Selections expanded by opening a stateof-the-art facility featuring innovative technology to improve the quality, and sustainability and efficiency of operations. From left to right at a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the facility are Milt Carter, Russell Wysocki, and Bob and Nathan Bender.

Huffcutt adds. “We are a company committed to responsible farming and innovative solutions,” he explains, “and with this facility, we are able to reduce the amount of energy we use as well as

provide a safer environment for our employees.” WIN BITE-SIZE POTATOES Consumers have multiple chances to win bite-size potatoes and prizes each month during the 10-year anniversary

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celebration. In May, prizes included a cheese board, stemless tumblers, an automatic corkscrew and free bitesize potatoes. Tasteful Selections is also continuing its “10th-day Instagram Giveaway,” which includes free potatoes to two lucky winners on the 10th of every month in 2020. Keeping things fresh, Tasteful Selections built a new website focused on improving the user experience. Concentrating on recipes, and nutritional, recycling and interactive product information, Tasteful Selections wants customers to find inspiration and answers easily. “Following our re-branding in 2018, we launched a new version of our website. Two years later, we were ready to improve our site to make continued on pg. 42

Tasteful Selections consumers have multiple chances to win bite-size potatoes and prizes each month during the company’s 10-year anniversary celebration. In May, prizes included a cheese board, stemless tumblers, an automatic corkscrew and free bite-size potatoes.

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Now News . . . continued from pg. 41

sure we meet all our consumers’ needs,” Huffcutt says. “We’ve kept the consumers in mind with the newest web improvements, focusing on recipes, nutrition and usability,” he adds. “With this new website, we hope Tasteful Selections customers will enjoy our bite-size potatoes for many meals to come.”

Continue the celebration and visit the new site at www.TastefulSelections. com. About Tasteful Selections Tasteful Selections, LLC is a vertically integrated family-owned collection of farms pioneering and leading the bite-size potato category. To ensure high standards of quality, flavor and freshness, Tasteful Selections owns and operates the entire process of planting,

growing, harvesting and packaging—field to fork fresh in every bite. About RPE Category leader RPE is a grower/shipper of year-round potatoes and onions, providing category innovation and retail solutions as the exclusive sales and marketing partner of Tasteful Selections and its best quality, bitesize potatoes.

Wilbur-Ellis Donates $100,000 to Red Cross Funds meant to relieve hardships created by coronavirus pandemic In this time of need for so many, Wilbur-Ellis has made a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross, with the funds directed to the U.S., Canada and Asia-Pacific where the company’s employees live and work. Wilbur-Ellis recognizes the unprecedented needs created by the coronavirus pandemic and is

committed to relieving some of the hardship with this donation. “As a global company, giving to the Red Cross is one of the best ways to reach people in need worldwide,” says Wilbur-Ellis President and CEO John Buckley. “We are pleased to support the humanitarian and disaster relief efforts of the Red Cross

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during this time of crisis.” “As a family-owned company that is nearing its 100th anniversary,” Buckley adds, “we are proud to support the agriculture, animal nutrition, energy and chemicals industries, all considered ‘essential’ businesses that support the food supply and provide other vital products for society.” As the pandemic unfolded, WilburEllis continued to operate, with strict health protocols in place, to support customers who work each day to feed the world and provide essential products that everyone needs. “We recognize our responsibility and know that we are fortunate to be able to operate during this challenging time,” Buckley says. “We will continue to meet our responsibilities,” he concludes, “while doing everything possible to protect the health and well-being of our employees. They are amazing people who have risen to the challenge and make everything we do possible.”


Eyes on Associates

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

Greetings, everyone.

I sincerely hope that all of you and your families have come through spring safe and healthy. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, the stay-at-home order will be lifted, and some normalcy restored to our lives. Last month, the WPVGA Associate Division sent out an email, but I wanted to communicate it again here in case any of you did not receive it: In these challenging times, it is important that we all support each other. The Associate Division Board is here to provide support to WPVGA grower and Associate Division members. It may be valuable to connect with another person or business who might also share your unique situation.

Despite not being able to meet in person, the Associate Division has continued business as usual via phone conferencing. At our last meeting, we reviewed and discussed the 2020 grant proposals.

A total of $10,966.05 of grant proposals was submitted. As always, we encourage those submitting proposals to use fellow WPVGA members for quotes on the jobs and to explore how members might be able to help each other. As an industry, we have a lot to offer; we just need to ask sometimes. Thank you to those who submitted proposals.

continued on pg. 44

If you have questions relating to circumstances arising during these uncertain times, you can reach out to board members, growers or others in the industry to find out if they have encountered a similar situation to what you are experiencing, or perhaps with questions directly related to their field of expertise. Also, please see the weekly “Tater Talk” e-newsletter for up-to-date information. BC�T June 43


Eyes on Associates . . . continued from pg. 43

WPVGA Associate Division Board President Kenton Mehlberg will once again be onhand at the 2020 Putt-Tato Open, July 14, to announce winners of the golf tournament and hand out raffle prizes.

Please take a moment to check your calendars for the following upcoming events: • July 14, 2020—Putt-Tato Open golf outing, Bull’s Eye Country Club, 9 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. shotgun start • October 2020—1st Annual Trap

One of the many ways the WPVGA Associate Division supports the potato and vegetable industry is by sponsoring and serving lunch at the annual Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day. On the right side of the tables, from front to back serving guests, are current and past Associate Division Board members and volunteers Nick Laudenbach, Julie Cartwright, Tom Grall, Kenton Mehlberg, Rich Wilcox and Sally Suprise.

Shooting Event, Wausau Trap and Skeet Club If you have not yet marked your calendar for the 2020 Putt-Tato Open golf outing, please do! Currently, we are planning the event as normal. It will be held on July 14 at Bull’s Eye Country Club in Wisconsin Rapids. Do not forget to register for this

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great industry outing. We are in the process of putting together another great line-up of raffle prizes. Please consider becoming a sponsor for one of these great prizes to promote your business or organization and support the event at the same time. The success of the Putt-Tato Open is dependent upon your participation, so thank you in advance for your support. While you are checking your calendars, let me take a minute to explain why the Associate Division sponsors these events and why your participation is important to the industry. Our purpose is to help foster and promote the various functions of the potato and vegetable industry.

CLAconnect.com Dean Johnson, Jim Halvorsen | 715-344-4984 Investment advisory services are offered through CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor. ©2019 CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

44 BC�T June

Our mission is working in partnership with the WPVGA as product and service providers to promote mutual industry viability by integrating technology and information resources. Now here is where the rubber meets the road, literally and figuratively. In the last five years, the


“This has been an unprecedented time and I am proud of how our industry has stepped up and banded together to get through.” –Kenton Mehlberg Associate Division has contributed over $200,000 to these industrysupporting causes: • Monetary support to University of Wisconsin (UW) research stations • Grants to affiliated industry organizations • Assistance with Grower Education Conference and coordination of the Industry Show and banquet • Scholarships to students with WPVGA ties • Hosting annual Putt-Tato Open golf outing and barbeque • Sponsoring meals at the Rhinelander, Hancock and Antigo Field Days

• Monetary support to various industry projects and initiatives • Contributing toward updates to the Wisconsin Spudmobile mobile education unit • Supporting UW researchers The Associate Division supports the growers and the agriculture industry. Please keep this in mind as you mark your calendars. Thank you to all for your participation. I will close this month by once again reminding everyone that the Associated Division will be hosting its first annual sporting clays shoot later this year. The event will take place in

mid-to-late October after harvest. The sporting clays shoot will be held at the Wausau Trap and Skeet Club. Vendors and growers are encouraged to attend. I will provide a date as soon as it is available, but please plan on participating in this exciting new event. As always, please contact any of our board members with thoughts or ideas you would like us to consider. We appreciate the opportunity to serve this great industry. As we move into a new year, please consider this: If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk, and if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, stay positive and keep moving forward. Stay healthy and best of luck out there.

Kenton Mehlberg WPVGA Associate Division President

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www.potatoseed.org BC�T June 45


WPIB Focus Cohen Receives Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Entomology graduate honored for researching insect adaptation to changing environments The University of Wisconsin (UW)Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) has selected the 2020-’21 graduate fellowship recipients. The college would like to thank the donors for making these awards possible and the selection committees that reviewed the nominations. The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and Wisconsin Potato Industry Board (WPIB) established the “Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship” to support a graduate student who demonstrates excellence in the areas of groundwater resources or potato research. The 2020-’21 recipient of the fellowship is Zachary Cohen, Department of Entomology Graduate Program. “I am interested in understanding

the genetic mechanisms and consequences of rapid adaptation in insects to changing environments,” Cohen says. “Some insects exhibit rapid adaptation in their changing environments,” he continues. COLORADO POTATO BEETLE “Colorado potato beetle is a serious agricultural pest that has developed resistance to a wide range of insecticides, with distinct modes of action, in a short amount of time,” Cohen states. “Understanding the genetic sources driving this adaptability is essential in predicting species survival and diversity,” he concludes. Cohen’s major advisor, Sean Schoville, says, “Zach is an exceptionally talented graduate student whose training in pest management, molecular biology and bioinformatics promises to provide leadership and

Zachary Cohen recognizes Colorado potato beetle as a serious agricultural pest that has developed resistance to a wide range of insecticides, with distinct modes of action, in a short amount of time.

transformative science to address future U.S. agricultural research needs.” A UW-Madison Department of Entomology associate professor, Schoville adds, “Zach’s research addresses the growing problem of managing agricultural insect pests by aiming to develop cutting-edge tools to investigate genomics and functional genetics.” “His research will provide new directions to study pest adaptation to insecticides and provide a means to develop new control measures,”

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison Month

Jul-18

Aug-18

Sep-18

Oct-18

Nov-18

Dec-18

Jan-19

Feb-19

Mar-19

Apr-19

May-19

Jun-19

Year-to-Date

CWT

1,631,620.99

1,724,518.33

1,223,827.03

2,489,512.74

2,711,563.12

2,010,017.18

2,053,551.54

1,941,139.54

1,484,961.43

1,852,405.67

19,123,117.57

Assessment

$114,203.25

$125,436.11

$95,267.11

$199,179.55

$216,890.04

$160,823.98

$164,271.78

$155,340.82

$118,739.00

$148,169.65

$1,498,321.29

Aug-19

Sep-19

Oct-19

Nov-19

Dec-19

Jan-20

Feb-20

Mar-20

Apr-20

Month

Jul-19

May-20

Jun-20

Year-to-Date

CWT

1,737,634.84

616,558.70

888,994.00

2,231,926.08

2,407,229.71

2,076,049.78

3,103,420.09

1,675,525.19

2,243,789.02

2,142,208.63

19,123,336.04

Assessment

$139,082.75

$42,984.69

$77,501.87

$178,514.78

$192,575

$166,306.75

$248,238.17

$134,215.91

$179,634.18

$171,389.64

$1,530,443.74

46 BC�T June


Schoville states. Cohen says, “Thank you all so much for this amazing opportunity. I’m grateful to apply my research towards the continued success of Wisconsin potato growers.â€? The estate of Elsa Thomsen established the Louis and Elsa Thomsen Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowships to support graduate students who demonstrate excellence in research. Four 2020-’21 fellowships will be awarded to the following recipients: • Evan Glasgow, Integrated Program in Biochemistry, Major Advisor – Brian Fox, Department of Biochemistry • Kristopher Kieft, Microbiology Doctoral Training Program, Major Advisor – Karthik Anantharaman, Department of Bacteriology • Jesse Sheftel, Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences, Major Advisor – Sherry Tanumihardjo, Department of Nutritional Sciences • Jaimie West, Soil Science Graduate Program, Major Advisor – Thea Whitman, Department of Soil Science Jack and Marion Goetz established the Jack & Marion Goetz Graduate Fellowship in Agricultural & Life Sciences to support excellence in graduate student research with emphasis on genetics and general environmental research at the agricultural research stations. The recipient of the 2020-21 award is: • Madison Cox – Microbiology Doctoral Training Program, Major Advisor – Garret Suen, Department of Bacteriology Congratulations to all recipients of the CALS awards.

Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship award winner Zachary Cohen is interested in understanding the genetic mechanisms and consequences of rapid adaptation in insects to changing environments.

We are here to support you.                

       

  BC�T June 47


NPC News Industry Lauds $50 Million USDA Potatoes Purchase Growers in U.S. reeling from an oversupply of processing potatoes The National Potato Council (NPC) welcomes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement of a $50 million surplus potato purchase to support the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the largest potato purchase in the USDA’s history and the highest monetary allocation for all specialty crops under a $470 million Section 32 food buy. This purchase is in addition to those previously announced by USDA. “This is very welcome news from Secretary Perdue, Undersecretary Ibach and the entire team at USDA,” says NPC President Britt Raybould. “Given the size of the crisis involving potatoes, this purchase is a partial down payment on the industry’s overall relief needs.” “In the short term,” Raybould adds, “the announcement is very positive 48 BC�T June

in that it provides clarity on the immediate relief efforts and gives family farms hope for more to come.” PROCESSING POTATOES “Due to mandated shutdowns, the U.S. potato industry has been reeling from an oversupply of processing potatoes left over from the 2019 harvest,” says NPC CEO Kam Quarles. “Individual potato growers and state potato associations have distributed millions of pounds of potatoes to charities, food banks and local drop off locations nationwide,” he continues, “incurring substantial financial losses in support of the needy despite their own businesses being threatened by the pandemic.” “We believe this announcement is the federal government’s response to those efforts and look forward to their partnership in the future,” Quarles remarks.

According to the announcement, The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will purchase a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and seafood products. The products will then be provided to USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) assistance programs, including food banks. The National Potato Council represents the interests of U.S. potato growers on federal legislative, regulatory, environmental and trade issues. The value of U.S. potato production is over $3.7 billion annually and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs both directly and indirectly. Above: Due to mandated shutdowns, the U.S. potato industry has been reeling from an oversupply of processing potatoes left over from the 2019 harvest.


Direct Payment Program Needs Improvement After extensive conversations with the industry to better understand the real-world impact of the new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), the National Potato Council and 13 state grower organizations issued a letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address several deficiencies in the CFAP rules that prevent the program from having a meaningful impact for the nation’s potato growers. As the letter points out, the industry appreciates the recent USDA announcement of a $50 million surplus commodity purchase for potatoes under Section 32 authority and its efforts to provide direct payments to struggling family farms. Unfortunately, the CFAP does not meet the goal for our industry of a

meaningful direct payment program. The groups raise several concerns about the eligibility categories and payment rates, including: • Why potatoes are ineligible for Category 1 payments when it is clear that several potato producing states had growers who suffered a significant price loss during the specified January-April time period; • Why USDA only considered fresh (retail) market data for potatoes to determine a five percent price loss rather than the processed (food service) side of the industry that operates largely on a contract basis; • Why similar crops, particularly sweet potatoes, have significantly higher payment rates when market prices are comparable; and

• Why unusable product left on the farm is treated differently than shipped product. Given these examples, the industry requests USDA to take the following urgent actions to provide relief to our family farmers: • Make potatoes eligible for Category 1 payments at a meaningful level, subject to requirements of verifying economic losses in a manner consistent with the seed, fresh and the contract nature of the processing sides of the potato industry; and • Raise the payments for potatoes in Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3 to levels that are consistent with the payment levels of other commodities and no less than 4 cents per pound.

NPC Seeks Equal Access to Paycheck Protection Program NPC joined 37 agriculture groups, April 27, in a letter to Congress requesting adjustments to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that would make it easier for specialty crop growers to access relief. Noting that, combined, the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sectors received only 1.3 percent of the original $349 billion in approved PPP funding, the groups argued that the program should be adjusted to ensure agriculture is given equal access to assistance. “We continue to press forward on two major fronts in pandemic relief. The first, exemplified by this letter,

is ensuring our growers are eligible for and able to make the most use of existing programs,” wrote R.J. Andrus, NPC vice president of legislative and government affairs. “The second is driving toward enhanced funding and new programs with Congress and the Administration to give growers the relief they need,” Andrus continued. The ag groups outlined priorities for the next round of Small Business Administration loans, including: • Expedited approval of applications for rural lenders and allowing farm credit institutions to access the newly established PPP set-aside for

small financial lenders; • Guidance for agricultural applicants to allow profits from farm equipment trades and breeding livestock to be included in the calculation of income for PPP; • Defining “primary place of residence” so it includes H-2A guest workers, because many of these workers spend more than half the year in the United States; and • Increasing the eligibility cap for agriculture so family farms and agricultural processors that employ more than 500 employees can continue operating and paying their employees. BC�T June 49


Tax Credits for Growers Who Invest in Solar Energy With the technology becoming less expensive, growers weigh renewable options By Joseph Duda, principal—agribusiness, CliftonLarsonAllen My farm clients are some of the most resourceful and innovative businesspeople I know. They are consistently exploring how they can improve their operations. The agriculture industry itself is full of new research and machinery, such as auto-steer and precision planters, automated feeders, robotic milking machines and drones. Each season there are different fertilizers and improvements in animal and seed genetics. Though we cannot control the weather, farmers can use moisture sensors and drip tape to increase production and improve efficiency. Agriculture is an exciting industry that harnesses technology and applies it to natural processes. INCREASE PROFITABILITY

Solar panels can help farming businesses increase profitability, efficiency, safety and environmental sustainability. Photo courtesy of Deb Tanis-Omernik

in their business, including energy sources.

Some businesses are first adopters, With solar technology becoming less and some wait until after technology proves reliable and sustainable for the expensive and the abundance of available flat land, many of my clients financial bottom line. Technological are inquiring about renewable energy improvements often help farming opportunities. businesses increase profitability, With solar technology becoming less expensive and the abundance of available flat land, many of my efficiency, safetyabout andrenewable environmental clients are inquiring energy opportunities. The most practical benefit from a sustainability. solar investment is the tax credit and The most practical benefit from a solar investment is the tax credit and depreciation on the equipment depreciation Progressive managers have a lot of in year one, as well as the reduction in near-term income tax liabilities. on the equipment in year one, as well as the reduction in technology to choose from when tax credit for solar energy systems isincome 26 percenttax for liabilities. the 2020 tax year, near-term itCurrently, comesthe torenewable making energy an investment and is available through December 31, 2021, with a step down at the end of this year.

Date construction begins

Placed in service date

Tax credit amount

1/1/20-12/31/20

Before 1/1/24

26%

1/1/21-12/31/21

Before 1/1/24

22%

50 BC�T June On larger projects, where a tax liability for a business is not expected in the near term, a Federal 1603 grant is available. This grant offers funds up front to pay for the project versus waiting for a year with a tax liability to use up the credit.

Currently, the renewable energy tax credit for solar energy systems is 26 percent for the 2020 tax year, and is available through December 31, 2021, with a step down at the end of this year. On larger projects, where a tax liability for a business is not expected in the near term, a Federal 1603 grant is available. This grant offers funds up front to pay for the project versus waiting for a year with a tax liability to use up the credit. A 1603 grant might require additional costs and administrative responsibilities to confirm that the project is operating as intended. Here are a few things to remember as you consider a solar project:


For ag businesses, creating various income streams, finding efficiencies with technologies, using tax credits, USDA funds, rebates and incentive programs all help the bottom line.

• The cost basis for income tax depreciation of the solar equipment is reduced by one-half of the tax credit. • No Section 179 is allowed on the solar equipment with the credit. • One hundred percent bonus depreciation is allowed. • Solar equipment has a five-year normal depreciable life otherwise. Here is an example. Currently there is a 30 percent tax credit available for solar equipment, so if you spent $162,500 in 2019, you would get a $48,750 credit to offset your federal income taxes. A review of the last few years of your federal income tax returns and your current year income tax planning projections will let you know if you have an expected tax liability. If you do not use all the credit in the current year, it is carried back to the immediate prior year. Any remaining credit is carried forward for up to 20 years.

A good location for a solar project would be farmland or operating sites that will be with the business for years to come.

percent bonus depreciation.

years to come.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

RENTING LAND TO ENERGY COMPANIES

The payback on solar will depend on the price of energy in the future, and the tax code on this may change. As with any piece of equipment, there is a tax savings if accelerated depreciation is used. Several of my clients considering solar like the financing terms offered. We advise taking a close look at your operation’s cash flow projections to determine if solar equipment is a good fit for your situation. The tax credit and depreciation benefits will help cash flow related to the initial investment, but if additional funds are obtained, it may significantly help your decision to move forward. Applying for a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant may be appropriate for your operation.

The cost basis of equipment at $162,500 would be reduced by onehalf of the credit ($24,375), which would make your depreciable basis of the equipment $138,125.

Your local utility company may have special offers, and your state might provide income tax credits or incentives as well. Taken together, these opportunities could help make the deal less daunting and reduce your financial risk.

Again, this is five-year depreciable equipment and Section 179 is not allowed, but you can take 100

A good location for a solar project would be farmland or operating sites that will be with the business for

In addition to the possibilities of investing in solar equipment, renting land to energy companies could bring in income as well. The leases are upward of 20 years and typically have been bringing in $1,000 to $1,500 an acre. The lease should be reviewed carefully by a professional before proceeding. For ag businesses, creating various income streams, finding efficiencies with technologies, using tax credits, USDA funds, rebates and incentive programs all help the bottom line. Progressive farmers consider all these areas, and evaluate and balance these investments the same way professionals balance a portfolio. Solar may not be right for your operation, but many businesses have been running the numbers to determine if an opportunity is available before the existing tax credit runs out. CliftonLarsonAllen’s resources and agribusiness professionals are here to help. We can help you plan for a solar project, explore other renewable energy tax credits available, or simply sit down and talk about the future of your farming operation.

BC�T June 51


Badger Beat

Groundwater Quality: A Statewide Issue How is groundwater affected by common herbicides used in potato production? By Jed Colquhoun, professor, IPM program director and Extension specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Horticulture

Groundwater quality has been a broad, statewide discussion topic lately, ranging from nitrates and pesticides in agriculture to PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) concerns in consumer and industrial settings. In fact, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared 2019 as the Year of Clean Drinking Water. The attention to such issues could likely manifest itself in regulatory changes that affect the way you farm. For example, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has formed a Technical Advisory Committee to address nitrates in 52 BC�T June

water and is also working with the Department of Health Services on potential changes to groundwater standards that include several pesticides. The intent of this article is to build awareness around the groundwater situation as it relates to common herbicides used in potato production with a focus on three areas: relying

Above: University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor and Extension Specialist Jed Colquhoun says, in sandy soils with low organic matter like those of many potato production areas, herbicides have less to bind to and therefore are more prone to remain in water solution.

on available data for situational context, providing some basic biological and chemical knowledge that will hopefully allow for informed discussions among those involved, and offering a few considerations to help us manage water quality risks as best as we can.


Let us start with what we know from recently collected data in the Central Sands area of the state. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) conducts a Targeted Sampling Program in which private wells located within or near agricultural areas are tested for pesticides and nitrates. In each testing round, about half the wells are new to the program and half come from wells tested five years prior. The 2018 Targeted Sampling Program included 36 wells in Adams, Waushara and Portage counties and tested for the potato herbicides metolachlor (and its metabolites) and metribuzin, among other pesticides and nitrates. Importantly, the herbicide levels in all detections never exceeded the established Preventative Action Limits (PAL) or Enforcement Standards (ES). In fact, in almost all cases, the detected concentrations were many-fold lower than the current PAL and ES. LOW-LEVEL DETECTIONS With that said, low levels of metolachlor and its metabolites were found in 89 percent of tested wells and metribuzin was detected in 42 percent of wells. Ninety-four percent of samples contained at least one pesticide or pesticide metabolite, not specific to those used in potato, and a total of 19 were detected across the samples. Twenty-three wells in the study were sampled in both 2013 and 2018. In 78 percent of the wells, more metolachlor ESA (a metabolite or “breakdown product� of metolachlor herbicide) was detected in 2018 than in 2013, and in 48 percent of the wells, the concentration had more than doubled. So, what happens biologically and chemically that might help account for these detections? In a broad sense, there are three primary pieces at play here: herbicide

properties, soil factors and the weather. Without getting buried in chemistry, there are a few herbicide properties that are worth considering that play a large role in determining leaching risk: solubility, adsorption and persistence. Solubility refers to the amount of herbicide that can be held in water solution. Adsorption is a measure of how tightly the herbicide is bound to soil particles and organic matter. Soils higher in clay content and organic matter adsorb or bind more herbicide and therefore less is available to leach.

In 2013, the weather station in Hancock, Wisconsin, recorded 5.56 inches of precipitation between May 1 and June 13, roughly the period in which these herbicides are typically used and could be expected to provide residual weed control. No rainfall events measuring more than one inch were recorded. In continued on pg. 54

In general, solubility and adsorption are inversely related. If an herbicide is highly soluble, it is typically less likely to be bound to soil (with a few exceptions, of course). PERSISTENCE IN SOIL Persistence is simply a measure of how long the herbicide remains in the soil. For many herbicides, including metolachlor and metribuzin, microbial decomposition is the primary process to break down the herbicide and reduce persistence. These microbes live on organic matter, so herbicide breakdown happens quickly, and persistence is short in soils with high levels of organic matter. In sandy soils with low organic matter, herbicides have less to bind to and therefore are more prone to remain in water solution. If not leached by heavy rainfall, herbicides can persist in sandy soils longer because there are fewer microbes to break them down. With these basic soil and herbicide properties in mind, the unknown wildcard is the weather, and more specifically, precipitation. In fact, differences in precipitation and groundwater levels between 2013 and 2018 may likely account for the increased detection levels and frequency outlined above. BC�T June 53


Badger Beat. . . continued from pg. 53

2018, 7.21 inches of precipitation were recorded over that same time period and included two events measuring over one inch apiece, and four events of more than a half inch each. Moreover, in 2013, we were coming off a drought and much lower groundwater levels than the recordsetting levels set in many areas over the past couple years. We are not good at controlling the weather in favorable ways and can’t readily change the ground under our farms, so what can we do to manage these risks? Here are a few reminders to consider: 1. Rotate herbicides in time and across the landscape. Diversifying our weed management tools can not only pay dividends by reducing the risk for resistance and expanding the control spectrum, but also in reducing the risk of higher concentrations in soil and water. This may be more important across the landscape than over time. For those who manage large acreages, while it certainly makes management more complicated, the risk of “overloading” the system can be reduced by not using the same weed management program for all fields in close proximity to each other. 2. Consider herbicide solubility. Solubility varies greatly among herbicides commonly used for pre-

| Volume 72 No. $22/year | $2/copy

THE VOICE OF

O WISCONSIN'S POTAT

VEGETABLES & FARM SAFET Y/ UE INSURANCE ISS

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05 | MAY 2020

Solubility varies greatly among herbicides commonly used for pre-emergent weed control in potato.

emergent weed control in potato.

fertilizer and pesticide inputs.

For example, and not as an endorsement of one product over another, here are the solubilities of a few active ingredients. Keep in mind, the higher the number, the more herbicide that can be held in water.

In many potato production areas, groundwater has been at record high levels in the past few years given repeated high precipitation, and it is fairly easy to monitor these trends over moderate and long time periods.

• Pendimethalin: .275 mg/L (milligrams per liter)

While it’s certainly more challenging to predict individual high precipitation events when leaching is a risk, the National Weather Service has a site worth bookmarking and monitoring during the growing season: https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa. gov/pqpf/conus_hpc_pqpf.php.

• Pyroxasulfone: 3.49 mg/L • Metolachlor: 530 mg/L • Metribuzin: 1,200 mg/L 3. Keep an eye on weather trends and groundwater levels as you manage

Badger Common’Tater

THE VOICE OF THE WISCONSIN POTATO & VEGETABLE INDUSTRY

INTERVIEW:

D GUof MZ ent RO Directors Presid WPVGA Board Co-Owner, Gumz

Muck Farms

TICS LINEAGE LOGIS Food to Connects People WOM EN OUTSTANDIN G Part II Of Wisconsin Ag, E WHY THE SECUR You to s Act Matter TIPS ON SHARE ERS GROW ng Potatoes Buying & Handli

harvest to field dry before Onions are lifted , Wisconsin. Farms, Endeavor on Gumz Muck

54 BC�T June

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Whether you are a grower, industry partner or simply enjoy rural life, sign up to receive this prestigious publication in print version, delivered direct to your mailbox for $22/year (12 issues). wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe


People CHS Larsen Cooperative Awards Scholarships Program is a way to give back and strengthen communities in Wisconsin CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to award $16,000 in scholarships to local high school and post-high school students. For the past 20 years, this scholarship program has helped more than 295 students. CHS Larsen Cooperative is dedicated to ensuring a strong future for agriculture. This program is a way to give back and strengthen communities in the more than 25 Wisconsin counties where CHS Larsen Cooperative’s farmer-owners and customers live.

As CHS plans to continue offering this scholarship into the future, find the criteria and a 2021 application at www.CHSLarsenCooperative.com. The next deadline for the CHS Larsen Cooperative scholarship is March 15,

2021. Visit the website to apply for next year or call 800-924-6677. CHS Larsen Cooperative delivers agronomy, grain, energy and feed products and services to Wisconsin continued on pg. 56

The scholarship is offered to the children and grandchildren of CHS Larsen Cooperative’s owners and customers. To be eligible, students must be graduating from high school and/or currently enrolled in post-high school education. See the accompanying image for a complete list of the 16 students receiving 2020 scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each. “One of the cooperative principles is concern for communities and this is another way we live out this principle,” says David Neal, general manager, CHS Larsen. “CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to support our local youth. It pays to invest in our local future industry leaders,” Neal adds. “I would like to congratulate all the scholarship recipients and wish them the best of luck as they further their education.” The scholarship selection is based on academic achievement, leadership characteristics, community involvement, CHS Larsen customer activity and the student’s vision of the future of agriculture.

Over the past 25 years, the CHS Larsen Cooperative scholarship program has helped more than 295 Wisconsin students with school costs. BC�T June 55


People. . . continued from pg. 55

ag producers and other customers in 25 counties in Wisconsin and three in Upper Michigan. It is part of CHS Inc., (www.chsinc.com), a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, agronomy, grains and food, CHS is committed to creating

connections to empower agriculture, helping its farmer-owners, customers and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, seed, crop protection products, grain marketing services, production and agricultural services, animal nutrition

products, foods and food ingredients, and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries and pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.

Reinke Honors Roberts Irrigation Technician David Chavez earns the Proven Leaders in Umatched Service Award Reinke announces that David Chavez of Roberts Irrigation, in Plover, Wisconsin, has earned the PLUS (Proven Leaders in Unmatched Service) Certified Technician Award. The award is one of the most elite technical service designations awarded by Reinke. “Being recognized as a PLUS Certified Technician is a remarkable accomplishment,” says Mark Mesloh, vice president of North American sales, Reinke. “David has completed one of the most extensive technical service trainings available to Reinke dealerships and is to be commended for his hard work.” The PLUS Certified Technician Program consists of a series of technical servicetraining classes and tests. Chavez received the PLUS award by completing all classes and receiving high marks on all testing. “We understand how important qualified service technicians are to growers when they make their buying decisions,” Mesloh says. “That’s the focus of our technical service programs, to consistently build on the level of service capabilities of Reinke dealers across the country and further our commitment to the industry.” With hundreds of dealers in more than 40 countries, Reinke Manufacturing 56 BC�T June

is the world’s largest privately held manufacturer of center pivot and lateral move irrigation systems. Family owned since 1954, and headquartered in Deshler, Nebraska, Reinke develops products and technology designed to increase agriculture production while providing labor savings and environmental efficiencies.

Reinke is a continued leader in industry advancements as the first to incorporate GPS (global positioning system), satellite-based communications and touchscreen panel capabilities into mechanized irrigation system management. For more information on Reinke or to locate a dealership, visit www.reinke. com or call 402-365-7251.


Ali's Kitchen

Feed Your Crew Breakfast Tacos Give mornings a little kick with potato, egg, chorizo and sauce-filled tortillas Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary How would I describe these Breakfast Tacos?

breakfast, but also ideal for a fun taco breakfast bar!

They are tortillas filled with crispy potatoes, fluffy scrambled eggs and smoky chorizo sausage, all topped with a creamy lime yogurt sauce that has just enough spice to give the breakfast a little kick. This morning meal comes together in about 20 minutes of prep and cook time, making it not only an easy Saturday

Place the ingredients in separate serving bowls, set out some chopped cilantro, a jar of salsa or Pico de Gallo, pickled jalapenos, a small plate filled with slices of avocado and a variety of hot sauces, and invite your crew to assemble their own. continued on pg. 58

Ingredients:

Breakfast Tacos • 8 flour tortillas • 2 or 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes • 2 tsp. ground cumin • 6 ounces chorizo sausage • 6 eggs • 1/4 cup milk • 2 Tbsp. butter (divided) • 1/2 tsp. pepper • 1/2 tsp. salt • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

See next page for Optional Toppings and Yogurt Sauce! BC�T June 57


Advertisers Index

Ali's Kitchen. . .

continued from pg. 57

Allan Equipment.......................... 29 Big Iron Equipment...................... 17 BioGro........................................... 9 CliftonLarsonAllen ...................... 44 Compeer Financial....................... 39 CoVantage Credit Union.............. 42 Fencil Urethane Systems............. 20 Heartland AG Systems........... 25, 38 Jay-Mar, Inc.................................. 31 John Miller Farms........................ 19 J.W. Mattek.................................. 30 Mid-State Truck........................... 22 Nelson’s Vegetable Storage Systems Inc.................................. 36 Noffsinger Mfg. ........................... 21 North Central Irrigation............... 15

Just double or triple the recipe depending on the size of that crew.

Optional Toppings • Sliced green onions • Chopped cilantro • Salsa or Pico de Gallo • Slices of avocado • Sliced pickled jalapenos

For the Yogurt Sauce • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice • 2 tsp. (more or less, to taste) hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

Directions

First prepare the yogurt sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set sauce in the refrigerator until ready to serve with the tacos. Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover, by 1 inch, with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a skillet over medium/high heat. Add the drained 58 BC�T June

potatoes, sprinkle with the cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 8 minutes or until slightly crispy and lightly browned around the edges.

Nutrien Ag Solutions................... 11

Spoon the cooked potatoes into a bowl and set aside. Crumble the sausage into the same skillet you just used for the potatoes. Cook over medium/high heat until sausage is evenly browned. While sausage is browning, begin working on the scrambled eggs. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together until all is well combined.

Oro Agri......................................... 3

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.

Oasis Irrigation............................ 60 Omex USA.................................... 40 R&H Machine, Inc........................ 18 Riesterer & Schnell...................... 47 Roberts Irrigation ........................ 23 Rural Mutual Insurance............... 13 Sand County Equipment................ 2 Schroeder Brothers Farms............. 7 Swiderski Equipment..................... 5

Pour in the egg mixture and cook, stirring continuously until almost firm. Be careful to cook just until the eggs are set. Overcooking will give your scrambled eggs a rubbery texture. To assemble, fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of eggs, 1/4 cup of crispy potatoes, a spoonful of chorizo sausage and a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese. Top with a dollop of yogurt sauce.

T.I.P.............................................. 41

Enjoy!

WPVGA Support Our Members... 33

Find more recipes at www.LifeOnGraniteRidge.com.

Vantage North Central................. 35 Volm Companies.......................... 53 Warner & Warner........................ 43 WPVGA Putt-Tato Open............... 27 WPVGA Spud Seed Classic........... 59 WPVGA Subscribers..................... 54 WSPIA.......................................... 45


Friday, June 19, 2020 Bass Lake Country Club W10650 Bass Lake Road Deerbrook, WI 54424

ful ld as Planned with Care This Event Is Being He us VID-19 Coronavir Consideration of the CO izing Committee

and the Organ Bass Lake Country Club e. cing to keep people saf tan dis ial soc e encourag es lin low sanitary guide The Country Club will fol g food and beverages. vin ser in and best practices Guidelines. Distancing and Sanitary Please Respect Social

DINNER SPONSOR $2,000 • Company name and logo on three 12-foot banners placed in prominent areas including dinner area • Company name and logo in Badger Common'Tater • Verbal recognition and name on sign at event • Registration and dinner for four golfers

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

SILVERTON SPONSOR $1,000 BUSHMAN’S RIVERSIDE RANCH

SUPERIOR SPONSOR $500

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

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

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

• Company name/logo on one 12-foot banner placed in a prominent area on the course • Company name/logo in Badger Common'Tater • Verbal recognition and name on sign at event • Registration and dinner for one golfer

CONTACT KAREN RASMUSSEN for more details (715) 623-7683 Make checks payable to WSPIA

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

Since 1998, this tournament raised over $111,000, which was donated to Wisconsin potato research.


P.O. Box 327 Antigo, WI 54409

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

CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

SMARTEST. SMARTEST.

STRONGEST. STRONGEST.

Technology I Precision Application I Decisions

Design I Dealer Network I Parts & Service

Technology I Precision Application I Decisions

Design I Dealer Network I Parts & Service

SMARTEST.

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Technology I Precision Application I Decisions

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

LEADING, NOT FOLLOWING.

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

LEADING, NOT FOLLOWING.

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

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

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

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

Talk to your local Zimmatic ® by Lindsay dealer to see how today’s innovations will lead to tomorrow’s success.

2017Lindsay. Lindsay.All Allrights rights reserved. reserved. Zimmatic Zimmatic and ©©2020 and FieldNET FieldNETare aretrademarks trademarks ororregistered its subsidiaries. subsidiaries. registeredtrademarks trademarksof ofthe theLindsay Lindsay Corporation Corporation and its

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

OASIS OASIS OASIS 715-335-8300 OASIS 715-335-8300 715-335-8300

IRRIGATION LLC

IRRIGATION LLC IRRIGATION LLC

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

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June 2020 Badger Common'Tater  

Harvest & Specialty Vehicles/Tractors Issue showcases an Interview with Jim Mortenson of Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc., "Repositioning Potato...

June 2020 Badger Common'Tater  

Harvest & Specialty Vehicles/Tractors Issue showcases an Interview with Jim Mortenson of Mortenson Bros. Farms, Inc., "Repositioning Potato...

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