February 2023 Badger Common'Tater

Page 1

2023 EQUIPMENT/SUPPLIES & POTATO EXPO COVERAGE ISSUE

ANOTHER GOOD YEAR FOR

Wisconsin Potato Industry

CONSENSUS SHOWS

Potato Expo is Back!

STEPS TO KEEP YOUR Machines In Top Shape

FOUNDED IN 1948—

WPVGA Marks 75 Years

PRECISION AG CONTROLS

Liquid Fertilizer Applications

INTERVIEW: ALAN SACKETT

Advanced Farm Equipment, LLC

THE VOICE OF WISCONSIN'S POTATO & VEGETABLE INDUSTRY
Lenco 6-row pull-type potato windrowers from Advanced Farm Equipment are hard at work, pulled by John Deere tractors, in 2022, on Main Farms in Michigan.
$28/year | $2.50/copy | Volume 75 N o. 2 | FEBRUARY 2023
Inventory • Replenishment services • Handle all freight needs • Long-Range planning • Mike Carter CEO | John Hopfensperger COO 8 0 0 - 8 2 6 - 0 2 0 0 715-677-4533 • Fax: 715-677-4076 Rosholt, Wisconsin 8 0 0 - 8 2 6 - 0 2 0 0 Jenna Wenzel • John Eckendorf Nic Bushman • Chris Lockery Jerome Bushman (FL - WI) Mike Gatz, Jim Stefan and Chris Fleming (Milwaukee) Paul Hegewald (All fruits and vegetables) Mike Whyte (Michigan) Transportation: Matt Dobbe • Denise Moze Year-round shipping from all areas.

On the Cover: A need for potato harvesting equipment, like the Lenco 6-row windrowers pulled by a pair of John Deere tractors on the cover, brought several parties together from Michigan and Wisconsin to form Advanced Farm Equipment, in 2004. Nineteen years later, the Vestaburg, Michigan, company still manufactures Lenco pull-type and self-propelled AirHead harvesters.

John Schomburg of Roven Farms Photography says this image is “probably my favorite photo that I took from 2022,” that being of a Lenco harvester from Advanced Farm Equipment loading potatoes into a truck. This issue’s interviewee, Alan Sackett, partner and president of the Board of Advanced Farm Equipment, would likely agree that it’s a fantastic photograph. Alan is also a partner and operator for Sackett Potatoes and Sackett Ranch in Michigan.

FEATURE ARTICLES: ALI’S KITCHEN 69 AUXILIARY NEWS 64 BADGER BEAT 60 EYES ON ASSOCIATES ........ 50 MARK YOUR CALENDAR ..... 6 MARKETPLACE .................. 63 NPC NEWS 68 PEOPLE 38 PLANTING IDEAS ................. 6 POTATOES USA NEWS ....... 40 WPIB FOCUS ..................... 65 16 2022 IN REVIEW: Another good harvest season for the Wisconsin potato industry 42 KEEP YOUR MACHINES in top shape now to avoid application issues this season 52 WPVGA CELEBRATES 75 years of education, research, promotion & legislative work 66 USE PRECISION AG to monitor and control liquid fertilizer while applying it by row DEPARTMENTS: POTATO EXPO LARGEST HELD OUTSIDE VEGAS Cedric Porter shared above in European market update 22 NOW NEWS Growers and ag industry gather for the 7th Annual AgGrow Solutions Summit
8 BADGER COMMON’TATER INTERVIEW:
NEW PRODUCTS John Deere strip-till units help farmers combine nutrient inputs and tillage 46 30 4 BC�T February

100% Application. Zero Distractions.

Sales and service for new/used fertilizer and chemical application equipment

Factory-trained service department and field technicians

Extensive parts inventory with same day shipping

WPVGA Board of Directors:

President: Alex Okray

Vice President: Randy Fleishauer

Secretary: Bill Guenthner

Treasurer: Mike Carter

Directors: John Bustamante, Wendy Dykstra, Josh Knights, Charlie Mattek & J.D. Schroeder

Wisconsin Potato Industry Board:

President: Heidi Alsum-Randall

Vice President: Andy Diercks

Secretary: Bill Wysocki

Treasurer: Keith Wolter

Directors: John Bobek, John Fenske, Jim Okray, Eric Schroeder & Tom Wild

WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors:

President: Julie Cartwright

Vice President: Matt Selenske

Secretary: Sally Suprise

Treasurer: Paul Salm

Directors: Andrew Curran, Ethan Olson, Morgan Smolarek & Andy Verhasselt

Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement

Association Board of Directors:

President: Roy Gallenberg

Vice President: Matt Mattek

Secretary/Treasurer: Andy Schroeder

Directors: Charlie Husnick & Jeff Suchon

Wisconsin Potato Growers

Auxiliary Board of Directors:

President: Brittany Bula

Vice President: Datonn Hanke

Secretary/Treasurer: Heidi Schleicher

Directors: Erin Baginski, Misti Ward, Becky Wysocki & Devin Zarda

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

Deforest, WI 4180 Reardon Road (800) 523-2350

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

WPVGA Office

(715) 623-7683 • FAX: (715) 623-3176

E-mail: wpvga@wisconsinpotatoes.com

Website: www.wisconsinpotatoes.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/WPVGA

Subscription rates: $2.50/copy, $28/year; $45/2 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.

Every day at Heartland AG Systems, we are completely focused on your application needs:
5 BC�T February

FEBRUARY

7-9 2023 GROWER EDUCATION CONFERENCE & INDUSTRY SHOW

Holiday Inn & Convention Center

Stevens Point, WI

16-17 INTERNATIONAL CROP EXPO

Alerus Center Grand Forks, ND

22-3/3 2023 POTATO INDUSTRY

LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE

State of New York, and Washington, D.C.

27-3/3 2023 NPC WASHINGTON SUMMIT

MARCH

13-15

Washington Marriott at Metro Center Washington, D.C.

Planting Ideas

Seventy-five years is literally a lifetime.

According to the World Bank, the average lifespan in the United States, as of 2020, is 77 years. The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2023, having been founded in 1948—a lifetime ago. See the full feature article inside.

Speaking of a lifetime ago, it seems it has been about that long since I last attended, in February 2017, what was then the Potato D.C. Fly-In and is now the Washington Summit, hosted by the National Potato Council. In fact, I’m at left in the image above alongside, from left to right, Lynn Leahy, research agronomist for Heartland Farms, Katie Donnell, who was a staffer for Congressman Paul Ryan at the time, Larry Alsum of Alsum Farms & Produce, and WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan. We were in Washington, D.C. advocating for potatoes, and agriculture in general.

Among many political and policy experts who will speak at this year’s Washington Summit, Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report, will provide a political outlook for attendees. I’ll be in attendance, February 27-March 3, along with Houlihan and several Wisconsin potato growers, ag industry professionals, and Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI) members “standing up for potatoes on Capitol Hill.” See “NPC News” in this issue for more information.

I recently attended two events, first the 7th Annual AgGrow Solutions Summit, December 8, 2022, at The Inn at Sentry World in Stevens Point. Steve Tatro of T.I.P., Inc. and his dedicated team of agronomists host the summit each year, inviting Wisconsin potato and vegetable growers and ag professionals. See “Now News” in this issue for coverage of the summit. The 2023 Potato Expo saw 750 exhibitors and more than 1,800 attendees, making it the largest of its kind held outside of Las Vegas. See coverage of the Expo and accompanying sessions, talks, and presentations in this issue.

There was an error in “Potato Stories from a Retired Plant Breeder” last issue. The author, Dr. Horia Groza, included the abbreviation DAP, which I translated for readers as Diammonium Phosphate, which, in the context of the article, should have been Days After Planting.

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.

jkertzman@wisconsinpotatoes.com

Denver,
POTATOES USA ANNUAL MEETING
CO
Experimental Aircraft Association Grounds Oshkosh,
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CONVENTION & EXPO San Diego Convention Center San Diego, CA 29 CRAZYLEGS CLASSIC Capitol Square and State Street, 8K run or 2-mile walk, 9:50 a.m. Madison, WI
16 WSPIA SPUD SEED CLASSIC GOLF OUTING Bass Lake Golf Course Deerbrook, WI JULY 8 PARDEEVILLE TRIATHLON Chandler Park, 8 a.m. Pardeeville, WI 12 2023 ASSOC. DIV. PUTT-TATO OPEN GOLF OUTING Bullseye Golf Club Wisconsin Rapids, WI 18-20 2023 WISCONSIN FARM TECHNOLOGY DAYS Badger Steam and Gas Engine Club Grounds Baraboo, WI
4TH ANNUAL SPORTING CLAYS SHOOT Wausau Skeet and Trap Club Wausau/Brokaw, WI 19-21 THE GLOBAL PRODUCE & FLORAL SHOW Anaheim Convention Center Anaheim, CA 23-24 WPVGA RESEARCH MEETING West Madison Research Station and virtual. 1 p.m. on Monday, 8 a.m. on Tuesday Verona, WI
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6 BC�T February
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NAME: Alan Sackett

TITLE: Partner and president of the Board

COMPANY: Advanced Farm Equipment, LLC

LOCATION: Vestaburg, MI

YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: Nineteen

PREVIOUS POSITION: Partner and operator of Sackett Potatoes and Sackett Ranch

SCHOOLING: Edmore Committee Schools and Michigan State University

ACTIVITIES: Farming and business

ORGANIZATIONS PREVIOUSLY SERVED: Michigan Potato Industry Commission, Potato Growers of Michigan, Mecosta County Development Corporation, and Morton Township Planning Commission

FAMILY: Wife, Shar, two children, two stepchildren, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren

HOBBIES: Family, business, and helping create businesses with others

8 BC�T February

Interview

ALAN SACKETT , partner and president of the Board, Advanced Farm Equipment, LLC

A need for potato harvesters brought several parties from Michigan and Wisconsin together to invest in their future and ensure quality machinery would be available to them.

In short, that’s the story of Advanced Farm Equipment, LLC, in Vestaburg, Michigan, but there’s more to it than that.

It is no accident that Advanced Farm Equipment’s website address is www.lenco-harvesters.com, as the company specializes in just that, manufacturing Lenco Equipment. According to its website, each year, “Advanced Farm Equipment strives to improve with technology, innovating hydraulics and electronics for better control and data logging, tying into your GPS.”

Equipment includes not only harvesters and windrowers, but also stationary/mobile AirHead’s, stone pickers, dirt eliminators, wash-line destoners, storage conveyors, potato scoopers, load-out surge tanks, and specialty parts and tools.

With a global focus on the potato industry, Advanced Farm Equipment

(AFE) provides quality equipment, parts, and service, builds farming relationships, and maintains a national dealer network.

The latter includes Big Iron Equipment of Plover, Wisconsin; Lenco West of Monte Vista, Colorado; Harriston Industries, Minto, North Dakota; Maple Grove Enterprises of Arcade, New York; Rashco Farm Supply, Moses Lake, Washington; Allan Equipment in Prince Edward Island, Canada; Burnips Equipment Company, Dorr, Michigan; and Peak Ag of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Tell me the history of Advanced Farm Equipment in your own words. Advanced Farm Equipment was

Above: A potato grower first, as a partner and president of the Board at Advanced Farm Equipment, Alan Sackett brings a farmer’s perspective and business experience to the company. All three of the company’s stone pickers are shown in the overall image.

formed in 2004. Jerry Johnston, the founding owner of Lenco Machine & Tool Company, developed potato harvesting equipment.

Sackett Ranch purchased a harvester and windrower from Lenco Machine and Tool in the late ’70s. Jerry sold the business in the late ’90s, and the company was renamed Lenco Products.

After struggling financially, Lenco Products could not finance the rapid growth and ultimately lost the business to the bank.

How did a Lenco manufacturer end up in Vestaburg, Michigan, in the first place, and are you the first/only such manufacturer? Jerry lived in the Vestaburg area, in Montcalm County, which is centrally located in Michigan. The need for potato harvesters that would separate stones and potatoes became a reality when Jerry worked together with local farmers to develop the AirHead separation system.

Today, AFE is the only company that manufactures custom-built, self-propelled AirHead harvesters known for quality, durability and performance in the United States

and Canada.

How did you and Bill Zelinski of Big Iron Equipment team up as co-owners, and are there other owners involved? When Lenco Products closed, the dealers were concerned about not having Lenco equipment to sell. Farmers in Michigan and Wisconsin used a lot of Lenco equipment.

The dealers and farmers did not

want to lose access to Lenco parts, equipment, and service. The assets of the business were purchased from the bank by a group of investors that included me, Bill from Big Iron Equipment, Lenco West, Jerry, and an employee of Lenco Products. Who manages the operation, and are manufacturing, sales, and service the main three divisions? Today the

The photo taken at Schroeder Bros. Farms, Antigo, Wisconsin, is of an Advanced Farm Equipment 2022 4-Row Self-Propelled Potato Harvester with a 65-inch AirHead.
Specializing in new chip varieties Mackinaw • Megachip • Lady Liberty • Lamoka Ken or Dan 715-627-4819 • Toll Free: 888-853-5690 Fax: 715-627-4810 RINE RIDGE FARMS FOUNDATION & CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES W8132 County Road O • Bryant, WI 54418 rinerdg21@gmail.com 9 BC�T February
continued on pg. 10

owners include (me) Alan Sackett, Bill Zelinski, and the management team of Steve Barnette, Lynn Maggert Jr., Brad Johnston, and Kim Bollinger.

Sales is handled by a growing dealer network, and direct sales by Matt Murray. Steve is our current manager.

AFE can handle service with a crew from our hydraulics department during planting and harvest seasons. You are also owner of Sackett Potatoes and grow 7,200 acres of potatoes for the chip industry, a family history going back to 1904. One business complements the other. Have you always been involved in both? Tell me about your family history. My great-grandfather came to Montcalm County in 1904. He bought 160 acres and started general farming, which included a few acres of potatoes.

Through the years, he had three sons that farmed with him. In time, my grandfather took over the farm and continued general farming with potatoes. He also had three sons who were part of the farm.

In 1955, my father took over the family farm from his father and brothers and continued general farming with potatoes.

My father had three sons, and in the 1960’s, started growing chip potatoes

for Frito-Lay. We all farmed together until 1982 when my father retired. At that time, the farm was named Sackett Ranch.

My brothers and I farmed together, growing 800 acres of potatoes for

continued on pg. 12

Interview. . . continued from pg. 9
Above: A pair of John Deere tractors and Lenco 6-Row Pull-Type Windrowers are hard at work, in 2022, on Main Farms, in Michigan.
10 BC�T February

chips and French fries, along with other crops.

In 1987, I separated from Sackett Ranch and took over a potato farm 30 miles north in Mecosta County. My sons, Jeff and Brian, and I formed Sackett Potatoes. We started farming 1,200 acres, with 400 acres of potatoes for the chip industry.

I have retired from Sackett Potatoes, and currently, my son, Brian, and his son, Tyler, operate Sackett Potatoes. They have farms in Illinois, North Carolina, and Michigan. At present, they grow 7,200 acres of chipping potatoes and many acres of corn, wheat, and soybeans.

My brother, Larry, still owns and operates Sackett Ranch, growing over 5,000 acres of chip potatoes.

You are a potato grower and partowner of an equipment company. Does that give you a unique perspective and insight? I think all growers have had input into the design process of our custom-built equipment. Dealers also bring a lot of input to the table.

I try to bring the farmer’s perspective and business experience to the company.

What other equipment does Advanced Farm Equipment manufacture other than Lenco

harvesters? Along with self-propelled harvesters, we build windrowers, including self-propelled and pulltypes of various sizes. We have currently designed and built stone pickers, stationary AirHeads, dirt eliminators, wash line equipment, and conveyors.

What makes Lenco harvesters different or more durable or advanced than other potato equipment? Our equipment is custom built for growers’ needs

Interview. . .
Above: The 72-inch Lenco Stationary AirHead is designed for use in sorting lines and helps to remove debris and stones from potatoes before they go into storage.
Photography 12 BC�T February
Lenco four-row potato harvesters are put to work, in 2021, digging potatoes in Wisconsin. Images courtesy of John Schomburg, Roven Farms

with quality, durability, performance, and longevity behind it. Lenco harvesters built with hydraulic ground drives are still in use today.

Sackett Potatoes purchased serial #1, in 1987. It was a 4-Row AirHead Self-Propelled with hydraulic ground drives, and I believe it is still in use on a small farm today.

Is Big Iron Equipment your only, or main, Wisconsin dealer? Big Iron is our only Wisconsin dealer and most productive dealer. We have a growing network of dealers in Colorado, Washington, New York, North Carolina, the Red River Valley region, and Canada.

Does Advanced Farm Equipment also sell direct? AFE sells direct and serves as a dealer in Michigan. We have sold machines direct to growers in other parts of the United States if they do not have a dealer in their area.

What is your territory? All of the U.S.

and Canada.

Do you work directly with farmers and dealers? We support our dealers in their markets, and we provide direct service and support to our customers in areas where we do not have an established dealer.

When a new harvester is delivered,

we will typically send a crew to assist with unloading and assembly. We may also send an engineer to provide harvester start-up, controls, and

continued on pg. 14

SNOWDEN • PIKE • ATLANTIC • LAMOKA MEGACHIP • HODAG • MANISTEE SILVERTON • LADY LIBERTY
13 BC�T February
Above: Alan Sackett of Sackett Potatoes and Advanced Farm Equipment is shown next to a picture (to his left or the readers’ right) of his dad harvesting potatoes in the 1940’s.

operating instructions.

How many employees does Advanced Farm Equipment have, and in what main capacities? Advanced Farm Equipment has 22 employees who are engineers, fabricators, painters, hydraulics and electrical specialists, and management.

How was the 2021 Michigan/Sackett Potatoes harvest? In Michigan, most farms enjoyed moderate weather and a good growing season. Potatoes yielded very well along with all the rotational crops.

Both 2021 and 2022 were good years for most farms, which helps counteract high input costs and the previous few years that didn’t

turn out so well. The other states that Sackett Potatoes farms in also did well.

What have the main advancements been in Lenco harvesters and other equipment you sell? AFE offers onboard computers and programming that monitor, self-regulate, and automate some of the harvester functions to simplify control for the operator.

On-board sensors and transmitters send harvester performance information to the iCloud, where it is immediately available to our electrical and hydraulics department. We can then monitor hydraulic pressures, road speeds, digging

speeds, conveyor speeds, and loading and AirHead performance. From our facility in Michigan, we can modify the harvester programming and make real-time suggestions to the machine operators as they harvest in the field.

What’s the most exciting piece of equipment in the Advanced Farm Equipment line right now? The most popular equipment in our line is the 4 Row Self Propelled 65” AirHead Harvester.

Interview. . . continued from pg. 13
In addition to Lenco harvesters and windrowers, Advanced Farm Equipment offers everything from barrel washers and hiller frames (shown) to stone pickers, dirt eliminators, wash-line destoners, storage conveyors, potato scoopers, load-out surge tanks, and specialty parts and tools. Left: A New Holland T8 tractor pulls a 6-row Lenco windrower in October 2022. Image courtesy of Roven Farms Photography
14 BC�T February
Right: John Schomburg of Roven Farms Photography calls this picture, taken in Wisconsin, the “Red Green Lenco Show.”

One of our most exciting new designs is our self-propelled 72” AirHead Harvester for growers who want the potential for 20% more harvesting capacity in rocky conditions. We have sold several to potato growers in New York, Wisconsin, and Canada.

There has been growing interest in our 72” stationary AirHeads for farmers who harvest without AirHead harvesters. Our mobile units are placed in storage lines to separate rocks and clods before going into storage.

Do you feel, as a farmer, you are a better judge of quality? As a farmer, I do contribute a perspective on equipment because I have owned Lenco equipment since the late 70’s. Are you full-time at Advanced Farm Equipment? No, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations; our

management team handles that. I am available for any business decisions or questions that anyone may have.

What do you hope for the future of Advanced Farm Equipment and/or potato growing in general? I believe Advanced Farm Equipment and the Lenco brand will continue

to provide the most durable harvesters available, and will grow to gain a larger share of the potato harvester market.

Potato growing is becoming more and more challenging because of the current business atmosphere and the need for growers to become more sustainable.

Teaming with growers to make more money and take less risk

COVERAGE OPTIONS

At Progressive Ag, we understand your concerns. We are Risk Management Specialists focusing on potato and vegetable crops. Being prepared means not only avoiding and/or minimizing negative events, but also being able to take advantage of profit opportunities. You see, at Progressive Ag we make it our business to know your farm operation. We are committed to help you “Make more money and take less risk”

To find out more, talk with one of our agents or call 1-800-450-1404 • www.progressiveag.com

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“From our facility in Michigan, we can modify the harvester programming and make real-time suggestions to the machine operators as they harvest in the field.”
– Alan Sackett, Advanced Farm Equipment
15 BC�T February

2022 in Review: Another Good Year for the Wisconsin Potato Industry

The state had an outstanding harvest season with great conditions in September and October

Crop Report: Late Start, Great Finish

The Wisconsin potato crop report can be summed up in four words: Late Start, Great Finish! The 2022 Wisconsin potato crop got off to a late start due to cold and wet weather in April. Planting was delayed and the crop was about two weeks behind schedule throughout much of the growing season.

Mostly dry conditions persisted throughout the summer, although there were a few timely rainfalls. With the extensive use of irrigation, the crop turned out very well. Pest pressure was not severe, and there was no late blight in Wisconsin in 2022.

Wisconsin had an outstanding harvest season, with close to ideal conditions throughout September and October in most of the state’s primary growing regions.

Yields were average and quality was excellent. Statewide yields averaged about 425 cwt. (hundredweight)/ acre on 63,000 acres of potatoes. This puts the state’s production at 26.775 million cwt., a decrease of 525,000 cwt., or 2% compared to last year.

Total planted acres are down from last year, which was reported to be approximately 65,000. This year, the estimate is 63,000 planted acres. The decline in production is primarily due to the decrease in acreage. Yields are up approximately 5 cwt./acre over last year.

New Law Makes Grants Available to Farmers to Improve Water Quality

In the spring 2022, Wisconsin signed into law Wisconsin Act 223, which creates a Nitrogen Optimization Pilot Grant Program and a Cover Crop Insurance Premium Rebate Program. The nitrogen optimization grant program is designed to incentivize farmer-led water quality improvements. The WPVGA and other Wisconsin farmers strongly support the farmer-led nitrate reduction initiatives contained in Wis. Act 223.

In accordance with the Act, the Joint Committee on Finance appropriated $1.6 million in FY (fiscal year) 2023 to establish the nitrogen pilot grant program at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

Farmers will work in collaboration with a University of Wisconsin (UW) system campus to optimize the use of commercial nitrogen through projects funded with grants of up to $50,000. The collaborating UW institution is eligible for 20% of the total grant award for each project. Several WPVGA-member farms are currently working on applying for multiple grants through this program.

Additionally, funds are available for another key provision of Wis. Act 223, a cover crop insurance premium rebate of $5 per acre to help offset the costs to plant cover crops.

This is funded at $800,000 in FY 2023. Based on similar programs in other states, we know that incentives to encourage planting cover crops work to reduce agricultural runoff and improve water quality.

16 BC�T February
A planter is filled with seed potatoes at Heartland Farms, Inc., Hancock. Despite a late start to the planting season, the Wisconsin potato crop turned out to be an excellent one due in large part to an outstanding harvest season.

WPVGA Farms Participate in Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants

Seven WPVGA-member farms in Central Wisconsin are working together on a Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant project to protect the watershed that includes the Little Plover River and a portion of the Wisconsin River. This group includes lead farm Plover River Farms, along with Feltz Family Farms, Firkus Farms, Hamerski Farms, Myron Soik & Sons, Okray Family Farms and Worzella & Sons.

With matching funds from the WPVGA and working closely with UW Extension and the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, the group was successful in securing a third grant from the WDATCP following successful conservation work in 2022.

Gagas Farms will be the eighth WPVGA member joining this Producer-Led group in 2023.

Conservation practices employed by the group include the extensive use of cover crops, prairie and pollinator plantings, and no-till/minimum till practices. There were also extensive wetlands restoration practices employed in this watershed.

An additional Producer-Led group was formed in 2022 in the Central

EVERY POTATO COUNTS

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Sands: Farmers of the Roche-A-Cri.

Farmers of the Roche-A-Cri has group members representing Coloma Farms, Signature Farms, ZanBria Artisan Farms, Heartland Farms, Horizon Cranberry Farms, Nathan Bula Farms LLC, Sterling Farms and Flyte Family Farms.

pg. 18 17 BC�T February
Dietician Sarah Agena (left) works with the WPVGA on potato promotions. She is shown here doing a cooking demonstration on Channel 7 WSAW-TV.
continued on

2022 in Review: Another Good Year for the Wisconsin Potato Industry. . . continued from pg. 17

The WPVGA is proud to see more member farms participating in the Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant program.

13 Members Graduate from Leadership Training Program

After being postponed in 2020, the WPVGA Member Development Program returned in 2021-’22. This has proven to be one of the most valuable leadership training and networking programs offered by the Association, with 25 members graduating from the 2018-’19 class, many of whom are now serving on various industry boards and committees.

The 2021-’22 program took place over five months with 13 members graduating from the course in March 2022.

The participants learned about the core programs of the WPVGA, including research, education,

governmental action, and promotion, as well as receiving effective communication skills and media training.

I look forward to great things from this outstanding group of future industry leaders in the years to come.

WPVGA Receives Two Export Expansion Grants

In spring 2022, the WPVGA was excited to learn that we had received a $45,000 export expansion grant from WDATCP. Grant funds will be used to explore export expansion into Mexico and Canada for seed, fresh

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WPVGA Member Development Program participants toured the State Capitol in a session focused on governmental action. Pictured are, from left to right, Curtis Meister, Jared Suchon, Dan Walsch, Morgan Smolarek, Ann Hoffman, Don Maum, Joshua Johnson, Beau Hartline, Samantha Hoffman-Konkol, and Mike Johnson. Also assisting with the program in Madison are, from left to right, Mike Carter, Andy Diercks, and Jordan Lamb.

and processed potatoes.

The WPVGA Promotions Committee will work to establish awareness of Wisconsin potatoes as a brand, gauge consumer trends and needs, and determine viability of transportation for exports.

This fall, a second export expansion grant was received by the WPVGA for $49,500. This export expansion exploration will have significant impacts in terms of educating growers on markets and creating sales and marketing materials fit for specific Canadian and Mexican markets. We will also identify key contacts and leaders in both international markets that could help foster sales. The plan is to invite buyers and other market partners to visit Wisconsin for field and sales tours to consider trade options.

WPVGA staff and growers will also have the opportunity to attend trade shows in both countries with a goal of connecting with prospective buyers. This is a great opportunity that has the potential to expand markets and provide significant returns for Wisconsin growers.

Successful Research Summit Held in August

The WPVGA continues to support a robust applied research program, with base funding for UW researchers in the areas of insect, weed and disease management, as well as soil science/fertility, potato breeding, seed certification and general potato production. Base funding is also provided to the Langlade Agricultural Research Station.

In August 2022, the WPVGA Research Committee held a Research Summit based on a survey of research priorities completed by growers. The Summit allowed growers and researchers to discuss topics with the greatest need for more work, and to help guide and direct the research program for the next 5-10 years.

continued on pg. 20

19 BC�T February

2022 in Review: Another Good Year for the Wisconsin Potato Industry. . . continued from pg. 19

Farming for the Future Foundation Breaks Ground

An exciting new venture founded by the Pavelski family, Farming for the Future Foundation (FFTFF) broke ground on its Exploration Center in late April 2022, in Plover.

The FFTFF is dedicated to helping families understand and appreciate their food and the people who grow it. The Food and Farm Exploration Center will be a place for education, unforgettable family experiences and great, wholesome food.

A tremendous resource for teachers and schools, it will be an excellent destination for families and agritourists as well as school groups. It will offer a unique way to learn about careers in agriculture and help generate the future workforce for the entire industry.

In keeping with its mission, the Foundation will also continue

the creation of plans to increase agricultural literacy in Wisconsin classrooms.

With most children being raised without a direct connection to agriculture, training the next generation workforce is a critical challenge that demands focused

solutions. The FFTFF education team will ensure the Center’s programs can be experienced both on site and in classrooms.

The Center will explore the intersections of agriculture, science and technology, engineering, math, and healthy attitudes.

20 BC�T February
Paul Miller’s family came out in full force to help him celebrate his induction into the WPVGA Hall of Fame in February of 2022. They are, from left to right, Jordan Miller, Raiven Breseman, Jennifer Breseman, Jaiya Breseman, Linda Breseman, Paul Miller, Kayte Miller, Ian Miller, Makenzie Conley, Austin Conley, Nancy Miller, Todd Miller, Michelle MillerPatterson, and Bill Patterson.

The process of educating young people about where their food really comes from will serve a dual purpose. The Center will make this process interesting and exciting and thereby recruit young people to join the workforce in ag related businesses. Businesses just like yours.

The Exploration Center will serve as a hands-on educational learning facility with interactive exhibits focused on various areas of crop production and cutting-edge technology used in agriculture.

Fundraising efforts are in full swing, and plans are to open the facility in 2023.

Piling on With Promotions, Associate Division and Auxiliary

The WPVGA Promotions Committee made a concerted effort to reach the next generation of potato consumers by working with the creative marketing and sales team at Midwest Family Madison on a social media/ video campaign featuring Chairman Brian Lee of Okray Family Farms and Spudly, the WPVGA’s studly potato mascot.

The humorous videos are posted on multiple social media platforms and reach a large target audience with consistent messaging.

The Promotions Committee also continued its usual programming, which includes: the Healthy Grown program and grower outreach; sponsoring Powered by Potatoes athletic events; working with Mad Dog & Merrill on their Midwest Grill’n television show; advertising on billboards along interstate highways; and sponsoring Gabe Sommers auto racing as well as the Kids from Wisconsin.

The Spudmobile was actively promoting Wisconsin potatoes through July, but it went to the repair shop in the fall, and plans are to get it back on the road again in 2023.

The Promotions Committee also contracts with Registered Dietician Sarah Agena on numerous cooking

demonstrations, both live and on television.

The Associate Division continues to award grants to potato-related organizations and held very successful golf outing and sporting clay shooting events. They also joined forces with the Auxiliary to award multiple scholarships to students whose families are members of the WPVGA.

The Auxiliary continues to promote Wisconsin potatoes and raise funds for its other programs by selling and serving delicious baked potatoes at the Wisconsin State Fair.

They continued a newly successful program called Potatoes in the Classroom. This is a grant program that offers financial support to high school family and consumer science class/ag teachers who use Wisconsin potatoes in their classroom.

They also continue to offer the Kids Dig Wisconsin Potatoes Program that instructs teachers how to grow potatoes in their classrooms with students.

Still Growing After All These Years 2023 marks the 75th Anniversary of the WPVGA (see feature article in this issue)! The organization was formed in 1948, and we are still growing and going strong.

The mission statement has been tweaked a few times over the years, but the focus remains the same: to advance the interests of WPVGA members through education, information, environmentally sound research, promotion, governmental action, and involvement.

In closing, I would like to thank all the members of the WPVGA, along with our outstanding Board of Directors led by 2022 President Alex Okray. Special thanks go out to the Wisconsin Potato Industry Board as well as the Associate Division, Auxiliary and Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association boards. I am proud of how we all work together to meet the challenges that

arise each and every year.

I also want to thank our excellent, efficient, and experienced WPVGA staff. Between myself, Karen Rasmussen, Julie Braun, Dana Rady, Joe Kertzman, and Jane Guillen, we have over 100 years of experience working for the WPVGA! And as Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.”

Sincerely,

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Potato Expo is Back!

That was the consensus for a well-attended, pulsating 2023 rendition of the trade show

The largest potato industry event in North America, the National Potato Council’s annual Potato Expo had something to prove—it could bounce back from a worldwide pandemic as strongly as ever, and the 2023 edition in Aurora, Colorado, January 4-5, did just that and more.

With 750 exhibitors and more than 1,800 attendees, the sold-out show was the largest Potato Expo ever held outside of Las Vegas, a far cry from the past couple years when COVID-19 did its best to keep the industry at bay.

Potatoes USA took full advantage of the opportunity to keep up tradition and hold its Annual Winter Meeting at the Gaylord Rockies Resort &

Convention Center, venue of the 2023 Potato Expo.

In addition to board meetings, roundtables give the research, domestic marketing, international marketing, industry outreach, administrative and research advisory committees a platform to report on their programs, successes, and challenges.

Among other takeaways from the Potatoes USA Winter Meeting are that consumers are willing to spend more for a meal with potatoes, which remain a low-cost food item and maintain 83% menu penetration, with that number rising.

Potatoes USA marketing team

members and chefs R.J. Harvey and Vince Armada work with foodservice operators to conduct workshops and off-site food innovation sessions, as well as demonstrations in the Spud Lab located within the organization’s Denver office.

The Winter meeting covered all Potatoes USA social media and website initiatives; consumer, foodservice, and retail programs; “Potatoes: Real Food, Real Performance” health and fitness outreach; potato nutrition; research

Above: Jared Balcom (center), president of the National Potato Council Board of Directors, cuts a ribbon to signify the official opening of the 2023 Potato Expo in Aurora, Colorado, January 4-5.

22 BC�T February

trials; and efforts to combat negative press about potatoes and communicate as well as educate people about the food they eat.

2023 POTATO BUSINESS SUMMIT

Cedric Porter, editor and owner of the respected World Potato Markets newsletter, not only gave a presentation during the International Marketing Committee Meeting, but also at the 2023 Potato Business Summit held Wednesday, January 4, at the Gaylord Rockies Resort.

A joint effort of the United Potato Growers of America, United Potato Growers of Canada, and Potato Marketing Association of America, the Potato Business Summit is a comprehensive economic and market analysis of the global and North American potato industry.

This year’s Potato Business Summit included an Economic Outlook presented by Stephen Nicholson

of Rabobank; a European Market Update by Porter; a Consumer Market Overview from Kim Breshears of Potatoes USA; and a Fresh Potato Market Outlook presented by United Potato Growers of America President Mark Klompien.

Klompien noted, “The Potato Business Summit started 17 years ago with 35 people in a back room,

and we will probably have over 450 people in attendance here today. We have attendees from 34 U.S. states, eight Canadian provinces and five European countries, and researchers from all segments of the potato industry.”

Brett Showalter of John Deere gave a Farming Technology Outlook, and continued on pg. 24

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23 BC�T February
– United Potato Growers of America President Mark Klompien regarding the 2023 Potato Business Summit

Potato Expo is Back!. . . continued from pg. 23

J.R. Simplot’s Bret Nedrow provided a Frozen Potato Market Update.

Among topics discussed were the war in Ukraine and its effects on inflation and world trade, soil health, biologicals and sustainability, China, food security, commodity margins, the 2023 Farm Bill, global weather concerns, cost of production, and grower returns.

The packed Expo Hall, open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, hosted not only exhibitors from around the world, but also Breakout Sessions at the Innovation Hub, Potato Talks, and Potato Association of America Poster Sessions.

POTATO COOK-OFF’s

Increasing in popularity are culinary competitions such as Wednesday’s “Instant Pot-ato Cooking Challenge” hosted by Chef Harvey of Potatoes USA and Simon Majumdar, worldrenowned broadcaster, food writer, author, cook and Food Network judge and television personality.

Thursday’s “This Spud’s for You— Celebrity Chef Edition” took place on the Expo stage and was hosted by Ted

Allen, Emmy Award-winning host of the Food Network’s “Chopped” and “Chopped Junior.”

Other hosts included Harvey, Majumdar, Duff Goldman, a pastry chef, Food Network personality and cookbook author, and Jason Morse, owner of Executive Chef and 5280 Culinary, and a national spokesperson, and grilling and barbecue expert for ACE Hardware stores.

Inquiring minds wanting to know had many Potato Talks and Breakout Sessions to attend on a variety of

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subjects, and even an inspirational talk by Steve Lerch, president of Story Arc Consulting, titled “Innovation Through Culture: Stories from a Decade at Google.” Steve is a dynamic speaker.

Subjects of Wednesday’s “Potato Talks” included potato fertility, farm succession planning, and pesticide use, as well as a “Meet the Potato Association of America” presentation. A “CEO Roundtable” live podcast recording concentrated on teamwork across the potato industry with panelists Alison Bodor, president/ chief executive officer (CEO) from the American Frozen Food Institute; Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council; and Blair Richardson, president/CEO of Potatoes USA, all of whom discussed present and future opportunities for potatoes.

Syngenta hosted a Kick-Off Reception on Wednesday featuring a Potato LEAF (Leadership, Education & Advancement Foundation) Auction

continued on pg. 26
Above: Friendly faces at the Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato booth during Potato Expo were, from left to right, Randy Fleishauer of Plover River Farms, WPVGA Director of Promotions & Consumer Education Dana Rady, University of Wisconsin (UW) Professor Emeritus Walt Stevenson, and Eric Schroeder of Schroeder Brothers Farms.
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Potato Expo is Back!. . .

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raising funds for leadership development in the U.S. potato industry.

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Breakout sessions on Thursday delved into regenerative agriculture in potato production; understanding and influencing modern consumers; weather trends; the 2023 Farm Bill; true potato seed; soil health; and the Mexican Market for fresh U.S. potatoes.

Other topics included spore trapping;

post-harvest disease and the postharvest store regimen in Europe; sustainability and sustainable packaging; supply chain challenges; managing nematodes; pesticide maximum residue levels (MRL’s); protecting potatoes’ positive reputation; bacterial potato soft rot; and “Transforming Pivots into Potato Health Monitoring Machines.”

Lunches, happy hours, receptions, beer gardens and a closing party were sponsored by Lamb Weston, Bayer, Corteva, UPL-DECCO, and

Left: Potatoes USA President and CEO Blair Richardson welcomed participants to the association’s Winter Meeting, held Jan. 2-3 before the 2023 Potato Expo.

Right: Amanda Gevens, professor, chair and extension specialist, UW-Madison Department of Plant Pathology, answers a question from a visitor to the Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato booth during Potato Expo.

Colorado Potatoes, while Nufarm hosted a Tater Toss Tournament that brought a competitive spirit to the show hall.

continued on pg. 28

Above: Cedric Porter, editor and owner of the respected World Potato Markets newsletter, gave presentations during the Potatoes USA Winter Meeting and the Potato Business Summit, the latter held Wednesday morning, January 4, at the Gaylord Rockies Resort.

26 BC�T February

As part of her presentation “Roots to Robots—Blending the Old and New in Potato Fertility,” Christi Falen, an agronomist with ICL Specialty Fertilizers, talked about understanding soil and root interactions.

Wisconsin was well represented at Potato Expo, including, from left to right, Jeff Huber and Wendy Dykstra of Alsum Farms & Produce, Steve Tatro, owner of T.I.P., Inc., Janice Maum (wife of Donald Maum of Alsum Farms), and Joe Huber of Alsum Farms & Produce. Potatoes USA Chef R.J. Harvey (left) and Simon Majumdar, world-renowned broadcaster, food writer, author, cook and Food Network judge and television personality, hold up small purple potatoes during Wednesday’s “Instant Pot-ato Cooking Challenge.” The beautiful Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, in Aurora, Colorado, played host to the 2023 Potato Expo. A dynamic speaker, Steve Lerch, president of Story Arc Consulting, gave an inspirational “Potato Talk” on “Innovation Through Culture: Stories from a Decade at Google.”
27 BC�T February
Mike Baginski, Tyler Knutson and Cory Chrudimsky of Baginski Farms, Inc., Antigo, Wisconsin, attended the 2023 Potato Expo in Aurora, Colorado. Behind them on either side of Mike are Jaap Delleman (left), editor in chief of Potato World magazine, and Charlie Husnick of Baginski Farms.

Potato Expo is Back!. . . continued from pg. 26

Randy Schmidt (left) of Minnesota Certified Seed Potatoes accepts his door prize— a Bose SoundLink Bluetooth speaker—from UW-Madison Professor Emeritus Walt Stevenson (right) during the WSPIA reception. From left to right, Theresa Schroeder, Steve Tatro and Eric Schroeder were all smiles at the WSPIA and Chip Committee reception. The Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) and WPVGA Chip Committee held their annual reception at the Gaylord Rockies Convention Center Wednesday evening following Potato Expo. Representing Compeer Financial are, from left to right, Ty Rohloff, Dan Kendall, and Cathy Schommer. Fantastic door prizes during the WSPIA and Chip Committee reception included, from left to right, cash garnered by Michiel Eilander of Volm Companies, Inc.; a Garmin Lily classic smartwatch won by Lyla Hathaway of the Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association; and a Wisconsin Certified Seed Potatoes jacket worn proudly by Brian Meisner of Lenz Family Farms.
28 BC�T February
Judy Schroeder (left) of Schroeder Brothers Farms, Antigo, Wisconsin, and Paula Houlihan, member of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary, enjoy the WSPIA and Chip Committee reception.

The Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) & WPVGA Chip Committee held their annual reception at the

Gaylord Rockies Convention Center following Potato Expo, Wednesday evening, with refreshments, door prizes, crackers, cheese and shrimp

appetizers, networking and friendly banter.

University of Wisconsin (UW)

Professor Emeritus Walt Stevenson once again did the honors of emceeing the event and announcing winners of coveted door prizes.

It was fantastic to experience Potato Expo as it is meant to be—a hub of activity surrounding industry innovations, research and technologies, new products, and modern methods and means of growing, marketing, and selling potatoes.

The trade show targeted directly toward potatoes presents an unequaled opportunity to build and maintain relationships and conduct business with industry professionals. As Jared Balcom president of the National Potato Council Board of Directors, concluded, “For 15 years, Potato Expo has been the signature event for all of us in the potato industry, but I have to say, this year we’ve topped all expectations.”

Thursday’s “This

Potato Expo 2024 will be held January 10-11 in Austin, Texas. More information is available by visiting www.potato-expo.com.

A Breakout Session at the Innovation Hub, on Thursday of Potato Expo, concentrated on “The Mexican Market for Fresh U.S. Potatoes: Opportunities and Challenges.” From left to right are Juan Carlos Lopez, strategic planning and market intelligence manager for Grupo Trahumara; Lisa Peraino, commodity specialist-potatoes for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Luis Moreno, Mexico representative for Potatoes USA. Spud’s for You—Celebrity Chef Edition” took place on the Expo stage and was hosted by Ted Allen (right), Emmy Award-winning host of the Food Network’s “Chopped” and “Chopped Junior,” as well as by Potatoes USA Chef R.J. Harvey (left), and Simon Majumdar (center), world-renowned broadcaster, food writer, author, cook and Food Network judge and television personality. A discussion on the “Next Generation of Sustainable Packaging” was part of Thursday’s Breakout Sessions, and included, from left to right, panelists Aaron Fox, executive vice president of Fox Packaging; Mike Levis, sales associate for Volm Companies; Steve Greenfield, director of sales and marketing for NNZ, Inc.; and moderator Kathy Michael Sponheim, sales and administration for Michael Family Farms.
29 BC�T February

Now News

AgGrow Solutions Hosts 7th Annual Summit

Growers and ag industry professionals gather at The Inn at Sentry World

“I’m a second-generation owner. My father started T.I.P. [Tatro Irrigation & Potatoes], in 1972, when he moved from Idaho,” related Steve Tatro in his welcoming remarks during the 7th Annual AgGrow Solutions Summit.

“We were an equipment manufacturing company specializing in custom steel conveyors. In 2006, my father retired, and my wife and I bought the company,” Tatro continued. “We have a third generation coming up in the company now.”

“In 2010, I was in Vancouver, British Columbia, at a golf course conference and was invited to listen to a gentleman talk about turf fertility and maintenance,” Tatro explained. “The owner of Redox was speaking our language.”

“Every other slide was of an ag field— potatoes, vegetables and fruit—and turf,” Tatro continued. “They were

looking for someone east of the Mississippi River to be a distributor. In 2011, we launched AgGrow Solutions.”

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Thus began the AgGrow Solutions Summit, December 8, 2022, at The Inn at Sentry World in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

PLANT FERTILITY

Tatro and his dedicated team of agronomists host the AgGrow Solutions Summit each year to talk plant fertility, disease and pest stress defenses, crop growth, and yield, inviting Wisconsin potato and vegetable growers and ag professionals.

“Our goal is to present agronomic strategies to solve problems you face,” said Kenton Mehlberg, AgGrow Solutions agronomist, and emcee for the summit. “We are constantly looking for methods and products that will consistently work today.”

“Efficiency—we really believe in this,” Mehlberg stressed. “A healthy plant can defend itself against pests and diseases if you use a proactive

Steve Tatro welcomes guests to the 7th Annual AgGrow Solutions Summit at The Inn at Sentry World, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and gives a brief history of his company, T.I.P., Inc.  NEW - Online Option
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approach and partner with people who share that mentality. If we are not advancing, we are losing.”

A plant’s nutrient balance, Mehlberg reasoned, determines its ability to carry out the metabolic processes. AgGrow Solutions aids farmers through data collection services, soil sampling, scouting, and targeted product supply.

Speakers at the AgGrow Solutions Summit included Eric Massey, regional agronomist from Redox BioNutrients. The company’s products are targeted toward soil health, nutrient and water efficiency, root development, and plant growth.

REDUCING INPUTS

“I know these products and what they can do. People are surprised when we talk about reducing phosphorus inputs and sustainable farming,” Massey said. “Kenton says they’ve been working on it for 10 years.”

“We can reduce as high as 90 percent phosphorus inputs,” Massey stressed. “How about potassium inputs? Are we getting any better at that? What’s your standard reduction in nitrogen inputs? Be proactive rather than reactive.”

“If a grower isn’t looking to reduce nitrogen inputs by 25-30%, they’re missing an opportunity,” Mehlberg chimed in.

Tatro put it this way: “We cannot continue to farm the next 50 years

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like we did the last 50 years.”

“We won’t be allowed to,” Massey agreed. “There are too many factors involved: environmental, regulatory, inflationary, political, and societal pressures.”

Redox’s products include Rootex, DiKaP, OXYCOM Calcium, Mainstay Si, PeneCal, H-85, P-58, Rx-780, Supreme and a host of Triplex plant nutrient aids.

“We don’t expect you guys to completely change your farming practices,” Mehlberg said, “but there are some things you can do with risk management. Once you put something onto your field, you can’t take it back out. We can help better manage that risk by getting inputs to the plant when you want them to be there.”

Other speakers included Jason Cook,

a Redox agronomist from Idaho, and Bo Wink, an agronomist who moved to DeForest, Wisconsin, in 2012 while working with Syngenta, and who is now the newest member of the T.I.P. and AgGrow Solutions team.”

MICROBIAL PRODUCTS

Brett Maxwell, vice president of

sales and marketing for Bio S.I., went through the key factors of microbial products, sustainability programs, and the carbon market and carbon credits.

“The carbon market is projected to be a $50 billion market by the year 2030,” he said. “There are going to be

Now News. . . continued from pg. 31
WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES
WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES
BADGER STATE
WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES
J.D. Schroeder (facing camera) of Schroeder Bros. Farms holds a conversation with Dan Wild (back to camera) from Wild Seed Farms during the AgGrow Solutions Summit.
32 BC�T February

growers, just like you, getting checks. My goal is to get you where you need to be with your sustainability programs so you can be in the carbon market.”

“As potato and vegetable growers, you guys are already practicing a sustainability program on your farms whether you think you are or not,” Maxwell added. “Our ‘bugs in a jug’ are helping you with your sustainability program.”

Tom Wood of the Organisan Corporation said he comes from a background of using and applying chemistries as a fourth-generation farmer in Idaho, but got introduced to biological farming in 2011 or 2012. “Regardless of what your feelings are on sustainable, organic, and biological farming, that’s where the market is going,” he said. Organisan offers chitosan-based ag products such as adjuvants, wetting agents, fungicides, nematicides, and

citric acids.

“The goal here is mode of action. Certain bugs become immune to chemistries. Blackhawk has become useless on corn out west. Using chitosan, we can make these chemistries last as long as possible, because they do work,” Wood assured.

After the presentations, a breakout session that included a questionand-answer workshop and discussion between growers, agriculture company reps and agronomists filled an interesting afternoon and concluded the 7th Annual AgGrow Solutions Summit.

02-23 Badger Common'Tater (7.25x4.75).v1.3.pdf 1 2023-01-12 2:50 PM continued on pg. 34
33 BC�T February
It was a packed house for the 7th Annual AgGrow Solutions Summit, December 8, 2022, at The Inn at Sentry World.

Central Door Solutions Named IDA Top 100 Dealer

High-achieving Plover company makes lists that reflect the best in the industry

The International Door Association (IDA) recognized Central Door Solutions, LLC, of Plover, Wisconsin, in its prestigious 2022 “Top 100 Door Dealers-Top Total Revenue” and “Top 100 Door Dealers-Top 50 Commercial Door Dealers” lists.

“In 2021 IDA reintroduced the IDA Top 100 Door Dealers Listing,” Larry McClean, member program manager, says. “The listing includes garage door companies from across the nation and Canada that have submitted information regarding their business results.”

“The information was independently tabulated and analyzed by ESquared Consulting,” McClean relates.

“The listing is revenue based,” he explains, “and contains lists such as: Top 100 overall; Top 10 Independently Owned and Operated;

Top 50 Residential and Top 50 Commercial Dealers; Top 25 Dealers under $2 million in sales; and Top 25 under $1 million in sales.”

Central Door Solutions placed 46 out of 100 U.S. and Canadian companies in Total Revenue, and 25th in Top 50 Commercial Door Dealers. The IDA Top 100 Door Dealer lists were featured in the March/April 2022 issue of IDA Magazine, appear on the IDA website (www.doors.org), and are promoted on social media.

Over the course of several months in 2021, dealers around the U.S. and Canada voluntarily submitted information regarding their business results for the year 2020.

The listing of high-achieving door dealers reflects the best in the industry. All category rankings are based on sales revenue.

The International Door Association recognized Central Door Solutions of Plover, Wisconsin, in two of its esteemed lists—2022’s “Top 100 Door Dealers-Top Total Revenue” and “Top 100 Door Dealers-Top 50 Commercial Door Dealers.” Chris Brooks, shown here, and his business partner, Bruce Woyak, are the proud owners of Central Door Solutions.

Now News. . . continued from pg. 33 34 BC�T February

DATCP Awards Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants

Central Wisconsin Farmers’ Collaborative and Farmers of the Roche-A-Cri secure funding

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has awarded $1 million in producer-led watershed protection grants (PLWPG) to 43 farmer-led groups for 2023. Grants support producerled conservation solutions by encouraging innovation and farmer participation in on-the-ground efforts to improve Wisconsin’s soil health and water quality.

2023 marks the third year in a row that the Central Wisconsin Farmers Collaborative has landed a ProducerLed Watershed Protection Grant from

DATCP, this time for $20,000.

Seven Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) member farms are participating in the project, which is in the Little Plover River/Wisconsin River watershed.

They include lead farm Plover River Farms, Feltz Family Farms, Firkus Farms, Hamerski Farms, Myron Soik & Sons, Okray Family Farms, and Worzella & Sons. Gagas Farms will be the eighth WPVGA member joining this Producer-Led group in 2023.

The Central Wisconsin Farmers Collaborative seeks to promote

DATCP awarded $1 million in producer-led watershed protection grants to 43 farmerled groups (areas of concentration indicated in blue) for 2023, including $20,000 in funding to the Central Wisconsin Farmers’ Collaborative and $14,600 for the Farmers of the Roche-A-Cri.

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innovative conservation and stewardship practices that benefit the watershed, landscape and the land managers themselves through collaborative partnerships, farm-tofarm education programs and other strategic actions.

Several WPVGA grower members are also involved in the Farmers of the Roche-A-Cri producer-led watershed protection group, which secured $14,600 in 2023 DATCP grant funding to protect and enhance the Big Roche-A-Cri and Little Roche-A-Cri

Creek watersheds.

Member farms include Coloma Farms, Flyte Family Farms, Heartland Farms, Nathan Bula Farms, LLC, Signature Farms, and Sterling Farms.

PROTECTING LAND & WATER

“With 14.3 million acres dedicated to agriculture in Wisconsin, our farmers are some of the most ardent supporters of protecting our land and water because they know firsthand the value of clean water and fruitful land for the success of their

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businesses,” says Gov. Tony Evers.

“These grants provide the support needed for farmers to stay innovative and lead the way on improving water quality across our state while protecting their bottom lines,” Gov. Evers adds, “helping us build a healthier, more sustainable Wisconsin for everyone.”

“This grant program has provided an innovative and successful model to encourage conservation efforts in our state,” says DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski.

“With the additional funding provided by Gov. Evers and the state legislature for these grants,” Romanski continues, “more farmers are able to encourage their neighbors to engage in conservation efforts through educational activities, onfarm research and demonstration, and incentives that help minimize financial risk.”

This is the eighth round of grant awards since funding was first made available in the 2015-’17 state budget. Annual interest in DATCP’s PLWPG program continues to exceed the program budget.

This funding cycle received the highest number of requests in the history of the program, with 45 applicants for a total funding request of over $1.5 million.

In 2021, groups in the program provided conservation practices on 978,881 acres, an increase from 798,221 acres in 2020. These farmerled conservation efforts prevented 219,638 pounds of phosphorus and 342,163 tons of soil from leaving farm fields.

Producer-led groups must work with a county land conservation department, University of WisconsinDivision of Extension, non-profit conservation organization, or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

For more information, visit https:// datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_ Services/ProducerLedProjects.aspx.

Now News. . .
35
continued from pg.
FOCUSED ON AG. FOCUSED ON YOU.
36 BC�T February

Corteva Acquires Stoller Group

Move reinforces commitment to providing farmers with biological tools

Corteva has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Houstonbased Stoller, one of the largest independent biologicals companies in the industry.

With operations and sales in more than 60 countries and 2022 forecasted revenues of more than $400 million, Stoller brings immediate scale and profitability. The acquisition of Stoller reinforces Corteva’s commitment to providing farmers with biological tools that complement evolving farming practices and help them meet changing market expectations.

Stoller’s reputation for demand creation and farmer relationships centers around a commercial model that’s built upon sharing knowledge with the channel and farmers. Stoller has been successful by demonstrating technical excellence and delivering benefits and value of integrated solutions in the field.

“Biologicals provide farmers with sustainably advantaged tools that complement crop protection technologies, and collectively, can work to address global challenges around food security and climate change,” says Chuck Magro, chief

executive officer (CEO) of Corteva.

“Stoller represents a leader in the biologicals industry given its commercial presence and market expansion potential, while also delivering attractive growth and operating margins,” Magro adds. “Stoller provides a platform for expanding and accelerating Corteva’s biologicals business to become one of the largest players in the rapidly expanding market,” he remarks.

GROWING BIOLOGICALS MARKET

The biologicals market is expected to grow by high single digits annually through 2035, representing approximately 25% of the overall crop protection market by 2035.

In just three years, Corteva has developed a world-class biologicals business by implementing smart, nimble strategies built around external and internal innovation, research and development collaborations, licensing and distribution agreements, and acquisitions.

“In Stoller’s 50-plus-year history, we have successfully helped growers around the world increase their productivity and improve

sustainability. We are proud to join forces with Corteva as we share a vision of helping farmers succeed in growing the nutritious food the world relies on,” says Guillermo de la Borda, CEO of Stoller.

“This announcement is a true testament to the incredible success and dedication of our teams across the globe who have helped us become one of the most trusted biostimulant and plant health companies in the world,” de la Borda continues. “Our innovative solutions and deep expertise will continue to make an impact for years to come.”

Stoller is the second biologicals acquisition for Corteva in the past year, as the company recently announced it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Symborg, an expert in microbiological technologies based in Murcia, Spain.

Corteva will bring together the complementary commercial and technical strengths of Stoller and Symborg as part of its biologicals strategy.

37 BC�T February

Vive Crop Protection Expands U.S. Sales Team

Agricultural professionals will maximize grower returns and grow market share

Vive Crop Protection expands its U.S. sales team with the addition of four agricultural professionals: Key Account Manager Meggie Gilbert, Southeast Sales Manager Sarah Savage, Delta Regional Sales Manager Jeremy Watts, and Western Technical Sales Agronomist Victoria Marsh. Gilbert has worked in the crop protection industry for 14 years with companies like Syngenta, BASF, and Simplot. These past roles include sales representative, district manager, and supplier relations and strategy lead.

More recently, Gilbert was a regional manager at Blue Diamond Growers where she managed 225 growers across three counties focused on maximizing grower returns and profitability.

Dan Bihlmeyer, Vive’s vice president of global sales, says, “I am excited to welcome Meggie Gilbert to the Vive

Crop Protection team as national key account manager, reporting to me.”

“In this role,” Bihlmeyer details, “she will support execution of Vive’s distribution program with key channel partners and expand the company’s market position sales and relationships with existing and new distribution partners across the U.S.”

GROWING MARKET SHARE

Savage is Vive’s new southeast regional sales manager. Savage works from her home base in North Florida and comes to Vive from Always Fresh Farms where she worked as a sales associate.

She will be responsible for growing market share of Vive’s product portfolio covering Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and southern Alabama. A graduate of the University of Florida, she holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in agricultural economics.

Watts has joined the team as the Delta regional sales manager covering Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, and northern Alabama. Watts works from his home base in Mayhew, Mississippi. A graduate from Mississippi State University with a B.S. in agricultural information science, Watts has worked in the agriculture industry for 17 years.

Marsh joins the Vive team as western technical sales agronomist. Marsh comes to Vive from Tessenderlo Kerley Inc., where she worked as a regional agronomist.

She will be responsible for growing Vive’s field trial program in the West to better support the company’s precision chemistry portfolio. A graduate from Washington State University, she holds a B.S. in agronomy and crop science and a Master of Science degree in soil science.

For more information on Vive Crop Protection, contact Emily Roden, marketing, and communications manager, eroden@vivecrop.com, 919-649-2398.

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38 BC�T February
Clockwise from top-left, agricultural professionals Sarah Savage, Victoria Marsh, Meggie Gilbert and Jeremy Watts join the Vive Crop Protection U.S. sales team.

Certis Biologicals Adds Leadership

Company is committed to strengthening its innovation pipeline

To meet the rising demand of biological crop protection, Certis Biologicals announces that it is strengthening its innovation pipeline by naming Mike Allan vice president of business development and licensing.

As such, Allan will seek opportunities for the biologicals leader to expand innovation efforts through partnerships, licensing, and potential acquisitions.

“There is staggering investment in the agriculture space right now and biologicals are at the forefront of many of those innovation efforts,” says Amy O’Shea, president and chief executive officer of Certis Biologicals.

“With our strong commitment to science, the internal innovation possible at our laboratory facilities and our access to the market, we believe that we are a strong partner for emerging technology players,” O’Shea stresses. “Mike’s industry breadth and respect will be key in leveraging these strengths for the overall growth of the sector.”

“Certis Biologicals has always been committed to bringing new technologies to the marketplace so that growers can feel comfortable protecting their crops and the environments in which they grow,” Allan says.

LEVERAGING PARTNERSHIPS

“We have successfully launched many of these new advancements by leveraging partnerships with external collaborators such as W. Neudorff GmbH KG, Kaken Pharmaceutical Co., LTD and Novozymes,” Allan adds.

“Dedication to this effort will bring vast opportunity to our innovation pipeline and to growers around the world who need additional crop protection tools,” he states.

Allan joined Certis Biologicals in 2018 as vice president, North America, and has overseen sales operations, leading a team of sales professionals across the continent through a period of significant growth and interest in biologicals.

Prior to joining Certis, Allan served as president, North America, of Isagro USA and in various roles at Arysta/ Tomen, including as global business development manager.

To learn more about Certis Biologicals, its portfolio of proven solutions and commitment to sustainability, visit www.CertisBio. com or follow the company through social media on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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Mike Allan is named vice president of business development and licensing for Certis Biologicals.

Potatoes USA News

USDA Funds New Research in Fight Against Nematodes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) recently announced $6.8 million in funding for “Potatoes and Pests—Actionable Science Against Nematodes [PAPAS].”

The PAPAS team will engage in a four-year research project to provide growers with the best management practices for controlling infestations of both root knot and potato cyst nematodes in potato fields.

Successful completion will result in several tools for growers:

• Molecular diagnostics, thresholds, and decision support systems

• Plant defenses and the development of resistant varieties

• Novel nematicidal chemistries

• Passing it along, engaging stakeholders

The group aims to increase awareness about nematode damage thresholds, nematicides and fumigants, deployment of resistance strategies, and improved nematode diagnostic methods.

Additional activities will include training growers and future professionals (e.g., nematologists, plant scientists, and economists) on nematode best practices.

Growers will benefit from this project by applying information from the PAPAS team to improve nematode management practices, increasing yields and profit.

The project encompasses four main objectives, and each year has a focus area, including thresholds for detection, damage, and economic harm; deployment of resistance and plant defenses; developments of novel nematicidal chemistries and action plans for their use; and providing decision support models

to engage the industry in best management practices.

• Objective 1: Improving Diagnostics and Implementing Predictive Modes for Decision Support – Decision support tools for growers and other industry members affected by nematode infestations will be developed by deploying improved diagnostics and predictive models.

• Objective 2: Mining Plant Defenses and Deployment of Novel Resistance – The development of potato varieties with nematode resistance will be accelerated by increasing the understanding of plant defense genes and using marker-assisted breeding to develop resistant varieties.

• Objective 3: Planning for the Future Through Smart Nematicide Chemistries – The team has identified a plant species, Solanum sisymbriifolium, that is toxic to many nematodes. These will become purified for novel nematicide production.

• Objective 4: Passing It Along – Engaging Our Stakeholders – Information gained from this

project will be shared with the industry so members can adopt an integrated systems approach for effective nematode management. Each year, the Potato Research Advisory Committee (PRAC) meets to discuss research proposals submitted to various funding sources. One of the most popular submission sources includes SCRI.

PRAC selects projects that merit support and solicits letters of support from industry members who express a desire for submissions to be accepted.

Since 2016, PRAC’s efforts have helped six projects led by potato scientists win $30.7 million in funding for the industry.

PRAC supported the PAPAS submission with 70 letters of support from national organizations, regional and state organizations, processors, regulators, research entities, and growers in 12 states.

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), award number 2022-51181-38450.

40 BC�T February
The aim of a four-year research project is to provide growers with the best management practices for controlling infestations of both root knot and potato cyst nematodes (shown) in potato fields.
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Keep Your Machines in Top Shape

What are the common application issues you may face this season?

When was the last time one of your machines broke down? Was it last year, last week, or even just yesterday?

We get it, keeping your machines completely issue-free can be hard. That is why we strive to provide you with prompt, top-notch service for your equipment.

Still, there are small steps that each operator can take to keep their machines in the best shape. We provide a few of those tips here to prepare you for the next season.

SPRING ISSUES

An issue that tends to occur in the spring is unexpected breakdowns. Unfortunately, problems can arise, even when the machine is just sitting

Above: Before you take your machine out to the field, pull apart the connections and take a quick look for any foreign material. When you put your machine away for the winter, make sure you take the necessary steps to winterize your machine for the next spring.

through the winter.

Improper winterization can result in broken fittings, pumps, or strainers, and corrosion can occur if the machine was not properly cleaned. Matt Ellens, a sales territory manager at Heartland AG Systems, says, “Spray drift is always a topic of discussion in the spring, especially during post spraying. AIM solenoids can start to corrode in the connections after sitting over the winter.”

Before you take your machine out to the field, pull apart the connections and take a quick look for any foreign material. When you put your machine away for the winter, make sure you take the necessary steps to winterize your machine for the next spring.

These unexpected breakdowns often come from your machines being in storage for a season.

When it comes to dry fertilizer application, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) problems are also a potential threat. Possibilities of frozen plumbing on sprayers are an issue, and DEF problems could also be present if the tank wasn’t filled,

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and the filters serviced.

When issues like these occur, it usually makes for a bad day and a frustrated operator. Rightfully so, because downtime is one of the worst situations for operators to be in, especially when there is a very small window for accomplishing the tasks at hand.

Luckily, there are several things you can do to keep these issues to a minimum and keep your machines up and running.

FALL ISSUES

One obstacle that cannot be controlled is the weather, and when operators have tight windows to get into the field, that can become a challenge.

However, there is another factor to look out for when the weather isn’t quite right.

Ryan Palmer, a location manager at Heartland AG Systems, says, “Many times, operators are applicating in late fall, a time when they may run into wet, slimy weather. The fertilizer can become wet and sticky, which leads to build-up on the distributors, fins, and deflectors.”

This can then result in plugging or pattern loss and streaks in the field where no fertilizer is applied. In some states, fluctuating temperatures can cause issues with how your machines operate. They affect your machine’s ability to keep spraying through less-thanideal temperatures, and when we experience freezing temperatures, the hard, frozen ground can be detrimental to equipment. This can be a problem, especially when the machine is needed out in the field.

Another common fall issue for many operators is belts or chains freezing and seizing up. These belts and chains help run the fertilizer out to the booms or spinners and can

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“Many times, operators are applicating in late fall, a time when they may run into wet, slimy weather. The fertilizer can become wet and sticky, which leads to build-up on the distributors, fins, and deflectors.”
continued on pg. 44 43 BC�T February
– Ryan Palmer, location manager for Heartland AG Systems

cause major issues when not working properly.

This could be caused by several obstacles like a stuck or bad pulse width modulation cartridge, a rusted or seized bearing, or a controller issue.

This problem, and many more like it, can occur when fertilizer dust gets into any sort of bearing.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Do a walk-around of your machines. Doing a quick inspection of your machines each time they go to the field can help prevent breakdowns from happening.

• Put 100-200 gallons of water in the

tank and manually run the water through each section.

• Walk the booms and check each tip to make sure it is spraying properly.

• A walk-around should be performed daily, but at the very least, make sure you are doing it before the busy season.

• Look over each light to make sure they are working properly and replace them as needed.

Keep the machine clean. Simply taking care of your machines can save you a lot of time and frustration down the road.

• Check that all grease points can

take grease.

• Run the machine in the yard before heading to the field to ensure that all parts operate properly.

• Keep the machine clean to prevent corrosive fertilizer from getting into electrical/hydraulic systems and to ensure clean communication between the hydraulic/electrical systems.

Keep up with the changing temperatures.

• DEF issues can be combated by storing machines in a heated building, letting the machines warm up to full operating engine temperature before driving, and making sure your DEF is topped off every day.

• In dry application, try not to spread when the temperatures are below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If you must spread, ensure your machine is in a warm building at night, the engine heater is plugged in, or you let the

Keep Your Machines in Top Shape. . . continued from pg. 43
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Above: Heartland AG Systems offers a mobile field service armed with a full line of tools and expert knowledge. This enables technicians to perform in-season repairs at the field or the customer location.

machine warm up the engine and the hydraulic systems before you try to operate them.

• Going into winter storage, perform a battery disconnect. If the machine is going to be in cold storage, think about removing the cab controllers to prevent the screens from freezing.

Make sure you are using the correct tip with the correct chemical label. Many different chemicals are used today, and taking the time to read your chemical labels is important. It is also essential to make sure you have the right tip size to match your chemistry, rates, speeds, and pressure, especially with AIM. Whether it is legacy AIM Command or the new AIM Command Flex, it is important to take the time to look over the boom and check cabling, stuck poppets, or corrosion points. One excellent way to make sure your machines are up and running each season is to have Heartland AG Systems perform a preventative maintenance inspection.

This allows our experts to take a full look at your machines and fix anything before they are brought out to the field.

MINIMIZE DOWNTIME

Our service technicians are trained specifically on the equipment we offer and have first-hand knowledge from field experience that they utilize during their inspections to help minimize your downtime in every season.

Heartland AG Systems also offers a mobile field service armed with a full line of tools and expert knowledge. This enables our technicians to perform in-season repairs at the field or the customer location.

We also have a fully equipped shop for customer repair, preventative maintenance inspections, and a stocked parts warehouse that contains replacement parts for the full line of equipment that

Heartland AG Systems offers. Additionally, we provide recreational vehicle (RV) antifreeze, fall/winter service booking, expert advice on machine maintenance and storage, and assistance with start-up in the spring to make sure you have a leg up, no matter the circumstance.

Consider utilizing Heartland AG Systems to best prepare your machines for the next season.

We are completely committed to your every application need and are here to bring success to your operation through our expertise and excellent customer service.

For more information, contact Heartland AG Systems, attn. Guy Mathias, 4180 Reardon Rd., Deforest, WI 53532, 800-523-2350, guy. mathias@heartlandag.com, www.heartlandag.com.

45 BC�T February

New Products

John Deere Offers New Strip-Till Equipment

Units give farmers ability to combine nutrient application and tillage in a single field pass

John Deere has introduced a new series of strip-till equipment to help farmers till where it matters most. The new series includes a pair of integral models and three drawn models to match dry fertilizer or anhydrous applications.

The new strip-till units give farmers the ability to combine nutrient application and tillage into a single, efficient field pass, potentially reducing the need for additional trips across the field.

“Strip-till can improve soil health, reduce erosion and conserve soil moisture,” says Ryan Jardon, marketing manager for John Deere. “Strip-till has been shown to help farmers reduce input costs while maintaining yields and further maximizing their profitability.”

“These new strip-till units give farmers the ability to prepare their seedbeds in the fall,” Jardon adds,

“so they’re ready to plant in the spring.”

Farmers can choose from the John Deere ST12 and ST16 Integral or ST12, ST16, and ST18 drawn models that come from the factory ready to work in different soil and field conditions.

CUSTOMIZABLE BY FARMER

All models are heavy built and offer a variety of shanks, coulters and row-spacings so the implement can be customized by the farmer to best fit field conditions and fertilizer application needs. In-cab row cleaner adjustments make adapting to changing conditions easy.

Drawn models are available in 12, 16, or 18 rows, with tanks that can carry up to 10 tons of dry fertilizer, and scales that enable the operator to calculate remaining quantity. The ST12 and ST16 are available on 30inch spacing and the ST18 is available on 20- or 22-inch spacing.

Integral models are available in 12 or 16 rows. The Integral ST12 and ST16 are available on 30-inch spacing. Jardon recommends farmers pair the new strip-till unit with a John Deere tractor to take advantage of the latest fully integrated precision-ag technology.

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Above: Integral John Deere strip-till models come in 12 or 16 rows, with the ST12 and ST16 models available on 30-inch spacing.
River”

“John Deere Active Implement Guidance ensures your strips are exactly where you want them to be, even in turns or navigating hillsides. John Deere AutoPath™ uses your strip-till pass as the source path, so your planter can precisely follow your strip-till rows,” Jardon assures.

“John Deere AutoTrac™ and AutoTrac Turn Automation give farmers automated control of steering, speed and implements during turns for even greater efficiency,” he says. “Each field pass can then be carefully documented with that data being uploaded into the John Deere Operations Center.”

John Deere strip-till units will be available to order in February 2023. For more information, visit https:// www.John.Deere.com/tillage, or find your local John Deere dealer at https://dealerlocator.deere.com.

Above: The ST12 and ST16 are available on 30-inch spacing and the ST18 is available on 20- or 22-inch spacing.
“Your locally owned and family operated Insurance Agency. Offering: Multi-Peril, Crop Hail, Farm & Agri-Business Insurance. Call US today for all your farm insurance needs!” Chad Glaze Owner/Agent Chad Glaze www.vinevestnorth.com 3300 County Road WW • Wausau, WI 54401 888-675-1829 • 715-675-1829 An Equal Opportunity Employer CROP AND FARM INSURANCE We Protect Those Who Provide for the World. Let Us Insure Your Farm or Agribusiness. Call Today! 1-888-675-1829 continued on pg. 48 47 BC�T February
Choose from the John Deere ST12 and ST16 Integral, or ST12, ST16, and ST18 drawn models.

Trimble Releases Precision Ag Displays

User-friendly technology and multiple screen options put technology at your fingertips

There’s no doubt about it—farming takes hard work. That’s why Trimble is proud to offer a complete lineup of Android-based GFX displays, including the new GFX-1060 and the GFX-1260 models.

GFX displays continue Trimble’s history of innovative, user-friendly technology that makes adding precision to your farming operation easier than ever.

The touch-screen displays have Android-based operating systems and are compatible with more than 10,000 vehicle models across more than 40 brands of equipment.

CenterPoint RTX correction is included for the first year. Features also include:

• Multiple screen size options

• Precision-IQ™ operating system

• Compatible with NAV-500™ and NAV-900 guidance controllers

• Field-IQ™ crop input control system, ISOBUS and TUVR/Serial functionality

• A range of options for available input channels and controlled sections

• Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi

• TeamViewer for enhanced support For more information, visit https:// ag.trimble.com/1060-1260-gfxdisplays, or contact Vantage North Central, POB 35, Plainfield, WI 54966, 715-335-4474 or 888-368-8447, www.vantage-northcentral.com.

Also,

We want to thank many businesses and individuals who in 2022 contributed time and resources for the success of our research and outreach activities. We are thankful for your generosity as you help us sustain our research farm and Storage Research Facility activities. Among these are: •

New Products. . . continued from pg. 47
Hancock Ag Research Station N3909 County Rd. V, Hancock, WI 54943 Tel. (715) 249 5961 Email: hancock@cals.wisc.edu
2023
year!
The Hancock Agricultural Research Station wishes you a great
crop and storage
a big
You!
Thank
Corteva
Farmers
FMC
Gramma Miller’s
Heartland Farms
McCain Foods
MWFPA
Nutrien Ag Solutions
Nelson’s Vegetable Storage Systems
Paul
USA
Roberts
Swiderski
Inc.
Syngenta
UPL • Valent • Vantage North Central • Willis Family • WPVGA • WPVGA Associate Division 48 BC�T February
ADAMA • AMVAC Chemical Corp. • Case IH Program • Coloma Farms •
Implement LLC •
Miller Farms • Potatoes
Irrigation •
Equipment,

SAME FIELDS, HER YIELDS.

Including PureGrade® Liquid Fertilizers in your program will ensure your crop has the nutrients to reach its full potential. PureGrade Liquid Fertilizers include both Low-Salt Starters and Low-Salt Foliars, and are compatible with MicroSolutions EDTA Chelated Micronutrients. Contact Nutrien-Great Lakes, leaders in high leverage crop fertility programs, to learn more about PureGrade Liquid Fertilizers and MicroSolutions Micronutrients.

FEATURES

soluble
Non-corrosive • Low rates per acre 7-25-5 GoldStart® 9-18-9 GoldStart 5-15-15 GoldStart 6-24-6 GoldStart 3-18-18 GoldStart 10-10-10 GoldStart 5-18-10-1 GoldStart Chelated Micronutrients 17-0-4-7 Custom Mixes 20-0-0-8 Nitro-S 0-0-30 Pot Carb AVAILABLE PRODUCTS Nutrien-Great Lakes also handles a full line of humic and biological products. Custom mixes available upon request. AndersonsPlantNutrient.com nutrienagsolutions.com Central Sands Plainfield, WI GREAT LAKES Nutrien - Great Lakes 5053 County 420-21st Road | Gladstone, MI 49837 Contact Wally Eagle | Cell: 906-399-4818 | Email: walter.eagle@nutrien.com Marc Marenger | Cell: 906-280-5500 | Email: marc.marenger@nutrien.com Nutrien - Great Lakes is an authorized retailer of PureGrade Liquid Fertilizer. ©2022 The Andersons, Inc. All rights reserved. PureGrade and GoldStart are registered trademarks of The Andersons, Inc.
• Chloride free • Near neutral pH • 100% water
• Trouble-free •

Eyes on Associates

Blessings as we bid farewell to the 2023 Grower Education Conference & Industry Show and prepare for another crop year. This month’s column will be a little abbreviated in lieu of a full report on the Industry Show in the March issue.

The primary topic of conversation around this time last year in the crop production realm was the exponentially high fertilizer prices. Thankfully, those high price trends from last year are beginning to correct for this year.

Many factors are coming into play. In the potash market, for example, Russia was not a player last year. This year, the country is again trading in potash. Having Russian product in the pipeline is putting pressure on domestic and Canadian suppliers and driving prices down to more tolerable levels.

As a retail fertilizer professional, it is nice to bring a little more optimistic message to my growers!

Mark your calendars. The 4th Annual Sporting Clays Shoot hosted by the Associate Division of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) will be held on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at the Wausau Skeet & Trap Club.

Since the Associate Division has held that event for three years, we took a long look at it during our December meeting. We wanted to do due diligence, as with any event, and make sure that it fulfilled our mission statement. We also wanted to make sure that the format, location, and food were as good as we could possibly make them.

The overwhelming response was that the event should be left as it stands. The changes that we made in the format this year successfully accommodated additional participants. Our event was full, there was no waiting list, and existing participants had little to no delays between shooting stations.

Thanks again to everyone who attended and sponsored our sporting clays outing! We look forward to a great event again next year.

As I write what is likely my secondto-last column as president of the

In the potash market, Russia was not a player last year. This year, the country is again trading in potash. Having Russian product in the pipeline is putting pressure on domestic and Canadian suppliers and driving prices down to more tolerable levels.

WPVGA Associate Division, I am reflecting on some highlights of my four years on this board. I am proud of all the ways that we have given

50 BC�T February

back to the industry.

We have been able to support the expansion project of MidState Technical College and the groundbreaking of the Farming for the Future Foundation, both historical advancements in education for our agricultural community.

We contributed to the new wrap on the Spudmobile. Our board also spearheaded the Sporting Clays outing, a new social/fundraising event that has only grown in popularity.

I have experienced first-hand the dedication, cooperation, and support of everyone involved. It has truly been a privilege to be a part of the WPVGA Associate Division during this dynamic time! Thank you!

51 BC�T February
Mark your calendars. The 4th Annual Sporting Clays Shoot hosted by the Associate Division of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) will be held on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at the Wausau Skeet & Trap Club. Representing Team Allied Cooperative at the 2021 Sporting Clays Shoot are, from left to right, Kelsi Mueller, T.J. Kennedy, Adam Flyte, Mike Soley, and Austin Headlee.

The WPVGA Celebrates 75 years Association directs potato and vegetable education, research, promotion, and legislative work

When Wisconsin potato and vegetable growers gathered in the mid-1940’s to discuss issues unique to their farming operations, and the need for promotion, marketing, research, education, and representation in Madison, they could have never envisioned what the

future would hold.

Would they have foreseen the advancements in technology, the legislative issues that would touch them all, shifting of public opinion, future potato yields, price fluctuations, or modern

business applications?

How could they have known that small potato and vegetable farms would become nearly obsolete

Above Left: In the March 1961 issue of the Badger Common’Tater, Palmer Brettingen of Antigo, a sales manager for Lockwood Graders of Wisconsin, Inc., was shown pointing out a future change in the trademark of the former Oliver Iron Age planter.

Above Right: The 1987 Spud Bowl in Stevens Point featured a pre-game spuds and suds picnic, an under-the-lights night football game and a big fifth quarter party. Posing in the photo with University of WisconsinStevens Point (UWSP) football players are, from left to right, Paul Clasen (Rural Insurance), Don Amiot (UWSP athletic director), Jerry Bushman of Bushmans’ Inc., Louis Wysocki of then Wysocki Sales, and Mike Haberman of the Stevens Point-Plover Chamber of Commerce.

52 BC�T February
Lawrence Krogwold was all smiles at the 1961 christening of the new Lawrence Krogwold (potato) Warehouse in Amherst, Wisconsin.

in the following 70-plus years, or that people would be talking about sustainability and organic growing?

Self-driving tractors, variable-rate irrigation, remote sensing, drones, artificial intelligence, precision planting, global positioning systems, field mapping, and heat sensing would have seemed like weird science fiction to them.

In some ways, farmers alive in 1948 when The Potato Growers of Wisconsin was founded would be, and likely are, proud to know that future generations could produce more food on fewer acres and often with fewer inputs than they did back in the day.

To put the timeframe into perspective, the long-play vinyl record came to fruition in the United States in 1948, the World Health Organization was founded, Israel was declared an independent state,

and Indian pacifist leader Mahatma Gandhi was murdered.

Wisconsin’s average potato yield was 96 cwt. (hundredweight) per acre

in 1948, and state growers raised 78,000 acres for a total production of 7,488,000 cwt.

America’s favorite vegetable ranked a “perfect 10” with members of the 1982 Potato Board who attended the Board’s 10th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting, in Denver. In attendance were, from left to right, Don Wirz of Antigo, Robert Diercks, Antigo, Ernie Bushman from Galloway, and Nick Somers of Stevens Point. FEATURING: • Rear Wheel Steering • Planting element with self cleaning cup inserts
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The WPVGA Celebrates 75 years. . . continued from pg. 53

Those numbers were a bit different in 2022, with Wisconsin ranking third in the nation in potato production, averaging 425 cwt. per acre and raising nearly 63,000 harvested acres and an estimated 26,775,000 cwt. of quality spuds for an overall assessment of $2,007,682.04.

HIGH YIELDS

The state’s yield is nearly 4.5 times what it was 75 years ago, production is over 350 percent and acreage has declined by 19 percent.

Technology, including advances in machinery, irrigation, computers, fertilizer, pest and disease management, and all forms of digital and monitoring devices, has certainly helped increase production per acre, as has good old-fashioned ingenuity and the learning of better ways of growing crops.

Although the number of Wisconsin potato and vegetable growers has declined over the past 75 years, the size of farms has increased dramatically, most of which are now being run by third- and fourth-

generation growers. One constant has been the contributions of a singular organization formed by potato growers for potato growers.

Founded on February 13, 1948,

Members of the 1984 WPVGA Vegetable Committee included, back row, left to right, Dick Chilewski, Jim Knutson, Gayle Bacon, Hod Chilewski and Gordon Marks; and front row, left to right, Larry Spees, Ralph Turzinski, Les VanLoon and Harlan Lipke. Not pictured were Frank Castor and Robert Helbach. Above: Automated weather stations were already an important part of integrated pest management in 1990. Bob Rands, then superintendent of the University of Wisconsin Agricultural Research Station, in Spooner, checked weather monitoring equipment. Photo courtesy of Wolfgang Hoffman Right Top: A modern Central Wisconsin potato storage facility was shown on the cover of the Badger Common’Tater in 1992.
54 BC�T February
Right Bottom: Potato planting was well underway at Plover River Farms in 1995.
W9751 HIGHWAY I BRYANT, WISCONSIN 54418 Call Mike Shafel (715) 216-4531 sunnydaleseed@yahoo.com Farm Office: 715-627-7401 Seed Potatoes Dark Red Norland • Red Prairie continued on pg. 56 55 BC�T February

The WPVGA is still located in the original Fidelity Savings Bank (now Chase) building at the corner of Fifth and Superior streets in Antigo. Upon forming The Potato Growers of Wisconsin, the Board’s first project was to exit Market Order #60, a four-state (Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and North Dakota) marketing agreement issued by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

In 1999, WPVGA hosted the 18th Annual National Potato Council Seed Seminar in Madison, Wisconsin. Over 550 people registered for the event that brought growers, processors, certification officials, seed and chemical company representatives and others together for two days of meetings focused on the theme of “Potatoes in the New Millennium.” In the first photo, Dr. Walt Stevenson (left), UW-Madison Department of Plant Pathology, accepts the Meritorious Service Award from Sid Schutter

Erickson; Swan; West; Paul Bonac Above: These two photos sent by Jeanette Wilson of Bancroft to commemorate WPVGA’s 50th anniversary, in 1998, show Ernie Swiontek with a wagonload of handpicked potatoes and an early crop duster ready for service.
56 BC�T February
of Montana. In the second photo, Rod Zupon (left) of Rine Ridge Farms, Bryant, talks with Jim Adamski from Gallenberg Equipment in the exhibit area of the Seed Seminar.

the consumer a good product at a fair and equitable price based on his ability to pay.”

An initial fee of 25 cents per acre was established for members of the Potato Growers of Wisconsin, Inc., and activation of the organization was met with enthusiasm throughout the state by large and small growing

operations alike.

The Badger Common’Tater monthly publication was soon developed as an education and communication vehicle of the Association. The first issue was published, in Antigo, in July 1948.

Left: At the 53rd Annual WPVGA Industry Show in 2022, Dennis Zeloski (left), then of Muck Farms, Inc., presented an American flag throw blanket that he purchased through the silent auction to Dr. Jeff Wyman. Wyman was naturalized as a U.S. citizen the following day, February 14, 2002.

Right: In a June 2004 interview, Mark Bula said he had improved his bruise-free potato readings through the use of Spudnik harvesters. continued on pg. 58

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The WPVGA Celebrates 75 years. . . continued from pg. 57

After 75 years, it’s clear that the founders of The Potato Growers of Wisconsin were an enlightened and driven group of forwardthinking businessmen who cared deeply about their livelihoods and providing quality produce to feed an ever-growing population.

The WPVGA continues to strive for the original goals of bringing a greater return to growers and

giving consumers a quality product at a fair and equitable price.

Much as it was in 1948, and despite modern concerns such as sustainable farming, environmental and water issues, and often overwhelming legislation, the association continues to support its growers and ensure they are fairly rewarded for their efforts.

Left: Enjoying the mashed potato bar reception during the 2007 United States Potato Board (USPB) Annual Meeting are, from left to right, Mike Carter, who was the Executive Director of the WPVGA at the time, Dan Moss of Moss Farms, Idaho, and Andy Diercks of Coloma Farms.

Right: Rich in Wisconsin potato history, the city of Antigo was home to Lucky Devil Farms where proprietor Ken Ourada and crew offered U.S. No. 1 potatoes in 5 lb. bags like that shown, as well as other packaging.

In March 2011, John Hein (left) and his son, John R. Hein, of Sowinski Farms demonstrate how they’d use a mini-tuber planter that they customized from a transplanter. From left to right, Jim Mattek of J.W. Mattek & Sons, Inc., John T. Schroeder of Schroeder Bros. Farms, Inc. and Steve Rosenthal of TH Agrichemical found themselves deep in conversation at the 58th Annual Seed Meeting, in January 2018.
58 BC�T February

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Nick Somers (front row, second from left) and Chris Brooks of Central Door Solutions use teamwork to cut the ribbon at the Spudmobile dedication ceremony. The WPVGA’s mobile education unit made its debut appearance at Farm Tech Days in 2014.
ARISTA
VitaTRACE
59 BC�T February
Interviewed in the May 2008 issue of the Badger Common’Tater, Lynda Bula of Gary Bula Farms, Inc. is shown with seed potatoes in storage at the farm’s headquarters in Grand Marsh.

Where to Start with On-Farm Assessments of Nitrogen Optimization?

Optimizing N has the dual benefit of improved economic return and the reduction of nitrate leaching

There is renewed interest in conducting on-farm research to optimize nitrogen (N) fertilizer use for potato production. Optimizing N has the dual benefit of improved economic return and the reduction of nitrate leaching to groundwater.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has funding available through its nitrogen optimization pilot program (NOPP) that may be used to facilitate on-farm research. On-farm nitrogen research on potato will be a priority over the coming decade, whether funded by NOPP or other sources.

At the 2022 Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, I

proposed a framework for how nitrogen studies can be categorized and how information from different studies can complement each other (Figure 1).

The foundational work in N research is to develop baseline N fertilizer recommendations (Figure 1, in blue). This work involves assessing crop yield and quality across multiple (six or more) N rates.

This type of research is the basis for

N recommendations found in the A2809 UW-Division of Extension publication.

Fundamentally, this research identifies the range of N rates that optimize production. However, more data is always needed to feed the development and updating of these recommendations.

This is particularly important for potato production, as most of the data comes from a single location, the Hancock Agricultural Research Station (HARS).

The second type of research focuses on adjustments to in-season N management and the technology used to help guide those decisions (green in Figure 1).

This is a topic of considerable research at the moment, as remote sensing and direct plant sensing technologies are showing promise in assessing the N status of the crop.

Badger Beat Plainfield, WI | 715.335.4900 | www.nutrienagsolutions.com
Matt Ruark addresses The Potato Soil Health Project during the National Potato Council’s 2019 Summer Meeting at the Chula Vista Resort, in Wisconsin Dells.
60 BC�T February

What remains to be evaluated is if there is value in adjusting N application rates based on the remote sensing results.

Current diagnostic tests, such as the petiole nitrate test, remain popular, as there are optimal ranges for most varieties. However, these tests are primarily used for justification of additional N applications rather than guiding N inputs earlier in the season. This category could also involve modeling programs to guide N application based on seasonal weather variability. These tools are available for corn production, although it is not clear if they are still being used after an initial rise in popularity.

After assessing the range of N needed to grow a potato crop and understanding the benefits and limitations of in-season assessment tools, the last area of research can

focus on how to reduce N leaching losses.

The second type of research focuses on adjustments to in-season N management and the technology used to help guide those decisions (green in Figure 1).

This is a topic of considerable research at the moment, as remote sensing and direct plant sensing technologies are showing promise in assessing the N status of the crop.

What remains to be evaluated is if there is value in adjusting N application rates based on the remote sensing results.

Reduction in losses can occur through changes in the baseline N management approach. Utilization of polymer coated urea has been widely researched and has demonstrated reductions in

N leaching on sandy soils. More innovative work is needed to capture N that has escaped the shallow rooting system of the potato. An example of this type of research is the work of Dr. Jed Colquhoun, who is

Current diagnostic tests, such as the petiole nitrate test, remain popular , as there are optimal ranges for most varieties. However, these tests are primarily used for justification of additional N applications rather than guiding N inputs earlier in the season.

This category could also involve modeling programs to guide N appl ication based on seasonal weather variability. These tools are available for corn production, although it is not clear if they are still being used after an initial rise in popularity.

After assessing the range of N needed to grow a potato crop and understanding the benefits and limitations of in-season assessment tools, the last area of research can focus on how to reduce N leaching losses.

Reduction in losses can occur through changes in the baseline N management approach. Utilization of polymer coate urea has been widely researched and has demonstrated reductions in N leaching on sandy soils.

More innovative work is needed to capture N that has escaped the shallow rooting system of the potato. An example this type of research is the work of Dr. Jed Colquhoun, who is attempting to inter-seed deep rooting cover crops in the furrow to trap N deeper in the soil profile.

The fundamental idea is that there will be limitations to nitrogen use efficiency on sandy soils, and alternative methods of nitrate capture are necessary.

on pg. 62 LOCAL SERVICE. LOCAL SUPPORT.
Figure 1: The diagram shows three types of nitrogen research (left) and topical areas for each type (right).
continued
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Figure 1. The diagram shows three types of nitrogen research (left) and topical areas for each type (right).
61 BC�T February
CHALLENGES TO ON-FARM RESEARCH WITH POTATO

Another

Badger Beat. . .

continued from pg. 61

attempting to inter-seed deep rooting cover crops in the furrow to trap N deeper in the soil profile.

The fundamental idea is that there will be limitations to nitrogen use efficiency on sandy soils, and alternative methods of nitrate capture are necessary.

CHALLENGES TO ON-FARM RESEARCH WITH POTATO

The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association has funded on-farm N rate trials for the last three years. The trials have worked well with the collaborating farmers, who provide us a sliver of a pivot where they can skip N fertilization applications.

This allows us to produce data presented in Figure 2, where regression analysis can be used to identify an optimum N rate (in this

case, for total yield).

Potato is a challenging crop to grow and to study, but there are exciting opportunities for collaboration and

This work is laborious and time consuming as it involves establishing 54 plots (five to six rows wide by 25 feet long) and requires hand

digging (although we have been lucky enough to have equipment from HARS transported to the site to do the digging, but all potatoes must be picked up by hand).

In my 14 years conducting nitrogen rate, timing, and source research on potato, I have come to the following We must figure out a way to increase collaboration in on-farm research. It is the key to advancing our ability profitably grow potatoes while reducing our impact to the environment.

This highlights the largest limitation to on-farm N research in potato— the lack of a yield monitor. Good agricultural research requires randomization, replication and many research plots. Is hand digging a viable option for on-farm potato research?

Another struggle with conducting onfarm N research is the method of N application. If most of the N is applied via pivot, are there opportunities to vary the N rate applied, or skip the application altogether?

Potato is a challenging crop to grow and to study, but there are exciting opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

In my 14 years conducting nitrogen rate, timing, and source research on potato, I have come to the following conclusion: We must figure out a way to increase collaboration in on-farm research. It is the key to advancing our ability to profitably grow potatoes while reducing our impact to the environment.

the N is applied
struggle with conducting on-farm N research is the method of N application. If most of pivot, are there opportunities to vary the N rate applied, or skip the application altogether? Figure 2. Illustrated is potato yield response to N fertilizer on a farmer field near Coloma, Wisconsin, in 2022. response curve was fit with a second order polynomial. Each yield value at each N rate is the average of four
R² = 0.9752 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 0 100 200 300 400 Total yield (cwt/ac) Nitrogen rate (lb-N/ac)
62 BC�T February
Figure 2: Illustrated is potato yield response to N fertilizer on a farmer field near Coloma, Wisconsin, in 2022. The response curve was fit with a second order polynomial. Each yield value at each N rate is the average of four plots.

Members

The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Promotions Committee prides itself on creative thinking and promoting Wisconsin potatoes in terms of nutrition, buying locally, and spreading the word of multigenerational family farms.

Recently, committee members embarked on discussions to provide clarification to the committee’s structure and ensure that the industry knows participation from other growers, regardless of their place in the organizations they represent, is welcome and encouraged.

Also, as part of the committee restructuring, all members will be reviewed each year at the annual Promotions Retreat/ budget planning meeting. Based on the newly approved committee structure guidelines, up to 11 committee members will be designated and recorded as the committee’s voting members.

Following the Promotions Retreat, the committee structure, including those named as voting members, will be reviewed, and considered for approval by the WPVGA Board of Directors at its June meeting. After that approval, the full/new committee will be in place for the next fiscal year beginning on July 1.

If you are interested in serving on the Promotions Committee, or would like to come and see what it’s all about, contact Dana Rady at 715-610-6350 or drady@wisconsinpotatoes.com, or Chairman Brian Lee of Okray Family Farms at brian@okray.com.

Marketplace Promotions Committee
Welcomes New
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Auxiliary News

Hello, everyone!

Welcome back to Auxiliary News. This month I’d like to talk about some exciting things the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary (WPGA) has been involved with over the winter.

For those of you who might remember my article from a few months back, we had the opportunity to have Alice in Dairyland visit our baked potato booth at the Wisconsin State Fair. Well, this past December, we were able to partner with Alice in Dairyland again to help with our Potatoes in the Classroom program. Potatoes in the Classroom is a grant program that gives schools the opportunity to apply for funding to support the use of Wisconsin potatoes in high school family, consumer science,

and agriculture classes.

We, of course, participate to spread awareness of potatoes being an

ACCURATE LIQUID CONTROL MADE SIMPLE.

Farmers experience up to 30% variability in the rate applied to each row with liquid fertilizer control systems today. vApplyHD allows you to get the correct rate of liquid fertilizer to every plant in your field, ensuring your plants never starve, so that your fertilizer ROI is maximized.

incredibly healthy option, and that consumers should always look for Wisconsin potatoes in the store. Along with providing Wisconsin potatoes to classrooms, we also give teachers the option to have in-class or Zoom presentations where we either conduct a cooking demonstration or talk about the nutritional value of potatoes.

ALICE IN DAIRYLAND

Sarah Agena, registered dietician for the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), has done a tremendous job hosting these presentations for us, but this year she had some help from Alice in Dairyland herself.

Alice in Dairyland was able to attend Wausau West High School and Longfellow Middle School in La Crosse. There, she talked to middle

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Alice in Dairyland attended the 2022 Wisconsin State Fair and visited the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary baked potato booth where she posed with volunteer groups.
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CALL US TODAY TO ELIMINATE RATE VARIABILITY 64 BC�T February

and high school students, and was a wonderful advocate for our industry. I think it’s safe to say the students also loved meeting a local celebrity! We can’t wait until spring when Alice plans to visit schools not only for Potatoes in the Classroom, but also during the Kids Dig Wisconsin Potatoes program.

Speaking of our Kids Dig program, we will be visiting various schools this spring and throwing harvest parties to celebrate the completion of students growing healthy potatoes in their classrooms. If this sounds like something you might be interested in helping us with, please reach out to the WPVGA office for more information.

That’s all for now. See you all in the March edition.

WPIB Focus

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison

Month Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21 Oct-21 Nov-21 Dec-21 Jan-22 Feb-22 Mar-22 Apr-22 May-22 Jun-22 Year-to-Date CWT 1,292,191.75 981,540.84 933,052.68 3,515,638.42 2,529,632.08 2,033,264.21 11,285,319.98 Assessment $103,342.07 $78,594.28 $74,682.23 $281,175.63 $200,944.23 $162,677.29 $901,415.73 Month Jul-22 Aug-22 Sep-22 Oct-22 Nov-22 Dec-22 Jan-23 Feb-23 Mar-23 Apr-23 May-23 Jun-23 Year-to-Date CWT 1,672,188.74 1,652,461.65 1,253,802.65 2,220,884.60 2,839,864.67 2,284,689.72 11,923,892.03 Assessment $133,812.37 $132,196.85 $100,304.10 $177,635.82 $227,110.48 $182,814.53 $953,874.25
Alice in Dairyland helped add toppings to baked potatoes. Datonn
65 BC�T February
Vice president, WPGA

Control Liquid Fertilizer Row by Row

Use the latest precision ag technology to apply liquid fertilizer

Applying liquid fertilizer to your crop can be stressful. A small issue like a blocked orifice could result in streaking, a stunted row, and maybe even yield loss.

What if we could utilize technology to monitor and control liquid product rate on a row-by-row basis, giving us confidence and peace of mind while applying liquid fertilizer?

In recent years, Mike Helbach of Helbach Farms, LLC, Amherst, Wisconsin, has partnered with the precision equipment team at Insight FS to customize his fertilizer application equipment, and he is excited about the outcome.

The upgrade to Mike’s fertilizing equipment is centered around vApplyHD, a liquid control and

monitoring product manufactured by Precision Planting.

“With the input costs of fertilizer, we look to apply the right amount of fertilizer where it is needed, and using the precision equipment that we have now helped us do that in an informed way,” Mike says.

vApplyHD is a liquid product control system like no other. The modular design eliminates troublesome components and wear parts while precisely metering and measuring liquid products on a row-by-row basis.

A 20/20 monitor gives the operator a visual representation of flow in the cab and provides automatic alerts when the desired rate can’t be held, even if the issue is only present in one row.

Mike Helbach of Helbach Farms in Amherst, Wisconsin, partnered with the precision equipment team at Insight FS to customize his fertilizer application equipment.
66 BC�T February
Above: The upgrade to Mike Helbach’s fertilizing equipment is centered around vApplyHD, a liquid control and monitoring product manufactured by Precision Planting.

Customers who have used vApplyHD for controlling liquid fertilizer on their equipment:

• Saved product with individual row/ nozzle section control

• Received better results in the field by banding liquid product that was accurately metered and measured mere feet from the application point

• Experienced peace of mind knowing that operators would be notified by the display if lines or nozzles became plugged and the desired rate could not be achieved

• Prevented expensive downtime by replacing their conventional control systems with a single, modular device per application point

This system also replaces the following conventional components:

• Control valve

• Flow meter

• Section valves

• Ball-type flow monitors

• Orifices

• Check valves

Hear about what it took to get here and why Mike is satisfied with his precision equipment provided by Insight FS at https://bit.ly/ HelbachHiller.

In today’s environment, cost control and accuracy are key. Precision ag

technology helps you control the rate and placement of your inputs to increase efficiency.

Want to know more about our precision equipment capabilities? Visit www.insightfs.com/precisionequipment today and reach out to an Insight FS specialist in your area. We build from scratch or retrofit for your needs.

Now Hiring

MECHANIC/EQUIPMENT OPERATOR

Wysocki Family of Companies – Eagle River Seed Farm (ERSF), is looking for a full-time experienced Mechanic/ Equipment Operator to join our team.

ERSF is a 1,000-acre early generation seed farm located in the beautiful Wisconsin Northwoods. Early generation seed farms manage seed at its youngest state, which adds complexity and unique experiences to production. This position collaborates within a small team, working directly with the General Manager.

Responsibilities include maintaining equipment in the shop and operating equipment outdoors in the fields. Equipment includes, but is not limited to, 300-600 horsepower tractors, potato bulk trucks, and Spudnik conveyers.

Wysocki Family of Companies offers a highly competitive compensation package. Benefits include to health insurance, dental and vision, 401K, vacation/holiday pay, and more!

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or email your interest to work4wfc@wfc.ag. If you are interested, call or text
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A close-up image shows a Spudnik hiller on Helbach Farms, Amherst.
“With the input costs of fertilizer, we look to apply the right amount of fertilizer where it is needed, and using the precision equipment that we have now helped us do that in an informed way.”
67 BC�T February
– Mike Helbach, Helbach Farms, LLC

NPC News

Charlie Cook to Deliver Political Outlook

Industry “Stands Up for Potatoes on Capitol Hill” at Washington Summit

The National Potato Council’s annual Washington Summit, to be held February 27-March 3, 2023, in Washington, D.C., provides a forum for potato industry members to discuss, define, and advocate for the policy priorities impacting their businesses

and protecting their ability to farm. Throughout the week, participants:

• Hear from the nation’s top political and policy experts

• Welcome NPC’s new officers and grower leaders

• Meet with members of Congress representing potato-growing states and districts

• Unite as an industry in “Standing Up for Potatoes on Capitol Hill!”

On Wednesday, March 1, Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report and a columnist for the National Journal, will provide a political outlook for Washington Summit attendees.

During the 2023 NPC Washington Summit, attendees will advocate for issues such as keeping potatoes in federal nutrition programs, promoting free and fair-trade agreements, and protecting tax policies that support the long-term health of family-owned farming operations.

To view a full schedule of events, visit https://www.nationalpotato council.org/2023-npc-washingtonsummit/.

Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report and columnist for the National Journal, will provide a political outlook to potato industry attendees of the Washington Summit.
68 BC�T February
From left to right at a past Washington Summit are: Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association Executive Director Tamas Houlihan, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Jim Wysocki of Wysocki Family of Companies, and Michael Wolter from Mike Wolter Riverside Farms, Inc.

Ali's Kitchen

Make Mine Mashed Potato Cakes!

Plan to serve them hot off the pan with your preferred toppings

This may just be one of the best ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Because mashed potatoes are so versatile, yours will likely have different ingredients, and amounts of ingredients, than mine.

The density and creaminess of the mashed potatoes will determine how much flour you’ll need to use in this recipe. The flour is what holds the potato cakes together, so be ready to add more flour if your mashed potatoes are runny, and less if they are thick.

February is the month of love, and I was feeling a bit giddy. I decided that it was necessary to shape a few of my cakes into hearts and share them with a special someone.

Whether you choose to form your mashed potato cakes into silly shapes or not, I hope you enjoy the recipe and have a wonderfully happy Valentine’s Day!

continued on pg. 70

INGREDIENTS:

Leftover Mashed

Potato Cakes

• 2 cups cold mashed potatoes

• 2 eggs

• 2 oz. finely shredded cheese (I used Gouda, but cheddar would be delicious, too.)

• 6 Tbsp. flour, or more depending on how creamy your potatoes are

• Vegetable oil for frying

Optional toppings: sour cream, diced onions, bacon, shredded cheese, queso dip, salsa, green onions, cilantro, or other fresh herbs

69 BC�T February

DIRECTIONS

Place your mashed potatoes, eggs, cheese, and flour into a large bowl.

Stir until well combined. You should end up with a slightly sticky, soft dough that can be shaped into patties. If your potato dough is too loose, gradually add additional flour until the mixture becomes thick enough to hold its shape while frying in the pan.

Using a spoon, scoop out balls from the potato dough and flatten them into thick discs with your hands, keeping your hands slightly wet with water to prevent the dough from sticking to you.

Heat a large skillet with about 1/4" of oil in the bottom over medium high heat.

Cook each patty until it is golden brown on one side, about 3-5 minutes, then flip and continue

to cook until it is golden brown and cooked through on the second side.

When fully cooked through, remove the potato cakes from the pan and place them on a bit of paper towel for a moment to absorb any extra oil.

The mashed potato cakes are best eaten immediately. Plan to serve them hot off the pan with your preferred toppings. Enjoy!

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pages 69-71

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