May 2021 Badger Common'Tater

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$22/year | $2/copy | Volume 73 No. 05 | MAY 2021




CHARLES WACHSMUTH Chippewa Valley Bean

Kidney beans are emptied into a truck during harvest in a field on Mark Dombeck’s farm near Perham, Minnesota. Kidney beans photo from Minnesota Public Radio News. ©2019 Minnesota Public Radio®. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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On the Cover: Kidney beans are harvested, September 2019, in a field

on Mark Dombeck’s farm near Perham, Minnesota. Though most kidney beans are grown in Minnesota, according to Charles Wachsmuth, vice president of Chippewa Valley Bean, operations are expanding east. Kidney beans photo from Minnesota Public Radio News. ©2019 Minnesota Public Radio®. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

8 BADGER COMMON’TATER INTERVIEW: Charles Wachsmuth, vice president of Chippewa Valley Bean, Menomonie, Wisconsin, shared the image of Pickett combines being used to harvest kidney beans on Anderson Farms, Belgrade, Minnesota. The largest processor and exporter of kidney beans in the world, Chippewa Valley Bean was founded, in 1973, for the purpose of cleaning and marketing beans grown on Doane Farms.

DEPARTMENTS: ALI’S KITCHEN.................... 65 BADGER BEAT.................... 47 EYES ON ASSOCIATES......... 53


Irrigation management tool doubles as weather station


Meet the Farming for the Future Foundation team and visit a farm virtually


Seed treatment advances make products safe for people & the environment

FEATURE ARTICLES: 20 MILWAUKEE CHIP COMPANY sources russet potatoes from Okray Family Farms

MARK YOUR CALENDAR...... 6 MARKETPLACE................... 57 NEW PRODUCTS................ 36 NPC NEWS......................... 55 PEOPLE.............................. 62 PLANTING IDEAS.................. 6

44 CAN GROWERS LAWFULLY hold public events and gatherings during pandemic?


58 HOW YOUR CROP USES NITROGEN is difference between good and great yields

WPIB FOCUS...................... 50


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WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Bill Guenthner Vice President: Alex Okray Secretary: Wes Meddaugh Treasurer: Mike Carter Directors: John Bustamante, Wendy Dykstra, Randy Fleishauer, Charlie Mattek & J.D. Schroeder Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: President: Heidi Alsum-Randall Vice President: Richard Okray Secretary: Bill Wysocki Treasurer: Keith Wolter Directors: John Bobek, Andy Diercks, Cliff Gagas, John T. Schroeder & Tom Wild WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors: President: Chris Brooks Vice President: Julie Cartwright

Secretary: Sally Suprise Treasurer: Rich Wilcox Directors: Paul Salm, Matt Selenske, Andy Verhasselt & Justin Yach Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: J.D. Schroeder Vice President: Roy Gallenberg Secretary/Treasurer: Charlie Husnick Directors: Matt Mattek & Jeff Suchon Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board of Directors: President: Kathy Bartsch Vice President: Devin Zarda Secretary/Treasurer: Datonn Hanke Directors: Jody Baginski, Brittany Bula, Deniell Bula & Marie Reid

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

WPVGA Staff Executive Director: Tamas Houlihan Managing Editor: Joe Kertzman Director of Promotions & Consumer Education: Dana Rady Financial Officer: Karen Rasmussen Executive Assistant: Julie Braun Program Assistant: Jane Guillen Spudmobile Education & Outreach Administrator: Doug Foemmel

WPVGA Office (715) 623-7683 • FAX: (715) 623-3176 E-mail: Website: LIKE US ON FACEBOOK:

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





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Planting Ideas In the high-risk, high-reward business of potato

growing, it might be easy to forget sometimes why farmers do it in the first place—a love of the land, raising vegetables, watching them grow and mature, harvesting and feeding the world, among other reasons. When it is brought back down to the community level, it is easier to remember the “why’s” of the daily toiling. I received an email from Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association Executive Director Tamas Houlihan that he forwarded to me from Mark Finnessy of Okray Family Farms in Plover, Wisconsin. The email contained an article that first ran in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about entrepreneur Michael Moeller who launched the Milwaukee Chip Company and realized he could use locally sourced potatoes for his snack chips. Moeller said he prefers russet potatoes for chips rather than the more commonly used white-skinned spuds. “I think I called … about every potato farm in the state with a list of questions,” he relates in the article. Moeller found his match in fourth-generation grower Okray Family Farms. “Those guys have the kind of potato I like,” he says. That’s Finnessy, second from right in the image above, holding a potato and posing with visitors to Okray Family Farms who were on a 2019 trade mission organized by Potatoes USA. Read the full article about Okray Family Farms supplying potatoes to Moeller and the Milwaukee Chip Company in this issue, reprinted with permission from the Journal Sentinel. Another incredible local story is the formation and launching of the Farming for the Future Foundation and its mission to deepen the connection between people and their food. See “Now News” herein to learn about the blog posts, virtual farm visits and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)-related activities available to interested community members. The Farming for the Future Foundation Board of Directors has completed the hiring of partners to build a space dedicated to education and experience in production agriculture. A team of builders, designers, architects and community developers are ready to work! 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:

Joe Kertzman

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vice president, Chippewa Valley Bean By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

NAME: Charles Wachsmuth TITLE: Vice President COMPANY: Chippewa Valley Bean LOCATION: Menomonie, WI HOMETOWN: Menomonie TIME IN PRESENT POSITION: Two as vice president, and seven with Chippewa Valley Bean PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: Agricultural development consultant SCHOOLING: Bachelor of Science in international business ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: U.S. Dry Bean Council, American Pulse Association and Global Pulse Confederation FAMILY: Daughter, Claire, 8 years old; grandfather, Russell Doane (founder of Doane Farms and Chippewa Valley Bean); mother, Cindy Doane Brown (president, owner); uncle, Brian Doane (owner); aunt, Ruth Doane (owner); and cousin, Robert Wachsmuth (owner) HOBBIES: Kayaking, hiking, cooking and gaming

Above: Charles Wachsmuth, vice president of Chippewa Valley Bean, is the grandson of company founder, Russell Doane, and represents the third generation to go into the office every day. 8

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The largest processor and exporter of kidney beans in the world, Chippewa Valley Bean, located in Menomonie, Wisconsin, exports over 70 percent of the beans they handle. It all began with Russell and Nancy Doane who, when they started farming, fell in love with the land. As their family grew, so did their passion for agriculture. They expanded the family’s traditional livestock farm (homesteaded in 1858) to one focused on dark red kidney beans. Founded in 1973, specifically for the purpose of cleaning and marketing the beans grown on Doane Farms, Russell partnered with Bob Wachsmuth to start the Chippewa Valley Bean processing operation so they could begin cleaning and shipping kidney beans to domestic canners around the Midwest. Over the years, the company grew, and Chippewa Valley Bean started contracting with other growers in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The company exported its first load of beans to the United Kingdom, in the early 1980’s, and developed an export market from there. NEXT GENERATION As the business has grown and

changed, Russell, now 90 years young, and Nancy have remained excited and pleased with the transition to the next generation. Their belief in family, pride, respect for the land and the production of quality food, which was the motivation nearly 50 years ago, still sustains them today, providing energy and inspiration for tomorrow with the next generation playing a major role in what is now a joint management corporation. Russell and Nancy’s three children, Cindy Brown, Ruth Anne Hofland and Brian Doane, along with long-time

business partner, Wachsmuth, are all shareholders and a major part of the business today. Cindy is the president of Chippewa Valley Bean and plays a leadership role in the bean industry while Ruth Anne oversees quality control. Brian and Bob’s positions overlap in many areas, with Bob primarily responsible for production and Brian in charge of processing. Each of them has been a part of the business for the past 40 years, and they all have the same pride and belief in keeping the family tradition going for many years to come. Russell’s grandson and Cindy’s son, Charles Wachsmuth, is vice president of Chippewa Valley Bean and this issue’s interviewee. Charles, I understand that Russell Doane planted his first crop of dark red kidney beans more than 50 years ago. Why did he go into the kidney bean business, and were/are kidney beans a common crop in Wisconsin? Russell planted his first crop of edible beans in 1969, and at the time, there were not any edible beans grown in Wisconsin to speak of. Russell worked closely with Condon Bush of Bush Brothers. Condon was looking to do something different with the old pea canning plant in Augusta, Wisconsin, and seeking out local farmers to grow edible beans for him.

Russell Doane, now 90 years young, founded Chippewa Valley Bean, in 1973, specifically for the purpose of cleaning and marketing the beans grown on Doane Farms. Russell partnered with Bob Wachsmuth to start the Chippewa Valley Bean processing operation so they could begin cleaning and shipping kidney beans to domestic canners around the Midwest.

Russell grew several types of beans to start and decided that dark red kidney beans were the way to go. I believe Doane Ltd. is the farming side of the Chippewa Valley Bean operation—do you continue to grow your own beans, and if so, how many acres? Doane Farms is still our families’ farming operation, growing 3,000 acres in Dunn, Pepin and Eau Claire counties. Are Chippewa Valley Bean and Doane Ltd. truly family businesses? If so, how many generations? CVB and Doane Farms remain family companies, and we are lucky enough to have three generations come into the office every day.

Our founder, Russell (90), still likes to be involved with every aspect of the operation. His children all have their roles in the company, and two of his grandchildren, me and Marcus (23), work for the family as well. You work with over 100 Midwestern family farms. What growers in Wisconsin and particularly the Central Sands region of the state do Doan Ltd. and Chippewa Valley Bean work with? In the last few years, we have made a dedicated push to develop more kidney bean acres in the Central Sands for two main reasons. Number one, the soil types are conducive for kidney beans; and secondly, to manage risk. continued on pg. 10



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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 9

With most kidney beans grown in Minnesota, it would only take a couple major weather events to cause some serious disruptions to our supply. By spreading acres east, we can help mitigate that risk. We have been lucky in this expansion and have partnered with some great operations. Dan Trzebiatowski signed on at the beginning and has had good success, and we’ve been working with Bacon Farms as well as with the Wysockis, just to name a few.

Why are dark red kidney beans an attractive crop to grow, and are they the only variety you specialize in? Dark red kidney beans provide an additional legume option into our growers’ rotation. They are also a preferred crop in rotation and for machine and labor management in a grower’s portfolio, as typically this crop is the last crop the farmer will plant and the first crop he or she will harvest. This enables the grower to spread the machinery and labor costs over

a greater amount of acres, reducing their cost of operation. In addition to dark red kidney beans, we also contract light red kidney beans, white kidney beans and some organic dark red kidney beans. With our ability to capture contracts overseas, the pay out on kidney beans has been able to remain competitive with other legume rotation options such as soybeans and snapbeans/peas. On what rotation are dark red kidney beans grown and with what other crops? Kidney beans are best planted in the production year after a grass crop like corn or small grain crops for disease management. Generally, kidney beans are a great rotational crop for many of the acres that are grown in Central Wisconsin. continued on pg. 12

Above Left: It was the first day of summer 2020 when this photo showing a field of dark red kidney beans was taken on Kasowski Farm in Casselton, North Dakota, and shared to the Chippewa Valley Bean Facebook page. Above Right: Kidney beans are harvested on Doane Farms in Menomonie, Wisconsin. In all, Doane Ltd. grows 3,000 acres of kidney beans in Dunn, Pepin and Eau Claire counties. 10 BC�T May

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 10

Typically, kidney beans are grown every third or fourth year in the rotation to give nature a chance to help manage soil diseases. With corn or small grain crops best planted before kidney beans, economics at the grower level always play a factor in the rotation. Typically, kidney beans are planted the year preceding potatoes, as the harvest is more advantageous with cover crop and soil preparation the fall prior to planting potatoes.

With proper planning, we can ensure that the chemistries used in management of the rotational crops do not interfere with the kidney beans’ growth, and vise-versa.

Left: There is no mistaking the look and feel of freshly harvested dark red kidney beans.

How many acres of dark red kidney beans are grown in Wisconsin and in what regions? In 2021, Chippewa Valley Bean expects to grow around 5,000 acres of dark red and a few acres of light red kidney beans in the state of Wisconsin. About half of this production is done in the Central

Sands region, while the remaining production is in Dunn County, closer to the processing plant.

Right: Beans are unloaded at Chippewa Valley Bean from underneath a Jedlicki (Foley, Minnesota) truck.

Does Chippewa Valley Bean have storage and shipping operations? At our facility, we can store beans prior to the milling process, and we

Pallets and bags of kidney beans are stacked at the Chippewa Valley Bean facility, which stores them prior to the milling process and has warehouse storage for finished goods. 12 BC�T May

have warehouse storage for finished goods. Our new distribution center has nine loading docks, so containers and trucks are constantly on the move. Aside from chile recipes, three-bean salads and baked bean dishes, how are kidney beans used regionally, nationally and internationally? Unfortunately, many people only think of kidney beans in those dishes. Kidney beans are an extremely versatile ingredient!

to increase your kids’ protein and fiber levels without anyone knowing.

Above: The company’s new distribution center has nine loading docks, so containers and trucks are constantly on the move.

Is there a processed bean product refried bean paste. Think of Taco Bell like dehydrated potatoes or French or Taco Johns. fries and hash browns? There are dehydrated bean products, but we do Still, the innovation and number not see many of them hit the retail of new products that use beans or consumer markets in America. in nontraditional ways is amazing. 21-05 Badger Common'Tater (4.7x3.5).v1.pdf 1 2021-04-09 9:59 continued AM These mainly end up as a dehydrated on pg. 14

For example, the kidney bean is well known for being in red beans and rice, adds wonderful color to soups like pasta e fagioli, and can be a healthy and beautiful addition to any green salad. Honestly, any dish could use more kidney beans! The combination of plant-based protein and fiber is a great addition to any diet. People also use kidney beans in some inventive manners. We have a great brownie recipe that uses them, people add them to bulk up the nutrition of their smoothies, and blending beans, adding them to things like pasta sauce, is a great way BC�T May 13

Interview. . .

continued from pg. 13

Around the world, we are seeing beans used in chips and snack foods, and bean flour is showing up in breads and pastas. Bean chips are common in grocery stores and a great way to improve the fiber and protein in snack foods. With kidney beans being a staple in diets around the world, how far does Chippewa Valley Bean ship its products? CVB ships beans to over 30

countries all around the world to be canned, packaged, frozen and milled. These beans are used in traditional dishes like masala in Pakistan, red beans and rice in Jamaica and sweet bean paste buns in South Korea.

Above: Dark red kidney beans are unloaded after harvest at Prairie Farms and Rath Farms in Minnesota, with both images having been shared to the Chippewa Valley Bean Facebook page.

Are they used to combat malnutrition and alleviate poverty? Beans are excellent at combating malnutrition and alleviating poverty. They are a powerhouse of nutrition with high levels of protein and fiber, as well as a host of micronutrients.

In some countries, the beans are cooked and packed in “snack packs” for individual consumption, added to salads and rice or used as the main protein source in a food dish.

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Beans help alleviate poverty because they bring high value back to small stakeholder farmers in developing countries. The sustainable nature of beans also facilitates with this. They require less water than many other protein sources, making them suitable for drought-prone areas, and as a legume, they require fewer inputs per unit than other sources. So, they are a sustainable crop to grow, but in what other ways? We feel that kidney beans fit nicely into a “sustainable management program.” Generally, kidney beans are harvested around the first week in September. This early harvest window allows our growers to establish a cover crop in the field after harvest. With more time to get established in the late summer/early fall, the cover crops sequester more nutrients, develop larger root systems and, in turn, increase soil microbial activity and produce more above-ground biomass. With better root structures and above-ground biomass, cover crops have an opportunity to hold soil in place and reduce erosion across the environment. In addition to erosion control, as the above-ground biomass increases, so too will the cover crop’s ability to sequester carbon out of the atmosphere and return some of the elements back to the soil.

“Kidney beans are a great rotational crop for potato growers. The early harvest window allows fumigation and field prep for the following year’s potato crop to get done in a timely manner.” – Charles Wachsmuth

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continued on pg. 16

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This nutrient sequestration will be more important in the future. I also understand dark red kidney beans provide natural fertilizers and enrich the soil. How? The kidney bean is a legume like snapbeans, peas, alfalfa and soybeans. Legumes form a relationship with rhizobia bacteria in the soil, and the plant produces a portion of its required nutrients from the soil. continued on pg. 18

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 15

One thing that is extremely detrimental to the soil and its biology is a monocrop system, not only with kidney beans, but all crops benefit from rotation. The diversity of microbes in the soil helps the “good” thrive and keeps the “bad bugs” away. Are there parallels between vegetable crops and kidney beans, and can experienced growers adapt easily in introducing beans into their rotations? Yes! There are many parallels between the management


We are confident that farmers successfully growing vegetables will have a simple transition to producing kidney beans. This has been proven in other areas of the country. Are you currently looking for growers in Wisconsin? We are always looking for progressive, environmentally minded growers


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of vegetable crops such as snapbeans and kidney beans. The fertilizer requirements and herbicide and fungicide programs are similar.








Left: Kidney bean harvest is underway on Doane Farms, Menomonie, Wisconsin. RIght: Bob Wachsmuth hoists a bean plant at Anderson Farms, Belgrade, Minnesota, which hosted a Chippewa Valley Bean Field Day, in 2019.

in Wisconsin to partner with. We hired an agronomist who is based in the Plover area because we see this as a big growth area for us. Do you want to expand operations, or what are your hopes for the future of Chippewa Valley Bean? Our plan is to continue to grow Chippewa Valley Bean. In addition to our core operation of processing and exporting kidney beans, we have also begun to broker other commodities to offer our customers a full basket of agricultural options. Is there anything I have missed that you would like to add, Charles? Kidney beans are a great rotational crop for potato growers. The early harvest window allows fumigation and field prep for the following year’s potato crop to get done in a timely manner. Kidney beans are not planted until late May/early June. At this time, most growers have their vegetable and row crop seed planted, so this aids in maximizing equipment cost and labor in the operation.

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Meet the Local-est Potato Chips Milwaukee Chip Company sources potatoes from Okray Family Farms By Carol Deptolla Article reprinted with permission of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and USA Today Network-Wisconsin When Michael Moeller decided, in 2019, that he wanted locally made potato chips for Milwaukee, he had no idea just how local they could be. “I didn’t realize I could use a local potato,” said the Riverwest resident, who founded Milwaukee Chip Company last year and rolled out the first chips for sale a couple months ago. In early March, Moeller made his first sales and deliveries to two businesses that carry Milwaukee Chip Company potato chips, Nice Sandwich, 2705 20 BC�T May

S. 108th St., West Allis, and Black Husky Brewing, 909 E. Locust St. in Riverwest. “That’s my neighborhood brewery; I ride my bike over there,” Moeller said. Milwaukee Chip’s suggested price is $2 for each bag holding 1.25 ounces, enough thin, golden-brown chips for a snack with a beer or beside a sandwich. In Moeller’s research leading up to starting the company, in 2020, he

found Wisconsin among the country’s five top potato-producing states. “I think I called … about every potato farm in the state with a list of questions,” he said, and found his match in fourth-generation grower Okray Family Farms, in Plover, a drive of two-plus hours northwest of Milwaukee that Moeller makes to pick up his potatoes. PREFERS RUSSETS “Those guys have the kind of potato I like, a russet,” he said, rather than the more commonly used whiteskinned potato. “Most people don’t use a russet Above: The logo on Milwaukee Chip Company bags was inspired by the founder seeing the People’s Flag of Milwaukee and its lake sunrise design on walks around his Riverwest neighborhood. Photo by Angela Peterson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

potato to make chips,” Moeller said. “It’s more difficult to cook correctly, but the reward is worth it.” He said he finds the russet chips color well and “hit on a savory note instead of just salty.” They are all things he learned after doing his research, and then more research, and then some more. “I literally spent the summer reading academic articles about potatoes,” Moeller said. He had started by forming his limited liability company at the state level, in March 2020, and with a logo he liked for his potato chip bags to set the company’s local identity, conceived by him and designed by Good Land Creative. The logo is a potato with three chips fluttering below it, which is an image that evokes the lake sunrise on the People’s Flag of Milwaukee. “I wanted a logo that clearly and concisely said Milwaukee and potato chips,” Moeller said. TESTING POTATOES Then he launched into research and development, investigating which licenses he needed and regulations he would have to follow, testing every potato he could get hold of, slicing potatoes with a dangerously sharp mandolin, then frying and seasoning them.

Michael Moeller founded the new Milwaukee Chip Company in his Riverwest neighborhood apartment, in 2020. After a year of research and development, he began his first sales and deliveries of the chips in early March. With potatoes sourced from Okray Family Farms, in Plover, the chips are sold at Black Husky Brewing, Riverwest neighborhood, and Nice Sandwich, West Allis, with more outlets expected in the next couple of months. Photo by Angela Peterson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Moeller works with one employee at Upstart Kitchen, 4323 W. Fond du Lac Ave., Milwaukee, which rents space to dozens of entrepreneurs.

Along the way, he has navigated state regulations and U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements, continued on pg. 22

“I probably made a thousand types of potato chips in 2020,” Moeller said. And he found the one he could bank his new business on. “I’m not going to say it’s an easy process, but compared to the other food businesses out there, it’s relatively simple,” Moeller said. He could isolate the variables—the kind of potato, which seasonings and how much—and try every possibility. Next was finding a licensed commercial kitchen to make the chips for sale and outfitting it with a less hazardous potato slicer.

BC�T May 21

Meet the Local-est Potato Chips continued from pg. 21

“Those guys have the kind of potato I like, a russet. Most people don’t use a russet potato to make chips. It’s more difficult to cook correctly, but the reward is worth it.” – Michael Moeller including nutrition information, shelf life and the ingredient list, as well as storage, packaging and distribution. His company is considered a food processing plant. “I just had to dive right into the nuts and bolts of all this,” Moeller said. FOODSERVICE BACKGROUND He has worked about a decade in food and foodservice, he said, from flipping burgers and waiting tables to management. 22 BC�T May

Most recently, he was employed at the corporate end, with specialty food distributors. He has worked with others on their new businesses, but this is the first company that is his alone.

Above: Michael Moeller fries potato chips for his Milwaukee Chip Company in Upstart Kitchen, a commercial space for entrepreneurs that he rents at 4323 W. Fond du Lac Ave., Milwaukee. Photo by Angela Peterson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

on Instagram and thought, “This is exactly the kind of sandwich I want my chips next to,” when he saw the photos. Milwaukee Chip Company itself is on Instagram and Facebook, at @mkechips.

For now, Moeller sells his chips only wholesale to businesses, although he is exploring direct sales.

He distributes his chips once a week, on Friday mornings. So far, they have been selling out after just a few days, Moeller said, and he is looking ahead to ramping up production.

He does expect more outlets in the coming months to add to Black Husky and Nice Sandwich, a shop he found

“I’m hoping to do just one thing for the rest of my life, make potato chips,” he said.

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BC�T May 23

In-field Weather & Crop Monitoring

Holistic management in real time minimizes agronomic and financial risk By Jamie Hardy, head of marketing, and Ian Bailey, strategic sales executive, Arable Labs, Inc. Images courtesy of Arable Labs, Inc. In the United States, there are 2 million farms across nearly a billion farmed acres. Even with 10,000 crop advisors to help keep an eye on things in the field, ultimately this means millions of acres go unchecked every year.

consequences when field conditions depart from the expected.

This lack of visibility feeds widespread risk throughout the supply chain— from seed breeders, input companies and machine manufacturers to growers, processors and consumers— as well as significant financial

For example, tracking a full season’s NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) across fields can help a grower, breeder or advisor spot trends and anomalies, such as early senescence.

24 BC�T May

One key way to address this agronomic risk at the base of the pyramid is through digital in-field weather and crop monitoring.

NDVI quantifies vegetation by measuring the difference between near-infrared (which flora strongly reflects) and red light (which plants absorb). Combine that with crop evapotranspiration, precipitation, soil moisture, crop water balance, Above: The Arable Mark 2 sits about a meter above the crop canopy, delivering real-time crop and weather insights direct from the field.

crop water stress and growing degree days, and you have a holistic management overview in real time. A pioneer in decision agriculture, Arable Labs, Inc. has developed a robust suite of accurate, real-time, infield data to fill exactly this gap. Arable’s flagship device, the Mark 2, is the world’s first LTE-M- (network radio technology) enabled irrigation management tool, weather station and crop monitor in one. 40 MEASUREMENTS In addition to the metrics mentioned above, other Mark 2 measurements include temperature, solar radiation, leaf wetness, relative humidity, wind speed and wind direction, totaling more than 40 agronomic measurements. With this data set, growers and field managers have unprecedented insight into the complexities of how environmental conditions and

“The top dome also measures rainfall using an acoustic disdrometer, essentially listening to the rain and calculating amounts based on the sound the drops make.” – Jamie Hardy and Ian Bailey management decisions lead to crop outcomes. Small enough to be held in one hand and deployed just above the crop canopy at the touch of a button, the Mark 2 connects to the cloud via a cellular network and begins transmitting data immediately, updating the most variable measurements every hour. Both the top and underside of the device use sensors to detect

longwave and shortwave radiation, infrared temperature and spectral reflectance, which contribute to crop growth and health indicators. Also on the underside are air temperature, humidity and pressure sensors to keep track of weather conditions. Results are displayed in the app, including 10 days of historical data and a 14-day forecast. The top dome also measures rainfall using an acoustic disdrometer, continued on pg. 26


BC�T May 25

In-field Weather & Crop Monitoring continued from pg. 25

essentially listening to the rain and calculating amounts based on the sound the drops make. Arable’s simplicity includes machinelearning technology that allows for automatic and continuous data improvement and reliability. The company has built extensive calibration and validation partnerships with global research institutions, called the Arable Cal/Val network. WIDE-RANGING NETWORK The network spans a wide range of institutions that rely on highaccuracy, high-precision instruments to provide meteorological inputs for studies at the finest research facilities

around the world, including the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and others that are members of AmeriFlux. With co-located devices at 36 sites across all growing climates, Arable’s data is regularly compared to goldstandard data and kept current via automatic firmware updates. Arable’s simple system belies the complexity underpinning its measurements and ensures that some of the most accurate agronomic data available can be delivered affordably and in real-time to the palm of your hand. But what can you do with all this

Above: With data accessible through a Web and mobile app, the Arable Mark 2 measures more than 40 agronomic metrics.

information? That depends on your role in the supply chain. For potato seed breeders, the research-grade accuracy unlocks reliability, reducing time spent collecting and collating trial data and allowing for more time in analysis. Measurements and calculations like ETc (crop evapotranspiration), NDVI, GDD (growing degree days), precipitation and soil moisture are particularly important. For example, multi-depth soil moisture, temperature and salinity integrated with weather and growth

Tracking real-time NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) across fields can show trends and anomalies, such as early senescence at one location. 26 BC�T May

stages show how environmental conditions inform outcomes. In another example, comparing crop-specific evapotranspiration with measured rainfall and irrigation amounts illustrates how available water drove or can drive crop outcomes. Application Programming Interface (API) tools streamline data integration with a company’s existing business intelligence tools. Easy device deployment and low maintenance enable scalable field trials. POTATO PROCESSORS For potato processors, Arable provides multi-faceted value creation. Customizable analytics help identify varietal-specific potential, develop best practices and devise a strategic playbook early on. Granular, real-time analytics unlock field-level yield forecasting, while data transparency increases supply chain visibility. Multiple

measurements can be graphed together and compared across fields for making new connections and spotting problems early. As an indicator of crop water stress, canopy temperature compared to air

Above: The Arable Mark 2 is easily portable and deploys at the touch of a button.

temperature shows how stress from a lack of water reduces yield and impacts quality. continued on pg. 28



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

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BC�T May 27

In-field Weather & Crop Monitoring continued from pg. 27

Reliable data and a simple setup improve relationships with partner growers and provide boots on the ground with agronomic support. Noise from overhead irrigation can easily make a true crop water balance impossible for other systems. Arable’s integrated weather and soil moisture data eliminates the noise to give an accurate running balance of water need versus water supply to assess whether or how water plays a role in crop stress at key growth stages. For technology solutions, accurate and reliable data enhance your brand and drive customer engagement. A seamless API integration makes for a smooth customer experience, while

Above: Arable’s Advanced Analytics in the mobile app brings real-time agronomic insights with you wherever you go.

a broad dataset in one affordable package simplifies logistics and operations.

For more on how Arable can work for you, visit or email

Noise contamination from overhead irrigation can make a true water balance account impossible, but knowing in-field weather smooths out the noise. 28 BC�T May

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Now News

Mid-State Adds Agronomy Technician Program Tech college meets industry demand for trained agribusiness professionals

Agribusiness is booming in Central Wisconsin, and Mid-State Technical College is meeting the demand for trained professionals in the industry with a new Agribusiness Agronomy Technician program launching in fall 2021. The program will be available at the Adams, Marshfield and Stevens Point campuses. At 26 credits, the new technical diploma program is designed to increase knowledge of current agronomy practices that can be applied as an employee or entrepreneur. The program is also embedded within Mid-State’s Agribusiness and Science Technology associated degree, so students can get started in agribusiness while taking manageable steps toward higher credentials, if desired. “I was excited to hear that MidState is working to bridge the skills gap in Central Wisconsin to help our business bring on people with the right knowledge to grow crops and deliver quality products to our customers,” says Lucas Wysocki, partner in Wysocki Family of Companies and the Paragon Farms plant manager. “We continually struggle to fill our irrigation technician role, and this program is tailor fit for the position,” Wysocki adds. “Irrigation technicians get to work outdoors and see a crop grow from seed to harvest and know that they directly contribute to feeding the world.” “It’s a great fit for someone who wants to work in our community, be outside and have real responsibility,” he says. 30 BC�T May

FILLING A NEED According to Adams Campus Dean Laurie Inda, the new program is an example of how Mid-State makes strategic decisions based on data, workforce trends and input from the community. “As we continuously strive to grow our campus and provide programming to meet regional workforce demands, our campus advisory committee and partners in K–12 and business have underscored the importance of this in-demand career training, as well as their passion and appreciation for its value within the district,” Inda says. Students in Mid-State’s Agribusiness Agronomy Technician program will gain a deep understanding of the science and technology of using plants as a source of food. They will also acquire the specialized

skills needed for precision agriculture applications and learn regulatory requirements and how to use the latest technology to help farmers yield maximum production from the land. Highlights of the program include hands-on experiences such as producing a crop, keeping pests away, making soil more fertile, marketing commodities and managing a farm. The program is relevant to the needs of our communities and provides opportunities to meet and work with industry experts, thanks to MidState’s strong industry partnerships with area businesses. For more information, visit programs or contact Dr. Alex Lendved at 715-389-7011 or by email at alex.

Heartland AG Systems Acquires Ag-West Distributing

Company is North America’s largest application-focused equipment and service provider Heartland AG Systems announces the purchase of Ag-West Distributing, headquartered in Burley, Idaho. The acquisition includes Ag-West’s stores in Idaho, Montana and Washington, with coverage also including the states of Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Oregon. With this expansion, Heartland AG Systems’ territory now stretches from Michigan to the Pacific Northwest and from North Dakota to Missouri, featuring equipment and service for row, cereal and specialty crops. “Our company continues to focus on growth strategies that complement our strengths and leverage our commitment to the application business,” says Arnie Sinclair, president of Heartland AG Systems. “The acquisition of Ag-West and their expertise in the Pacific Northwest offer an excellent opportunity to improve our commitment to our customers,” Sinclair adds. “We look forward to providing our full portfolio of application equipment, services and our own manufactured support products to the forward-thinking retailers and growers in our newly-expanded 17-state geography,” he continues.

CASE IH, RBR & NEW LEADER The company markets the full Case IH commercial application equipment line, including Patriot Series sprayers, Titan Series Floaters and the Trident Combination Applicator, as well as RBR self-propelled applicators and New Leader G5000 Series applicators. The company manufactures a complete line of application support products, including MT series tenders, pull-type spreaders, liquid trailers and liquid fertilizer applicators under the Heartland AG Systems Equipment brand. “We are excited about the commitment Heartland AG Systems has for the application business,” says Don Knopp, co-founder of Ag-West Distributing. “We know Heartland is focused on this segment and will make certain our customers and employees are well taken care of during the transition and on a goforward basis.” “The familiarity our organizations had from working together

over the years, each as Case IH application distributors, gave us a keen understanding for how this acquisition could benefit our customers,” he remarks. Knopp will remain with the new organization as the northwest regional manager and a key member of the management team. Ag-West Distributing will be integrated into the broader Heartland AG Systems organization and operate under the Heartland AG Systems name. Sinclair stressed there is an organization-wide focus toward continuity for customers. “In this business, it’s vital to have responsive parts and service during application season to provide our customers with the best opportunity to cover as many acres as possible,” Sinclair says. “We will partner closely with the Ag-West team and current customers to ensure service and support exceeds expectations.” continued on pg. 32

“Our growing team of industryleading application experts are ready to serve all our customers and meet all of their application needs,” Sinclair states. Formed through the merger of two large application equipment distributors in 2019, Heartland AG Systems offers a comprehensive application equipment and manufactured product line-up to its customers.

The map shows the Heartland AG Systems territory, including “current,” or before the acquisition of Ag-West Distributing (light gray), expanded (dark gray) and new (black). BC�T May 31

Now News . . .

continued from pg. 31

Come Grow with Farming for the Future Foundation Blog posts, virtual farm visits, STEM-related activities and team members are available By Candise Miller, executive director, Farming for the Future Foundation Farming for the Future Foundation (FFTFF) is on a mission to deepen the connection between people and their food. While we plan for a future full of opportunities to learn about production agriculture, we are sharing information and lessons on topics related to food cultivation. Check out our recent blog posts to visit a farm virtually (https://www.fftf. us/news/qacroprotation), find food and STEM related activities (https:// and meet members of our team (https:// The Food + Farm Exploration Center • We have completed the hiring of partners to build a space dedicated to education and experience in

production agriculture. Our teams of builders, designers, architects and community developers are ready to work!

As part of its regular blog posts, the Farming for the Future Foundation encourages the public to “Talk with an Elder and Learn About your Food.” Visit 32 BC�T May

FFTFF Education Team •O ur team is growing! If you know an education pro who would be a good fit for our collaborative

The Farming for the Future Foundation offers STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)-related activities for students. To learn more, visit

and driven team, please share the education program manager job description with them ( education-program-managere3bffce047854394). There are exciting ways to build conversation and education around food, and classrooms are a great place to start.

from a grocery store scavenger hunt to investigations in starch content in food.

students and families connect more deeply with their food and with one of the state’s largest industries.

Designed for easy integration into fourth grade classrooms, the lessons connect agriculture to a wide range of subject areas, including science, math, social studies and English. Ultimately, the activities will help

We look forward to sharing these lessons with teachers and schools in the near future. Learn more about Sara’s work by visiting https://www. continued on pg. 34

If you have experience in education and agriculture and would like to PLANT NUTRITION PLANT NUTRITION volunteer on our education advisory PLANT NUTRITION PLANT NUTRITION PLANT NUTRITION PLANT NUTRITION committee or offer feedback on our PLANT NUTRITION PLANT PLANTNUTRITION NUTRITION lesson plans as we develop them, PLANT NUTRITION PLANT NUTRITION please contact Candise Miller at ACCOMPLISH LM is a fertilizer biocatalyst designed

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Specialty Crops: Soil:RATES 2-8 Apply 1-2 qts/A with At-Planting ororBanded Nutrition; 2-3 qrts/A with manures poultry litter RATES RATES RATES Soil Application -Soil: Cereal Apply 1-2or qts/A with At-Planting Banded Nutrition; Specialty Crops: 2-8Grains: gals/A.1-5 gal/A in-furrow or 2x2. 2-3 qrts/A with manures or poultry litter Soil Application - Cereal Grains: gal/A in-furrow or 2x2. Apply 1-2 + qts/A with At-Planting or BandedinNutrition; Specialty Crops: Soil: 2-8 gals/A. Specialty Crops: Soil: 2-8 gals/A. 2-3 qrts/A with manures or or poultry litter 2-3 Riser qrts/A with manures poultry litter Accomplish LM Performace Potatos 2017 Riser + Accomplish LM:1-5 Potatoes Soil Application Soil - Accomplish Cereal Grains: - Cereal 1-5Potatoes gal/A Grains: in-furrow 1-5 gal/A orin-furrow 2x2. or 2x2. Apply 1-2 qts/A Apply with 1-2+At-Planting qts/A with At-Planting orLM Nutrition; or Banded Nutrition; Specialty Crops: Soil: 2-8 gals/A. 2-3 qrts/A with manures orBanded poultry litter Riser Accomplish Performace in Potatos 2017 Riser +Application LM: Marketable Yield (lbs) Avg Tuber Wt. (oz) + Accomplish LM Performace in Potatos 2017 Riser +Soil: Accomplish LM: 2-8 Potatoes Specialty Crops: Specialty Crops: 2-8 gals/A. Soil: gals/A. 2-3 qrts/A with 2-3Riser qrts/A manures with ormanures poultry litter or poultry litter Marketable LM Yield (lbs) Avg Tuberin Wt.Potatos (oz) Riser +LM Accomplish Performace 2017 9 Riser + Accomplish LM: Potatoes 180 Riser + Accomplish Performace in Potatos 2017 Riser + Accomplish LM: Potatoes 168 Wt. (oz) Marketable LM Yield (lbs) Avg Tuber Riser + Accomplish Performace in Potatos Potatos 2017 Riser + Accomplish LM: Potatoes 180 Riser + Accomplish LM Performace 2017 98 Riser + Accomplish LM: Potatoes 168in Marketable Yield (lbs) Avg Tuber Wt. (oz) 160 9 180 Marketable (lbs) Avg LM TuberPerformace Wt. (oz) Riser +Yield Accomplish Potatos 2017 Riser + Accomplish LM: Potatoes 168 Wt. in Marketable Yield (lbs) Avg Tuber (oz)

MEET OUR TEAM Education is at the forefront of our work, and we are building a team of people committed to learning, sharing and growing knowledge about the production agriculture field.

ACCOMPLISH LM is a fertilizer biocatalyst designed to significantly increase fertilizer availability and overall plant performance. Accomplish LM contains concentrated biochemistry in an easy-to-handle liquid formulation optimized for At-Planting fertilizer applications.

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TuberTuber Wt. (oz) Tuber Wt. (oz) Tuber Wt. (oz) Tuber Wt. (oz) Wt. (oz)


• Potatoes Phosphate many crop • Drives early • Increases ro

Improves nutrient availability and uptake Enhances nutrient-use efficiency Promotes better root growth and development Designed to enhance applied fertilizer applications Tuber Wt. (oz)

Marketable Weight (lbs)


• • • •

Marketable Weight (lbs) Marketable Weight (lbs) Marketable Marketable Marketable Weight Marketable Weight (lbs) Marketable Weight (lbs)Weight (lbs)Weight (lbs) (lbs)



8 160 9 180 Marketable Yield (lbs) Avg Tuber 168 Wt. (oz) 9 Potatos 7 140 6.6 8 2017 160 9 180 Riser + Accomplish Riser +124 Accomplish LM Performace inAvg Potatosin 2017 Riser + Accomplish Riser + Accomplish LM: Potatoes LM: Marketable Yield (lbs) Performace 168LM 168Tuber Wt. (oz) 6.6 7 180 140 89 160 168 6 120 124 9 180 7 140 8 (oz) 6.6 8 160 168 Marketable Yield (lbs) Marketable Yield Avg (lbs) Tuber Wt. (oz) Avg Tuber Wt. 5.14 6 120 124 78 6.6 160 140 100 5.14 120 8 160 124 7 140 956 9 180 180 6.6 5 100 168 6.6 168 7 5.14 67 120 124 140 100 124 6.6 4 80 5 5.14 6 120 7 140 6.6 8 124 8 160 160 6 4 80 5 100 5.14 124 120 100 3 60 5.14 46 6 80 5 120 5.14 3 60 5 7 7 140 140 4 80 6.6 6.6 5.14 2 40 100 124 35 5 60 4 80 124 100 2 40 3 60 4 61 6 120 120 20 2 80 40 34 4 60 80 5.14 5.14 1 20 2 40 3 Hersom Road Trial 50 5 100 100 0 1 20 2 40 3 3 60 60 Road Trial Grower Standard Fertilizer Riser + Accomplish LM 5 Gal RiserHersom + 1 qt 0 0 1 20 5 Gal 6-24-6 + 1 qt Zn Road Trial Grower Standard Fertilizer Riser + Accomplish LM 2 5Accomplish Gal RiserHersom + LM 1 qt 0 0 4 4 80 80 1 20 5 Gal 6-24-6 + 1 qt Zn 2 2 40 40 Hersom Road Trial Grower Standard Fertilizer Riser + Accomplish LM 5Accomplish Gal Riser + LM 1 qt 0 0 5 Gal 6-24-6 + 1 qt Zn Hersom Road Trial Grower Standard Fertilizer Riser + Accomplish LM 5 Gal Riser + 1 qt 0 0 Accomplish LM 1 5 Gal 6-24-6 + 1 qt Zn 3 1 1 3 60 60 20 20 Grower Standard Fertilizer Riser + Accomplish LM 5Accomplish Gal Riser + LM 1 qt 5 Gal 6-24-6 + 1 qt Zn Accomplish HersomLM Road Trial 0 ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. Marketable Weight (lbs)


High quality Excellent c Low salt ble Utility acros

Tuber Wt. (oz)

Tuber Wt. (oz)

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Sara Krauskopf, Ph.D. works with Farming for the Future Foundation80 as RATES RATES 60 an education specialist and develops Soil Application lesson plans for classrooms and 40 Apply 1-2 qts/A with At-Planting or Banded Nutrition; lifelong learners to inspire interest20 2-3 qrts/A with manures or poultry litter Specialty Crops: 0 40 2 0 0 2 0 40 0 in food, from seed through harvest, Grower Standard Fertilizer Riser + Accomplish LM ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. 5 Gal Riser + 1 qt Grower Standard Fertilizer Riser + Accomplish LM 5 Gal 6-24-6 + 1 qt Zn Grower Standard Fertilizer Riser + Accomplish LM 5 5Gal GalRiser Riser++11qt qt 5 Gal 6-24-6 ++ 1 qt ZnZn 5 Gal 6-24-6 1 qt ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. Accomplish LM 1 1 20 20 Accomplish LM Accomplish LM storage, transport and mealtime. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. 100

Hersom HersomRoad RoadTrial Trial


© 2020 Loveland Products, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All of the trademarks and service marks displayed are marks of their respective owners.Products, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All of the trademarks and service marks displayed are marks of their © 2020 Loveland Radiate is aowners. registered trademark of Loveland Products, Inc. Radiate is not registered in California, and is not approved or respective © 2020 Loveland Products, All Rights Reserved. All of the trademarks and service marks displayed are marks of their intended be used ortrademark sold Inc. in California. Radiate isto aowners. registered of Loveland8069_A2420 Products, Inc. Radiate is not registered in California, and is not approved or respective ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. LOVELAND | LABEL P.O. BOX 1286 GREELEY,and COservice 80632 | © 2020 Loveland Products, All®Rights Reserved. All of the| trademarks marks displayed are marks of their intended to bePRODUCTS, used ortrademark sold Inc. inINC. California. Radiate is a registered of Loveland8069_A2420 Products, Inc. Radiate is not registered in California, and is not approved or respective owners. ® LOVELAND PRODUCTS, INC. | P.O. BOX 1286 GREELEY,and COservice 80632 | © 2020 Loveland Products, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All of the| trademarks marks displayed are marks of their intendedisto be used ortrademark sold in California. 8069_A2420 Radiate aowners. registered of Loveland Products, Inc.Accomplish Radiate isRiser not registered in California, and is not approved or Growerrespective Standard Grower Fertilizer Standard Fertilizer Riser + + LM Accomplish LM ® LOVELAND | P.O. BOX 1286 | GREELEY, CO 80632 | intendedisto bePRODUCTS, used ortrademark sold inINC. California. Radiate a registered of Loveland8069_A2420 Products, Inc. Radiate is not registered in California, and is not approved or




715.366.4181 . Plainfield, WI Hersom Road Trial .

Hersom Road Trial

715.366.4181 Plainfield, WI . Plainfield, In the time that Sara has been Gal Riser +51Gal qt Riser + 1 qt 715.366.4181 WI 5 Gal 6-24-6 5 +Gal 1 qt 6-24-6 Zn 2017 + 1 qt5 Zn Riser + Accomplish LM Performace in Potatos Rise . Plainfield,Accomplish 715.366.4181 WI Accomplish LM LM ALWAYS READALWAYS AND ALWAYS FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. . working with FFTFF, she has 715.366.4181 Plainfield, WI Marketable Yield (lbs) Avg Tuber Wt. (oz) developed multiple exciting and . . Plainfield, 715.366.4181 WI . Plainfield, 715.366.4181 WI 715.366.4181 WI LOVELAND PRODUCTS, INC. | P.O. BOX 1286 | GREELEY, CO 80632 | interactive lessons on topics ranging ALWAYS180 READALWAYS AND FOLLOW READ AND LABEL FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. LABEL DIRECTIONS. 9 Plainfield, ® LOVELAND | P.O.8069_A2420 BOX 1286 | GREELEY, CO 80632 | intended to bePRODUCTS, used or sold inINC. California.

® LOVELAND PRODUCTS, INC. |Rights P.O.Reserved. BOX 1286 | the GREELEY, CO and 80632 | 2020 Products, Inc. All service of trademarks service marks displayed are marks of their © 2020 Loveland Products, Inc. AllLoveland Rights Reserved. ofAllthe trademarks marks displayed are marks of their © 2020© Loveland Products, Inc. AllAll Rights Reserved. All ofand the trademarks and service marks displayed are marks of their respective respective owners. respective owners.owners. Radiate is Loveland a registered trademark of Radiate Loveland Inc. Radiate isregistered not registered in California, is not approved Radiate is a registered trademark of Products, Inc. isProducts, notInc. registered in California, andinisCalifornia, not approved Radiate is a registered trademark of Loveland Products, Radiate is not and and isornot approved or or to be or in California. 8069_A2420 toCalifornia. be used orused sold in sold California. 8069_A2420 intended to be usedintended or soldintended in 8069_A2420



© 2020 Loveland Products, © 2020 Loveland Inc. All Rights Products, Reserved. Inc. AllAllRights of theReserved. trademarks All and of the service trademarks marks and displayed service are marks marks displayed of their are marks of their respective owners.respective owners. Radiate is a registered Radiate trademark is a registered of Loveland trademark Products, of Loveland Inc. Radiate Products, is not registered Inc. Radiate inisCalifornia, not registered and isinnot California, approved and or is not approved or intended to be used intended or sold to in California. be used or sold 8069_A2420 in California. 8069_A2420





8BC�T May 33 . Plainfield, . Plainfield 715.366.4181 715.366.4181 WI



Now News . . .

continued from pg. 33

Roberts Irrigation Lands Reinke Dealer Awards Plover and Bloomer locations recognized for top sales and overall success

Reinke Manufacturing, a global leader in irrigation systems and technology, has recognized Roberts Irrigation in Plover and Bloomer, Wisconsin, as the top dealer in sales for its territory and with the Diamond Pride award in recognition of the dealership’s success last year. “We are proud to honor the team at Roberts Irrigation with these awards,” says Chris Roth, Reinke president. “They’ve shown a great deal of dedication, working hard to support their growers.” “We appreciate those efforts as Reinke continues to develop and implement irrigation equipment and

technology designed to increase agriculture production,” Roth remarks. Reinke dealerships from across the United States and Canada come together annually for the company’s sales convention. This year, they gathered virtually to recognize select Reinke dealers for their hard work and commitment to the higher standards of being 100 percent Reinke Certified. Dealers and Reinke leaders discussed the new products and initiatives from the past year, including the introduction of ESAC, SAC VRI (swing arm corners variable rate irrigation)

Spray Foam Insulation & Roofing Specializing in potato & vegetable storage facilities for over 45 years.

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34 BC�T May

and the Maintenance-Free Bearing as well as the partnership with CropX to empower growers with the world’s finest irrigation scheduling tools. The Reinke Pride awards are determined as part of an incentive program that distinguishes superior achievement levels according to an evaluation based on a dealership’s exterior and interior housekeeping and maintenance, indoor and outdoor displays, safety, retail environment, merchandising, professionalism, promotions, event participation and market share. For more information on Roberts Irrigation, visit Above Left: Barry Graham of Roberts Irrigation in Bloomer, Wisconsin, holds the “Top Five” dealership award given by Reinke Manufacturing during a virtual sales convention earlier in 2021. Above Right: Reinke Manufacturing recognized Roberts Irrigation as a “Highest Selling Dealer in the North Central Territory,” 2019-2020. From left to right are Chase Parr, John Herman and Luke Abbrederis of Roberts Irrigation.

Healthier, Longer • YaraLiva® CN-9® delivers readily available, water-soluble calcium • Improved calcium nutrition has been proven to increase tuber yield, improve skin finish, reduce tuber bruising, reduce internal defects such as internal rust spot and hollow heart, and even reduce Erwinia soft rot in storage • YaraLiva® CN-9® also supplies nitrate-nitrogen immediately available for plant uptake while promoting balanced plant nutrition because nitrate improves plant uptake of cations such as potassium, calcium and magnesium

For more information, contact: Missy Schug, Senior Sales Agronomist 269-207-0177

The result is higher yielding quality tubers without imperfections, less culls and reduction of storage rot.



More than calcium nitrate

New Products

Manipulate Tuber Size with Novel Nitrogen

Deploying SizeN® from Omex Agrifluids at bulking stage increases large tuber percentage Managed fertilizer applications using a novel stabilized amine nitrogen can help growers meet strict contract specifications by successfully manipulating tuber size in the field, research reveals. Applications of the stabilized amine SizeN®, now available to U.S. growers from Omex Agrifluids, can also increase marketable tuber numbers by up to 16 percent, according to research conducted by a British crop scientist who has discovered that tuber size and numbers are dependent on the type of nitrogen applied to the crop. “Even when the total amount of nitrogen applied is the same, it’s the form of nitrogen that matters,” explains Dr. David Marks of Levity Crop Science. “Crop growth and final yield depend on whether you use nitrate, ammonium, urea or amine,” he says. Nitrates stimulate leafy growth and “apical dominance,” favoring vertical growth that results in a characteristic leggy crop and poor lateral root production. Ammonium leads to plants with the same amount of

The image shows a comparison between control potatoes (left) and those treated with SizeN (right) from Omex Agrifluids. Trials demonstrated an ability to improve size distribution and overall yield using the novel stabilized amine nitrogen product.

biomass overall, but more is found in the roots and tubers. “Plants treated with amine, meanwhile, have more roots, more compact stems and higher chlorophyll content before and after tuberization,” notes Dr. Marks. “They

also increase their above-ground biomass and show higher chlorophyll levels at bulking.” By understanding these differences, Dr. Marks says growers can make their crops more resilient to external stresses like drought.

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

36 BC�T May

“Shorter plants with more roots are more resistant to drought,” he notes. “Plants with more roots overall can scavenge a greater volume of soil for water and essential nutrients.” STABILIZING UREIC AMINE Unfortunately for growers, most forms of applied nitrogen are unstable in the soil and quickly degrade to nitrate. This makes it difficult to exploit the differences in the field, so Levity’s research focused on stabilizing ureic amine so that it persists in this form.

increased numbers of smaller tubers, those between 1.5 and 2.5 inches. On the other hand, by omitting that early application to apply SAN at bulking stage, they will see an increase in the percentage of larger tubers in the 2.5- to 3.25-inch category. “This shift in yield content does not come at the price of a smaller yield number or weight; yield is increased over and above that,” Williams

notes, “and attained using standard agricultural practices.” He is encouraging U.S. growers interested in deploying SizeN for the 2021 crop to contact him for more information on developing appropriate schedules. Cell Power® and SizeN® are registered trademarks of OMEX Agrifluids USA. continued on pg. 38

Trials of the technology, known as LimiN, were validated through a series of field experiments where the number and scheduling of applications were varied, and the effects on tuber size and numbers recorded. Application regimes began in late June 2020. All Levity SAN technology treatment regimens significantly increased mean marketable tuber numbers in comparison to conventional controls. Mean marketable yield was increased by nearly 6 percent. OMEX Agrifluids USA, longtime expert in crop, fruit and vegetable nutrition, has now licensed Levity’s SAN technology, formulating it within its Cell Power® SizeN® products. “This is something that can really help growers get ahead and maximize the potential of their crops,” says Mike Williams, chief executive officer for OMEX USA. “U.K. and U.S. growers share many of the same varieties, which makes this research extremely pertinent to the U.S. market.” Williams says that by compiling a revised fertilizer application schedule featuring SAN, growers should be able to meet the demands of each market—chipping, frying, salad and so on—more closely. “For example, early SAN applications with SizeN, pre-tuberization, lead to BC�T May 37

New Products. . .

continued from pg. 37

Anti-Slip Tape Enhances Farm Machinery Safety Wooster Products Die-Cut FLEX-TRED provides high coefficient of friction on applied surfaces Wooster Products’ Die-Cut FLEXTRED® anti-slip tapes enhance safety on farm machinery by providing a higher coefficient of friction on the applied surface, whether wet or dry. Virtually every piece of agricultural and industrial equipment that requires workers to drive, climb onto, cross over or physically interact with can benefit from better footing on those surfaces, and die cut FLEX-TRED Tape provides an easy solution.


Available in standard die cut sizes or in custom die cuts to suit specific 9/6/2019requirements, this heavy-duty safety surface is easy to install and provides

durable pedestrian safety on slippery surfaces.

mowers, planters and other implements, as well as workboats, It bends over sharp 90-degree angles passenger vessels, offshore platforms and machinery, gas/brake pedals, without fracture and can be bent repeatedly without cracking or failure machinery deck plates, equipment steps and walkways, snow groomers, of the bond. tow motors and forklifts, and on Fastline Wisconsin Farm, Edition 10 2019 - Fastline Online Editions Applied FLEX-TRED is resistant to platforms, scaffolds, cherry pickers, motor oil, detergent, hydraulic oil ladders and more. and ultra-violet light. It will tolerate Wooster has been making custom die steam and detergent cleaning and cut patterns for many years and has is essentially unaffected by climactic thousands in its library. Prospective and mild acid or alkali exposure customers can find an existing under normal conditions. pattern close to that desired, thus MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS saving a custom die cut charge. Die cut FLEX-TRED is Edition ideal for Fastline Wisconsin Farm, 10 2019 - Fastline Online Editions application on combines, tractors, Available in various colors and


s:// 38 BC�T May 1/2

patterns, including fluorescent colors and NITEGLOW® Glow in the Dark, FLEX-TRED Edge Sealing Compound is easily applied and seals the edge to most surfaces, even in areas where heavy exposure to liquids is anticipated. FLEX-TRED® has a useful temperature range of -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 220 degrees, and limited exposure to temperatures above 220 degrees will not harm FLEX-TRED. Wooster Products is the industry leader in anti-slip stair treads and walkway products. The company has been manufacturing anti-slip products for new construction, renovation, marine and OEM applications, since 1921, from its namesake Wooster, Ohio facility. For additional information, visit,

or contact the company via sales@,

(800) 321- 4936, 1000 Spruce Street, P.O. Box 6005, Wooster, OH 44691. continued on pg. 40

BC�T May 39

New Products. . .

continued from pg. 39

Vegetable Production Guide Available

University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension offers commercial crop management Updated every October and released each January, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension Commercial Vegetable Production in Wisconsin 2021 guide can be downloaded for free as a .pdf at the link in the last paragraph below or may be purchased online for $14.50. Authored by J.B. Colquhoun, S.A. Chapman, A.J. Gevens, R.L. Groves, D.J. Heider, B.M. Jensen, G.R.W. Nice, M.D. Ruark and Y. Wang, the guide offers the latest recommendations for disease, insect and weed management in Wisconsin’s most common commercial vegetable crops.

Also included are lime and fertilizer recommendations, as well as insect identification information and keys (339 pages; 2020). Crops covered include asparagus, bean, carrot, celery, cole crops, cucumber, eggplant, hops, horseradish, leafy greens, melon, mint, onion, pea, pepper, potato, pumpkin and squash, sweet corn, table beet and tomato. Download the .pdf or purchase a physical copy online: https:// products/commercial-vegetableproduction-in-wisconsin.


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Potassium Foliar apply during potato bulking

Learn more about applying KTS® (0-0-25-17S) on potatoes: During bulking, potatoes need more potassium than they can get from the soil. One way to effectively provide your potato crop with the additional potassium it needs is through foliar application of KTS®. Crop Vitality’s KTS is the highest analysis potassium product available and works within your program to help maximize yield potential.

Potatoes USA News Arby’s Keeps its Eyes on the Fries

Fast food restaurant known for curly fries adds crinkle-cut menu option In late 2020, Arby’s tested crinkle-cut French fries in select markets across the country. Now, the quick-service chain, with over 3,000 outlets in the United States, added the potato item permanently to its menu nationwide. For a chain with the slogan “We have the meats,” the fast-food restaurant is certainly trying to become a competitive French fry purveyor. In July 2020, Arby’s signature curly fries were ranked first as the best fast-food fries by Thrillist.

Crinkle-cut fries are growing in popularity—Datassential’s Annual Potato Menu Trends Report shows this style has increased by 10 percent on menus in the past year, by 41 percent in the past four years and is predicted to grow by an additional 15 percent in the next four years. Considering Arby’s is known for its best-in-the-business curly fries, it only makes sense to expand with another consumer-loved spud.

Arby’s introduces a new form of potato to its menu—crinkle-cut fries.

Potatoes USA Elects 2021-’22 Leadership Potatoes USA, the marketing and promotion board for the U.S. potato industry, elected new leadership during the Annual Meeting on March 11, 2021. The newly elected chairman and Executive Committee will lead the Board through the 2021’22 term.

2002, grows Russet Burbanks and Norkotahs for retail and foodservice and supplies Five Guys restaurants.

Jaren Raybould of Saint Anthony, Idaho, was officially elected as Potatoes USA chairman of the board. Prior to the election, Raybould served as first vice chair and acting chairman due to the unexpected passing of chairman and industry icon, Marty Myers, in December 2020.

FEEDING FAMILIES Raybould describes his job as a humbling experience. “I get to be a part of something bigger than myself and witness the day-to-day miracle of growing and raising potatoes that feed thousands of families across the country,” he says.

This year marks Raybould’s sixth year on the Board, which includes co-chairing the Domestic Marketing Committee for three years and serving as a member of the Administrative Committee.

“The work I do wouldn’t be the same without the phenomenal individuals that are involved in the potato industry,” Raybould adds. “Everyone is independent, competitive and innovative.”

Raybould, a managing member of Raybould Brothers Farms, since

As chairman, Raybould will prioritize restoring demand for potatoes back

42 BC�T May

In addition to leading the Potatoes USA Board, Raybould also serves on the Yellowstone Soil Conservation District Board and the Idaho/East Oregon Potato Control Committee.

Jaren Raybould of Saint Anthony, Idaho, was officially elected as Potatoes USA chairman of the board for the 2021-’22 term.

to pre-pandemic levels. He believes that by continuing to adapt Potatoes USA marketing programs, the industry will discover new ways to

encourage people around the world to eat more U.S. potatoes. In addition to Raybould, Potatoes USA’s 2021-’22 Executive Committee members include: • Jeff Jennings of Camden, North Carolina, chair of the Finance & Policy Committee • J ason Davenport of Bakersfield, California, and Steve Streich of Kalispell, Montana, co-chairs of the International Marketing Committee • Mike Carter of Rosholt, Wisconsin, and Leah Halverson of Grand Forks, North Dakota, co-chairs of the Industry Outreach Committee • Steve Elfering of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Shelley Olsen of Othello, Washington, co-chairs of the Domestic Marketing Committee • Jennifer Gogan of Houlton, Maine, and Jared Smith of Alamosa, Colorado, co-chairs of the Research Committee • Mike Pink of Pasco, Washington, past chairman

Wisconsin’s own Mike Carter of Bushmans’ Inc. was elected co-chair, along with Leah Halverson of Grand Forks, North Dakota, of the Potatoes USA Industry Outreach Committee. Other Wisconsin members of the Potatoes USA Board include Erin Baginski (Baginski Farms), Wendy Dykstra (Alsum Farms & Produce), Josh Knights (Heartland Farms Inc.), Kevin Schleicher (Wysocki Family of Companies) and Keith Wolter (Hyland Lakes Spuds).

When Raybould assumed responsibilities as chairman last December, he committed to continue the efforts to feed a nation and support an industry through the difficult times caused by the pandemic. Regarding his official election as chairman on March 11, Raybould encourages the industry to continue adapting and meeting the changing and evolving market needs. Outside of his work in the potato industry, Raybould values the time he gets to spend with his wife, Whitney, and daughters, Naomi and Adalyn. When time allows, he also enjoys golfing and snowmobiling. BC�T May 43


on Farms in 2021

Can growers lawfully hold public events, recreational activities and agritourism during the pandemic? By Attorney Andrew M. Lorenz, Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C. In any normal year, the onset of warm weather causes Wisconsin residents to flock to the outdoors. This year, the stream of cars leaving cities should flow stronger than ever, as large sectors of the state’s population has either been outright locked down or significantly restricted in their travel since last spring. Landowners who either permit access to or attempt to profit off these new or reinvigorated outdoor enthusiasts should be aware of potential legal concerns involved with doing so. PUBLIC GATHERINGS As an initial matter, landowners might be concerned about whether allowing large groups of people to gather on their property is currently allowed at all. This concern is not only justifiable, but it is expected, as there has 44 BC�T May

been a seeming ping-pong match between the governor, the legislature and courts striking down and then imposing various COVID-19 restrictions. As of March 2021, this back and forth has seemingly settled on the following state of affairs: Outdoor gatherings of any size are not currently subject to any statewide restrictions, although county by county orders may apply. Regarding the latter point especially, however, regulations could quickly change as the state hopefully begins to achieve herd immunity. RECREATIONAL USE IMMUNITY A Wisconsin law commonly referred to as the Recreational Use Immunity statute provides landowners protection against lawsuits for injuries sustained by individuals

engaged in “recreational activity” on their properties. The statute contains a broad definition of recreational activities, including a non-exhaustive list of over 30 activities. It generally states that a landowner is not responsible for: (1) keeping his or her property safe for recreational activities; (2) inspecting the property regularly; or (3) giving warnings for unsafe conditions, uses or activities on the property. There are exceptions to the Above: Attorney Andrew M. Lorenz of Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C. breaks down what farmers need to know about inviting the public onto their land, in 2021. As of March 2021, outdoor gatherings of any size in Wisconsin are not currently subject to statewide restrictions, although county by county orders may apply.

Recreational Use Immunity statute, however. Perhaps most notably, if a person is injured while engaged in a recreational activity for which the owner “collects money, goods or services,” then the landowner cannot receive the benefit of the statute if they collect more than $2,000 in aggregate payments for all recreational activities taking place on the property during a given calendar year. For example, if a landowner receives more than $2,000 in concessions for “picnicking” activities (one of the statute’s listed recreational activities) during the summer, and then accepts $200 from a hunter to deer hunt, the landowner loses the protection of the Recreational Use Immunity statute if the hunter were to become injured, even though the hunter himself paid less than $2,000 to the landowner.

NO BARTERING WILD GAME On a semi-related note and spurred by the recent viral story involving criminal charges against multiple Wisconsin residents involved in the processing of sturgeon eggs, it is illegal to barter or trade the meat of a wild animal. Consequently, a formal agreement calling for a landowner to receive a portion of a hunter’s harvest in exchange for land access is technically a criminal act. In contrast, giving or accepting gifts of wild game, with no expectation of receiving any benefit in return, is non-criminal. Further, a gift of wild game does not count towards the aggregate $2,000 payment total discussed above. In all, the Recreational Use Immunity statute does provide substantial protection to landowners who choose to open their lands to allow

others to enjoy more of Wisconsin’s outdoors. But careful consideration of the limits and exceptions in the statute is a good idea before the risk of injury occurs. AGRICULTURAL TOURISM The Agricultural Tourism Activity statute, which is similar to the Recreational Use Immunity statute but potentially more beneficial to a farm owner trying to profit off of his or her farm, was enacted in April 2014. This statute grants immunity to anyone who provides an educational or recreational activity on a farm, ranch or grove that allows visitors to “tour, explore, observe, learn about, participate in or be entertained by an aspect of agricultural production, harvesting or husbandry that occurs continued on pg. 46


BC�T May 45

Gatherings on Farms in 2021. . . continued from pg. 45

on the farm, ranch, grove or other place” if the visitor is injured by a risk inherent in the agricultural tourism activity. The statute elaborates that the unpredictable behavior of farm animals and the ordinary dangers of

structures or equipment used on a farm are inherent risks of agricultural activities. A key difference between the Agricultural Tourism Activity and Recreational Use Immunity statutes is that the Agricultural Tourism Activity

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statute does not have a maximum payment exception. In other words, an agricultural tourism provider can charge fees for the agricultural tourism activity without losing the protections provided by the statute. Because this statute is relatively new in Wisconsin, there have not been many court cases interpreting its application and scope. Beware, however: One bright-line requirement for an agricultural tourism provider trying to take advantage of this new statute is that there must be clearly posted signs conforming with mandated language, font and size requirements at each entrance to the property. Any provider who thinks they may be offering a tourism activity that could fall within the ambit of this statute should take great precaution to ensure they do not inadvertently lose their protection by failing to comply with this signage requirement. In all, knowing the laws and statutes, it is the hope that all farmers, agricultural workers and the general public can continue to gather outside safely and respectfully without worry about lawsuits or fines. Be safe, everyone.

Badger Beat Potato Silver Scurf Management The fungus can infect developing plant parts (roots and stolons) and ultimately daughter tubers By Dr. Amanda Gevens and Sofía Macchiavelli Giron, University of WisconsinMadison Plant Pathology

I contribute this article

to the Badger Common’Tater with a special note about its co-author, now Dr. Sofía Macchiavelli Giron. Sofía recently successfully defended her doctoral dissertation working with me at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Plant Pathology. A summary of some of her results is provided in this article. Many Wisconsin potato growers interacted with Sofía and appreciated her updates on silver scurf and its

management at our annual meetings. Further, she was honored, in 2019, with the National Potato Council Scholarship, which enhanced her disease research efforts. I thank our growers and the industry for these collaborative and supportive opportunities for students that help us grow the next generation of agricultural scientists while addressing current crop challenges! Potatoes are the world’s fourthlargest food crop, following rice, wheat and maize. Wisconsin currently

Representative symptoms of silver scurf are shown on a potato tuber.

ranks third in potato production in the United States and has been experiencing increased blemish disease incidence and severity since approximately 2000, with a marked impact on quality of fresh market varieties. continued on pg. 48

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Badger Beat . . .

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Silver scurf, caused by Helminthosporium solani, is a blemish disease of potato that affects periderm quality and appearance, impacting marketability and storability. Symptoms of the disease include often blotchy, gray, silver or golden lesions on the tuber periderm, depending on variety. The periderm damage caused by this disease can also exacerbate water loss, and hence, yield loss, in storage. Further, the damaged periderm can potentially result in secondary infections by opportunistic pathogens. Most losses associated with silver scurf are due to fresh market rejections or moisture loss from damaged skin. At times, blemish diseases can also cause seed quality downgrades. DISEASE CYCLE The potato silver scurf disease cycle includes infection phases in both the field and storage domains. Infection begins in the field with one or multiple sources of inoculum, including infected seed or soil and/or crop debris. The primary source of inoculum is typically infected seed tubers, although some studies have shown evidence of soil being the main suspect. In recent Central Wisconsin research, molecular biological screening of the soil and plant material within the agro-ecosystem indicated that seed | Volume 73 No. $22/year | $2/copy






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The primary source of silver scurf inoculum is typically infected seed tubers, although some studies have shown evidence of soil being the offender.

was the primary source of infection. The fungus can infect developing plant parts (roots and stolons) and ultimately daughter tubers. After harvest, secondary infections can occur in storage through different mechanisms. Conidia spread by direct contact to other tubers or movement of air through ventilation systems. Planting and harvesting dates are important factors in disease incidence and severity. The length of tuber exposure to H. solani (from tuber initiation to harvest) has been correlated with severity. Studies have shown that later harvest dates lead to higher disease severity.

Improved understanding of pathogen source and infection status will help prescribe optimum timing for treatments or cultural practices to further reduce inoculum and disease. HOST RANGE While the host range of H. solani is typically limited to potatoes and solanaceous plant roots, the pathogen can develop mycelial growth, conidiophores and conidia (spores) on alfalfa, sorghum, rye, oats, corn and wheat in senescent tissue after 20 days of incubation in the dark. In addition, mycelial colonization and sporulation was observed on rapeseed, red clover and buckwheat after five days of incubation on V8 agar.

Badger Common’Tater


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There was no colonization present on potato leaves, indicating that, on potatoes, this pathogen is exclusively associated with below-ground plant parts. With limited genetic understanding of, and little commercial resistance to, varietal resistance in potato to silver scurf, producers have had to rely on fungicides and variably effective cultural controls for management of silver scurf and other blemish diseases. Current management strategies for silver scurf include use of diseasefree seed potatoes; crop rotation of three years or greater for a non-potato crop; mitigation of soil moisture; timing of vine senescence with harvest so that tubers are not left in the soil for two or more weeks after defoliation; and fungicides timed at planting (seed-applied or in-furrow) and post-harvest (in some cases). Fungicide evaluation trials for the

control of silver scurf and black dot have resulted in variable outcomes in the past, depending on location, application timing and year. The effectiveness of fungicides at specific times can further inform our understanding of the pathogen’s disease cycle in the field. i) Search for genetic resistance: Previous studies identified potato breeding clone C287 with resistance to silver scurf. We sought to determine the genetic attributes responsible for this resistance for potential integration into breeding programs to limit disease. C287 was crossed with M6, a diploid self-compatible inbred line of the potato wild relative Solanum chacoense, which is susceptible to silver scurf. From the progeny, F1-22 was selected, based on disease resistance and tuber type, and self-pollinated to create F2 plants.

There were significant differences among F2 clones, including tuber weight and number, indicating that segregation occurred for these traits in this population. Disease symptoms were not visually apparent, so we applied a quantitative PCR approach (a molecular tool to measure how much of the pathogen DNA was present) to quantify pathogen presence. Preliminary results showed variation in resistance between lines. We will use further tests (single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNP’s) to look for quantitative trait loci associated with silver scurf resistance. This will determine whether a marker for silver scurf resistance can be identified in potato. ii) Fungicide evaluation: In our multiyear investigation, we documented the potato silver scurf control benefits of a season-long integrated approach in Wisconsin. continued on pg. 50


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Badger Beat . . .

continued from pg. 49

Seed-applied fungicides resulted in reduced potato silver scurf, emergence and yield compared to in-furrow applied fungicides. In general, Maxim MZ (fludioxonil, ST) at planting and Stadium (azoxystrobin, fludioxonil and difenoconazole) post-harvest resulted in reduced disease. The effect of application timing on silver scurf severity varied depending on year. Environmental and seed conditions in each year play a significant role in the silver scurf outcome. Prior to the substantial increase in silver scurf in northern U.S. potatoproducing states, the disease was typically and effectively managed through cultural practices and the fungicide thiabendazole. However, pathogen resistance to this active ingredient was documented after commercial reports of poor control performance. Since thiabendazole, azoxystrobin (a common and useful Quinone outside inhibitor, or QoI fungicide) was introduced to the commercial market, in 1992, and has been heavily relied upon for potato disease management targeting numerous pathogens over the past 30 years.

Due to the mode of action of azoxystrobin and its history, there is a risk for the development of fungicide resistance, which might explain the recent increase in silver scurf incidence.

Production guide for Wisconsin includes further fungicide details. To view or download a copy, visit files/1/0145/8808/4272/files/A34222021.pdf.

Our screening of H. solani from symptomatic potato tubers indicated variation in growth response when treated directly with azoxystrobin, suggesting some level of resistance within the pathogen population tested.

References 1. Errampalli D, Saunders JM, Holley JD, 2001. Emergence of silver scurf (Helminthosporium solani) as an economically important disease of potato. Plant Pathology 50, 141-53. 2. Avis TJ, Martinez C, Tweddell RJ, 2010. Minireview/Minisynthèse Integrated management of potato silver scurf (Helminthosporium solani). Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 32, 287-97. 3. Ma Z, Michailides TJ, 2005. Advances in understanding molecular mechanisms of fungicide resistance and molecular detection of resistant genotypes in phytopathogenic fungi. Crop Protection 24, 853-63. 4. Sierotzki H, Frey R, Wullschleger J, et al., 2007. Cytochrome b gene sequence and structure of Pyrenophora teres and P. triticirepentis and implications for QoI resistance. Pest Management Science 63, 225-33. 5. Castroagudín VL, Ceresini PC, De Oliveira SC, et al., 2014. Resistance to QoI Fungicides Is Widespread in Brazilian Populations of the Wheat Blast Pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. Phytopathology 105, 284-94. 6. Mattupalli C, Glasner JD, Charkowski AO, 2014. A Draft Genome Sequence Reveals the Helminthosporium solani Arsenal for Cell Wall Degradation. American Journal of Potato Research.

FUNGICIDE RESISTANCE Like azoxystrobin resistance in other ascomycetous fungal pathogens (for example, Alternaria solani, which causes potato early blight), mutations in the cytochrome b gene can be associated with the phenotype of resistance to QoI fungicides. We have sequenced this gene and are looking selectively for the mutations and associated culture responses. These advancements will inform a useful polymerase chain reactionbased tool for rapid pathogen testing to determine H. solani resistance to QoI fungicides. As we continue to advance these related projects, we will provide updates and access to new tools. Our Commercial Vegetable

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50 BC�T May

Seed Piece How are Seeds Labeled for a Farmer’s Purchase? Why are seeds different shapes and sizes? Does treated seed help maximize yield? By members of the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America When planning a successful farming enterprise, growers often start with buying high-quality seeds. Before even reaching the marketplace, seeds go through inspection and then are labeled. According to Dr. Arron Carter, associate professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University, there are five different classifications of seed that can occur: • Breeder Seed is derived from the plant breeding program itself. When plant breeders develop a new cultivar, they often only have limited amounts of seed. This first step in the process allows the plant breeder to increase the quantity of seed produced. • Foundation Seed typically comes after Breeder Seed and is the highest purity classification. Foundation Seed would look most like Breeder Seed in terms of genetic purity. It has strict requirements for purity, including low or zero tolerance for Foundation Seed bins to be contaminated with weed seed or seed of other market classes and crops. • Registered Seed. Seed companies usually plant high-quality Foundation Seed to produce Registered Seed. Registered Seed keeps high purification standards but is a step down from what was seen in Foundation Seed. • Certified Seed is produced after planting Registered Seed and is the certification class that most farmers would buy if they wanted a highquality seed source.

Some researchers plant thousands of individual rows of the cultivar during their evaluation process. They look for anything that does not belong (flowers early, is too tall, a different color, etc.). Shown here are rows of wheat in a breeding program at Washington State University. Some rows have been removed as they did not fit the breeding criteria. Photo by Arron Carter

• Common Seed. Seed that has not gone through the certification process is often referred to as Common Seed, which is held to no standard other than basic seed labeling laws. It is sold “as is” and could have mixtures of other crops, market classes or weed seeds. SEED SHAPES & SIZES Seeds come in different sizes and shapes across plant species. They range from dust-sized seeds in orchids to double coconut Lodoicea (yes, coconuts are seeds!). According to Dr. Aniruddha Maity, Texas A&M University Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, “Depending on geographical location and the prevailing biotic and abiotic factors, seed size and shape can vary

even within a species. With corn, for example, the size, shape and shininess of the seeds vary.” Seeds usually have three main parts: 1. Seed coat that protects the inner parts from outside hazards 2. Embryo that grows to a plant 3. Endosperm (grasses) or cotyledon (non-grass), each of which stores and supplies food to the growing embryo Scientists have found smaller seeds have shorter dormancy lifespans than larger seeds because they contain less food inside. They need to stay near the soil surface so the smaller embryos can pierce through the soil. continued on pg. 52 BC�T May 51

Seed Piece . . .

continued from pg. 51

Larger seeds can stay in greater depth in soil. The depth at which a seed is planted depends on the shape of the seed as well. Smaller seeds can travel to new geographical locations as they can be blown and fly to other areas or attach to clothing or shoes and be transported. Big seeds do not tend to travel. SEED TREATMENTS Scientists have made many innovations to protect our seed supply. Seed treatments provide tailored products that are safe for seeds, people and the environment. Dr. Keri Carstens, Iowa State University Department of Entomology, explains the “what, why and how of seed treatments:” • What are seed treatments? Seed treatments include “recipes,” and each ingredient has a specific role in protecting the seed from a certain vulnerability or direct attack. Others maximize the health and vigor of the seedling as it is developing. Treated seeds come in many colors: bright pink, brilliant green or blue, or even vibrant purple. These are all purposefully unnatural colors to help buyers know that treatments are on the seeds. • Why do we use seed treatments? The short answer is for many reasons. In the end, it is about maximizing and protecting the yield potential of the seed. By coating seeds with insecticides that protect against wireworm or seed corn maggots, for example, farmers can reduce the risk of crop loss from these pests. • How are seed suppliers working to innovate and steward treated seeds? It is essential that everyone who treats, handles, transports and plants treated seeds manages them properly and in accordance with label instructions. Seed suppliers work together 52 BC�T May

Above: Although all these seeds belong to the bean (pulse) family, there is a wide variation in size. The largest ones, Giant Pink Sword Beans (eaten in Africa and Asia), are about 1 inch long, whereas the dark black beans next to them are only .25-inch long. Image courtesy of Crop Science Society of America

through the American Seed Trade Association to follow and enhance best practices. To learn more about the classifications of seed, visit https:// sustainable-secure-food-blog. com/2021/03/22/how-are-seedslabeled-for-a-farmers-purchase/. To read more about seed shapes and sizes, visit: why-are-seeds-of-different-sizes-andshapes/. To learn more about seed treatments, visit:

The above was provided by members of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and Crop Science Society of America (CSSA). Members are researchers and trained, certified professionals in the areas of growing the world’s food supply while protecting our environment. They work at universities, government research facilities and private businesses across the United States and around the world. To learn more about crop science and agronomy, follow the societies on Twitter (@ASA_CSSA_SSSA), Instagram (@sustainablefoodsupply) and Facebook (@ASA.agronomy and @CSSA.crops).

Eyes on Associates By WPVGA Associate Div. President Chris Brooks, Central Door Solutions

Spring greetings, everyone. We have been spoiled with some great late March and early April weather. As I write this in mid-April, the grass has turned green, the trees are leaving out and most importantly planting is underway in Wisconsin.

It has been five years since we started this column in the Badger Common’Tater during my last term as Associate Division president. Over the last several years, it has been a great place to create awareness about the work and activities of businesses supporting agriculture. We will continue to drive forward with goals, push through the obstacles and discuss projects we have along with some new and exciting opportunities for 2021. I am proud and humbled to continue to serve the agricultural industry and Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA). I want to commend our outgoing President Kenton Mehlberg on his work and involvement in what was one of the most trying presidential terms maybe ever for the Associate Division. Kenton left the Board in a good position and created some great opportunities for us moving forward. Over the last year, many of us in the ag industry and business in general have had a lot of obstacles and changes to our work environments.

A constant message I hear is the adaptation to the current workplaces has made businesses more efficient

and forced them to be further accepting of technology. Once we break through the walls of our comfort zone, we tend to be surprised how a few days or weeks of struggles can help us exponentially continued on pg. 54

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Eyes on Associates . . . continued from pg. 53

moving forward. Humans are creatures of habit and it is sometimes difficult to keep from just going through the daily motions. SUCCESS WE CRAVE For business owners, managers, sales staff and even the new guys sweeping the floor, one of the greatest qualities we can find in ourselves is the ability to get up and kick our own butts every day to find the success we crave. Many of you have found success in times when some would like to believe everyone is struggling. I commend you and challenge you to hold that edge and keep our industry strong and moving. As we approach summer, the always popular Association Division-hosted Putt-Tato Open starts coming to mind. This year, the golf outing will be at Lake Arrowhead Golf Course in Nekoosa. Save the date for July 13 and start assembling your foursomes now. Information will be in the weekly Tater Talk emails and on the WPVGA website. As part of this event, we will be asking for sponsorship help. It is the single biggest networking opportunity and fundraiser of the summer with all our industry partners. Money raised in this event is directly put back into programs, from political to marketing to goodwill. I will also mention it’s a great time! I want to close this month’s column by bringing a new project to light. One of the biggest struggles we are all incurring is labor. Whether you are a grower or a company supporting farmers, we need handson tradesmen.

54 BC�T May

Above: Tom Grall (left) and Bill Spees of Jay-Mar, Inc., a WPVGA Associate Division member company, enjoy the 2020 Putt-Tato Open. The 2021 golf outing will be at Lake Arrowhead Golf Course in Nekoosa. Save the date for July 13 and start assembling your foursomes now for the single biggest networking opportunity and fundraiser of the summer.

LABOR SHORTAGE The need for fabricators, welders, machinists, electricians, HVAC (heating, air conditioning and cooling), mechanics and, yes, even doors guys, is immense.

Funding this project will not be easy. Both the Associate Division Board and the WPVGA Board Have pledged $25,000 each with hopes of receiving matching funds from growers and Associate Division members.

There is a potential light at the end of the tunnel. You will soon be hearing about an industry-wide endeavor called “Project Workforce.” This will be a push for all of us in the ag industry to invest in ourselves and our future labor.

We will be looking to come together to help support this project. It is something that, in coming months, you will hear a lot about and something I would suggest educating yourself on how it might help your business in the future.

Mid-State Technical College has a new project called the Advance Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology and Apprenticeship Center. This center will be designed to train a workforce that will be essential to the ag and trade industries.

Until next month, always remember, when you’re green, you’re growing, when you’re ripe, you’re rotten. Keep growing!

Chris Brooks

WPVGA Associate Division President

NPC News

Mexican Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Potatoes Ruling reverses lower court’s decision preventing fresh U.S. potato imports On April 28, 2021, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled by a unanimous vote of five to zero in favor of overturning a 2017 lower court decision that prevented the Mexican federal government from implementing regulations to allow for the importation of fresh U.S. potatoes throughout the country. The ruling, cheered by the National Potato Council (NPC) and Potatoes USA, marks the end of a decadelong legal process that began when Mexico’s potato industry sued its government to prevent competition from imports. “This ruling is consistent with Mexico’s obligations under the USMCA and

the WTO. It represents a major step forward in the U.S. potato industry’s efforts to provide consumers throughout Mexico access to fresh,

healthy U.S.-grown potatoes,” says Jared Balcom, NPC’s vice president of trade affairs and a potato grower continued on pg. 56

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NPC News . . .

continued from pg. 55

from Pasco, Washington. “After decades of delay, we hope this ruling represents a light at the end of the tunnel and that Mexican regulators will immediately begin working on regulations to allow for the importation of fresh U.S. potatoes throughout their country,” Balcom adds. “Mexican consumers and the chip manufacturers in Mexico have waited way too long to access fresh U.S. potatoes,” states Jaren Raybould, chair of Potatoes USA and a potato grower in Saint Anthony, Idaho. “We are hopeful that, with this ruling, the authorities will quickly reimplement the market access agreement and allow for high quality U.S. potatoes to be enjoyed throughout Mexico.” Since it first allowed for the importation of fresh U.S. potatoes, in 2003, Mexico has restricted those potatoes to a 26-kilometer area along the U.S.-Mexico border. That restriction has violated Mexico’s obligations under numerous trade agreements, including NAFTA, WTO and now the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). FULL ACCESS TO MARKET The Mexican government finally agreed to allow U.S. potatoes full access to their market beginning in May 2014. However, immediately after that was implemented, the National Confederation of Potato Growers of Mexico (CONPAPA) sued its government, claiming Mexican regulators have no authority to determine if agricultural imports can enter the country. The April 28 Supreme Court decision rejected CONPAPA's arguments and affirms that the Mexican government does indeed have the authority to issue regulations about the importation of agricultural and food products, including fresh U.S. potatoes. “Mexico offers a significant 56 BC�T May

opportunity for U.S. potato growers,” states John Toaspern, chief marketing officer at Potatoes USA. “The trade in fruits and vegetables between the U.S. and Mexico is hugely beneficial to growers and consumers in both countries.” “In fact, Mexican avocados were granted access to the U.S. at the same time as U.S. potatoes to Mexico in 2003. Since that time, the U.S. government has honored the agreement, and imports of Mexican avocados are now over $2 billion,” Toaspern explains. “The U.S. can supply a wide variety of fresh, high-quality potatoes to Mexico, including russets, reds, yellows, whites, fingerlings and chipping potatoes, year-round that are not currently produced there,” Toaspern says. “Mexican retailers, foodservice operators, food manufacturers and ultimately Mexican consumers will benefit from this wide array of high-quality potatoes available year-round,” he concludes. “This is a significant step that effectively ends the legal process that has blocked our access to the Mexican market,” says NPC CEO Kam Quarles. “This effort has spanned numerous administrations and sessions of Congress, but the U.S. position never wavered.” “We are thankful for everyone at USDA, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and members of Congress who have worked for years to encourage Mexico to lift these protectionist restrictions,” Quarles remarks. REINSTATING RULES “We now look forward to working with the Mexican government and its regulatory agencies in immediately reinstating the rules to allow for fresh U.S. potatoes to be shipped,” he adds, “and the normalization of trade between our countries.”

Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) says, “The Mexican government agreed, in 2014, to open trade to fresh U.S. potatoes, and it’s long past time our farmers are granted real market access.” “Today’s ruling comes as welcome news for Idaho potato growers,” he relates. “I’m proud to continue advocating for the Gem State’s ag producers so people across the world can enjoy our state’s most famous product.” Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) says, “Today’s decision by the Mexican Supreme Court is a positive step forward. I will not, however, consider the matter finished until Idaho’s farmers are able to sell high-quality potatoes to every family in Mexico, as is their right under the United StatesMexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).” “Moreover, I remain concerned that Mexico is maintaining or enacting new restrictions on other U.S. agricultural products that lack any scientific justification,” Sen. Crapo states. “I will continue to work with USTR to ensure that Mexico upholds its commitments under the USMCA.” U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho) says, “Today’s ruling from the Mexican Supreme Court will allow Idaho potato farmers to reap the benefits of President Trump’s historic USMCA. As the largest exporter of potatoes, the removal of this decades-long ban is a major win for Idaho, and we look forward to doing business!” Mexico is the third-largest export market for U.S. potatoes and products valued at over $270 million in 2020. Despite the restriction to the 26-kilometer border region, Mexico is the second-largest market for fresh potato exports, accounting for 106,000 metric tons valued at $60 million in 2020. The U.S. potato industry estimates that access to the entire country for fresh U.S. potatoes will provide a market potential of $200 million per year, in five years.


By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education

2021 Food Safety Classes Recap It was the first of its kind, but it went off without a hitch. 2021 marked the first year that the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) embarked on virtual food safety training by offering the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification via Zoom. Twenty-three people from nine WPVGA grower/member organizations patiently participated, March 30-31, in two full days of online discussions and presentations. While some were first-time attendees, others participated to update their certificates. Geri Barone of Food Auditing Solutions, Illinois, facilitated the training and set up Zoom classrooms to aid in the group breakout sessions. While not the same as in-person training, WPVGA appreciated being able to offer the class, especially considering that some growers needed their certificates by a specific date. Since incorporating food safety

training into its programming, WPVGA has helped growers stay up to date with ever-changing requirements facing the industry while also helping them learn from each other regarding the crops they produce. OUT-OF-STATE GROWERS The annual training has also caught the eyes of some out-of-state growers who have become WPVGA members to attend training and maintained their memberships to continue receiving the association’s publications. While HACCP is the only training that has been offered so far this year, additional classes are on the docket. At what dates they occur, however, will depend on when new versions of each scheme are released. WPVGA plans to hold classes on the newest versions of USDA’s Harmonized GAP Plus audit scheme (to be called Harmonized GAP Plus+) as well as that of Primus GFS. The USDA has received information on updates to the Harmonized GAP Plus scheme, so please watch the

Above: Participants in the first-ever virtual food safety HACCP class flash a smile and “thumbs up” on Zoom as they begin the two-day training, March 30-31. Pictured left to right, and top to bottom are: Geri Barone of Food Auditing Solutions in Illinois; WPVGA Director of Promotions Dana Rady; Chase Kincaid of Dean Kincaid Inc. in Palmyra; a group from RPE, Inc. in Bancroft, namely April Spaulding, Ben Ristow, Craig Fisher, Juan Uribe, Lance Sanchez, Levi Fennell, Lucas Wysocki, Nicky Dernbach and Ted Melby; Jorge Delgado and Cassie Krebs of Gumz Farms in Endeavor; Andy Diercks of Coloma Farms in Coloma; Tamra Bula-Garz of Gary Bula Farms in Grand Marsh; representatives from Nuto Farms in Rice Lake, namely Allen Amborn, Deb Cunningham, Mark Lieberherr and Taylor West; Nancy Mendoza (brother Javier shown setting up computer) of Okray Family Farms in Plover; Sam Vitrano of Robert Heath Farms in Coloma; Dave Zuehlke and Frank Albright (names only shown) of Coloma Farms in Coloma; and Clay Bobek (name only shown) of Trembling Prairie Farms of Markesan.

Badger Common’Tater and Tater Talk for information on when and how this class will be offered through WPVGA. Updates to the Primus GFS audit scheme, however, are not set to be released until later this year. Tentative plans are to hold the class in November or possibly in early 2022. If you have questions about any upcoming food safety classes or suggestions for the program going forward, please contact BC�T May 57

Subtle Art of Nitrogen Management

How your crop uses N could be the difference between good and great yields For every ton of nitrogen applied to your crop, whether urea, ammonium nitrate or manure, only around onethird of it will end up in the crop itself. With rising input prices, it is a figure that many growers might find hard to stomach. But the insight from British crop scientist Dr. David Marks is important in encouraging growers to understand more about not only how a crop uses nitrogen, but also how to make that use more efficient.

subject to degradation from other environmental factors,” he says. “So, unless nitrogen is applied in a stable form,” Marks relates, “your nitrogen-use efficiency [NUE] is immediately under pressure.”

Above: Irrespective of the form in which it was originally applied, a potato crop will take in most of its nitrogen as nitrate.

nitrogen, you will get a result,” Marks promises.

“There’s a disconnect between nitrogen application in the field and what the crop actually has access to,” Dr. Marks explains.

Dr. Marks is the scientist responsible for the development of the LimiN technology, the nitrogen stabilization technique used in the OMEX Cell Power SizeN range.

TARGETING NITROGEN “However, it might not be the most outstanding result, nor the most efficient use of nitrogen. And if there is too much nitrate in the soil,” Marks surmises, “some of it inevitably ends up in places where it shouldn’t be, such as streams, where it can cause some serious environmental problems.”

“From the moment your chosen form of nitrogen is deployed in the field, it is under attack as a source of nutrition for soil microbes and

He is quick to point out that there is nothing wrong with nitrate itself. “Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth. If the crop gets

Key to understanding nitrogen management is learning how the plant processes different forms of nitrogen, explains Dr. Marks. Nitrates

58 BC�T May

“What’s more, irrespective of the form in which it was originally applied, your crop will take in most of its nitrogen as nitrate,” Marks says.

are processed in the leaf, within cell structures called chloroplasts. “Transporting nitrate to the leaf for processing requires energy,” he says. “Then the plant uses more energy creating the nitrate reductase enzymes that turn nitrates into amino acids, used as protein building blocks. Ultimately, protein is what generates plant growth.” But this processing is time and energy intensive. The need to divert energy from photosynthesis decreases photosynthetic activity at the direct expense of further growth and causes a processing lag. Furthermore, nitrate accumulation in the leaves stimulates the production of auxin, a plant hormone. “Auxin encourages vegetative growth, continued on pg. 60

Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth. If the crop gets nitrogen, there will be a result.




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Subtle Art of Nitrogen Management . . . continued from pg. 59

which, evolutionarily, is a sensible response to having more food available,” Marks states, “but not much help when you’re not harvesting shoots and leaves. If the leaves grow too quickly, there’s less energy available to put into the tubers.” Amines and ammonium, on the other hand, are processed in the roots where they are absorbed from the soil via a completely different mechanism. No energy is needed for transport, nor for generation of any reductase enzymes. Amine in the roots stimulates cytokinin production, a hormone that triggers reproductive growth. BELOW-GROUND GROWTH “Below-ground growth is exactly what

In a North Carolina study, FL1867 chipping potatoes enjoyed a 28 percent yield increase when SizeN was added to the standard nitrogen program.

you want from a potato plant. And while nitrates create a bigger plant, and therefore more potatoes, in fact the numbers are proportionally fewer than when the nitrogen has been

applied as amine,” asserts Dr. Marks. With LimiN technology, Marks has found a way to help the plant with what is called “growth partitioning.”


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The process, which employs a chemically stabilized amine called SAN, helps the plant make more appropriate use of the different forms of nitrogen it absorbs. “By giving the plant access to SAN, we help it make better and more efficient use of nitrate,” explains Dr. Marks. “By applying little and often, we’re reminding the plant that it needs to make cytokinin to achieve appropriate growth in all the right places.” Trials conducted by OMEX, in Michigan, 2020, showed how addition of SizeN Ca to a standard grower program increased yield by nearly 10 percent on the Manistee variety. Meanwhile, yields of the popular chipping variety FL1867 enjoyed a 28 percent boost when SizeN was

“We’re delighted to be able to offer our U.S. growers a crop nutrition technology that European potato growers have now understandably adopted as a routine treatment.” – Dean Konieczka added to the standard program. “David had shared with us some very promising European results from a similar product that used LimiN technology,” says Dean Konieczka, consultant agronomist with OMEX, “but we needed to see the results for ourselves, under U.S. conditions and with typical grower programs.”

“Our trials from Michigan and North Carolina, using Cell Power SizeN Ca at a rate of 2 quarts/acre, speak for themselves,” Konieczka says. “We’re delighted to be able to offer our U.S. growers a crop nutrition technology that European potato growers have now understandably adopted as a routine treatment.”

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BC�T May 61

People Milt Carter Named Potato Man for all Seasons Chairman of CSS Farms is honored by The Packer for leadership and passion By Tom Karst Reprinted with permission from The Packer and Milt Carter is The Packer’s 2021 Potato Man for All Seasons. Carter, chairman of CSS Farms, Watertown, South Dakota, was informed of the award in a March 8 video call with The Packer’s editor, Tom Karst. Karst praised Carter for his leadership, passion and innovation in the potato industry. With partner, Randy Spevak, Carter began CSS Farms in 1986 and produced the company’s first crop of russet potatoes for a nearby French fry plant. CSS Farms soon expanded into chip potato production with farms in Nebraska and Texas. CSS Farms now has a footprint that includes 350 full-time employees in 19 farm operations and 11 states. At the end of 2018, Carter stepped down as chief executive officer (CEO) of the company but remains its chairman.

TASTEFUL SELECTIONS “We were fortunate to join in a partnership with CSS Farms, in 2010, to support a vision that Milt had after joining the U.S. Potato Board’s trip abroad to Europe, in 1997,” Wysocki said.

CSS Farms partners today include Bob Bender, Nathan Bender, Steve Gangwish, Reagan Grabner and Spevak.

“That trip was the impetus for what has become Tasteful Selections,” he added, “the largest grower, packer and marketer of bite-size potatoes.”

Russell Wysocki, CEO of Wysocki Family of Companies and RPE, Inc., Bancroft, Wisconsin, said in a nominating letter that Carter has led CSS Farms to be one of the most progressive and proactive potato producers in the industry. Besides his big role in chip and seed potatoes, Carter clearly recognized trends in fresh market potatoes, Wysocki said. 62 BC�T May

In 2010, CSS Farms partnered with RPE and Plover River Farms to form Tasteful Selections, one of the country’s top producers of baby and fingerling potatoes. Wysocki said the bite-size potato segment at that time was less than 1.5 percent of the U.S. market, and within 10 years, it has grown to more than 18 percent.

“What makes this even more amazing is the fact that Milt was a pure process grower and was adverse to the fresh market due to its challenges with lower consumption and limited profit potential,” Wysocki said. “However, he still was able to see the demand for high-quality, easy-touse and convenient fresh potatoes that others within the industry overlooked,” he continued. “This vision has propelled the entire industry forward, inspiring consumer demand and bringing life into an otherwise declining market.” Carter’s contribution to the industry includes leadership in helping to combat the Zebra chip disease, with allies praising his development of best agronomic management practices for psyllid and Zebra chip control.

INDUSTRY BOARDS Carter also has served on multiple industry boards and committees, including numerous years as a director of the National Potato Council.

to get answers and become a better grower, which has been true since his early days in the industry.

Calling Carter “a great friend and colleague,” Neil Gudmestad, a retired professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University, said the honor for Carter was long overdue.

“I remember when he was a nobody and he was at the Red River Valley potato growers annual meeting in Fargo, North Dakota, and I had given a presentation,” he recalled. “It was during a break, and Milt just asked me 100 questions, so I couldn’t even go get a cup of coffee.”

He praised Carter’s persistent quest

Nobody knew who Carter was then,

but everyone knows him today, Gudmestad said. Carter expressed gratitude for the honor and the people he works with. “I’m speechless. I truly appreciate the honor,” he said. Reflecting on his career, he remarked that it really hasn’t been work. “I have kind of moved toward retirement,” Carter stated, “but this is my life, and this is what I enjoy doing.”

Vive Crop Protection Adds Agronomists

New team members will support company’s precision chemistry products Two agricultural professionals recently joined Vive Crop Protection to support the company’s unique precision chemistry products in the southern and northern U.S. marketplaces. George Huckabay joined Vive as the southern technical sales agronomist, in November 2020. Huckabay was most recently with Nutrien Ag Solutions as a precision agronomist and served as a Dyna-Gro agronomist working predominately in cotton, corn and soybeans. He has extensive experience in peanut, cotton, sorghum and vegetable crop nutrition and crop protection needs. Huckabay holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy plant science and a Master of Science agronomy plant and soil science degree from Auburn University. David Reif joined Vive, in February 2021, as the northern technical sales

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BC�T May 63

People . . .

continued from pg. 63

agronomist. Reif holds a Bachelor of Science degree in crop and soil sciences from Michigan State University. He comes to Vive from sales positions at Bayer CropScience and BASF, where he launched several products and grew sales within various territories. He has extensive experience working with corn, soybeans, dry beans and sugar beets. Dan Bihlmeyer, Vive’s vice president of sales and marketing, says, “David and George will support our existing Vive Crop Protection sales team as we drive the development and adoption of our unique precision chemistry products.” “Growers who have used Vive products are exceptionally happy,” Bihlmeyer notes, “with a 97 percent

customer satisfaction rating, and we’re working to introduce those products to distributors, retailers and growers throughout the country.”

Above: David Reif (left) joined Vive Crop Protection, in February 2021, as the northern technical sales agronomist, and George Huckabay (right) as the southern technical sales agronomist, in November 2020.

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Ali's Kitchen Potato Chips Add Flavor to Cookies Toffee-like “Potato Chip Florentine Cookies” are salty, sweet, crispy and chewy Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary The addition of finely crushed potato chips gives an unexpected layer of flavor to this brittle and toffee-like classic cookie. The result is a thin cookie that is salty, sweet, chewy, crispy and slightly caramelized—a dangerous but delicious combination. These cookies are delicate, slightly finicky, and so incredibly wonderful that they are worth exerting the extra care needed to make them. Before you head to your kitchen, I have a few suggestions that will help you avoid any less than lovely results.

The baking time I give here is just an estimate. Your baking time might be different depending on the oven and size of the cookies. Use this baking time as a suggestion and watch your cookies closely as they bake. When you see them turn a golden caramel color with slightly darker edges, then they are ready to be removed from the oven. NO GREASED COOKIE SHEET You cannot bake these cookies on a greased cookie sheet. The batter is meant to spread as the cookies bake, and the added oil will cause them continued on pg. 66

INGREDIENTS: Potato Chip Florentine Cookies • 1 cup old fashioned oats • 2 cups potato chips, divided • 3/4 cup white sugar • 5 tablespoons butter • 2 tablespoons heavy cream • 2 tablespoons corn syrup • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 3 tablespoons flour Note: Makes about two dozen, depending on the size of cookies. BC�T May 65

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to puddle out too far, leaving you with thin cookies that are unable to hold their shape. Lining the cookie sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper is an absolute must here. You may be able to make foil work in a pinch, but my one attempt left me prying uncooperative cookies from the pan and then picking pieces of foil from the bottom of each one.

chips. Note: The goal is a small crumb. Be careful not to pulse the oats and chips too long, or you risk things becoming a bit mushy. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Place the sugar, butter, heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often to ensure all the sugar is dissolved.

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Did I mention that this cookie batter will spread during the bake time?

Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and flour and whisk together until smooth.

I offer suggestions in the recipe for spacing and cookie size, but this is going to end up being a bit of trial and error for you. I have found that some of my batches of batter spread further than others.

Pour the mixture over the crushed oats and chips. Using your hands, crush the remaining 1 cup of potato chips into small pieces and add to the bowl. Mix with a spatula until everything is combined.

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If you have a few cookies that run together, you can use a spatula to gently push at the edges of each cookie and nudge them away from each other while they are still piping hot and fresh from the oven.

When cool enough to comfortably handle, drop rounded spoonsful of cookie dough about 3 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.

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Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until a golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool for a minute or two before removing them from the baking sheets.

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DIRECTIONS Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Using a food processor, coarsely chop the oats and 1 cup of the potato 66 BC�T May

Enjoy! Find more recipes at

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Friday, June 18, 2021 Bass Lake Country Club W10650 Bass Lake Road Deerbrook, WI 54424

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

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



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

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

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