July 2023 Badger Common'Tater

Page 40


TriEst Ag Group

MACRO IMPACT Of Microorganisms

THE BIOLOGICALS Business is Growing

NUTRITION POWER OF Potatoes: Carbohydrates

TRICHODERMA SOIL FUNGUS Protects Crops from Diseases

Big, healthy Covington sweet potatoes treated with a TriEst Ag Group chloropicrin-based product flourish in a Wilson, North Carolina, field.
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On the Cover: A bountiful sweet potato harvest results from hard work, determination, and smart planning via treatment with TriEst Ag’s chloropicrin-based fumigant. The field of Covington sweet potatoes is in Wilson, North Carolina, a 45-minute drive from TriEst Ag’s office in Greenville. Joshua Mays, corporate agronomist for TriEst Ag Group, is this issue’s interviewee.

FEATURE ARTICLES: ALI'S KITCHEN 61 BADGER BEAT 36 EYES ON ASSOCIATES 46 MARK YOUR CALENDAR ..... 6 MARKETPLACE .................. 50 NEW PRODUCTS ............... 57 NPC NEWS 60 PEOPLE 34 PLANTING IDEAS ................. 6 POTATOES USA NEWS ....... 56 WPIB FOCUS ..................... 45 18 DUE TO ITS HIGH STARCH content, potato is a source of first quality carbohydrates 40 REVELATIONS REGARDING biological solutions for potato and vegetable growers 54 NATURALLY OCCURRING Trichoderma soil fungus helps protect crops from disease DEPARTMENTS: DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF MICROORGANISMS A global effort is underway for plant virus containment 22 Now News World’s Largest Potato Masher installed at Food + Farm Exploration Center
AUXILIARY NEWS Auxiliary sells baked spuds as part of Dairy-Palooza event at Feltz Dairy Store 44 26 4 BC�T July
TriEst Ag Corporate Agronomist Joshua Mays poses with his son, Rowan, on a diesel tractor at the family farm in Jackson Springs, North Carolina, in 2020. Mays says he was attracted to TriEst Ag’s diversity of product offerings for specialty crop growers and their proven efficacy over decades of use in the specialty crop industry. Such include soil fumigation products, drip irrigation systems, fertigation-grade liquid fertilizers, plasticulture equipment, and more.

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Wisconsin Potato Industry Board:

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Vice President: Andy Diercks

Secretary: Nicola Carey

Treasurer: Keith Wolter

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

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Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement

Association Board of Directors:

President: Matt Mattek

Vice President: Jeff Suchon

Secretary/Treasurer: Clover Spacek

Directors: Charlie Husnick & Andy Schroeder

Wisconsin Potato Growers

Auxiliary Board of Directors:

President: Heidi Schleicher

Vice President: Datonn Hanke

Secretary/Treasurer: Becky Wysocki

Directors: Jody Baginski, Erin Meister, Dakotah Smiley & Misti Ward

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.

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more information or to register online, visit www.antigotatertrot.com Times Times
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5 BC�T July

MARK YOUR Calendar




18-20 2023 WISCONSIN FARM TECHNOLOGY DAYS Badger Steam and Gas Engine Club Grounds Baraboo, WI







The sense of community, particularly in Plover, Wisconsin, lately, but really throughout the central and northcentral portions of the state, is palpable. Most readers are keenly aware of the Herculean effort being put forth in building the Food + Farm Exploration Center, in Plover, by the Farming for the Future Foundation (FFTFF) and its cooperative partners and investors. Involving the community in such an admirable venture is imperative, a fact not lost on the FFTFF team. A special ceremony was held, May 19, for the installation of the World’s Largest Potato Masher at the nearly complete Food + Farm Exploration Center. The image above, from left to right, shows Steve Reinhardt, artist Amy Zaremba, and daughter, Josie “JoJo” Reinhardt, posing in front of a beautiful mural Amy created in the aptly named Colorful Plate Café, which promises to be a community hub within the center. Note the phrase “community hub.” Amy is a local artist from the Madison area, and the construction manager, architect, and partners all have local ties. See the complete story and impressive photos in “Now News” herein.

Plover is also home to Norm and Marv Worzella of Worzella & Sons, Inc., who were inducted into the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Hall of Fame in February 2021. Unfortunately, Marv and Norm never got the chance to be honored in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their families changed that, on May 26, during a celebration that included dinner, refreshments, and dessert in honor of the inductees, at the Sky Club in Plover. It was a fantastic turnout that included family, friends, Worzella & Sons employees, WPVGA staff, and, you guessed it, community members. See “Now News” for the full scoop.

Speaking of celebrations, the WPVGA is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2023, and in honor of the milestone, is planning a special ceremony at this year’s Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day, July 13. Furthermore, Alsum Farms & Produce of Friesland, Wisconsin, is celebrating its 50th anniversary, August 11-12, with a plant tour, Tater Trot 5k, and tour of the Alsum Farms potato and pumpkin farm in Grand Marsh. See “Now News” for complete details on all the upcoming festivities.

Please email me with your thoughts and questions. If you wish to be notified when our free online magazine is available monthly, here is the subscriber link: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe.


Rapids, WI
Hancock Ag Research Station
Road K Rhinelander, WI
Jack Lake Deerbrook, WI
POTATOES USA SUMMER MEETING Milwaukee, WI 12 ANTIGO TATER TROT City Park, Aurora St., 8:30 a.m. Antigo, WI 19 WAUPACA AREA TRIATHLON South Park, 7 a.m. Waupaca, WI
POTATO BOWL USA Grand Forks-East Grand Forks, ND & MN 9 2023 SPUD BOWL Community Stadium at Goerke Park, 1 p.m. Stevens Point, WI
4TH ANNUAL SPORTING CLAYS SHOOT Wausau Skeet and Trap Club Wausau/Brokaw, WI 19-21 THE GLOBAL PRODUCE & FLORAL SHOW Anaheim Convention Center Anaheim, CA 23-24 WPVGA RESEARCH MEETING West Madison Research Station and virtual. 1 p.m. on Monday, 8 a.m. on Tuesday Verona, WI
POTATO EXPO 2024 Austin Convention Center Austin, TX
ED CONFERENCE & INDUSTRY SHOW Holiday Inn Convention Center Stevens Point, WI
BC�T July
Planting Ideas 6
Schroeder Bros. Farms, Inc. “ONLY THE BEST” Foundation & Certified Seed Potatoes REDS Dark Red Norland Red Norland RUSSETS COL 8 Norkotah Goldrush Plover Silverton TX 296 Norkotah WHITES Atlantic Hodag Lamoka Mackinaw Manistee NY163 Snowden N1435 Cty Rd D Antigo, WI (715) 623-2689 farm@sbfi.biz johnt@sbfi.biz WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES

NAME: Joshua Mays

TITLE: Corporate agronomist

COMPANY: TriEst Ag Group

LOCATION: Greenville, NC

HOMETOWN: Clarendon, NC, and currently living in Jackson Springs


PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: Alliance One International, North Carolina Department of Agriculture, North Carolina State University – Research Stations Division, and Full Circle Agronomics (personally owned/ operated crop consulting business)

SCHOOLING: Master of Science in Agricultural Education & Professional Service - North Carolina A&T State University with a research focus of nutrient management in season extension production of strawberry; Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education & Professional Service - North Carolina A&T State University; and Associate of Applied Science in Turfgrass Management - North Carolina State University

ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: Wide range of speaking and presentation engagements across the United States with crop organizations regarding the use of chloropicrin-based products and production of soft fruits in substrate production systems

FAMILY: Lives on the family farm with his wife, Brittney; son, Rowan; daughter, Leanna; and mother, Anita Cartrette

HOBBIES: Enjoys the outdoors, traveling with family, longleaf pine farming/restoration on his own farm, big game and fowl hunting, and live music

Interview JOSHUA MAYS , TriEst

TriEst Ag Group has a rich history with over 50 years of experience in the agriculture industry and a presence that now spans the globe through the company’s affiliation with the TriCal Group.

TriEst Ag Group is part of a family of companies known as the TriCal Group. The vision of the group is to promote the most beneficial soil environment for growers to produce healthy, bountiful crops that feed the world.

Today, the privately held TriCal Group family of companies continues to lead in innovative solutions for growers with a presence in the Americas, Western Europe, the Mediterranean, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Japan, China, and Southeast Asia.

From the beginning, the TriEst Ag Group approach has been in prescription-based service. The approach focuses on what is being grown, the region where the crop is being grown, the problem the grower is having, and how they want to optimize their farm for a better quality, higher-yielding crop harvest.

Services include soil conditioning and fumigation, soil health, irrigation, grafted plants, plant nutrition, liquid fertilizers, and agricultural equipment.

TriEst is focused on treating each

customer as an individual, using soil test results, plant samples, and other data to make customized solution recommendations.

Corporate Agronomist Joshua Mays of Jackson Springs, North Carolina, answered questions for this crop protection issue of the Badger Common’Tater.

How long have you been with TriEst Ag Group, in what role, and what attracted you to the international company? I’ve been with the company for three years as a corporate agronomist focused

8 BC�T July
Above: Joshua Mays, corporate agronomist for TriEst Ag Group, poses in a field of sweet potatoes treated with the company’s chloropicrin-based products. Mays is based out of the Greenville, North Carolina, facility also shown here.

on supporting the sales staff and integrating our products into a wide range of crops and growing systems.

While assisting our sales teams, I’m exposed to a lot of new issues and innovation opportunities. I prioritize those issues and opportunities, forming special projects to drive our business and customers forward.

I was really attracted to the diversity of product offerings for specialty crop growers and their proven efficacy over decades of use in the specialty crop industry.

Such include soil fumigation products, drip irrigation systems and automation, fertigation grade liquid fertilizers, plasticulture equipment (soil fumigation film, irrigation drip tape/tubing, etc.), grafted plants, and substrate growing systems.

TriEst prides itself in offering cradleto-grave cultural production systems for specialty crop growers.

The core leadership was widely responsible for the transition from bare ground to plasticulture production in fruits and vegetables in the United States.

That was the kind of impact that I wanted to have on agriculture in my career, and TriEst had the tools and resources to make that goal a reality.

Can you give me a few sentences on the history of TriEst Ag Group? TriEst Ag Group is part of a family of companies known as the TriCal Group.

TriEst is a distributor and applicator of soil fumigation, irrigation, fertilizer, and equipment products with a focus on fresh fruits, vegetables, tobacco, and custom turf applications.

We have developed a unique group of company brands that allows us to offer growers our support from preplant through harvest, season after season.



How many locations and employees does TriEst Ag Group have in the U.S.? TriEst Ag Group has eight brick and mortar locations and sales staff that cover dedicated regions across the United States. Our corporate headquarters is in Greenville, North Carolina.

TriEst Ag Group encompasses approximately 190 employees. We’re a part of the TriCal Group, which spans across the globe and is based in California.

What are the advantages of chloropicrin-based products to manage soilborne pests and

pathogens? Chloropicrin is a proven chemical compound with over 50 years of agricultural use. Heavily researched across the globe as the premier soilborne pest fumigant in crop production, chloropicrin is a bio-nutritional fumigant with crop benefits beyond just pest control.

We see better crop vigor and larger root systems with the use of the product, and better pumps make better plants.

We are actively researching and deciphering the relationship between chloropicrin-based products and soil biology to learn more about the

Left: A field is fumigated with a chloropicrin-based fumigant using a FlexFume independent row unit system.

Right: The tomato plants have been fumigated and drip irrigated.

growth responses we’ve seen over decades of agricultural use.

Chloropicrin leaves no residue and breaks down into nitrogen, carbon, chlorine, and oxygen, all of which are naturally taken up by plants.

What pests, organisms and crops do the products excel at protecting? The use of chloropicrin-based products shows significant reduction of soilborne pest load, primarily pathogens and nematodes. By reducing pest load, you can consistently grow a healthy and economically viable crop.

Crops include strawberry, pepper, tomato, potato, tobacco, onion, carrot, watermelon, sweet potato, green bean, nursery crops, and perennials.

Land availability and cost-effective crop rotations are major issues for many of the specialty crops listed here. The use of chloropicrin-based products facilitates reduced rotations without sacrificing yield and quality.

Interview. . . continued from pg. 9
on pg. 12
Plastic is laid down on a treated field to hold the fumigants in the soil at the doses needed to control pests and to prevent loss of the fumigant.
10 BC�T July


Control insects, diseases and mites while virtually eliminating the chance of resistance build-up. PREV-AM’s contact mode of action provides quick knockdown of pests and diseases with no restriction on the number of applications allowed during the season.

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The technology behind this 3-in-1 knockdown pesticide is upending traditional thinking.

Most of our inputs have an “all crops” label, which speaks to the fact that this is a soil application, leaving no plant residue after application.

How does that tie in with sustainability? A farmer once asked me, “What is sustainable about me trying to build a better farm for someone else’s children or family? Because I can’t afford to keep this land without producing a successful crop.”

Chloropicrin-based products tie

into sustainability by consistently providing soilborne pest suppression, resulting in yields and quality that a grower can count on when it comes time to pay their bills.

Farmers who can’t maintain a return on investment because of poor crop production will not be farming long, and there is nothing sustainable regarding the loss of farm families and agricultural businesses in the United States.

With that said, TriEst Ag Group

is dedicated to more sustainable practices regarding all our products and crop production recommendations that will continue to maintain or exceed the yields and market demands being placed on farmers, our customers.

A good example of this is heavily studying the interactions and impact of chloropicrin-based products on soil health and the microbiome.

We have conducted and are in the process of funding numerous university-based studies on this topic, in addition to our internal research and development efforts.

What we have found to date is that chloropicrin-based products do not sterilize soils, but instead create a shift in the microbiome community with an initial reduction of overall biomass.

Beneficials recover quickly, within weeks, and then exploit a large food source due to the reduction in soilborne pests, like host-dependent pathogens, which do not recover as quickly as beneficials.

The relationship between the incredibly diverse and resilient soil microbiome and chloropicrin-based products is a great path forward for

Interview. . . continued from pg. 10
Above: The potato field at left was treated with a chloropicrin-based fumigant, while the potatoes at right were left untreated. When he’s not in the field with sales staff and customers, Joshua Mays can be found in the greenhouse researching the effects of TriEst Ag products on plants. 12 BC�T July


We aim to discover new and innovative ways to have these systems work together and provide better solutions for our customers and American agriculture.

What is your specific role in introducing TriEst products to customers? My role as an agronomist

is to view chloropicrin-based products as a spoke in the wheel of the overall production system. How are our applications impacting the whole system and what could be changed to enhance the efficacy of chloropicrin?

Through this process, I generate a lot of hypothesized solutions or

improvements, which in turn become on-farm side-by-side demonstrations at a commercial scale to determine their viability.

When introducing chloropicrin to customers for the first time, we begin by discussing the major pain points in the production system for the

continued on pg. 14


CommonTater_Connect_AD_2023_V1.indd 1 2/14/23 9:01 AM
It is TriEst Ag’s goal to help growers produce consistent results and reliable crop yields, as exemplified by this healthy red potato plant treated with the company’s products.
“Farmers who can’t maintain a return on investment because of poor crop production will not be farming long, and there is nothing sustainable regarding the loss of farm families in the United States.”
13 BC�T July
– Joshua Mays

customer, like soilborne pathogens, and the best rates and application methods for suppression based on their crop and cultural practices.

Once a solution is found, we analyze the economic impact of the soilborne pest against the cost of application for our products. Providing a better crop and consistent return on investment for our customer is the main goal.

Why do you believe in the products? The basis for my belief in chloropicrin-based products is the years dedicated to evaluating their efficacy across the United States in a wide range of specialty crops and geographies.

My job is to find solutions for soilborne pests in crop production, and typically these pests are resulting in significant yield or quality losses. I have seen TriEst Ag products turn those yield losses into yield surplus, and seeing is believing.

Do you differentiate between crop protection products and nutrient inputs? I do differentiate between crop protection products and nutrient

inputs, but they also work together in producing a healthy crop.

A farm that has excellent soil and crop nutrition practices, but is burdened with heavy soilborne pest loads, isn’t going to perform well. The same would be true on the flip side of that coin, with having low pest pressure, but poor fertility practices.

We aim to maximize the potential of chloropicrin-based products, which are powerful tools to suppress soilborne pests, and shift soil biology.

Once TriEst Ag products have been applied, we build an agronomic plan around the reduced pest pressure

and plant growth advantages. This often results in fertility program changes, target pH differences and reduction of other pest control products.

TriEst Ag Group markets both crop protection products and nutrient inputs by building crop production plans based on the specific needs of a farm or operation.

Agriculture is too diverse to provide black-and-white-based solutions.

Interview. . . continued from pg. 13
Above: The three green bean rows at bottom were treated with TriEst Ag chloropicrinbased product, while those at top were left untreated. Above: A Tri-Hishtil-grafted watermelon plant is held up in the first photo, and the second drone image shows grafted plants in a field. Grafting vegetables can result in disease-resistant roots and provide earlier and higher-yielding crops. 14 BC�T July

This is our crop protection issue of the Badger Common’Tater. What specific products does TriEst Ag Group offer for crop protection, and why should potato and vegetable growers in Wisconsin and the Midwest, specifically, consider their use? In addition to inputs, TriEst Ag Group offers drip- and microirrigation systems, components and automation, grafted plants, plasticulture equipment, and substrate and protected agriculture growing systems.

Growers in the Midwest who are producing potato or vegetable crops should consider using TriEst Ag products because they are scientifically proven to reduce soilborne pests and represent decades of successful crops across the world.

No matter the severity or diversity of pest pressures, chloropicrin-based products will help bring success to their farming operations.

Why is chloropicrin an ideal soil fumigant? Chloropicrin is a true soil fumigant and is active against soilborne pests immediately at the time of application, without the need of additional irrigation beyond labeled soil moisture

requirements, or activation of any kind.

Chloropicrin is applied underground as a liquid. It volatizes into gas diffusing through the soil air space, suppressing soil pests and pathogens.

continued on pg. 16

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Shown is a treated and harvested field of sweet potatoes in central North Carolina.
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The fumigant then decomposes rapidly in the soil, dissipating before the crop is planted. There is no uptake of fumigant into the plant root or residue on the plant.

Chloropicrin is EPA Residue Tolerance Exempt, meaning the EPA has confirmed there is no residue in or on food.

Do chloropicrin-based products aid in the suppression of rhizoctonia, fusarium, verticillium wilts, pythium or parasitic nematodes? Yes, they are proven, both scientifically and in the field, to suppress all the pests mentioned above.

The intricacies of product formulation, application rate, application method, cultural practices, crop, and variety all impact the degree of suppression to target pests.

TriEst Ag Group specializes in gathering all these details to form the best application possible for a healthier crop.

Is there a way to treat soil health and pests and diseases at the same time? This has become a major focus of TriEst Ag Group and my work personally with the company.

We know chloropicrin-based products treat soilborne pests and diseases, but we’ve only recently been able

to test and learn about the interactions with soil health.

We’ve already learned that the inputs do not sterilize soils, but instead create a shift in the soil microbiome. We are working hard to learn how we can better maximize this shift to grow better crops and be better stewards of our products for the agricultural community.

We must find a balance between crop rotations, land availability, economic sustainability of growers and better stewardship of our agricultural lands. TriEst Ag Group is committed to this challenge and welcomes all opportunities to collaborate with those pursuing better soil health, without sacrificing crop performance and economic return.

Are these products used in addition to or in conjunction with other standard crop protection products and inputs? In conjunction with other products and inputs, and the system should be re-evaluated based on the diversity of control from chloropicrin-

Interview. . . continued from pg. 15
Above: The high tunnel covers drip-irrigated strawberries. The higher yielding potato plant at right was treated with chloropicrin versus the plant at left. 16 BC�T July

based products.

Few products in the market can provide the scope of suppression for soilborne pests as TriEst Ag inputs, so we typically can consider reducing the use of other inputs that are overlapping control of similar pests.

Do you or other team members work with growers in the field? And, if so, in what respects?

Agriculture is very diverse, and the devil is always in the details, which are difficult to understand until you put your hands on them in the field.

I spend 75% of my time in the field with our sales staff and customers, preparing for proper applications of products and following through on their performance. This is where the heart of our company is based.

Our sales staff stewards the safety and proper application of products, while I am a resource for them and the grower in solving new and emerging problems as an agronomist.

Is this a favorite aspect of your job, or what do you most enjoy doing? Yes, it certainly is. I get to work with some of the best farming operations in the world, which provides me with field experiences that I can share with our customers to help drive innovation.

I learn more from our customers than I could ever teach them, but the combination of our experiences and ideas has created a lot of success in a wide array of crops, geographies, and production systems.

How necessary are these crop protection and nutrient products to the future of agriculture and why?

I believe the use of our crop protection and nutrient products is critical to the future of agriculture, especially the specialty crop industries.

The loss of agricultural land to development, water availability and worldwide competition for

crop production is putting constant pressure on our business and customers to be better.

We must be better stewards, achieve better yields and quality, and do so on less acres of land with a worldwide population that continues to increase.

Our food security and economic viability need consistent results and reliable crop yields, which chloropicrin-based products provide.

What are your goals for the future?

My personal goal for the future is to continue to learn and be openminded, alongside the farming and agricultural community, about new paths to achieve better agricultural systems.

I believe that new waves of success

products, and the diversity and health of soils.

Keeping farmers economically healthy is sustainable agriculture. We must continue to grow successful crops, while striving to be better stewards.

TriEst Ag Group will continue to provide the best solutions possible for soilborne pests and is dedicated to using current technology to discover more about the amazingly complex world of soil microbiology and health.

Is there anything I’ve missed that you’d like to add? Thank you to all the farm families and associated businesses that represent American agriculture. I am proud to work with

17 BC�T July

The Nutritional Power of Potato: CARBOHYDRATES

Due to its high content of starch, potato is a main source of first quality carbohydrates

The journalist, Ben Feller, wrote, in 2009, an interesting story titled “The President and the Potato.”

David Letterman hosted President Barack Obama at his talk show and offered 10 funny reasons why his guest accepted to come. But Obama stopped him, saying, “The reason I’m here? I want to see that heart-shaped potato.”

A woman in the audience tossed it to him. He caught it and asked permission to take it home.

I wonder what happened to that potato. Was it kept on the presidential desk until it shrunk, decayed, or sprouted, or the President gave up and ate it? If he ate it, I think he had the unique chance to be convinced again and again by the outstanding nutritive power of this peculiar vegetable.

Did he realize when looking at the heart-shaped tuber that potato is, for

very many people, the heart of their nutritional intake?

In the 18th century, on small English farms, an acre of potatoes produced three times more energy than wheat, barley, or oats. Traditionally, in the 19th century, in the Old World, an acre of potato crop and a milk cow could feed a family of six to eight persons (Nunn and Qian, QJA 2011).

Nowadays, four crops (potato, rice, wheat, and maize) supply 50% of the world’s food energy needed, and the 159 countries that grow potatoes represent 82% of all the world’s countries (Wijesinha-Bettoni and Mouille, AJPR 2019).


In the United States, potatoes have been a staple food (117 pounds [lbs.] per capita/year in 2013), which is less than 202 lbs./capita in Ireland, 205 lbs./capita in the Netherlands, and 408 lbs./capita in Belarus.

If we consider the amount consumed by men in the United States between 1994 and 1998 (Bamberg and Greenway 2019) as 100%, then, in comparison, boys consumed 80%, girls 62%, and women 60%. This amount decreased in 2007-2008 by about 15% for all, except for boys (30%).

According to Wijesinha-Bettoni and Mouille (AJPR 2019), the content of 100 grams (g.) of fresh weight tubers of the 5,000 varieties of the world is 15.9 g. starch (9.1-19.5 g. cited previously), 2 g. of protein (0.8-4.2), 453 milligrams (mg.) of potassium (250-694), 73.3 mg. phosphorus (33.1-126), 19.3 mg. magnesium (10.9-32.6), 17 mg. vitamin C (2.8-42), 8.8 mg. calcium (0.9-27.8), and .9 mg. iron (0.1-3.9).

Due to its high content of starch,

Above: French fries have a glycemic index lower than boiled potatoes.
18 BC�T July

potato is a main source of first quality carbohydrates.

Many athletes of high performance know this fact very well. They need carbohydrate food that is absorbed during exercise to avoid gastrointestinal problems and supply the muscles with enough energy (Kanter and Elkin, AJPR 2019).

Before exercise, they eat meals low in glycemic index (GI) for glycogen stores, but after exercise, they eat high GI meals for rapid glycogen re-synthesis.

Potatoes rich in resistant starch (RS) can provide that in the first stage. Potatoes with rapidly digestible starch (RDS) formed after cooking are recommended in the second stage (e.g. .5-.6 g. per kilogram [kg.] of carbs present in a medium-sized tuber or a cup of rice or pasta for every 30 minutes for 2-4 hours).


This theory coexists with those based on fat (ketone diet) or protein. One

David Letterman hosted President Barack Obama at his talk show and offered 10 funny reasons why his guest accepted to come. But Obama stopped him, saying, “The reason I’m here? I want to see that heart-shaped potato.” This picture of a heart-shaped potato was submitted by Badger Common’Tater readers Jeff and Maggie Krawczyk who found it among potatoes they bought at a Kwik Trip convenience store.

hour of more moderate activity such as walking, jogging, swimming, or bicycling at a modest effort requires 6-7 g. per kg. of body weight/day dietary carbohydrate to restore

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muscle glycogen content (Kanter and Elkin, AJPR 2019).

The dietary acid imbalance, measured as potential renal acid load

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19 BC�T July

(PRAL), contributes to progressive bone and muscle loss.

The impact on mitigating acidosis (PRAL), weighted by U.S. per capita, is tremendous for potatoes: 480, versus 268 for tomatoes, 52 for carrots, and under 36 for the rest of vegetables (Bamberg and Greenway, AJPR 2019).

Potato starch consists of two polysaccharides: amylopectin (branched chain glucose polymer) and amylose (straight chain glucose polymer) in a nearly constant ratio of 3 to 1.

The amylopectin breaks the easiest. The cells of the floury varieties (Russet Burbank, Norchip) in contrast to waxy varieties (Red Pontiac, Red LaSoda) are larger with an irregular cell shape, and they rupture or swell faster at cooking.

During boiling, the heat and excess water disrupt the cells, and the starch granules swell within them. Then, gelatinization of starch takes place (breaking down of the intermolecular bonds) and the granules are irreversibly dissolved in water that acts as a plasticizer.

During cooling and storage, a process of retro-gradation occurs while

the amylose and amylopectin reassociate and re-form into ordered structures.


If the cooking continues, the final product becomes a starch paste where the suspension is a dispersion of granules in different disintegration stages and of liberated amylose and amylopectin.

Regarding the digestibility, three categories of potato starch are known: rapidly digestible starch (RDS) hydrolyzed in 20 minutes; slowly digestible starch (SDS) hydrolyzed in 20-120 minutes; and resistant starch (RS) hydrolyzed much later (Dupuis and Liu, AJPR, 2019).

Left: The glycemic index is reduced 50% or more when potato is eaten with other foods (e.g. topped with cheese, or with meat, oil, and salad), such as here in a recipe for baked lemon and feta potatoes. RIght: Adding broccoli to mashed potatoes might lower the glycemic index by 20%.

The RDS can be 53-86% of the total starch after boiling. RDS is the most unhealthy starch because it increases the blood glucose and insulin levels. SDS is digested in about the time required to traverse the small intestine.

As a result, SDS provides sustained energy and aids in controlling blood glucose and insulin levels despite the high GI associated with potatoes. The SDS content of cooked potatoes ranges from roughly 10% in boiled potatoes to as little as 1% in instant mashed potatoes. Adding a cooling treatment that is conducive to retro-gradation, the SDS can increase to 45%.

RS is effectively a starch-based fiber fraction that resists intestinal amylolysis and thus passes, undigested, into the large intestine. Raw potatoes have an RS content as high as 75%, but when cooked, RS decreases to 5-10%.

It can be recovered during a cooling period that facilitates retrogradation, as happens in refrigerated potatoes after boiling (Dupuis and Liu, AJPR 2019).

An increase in RS content was reached after 24 hours of 4 degrees

from pg. 19
Nutritional Power of Potato: Carbohydrates. . . continued
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Celsius cold storage of boiled and fried potatoes (Jayanty et al., AJPR 2019).

In the larger intestine, RS might play an important prebiotic role as a fermentation substrate for probiotic bacteria within the colon as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species.

As a result, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are excreted that have positive effects on colonocytes and colonic health, preventing colon cancer (Dupuis and Liu, AJPR 2019). SCFA (acetate, propionate, and butyrate) lower the pH of the gut, reduce toxic levels of ammonia in the GI tract and act as pre-biotics.

The Western diet, based on high saturated fat, high sugar, and less fruit and vegetables leads to a perturbed gut bacterial composition that causes chronic intestinal inflammation.

The detrimental bacteria release proinflammatory cytokines, followed by endotoxins (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) that are translocated through the damaged colon epithelium into the systemic flow of the human body, triggering inflammation and immune cell infiltration of liver.

This disastrous effect can be prevented by a larger bacterial diversity and an increase of beneficial bacteria, all fed on potato fiber and RS (Reddivari et al., AJPR 2019).


Despite their high GI, potatoes promote higher satiety than many other foods. RS may enhance satiety. Boiled potatoes are more satiating than equal calorie portions of other common carbohydrate-rich foods like rice, bread, and pasta (Beals, AJPR 2019).

Baked potatoes had more RS than the boiled ones (3.6 g. RS/100 grams vs 2.4 g.). Chilled potatoes (whether originally baked or boiled) contained the most RS (4.3 g./100), followed by chilled-and-reheated potatoes (3.5).

In addition to RS, potatoes contain dietary fiber (2 g. in a 5.3 ounce [oz.] potato or 7% of the Daily Value), which is present both in the flesh and skin.

Daily consumption of RS ranges in the United States from 2 to 10 g./day. In

China, intake is roughly 18 g./day, and in developing countries, intake may be as high as 40 g./day.

Actually, a daily intake of 20 g./day is necessary. This is hard to reach with the current processing operations, which significantly reduce the RS content (Dupuis and Liu, AJPR 2019).

A few words about glycemic index (GI). It varies in North America from medium (56 for boiled reds consumed cold) to moderately high (77 for baked russets) to high (88-89 for instant mashed and boiled reds). French fries are reported to have a GI lower than boiled potatoes (Beals, AJPR 2019).


Frying, microwaving, and baking decrease the postprandial (the period after meal) glycemic response, as compared with boiling or mashing. Cooling before consumption and the use of additives such as vinegar decreased GI of potato (Jayanty et al., AJPR 2019).

The GI is reduced 50% or more when potato is eaten with other foods (e.g. topped with cheese, or with meat, oil, and salad).

Broccoli alongside mashed potatoes reduced GI by 20% (Balance et al., EJN 2018). The GI of potatoes can also be partially modulated by polyphenol content (effect of RS), which inhibits the intestinal carbohydrate digestive enzymes (Dupuis and Liu, AIPR 2019).

As can be seen in literature regarding the variation of different potato constituents, there is an optimal cooking procedure for every nutritive constituent (starch, GI, vitamins C and B6, potassium, magnesium, iron, carotenoids, and phenolic acids). However, the most detrimental cooking factor is excessive heat and water. Therefore, it seems that microwaving with skin and cooling after boiling or baking are the two most appropriate procedures.

Oprah Winfrey said, “My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.” I think she should adjust a little bit regarding the cooking.

“Did he realize when looking at the heart-shaped tuber that potato is, for very many people, the heart of their nutritional intake?”
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the macro impact of MICROORGANISMS

A global effort is required to minimize the impacts of plant viruses on crop production

Most researchers whose life’s work is addressing the prevalence and impact of plant viruses say they aren’t a new agricultural problem.

But viruses evolve and adapt rapidly, posing a challenge that’s intensifying over time—intensifying as in causing $60 billion in crop losses worldwide, according to a 2019 estimate1 .

Pre-pandemic, we might have referred to this growing threat as “going viral.” After all, we are talking about viruses. Since this feels like a good time to retire that phrase, let’s instead say we have a problem with microorganisms going macro.

It’s an impact that can devastate a field. For instance, the Soybean

Research & Information Initiative reports:2

• Yield losses of nearly 52% in southern germplasm due to bean pod mottle virus (BPMV)

• Losses from soybean mosaic virus (SMV) as high as 94%

• Complete yield loss in many cases when both BPMV and SMV infect soybeans, because symptoms are more severe than those either virus produces alone

The double whammy of BPMV and SMV is one instance of a phenomenon known as viral synergism.

Viral synergism and climate change are among the factors contributing

to the prevalence and severity of viral disease, according to associate professor and South Dakota State University Extension plant pathologist Emmanuel Byamukama, Ph.D.

“Viral synergism, when multiple species are playing tag team in an infected plant, has been observed more frequently and can result in increased accumulation of one or more viruses, causing more severe symptoms than if only one was present,” Byamukama says.

Above: Kiran Shetty, Ph.D., technical development lead for potatoes at Syngenta, examines potatoes to assess their quality at a Grow More™ Experience site in Ephrata, Washington. Photo courtesy of Syngenta
22 BC�T July

In regard to climate change, he notes, warmer temperatures for longer periods of time extend the reproduction period and life span of insect vectors, allowing more opportunity for virus transmission.

Kiran Shetty, Ph.D., Syngenta technical development lead for potatoes, points out that viruses continually evolve. Through mutation, recombination and genetic material changes, viruses reorganize and adapt.

For instance, the number of Potato Virus Y (PVY) strains detected in U.S. potato fields has increased substantially.

“Before the 2000’s, we only had one strain of PVY impacting commercial potato production, and it primarily resulted in yield loss,” says Jonathan Whitworth, Ph.D., a research plant pathologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS).


“Since then,” he adds, “we have identified several new strains of PVY in grower fields that are also causing necrosis, which impacts tuber quality as well.”

The good news is that, through advancements in technology and global connectivity, researchers and

breeders can share information more rapidly, identify potential challenges quickly, and leverage tools and

Above: In potatoes, the USDA is working closely with industry partners to encourage the adoption of resistant varieties through grower education. Photo courtesy of Syngenta
continued on pg. 24

The Macro Impact of Microorganisms . .

resources to fight the battle head on. That connectivity is essential to the multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approach needed to control viruses.

Regulators concentrate on containing viruses. Certified seed organizations help ensure a clean start.

Entomologists evaluate insect control measures. And breeders focus on developing resistant varieties.

Because there is no cure for viruses, nor a way to control them once they infect a plant, preventive measures are the best way to reduce viral risk.

“The best line of defense against a virus is to keep it out,” Byamukama says. “On a global scale, we do this by ensuring that plant materials being imported from other countries or transported from one region of the U.S. to another are clean and don’t hide pathogens and arthropods.”

On-farm, commercial growers can minimize the risk of infection by using certified seed.

In the case of potatoes, stem cutting and micropropagation techniques, in which plantlets are grown in tissue culture, help obtain pest-free potato plants for propagation and production of certified seed tubers.


Several generations of plants are grown in the field to produce certified seed tubers for commercial


“PVY can be highly detrimental to seed growers, as it greatly impacts their ability to sell higher-quality seed,” Whitworth says. “For the commercial grower, the biggest impact is probably yield loss.”

“Our studies have shown that, for about every 1% of PVY you have in a commercial crop, you can lose about 1.5 sacks, or 150 pounds, of potatoes,” he details. “And the quality defects caused by necrosis can result in a lot being rejected by the buyer.”

“Detection and proper diagnosis during the certification process help ensure that seed pieces do not carry viruses into a newly planted commercial field,” Shetty says.

“The states in the Pacific Northwest, for instance, work very closely to ensure that seed lots are not infected with potentially damaging viruses like PVY,” he remarks.

Hygiene is important at the farm level as well. Cleaning equipment before transporting it between fields is an important prevention measure growers can implement to reduce spread.

The next step to protecting commercial crops from viruses is controlling the vectors. In most cases, the vectors that transmit plant viruses from one living plant to another are insects.

Left: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) has set up PVY demonstration plots in Washington (shown), Wisconsin, and Maine, with as many as 20 potato varieties specific to each region. Photo courtesy of Syngenta

RIght: Studies show that, for about every 1% of PVY in a commercial crop, a grower can lose about 1.5 sacks, or 150 pounds, of potatoes. Photo courtesy of Syngenta

Though some vectors are more efficient than others, all must be controlled to stop the spread.


Byamukama warns, “By the time you see symptoms in the field, it is too late. Once one plant in the field is infected, you can’t cure it. You can only prevent the virus’s spread to other plants.”

Applications to stop the spread can sometimes start with seed treatments.

For instance, Byamukama says, “Bean leaf beetles, the vector of BPMV, survive the winter as adults and emerge in the spring to feed on seedling plants.”

“A seed treatment insecticide kills the vector upon feeding,” he notes, “which means it will only affect that one plant if the beetle was already carrying the virus in its body, as opposed to the beetle’s feeding and transmitting the virus to several plants in the same field.”

continued from pg. 23 24 BC�T July

In potatoes, the use of neonicotinoid insecticides has been instrumental in the control of the aphid species that transmit potato leafroll virus (PLRV).

PLRV can cause yield loss and tuber net necrosis, making harvested potatoes unsuitable for fresh market, processing, or seed.

“The neonicotinoid class of chemistry was introduced just before the turn of the century,” Shetty says. “And since the introduction, there has been a marked reduction of PLRV in potatoes in North America.”

“Syngenta has been a leader in the development of potato seed treatments containing neonicotinoids that protect young plants from the get-go,” he adds.


For viruses that primarily affect plants in early stages of development, producers can adjust planting to avoid times when vectors are active. Vectors will move to other hosts, eliminating concurrency of the crop and vectors in the field.

In-field measures are the opening act in controlling plant viruses. The endgame is breeding varieties with genetic resistance.

All plants have natural defense mechanisms, including resistance to viruses. Breeders select for these beneficial genetics for built-in protection.

“In extension, we like to refer to resistant varieties as the low-hanging fruit,” Byamukama says. “They do not cost much more than susceptible varieties, and if plants do become infected, they help reduce the severity of symptoms to protect crop yield and quality.”

In the world of produce, quality is of utmost importance and can make or break a crop. Preventing viruses in fruiting vegetable crops, such as tomatoes, is a must due to the market’s strict quality standards. “When growing fruiting crops,

pesticide use is highly restricted once the fruit is developed,” says Gregori Bonnet, Syngenta seeds principal scientist, who leads a team of trait project leads dedicated to developing genetic resistance in fruiting crops. “The ability to leverage genetic resistance as a primary solution is critical,” he stresses.

According to Ruud Kaagman, global crop unit head for tomatoes, Syngenta screens thousands of tomato lines and wild material annually to identify those that exhibit natural resistance to viruses.


“Syngenta has a global center of excellence with the resources and knowledge to solve major disease issues,” Kaagman says. “We are able to identify sustainable solutions in addressing potential outbreaks long-term by combining different resistances and resistance mechanisms.”

Tobamoviruses, a diverse group of viruses that caused severe outbreaks in tomatoes in recent years, are a primary focus for Syngenta.

Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV), which first emerged in Israel in 2014, has spread to tomato fields and greenhouses across the Middle East, Europe, Mexico, North America, and other parts of the world.

ToBRFV damages the quality and yield of tomato crops and has forced the temporary shutdown of some major greenhouse operations.

Earlier this year, Syngenta introduced its second beefsteak tomato variety with resistance to ToBRFV and plans to introduce broad resistance into its full portfolio of tomato varieties over the next several years.

In potatoes, the USDA is working closely with industry partners to encourage the adoption of resistant varieties through grower education.

“We have multidisciplinary grants focused on viruses that cause necrotic defects in tubers and have done PVY demonstration plots in Washington, Wisconsin, and Maine with as many as 20 varieties, specific to each region,” Whitworth says.

“These real-time educational experiences show growers how the virus is expressed in plants and allow us to focus on how resistant varieties, combined with cultural practices, can prevent viral infection and protect crop yield and quality,” he concludes.

2 https://www.soybeanresearchinfo.com/ diseases/soybeanviruses.html

“The neonicotinoid class of chemistry was introduced just before the turn of the century. And since the introduction, there has been a marked reduction of PLRV in potatoes in North America.”
25 BC�T July
– Kiran Shetty, Ph.D. technical development lead for potatoes, Syngenta U.S.

Now News

World’s Largest Potato Masher Now Standing

The nearly 39-foot-tall utensil is Central Wisconsin’s hottest new “selfie” spot

A special ceremony, May 19, for the installation of the World’s Largest Potato Masher at the nearly complete Food + Farm Exploration Center in Plover, Wisconsin, was a “mashing” success.

The nearly 39-foot-tall potato masher was erected during the program and will serve as a visible iconic attraction

that will welcome visitors to the site. The potato masher represents fun exploration that will happen inside and out of the new Food + Farm Exploration Center, honoring the agriculture industry, growers, innovators, and consumers.

Plover is a perfect home for the

Above & Below: The J.H. Findorff & Son construction crew lowers the World’s Largest Potato Masher onto its handle/base during a special ceremony, May 19, at the Food + Farm Exploration Center in Plover, Wisconsin.

center because of Central Wisconsin’s rich history in the potato and vegetable industry.

continued on pg. 28

26 BC�T July
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The Exploration Center was born out of a profound need to reconnect people to agriculture and their food. It will be a place for people to come together on a journey into the world of modern agriculture, to meet the people behind the food, to build new science and engineering skills, to connect, play and learn.


It will be a teaching farm, a children’s museum, a science center, and a

community workshop all rolled into a tantalizing celebration of food and farming.

Through the Cultivating Connections Campaign, $28 million dollars has been raised via donations by individuals and corporate partners who are dedicated to the vitality of Wisconsin’s agricultural industry. The total fundraising goal for the project is $41 million.

The event included a short ceremony with speakers Andy Reitz, executive director of Farming for The Future Foundation (FFTFF) and the Food + Farm Exploration Center; Village of Plover Administrator Steve Kunst; Alicia Pavelski, FFTFF founding member and board president; Jim Yehle, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of J.H. Findorff & Son; and Les Dobbe, president and CEO of Lineage Logistics in Stevens Point and co-chair of the Cultivating Connections Capital Campaign. Immediately following the ceremony, staff members conducted tours of the Exploration Center.

The Food + Farm Exploration Center project is led by construction manager, J.H. Findorff & Son; architect, Eppstein Uhen Architects; and exhibit designer, Gyroscope, and

Now News. . . continued from pg. 26
Left: Richard Pavelski (left), founder and director of the Farming for the Future Foundation, talks with Larry Alsum (right), Alsum Farms & Produce, during a ceremony celebrating the installation of the World’s Largest Potato Masher at the Food + Farm Exploration Center. Right: Wisconsin Senator Patrick Testin, left, visited with Andy Reitz, right, executive director of the Food + Farm Exploration Center, during a ceremony for the installation of the World’s Largest Potato Masher.
28 BC�T July
During a tour of the Food + Farm Exploration Center, guests were treated to a mural by artist Amy Zaremba in the aptly named Colorful Plate Café, which promises to be a community hub within the center.

is expected to be open to the public in fall 2023.

About the Food + Farm Exploration Center

The Food + Farm Exploration Center is an extension of Farming for the Future Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated

to educating current and future generations about agricultural innovation and sustainability.

Its goal is to promote agricultural literacy, to increase the understanding of the origins of our food, and to deepen the relationship between farmers and consumers.

Above: During a tour, Brittany Marquard, program manager for the Food + Farm Exploration Center, showed guests the modern Kitchen Lab where the community is invited to take cooking classes, enjoy demonstrations, and build skills and confidence cooking with potatoes and vegetables.

continued on pg. 30

29 BC�T July

Norm and Marv Worzella Honored with Celebration Dinner and plaque presentation held for 2021 WPVGA Hall of Fame inductees

Inducted into the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Hall of Fame in February 2021, Marv and Norm Worzella never got the chance to be honored in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their families changed that on May 26, 2023, during a celebration that included dinner, refreshments, and dessert in honor of the inductees, at the Sky Club in Plover, Wisconsin.

Marv and Audrey Worzella’s son, Perry, and his wife, Michelle, welcomed guests, which included family members, friends, Worzella & Sons, Inc. employees, WPVGA staff, and community members.

Perry thanked Marv, Norm, and all attendees for their contribution to the community, agriculture, and the industry. “Without farmers, there wouldn’t be food,” Perry stated. “Thank you for your commitment to the industry.”

Above: Marv and Norm Worzella were honored by family, friends, WPVGA staff and community members during a dinner party at the Sky Club in Plover, Wisconsin, on May 26, 2023. The 2021 WPVGA Hall of Fame inductees hadn’t previously gotten the chance to be honored in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Grandpa Clarence Worzella was inducted into the WPVGA Hall of Fame in 1992,” Perry noted, “so this is almost exactly 30 years later.”

“Every person in this room, every employee, spouse, friend, and family or community member appreciates you,” he said to Marv and Norm.

Norm and Marie Worzella’s son, Steve, and his wife, Paula, also took to the podium, with Steve saying, “Grandpa would be very proud of you carrying on this tradition. The third generation is going to make it happen and the fourth generation is coming on.”

WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan was asked to speak, explaining that the WPVGA Hall of Fame honors lifetime achievement in the development of the state’s potato industry, after which he gave a biographical sketch of Marv and Norm.

Now News. . . continued from pg. 29
30 BC�T July
Marv (front and center with black and white shirt) Worzella’s family gathered at the Sky Club in Plover for a celebration of his and Norm’s 2021 WPVGA Hall of Fame induction.


In 1953, WPVGA Hall of Famer Clarence Worzella, Norm and Marv’s father, started potato farming on a 40-acre parcel of land with an irrigation system.

After graduating high school, Norm and Marv were given the opportunity to pursue additional schooling or join Clarence in the family potato business. They chose to work with their dad, a decision neither of them regrets.

Today, as part of Worzella & Sons, Inc., of Plover, the longtime potato and vegetable growers, their families and employees produce 1,800 acres of potatoes, along with 3,400 acres of

other vegetable crops.

Marv and Norm were inducted into the WPVGA Hall of Fame in a virtual presentation on February 3, 2021.

At that time, Norm, CEO of Worzella & Sons, said, “We are proud of the business’s growth, which is largely attributed to the dedicated employees we’ve had in our 60 years of farming. We are glad to work alongside our sons, who are the third generation of this business.”

Marv, who is CFO of Worzella & Sons, added, “We learned from our dad from a young age on. We started working with Dad in 1955, and we incorporated in 1964. Dad worked side-by-side with us and taught us

how to grow vegetables and get started in farming.”

The celebration of Marv and Norm’s induction into the WPVGA Hall of Fame was long overdue, but the gathering of family, friends, and community members turned out to be a fitting tribute to the pair of deserving inductees.

continued on pg. 32 Above: Marv (left) and Norm Worzella finally received their WPVGA Hall of Fame plaques in person during a celebration on May 26, 2023. Standing behind them in the second image, from left to right, are Marv’s wife, Audrey, WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan, and Norm’s wife, Marie. Norm (front and center with the blue shirt) Worzella’s family posed for this picture at the Sky Club during a celebration of his and Marv’s induction into the WPVGA Hall of Fame.
31 BC�T July

WPVGA Celebrates 75th Anniversary at Hancock Field Day

All past presidents of the organization and WPVGA Hall of Fame members invited

The WPVGA was formed in 1948, which means 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the organization. In honor of this milestone, the WPVGA is planning a special celebration at this year’s Hancock Field Day set for July 13, 2023, at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station.

All WPVGA Hall of Fame members are invited to attend the Hancock Field Day to be recognized. All presidents of the organization are also invited to attend and be recognized. The

WPVGA will be presenting gift items to these dignitaries.

The WPVGA Associate Division will be sponsoring a delicious meal provided by Swine & Dine of Antigo. Water, soda, and beer will also be provided. In addition to the above festivities, there will be a reunion of the past two WPVGA Member Development graduating classes. All those who attended the Member Development Leadership Training are encouraged

to attend, as they, too will be recognized.

The Hancock Field Day will begin at 1 p.m. with the wagon tour of the potato and vegetable research plots. The WPVGA’s 75th Anniversary celebration will take place immediately following the tour at approximately 4 p.m.

Please spread the word as we’d like to see as many folks as possible on July 13 at Hancock!

Alsum Farms & Produce Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Join in on community events to celebrate the company’s big milestone in 2023

Alsum Farms & Produce, a leading fresh market grower, packer and shipper of Wisconsin-grown potatoes, pumpkins, and onions, and wholesaler of fresh, quality produce, celebrates 50 years in business in 2023!

To celebrate, the company invites

growers and industry friends, Friday, August 11, for plant tours, and Saturday, August 12, for a community celebration, Tater Trot 5k, and tour of the Alsum Farms potato and pumpkin farm in Grand Marsh, Wisconsin.

On August 11, a guided tour of the Alsum Farms & Produce production

facility is free and open to the public. Those interested must register for one of the times starting at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.

To sign up for the plant tour, contact Ross Jeseritz, ross.jeseritz@alsum. com, or call 920-348-6702. Please indicate the tour time desired and number of attendees.

For the tour, attendees must wear closed-toe shoes and no jewelry. The production facility is 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Following each Friesland tour, cake and refreshments will be served.

The Alsum Farms & Produce 50th anniversary community celebration continues, August 12, with Alsum’s 6th Annual Tater Trot 5k Family Run and 2 Mile Walk.


Attendees can shop the farm fresh produce market, stroll through vendor and educational booths, and

Now News. . . continued from pg. 31
32 BC�T July

enjoy a brat and Pepsi from the 95.3 WBEV Beaver Dam radio station at the Friesland-based location.

This event-filled day hosts runners, walkers, and community enthusiasts, with funds raised benefiting local FFA chapters.

After the run/walk concludes at 10:30 a.m., Larry Alsum, president and chief executive officer of Alsum Farms & Produce, will lead a short program to recognize Founder Glenn Alsum’s family, and grower and industry partners who have been a part of Alsum’s success the past five decades.

Finally, after the recognition program concludes, a tour of the Alsum potato and pumpkin farms, in Grand Marsh, will be offered to see potato harvest firsthand. A coach bus will depart at 11 a.m. and return at 2:30 p.m. to Alsum Farms & Produce, in Friesland. The farm tour is limited to 50 people on a first-come basis.

To sign up for the August 12 Alsum Farms potato and pumpkin farms tour, in Grand Marsh, contact Ross Jeseritz, ross.jeseritz@alsum.com, or call 920-348-6702.

Registration for the August 12 Tater

Trot is open from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. The free Kids Fun Run race around the potato shed will start at 8:55 a.m. and the 5K and 2-mile walk starts at 9 a.m.

Event highlights include:

• Farm Fresh Produce & Vendor Market

• WBEV Brat Fry from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

• Educational booths and kids’ activities

• Photo Op & Meet “Spudly”

• Top 3 Males and Females awarded in two age categories: 17 years and under, and 18 years+ (5k only)

• Strollers welcome

• Alsum potato samples, and fruit and water available post-race

• Free parking

• Tour of Alsum Farms potato and pumpkin farms, in Grand Marsh, will be offered to see potato harvest firsthand. A coach bus will depart at 11 a.m. and return at 2:30 p.m. to Alsum Farms & Produce, in Friesland. The farm tour is limited to 50 people on a first-come basis.

The tour is free of charge. Alsum Farms & Produce is located at N9083 County Road EF, Friesland, Wisconsin (if using GPS, use Cambria, WI 53923).

To register for the event online, visit: https://runsignup. com/Race/WI/Friesland/ AlsumFarmsProduceTaterTrot5K. For a printed registration form, go to: https://alsum.com/wp-content/ uploads/2023/01/2023-Alsum-5KRegistration-Form.pdf.

This Alsum community event celebrates the company’s 50 years in business of providing quality potatoes, onions, and farm fresh produce, and showcases the spud’s healthy halo while connecting with local agriculture businesses.

The year-long anniversary theme “Growing Goodness” speaks to Alsum’s work that has enriched the lives of associates, customers, and consumers over the past five decades. All funds raised benefit local FFA chapters.

Find clarity at corteva.us ®™Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Vydate® C-LV is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Not all products are registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. ©2023 Corteva. 010991 COR (03/23) POTATO PROTECTION IN PLAIN SIGHT That’s clarity in your potato field. 33 BC�T July


Hagenow Selected as 76th Alice in Dairyland

Ashley looks forward to promoting Wisconsin’s dynamic agriculture industry

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has selected Ashley Hagenow of Poynette as

Wisconsin’s 76th Alice in Dairyland. In this position, Hagenow will work for the contract year as a full-time communications professional for DATCP, educating the public about the importance of agriculture in Wisconsin.

Hagenow graduated from the University of Minnesota, in May 2023, with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communication and marketing and minors in animal science and agricultural and food business management.

Growing up, she was active in 4-H and FFA. Throughout college, Hagenow was involved in Agriculture Future of America, the National AgriMarketing Association, the Gopher Dairy Club, and the University of Minnesota dairy challenge and dairy judging teams.

She also held various internships, gaining experience with CHS Inc., Curious Plot marketing agency, CLUTCH marketing agency, Progressive Dairy, and World Dairy Expo.

“To serve in the role of Alice in Dairyland is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as the official ambassador of Wisconsin’s abundant and diverse agriculture industry,” Hagenow says.

“I have always loved connecting with others about agriculture,” she adds, “and Alice has the ability to connect with a wide variety of consumers to share more about this dynamic industry and the hardworking individuals who make it possible.”

Hagenow was selected at the 76th Alice in Dairyland Finals hosted by Walworth County in May 2023 and began her term as the 76th Alice in Dairyland on July 5. She succeeds

the 75th Alice in Dairyland, Taylor Schaefer, of Franksville.

About Alice in Dairyland

Alice in Dairyland is a full-time communications professional for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

The Alice program is supported by several partner organizations including Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Kettle Moraine Mink Breeders Association, the Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board, Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association Promotions and Auxiliary boards, Ginseng Board of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Beef Council, and Goodman’s Jewelers.

For more information about the Alice in Dairyland program, visit https:// www.aliceindairyland.com/ and follow Alice online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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34 BC�T July
Ashley Hagenow of Poynette, Wisconsin, will serve as a the 76th Alice in Dairyland, a full-time WDATCP professional communications position.

Jim Shafel Passes Away

Potato grower farmed his entire life for Sunnydale Farms

James “Jim” Joseph Shafel Sr. was born July 15, 1939, in Antigo, Wisconsin, to Joseph and Margaret (Marx) Shafel. He entered into eternal peace while at home after a long battle with cancer on May 17, 2023.

Jim attended Antigo High School, and because of a critical need on the family farm, he was one of the area’s first to obtain a GED (General Education Development) degree via a night school program.

He married Bonnie Packard on February 8, 1958, the love of his life for 65 years.

Jim farmed his entire life for Sunnydale Farms, from the time the farm was a dairy producer through the transition to potato grower. He also developed and modernized his farm over his entire life. He continued working through the 2022 growing season with the help of his sons, James Jr. and Michael, and grandson, Markus.

In addition to his constant focus on improving the farm, Jim had a number of interests in and outside the Antigo community. They included both professional associations and non-farming activities.

He was a longtime member of the WPVGA (Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association). He attended annual national conventions in many locations, representing an important voice for the growers in his area.

As a result, he had quality relationships with industry members/ leaders from the entire United States and Canada. He enjoyed everything related to the farming industry and off-the-farm events, including Plow

Days, and collecting antique tractors and trucks. Jim was a member of the Northwoods Tractor Club.


He had many interests. Jim was an avid motorcycle enthusiast, and over the years, owned and rode several motorcycles. He and Bonnie were part of a local friend group, calling themselves the “Geritol Angels” and taking long road trips to destinations all over North America, often visiting customers along the way.

He also enjoyed riding snowmobiles and UTV’s, boating, motocross as well as building and flying model airplanes. Jim liked to hunt, watch birds, ski, collect guns and attend the EAA Fly-In at Oshkosh. He enjoyed accordions, polkas, and potato pancakes.

Jim was a member of both St. Mary and St. Hyacinth Catholic churches.

Jim is survived by his wife, Bonnie (Packard) Shafel; children, James Jr. (Lisa Bretl) Shafel, Antigo, Sandra (Michael Vierzba) Shafel, Florence, and Michael (Kathleen Rasmussen) Shafel, Antigo.

He is also survived by his siblings, Joseph Shafel, Cascade, Mary Shafel (Wallace Gelhar), Wausau, and David Shafel, Rhinelander; and sister-inlaw, Judy Shafel. In addition, Jim is survived by many grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Margaret (Marx) Shafel, brother, Melvin Shafel, son, Allen Shafel, and granddaughter, Kayla Shafel.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Jim was held on May 27, 2023, at Ss. Mary and Hyacinths Catholic Church

with Father Joel Sember officiating. Visitation took place on Friday, May 26, at Strasser-Roller Funeral Home and again prior to the service at the church. Burial followed the service at Queen of Peace Cemetery.

Memorials in Jim’s name may be directed to the Town of Antigo Fire Department Fire Truck Fund. The family thanks the entire medical and support staff at Aspirus Cancer Center and appreciates the excellent hospice support received during Jim’s last days.

To honor Jim, offer an act of kindness to someone and perhaps lend a helping hand to a person in need. He would have helped others without a second thought.

Strasser-Roller Funeral Home is assisting the family. Friends may visit online at https://www. strasserrollerfuneralhome.com.

35 BC�T July
James “Jim” Shafel July 15, 1939 – May 17, 2023

Badger Beat

Pest Population Dynamics Influenced by Pesticide Use

Behavioral adaptation has arisen as a response to systemic applications of neonicotinoids at planting.

The Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata, is a pest of many nightshade crops including potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. These insects are infamous for their ability to develop insecticide resistance to all major classes of insecticides.

Over the past 25 years, a very common method of control has included at-plant applications of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides classified in the mode of action Group 4A (IRAC International MoA Working Group, 2023).

When first registered in 1995 and applied at planting in the furrow or directly to the potato seed, the neonicotinoid group of insecticides provided growers with season-long control of beetle populations.

Since this initial registration, several beetle populations in the eastern and midwestern United States have developed significant levels of resistance, and complementary studies have explored the biological mechanisms of resistance.

Many of these studies have focused on understanding the insect’s ability to upregulate certain enzymatic detoxification mechanisms that are key to surviving exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides.

Although the underlying physiological mechanisms for resistance have been examined, producers have also observed variation in the timing of CPB emergence among populations. Because the concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides in potato

decline over time after at-plant applications, we contend that this declining concentration could favor a form of behavioral resistance whereby CPBs delay their emergence from the soil to avoid lethal concentrations of neonicotinoids.


Behavioral resistance to insecticides is defined as the ability of an insect to avoid a lethal dose of insecticide. This adaptation is certainly not new and has historically been associated with an insect’s ability to detect insecticide concentrations.

For example, Sparks et al. (1989) observed a dose-dependent shift of horn flies (Haematobia irritans) away from pyrethroid-treated ear tags to the bellies of cattle.

Fray et al. (2014) observed a dietary

Dr. Russell L. Groves provides an insect management update at the 2021 Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day.

preference in the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) when presented with the choice of thiamethoxamtreated and untreated foliage where insects preferred to feed on clean foliage.

Alyokhin and Ferro (1999) observed that insects with a prior history of insecticide resistance had the propensity to avoid Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies tenebrionis (Btt)-treated crops compared to untreated crops.

An amazing example of behavioral resistance/avoidance was described in the variant western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera), which allows the insect to navigate around crop rotation.

In this instance, adult female rootworms were selected to oviposit in other non-corn crops (soybean, alfalfa) in the current year, which

continued on pg. 38

Next level nutrition is here.

Most nutrition programs kind of look the same—until they don’t. If you take a closer look at NutriSync products, you’ll see a proprietary nutrient transport technology like nothing else on the market. NutriSync brand micronutrients contain a naturally occurring carbohydrate that moves nutrients through the vascular tissue to the growing points where they are needed most.

37 BC�T July
Across the years of this study, the peak or midpoint of Colorado Potato Beetle emergence occurred later into the production season.

would later return to corn production in the following season. Now that’s tricky!

Beginning in 2013, we hypothesized that a prolonged adult emergence of CPB from diapause was related to neonicotinoid resistance status and the driver of this effect was linked to chronic exposure to low,

non-lethal doses of insecticide.


It was our hope that an improved understanding of how resistance might influence pest ecology, specifically emergence phenology, would provide new information to supplement our current knowledge of resistance management strategies


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for systemic use-patterns.

Unfortunately, we saw no clear evidence for these relationships between beetle phenology and insecticide/neonicotinoid resistance.

In 2015, we again attempted to investigate this hypothesis and worked closely with Pest Pros (https://www.allied.coop/agronomy/ pest-pros) crop consultants, a Division of Allied Cooperative, to characterize the phenology of CPB populations across Central Wisconsin.

In close association with Pest Pros, we were able to query 12 years of scouting data representing insect counts (CPB, potato leaf hopper, etc.) from over 45,000 sampling sites. This effort proved quite rewarding, and we were able to observe significant changes in the timing of CPB emergence across many populations.

As illustrated in the accompanying figure, we observed that the peak, or midpoint, of emergence of the CPB was occurring later into the production season across the years of this study.

In addition, larval populations associated with the first full generation were present into early and mid-July, well beyond the times when larvae were prevalent prior to the registration of the neonicotinoid insecticides.

From this same dataset, it was also possible to make direct comparisons of emergence patterns of conventional versus organically managed fields.

The timing of adult CPB emergence in commercially managed potato fields was notably prolonged in comparison to organically managed field populations.

Both field populations studied in

Badger Beat. . . continued from pg. 37
38 BC�T July

Wisconsin had similar planting dates and degree day accumulations (base 52 degrees Fahrenheit).

The organically managed population, with no prior history of systemic insecticide use, showed an earlier peak in emergence time, while the population with a history of systemic insecticide inputs had a more protracted period of emergence, with a delayed peak in emergence timing.

When emergence phenology was plotted in terms of cumulative proportion emerged over degree days accumulated, there was a notable shift in the time required for 50% of adults to emerge within the commercially managed, insecticideresistant population.

Specific estimates for the median emergence time in degree days (DD) for the susceptible population to emerge was 444 DD52 and the resistant population was 517 DD52.

In both investigations, we observed a delayed emergence time in an insecticide-resistant population of CPB compared to susceptible populations.

The behavioral adaptation has arisen as a response to systemic applications of neonicotinoid insecticides at planting.

The delayed emergence phenology was also associated with evidence of decreased beetle lipid storage, increased arachidonic acid synthesis, and increased gene expression patterns associated with metabolic resistance, suggesting a role for directed fatty acid metabolism in promoting insecticide resistance.

As insecticide resistance continues to be a major concern for pest managers, the agricultural community will need to consider all forms, including the ability to evolve variable emergence phenology to

avoid insecticide exposure and the underlying mechanisms that regulate detoxification of insecticides.


Cansu Doğan, Sabine Hänniger, David G. Heckel, Cathy Coutu, Dwayne D. Hegedus, Linda Crubaugh, Russell L. Groves, Damla Amutkan Mutlu, Zekiye Suludere, Şerife Bayram, Umut Toprak, Characterization of calcium signaling proteins from the fat body of the Colorado Potato Beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae): Implications for diapause and lipid metabolism, Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 10.1016/j. ibmb.2021.103549, 133, (103549), (2021).

Justin Clements, Benjamin Z. Bradford, Megan Lipke, Shelley Jansky, Jake Olson, Russell L. Groves, Difference in Foliar Fatty Acid Composition in Potato Cultivars over a Growing Season May Influence the Host Location Preference of Leptinotarsa decemlineata, American Journal of Potato Research, 10.1007/s12230-021-09857-w, 99, 1, (40-47), (2022).

Increase Crop Set

Plant stress may increase during flowering due to high metabolic demand. Lack of key carbon compounds from poor photosynthetic activity or high crop stress can lead to reduced crop set.

Improve Nutritional Balance

Photosynthetic production of sugars and starches is critical in tuber production. Excess, deficiency, or imbalance of nutrients will lead to reduced sugar and starch production.

Improve Crop Uniformity

Movement of photosynthetic compounds from leaf to tuber is crucial. Inadequate plant respiration will lead to reduced and irregular tuber size.

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…Strategies…Solutions 39 BC�T July

Biologicals business is growing

A Q&A with AMVAC results in revelations about biological solutions for potato and

Question (Q): With the GreenSolutions line from AMVAC, the company is stressing biologicals as complementary to traditional chemistries, is that correct? And if so, how can biologicals such as those in the line aid farmers in their yield goals?

Answer (A), Kyle Coleman, market development manager for AMVAC:

We see the biologicals business growing for all the right reasons. The technology continues to improve, the timing, rates, and specific reasons for using the products are getting more dialed in, and the expectations set and realized are starting to sync better.

All of this allows us to mix and match traditional chemistry strategies with new technology to maximize productivity and profits.

vegetable growers

Q: Are fewer traditional crop protection products needed when combined with biologicals, and if so, why is that—how do biologicals work?

Kyle, A: The interesting thing about that question is it assumes traditional chemistry. The tools available today are enough to provide solutions to the ever-changing challenges with food production now and in the future.

Some growers are already scrambling to solve challenges such as herbicide or fungicide resistance, while others see the costs of certain products as being prohibitively expensive.

We need all the tools available to us. It is no different than building a house. Being limited to two or three tools makes an already difficult job even harder.

Above: As the technology of biologicals continues to improve, the timing, rates, and specific reasons for using the products are getting more dialed in, allowing growers to mix and match traditional chemistry strategies with new technology to maximize productivity and profits. The photo of the flowering potato field was taken at the Langlade Agricultural Research Station in Antigo, Wisconsin.

With that said, one benefit to biologicals is they provide options. This either further increases productivity, or it takes pressure off traditional chemistries so that they aren’t overutilized.

Q: Are you finding that large potato and vegetable growers are still resistant to going the biological route?

Kyle, A: The adoption of any technology always starts with

40 BC�T July

innovators. They lead and accept the grind associated with the learning process. Not everyone likes to take on that role, regardless of the farm size.

Biological adoption began primarily with organic and low chemical input farms because they are hungry for options and alternatives, but as technology has improved, more and more farms are wading in and looking for ways to adopt new products.

Q: What do you say to such growers?

Kyle, A: Some skeptical growers are simply set in their ways. They see historical success as proof they shouldn’t change or even ask questions.

However, free markets are designed to force improvement and innovation, and most people are in this boat to explore opportunities as a survival strategy. But like any good business, they want to do it in a sustainable way.

Where many growers struggle, and rightly so, is when lofty expectations are set, and results don’t follow. When that happens a few times in a row, resistance to the entire platform of ideas builds.

Recently, the industry has been doing a much better job setting better expectations, curbing enthusiasm, and providing more precision information on timing and application methods to help a new product succeed.

One example is promoting the difference between statistically significant results and “wins.” For decades, the industry has promoted statistically significant differences to prove the efficacy of products.

At a typical 95% confidence rate, this is considered by some to be a tremendous hurdle to clear, especially for what is often a very affordable investment like a biological.

Friday, August 11, 2023

8, 9:30 & 11 am - Plant Tours, Friesland

Cake & refreshments will be served. To sign up for the plant tour, contact Ross at ross.jeseritz@alsum.com or scan the QR code below. Please indicate the tour time desired and number of attendees.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Alsum Farms & Produce, Friesland

8:30 - 11 am 50th Anniversary Celebration

Produce & Vendor Market

Educational Booths | Spudmobile

WBEV Brat Fry | Kids Activities

Recognition & Reflection Program

9 am 6th Annual Tater Trot 5k & 2 mile walk

11 am - 2:30 pm - Potato & Pumpkin Farm Tour

A coach bus will depart at 11 am and return at 2:30 pm to Alsum Farms & Produce in Friesland. The bus is limited to 50 people, on a first-come basis, however, you are welcome to drive to the Grand Marsh farm to join the tour. Contact ross.jeseritz@alsum.com or scan the QR code to sign up. Please indicate how many will be attending and if you are riding the bus or driving separately.


Join Us!
Local FFA Chapters Scan for 5K Registration Form www.Alsum.com Everyone Welcome!
for Tours
“Some growers are already scrambling to solve challenges such as herbicide or fungicide resistance, while others see the costs of certain products as being prohibitively expensive.”
continued on pg. 42 41 BC�T July
– Kyle Coleman market development manager for AMVAC

Biologicals Business is Growing. . .

The term “wins” allows for much more flexibility. The percentage of wins over time reflects how confident a grower can be that they will have a positive return on their investment. Where biologicals often have a positive economic return but not necessarily a statistically significant one, the wins put a grower’s potential investment into better perspective.

Q: Are outside regulatory pressures and consumer sentiments going to make the growers’ arguments obsolete—they’ll be forced to go the biologicals route?

Kyle, A: There is no question that regulatory pressure is building, and consumer sentiment is shifting toward the desire that less total active ingredient should be used on crops.

Hopefully, a balance can be found. Some growers are already searching for that balance because they don’t want the expense of unnecessary inputs, and as a competitor in the market, they want to provide products their customers appreciate. However, if the elimination of traditional chemistry occurs for one reason or another, or the replacement products can’t keep up or perform equally, growers will need more acres, tractors, trucks, fertilizer, water, and higher costs to produce that same product. Is that environmentally sustainable?

Q: Tell me about B Sure and boosting crop tolerance to environmental and physiological stresses.

Kyle, A: Plants and humans are similar in that they need amino acids to survive. Humans eat them; plants

make their own. B Sure, applied at the right time in the proper environmental conditions, can provide additional amino acids the plant may be struggling to produce.

Q: Is ECOZIN Plus suitable for potato and vegetable growers, and if so, how does the insecticide/nematicide aid in low-use rates against key pests?

Kyle, A: ECOZIN Plus does really well on control during the early development stages of Colorado Potato Beetle.

Q: How does iNvigorate unlock critical soil nutrients via a microbial system?

A: Ted Walter, U.S. GreenSolutions marketing manager, AMVAC: iNvigorate contains a consortium of microbes that aid in solubilizing key nutrients that include nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. These nutrients may otherwise be tied up in the soil and unavailable to the plant.

Q: Is SmartBlock a biological, and how can it burn off peeping sprouts and restore dormancy to potato varieties?

A: John Immaraju, senior director of product commercialization and international product development, AMVAC:

SmartBlock® (3-decen-2-one) is registered as a biopesticide with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

It is classified as a plant growth regulator (PGR) because it acts exclusively by desiccating the meristematic tissues of emerging potato sprouts in tubers that have

Above: AMVAC’s biological and GreenSolutions lines include such products as B Sure® liquid nutrient solution derived by microbial fermentation; ECOZIN® Plus botanical insecticide/nematicide; iNvigorate® microbial solution; and SmartBlock® postharvest plant growth regulator, among many others.

broken dormancy.

3-decen-2-one is found to occur naturally in yogurt, mushrooms, tuna, and many foods and spices, and is also approved as a direct food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and many countries, including Europe and Japan.

SmartBlock has a unique mode of action because it not only desiccates the growing sprouts (turning them black), but also restores dormancy to the treated tubers.

The long residual control (sproutfree period) provided by a treatment with SmartBlock is unique to this chemistry.

The primary metabolites, 2-decanol and 2-decanone, also have sprout control properties and, therefore, contribute to the overall sprout control effect.

Q: There are a lot of biologicals on the market. Why do you believe in GreenSolutions, and what sets the products apart from all the others?

Ted, A: AMVAC is a technology solutions provider that brings consistent, high-quality products to the market. We have over 50 years of manufacturing experience, and two state-of-the-art facilities that are dedicated to GreenSolutions.

We not only provide third-party replicated trial data, but also the before and after technical

continued from
42 BC�T July

sales support that is required for biologicals. Many biological companies are lacking in one of these areas.

Q: Anything you’d like to add that would convince me or potato and vegetable growers that such an investment equates to greater return on investment?

Kyle, A: While the biological industry is growing rapidly, the number of producers and products is becoming almost overwhelming.

It is important to ask a lot of questions prior to evaluating any new product. Who is the company? How long have they been in business? Where and how is the product produced? Is the data they provide to all the studies or just those with positive results? Will they stand by their product?

AMVAC GreenSolutions produces its products in world-class facilities with high standards of production excellence. They are supported with many studies across multiple crops and years of experience.

Above: AMVAC’S ECOZIN Plus excels in control during the early development stages of Colorado Potato Beetle, and SmartBlock is classified as a plant growth regulator (PGR) because it acts exclusively by desiccating the meristematic tissues of emerging potato sprouts in tubers that have broken dormancy.

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Auxiliary News

Hello, everyone!

We’ve had a very busy past few months that I’d love to fill you in on. May is super exciting for us because it’s typically the month we have Harvest Parties for our Kids Dig Wisconsin Potatoes program.

The Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board randomly selects a few schools that participated in our program, and we coordinate with their administrators to visit with the Spudmobile and have an afternoon of fun playing potato-focused games. This year was extra special because Alice in Dairyland helped us with quite a few schools. The schools selected were St. Adalbert’s Catholic School in Rosholt, Sts. Peter & Paul Elementary School in Independence, and Eagle River Elementary School in Eagle River.

Then Alice in Dairyland went to John Muir Elementary School in Portage, Jefferson Elementary School in Janesville, and Lake Country Classical Academy in Oconomowoc. It was a

fantastic month going to so many different schools and promoting Wisconsin potatoes!

We also had an Auxiliary event at

Northstar Lanes in Antigo, where we bowled the night away. It was great to socialize and network with fantastic people.

44 BC�T July
Above & Below: Recent harvest parties and Kids Dig Wisconsin Potatoes events included Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board Secretary/Treasurer Heidi Schleicher (far right in the above image) addressing a group of students in the Spudmobile, kids playing “potato toss” in the lower left photo, and Alice in Dairyland posing with students after she gave a presentation.

On June 10, the Auxiliary headed over to Portage County for the DairyPalooza Event at Feltz Dairy Store. The Spudmobile was there, and we also sold baked potatoes. It was a fantastic turnout, and lots of people were excited to get their baked potato “just like at the State Fair.”

Next up, we have our annual banquet in June, so next month you might see some new faces on the Auxiliary Board.

That’s all for this month. Until next time,


Vice president, WPGA

WPIB Focus

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison

A group of 4-year-old kindergarten students were excited to learn about delicious potatoes while in the Spudmobile for a Kids Dig Wisconsin Potatoes Harvest Party. The Spudmobile was open to visitors, June 10, during the Portage County Dairy-Palooza at Feltz Dairy Store, in Stevens Point. From left to right, Auxiliary Board members Misti Ward, Becky Wysocki, Heidi Schleicher, and Devin Zarda are ready to bowl ’em down during an event at Northstar Lanes in Antigo, Wisconsin.
Month Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21 Oct-21 Nov-21 Dec-21 Jan-22 Feb-22 Mar-22 Apr-22 May-22 Jun-22 Year-to-Date CWT 1,292,191.75 981,540.84 933,052.68 3,515,638.42 2,529,632.08 2,033,264.21 1,948,049.95 1,869,405.13 1,867,240.42 2,256,490.25 2,457,802.63 21,684,308.36 Assessment $103,342.07 $78,594.28 $74,682.23 $281,175.63 $200,944.23 $162,677.29 $157,293.40 $149,552.31 $149,347.94 $180,586.95 $196,621.03 $1,734,817.36 Month Jul-22 Aug-22 Sep-22 Oct-22 Nov-22 Dec-22 Jan-23 Feb-23 Mar-23 Apr-23 May-23 Jun-23 Year-to-Date CWT 1,672,188.74 1,652,461.65 1,253,802.65 2,220,884.60 2,839,864.67 2,284,689.72 1,511,913.78 2,557,962.6 2,149,511.42 2,199,779.23 3,000,183.10 23,343,242.16 Assessment $133,812.37 $132,196.85 $100,304.10 $177,635.82 $227,110.48 $182,814.53 $120,953.10 $204,565.04 $171,879.92 $176,059.39 $239,961.68 $1,867,293.38
45 BC�T July

Eyes on Associates

Associate Division & Auxiliary Award Scholarships

Deserving students honored whose immediate families are WPVGA members

Talented and driven students are reaping the rewards of their hard work through scholarships toward higher education.

Recognizing a dire need for a talented and solid agricultural workforce, the WPVGA Associate Division and Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary team up each year to raise funds through golf outings, membership dues, a silent auction, baked potato and French fry booths, and donations to present dedicated and deserving students with scholarships.

Merit-based scholarships are earned by high-achieving students to defray costs of tuition and school fees.

The Avis M. Wysocki Memorial Scholarship is awarded to the top candidate and funded not only through a silent auction the Associate Division holds during the Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, but also from donations and a special contribution made by the Auxiliary.

Established in 2016, the Avis M. Wysocki Memorial Scholarship honors its namesake, who was a founding member of the Auxiliary

and an integral part of the Wisconsin potato industry.

To remain objective, the names of the students are taken off their applications when the board members review and evaluate them, thus the awarding is done solely on the merits of the applicants and information they provide.

This year, the Auxiliary and Associate Division came together to award eight deserving students whose families are members of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) with $8,885 in scholarships.

Proud winner of the Avis M. Wysocki Memorial Scholarship, CAMERON POKORNY is the son of Doyle Pokorny, project manager for M.P.B. Builders, Inc., Ripon, Wisconsin, and Kim Pokorny, an agriculture education teacher at SAGES Charter School.

Cameron, who attends the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Platteville, achieved a 3.869 cumulative grade point average (GPA) last year, is a U.S. Presidential Scholar, holds an Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship, and is a Herb Kohl Student Excellence

Scholarship winner.

Working on a software engineering major with an agribusiness minor, Cameron is an American FFA Degree applicant, a member of the UWPlatteville Radio Club, and was on the university’s 2022 men’s rugby team.

“A career goal is to combine my passions for technology, agriculture, and servant leadership to develop cutting-edge, agricultural technologies that revolutionize the way farmers plant, grow, and harvest crops,” he says.

A sophomore at the University of Arkansas, CORA KERTZMAN is the daughter of Badger Common’Tater Managing Editor Joe Kertzman and his wife, Tricia, an assistant to the school administrator at Rosholt School District.

With a 3.26 cumulative GPA, Cora was elected as the university’s Agricultural Business Club vice president for 2022-2023 and 2023-’24 and is an Agricultural Business Outstanding Student Award nominee. She served as president when active in 4-H and FFA and received canine CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)

Cameron Pokorny Cora Kertzman Taylor Flyte
46 BC�T July

certification and multiple Animal Care Technologies online veterinary training certifications.

“After college, I plan to enter the research field,” she notes. “Whether that be in livestock or crops, I am unsure, but I know that I want to research nutrition efficiency so that we can better feed our world.”

Son of Adam and Carolyn Flyte of Flyte Family Farms, LLC, in Coloma, TAYLOR FLYTE is enrolled at Fox Valley Technical College where he has earned 25 credits in agricultural mechanics and ag business.

An Agricultural Mechanics Career Development Event Team state qualifier, Taylor has also earned FFA Chapter, Star Greenhand, Greenhand and Discovery degrees. He was the 2022-’23 Westfield FFA Chapter president.

“Having been raised on a family farm, I have developed a passion for agriculture and entrepreneurship that goes along with the profession,” Taylor relates. “I watched my parents’ farm develop throughout the years, and I’m inspired by their perseverance and dedication.”

Enrolled at Iowa State University and majoring in agronomy with a minor in agriculture systems technology, TYLER KENNEDY is the son of Thomas Kennedy of Heartland Farms and Cynthia Kennedy, Sentry Insurance. Winner of the Albert & Irene Pavelski

Memorial Scholarship, Tyler is a member of the Iowa State Agronomy Club, an FFA president and treasurer, and a Future Business Leaders of America and National Honor Society member.

“In five years, I hope to be an assistant farm manager working on a potato farm, and my goal is to work my way up the ladder to farm manager by showing strong work ethic, determination, and leadership skills,” he says.

ALEXIA ALSUM is the daughter of Timothy and Angela Alsum, and the niece of Wisconsin Potato Industry

Board President Heidi Randall, and WPVGA board member, Wendy Dykstra.

Alexia has earned 142 undergraduate and 30 graduate credits at the University of Kentucky and holds a cumulative GPA of 3.9. She has received the Southeast Produce Council Member Scholarship, Dordt University Presidential Scholarship and Student Engagement Scholarship. Working toward a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences, Alexia is a Society of Women Engineers president of the institution chapter,

Tyler Kennedy Alexia Alsum
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Austin Huitema

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continued from pg. 47

a Women in Science and Engineering member, and participant on the Pella Christian Clay Target Team.

“Initially upon graduation, the companies that I plan to apply to often include both pharmaceutical and agricultural divisions with projects that bridge across them,” she notes, “such as Bayer, Merck, and Pfizer, to name a few.”

“Specifically, I could play a role in development and testing of vaccines and therapeutics for livestock and equine,” she proposes.

A graduate of Markesan High School who plans to be a diesel mechanic, AUSTIN HUITEMA will be attending WyoTech (formerly Wyoming Technical Institute) in the fall of 2023.

Son of Dan Huitema, of Matt Boelter Milk Hauling, Inc., and Miranda Huitema, Alsum Farms & Produce,

Austin has been involved in 4-H, FFA, and the Wisconsin Livestock Breeders Association.

“Growing up in rural Wisconsin, you had to learn how to make things work with not a whole lot,” he says. “I have lived on a hobby farm that raises sheep and other small barnyard animals. I’m thankful we had a shop space where I could watch my dad build things for the animals.”

“I appreciate the service provided by a local agent. They are always available for questions. I like having someone in my community that knows the area. It is like having a friend in the insurance business.

Current Client

Customer service is one of our core values. We are ranked in the 94th percentile of the insurance industry by a customer satisfaction benchmark survey.

“My dream career is to be a diesel mechanic,” Austin assures. “I want to make sure people such as farmers and truckers who use diesel keep on moving. After all, they are the ones that keep us fed.”

An Antigo High School graduate, EMMETT BRAUN will be attending UW-Stevens Point with help from a Pointer Promise Scholarship and Presidential Purple Scholarship in

Emmett Braun
Find a local agent at www.RuralMutual.com
Kyler Fenske
48 BC�T July

the fall of 2023.

The son of Brian Braun, who works for the Langlade County Highway Department, and the WPVGA’s own Julie Braun, executive assistant for the association, Emmett finished high school with a 3.687 cumulative GPA, placing him in the high honors and honor roll.

Emmett helped kickstart the Antigo High School Environmental Club, in 2023, and has been active in his community with the Polar Blazers Snowmobile Club doing annual trail maintenance, with his Catholic church youth group, the Antigo Community Band, and Jerry Ensemble musical theater group.

“My whole life I’ve grown up surrounded by farms,” he says, “and I’ve always been a staunch advocate for environmentalism and sustainability. A big part of sustainable practice to me involves agriculture, the most fundamental industry for human survival. But without environmental consciousness, it could not function.”

KYLER FENSKE grew up on the family farm—Fenske Farms—run by his dad, John Fenske, with his mom, Maggi, also being employed by the Westfield School District.

Kyler has earned 30 credits at Marian University where he is studying business administration and has landed himself an Academic Achievement Award/Scholarship and a Legacy Award. He also made the 2022 fall semester President’s List.

He is a member of the Marian University men’s varsity baseball team and an active member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Richford. He has also, of course, worked as a laborer at Fenske Farms since 2018.

“I have learned a great deal about time management in regards to playing a college-level sport and still applying 100% of myself to

education,” Kyler states. “I continue to support my local communities through involvement and volunteer work.”

“Growing up on the family farm, I have developed the knowledge and skills for what it takes to be successful,” he says. “I hope to use my degree to continue and improve the many traditions that my family adopted four generations ago.”

“Agriculture holds great importance in our society,” Kyler concludes. “Through your organization’s thoughtfulness in awarding this scholarship, you are providing lifechanging opportunities, and for that, I am grateful.”

Congratulations to all the deserving scholarship winners who will grow and evolve alongside the agriculture industry, taking it and their careers to new heights in the future.

49 BC�T July



Plan Sets Course for Programming

WPVGA Promotions Committee members approach retreat with new mindset

Change is seldom easy. And many times, it takes everyone being on the same page to ensure its success.

May 2023 marked the second year the Promotions Retreat was held later in the spring and the first in some time that the committee members came into the meeting with a renewed mindset.

The change in course resulted from efforts toward strategic planning led by former chief marketing officer for Potatoes USA, John Toaspern. Toaspern retired in July 2022 after 23 years with Potatoes USA.

In that time, he saw many trends, created relationships with countless individuals and successfully led the industry in marketing efforts on both domestic and international fronts.

The WPVGA Promotions Committee asked for his assistance with strategic planning to simplify the budget and center programming around specific goals.

It was a tight turnaround as the process began only weeks before the retreat. But Toaspern says it was a critical step forward.


“I was very pleased to be asked to guide the strategic planning process for the Promotions Committee. We worked together to establish a strategic framework for the investments made by the committee,” Toaspern says.

This strategic planning process is one Potatoes USA has been implementing for some time. And although it entails numerous hours of conversation, the procedure is crucial to the success of any program and the benefits invaluable.

“By establishing objectives [why invest] and strategies [how to do it],” Toaspern adds, “the committee and staff could then make decisions on investments that were directed towards these objectives.”

Above & Opposite Page: WPVGA Promotions Committee members are ready to start the day during the 2023 Promotions Retreat, Thursday, May 18, at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Pictured, left to right, in the first image are Dianne and Nick Somers of Plover River Farms in Stevens Point, Michael Gatz of Bushmans’ Inc. in Rosholt, WPVGA Executive Assistant Julie Braun, Paul Salm of BMO Harris Bank, Promotions Committee Chairman Brian Lee of Okray Family Farms in Plover, and WPVGA Director of Promotions Dana Rady. From left to right in the second and third images are WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan, WPVGA Spudmobile Education and Outreach Administrator George Neuber, Wendy Dykstra and Christine Lindner of Alsum Farms and Produce in Friesland, Tim Huffcutt of RPE, Inc. in Bancroft, Brittany Bula of Bula Land Company and Becky Wysocki of RPE, Inc.

“We also established performance measures to help monitor the impact of the activities,” he says, “and by extension, the strategies and ultimately the objectives.”

Having the strategic framework in

50 BC�T July

place going into the retreat helped provide focus and streamline discussions. It made coming up with new ideas that much easier and helped the group look at the budget from a whole new perspective.

The committee approved the following seven objectives (listed in order of importance). The “*” denotes Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association

(WPVGA)-wide objectives that are not limited to the Promotions Committee.

1. Maintain premium price for Wisconsin potatoes*

2. Create consumer demand for Wisconsin potatoes

3. Create awareness of how potatoes fuel performance and improve consumer and dietician perceptions of potato nutrition

4. Establish the Wisconsin potato industry as a leader in sustainable production and protecting the environment*

5. Create public awareness of the Healthy Grown program

6. Increase percentage of Wisconsin potatoes under the Healthy Grown program*

07-23 Badger Common'Tater (7.25x4.75).v1.3.pdf 1 2023-06-14 10:11 AM
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7. Expand awareness of Wisconsin potatoes by buyers in Canada and Mexico

With the strategic framework approved, the members received some thought-provoking information during a presentation about artificial intelligence (AI). AI is constantly changing. Not only is it evolving itself, and fast, but it’s also changing the way we look at and approach business, not to mention our everyday lives.

Mike Kaput of Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute, based in Ohio, was quick to point out to the committee during his Thursday morning presentation that we are already using AI in our lives, maybe without even realizing it.

If you’ve ever used “voice to text,” you’ve utilized AI. When typing an email and the computer predicts what your next words will be, instructing you to hit the Tab key to insert them, that’s AI at work.

And the possibilities extend far beyond these examples. AI is currently being used to generate blogs, social media posts and even answer questions/respond to comments on social media.

The WPVGA became acquainted with Kaput through his presentation during the Potatoes USA Annual Meeting this past March, in Denver. He accurately pointed out that one of the biggest disadvantages with AI currently is that there aren’t any specific rules around its use. Consequently, the door is open for it to be used incorrectly.

The line between using it ethically, however, lies within the boundaries of each organization that is implementing AI.

Does this mean we should leave it by the wayside? No. Like any other technology, when used correctly, AI can be a significant time saver.

And not learning about it and its capabilities now could mean bigger problems for businesses down the road.


Another item on Thursday morning’s agenda was a three-person panel with members of Gen Z. They each joined the meeting virtually and were asked a series of questions about their habits and thought processes regarding social media, eating in restaurants versus at home, grocery shopping and even how they view potatoes.

They knew nothing about the questions that would be asked of them, nor did they know specifics of the committee members to whom they were going to speak. So, their reactions and answers were true and genuine, not to mention insightful. What better way to learn about younger generations and their habits than to hear directly from them?

Granted, a three-person panel isn’t representative of an entire age bracket. But it was never meant to be. Instead, the purpose of the panel was to help committee members interact with an age group they and many others are trying to better understand.

The committee members received updated numbers from Midwest Family Madison regarding the Spudly video campaign that began last fall,

and they were quite impressive. Overall, there was a good amount of engagement with people on social media. Furthermore, the ads that Midwest Family Madison put out on WPVGA’s social media platforms directed people to the association’s consumer-facing website.

As a result of these videos, plus registrations for the virtual cooking classes that attendees needed to visit the website to complete, www. eatwisconsinpotatoes.com saw an increase in traffic of 111% over a sixmonth period.

This is well above the average and certainly proof that potatoes continue to be a favorite and popular vegetable for families.


To maintain the momentum of traffic to the sites and ensure that they are up to speed with technology, the Promotions Committee is embarking on renovating the trade and consumer-facing websites.

More information about this project will be forthcoming. However, one of the exciting new components of the consumer site is likely to include AI in some way.

WPVGA will also be working with Midwest Family Madison on a new campaign to broaden the Spudly brand and build on his timeless presence. Getting Spudly

Marketplace. . . continued from pg. 51
52 BC�T July
WPVGA Director of Promotions Dana Rady presents the strategic framework for committee approval at the 2023 Promotions Retreat.

trademarked will also be in the works.

The committee will continue working on efforts related to Spudmobile events, cooking classes and demos, address potato misrepresentations if/as they arise, blogging, and making appearances at gyms, to name a few. While the Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes events will continue, the lineup is likely to look a little different as the group aims to focus on events in more urban areas where knowledge of Wisconsin agriculture is less extensive.

WPVGA also has the goal of increasing exports on the docket. After having been awarded two Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection grants over the course of four years, the Promotions Committee will be maintaining a focus on extending relationships with delegates from Canada and Mexico through events

like tradeshows as well as attending and hosting reverse trade missions.


Healthy Grown will continue to be a focal point as the group looks to make changes to the program for growers while also increasing consumer demand at retail and creating a higher level of public awareness for consumers.

A few more highlights of the new budget are that the group will continue working with Alice in Dairyland and Mad Dog and Merrill and contribute to the Farming for the Future Foundation.

One of the last and probably most important implementations of the strategic plan the committee is putting into place is the concept of continuing this process throughout the year.

Come November, Toaspern will further assist the committee with a “start, stop” exercise, or a mid-year


November will mark almost six months of activity for the programming described above.

So, the mid-year evaluation will allow the committee to assess what is going well, where the challenges lie, and further allow them to start planning for the 2024 Promotions Retreat. Ultimately, implementing the strategic planning process throughout the year helps streamline meetings (especially the Promotions Retreat) and provide renewed clarity and focus. It also helps committee members as they direct the use of Wisconsin grower assessments.

Toaspern says he’s excited for what lies ahead. “I look forward to continuing to work with Dana and the committee to refine the strategic framework and improve the return on the investment for Wisconsin grower dollars,” he stresses.


Trichoderma protects crops from disease

Naturally occurring soil fungus is known to fight microbial pathogens

Trichoderma is the Latin name for a genus of fungi that are present in all types of soils.

The Soil Science Society of America’s (SSSA) July 19, 2022, “Soils Matter” blog explores these fascinating fungi and how scientists have found that applying captured Trichoderma on farm fields can help crops.

According to soil scientist and blogger Lovepreet Singh, Trichoderma is present naturally in the soil and it has been isolated by scientists in the lab. It is a filamentous fungus belonging to the group Deuteromycetes, which means it reproduces by creating spores.

Trichoderma interacts with and produces beneficial effects for

plants. It colonizes the roots and can penetrate the outer skin of a plant, resulting in plant-microbe-soil environment interaction.


Several strains of Trichoderma produce various secondary metabolites. Compounds like epipolythiodioxopiperazines, peptaibols, pyrones, and pyridones help in plant development and promote plant growth.

When Trichoderma colonizes in roots, the plant develops a more robust rooting system. The fungus affects the physical attributes of plants and how they grow and metabolize nutrients—their physiology. This can lead to better yield and quality of the produce.

Above: Fungus Trichoderma grows in a broth culture medium that has been isolated from the soil. It is just one of many microbes that naturally grow in the soil. Photo courtesy of Lovepreet Singh

Seed treatment with Trichoderma leads to better germination of plants and more and healthier plants in the field.

The most important benefit of the fungus is its ability to fight diseases caused by other microbes. Trichoderma shows antagonistic interactions with other pathogens by various modes of action, and it saves plants from dying.

One way Trichoderma fights is by attacking the other fungus. It is known to coil around the other fungus and penetrate its cells.

54 BC�T July

It can also secrete harmful chemicals for the fungus, steal its nutrients, and eventually kill it.

Another mode of action is competing with pathogens for resources and releasing chemicals into the environment to inhibit their growth.

Using fungi like Trichoderma is an alternative to pesticide use. This is called a biological control method.

How do scientists isolate the fungus from the soil? Researchers collect soil samples from diverse fields, and then place cultures on a type of gel that any fungi can grow on. This helps isolate the fungus for study.


Trichoderma produces green-colored colonies when cultured in the lab. If other colors of colonies show up in the gel, the green sections are isolated, confirmed, and grown in new dishes.

How is Trichoderma research applied in farm fields? Researchers have found that there are many compounds related to Trichoderma that make it useful in agriculture.

Scientists can grow large amounts of the fungus in labs.

Trichoderma-based commercial products are mainly powder and liquid formulations. For powder type formulations, Trichoderma cultures (active ingredients)

are mixed with talcum powder (inert matter).

Other agricultural waste materials such as wheat and rice straw, sugarcane bagasse, ground corn cobs, sawdust, and rice bran can be used as inert matter.

The mixture is then dried and ground to powder. This powder can be applied to seeds or soils to tackle plant diseases.

To read Lovepreet Singh’s entire blog, visit: https://soilsmatter. wordpress.com/2022/07/15/ what-is-trichoderma-and-how-it-isbeneficial/.

Above: In this picture of a culture soil sample saved on a nutrient medium in a petri dish, you can see the world inside soil with your naked eye, which you’re not able to see otherwise. The fungus growing at about 11 o’clock in the dish is Trichoderma, which is a greenish color. Photo courtesy of Lovepreet Singh

Follow the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SSSA. soils, and Twitter via SSSA_Soils. SSSA also provides soils information on www.soils.org/discover-soils; for teachers at www.soils4teachers.org; and for students through 12th grade via www.soils4kids.org.

Illustrated is the drying of Trichoderma culture mixed with talcum powder in shade. After this, it will be ground and packed, and the Trichoderma will be ready to use for application in the field. Trichoderma has been found to help crops grow, as well as battle harmful soil microbes. Photo courtesy of Lovepreet Singh
“Trichoderma shows antagonistic interactions with other pathogens by various modes of action, and it saves plants from dying.”
55 BC�T July
– Soil Science Society of America

Potatoes USA News

Researchers Improve Disease Diagnostics

Team uses innovative methods to battle potato viruses for a healthier harvest

Two years ago, the Potato Research Advisory Committee (PRAC) identified and wrote letters of support for a project known as “The Potato Virus Initiative: Developing Solutions.”

The researchers secured backing from the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) funding source to advance research on the management of potato tuber necrotic viruses: potato virus Y (PVY) and potato mop-top virus (PMTV).

The primary objectives of this project are to improve disease diagnosis, virus detection, and strain typing.

Over the last two years, the research team has successfully optimized tools and conditions for direct tuber testing for PVY.

This advancement will expedite the certification process and help the industry swiftly identify and remove PVY-infected seed lots from the system. Now, the research is focused on developing management tactics and techniques to prevent the inseason spread of PVY.

The team is moving forward with

its next set of objectives: to identify resistance sources against PMTV and powdery scab. They have implemented a greenhouse-based screening methodology to select PMTV-resistant potato lines to accomplish this.

These research findings are anticipated to substantially impact preventing PMTV infections at the initial stages of the breeding process!


Consistent with PRAC’s overarching objective, this project aims to integrate grower education based on the research outcomes identified.

Impressively, this project demonstrated robust outreach efforts. In the 2022 growing season, the team held three field days in Maine, Wisconsin, and Washington.

Demonstration plots were set up to show visual symptoms of three PVY strains in about 30 potato cultivars. The selection of potato cultivars reflected regional preferences for each of the three locations.

These demonstration plots were

Left: A potato virus Y (PVY) demonstration plot trial in Washington, on June 23, 2022, drew crowds of growers and crop consultants to see symptoms of three strains of the virus in more than 20 potato cultivars.

Right: PVY demonstration plots such as this trial site in Maine, on July 13, 2022, were popular with growers and generated much interest and attention from the industry.

popular with the growers and generated much interest and attention from the industry.

Additionally, the project’s research findings have been presented and discussed at national, regional, and state meetings across the country. Information, articles, videos, and updates are available on the project’s website and social media, including Instagram and Twitter.

In the future, the team anticipates developing a series of recommendations to mitigate the in-season spread of PVY and PMTV, enhance detection and diagnostic methods for certification agencies, and identify new sources of resistance to PMTV and powdery scab for the benefit of the industry.

56 BC�T July

New Products

Vigilance Nematicide Provides In-Field Control

Growers no longer need to compromise with fumigation and nematode reduction products

Worldwide growers face severe issues with the allocation of fumigants, reduced control from conventional nematicides, and bioand conventional-based nematicides that provide suppression or just don’t work.

The damage done by nematodes to crops is devasting, leading to reduced uptake of nutrients, lower yields, or slower growth. The losses from nematodes exceed $10 billion annually.

Unfortunately, there is no way of fixing a poor start when planting or getting back lost revenue regarding nematicide control.

Vigilance Nematicide is GroPro’s patented bio-nematicide, providing fumigation and in-field application control, and it’s a proven nematicide that has gone head-to-head in multiple fields and demo trials worldwide with both conventional and bio-based nematicides.

These third-party trials and demos were performed on a wide range of crops, such as potatoes, grapes, almonds, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, citrus, and others, all of which have shown superior efficacy against conventional and bio-based nematicides.

The potato fumigation replacement trial showed an increase of over 11% in yield and an excellent nematode reduction compared to the grower standard fumigation program.

This was accomplished with an increase in the number of oneand two-size potatoes over the conventionally applied blocks, while reducing damage to the tuber itself, allowing for a better marketable yield.

The in-season applications to aboveground crops have increased root mass and decreased galling of root matter, especially when considering fertilizer absorption by the plants.

Vigilance ensures a long, safe approach to your nematode program.

Vigilance uses a patented formula that delivers superior environmental and worker safety. Vigilance Nematicide works on penetrating the roots to support new, fleshy root growth and deals with parasitic nematodes inside the root itself.

continued on pg. 58

57 BC�T July


Vigilance performs in soil nematode control by causing paralysis and destruction of the nematode eggs, GABA (Gamma-amino butyric acid), reduced female fecundity, and death. These modes of action continue for months when applied correctly, allowing for a long-term active control time. This long-term activity is due to Vigilance being produced using GroPro’s patented AMPx technology.

Vigilance is both a control and suppression material for nematodes, allowing peace of mind for growers while delivering a safe impact to

workers and the environment.

Vigilance has no MRL (Maximum Residue Limit) restrictions, zero setback issues, zero plant-back restrictions, and zero pre-harvest restrictions.

GroPro Corporation, a leading agribiotech company, combines unique natural ingredients and modern technologies to manufacture bioproducts (biological inputs) with enhanced efficacy.

It is a commercial bio-pesticide, biostimulant, bio-fertilizer manufacturer, and a research and development (R&D) international organization.

GoPro aims to close the gap in effective non-chemical inputs that enable farmers to reduce their reliance on chemicals without compromising agricultural yield, quality, or profitability.

GroPro’s approach entails proprietary technologies, including pharmaceutical-grade biotech manufacturing processes. It works relentlessly to innovate and lead the way in the worldwide development, research, education, and adoption of the agro-biotech market.

For more information, visit https://www.groproag.com.

VariMax Now Connected to FieldView Platform

Results are real-time, data-driven nitrogen and irrigation management recommendations

A recent agreement between Climate FieldView™ and VariMax offers easy access to new tools for farmers wanting real-time, data-driven nitrogen and irrigation management recommendations.

Farmers now have the option to connect select information from their FieldView account to access variable and average flat-rate nitrogen and irrigation management recommendations quickly and easily on the VariMax system.

An innovative, farmer-led company within the agricultural technology space, VariMax entered the market with a unique algorithm-based

system in 2019. VariMax offers exclusive tools that analyze existing crops and help producers incorporate nitrogen and irrigation management recommendations into their farming practices.

The company has customers on a global scale, assisting farmers who want to integrate environmentally sustainable production methods and greenhouse gas solutions into their portfolio.

“We are excited about making our N-CHECK and WATER-CHECK tools available to Climate FieldView customers,” states Shane Ohlde, founder and chief executive officer

of VariMax.

“Climate FieldView’s interest in offering farmers and agronomic partners easy access to VariMax real-time nitrogen and irrigation solutions is a huge win for their customer bases,” Ohlde adds. “This exciting new opportunity allows farmers to have a winning strategy in a challenging marketplace through the platform of data management solutions.”


VariMax’s N-CHECK Nitrogen Management tool provides realtime variable and average flat-rate nitrogen prescriptions in minutes.

New Products. . . continued from pg. 57
58 BC�T July

The program uses actual data from farmers’ crops and fields to produce a specific application recommendation to maximize yield and minimize overapplication.

The company’s WATER-CHECK Irrigation Management tool uses live, in-field data, locally customized with the water-holding capacities for each soil type, to determine precisely when plants need water.

On average, the WATER-CHECK program reduces over-application of water by 20%. This is a proactive solution to reducing the demand on this country’s fresh water supplies.

“We pursue platform agreements that bring value to our customers’ operations and make it easier for farmers to connect to the tools they choose to use,” says Brandon Rinkenberger, chief customer officer, Climate LLC, and Digital Farming

at Bayer.

“Farmer feedback plays a key role in this process,” Rinkenberger explains, “and there’s excitement around what this new connection with VariMax can provide our shared customers, especially those managing irrigated acres.”

VariMax uses satellite imagery to sense the needs of the plants as they develop throughout the growing season in real-time, giving the user the power to respond and optimize the crops’ potential. This leads to an improved return on investment for VariMax users.

Demand for tools that help with nitrogen and irrigation management and assist producers looking for sustainable solutions led Climate FieldView to integrate VariMax with its platform.

Contact Ryan Weber, rweber@ varimaxsystems.com, www.varimaxsystems.com, or visit https://climate.com for more information. 59 BC�T July

NPC News

Supreme Court Strikes Down EPA Overreach

Definition is narrowed of areas regulated under the Clean Water Act

On Thursday, May 25, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated Waters of the United States (WOTUS) ruling (Sackett vs. EPA), pushing back against federal government expansion of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

In a unanimous decision, the Court significantly narrowed the definition of areas regulated under the CWA, limiting its scope only to wetlands that are “as a practical matter indistinguishable from waters of the United States.”

The ruling is based on Justice Antonin Scalia’s 2006 plurality opinion in the case of Rapanos vs. United States, which emphasized a narrower definition of Waters of the United States than Justice Anthony Kennedy’s “significant nexus” test.

This decision is being hailed as a major victory by farm groups that have fought back against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) efforts to overregulate private farmlands, ditches, and puddles. Bob Mattive, National Potato Council (NPC) vice president of

environmental affairs, welcomed the decision, saying, “Since its passage in 1972, the Clean Water Act has proven invaluable in protecting and restoring our nation’s vital water resources and ecosystems.”

“NPC welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision that restores a clear and common-sense interpretation of the CWA,” Mattive stated, “allowing

growers to continue to feed America while demonstrating their commitment to being stewards of our shared water resources.”

While there are still questions about how federal agencies will enforce the new standard, it marks an important shift in regulatory policy that could impact environmental regulations for years to come.

NPC Requests Increased Pest Management Funding

In mid-May, the NPC joined other agricultural organizations requesting increased funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Pest Management Policy (OPMP), which coordinates with the producer and user community to best ensure the various uses and benefits of pesticides are understood and considered by coregulators.

In a letter sent to Senate and House

appropriators, the industry requested funding for OPMP at $3.4 million to ensure strong technical experts representing the need for access to vital pest management tools and practices for agriculture.

The modest increase would expand the office’s capacity and ability to engage with coregulators (EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, etc.), ensure consistent,

reliable expertise on agricultural perspectives, and better guarantee all pesticide users are well represented in regulatory discussions.

The full letter can be found by visiting https://www.nationalpotatocouncil. org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/519-23-FY24-USDA-OPMP-FundingApprops-Request.pdf.

60 BC�T July

Ali's Kitchen

Curry Chicken is Aromatic and Tasty

Creamy yellow potatoes soak up rich flavors for a delicious one-pot dinner

Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary

I love curry. Recently, I came upon an article outlining the science behind this love.

On a study of more than 2,000 recipes, scientists discovered the secret behind curry’s popularity on a molecular level.

Curry dishes use ingredients that do not contain overlapping flavors.

The study found that the ingredients teamed together but had no similarity. Contrast this to many of our Western dishes that tend to pair similar flavors.

Researchers believe these contrasting flavors make the dish tastier, as each ingredient brings its own unique

continued on pg. 62


Jamaican Chicken Curry

• 2 Tbsp. olive oil

• 2 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken thighs

• 3 Tbsp. curry powder

• 1 tsp. all-purpose seasoning salt

• 1 yellow onion chopped

• 4 garlic cloves chopped

• 1 tsp. allspice

• 1 tsp. dried thyme

• 1/2 cup water

• 1 cup coconut milk

• 1 lb. small yellow potatoes, chopped

• 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

• 1 tomato, chopped

• 3 green onions, chopped

• Salt and pepper to taste

61 BC�T July

flavor to the dish, rather than simply blending in.

I concur! Curry dishes are incredibly flavorful. They are aromatic, rich, creamy, and often spicy. This month’s recipe is all those things, though I toned down the spice a bit for you. Creamy yellow potatoes soak up the combination of rich flavors and create a delicious one-pot dinner.


Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottom pot, or Dutch oven, over medium heat.

Add the chicken thighs, curry powder, all-purpose seasoning salt, chopped onion, garlic, allspice, and thyme to the pot. Stir to combine and cook for 10 minutes to brown all sides of the chicken thighs.

Add the water and coconut milk to the pot.

Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened and the chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender and cooked through.

Remove from heat. Add the chopped tomato and green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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Lindsay Corporation would like to thank Oasis Irrigation for 23 years of dedicated service representing the Zimmatic brand in the Central Wisconsin area. Since the year 2000, Jerry Knutson, his wife Kathy, and the staff at Oasis, including countless loyal and invaluable employees, have poured their hearts into providing superior service to their customers. Jerry would be proud of the outstanding job Kathy and the Oasis team have done in keeping this commitment to their customers going. We wish Kathy, the Knutson family, and the entire Oasis team all the best always.

We are also excited to announce that our new dealer, Badger State Irrigation, is now open for business in the same location as Oasis. Please stop by to visit the team at Badger State Irrigation for all your center pivot irrigation needs.

P.O. Box 327 Antigo, WI 54409 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage Paid Stevens Point, WI 54481 Permit No. 480 Contact <Dealership name> to learn more about the FieldNET family of remote irrigation management tools – FieldNET® Pivot Watch™, FieldNET Pivot ControlTM and FieldNET Pivot Control LiteTM <Dealership Name> <Street> <City, ST 00000-0000> <phone> <web> Please contact Badger State Irrigation for support on all of your Zimmatic and FieldNET irrigation management products and tools. 715-335-8300 N6775 5th Avenue Plainfield, WI 54966 © 2023 Lindsay Corporation. All rights reserved. Zimmatic, FieldNET, FieldNET Advisor, FieldNET Pivot Watch, FieldNET Pivot Control and FieldNET Pivot Control Lite are trademarks or registered trademarks of Lindsay Corporation or its subsidiaries.

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