August 2022 Badger Common'Tater

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$22/year | $2/copy | Volume 74 No. 08 | AUGUST 2022





Professor and Extension Specialist UW-Madison Department of Horticulture Dr. Jed Colquhoun (inset) and his lab are researching integrated weed management on carrots at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station.

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On the Cover: “Our overall goal for the integrated weed management program is to provide potato growers with a suite of tools that are economically reasonable and consistently effective,” says Jed Colquhoun, University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison professor, Extension specialist and Integrated Pest Management program director. Shown is an integrated weed management study on carrots at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station.




This onion production optimization study near Endeavor, Wisconsin, is one of many research projects being tackled by Dr. Jed Colquhoun and his team at UW-Madison. The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) has approved base funding for a weed management project in 2022, and, in coordination with the WPVGA Chip Committee, an “Innovative Potato Production Systems to Protect Water Quality” study.

DEPARTMENTS: ALI’S KITCHEN.................... 69 AUXILIARY NEWS............... 46 BADGER BEAT.................... 61


Attendees toured the Little Plover River and watershed


Hawaiian Sunset Potato Salad is healthy option for modern school foodservice menus


WPVGA Associate Division hosts social hour during research station field day

MARK YOUR CALENDAR...... 6 MARKETPLACE................... 48 NEW PRODUCTS................ 67 NOW NEWS....................... 52 NPC NEWS......................... 59


PEOPLE.............................. 28

18 WPVGA UPDATE includes excellent work done in all program areas of association

PLANTING IDEAS.................. 6

42 RED POTATO GROWERS test supplement to conventional liquid in-furrow fertilizer

SEED PIECE ........................ 30

56 PRAIRIE MIXES AREN’T the only options for pollinator attraction on field borders

WPIB FOCUS...................... 44


BC�T August

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WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Alex Okray Vice President: Randy Fleishauer Secretary: Bill Guenthner Treasurer: Mike Carter Directors: John Bustamante, Wendy Dykstra, Josh Knights, Charlie Mattek & J.D. Schroeder Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: President: Heidi Alsum-Randall Vice President: Andy Diercks Secretary: Bill Wysocki Treasurer: Keith Wolter Directors: John Bobek, John Fenske, Jim Okray, Eric Schroeder & Tom Wild WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors: President: Julie Cartwright Vice President: Matt Selenske Secretary: Sally Suprise

Treasurer: Paul Salm Directors: Andrew Curran, Morgan Forbush, Ethan Olson & Andy Verhasselt Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: Roy Gallenberg Vice President: Matt Mattek Secretary/Treasurer: Andy Schroeder Directors: Charlie Husnick & Jeff Suchon Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board of Directors: President: Brittany Bula Vice President: Datonn Hanke Secretary/Treasurer: Heidi Schleicher Directors: Erin Baginski, Misti Ward, Becky Wysocki & Devin Zarda

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



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

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

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










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Planting Ideas Here I go again, another photo of a cute kid. I keep telling

myself that if I print a picture of one kid or grandkid, I’ll have to include all the images I receive of adorable children that are sent to me, but so far, that hasn’t been an issue. And I took the above image myself. That’s John Eron of Eron Family Farm and Eron’s Event Barn, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, in the black shirt with his son, Jack, at his feet. Shoshana Halev, an agriculture intern with The Nature Conservancy, is standing to the right. The occasion was an educational tour of the Little Plover River that included information about restoration work being done there as part of the Little Plover River Watershed Enhancement Project. Eron, who leads the Farmers of Mill Creek Watershed Council, took part in the Central Wisconsin Farmers Collaborative Summer Educational Meeting and Field Tour. Hosted by the Central Wisconsin Farmers Collaborative, several farmer-led groups got together for a meeting and tour to share ideas about their respective work in such areas as hydrology and water and land management, cover crops, minimal till or no-till practices, soil conservation, groundwater monitoring, nitrate and phosphorus reduction and other best practices. The farmer-led groups strive for sustainability and to continue being stewards of their land and watersheds. At the time of the photo, Eron was explaining to the other farmer-led cooperatives that the Mill Creek Watershed Council has had great success in their mission of educating the public about land and water stewardship when they invite school children or local youth groups for farm visits and any kind of outdoor educational activities. He said the kids “eat it up” and love being outside and learning firsthand about best farming practices. See the full feature article inside covering the Central Wisconsin Farmers Collaborative Summer Educational Meeting and Field Tour. This “Research & Sustainability” issue of the Badger Common’Tater also features an interview with University of Wisconsin-Madison horticulture professor, Jed Colquhoun, updating readers on his research work; another feature by Dan Peterson, agronomist for AgroLiquid, on using a supplement added to a conventional liquid in-furrow fertilizer program to enhance the color of red potatoes; and an overview of all 2022-’23 research projects funded through the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association. Please email me with your thoughts and questions. If you wish to be notified when our free online magazine is available monthly, here is the subscriber link:

Joe Kertzman

Managing Editor


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professor, Extension specialist and IPM (Integrated Pest Management) program director, University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison Department of Horticulture By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

NAME: Jed Colquhoun POSITION: Professor, Extension specialist and IPM program director UNIVERSITY & DEPARTMENT: UW-Madison Department of Horticulture LOCATION: Madison, WI HOMETOWN: Grew up primarily in northern New York, with his family currently living on an island off the Maine coast YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: 17 PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: Faculty member at Oregon State University until 2005 SCHOOLING: Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Cornell University, and Ph.D. from UW-Madison ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: Serves on boards and committees for several agricultural associations and foundations, public agencies, and food security-related NGO’s (nongovernmental organizations) FAMILY: Wife, Julie, son, Patrick (20 years old), and daughter, Ellie (17) HOBBIES: Anything outdoors – boating, hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, making firewood and maple syrup, etc., as well as woodworking and cooking 8

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Though he didn’t grow up on a farm, Jed Colquhoun says he always enjoyed plants and the productive feeling of growing his own food. A professor, Extension specialist and IPM program director in the UWMadison Department of Horticulture, Colquhoun says, “I was a biology major in college and originally thought I would go into the medical field, but the draw of a good day working outdoors pulled me away from the fluorescent lights of the labs.” “My early experiences had much in common with working in agriculture,” he adds. “My father worked as a fisheries biologist, and I spent many days working outdoors with him and appreciated that hard work yielded harvest from the water, in that case, instead of the land.” “My early job experiences were in construction and property maintenance,” Colquhoun remarks, “where working with your hands led to visible, tangible outcomes.” Dr. Colquhoun began working in fruit and vegetable production in the summer after his first year in college

and hasn’t looked back. Do you specialize in potatoes and vegetables, and weed management therein, or what exactly, and how did that come to fruition? In my present position, I cover commercial fruit and vegetable production, which in Wisconsin means I spend my time primarily in potatoes, fresh market and processing vegetables and cranberries. We also do work in other specialty crops, such as hops and mint. Above: In addition to being a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor, Extension specialist and integrated pest management program director, Jed Colquhoun has served in several administrative roles, such as (inset image) interim Extension program leader and College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) associate dean. He has also served on advisory committees, shown in the second photo (center) as part of the State Association of Feeding America Foodbanks Advisory Committee. Images courtesy of Michael P. King/UW-Madison CALS

My “bread and butter” research and outreach programs continue to be focused on integrated weed management, but over the years, by request and given position vacancies, we’ve added work in sustainability metric development for the food industry (such as potato carbon and water footprint metrics). I also serve as IPM program director, so the staff and I develop and deliver outreach programming via a diversity of tools, such as smartphone apps to predict and manage pest outbreaks and a YouTube channel with over 2 million views, as well as hands-on, in-person programs statewide. You are a professor and Extension specialist. How do you split those duties, and how do they complement each other? My goal is to not split those duties at all, but to have the applied research flow seamlessly into the Extension or outreach programming. Our research is very applied intentionally as our interest is to have the beneficial outcomes of that work adopted by farmers. And, our outreach is based on objective, science-based data. Our niche isn’t to sell products,

but instead provide clientele with timely knowledge to make informed decisions. Do you have a lab and graduate students working for you, and if so, how many and in what capacities? I have one student that just graduated and is currently publishing the results of her research, and continued on pg. 10



Right: Jed Colquhoun spends a good deal of time troubleshooting commercial production issues.

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Left: Approved for WPVGA base funding for a weed management project in 2022, Jed Colquhoun says his research team’s overall goal is to provide potato growers with a suite of tools that are economically reasonable and consistently effective, while protecting the environment where they farm. Shown is a potato research plot at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station.









Interview. . .

continued from pg. 9

two new students that joined our program this spring. One student is working on our water quality research in potato production, looking at novel ways that we can filter leachate below the potato root zone and before it reaches groundwater using inter-seeded cover crops and bio compounds applied via fumigation equipment prior to potato planting.

The other student is looking at ways to use naturally occurring plant growth regulators to optimize marketable potato and vegetable production, while improving early season growth and emergence such that the crops are more competitive with weeds. Through the IPM program, I raise funding to support about a halfdozen long-term staff that are

Above: Alternative crops that Jed Colquhoun’s team is studying include the high-protein Bambara groundnut (left), which is drought tolerant, nitrogen fixing and has potential as an alternative crop on sandy soils, and goji berries (right, nearing harvest, taken in 2021). Bottom: Herbicide research includes everything from multi-species screening plots with about a dozen vegetables, where the initial look at crop safety happens (first photo), to winter grow-out of potato seed herbicide carryover studies (second image).

wonderful to work alongside. You were approved for WPVGA base funding for a weed management project in 2022. What are you and your crew researching, and what are your goals or objectives in the project? Our overall goal for the integrated weed management program is to provide potato

10 BC�T August

growers with a suite of tools that are economically reasonable and consistently effective, while protecting the environment that we farm in. One of the greatest challenges in specialty crop weed management is that we have few herbicide options relative to the “big 5” agronomic crops (corn, wheat, soybean, rice, and cotton), and that can lead to not only poor weed control and potato yield, but also a greater risk of selecting for resistant weeds.

“I’d rather see the results of our work in a grower’s field than on a bookshelf, and constantly ask myself if I’d take my advice if I were on the other side of the conversation!” – Professor Jed Colquhoun, UW-Madison Department of Horticulture

In response, we essentially run a recycling program where we take the new herbicides developed for the major agronomic crops and screen them across the specialty crops. Those that show hope are then refined across use rates, timings, varieties, seasons, regions, and soil types, all while collecting robust data to support the registration process. We also continue to investigate non-chemical tools that could reasonably fit within our existing weed management programs to add resiliency without significant labor or cost, such as in our current plant growth regulator work. Another area where funds have been allocated by the WPVGA and the Chip Committee is “Innovative Potato Production Systems to Protect Water Quality.” What are the areas of concentration on this research and what’s the end goal? One of the primary benefits of growing potatoes in irrigated coarsetextured, low organic matter soils is that soil moisture can largely be controlled, except for when it rains a lot in a short period of time. This has happened more often lately and can lead to leaching events. The overall goal of our work here is to find practical ways to add a filter between the potato root zone and groundwater to capture potato inputs continued on pg. 12

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 11

such as fertilizer and herbicides during leaching events. More specifically, we’re looking at deep-rooting, nitrogen-scavenging cover crops that can be inter-seeded among potato rows.

Our initial focus in this project is agronomics: Are the cover crops compatible with potato weed management? Do they grow well as an inter-seeding? Can we still produce and harvest a marketable

potato crop? In a preliminary soil column study, we’re also looking at novel, natural bioremediation soil additives that capture crop inputs that we could inject below the potato root zone prior to planting with fumigation equipment. Initial results from this study are very exciting and encouraging, and we look forward to sharing more at the 2023 Grower Education Conference & Industry Show. Overall, Jed, what do you consider your area of expertise or what do you specialize in? My training and primary focus are on integrated weed management in specialty crops, with a specific interest in non-chemical strategies that pair well with our herbicides to provide a more resilient, holistic, and Above: Table beet research is conducted in a commercial production field near Ripon, Wisconsin. Left: Leeks and onions are part of Jed Colquhoun’s weed management research.

12 BC�T August

balanced program. Over time and based on opportunities and needs, I’ve also developed work in other areas such as developing metrics to optimize production (i.e., more production with fewer inputs). I like to consider the entire production cycle in my approach, knowing that every decision has ramifications down the line, and measuring those together can help optimize the overall system. How do you hope to use those skills to help Wisconsin potato and vegetable growers? My goal is to develop practical tools and to provide timely information for growers to make reasonable decisions. I’d rather see the results of our work in a grower’s field than on a bookshelf, and constantly ask myself if I’d take my advice if I were on the other side of the conversation! You’ve been at this a long time. What are your favorite aspects of your work and career? What do you most like doing or discovering? The opportunities to develop meaningful relationships and interact with those that produce our food has been a wonderful honor for me and gets me out of bed in the morning. My research is also constantly driven by the curiosity of how little I know! The mental satisfaction of discovering

Jed Colquhoun receives the “Friday Chair for Vegetable Production Research” award from CALS Dean Kate VandenBosch (right), who recently retired after leading the college since 2012. Glenda Gillaspy, a plant scientist and former professor of biochemistry at Virginia Tech University, was named as her successor and took over as the new dean effective August 4.

something new is very rewarding.

great so far.

You told me you’ve been “melting in the field” lately with all this heat. How has it affected your work and/ or cultivation of crops? Well, we just refill the water jug a bit more often. It hasn’t affected our work and, “knock on wood,” our research crops look

Do you think the heat will affect overall yield for potato and vegetable growers this year? Time will tell, of course, with a lot of the season left, but I don’t feel that we’ve had anything too out of line so far in

22-08 Badger Common'Tater (7.25x2.25).v1.pdf



8:57 AM

continued on pg. 14

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 13

terms of heat. The big storms that have rolled across the state lately make me much more

nervous, particularly in terms of wind and hail, as most of our crops are in sensitive growth stages.

What exactly have you been up to in the field? We’re almost completely in the field or behind the windshield these days, with minimal keyboard time, as we plant, grow, treat, and evaluate field research plots in about a dozen specialty crops statewide. I also spend a good deal of time on call, troubleshooting production issues with growers, food processors and consultants. Just like growers, we’ll soon switch over to harvest mode, where we get to see if our research work has made the most important difference—filling Above: As part of inter-seeding studies, the early spring rye rooting depth in potato is measured (first image), and yellow mustard as an inter-seeded cover crop in potato is evaluated (second image). Left: Mint research is conducted in a commercial production field.

14 BC�T August

the bins with a high-quality product. As far as weed and resistance management, what are the biggest challenges? In specialty crops, the limited number of labeled and effective herbicides puts a lot of pressure on a few tools, and that increases the risk of selecting resistant weeds. Additionally, recent weeds such as water-hemp spreading from agronomic production elsewhere to our specialty crop production often arrive resistant to several herbicides. How can those challenges be met or how can the damage be minimized? By far, the best bet is to rotate herbicide modes and sites of action, particularly across the rotation, and be diligent about not introducing already-resistant weeds from elsewhere (i.e., as a seed contaminant). Do you continue to see overuse or

misuse of herbicides? Other? Are growers buying into your program? Our potato and vegetable growers are very knowledgeable when it comes to proper herbicide use. Specialty crops are sensitive to damage. These direct-consumed crops are tracked and tested for residues often, and the financial cost of not paying attention or making mistakes is just too significant. I see my job as providing the best information possible to support that good decision-making. What do you feel are the biggest strides growers have made over the years in managing resistance? I would say awareness of the issue has grown significantly in recent years from something back of mind to a strong consideration when planning programs across crop rotations. Growers and crop consultants are also aware of, and keep an eye out

Cranberries are hand raked as part of IPM research near Millston, Wisconsin.

for, the most problematic species such as water-hemp and Palmer amaranth. continued on pg. 16


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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 15

You’ve mentioned Palmer amaranth in your Extension outreach work during field days. How bad of a problem is it becoming in Wisconsin? In the past few years, my colleagues

in agronomy and I have run across a few populations that have spread into the state and I suspect we’ll continue to see more geographic distribution in the next few years.

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We’re still not in as bad of a situation as in states to the south of us, but now’s the time to keep it that way with awareness, proper identification and keeping our inputs “clean,” such as seed and equipment. What is the number one piece of advice you have for growers in weed management? It’s actually Benjamin Franklin’s advice: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In weed management, that means preventing the introduction of new species on your farm that you won’t be able to control, like Palmer amaranth, as well as preventing the selection of resistant weeds that will persist for years. The most common reply I’ve heard after telling a grower that their most challenging weed wasn’t controlled because it has become herbicide resistant is: “I wish I hadn’t used that herbicide so much—now it’s not even an option for me.” Above: A malformed potato plant was photographed after being found by Jed Colquhoun during a diagnostic troubleshooting visit, and, in the second image, potato cover crop plots are shown in 2022.

What are you most proud of in your career? The times when I’ve had someone say that I’ve made a positive difference for them, making their lives easier or better, whether that’s on their farm or through food security programs like “Field to

Foodbank”—that makes me proud. I’ve also had the opportunity to work in so many different crops and production systems in New England, Wisconsin and the Pacific Northwest over the past 30 years and appreciate the times when I get to apply that

Above: On July 7, 2022, Dr. Jed Colquhoun updates Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day attendees on water quality and weed management research.


diverse experience to help others out (although my wife calls some of it “useless food trivia …”).



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WPVGA Update

Excellent work is being done in all program areas of the dynamic organization By Tamas Houlihan, Executive Director, Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Wisconsin Potato Crop Looking Good Despite Late Start The Wisconsin potato crop got off to a late start in 2022, with cold and wet weather conditions lasting throughout April and well into May. Most growers reported planting about two weeks behind schedule.

Some Central Wisconsin growers were able to start planting on April 10 and a few more by April 20. It was an unusual spring, with temperatures hitting 75 degrees on April 23, but dropping back down into the 40s the last week of April, with lows in the 20s.

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The second week of May brought 90-degree temperatures and windy conditions, followed by more cold and wet weather. By late May, planting conditions were very good, and the Antigo crop went into the ground without too many delays. Heat units finally arrived in early June and the crop started to catch up. Mostly dry conditions persisted throughout the month of June, but overall, growers reported that the crop was faring well. As of early July, most growers said the potato crop was about 10 days behind schedule. New Law Makes Grants Available to Farmers to Improve Water Quality In the spring of 2022, Gov. Tony Evers signed into law Wisconsin Act 223, which creates a Nitrogen Optimization Pilot Grant Program and a Cover Crop Insurance Premium Rebate Program. The nitrogen optimization grant program is designed to incentivize farmer-led water quality Above: The Wisconsin potato crop is looking good despite being a little behind schedule.

improvements. The WPVGA and other Wisconsin farmers strongly support the farmer-led nitrate reduction initiatives contained in Wis. Act 223. In accordance with the Act, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP) has requested that the Joint Committee on Finance appropriate $1.6 million in fiscal year (FY) 2023 to establish the nitrogen pilot grant program. Farmers will work in collaboration with a University of Wisconsin (UW) system campus to optimize the use of commercial nitrogen through projects funded with grants of up to $50,000. The collaborating UW institution would be eligible for 20 percent of the total grant award for each project. Additionally, funds are requested for another key provision of Wis. Act 223, a cover crop insurance premium

rebate of $5 per acre to help offset the costs to plant cover crops. This is requested to be funded at $800,000 in FY 2023. Based on similar programs in other states, we know that incentives to encourage planting cover crops work to reduce agricultural runoff and improve water quality. WPVGA Farms Participate in Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants Seven WPVGA-member farms in Central Wisconsin are working together on a Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant project to protect the watershed that includes the Little Plover River and a portion of the Wisconsin River. This group includes lead farm Plover River Farms, along with Feltz Family Farms, Firkus Farms, Hamerski Farms, Myron Soik & Sons, Okray Family Farms and Worzella & Sons. With matching funds from the

WPVGA and working closely with UW Extension and the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, the group secured a second grant from WDATCP following successful conservation work in 2021. Through on-farm conservation and collaborative partnerships, the group seeks to promote innovative stewardship practices that benefit the watershed, landscape, and the land managers themselves. Conservation practices employed by the group include the extensive use of cover crops, prairie and pollinator plantings, and no-till/minimum till practices. There were also extensive wetlands restoration practices employed in this watershed. (See the related coverage of the Central Wisconsin Farmers Collaborative Field Day event in this issue of the Badger Common’Tater.) continued on pg. 20

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WPVGA Update. . . continued from pg. 19

An additional producer-led group was formed in 2022 in the Central Sands: Farmers of the Roche-A-Cri. Farmers of the Roche-A-Cri has group members representing Coloma Farms, Signature Farms, ZanBria Artisan Farms, Heartland Farms, Horizon Cranberry Farms, Nathan Bula Farms LLC, Sterling Farms and Flyte Family Farms.

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The WPVGA is proud to see more member farms participating in the Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant program. Water Quality Outreach Specialist Hired As WPVGA Executive Director, I was asked to participate in the search and screen committee to select a UWExtension Commercial Vegetable Ag Water Quality Outreach Specialist to be based at UW-Stevens Point and work on potato and vegetable crops in the Central Sands. Guolong Liang was hired and officially began work on July 18. We’ll be hearing a lot more from Guolong in the months ahead as we hope to work closely with him on several water-related issues. 13 Members Graduate from Leadership Training Program After being postponed in 2020, the WPVGA Member Development Program returned in 2021-’22.


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This has proven to be one of the most valuable leadership training and networking programs offered by the Association, with 25 members graduating from the 2018-’19 class, many of whom are now serving on various industry boards and committees. The 2021-’22 program took place over five months, with 13 members graduating from the course in March.

grant from WDATCP. Grant funds will be used to explore export expansion into Mexico and Canada for seed, fresh and processed potatoes. The WPVGA Promotions Committee will work to establish awareness of Wisconsin potatoes as a brand, gauge consumer trends and needs, and determine viability of transportation for exports. This export expansion exploration will have significant impacts in terms of educating growers on markets and creating sales and marketing materials fit for specific Canadian and Mexican markets. We will also identify key contacts and leaders in both international markets that could help foster sales. The plan is to invite buyers and other market partners to visit Wisconsin for field and sales tours to consider trade options. WPVGA staff and growers will also be able to attend trade shows in both countries with a goal of connecting with prospective buyers. This is a great opportunity that has the potential to expand markets and provide significant returns for Wisconsin growers.

Participants learned about the core programs of the WPVGA including research, education, governmental action, and promotions, and received effective communication skills and media training.

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

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

Base funding is also provided to the Langlade Agricultural Research Station.

WPVGA Receives Export Expansion Grant This spring, the WPVGA was excited to learn that the association had received a $45,000 export expansion

In August of 2022, the WPVGA Research Committee will hold a Research Summit based on a recent survey of research priorities completed by growers.

The Summit will allow growers and researchers to discuss topics with the greatest need for more work, and to help guide and direct the research program for the next 5-10 years. The Future is Now for Farming for the Future Foundation An exciting new venture founded by the Pavelski family, Farming for the Future Foundation (FFTFF), broke ground on its Exploration Center in late April of 2022 in Plover. The FFTFF is dedicated to helping families understand and appreciate their food and the people who grow it. The Food and Farm Exploration Center will be a place for education, unforgettable family experiences and great, wholesome food. A tremendous resource for teachers and schools, it will be an excellent destination for families and agritourists as well as school groups. It will offer a unique way to learn about careers in agriculture and

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

help generate the future workforce for the entire industry. In keeping with its mission, the Foundation will also continue the creation of plans to increase agricultural literacy in Wisconsin classrooms.

With most children being raised without a direct connection to agriculture, training the next generation workforce is a critical challenge that demands focused solutions. continued on pg. 22

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WPVGA Update. . . continued from pg. 21

The FFTFF education team will ensure the Center’s programs can be experienced both on-site and in classrooms. The Center will explore the intersections of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Engineering, Math, and healthy attitudes. The process of educating young people about where

their food really comes from will serve a dual purpose. The Center will make this process interesting and exciting and thereby recruit young people to join the workforce in ag-related businesses— businesses just like yours. The Exploration Center will serve as a hands-on educational learning facility

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Above: With plans to open in 2023, the Farming for the Future Foundation Exploration Center will be a huge asset to the Wisconsin potato and vegetable industry.

with interactive exhibits focused on various areas of crop production and cutting-edge technology used in agriculture. Fundraising efforts are in full swing, and plans are to open the facility in 2023. New contributions through August will be matched through the 1:1 $1 million Pavelski matching grant. This generous gift extends the impact of every gift. Please consider adding your name to the long list of current donors. Keep up with Promotions, Associate Division and Auxiliary And finally, be sure to read the regular monthly columns in the Badger Common’Tater that feature the excellent work being done by the WPVGA Promotions Committee (Marketplace), Associate Division (Eyes on Associates) and Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary (Auxiliary News). The WPVGA is a dynamic organization and I’m proud of the work being done in all our program areas. Sincerely,

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Summer educational meeting and field day included tour of Little Plover River restoration site By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

On July 12, 2022, the Central Wisconsin Farmers Collaborative (CWFC) invited several producer-led groups from across the state for a roundtable discussion, sharing of ideas, and tour of restoration work being done on the Little Plover River. Invitations from the CWFC were extended to the Farmers of the Roche-A Cri, with many in that group being Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) members; Farmers of Mill Creek Watershed Council; Eau Pleine Partnership for Integrated Conservation; Farmers of the Lemonweir Valley and Farmers for Tomorrow River Watershed Council. The CWFC initiated the gathering of producer-led groups at the Village of Plover Board Room so they could meet and learn from each other, as well as engage in discussions about best practices. The latest round of Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants has been awarded to 36 farmer groups by the Wisconsin Department of 24 BC�T August

Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP). Farmers who have been willing to take the lead on sustainable practices without governmental regulation are using the funds to work with conservation organizations to address soil and water issues specific to their local watersheds. Seven of the groups are first-time recipients. Six WPVGA-member farms in Central Wisconsin joined together, in 2021, using a WDATCP grant toward protecting the watershed that includes the Little Plover River and a portion of the Wisconsin River. With leadership from Plover River Farms, the initial CWFC included Feltz Family Farms, Firkus Farms, Myron Soik & Sons, Okray Family Farms, and Worzella & Sons. Hamerski Farms was later recruited to join the group. A SECOND GRANT With matching funds from the WPVGA and working closely with the University of Wisconsin (UW) Extension and the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, the group was

successful in securing a second grant, this time for $33,600, from WDATCP for more conservation work in 2022. The partnership envisions a healthy and productive working landscape in Wisconsin’s Central Sands region. Through on-farm conservation and collaborative partnerships, the CWFC seeks to promote innovative stewardship practices that benefit the watershed, landscape, and land managers themselves. Conservation practices employed by the group include the extensive use of cover crops, prairie and pollinator plantings, and no-till/minimum till practices. Best practices discussed by the other groups include nutrient management; reduction of nitrate and phosphorus leaching; and elimination of wind and water erosion. WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan welcomed the producer-led groups to the Village of Plover Board Room, and together they identified common goals and needs. Above: Hosted by the Central Wisconsin Farmers Collaborative (CWFC), on July 12, a summer educational meeting of producerled groups included, from front-left and then clockwise around the room: Deana Knuteson (in tan shirt); Shoshana Halev; Stephanie Rockwood; Jeanine McCain; Nick Somers; Tamas Houlihan; Curt Soik; Scott Worzella; Steve Trzebiatowski; Erin O’Brien; Tracy Hames; Kyle Kellner; Anna James; Carolyn Pralle; and Katrina Shankland.

MISSIONS & VISIONS One spokesperson from each group shared their vision and mission statements and goals, as well as successes, challenges, accomplishments, and roadblocks they’ve faced. “It’s great that we’re cooperating. It’s important that it’s volunteer,” Houlihan stressed. “To try to regulate farmers out of business never works. These are voluntary practices that farmers are taking.” Tracy Hames of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association gave an overview of the CWFC’s hydrology and water management goals and assessment efforts and discussed how hydrologic restoration may relate to the priorities of the other producer-led groups. Afterward, the groups each drove to the Little Plover River restoration site, where Hames gave a detailed continued on pg. 26

The summer educational meeting and field day included a tour of the Little Plover River restoration site. The Little Plover River Watershed Enhancement Project (LPRWEP) is a multi-party collaboration convened by the Village of Plover and the WPVGA to improve the health of the Little Plover River and the quality of life of the surrounding community.

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BC�T August 25

Central Wisconsin Farmers Collaborative Hosts Producer-Led Groups . . . continued from pg. 25

overview of the work being done to revitalize and strengthen the river and waterflow, as well as the encompassing watershed. The Little Plover River Watershed Enhancement Project (LPRWEP) is a multi-party collaboration convened by the Village of Plover and the WPVGA to improve the health of the Little Plover River and the quality of life of the surrounding community. The Wisconsin Wetlands Association, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Portage County Land Conservation Department and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) make up the core team of project advisors. The LPRWEP aims to use best available data and voluntary conservation actions to achieve the following goals: • Increase the flow and improve the aquatic health of the Little Plover River • Improve surface and groundwater

“It’s great that we’re cooperating. It’s important that it’s volunteer. To try to regulate farmers out of business never works. These are voluntary practices that farmers are taking.” – WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan connections and water retention across the Little Plover River watershed • Alleviate storm-water-driven flooding • Improve and expand fish and wildlife habitat and public recreation opportunities and access A mere five miles long and located at the base of a moraine, the Little Plover River is a Class 1 trout stream. Yet, there have been decades of controversy surrounding it and whether there is reduced water flow because of agricultural practices,

village wells or weather- and landscape-related issues. Since the project started, the Little Plover River has been flowing above the minimum 4cfs (cubic feet per second) rate as set by the DNR as the public rights stage. The Project Team has been thinning out forest through pine and oak management, cutting trees that are not part of the historic landscape; filling in a large agricultural drainage ditch at the head of the river; dealing with the river form through channel improvement; decommissioning a high capacity well; and working on prairie and wetland restoration. The LPRWEP convened a team of fishery, floodplain, and forestry experts from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to help design and implement restoration and management practices, improve channel structure and reconnect the Little Plover River to its historic floodplain. RIVER REVITALIZATION The team physically narrowed the channel itself, and upon doing so, the river immediately started to become deeper by 1.5 to 2 feet. The river bottom has been changed, too, from sand to gravel.

An integral part of the Little Plover River Watershed Enhancement Project is working on prairie and wetland restoration. Potato and vegetable grower Myron Soik & Sons agreed to sell approximately 60 acres of land to the Village of Plover, land that has since been converted from irrigated agriculture to wetlands and upland prairie. 26 BC�T August

Potato and vegetable grower Myron Soik & Sons agreed to sell approximately 60 acres of land to the Village of Plover, land that has since been converted from irrigated

agriculture to wetlands and upland prairie. “These are voluntary practices that farmers are taking,” Houlihan reminds. “We appreciate the grant funds, but it’s got to be voluntary. You get together and work together.” There is great need to solve water

resource issues in the Wisconsin Central Sands area, and the LPRWEP is leading the way in that effort. Just as growers took the lead along the Little Plover River, all producerled watershed groups across the state are taking the lead on sustainable practices and without governmental regulation.

During the tour, Tracy Hames (front) of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association gave a detailed overview of the work being done to revitalize and strengthen the Little Plover River and waterflow, as well as the encompassing watershed. Behind Tracy, from left to right, are Carolyn Pralle and Kyle Kellner of the Adams County Land + Water Conservation Department; Dana Christel of WDATCP; and Shoshana Halev of The Nature Conservancy.

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Schaefer Selected as 75th Alice in Dairyland

Her primary duty is to educate the public about the importance of agriculture The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has selected Taylor Schaefer of Franksville as Wisconsin’s 75th Alice in Dairyland. In this position, Schaefer will work during the contract year as a full-time communications professional for DATCP, educating the public about the importance of agriculture in Wisconsin. Schaefer’s fondest memories stem from her family’s beef and crop farm, where raising livestock and serving as a youth leader in the Racine County 4-H program ignited her passion for agriculture. Schaefer went on to study at the University of Wisconsin (UW)Madison, where she was involved in the Association of Women in Agriculture, Badger Dairy Club, and the UW marching band. In 2021, she interned with Mayer Beef and Folk Song Farm, where she broadened her knowledge of the Something Special from Wisconsin™ program and connected with consumers. A WORKING ALICE She has since joined the UWMadison Animal and Dairy Sciences Department as a digital media intern and the Mid-West Farm Report as a

farm assistant. She graduated in May with bachelor’s degrees in animal sciences and life sciences communication and a certificate in digital studies, after which she accepted a position with the Mid-West Farm Report, in Madison. “As a young exhibitor, I looked up to Alice for her contributions towards reconnecting consumers to producers and ability to foster positive relationships between urban and rural community members,” Schaefer says. “As Alice, I will explore Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry and share my knowledge with audiences of all demographics across the state,” she adds. Schaefer was selected during the 75th Alice in Dairyland Finals hosted by Dane County. She began her term as the 75th Alice in Dairyland on July 5. She succeeds 74th Alice in Dairyland Julia Nunes of Chippewa Falls. About Alice in Dairyland Alice in Dairyland is a full-time communications professional for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

As Alice in Dairyland, Taylor Schaefer says she will explore Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry and share her knowledge with audiences of all demographics across the state.

The Alice program is supported by several partner organizations including Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Kettle Moraine Mink Breeders Association, Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board, Midwest Jewelers Association, Ginseng Board of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Beef Council. For more information about the Alice in Dairyland program, visit https:// and follow Alice on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



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28 BC�T August

Gary Hansen Passes Away

He enjoyed a long and successful career in agriculture at RPE, Inc. Gary Hansen, 56, passed away unexpectedly on June 7, 2022, at his home. Born September 3, 1965, to Harland and Judy Hansen Denn, Gary grew up in Madelia, Minnesota. He graduated from Madelia High School, in 1983, and received his Bachelor’s in Agriculture and Business from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He enjoyed a long and successful career in agriculture and produce brokerage, working at RPE, Inc., in Bancroft, Wisconsin, for many years. Gary’s pride and joy was his family. He was happiest spending time at the cabin in Minocqua, watching his children enjoy their passion of water skiing, and taking many, many family vacations. He moved with his family from Minnesota to Stevens Point for career opportunities, in 1998, and again to Plover, in 2016, to live permanently on the river. After a surgery in 2014 left him paralyzed, his life became more complicated. He had recently obtained his pilot’s license and flying

his plane was his greatest thrill. DETERMINED TO FLY He was determined to fly again, and after much research, had a light sport aircraft built with hand controls. With the help of his many pilot friends, he was able to enjoy his new plane, although only briefly. Gary was kind, loving, told terrible dad jokes, and had too many friends to count. He is survived by his loving wife of 26 years, Karyn; his daughter, Ashley, and son, David; sister-in-law, Jodi Westgard, and niece, Zoey Hansen; and sister-in-law, Cheryl Starr, and nephew, Adam (Stephanie) Starr, niece, Cat Starr, and great-nephew, Christopher. Gary is further survived by his fatherin-law and mother-in-law, Ronald and JoAnn Tucker; and stepsisters, Cinda (Brian) Wallace, and Dee (Doug) Thomas. He will be missed by many uncles, aunts, and cousins. He is preceded in death by his father, Harland Hansen, and mother, Judy Hansen Denn; stepfather, Robert Denn; brother,

Gary A. Hansen September 3, 1965 – June 7, 2022

Bruce Hansen; and nephew, Jeffrey Starr. A celebration of Gary’s life took place on June 13 at Shuda Plover Funeral Home. Visitation was followed by a service. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to your favorite charity in Gary’s name. Online condolences can be sent by visiting https://www. wis362041.

Dan Kakes Honored at Baseball Game

His son, Aaron, threw out the first pitch of the memorial game in Antigo The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) sponsored the Dan Kakes memorial baseball game on July 13, 2022, in Antigo, Wisconsin. Aaron Kakes threw out the first pitch before Antigo took to the field in a matchup against a favored Plover American Legion team. It seems only fitting that, in the memorial game honoring Dan, Antigo upset Plover by a score of 3-1. Aaron is the son of Dan, who passed away tragically in February of 2022. Aaron, a fourth-generation certified

seed potato grower, continues to operate Kakes Farms Ltd. Dan’s dedication to farming led him to serve as president of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors as well as on the WPVGA Board. Dan enjoyed a long and successful career in agriculture and produce brokerage, working at RPE, Inc., in Bancroft, for many years, as well as growing certified seed potatoes, oats and hay on Kakes Farms in Antigo.

Aaron Kakes throws out the first pitch at the Antigo versus Plover American Legion baseball game held on July 13, in Antigo, Wisconsin. BC�T August 29

Seed Piece

Spud Seed Classic Hits the Sweet Spot Again A full slate of 42 teams took to the links at Bass Lake Golf Course for annual event By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

It was nothing but blue skies for the 2022 Spud Seed Classic golf tournament, June 17, at Bass Lake Golf Course in Deerbrook, Wisconsin, and turnout for the fundraiser was just as fantastic as the weather.

Forty-two teams of four players each (some with three) hit the links for a day of sporting fun, frivolity, competition, games, drawings and fantastic food and beverages.

The annual fundraiser put on by the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) raises money toward research and research station needs, as well as promotion of the

Looking like the winners they are, taking home 1st Place with a score of 57 at the 2022 Spud Seed Classic scramble golf tournament are, from left to right, Nic Bushman, Kody Evje, Brandon Brehmer and Zach Koskey of Team Bushmans’ Inc. 30 BC�T August

state’s certified seed potato program and industry. Well supported each year, potato and vegetable growers, associated businesses and representatives, university researchers and guests arrive in full force for the golf tournament, dinner, and awards ceremony.

Golfers were treated to gorgeous weather and a beautiful setting at Bass Lake Golf Course for the 2022 WSPIA Spud Seed Classic golf tournament, June 17, in Deerbrook, Wisconsin.

Representing Rural Mutual Insurance, Keith Wanta chips one off the fairway at the 2022 Spud Seed Classic.

The timing after planting serves as a way for growers and industry professionals to enjoy some welcome relaxation and camaraderie while golfing with friends and their industry peers. In those respects, the event was a resounding success, and thanks to the generosity of tournament sponsors, the 2022 Spud Seed Classic raised $23,900, nearly $7,200 more than last year.

Prizes, gift packages and beverages were given out by occupied hole sponsors CoVantage Credit Union, Gowan USA, Oro Agri, Parsons of Antigo, Roberts Irrigation Co., TriEst Ag Group, Vista Financial Strategies and WIPFLI, LLP. Additionally, nearly 50 companies sponsored holes and made monetary and raffle prize donations to the event. See the full-page Spud Seed

Scott Scheer (left) and Marcus Moreau strike a pose at the Vista Financial Services occupied hole.

Classic “Thank You” ad in this issue. Jeanine Mischler and the staff at Bass Lake Golf Course prepared a delicious dinner buffet followed by the WSPIA Spud Seed Classic Awards Ceremony, during which top golfers and raffle prize winners were announced. Mark Luther, there playing for the AgCountry Farm Credit Services team, continued on pg. 32

Since 1998, the fundraiser, previously known as the Tony Gallenberg Memorial Golf Tournament, has raised well over $150,000 with proceeds invested directly back into the industry. SPUD SEED CLASSIC SPONSORS The 2022 Spud Seed Classic sponsors are Ag Logistics, Inc.; AgCountry Farm Credit Services; Big Iron Equipment, Inc.; BMO Harris Bank; Bushman’s Riverside Ranch; Kretz Truck Brokerage LLC; NACHURS; Nichino America, Inc.; Nicolet National Bank; Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company; Nutrien Ag Solutions-Great Lakes; Rhinehart Metal Buildings, Inc.; Schroeder Bros. Farms, Inc.; Schumitsch Companies; Swiderski Equipment, Inc.; Syngenta; T.I.P., Inc.; Volm Companies; and WSPIA.

If golfers chipped a ball into the ring of potatoes at the Vista Financial Services hole, they’d get a chance to win a bottle of vodka or a package of Titleist Pro V1 golf balls. Standing in the ring of potatoes are, from left to right, Luke Abbrederis, Chase Parr, and Ryan and Jeff Fassbender of Team Roberts Irrigation (with the Fassbenders being from Seidl Farms). BC�T August 31

Seed Piece

continued from pg. 31

walked away with a 65-inch LG UHD (Ultra-High Definition) TV, and Tamra Kegler, who represented one of four Gallenberg Farms teams, was lucky

enough to win the raffle for a JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker. More than 15 prizes were awarded for such feats as longest putt at

Above: Representing Team IState Truck Center at the 2022 Spud Seed Classic, Aaron Zimmerman shows solid putting form.

a certain hole, shortest drive at another or closest to the cart path at a third. For being closest to the pin on the par-3 eighth Tony Gallenberg Hole, Mitch Mattek of J.W. Mattek & Sons pocketed a cool $500. Much appreciation goes out to Mischler and Jim Pukall of Bass Lake Golf Course, and of course Karen Rasmussen and Julie Braun of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, for planning and executing a tremendous golf outing.

Landing 2nd Place with a score of 60 at the Spud Seed Classic are, from left to right, Tom Schmidt, Mike Bolen, Nate Bolen, and Nicholas Bolen. 32 BC�T August

Because of the great turnout and generosity of golfers and sponsors, the industry is already looking forward to the Spud Seed Classic being back at Bass Lake Golf Course in 2023. continued on pg. 34

Above: At the WIPFLI, LLP occupied hole, if golfers chipped two balls into a bucket, they had a chance to win a cooler and “a really big cheer.” Ron Krueger gave it the old college try while Tori Fischer (behind Ron in the first image and at left in the second image) and Jennifer Porath of WIPFLI stood behind the table ready to cheer. Left: Representing Fairchild Equipment and posing at the Langlade Ford of Antigo sponsored hole are, from left to right, Dave Fox, Jeff Martens, Bruce Decorah, and Al Marvin. Bottom Left: Showing a good approach to the tee is Josh Schmidt of Team AgCountry Farm Credit Services.

Above: Raffle prize winner Mark Luther, who played for AgCountry Farm Credit Services at the Spud Seed Classic, took home a 65-inch LG UHD (Ultra-High Definition) television. BC�T August 33

Seed Piece

continued from pg. 33

While Larry Krause (right) of Volm Companies lines up a chip shot, teammate Bob Hilger looks on holding a few clubs.

Above: Playing for Team Guenthner Potato Company, from left to right, Cindy and T.J. Kennedy and Cheri and Bob Guenthner enjoyed their day on the course. Right: Representing Kretz Truck Brokerage LLC at the Spud Seed Classic are, from left to right, Kristi Poltrock, Joe Markgraf, Fritz Kretz and Trey Kretz.

34 BC�T August


AgCountry Farm Credit Services


Nicolet National Syngenta Bank WSPIA SILVERTON SPONSORS

Ag Logistics, Inc. Bushman’s Riverside Ranch Kretz Truck Brokerage LLC

NACHURS Schumitsch Companies Volm Companies

SUPERIOR SPONSORS Big Iron Equipment, Inc. BMO Harris Bank Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company Nutrien Ag Solutions-Great Lakes

Rhinehart Metal Buildings, Inc. Schroeder Bros. Farms, Inc. Swiderski Equipment, Inc. T.I.P, Inc.


CoVantage Credit Union Gowan USA Oro Agri

Parsons of Antigo Roberts Irrigation Co. TriEst Ag Group

Vista Financial Strategies Wipfli, LLP

BASIC HOLE SPONSORS Arlen’s TV & Appliances Bushmans’ Inc. Culver’s/Tony’s Family DeWitt LLP Eagle River Seed Farm LLC Fairchild Equipment, Inc. Gallenberg Farms, Inc. ICL Group Insight FS IState Truck Center

AgSource Laboratories Badger Common’Tater Bass Lake Golf Course Culver’s of Antigo Dixie Lunch Fifth Avenue Lounge Gallenberg Farms, Inc. Gina’s Pizzeria Lakeside Market

J.W. Mattek & Sons, Inc. Quinlan’s Equipment, Inc. Jay-Mar, Inc. Riesterer & Schnell, Inc. Kakes Farms, Ltd. Roberts Irrigation Company KerberRose CPAs Sand County Equipment Langlade Ford Southside Tire Co., Inc. Mt. Morris Mutual Insurance Sowinski Seed Farm Co. T H Agri-Chemicals, Inc. Nelson’s Vegetable Storage Vine Vest North, Inc. Systems Warner & Warner, Inc. Nutrien Ag Solutions-Great Lakes


Maple Hills Golf & Restaurant North Star Lanes Northern Waters Distillery Pepsi Peroutka’s Meats Pomp’s Tire Service Riesterer & Schnell, Inc. Rural Insurance, Antigo

Salon 731 Schroeder’s Gifts Swartzendruber’s Supper Club Swiderski Equipment, Antigo Three Jokers Lounge WPVGA

Potatoes USA News

Potato Recipes Give School Foodservice Operators Options Potatoes are an integral part of school meals. Studies show that when potatoes are a part of a balanced school meal, the amount of food wasted on lunch trays is significantly reduced. And the great news is that potatoes are very versatile with many ways to incorporate them into the menu. Helping inspire operators to serve

more potatoes throughout the school year, Potatoes USA Culinary Director, Chef R.J. Harvey, and Sous Chef Vince Armada developed 16 dishes featuring potatoes as the center of the plate. These dishes show that potatoes and potato products are a great solution for many issues plaguing school foodservice operators today, including

SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW WPVGA MEMBERS When you need goods or services, please consider asking our Associate Division Members for quotes or explore what they have to offer. Together, we make a strong organization and appreciate how wonderful we are as a group. 36 BC�T August

Left: It’s likely that students can’t help but love the Crispy Hash Brown Potato Pizzettes that substitute hash browns for pizza crusts. Right: To help inspire school foodservice operators to serve more potato dishes, Potatoes USA Culinary Director, Chef R.J. Harvey, and Sous Chef Vince Armada developed 16 recipes such as this Margherita Potato Salad.

labor constraints, supply chain disruptions, and growing ingredient costs. By highlighting dishes such as Hawaiian Sunset Potato Salad made with turkey ham, pineapple, and sweet chili sauce, operators learn that potatoes do not need to be a simple side dish; they can be the star of the meal. Or swapping out traditional crust for hash brown patties as the base of mini pizzas makes lunchtime fun and delicious.

BREAKFAST QUESADILLAS And finally, tater barrels become the inspiration for breakfast quesadillas that are easy to put together and cook in just a matter of minutes, a filling and nutritious meal for students. Potatoes USA took these inspired recipes and filmed a series of cooking demos for operators. Chef R.J. Harvey, RD (registered dietician), in conjunction with “School Meals That Rock” guru Dayle Hayes, MS (Master of Science), RD, enticed school foodservice thought leaders to add these dishes to their menus. The dishes were filmed in the new Potatoes USA spud lab and broadcast through two webinars. Potatoes are no longer just for fueling bodies; they also aid in some of the foodservice industry’s top-ofmind constraints. When operators understand this, it is an easy win for them to position potatoes on their menus more frequently. This directly

Tater barrels became the inspiration for Potato, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Quesadillas that are easy to put together and cook in just a matter of minutes, a filling and nutritious meal for students.

drives demand and volume, given the sheer consumption at K-12 schools.

To check out more recipes, visit

BC�T August 37

Eyes on Associates By WPVGA Associate Division President Julie Cartwright, Jay-Mar, Inc.

How can it be August already? Time marches on. July 7 marked the Hancock Agricultural Research Station (HARS) Annual Potato Field Day. The skies were mercifully overcast to offer some shade and the weather was comfortable.

Around 80 people were in attendance to view research progress on a wide variety of topics. Nitrogen is always a critical subject from a production and an environmental standpoint. Matt Ruark and Ashmita Rawal from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Soil Science gave an update on their research to balance

these two dynamics. Additionally, research on precision agriculture in vegetable crops, insect management and the latest in potato breeding were some of the topics presented. A social hour followed the tour with beverages and potato chips provided by the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Associate Division and supper prepared and served up by the HARS staff. The microphones and speakers funded by a WPVGA research grant were used at the field day, and it’s always satisfying to see the money invested in research efforts put to good use. Above & Left: Russ Groves, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Entomology, discusses “Reduced-Risk Insect Management Options in Processing Vegetables” at the 2022 Hancock Agricultural Research Station (HARS) Field Day, July 7.

38 BC�T August

You’d be healthier, too your winters in Hawaii You’d You’d You’d bebe healthier, be healthier, healthier, too, too, too, if if you you if you spent spent spent your your your winters winters winters in in Hawaii. in Hawaii. Hawaii. You’d be healthier, too, if you spent your winters inbottom Hawaii. MOISTURE-CRITICAL SEASON thanks from the of my heart This year, the Associate Division also provided funding to replace gear boxes on irrigation systems at the Rhinelander Agricultural Research Station. Those gear boxes have been installed and are now in use just in time for the most moisture-critical season of the year!

to everyone in the industry for their sympathy and support since the tragic and sudden loss of my husband, Mark. I would like to share a story about this event because I think it provides prospective in a world where chaos often drowns it out.

On a personal note, I want to offer

In the awful moment when I learned

You’d be healthier, too, if you spent your winters in Hawaii.

Above: Approximately 80 people attended the HARS Field Day to view research progress on a wide variety of trials critical to area potato and vegetable growers.

of Mark’s death, of all the things racing through my head, what I needed the most was a sign from God that Mark was in heaven. We had continued on pg. 40

100% of Wisconsin Seed Potatoes must be winter tested to be eligible for certified seed tags.

• While their of the

• Wisco top-q

• With one g

• While all state seed winter Don’t bet potato your associations farm on untested seed p test their foundation lots, some do not winter • While• While all state • all While seed state allpotato seed state potato seed associations potato associations associations winterwinter test winter test test Check the100% winter test results and Begin with the B test oflots, their certified seed lots. their foundation their foundation theirlots, foundation some lots, some do notdo some winter not do winter test not 100% winter test 100% test 100%

100% 100% of 100% Wisconsin of Wisconsin of Wisconsin Seed Seed Seed of theirofcertified theirofcertified their certified lots. seed does, lots. seedand lots.this assures you get only •seed Wisconsin Potatoes Potatoes Potatoes must must be must be winter winter be winter •WISCONSIN Whilethe alltop-quality state seed potato associations winter test seed. • Wisconsin • Wisconsin •does, Wisconsin and this and does, assures this and assures this youdoassures get youwinter only get you the only get the only the 100% of Wisconsin Seed Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement CERTIFIED theirdoes, foundation lots, some not test 100% tested tested tested to be to be eligible to eligible be eligible for for for P.O. Box 173 • Antigo, WI 54409 SEED POTATOES top-quality top-quality seed. top-quality seed. seed. of •their certified seed lots. Badger State Brand Tag, • 715-623-4039 With the Wisconsin Potatoes must be winter you get one grade, oneBrand standard-certification •With Wisconsin does, and this assures you get only the With•the With Wisconsin •the Wisconsin theBadger Wisconsin Badger State Badger Brand State Tag, State you Brand Tag, getyou Tag, get you get certified certified certified seed seed tags. seed tags.• for tested to betags. eligible top-quality seed. that counts. one grade, one grade, one onestandard–certification grade, one standard–certification one standard–certification that counts. that counts. that counts.

certified seed tags.

• With the Wisconsin Badger State Brand Tag, you get one grade, one standard–certification that counts.

Don’tDon’t betDon’t your bet your farm bet your farm on untested farm on untested on untested seedseed potatoes. seed potatoes. potatoes. Check Check theCheck winter the winter the test winter test results results testand results Begin andfarm Begin and with Begin with the Best with the seed Best — theWisconsin! Best — Wisconsin! — Wisconsin! Don’t bet your on untested potatoes.

• While all state seed potato associations winter test 100% of WisconsinCheck Seedthe winter their foundation some do not and winter test 100% with the Best — Wisconsin! testlots,results Begin of their certified seed lots. Potatoes mustWISCONSIN be winter WISCONSIN WISCONSIN • Wisconsin and this assuresPotato you get only the Association, Wisconsin Wisconsin Seeddoes, Seed Potato Seed Potato Improvement Improvement Improvement Association, Association, Inc. Inc. Inc. CERTIFIED CERTIFIED tested toCERTIFIED be eligible for Wisconsin WISCONSIN top-quality seed. P.O. Box P.O. 173 Box •P.O. Antigo, 173Box •Wisconsin Antigo, WI 17354409 • Antigo, WI 54409 •Seed 715-623-4039 WIPotato •54409 715-623-4039 •Improvement 715-623-4039 • • •Association, SEED SEED POTATOES SEED POTATOES POTATOES Inc. CERTIFIED • With the Wisconsin Badger State Brand Tag, you get certified seed SEED tags.POTATOES P.O. Box 173 • Antigo, WI 54409 • 715-623-4039 •

For a directory Forof a directory Wisconsin Forofa Wisconsin directory of Wisconsin Certified Seed Certified Potato Seed Growers, Certified Potato scan Growers, Seed Potato scan Growers, scan this code with this your code smartphone. with this your code smartphone. your smartphone. For a directory ofwith Wisconsin

one grade, one standard–certification that counts.

Don’t bet your farm on untested seed potatoes. Check the winter test results and Begin with the Best — Wisconsin! WISCONSIN CERTIFIED

Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association, Inc.

Certified Seed Potato Growers, scan this code with your smartphone.

BC�T August 39

For a directory of Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato Growers, scan

Eyes On Associates continued from pg. 39

been married for over 31 years and I knew his heart, his struggles, and his faith, but I still needed reassurance of his salvation to help me through this.

room, there by his chair was his Bible. That Bible had spent the last 15 years under a layer of dust on the nightstand in our bedroom.

When I finally arrived home that afternoon, I sat in our quiet living room alone. As I looked around the

Immediately prior to his passing, he had been reading God’s word. That was my sign. I was so thankful and

Above: The WPVGA Associate Division provided funding to replace gear boxes on the irrigation systems at the Rhinelander Agricultural Research Station (RARS). Those gear boxes have been installed and are now in use in time for the most moisture-critical season of the year! The old gear boxes are shown in the first image, with Becky Eddy, RARS superintendent, proudly standing next to the newly installed parts.

grateful to God for that reassurance. I miss Mark more than I can even express, but I know that each day brings me that much closer to a joyful reunion with him in heaven.

M.P.B Builders, Inc. From Planning through Completion Commercial • Residential • Agricultural Design and Construction of:


Phone: 920-748-2601 1-800-782-9632 Fax: 920-748-4829

Post Frame • Stud Wall & Steel Buildings 40 BC�T August

The take-home message is simple. Not one more day is promised to any of us, and we are each going to spend eternity somewhere. Please, please, please get your spiritual house in order for your sakes and the peace of mind of your loved ones. There really is nothing more important.

Julie Cartwright

WPVGA Associate Division President

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Prescription Crop Nutrition for Red Potatoes

Growers saw brighter, deeper red skin color, higher quality, and enhanced nutritional value By Dan Peterson, regional agronomist for AgroLiquid In Minnesota, two fresh market red potato growers tested a prescription AgroLiquid supplementation added to their conventional liquid in-furrow fertilizer.

conventional 10-34-0 in-furrow starter blend against the same rate of their 10-34-0 blended with 1 gallon/acre LiberateCa and 2 quarts/acre of Micro 600.

For these wholesale growers, an appealing red color and skin quality is paramount, even more so than yield.

The results of this trial are that the LiberateCa/Micro 600 treated potatoes have a much brighter, deeper red color with smoother skin, and little to no scab, silver scurf, and other blemishes compared to the untreated potatoes.

We determined that, for these growers, a combination of two of our AgroLiquid products, LiberateCa (protected soluble calcium) and Micro 600 (protected solution of sulfur, iron, and four micronutrients), had potential for improving red potato skin color and quality. Side-by-side field comparisons were set up using the two cooperators’ 42 BC�T August

In addition to the enhanced color and skin quality, the LiberateCa/Micro 600 treated potatoes were found to have significantly enhanced nutritional qualities—more protein, nutrient density, and essential minerals.

Above: The LiberateCa/Micro 600 treated potatoes are on the left. Note the enhanced, bright-red skin color.

The chart, on page 43, illustrates how much more nutritious the LiberateCa/ Micro 600 treated potatoes were in this trial. These numbers were unexpected and rather astonishing. More field trials will be run in 2022 to see if the results are repeatable. It is important to note that these results represent one year’s data from two farms in northwest Minnesota. Despite the remarkable numbers, continuing with additional trials will be important, as they always are in field research.

I would like to expand my potato research in Wisconsin. If any members of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association would be interested in a field research project, I would love to have a discussion with you. In addition to red potatoes, I am highly interested in russets for processing. Our third-party research with russets in southwest Manitoba, Canada, and on-farm trials in southern Alberta have been highly successful. We have also had success in Idaho and Oregon. LiberateCa is a highly soluble and plant available calcium source that we protect in the soil with our unique and highly effective organic chelation using Flavonol Polymer Technology. This protection keeps the calcium soluble and available for root absorption yet protects it from reacting with other minerals in the soil, thus making it far more efficient than other calcium sources we have found in our research. Calcium is highly important for plant health and nutritional qualities, which was amply demonstrated in this field comparison. Micro 600 is a specially formulated solution of soluble sulfur, iron, and four micronutrients that is synergistic in nutrient efficiency and uptake in plants coupled with a high degree of plant safety. These nutrients work together to provide a yield benefit and to improve the quality of tubers. Potatoes require significant amounts of plant available sulfur and iron. Micro 600 protects these nutrients from tie-up in the soil and places them in an efficient band with the seed piece at planting. Our potato research in several states plus Canada continues to demonstrate the efficacy of Micro 600, consistently creating more sacks per acre and better tuber quality.

The LiberateCa/Micro 600 treated potatoes are on the right. Despite remarkable results in first-year field trials, continuing with additional research will be important. The author would like to expand his potato research in Wisconsin. If any members of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association would possibly be interested in a field research project, he would love to have a discussion with you. Contact Dan Peterson at dan.peterson@agroliquid. com, or call 262-339-6843.

262-339-6843, or visit

For more information, contact AgroLiquid, attn: Dan Peterson,,

MINNESOTA FRESH MARKET RED POTATOES QUALITY REPORT 1/25/22 TREATMENT: 1 gallon Liberate Ca + 2 quarts Micro 600 added to standard in-furrow blend Untreated, Treated, Parameter Percent of dry Percent of dry matter matter Nutrient Density 259.00 321.30

Treated % versus untreated 124.05








































90.66 BC�T August 43

WPIB Focus

Election Results in for 2022-’23 Wisconsin Potato Industry Board Out-going board member Cliff Gagas recognized for 18 years of distinguished service

Above: The 2022-’23 Wisconsin Potato Industry Board (WPIB) members are, from left to right, Eric Schroeder, Andy Diercks (vice president), Heidi Alsum-Randall (president), Bill Wysocki (secretary), Keith Wolter (treasurer), John Fenske and Tom Wild. Inset are Jim Okray (left) and John Bobek.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has certified the 2022 Wisconsin Potato Industry Board

District 1: Keith Wolter, Antigo District 1 includes Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Brown, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Door, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire,

| Volume 74 No. $22/year | $2/copy




N ISSUE CROP PROTECTIO O CONG RESS WORL D POTAT , Ireland Descends on Dublin TS IN TWELVE KEY EVEN n Aviatio 100 Years of Ag S: FIGHT ING WEED A Changing World OTE POTATOES PROM Health Good Metabolic

07 | JULY 2022

(WPIB) election results. As of July 1, 2022, the following producers began a three-year term as elected WPIB members:

Badger Common’Tater



KIRAN TY ent SHETDeve lopm Technical Lead, Syngenta

rs, with potato researche Shetty has worked on storage issues, Syngenta’s Kiran ons and organizati g. extension services consumer packagin of potatoes and marketability

44 BC�T August

Subscribe Today!

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

Florence, Forest, Iron, Kewaunee, Langlade, Lincoln, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Vilas, and Washburn counties. District 2: John Fenske, Coloma Includes Marathon, Outagamie, Portage, Shawano, Waupaca, and Waushara counties.

Wolter and Diercks were reelected to three-year terms. Fenske also was elected to a three-year term and replaces Cliff Gagas, who served six three-year terms and decided it was time to step down and let someone else represent the Board in District 2.

District At-Large: Andy Diercks, Coloma

The rest of the WPIB members are Heidi Alsum-Randall (president); Bill Wysocki (secretary); and John Bobek, Jim Okray, Eric Schroeder, and Tom Wild (directors).

The WPIB is composed of nine producers in three districts across the state, with one at-large member elected every third year.

The Board oversees the collection and use of approximately $1.7 million in assessment fees paid by Wisconsin potato growers.

Above: On June 21, WPIB President Heidi Alsum-Randall presented Cliff Gagas with a plaque in appreciation of his six board terms and 18 years of distinguished service. John Fenske was consequently elected to the Board to represent District 2.

This funding is used to support the potato industry through research, education, and promotion of Wisconsin-grown potatoes. DATCP administers elections for Wisconsin commodity marketing boards. To learn more about market order boards, visit https:// MarketingBoards.aspx.

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison Month


























3,166,411.47 23,793,947.74













$253,239.26 $1,903,510.80



























3,411,223.09 25,095,531.45













$272,864.68 $2,007,682.04 BC�T August 45

Auxiliary News By Datonn Hanke, vice president, WPGA

Hi all. Happy August! We hope your summer didn’t fly by too quickly and you were able to enjoy time with family and friends.

We’re having a very busy summer, and it kicked off with our Annual Banquet in June. It was a fun-filled night beginning with our board meeting, then we had a State Fair

meeting followed by our Annual Meeting and a delicious dinner. Our banquet was held at the beautiful Bula Barn, in Antigo, and it was so wonderful to catch up and see everyone. We had a great turnout, so thank you to all who made it. Our Annual Banquet is when we vote in new board members if we have anyone that’s finishing their term, and we also elect officers. Marie Reid and Jody Baginski, two amazing ladies who do so much for the State Fair, Kids Dig Wisconsin Potatoes program, and every program that the Auxiliary has, had to step down this year after fulfilling their terms. Above: After elections held during the Annual Banquet, the 2022-’23 Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board of Directors are, from left to right, Brittany Bula (president), Devin Zarda, Datonn Hanke (vice president), Becky Wysocki and Heidi Schleicher (secretary/treasurer). Inset are Board Directors Erin Baginski (left) and Misti Ward (right).

46 BC�T August

We are so thankful to them and all the amazing things they’ve done and continue to do for our board and the potato industry. WATCH FOR INTERVIEWS I’ll be conducting exit interviews with both Marie and Jody for the September Auxiliary News, so be sure to watch for those. With two open positions, we were excited to have Misti Ward of RPE, Inc. and Erin Baginski of Baginski Farms step up into board positions, and we can’t wait to see all the awesome things they bring to the Auxiliary Board. I’ll also be doing an article in the next few months so we can get to know Misti and Erin a bit better. I can’t wait for you all to meet them!

Above and Previous page bottom: Held this year at the beautiful Bula Barn, in Antigo, the Annual Banquet is always a nice way for Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary members to catch up with each other and enjoy some food and fun.

We have a new board president, Brittany Bula. Brittany has led our Potatoes in the Classroom and Membership committees for many years, and we know she’ll do an awesome job.

fearless leader. She will serve as our past-president for this year. As for the rest of the officer positions, those didn’t change much as I’m still vice president and Heidi Schleicher will continue as the secretary.

A big thank you to Devin Zarda for being our 2021-’22 president and

We are excited to see what our 2022-’23 year brings, and I’ll be sure

to keep you up to date on all the programs and activities the Auxiliary Board conducts. Until next time,

Datonn Vice president, WPGA BC�T August 47

Marketplace “Power Your Performance” Is Main Commercial Message

By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education There’s never a dull moment when Mad Dog and Merrill are around! The duo from New London, Wisconsin, that specializes in grilling on their own TV show has partnered with the WPVGA Promotions Committee for several years now. Mad Dog and Merrill continue to help promote Wisconsin potatoes as filling and nutritious food that is ideal as a side dish for any meal or even as a “center of the plate” item … on the grill!

And in all their promotional efforts, the grilling duo adds their quirky, fun, and goofy personalities to the mix. Well, those personalities were very evident in the newest collaboration with the WPVGA—a commercial for the industry in which they demonstrate exactly what Wisconsin potatoes can do for your health and physique! Merrill begins by expressing his need for energy. In response, Mad Dog points him to a bowl of Wisconsin mashed potatoes with complex carbohydrates for that “long-lasting” energy. Above: Mad Dog hugs body builder Hunter Gruenwald to practice the “ripping of the shirt” (from having muscles that are too big) during the Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes commercial shoot. 48 BC�T August

The commercial then breaks into a montage of different weight-lifting exercises that Merrill is now able to do with his newfound power and energy after eating

Above: Mad Dog (left) and Merrill (right) practice their lines for the Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes commercial shoot on May 31, 2022, in New London.

Wisconsin potatoes! MUSCLE & STRENGTH Each exercise builds on the last as Merrill also eats a Wisconsin baked potato and gains even more muscle and strength. All the while, Mad Dog is commenting how Merrill is experiencing “potatopowered performance!” The video shows Merrill’s muscles building, speed increasing and endurance lengthening until, at the end, he expresses that he’s “powered by Wisconsin potatoes” through a ripped shirt resulting from his gigantic physique!

Of course, the humor in this (besides the duo’s comical personalities) is that Merrill’s physique changes drastically over the course of 30 seconds, all thanks to his bodybuilding stunt double, Hunter Gruenwald.

While it’s completely unrealistic that someone can get so buff in a matter of seconds, the underlying theme of the commercial shines through, that Wisconsin potatoes are a health food deserving of recognition.

Not only are they versatile, but potatoes provide long-lasting energy while also making you feel full for a longer period. Enjoy the video by visiting https://

Walk Wisconsin Ends After More than a Decade After 17 years, Walk Wisconsin is calling it quits. Saturday, June 4, 2022, marked the last time the popular event will occur in the Central Sands, unless another group takes over organization. To say that Walk Wisconsin has been a staple event for the Stevens Point area would be an understatement. It truly has been a key experience for thousands over the years when it comes to staying active and simply, walking! Many people used Walk Wisconsin as “their event” where they unveiled a first try at completing a quarter-, half- or full marathon. Whether they walked or ran, the non-competitive event simply encouraged people of all ages to get outside and find ways of being active, especially since walking is an activity anyone can enjoy year-round.

The association has consistently sponsored Walk Wisconsin and covered registrations for those from the potato industry as a way of encouraging participation and having people serve as ambassadors for Wisconsin potatoes. continued on pg. 50

Right: Julie Lampert shares her medals from Walk Wisconsin, marking her participation in the event every year (except during COVID) since it began in 2005. Below: Dana Williams (left) and Julie Lampert get ready to start their last Walk Wisconsin event, held on June 4, 2022, in Stevens Point.

The routes were strategically planned to provide beautiful scenery as participants passed by the Wisconsin River, Plover River, and several lakes. Walk Wisconsin was also the predecessor to creating “Active Portage County” and other events like Moon Walk Wisconsin, Hard Rocks Hiking Challenge and PedaLoops. POTATO AMBASSADORS This event has also been a staple in WPVGA’s budget since at least 2009. BC�T August 49

Marketplace. . .

continued from pg. 49

Above: Dana Williams (left) and Julie Lampert celebrate finishing Walk Wisconsin and getting their medals. Right: Julie Lampert (left) and Dana Williams, both sporting “Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes” T-shirts, are also happy to point out the logo on a Walk Wisconsin banner.

Julie Lampert, who has participated every year since it started, shares her experience: “I look forward to Walk Wisconsin every year because it is such a beautiful venue, challenges my body and is a wonderful way to spend time catching up with friends!” “The hours spent walking on the Green Circle Trail go by quickly when you are in God’s creation with people you love,” she says. “Hats off to the organizers of this amazing event. It truly has been a blast since 2005 (blisters and all)! Hopefully another organization will continue the tradition because it has been priceless.” “Thanks also to the WPVGA for supporting and partnering this community event that hosted over 50 BC�T August

800 walkers just this year alone,” Lampert adds. “Happy Trails!” It’s been the perfect partnership to showcase the power that Wisconsin potatoes provide when it comes to performance and the energy and

recovery bodies need for success. Walk Wisconsin will certainly be missed, but we are sure the habit of staying active and being healthy that the event has created and encouraged will carry on.

WPVGA Funds 2022-’23 Research Projects BASE FUNDING PROPOSALS: (BFP) Project Leader

Project Title


Colquhoun, Jed

BFP: Weed Management


Endelman, Jeffrey

BFP: Breeding


Gevens, Amanda

BFP: Disease Management


Groves, Russell

BFP: Insect Management


Rioux, Renee

BFP: Seed Certification


Ruark, Matthew

BFP: Fertility Management


Wang, Yi

BFP: Potato & Vegetable Production

$25,000 Total Base Funded Proposals $160,000


Project Title


Colquhoun, Jed

Innovative Potato Production Systems to Protect Water Quality

$7,000 & $8,000 from Chip Cmte.

Endelman, Jeffrey

Predicting Harvest Index to Improve Breeding for Nitrogen Use Efficiency

$5,400 & $3,600 from Chip Cmte.

Gevens, Amanda

Evaluating Effectiveness of Crop Protectants & Alternative Strategies to Manage Diseases in Potatoes in Production & Storage Systems


Groves, Russell

Insect Management Systems for Potato Production


Kabbage, Mehdi

Control of Potato Early Blight Through Resistance Breeding and Small RNAs


Lankau, Richard

Investigating Soil Microbiomes that Increase Post-Fumigation Soil Nutrient Retention in Potato Production Systems of Wisconsin


Rakotondrafara, Aurelie

Optimize the Delivery of Virus-Derived Proteins to Control Fungal Pathogens of Potatoes


Rioux, Renee

Developing Cas13-Based Detection Methods for PVY


Schoville, Sean

Spatiotemporal Modeling of Insecticide Resistance in Colorado Potato Beetle


Wang, Yi

Testing Elite Fresh Market Varieties in a Low Nitrogen Environment

Funded by Water Task Force

Wang, Yi

Evaluating Effects of Nitrogen "Spoon Feeding" on Common Seed Potato Varieties Grown in the Antigo Flats


Walker, Amber

Tuber Quality & Storability Profile of Full-Season Fresh Market & Processing Chip Potato Cultivars

$11,600 & $3,400 from Chip Cmte.

Bolte, Chuck

Water Flow & Phosphorus Monitoring in the Antigo Flats Potato & Vegetable Production Area


Gallenberg, Kevin

Managing Lime in Potato Production to Minimize Scab


Total Competitive Proposals $159,375 TOTAL RESEARCH PROJECT FUNDING $319,375 BC�T August 51

Now News

Lineage Logistics Acquires Turvo

Management and software company will drive more sustainable supply chain Lineage Logistics, LLC, an innovative temperature-controlled industrial REIT (real estate investment trust) and logistics solutions provider, announces it has acquired Turvo Inc., a leading provider of supply chain management, collaboration, and visibility software. The acquisition is an extension of the companies’ long-standing partnership, including a previous investment in Turvo by Lineage Ventures, and combined vision for supply chain collaboration. With Lineage’s backing, Turvo will continue to focus on its customers, accelerate innovation in its technology offering and expand into new and adjacent markets under its own brand as a wholly owned subsidiary of Lineage. “Lineage’s acquisition of Turvo was a natural extension of our partnership, through which we successfully launched Lineage Link™ last year,” says Adam Forste, co-executive chairman of Lineage and cofounder and managing partner at Bay Grove, which founded and manages Lineage. “We wholeheartedly believe in Turvo’s mission to increase 52 BC�T August

visibility and synergies within the supply chain, and we see this as an opportunity for additional value creation for both Lineage and Turvo customers,” Forste remarks. “I look forward to leading the new Turvo Board of Directors and working with leadership to advance its roadmap to drive smarter, more sustainable supply chains,” he adds. SUPPLY CHAIN DIGITIZATION “Today is an exciting time for Turvo’s employees, customers, and partners,” says Scott Lang, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Turvo. “With backing from Lineage and Bay Grove, Turvo will accelerate innovation with much greater reach and scale than ever before, further advancing supply chain digitization globally.” “Our customers will benefit from greater investments into our vision and our technology,” Lang states. “The acquisition comes amid a spike in demand for transportation and warehousing and at a time in which the supply chain faces unprecedented challenges,” explains Sudarsan Thattai, Lineage’s chief information and transportation officer.

“In joining forces with Turvo, we have a unique opportunity to alleviate the impact of those challenges for customers,” Thattai stresses. “Driver shortages and port congestion, for instance, are addressable by decreasing the number of trucks or containers required to deliver a product from farm to fork.” “Turvo’s platform matches customers to truck, rail or container assets that would otherwise be underutilized,” Thattai states. “Deepening our relationship with Turvo shows how committed we are to innovation that furthers our purpose of transforming the food supply chain to eliminate waste and help feed the world,” says Greg Lehmkuhl, president and CEO of Lineage. “Through this investment, we will accelerate industry-leading technology that leverages supply chain synergies at scale,” he remarks, “addressing issues of density and utilization across the network and decreasing complexity and waste in the supply chain for all participants, from customers to shippers to carriers.”

DATCP Announces 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grants Recipients selected from 19 funding requests totaling more than $1.48 million The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced 15 projects have been selected to receive more than $1.16 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grants. These recipients were selected from 19 funding requests totaling more than $1.48 million. Grants are awarded to projects intended to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop industries through research, education, or market development. Recipients are required to provide 25 percent of the grant funds as a matching contribution. Funding for Specialty Crop Block Grants is provided by the USDA, which defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops including floriculture. “These grants benefit Wisconsin’s specialty crop industries in a variety of ways, from pest and pathogen mitigation to innovation, education, and marketing efforts,” says DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski. “We are pleased to continue supporting Wisconsin’s thriving specialty crop industry through these important projects,” Romanski states. The grant recipients and their projects are:

Wisconsin Department of

Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

meet pesticide residue standards established by Taiwan. ($99,920) Savanna Institute • Stimulate farmer adoption of chestnuts in Wisconsin. ($81,514.28) Two Onion Farm • Evaluate cordon trellis system of growing currants and gooseberries as a method to reduce labor needs and improve fruit quality. ($41,900) University of Wisconsin (Madison) • Improve understanding of how variation in the landscape influences the quality of pollen collected by honeybees. ($99,868) • Develop an open-source web-based tool for in-season potato yield predictions at the field scale to improve irrigation management and provide dissemination or research results. ($99,745) • Increase vegetable crop production and quality by reducing competition with weeds through the timely, practical, and affordable use of natural plant hormones that enhance crop growth and eliminate early season weeds. ($97,067)

DATCP’s Division of Agricultural Resource Management • Survey the potato growing regions of Wisconsin for the presence of potato mop-top virus. ($25,747.59)

• Explore the microbiome in relation to potato and vegetable crop, soil health, and productivity ($90,000)

• Expand on past work to improve honeybee health and reduce hive mortality. ($67,919.97)

• Assess and optimize hot water treatments of cranberry vine cuttings as an environmentally friendly and sustainable option for the management of fruit rot fungi in Wisconsin cranberry marshes.

Ginseng Board of Wisconsin • Conduct field research to ensure exported fresh ginseng roots will

• Reduce economic impact of potato tuber necrotic viruses. ($92,171)

($82,422) • E valuate performance of new table grape varieties by establishing replicated performance trials. ($74,133) •P erform a two-year study at the University of Wisconsin Hancock Agricultural Research Station to explore use of hyperspectral remote sensing technology to monitor inseason plant nutrient status and predict end-of-season yield of three processing vegetables. ($69,489) •A ssess impact of attract-and-kill as an alternative management strategy for Japanese beetle to reduce this pest’s population while reducing environmental impact and non-target effects on pollinators. ($62,521) Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association •R aise awareness of cranberries and the cranberry industry to produce more demand for the crop through education on the history, current state, and future of the cranberry industry. ($83,029) Since 2009, DATCP has received 441 Specialty Crop Block Grant proposals requesting more than $27.2 million. The USDA has funded 286 of those grant project proposals, totaling more than $14 million. For more information, visit https:// SpecialtyCropBlockGrants.aspx. continued on pg. 54 BC�T August 53

Now News. . .

continued from pg. 53

REGEV® Wins Best Biochemical Product of the Year Hybrid fungicide from STK Bio-Ag Technologies delivers row crop disease control STK Bio-Ag Technologies, a pioneer in the development and marketing of botanical-based and hybrid solutions for crop protection, received the Best Biochemical Product of the Year Award from the World BioProtection Forum at an award dinner and ceremony held May 23, in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The award was for REGEV®, the first-ever hybrid fungicide. Accepting the award were STK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arye Tenenbaum and Vice President of Research & Development and Business Development Shay Shaanan. The “Best Biochemical Product of the Year” was awarded to STK’s REGEV hybrid fungicide based on the “innovativeness, scientific value/ uniqueness and market impact of the product,” according to the World BioProtection Forum’s criteria. An international panel of 20 senior agricultural executives and research scientists evaluated many successful products based on a point system. The judges’ collective decision to award this honor to REGEV was based on what the STK scientific and development team had discovered, tested, proven, and successfully commercialized in diverse countries and regions of the world. REGEV hybrid fungicide is a marriage of chemistry and biology. It is the first product of its kind, a hybrid solution that delivers effective and sustainable disease control for a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, row crops, and broad acre crops. It serves as an easy bridge for most growers who have never tried any product having biological content. That’s because REGEV is used in the same way as the grower’s current 54 BC�T August

synthetic chemical pesticide, with no mixing or anything different in applying, storing, or learning new biology. RESISTANCE MANAGEMENT With REGEV, the grower substantially improves resistance management due to REGEV’s multiple modes-ofaction. The grower also reduces chemical residues on produce significantly, making the crop more exportable to countries, regions and food chains having strict chemical maximum residue limits (MRL’s). REGEV substantially reduces any harmful effects to farmers, consumers and on the environment, enabling growers in all sectors and geographies to reduce their ecological footprint and thrive economically. REGEV is a preventive, double kickback curative and anti-sporulant. “The STK team is proud to have REGEV hybrid fungicide selected as the Best Biochemical Product by

Above: From left to right, Shay Shaanan, vice president of research & development and sales development for STK Bio-Ag Technologies, and STK Bio-Ag CEO Arye Tenenbaum receive the Best Biochemical Product of the Year Award from World BioProtection Forum CEO Mark Whittaker.

the World BioProtection Forum,” Tenenbaum says. “STK is achieving its mission of providing the best possible solutions for sustainable agriculture and food protection throughout the value chain, from field to fork.” “REGEV is successfully used by growers throughout the USA, Latin America, East Asia, parts of Europe and Israel,” Shaanan explains. “Based on REGEV’s popularity and commercial success, STK is developing new hybrid products that are so effective and easy for growers to use, we believe they will be the future of sustainable agriculture.” For more information, visit or contact Merav Fishelson at +972-546831083 or meravf@stk-ag. com.

Compeer Taking GroundBreaker of the Year Nominations

evaluated on their agricultural leadership and advocacy, community involvement, perseverance and commitment to the agriculture industry.

Award recognizes young, beginning, and small farmers making a positive ag impact Compeer Financial, a farm credit cooperative based in the Upper Midwest, is pleased to announce nominations are now open for the 2023 GroundBreaker of the Year Award. The deadline to enter is August 31, 2022.

in farming in Wisconsin, Illinois or Minnesota and meet at least one of the following criteria for a young, beginning, or small-operation farmer:

The award recognizes young, beginning, and small farmers who have an unparalleled passion for agriculture and who are making a positive impact in the agriculture industry.

• Generate less than $250,000 in annual gross sales

Nominees must be actively involved

• Age 35 or younger • 10 years or less of farming or ranching experience

Potential award recipients may nominate themselves, or be nominated by a family member, friend, colleague, partner, or acquaintance. Nominees will be

Nominations are now being accepted at groundbreakeroftheyear through August 31. The winner will be announced at Compeer Financial’s GroundBreaker’s Conference in early 2023 and will receive a $5,000 cash award. The winner will also be featured in a video, an article in Compeer’s Cultivate Magazine, on social media, within a press release and more. In 2022, Compeer Financial named Lindsay Baneck of Helenville, Wisconsin, as the GroundBreaker of the Year.

Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association “Quality as High as our Mountains”

Colorado Certied Potato Growers Association P. O. Box 267 Monte Vista, CO 81144


Lorem ipsumLyla@ColoradoCerti (719) 274-5996

BC�T August 55

Are Prairie Mixes the Only Option for Crop Field Borders? Study investigates ecosystem benefits of five perennial grains as alternatives Submitted by Planting beneficial plants next to gardens and crop fields, large and small, has been a standard practice for decades, even centuries. The plants provide what are known as ecosystem services. These include attracting pollinators and preventing weeds.

In the grassland regions of North America, prairie mixtures are thought to be the best at providing these services. However, the quality of some of the services they provide can be unpredictable. This is because it is difficult to tell

exactly what plants in the mix will grow well. Ebony Murrell, a crop protection ecologist for The Land Institute, Salina, Kansas, and her team decided to test five perennial grains as alternatives to a nine-species prairie mix. They studied Kernza, silflower, cup plant, sainfoin, and alfalfa. Murrell presented at the 2021 American Society of Agronomy/ Crop Science Society of America/Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting held in Salt Lake City. She and her team looked at five different ecosystem services. These included how many and what kind of pollinators the plants attracted, as well as biomass production, weed suppression, and forage quality. Above: Silflower performed well in the tests by providing an ideal balance of ecosystem services, such as weed suppression, pollinator characteristics, and forage quantity and quality. Left: Researchers at the Land Institute in Kansas found that cup plant was another quality alternative for growers to produce on the edges of farm fields. Its large leaves shaded out weeds, for example. Photos courtesy of Ebony Murrell

56 BC�T August

The specific characteristics of a plant can make it better or worse at providing certain ecosystem services. VARIETY OF SERVICES For example, the shape and color of a flower can be more attractive to local pollinators. Or a plant can produce a lot of roots near the soil surface that prevent weeds from growing. Large leaves of a species like cup plant may also shade out weeds. “I’ve learned in my career that people are more interested if you have data that shows those species can provide a variety of services,” Murrell says. “The goal of this project was to quantify how well a suite of crops provided these services.” “This allows interested growers to decide which one[s] to plant based on their individual needs,” she adds. The results revealed many important details about the services provided by the alternatives. Murrell says three findings rise to the top.

“I seek to demonstrate that perennial grain candidates as border crops can provide relevant services and encourage farmers to grow these crops and improve diversity on their farms.” – Ebony Murrell, crop protection ecologist, The Land Institute, Salina, Kansas

As the researchers predicted, the prairie mix did provide the best pollinator services in terms of diversity and abundance throughout the season. Two of the alternatives they studied, silflower and cup plant, exhibited a great balance of services. They provide good weed suppression, pollinator services, and forage

quantity and quality. The researchers note that they may be the best overall alternatives. Lastly, an alternative called sainfoin did poorly because it was not competitive with weeds, suggesting that, in Kansas, it would not serve well as a border crop. continued on pg. 58

BC�T August 57

Are Prairie Mixes the Only Option for Crop Field Borders?. . . continued from pg. 57

While it hasn’t been tested, the researchers note that these crops may provide other services like increased nitrogen, healthier overall soil, and reduced erosion.

on what services they’re seeking, their planting and harvesting requirements, and the equipment needed to manage the border crops, etc.”

GOOD OR BAD BORDER CROPS? Murrell stresses that there are no “good” or “bad” border crops, because the definitions depend on the services needed in a specific field.

“A study like this is an excellent starting point,” Murrell states. “However, it is only one point to consider when making recommendations on what border crop species to plant.”

“I don’t think it’s as simple as that,” she says. “What growers elect to plant as border crops will depend

At the end of the day, the most important aspect of this work, she

Left: Jason Behrends, restoration operations manager for Heartland Ecological, stands in an upland prairie that is part of the Little Plover River Watershed Enhancement Project in Plover, Wisconsin. Above: Shown are stands of different species the researchers studied for their ecosystem services. Their findings will allow growers to plant a more diverse mix of plants on the sides of farmland. From left to right are cup plant, alfalfa, Kernza, and silflower. Photo courtesy of Ebony Murrell

explains, is to increase diversity of plants in farming systems. Murrell understands how difficult this can be for farmers. She wants to show how planting perennial grains as border crops can provide valuable services and increase diversity. “I seek to demonstrate that perennial grain candidates as border crops can provide relevant services and encourage farmers to grow these crops and improve diversity on their farms,” she says. “This would be without asking them to make financial sacrifices,” Murrell qualifies. “In my opinion, this is the most realistic way to help improve diversity in our agricultural landscapes.”

Prairie mixtures are considered the gold standard for not only planting on crop field borders, insofar as the native ecosystem services they provide, but also for complete restoration on unused fields or those abutting production crops. This nearly five-acre parcel was planted, in 2018, as a prairie restoration site on Alsum Farms & Produce land near Arena, Wisconsin, and it’s looking fantastic! 58 BC�T August

This project was supported by a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (Grant ID NR186215XXXXG004).

NPC News

NPC President Jared Balcom Co-hosts Summer Meeting

Washington grower shared hosting duties in Nashville with past presidents June 16-17, National Potato Council (NPC) President Jared Balcom welcomed the industry to NPC’s Summer Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Traditionally held in the NPC president’s home state, the Washington grower co-hosted the event in a neutral city along with 2021 President Dominic LaJoie from Maine and 2020 President Britt Raybould from Idaho after the pandemic caused the Council to hold meetings virtually during their presidencies. In addition to being sponsored by all three states, attendees enjoyed a tristate dinner featuring food and drinks flown in for the event, including New York strip steaks from Washington,

wine from grapes grown on Balcom’s farm, fresh lobster from Maine, and Idaho-grown huckleberries used in dessert. The event included committee and board meetings, a discussion about how global and national challenges are impacting November’s general election, an overview of the industry’s trade agenda, and John Toaspern’s final market report before he retired from his duties as Potatoes USA chief marketing officer at the end of the month. Additionally, attendees got a taste of Music City, with performances held at Blake Shelton’s rooftop bar, Ole Red. Performing were singer Amber Leigh; Nashville-based songwriters

Amber Leigh entertained the NPC Summer Meeting crowd with fiddle music at an evening event sponsored by the Washington State Potato Commission.

National Potato Council President Jared Balcom welcomed the industry to the Summer Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.

Lee Thomas Miller and Wendell Mobley, who have a combined 17 #1 hits penned between them; and Rich Redmond, who drums for Jason Aldean when he’s not speaking to groups about his energetic and positive philosophy for success. Thanks to all those who joined the NPC, and we’re looking forward to hosting the industry again, in January, at Potato Expo 2023 in Colorado! For more information, visit https://www.

continued on pg. 60

Nashville songwriters Wendell Mobley (left) and Lee Thomas Miller shared their stories with America’s potato growers and brought the house down at the NPC Summer Meeting. BC�T August 59

NPC News. . .

continued from pg. 59

President Biden Signs Ocean Shipping Reform Act into Law The bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Act (S. 3580), which aims to end port bottlenecks by lowering shipping rates and ensuring more access to container vessels, was officially signed into law

Thursday, June 16, by President Joe Biden at a White House event.

the U.S. House and Senate.

Efforts on the legislation began last year and different versions of the bill have volleyed back and forth between

• Stop international ocean carriers from unreasonably declining American cargo, as determined by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in a new required rulemaking

The law as passed is designed to:

• Direct the FMC to self-initiate investigations of ocean carrier business practices and apply enforcement measures • Shift the burden of proof regarding demurrage and detention overcharges from the complainant to the international ocean carriers • Improve transparency of movement of U.S. agriculture and other exports by requiring international ocean carriers to report to the FMC regarding how many empty containers are being transported • Stop retaliation by international shipping companies against exporters and importers • Formally establish the FMC Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services to improve the complaint and investigation process for American businesses seeking assistance from the FMC • Improve management of chassis by authorizing the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to collect data on dwell time for chassis and initiate a National Academy of Sciences study on best practices of chassis movement • Provide FMC with temporary emergency authority to collect data during times of emergency congestion The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that over $25 billion in ag exports have been lost over the past six months due to supply chain shipping disruptions. 60 BC�T August

Badger Beat Impact of True Potato Seed on the Industry

These are exciting times for potato breeders as they conduct research needed to develop diploid potato breeding lines By Paul Mitchell, Jeff Endelman, Paul Bethke, and Guanming Shi

Commercial potato varieties and elite breeding stocks are technically heterozygous, autotetraploid clones maintained in vitro (i.e., as vegetative plants, not as seeds). The genetic complexity and economics of propagation in this system limit potato breeding in ways that could be reduced if potato were a seed-propagated crop. Diploid potato breeding has the potential to transform potato to a crop with inbred lines that are crossed to generate hybrid true potato seed (TPS), like the system used for hybrid seed corn. This transformation would allow breeders to use new breeding methods to commercialize improved potato cultivars more quickly with desired traits, such as resistance to diseases and pests, improved tolerance to weather-related stresses, and qualities desired by evolving consumer and industry demands. The transformation will have many effects, and this article summarizes our initial thoughts on what changes we expect for the U.S. seed potato industry. In brief, we anticipate that, in the near term, TPS will eliminate firstgeneration seed potato production using mini-tubers and reduce field multiplication by one year, so that commercial potato growers will see new cultivars created a year earlier using these new breeding methods.

see a complete elimination of field multiplication of seed potatoes and a shift to only producing firstgeneration seed potatoes using TPS transplants. SEED POTATO TRENDS The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes annual acreage, yield, and price data for potatoes, but only limited data for seed potatoes ( As expected, seed potato production closely follows potato planted acres for the next year, with both showing a slow declining trend beginning in the mid-1990s. The most recent data report 23 million hundredweight (cwt.) of seed potatoes produced in 2020 and 943,000 acres of potatoes planted in 2021.

calculate the national average use of seed potatoes per planted acre (cwt./ ac). The data show an increasing trend—the three-year average seeding rate for 2019-2021 is 25 cwt./ ac., up from the three-year average rate of 19.5 cwt./ac. for 1985-1987, a 28 percent increase over 35 years. The USDA published seed potato price data only for 2002 through 2014, but for these years, the data show a tight relationship (r2 of 0.998) between the average seed potato price for a year and the average potato price for the previous year (the year the seed potatoes were produced). TWO PRICE REGIMES The seed potato price was on average 1.64 times the potato price for the previous year. Examining the data,

We use these published data to

continued on pg. 62

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Longer term, however, we could BC�T August 61

Badger Beat. . .

continued from pg. 61

two price regimes seem evident.

potato growers.

From 1992 to 2005, seed potato prices ranged between $8 and $11/ cwt. and then slowly increased to a new level, so that from 2011 to 2021, seed potato prices ranged from $14 to just above $16/cwt.

The generally increasing trend over the last 35 years is due to the increase in both seeding rates and seed potato prices. The three-year average spending for seed potatoes was $156/ac. for 1985-1987, which increased to $385/ac. for 2019-2021, increasing almost two and a half times over this 35-year period.

The three-year average seed potato price for 2019-2021 is $15.38/cwt., almost twice the average price of $8/ cwt. for 1985-1987. Based on the projected seeding rates and seed potato prices, we calculated the national average spending ($/ ac.) for seed potatoes by commercial

SEED POTATO INDUSTRY Figure 1 illustrates the flow of plant and genetic material to make seed potatoes for commercial potato growers.

After a new variety is developed by a breeding program, tuber sprouts are used to establish the variety as plantlets in tissue culture, which can then be maintained in laboratory incubators. Plantlets are tested to ensure that they are free of key plant diseases. Various commercial methods are available to grow these plantlets until they produce mini-tubers (e.g., in pots in greenhouses or in hydroponic or aeroponic systems). Mini-tubers require storage to break dormancy before they can be planted in fields for seed potato production. Because mini-tubers are costly and they are not as productive as fullsized seed potatoes, commercial growers do not plant mini-tubers directly. Rather, seed potato growers expand cultivars through three or more seasons of field multiplication before sale to commercial growers as seed potatoes. Because potato plants acquire diseases that are transmitted to their tubers and decrease yield potential, eventually the tubers are no longer suitable for commercial use as seed potatoes. As a result, field multiplication for commercial seed potatoes on certified acres typically does not extend past six generations. Commercial growers want diseasefree seed potatoes, so major seed potato producing states have certification processes for production. Certified seed potato acres are tracked for each variety planted in each state (e.g., https://

Total certified acres closely match the acres of seed potato production reported by the USDA for the few years when the two data sets Figure Flowofofplant plant genetic material is illustrated in seed potato production. Figure 1: 1. Flow andand genetic material is illustrated in seed potato production. Blue indicatesBlue the current seed potato system and salmon indicates way that true potato indicates seed mightone be used seedtrue growers. overlapped, indicating that most indicates the current seed potatoone system and salmon waybythat potato seed might be used by seed growers. (> 90 percent) of U.S. seed potato 62 BC�T August

production is on certified acres. The data show a slow decrease in certified acres, matching the slow decline noted in seed potato production and total acres of potatoes planted in the United States. Based on these certified acres and total seed potato production reported by the USDA, the projected national average yield for certified seed potato production was calculated for the 16 years for which data were available (2004-2019). The average ranged from a minimum of 209.9 cwt./ac. in 2004 to a maximum of 246.3 cwt./ac. in 2010, but statistical analysis showed no trend. The average for the three most recent years (2019-2021) was 225 cwt./ac. In addition, most states have associations that publish a seed potato directory for the state that reports the certified acres of each variety planted by each grower, including the field year or generation of the seed potatoes planted (e.g., Based on these reports, the total acres planted for each seed generation were aggregated for the eight largest seed potato producing states, in 2021, that together accounted for almost 90 percent of all certified acres in the country: Idaho, North Dakota, Montana, Maine, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota (Table 1). Table 1 shows that almost 84 percent of the certified acres in these states is used to produce third- and fourthgeneration seed potatoes. Using an average yield of 225 cwt./ ac. sold as seed potatoes and a seeding rate of 25 cwt./ac., there are potentially 170,000 acres of third-generation seed that could be planted (18,874 x 225/25 = 169,866). Since only 54,000 acres of fourthgeneration seed were planted, about 68 percent of the production

was sold as third-generation seed potatoes to plant 116,000 acres of commercial potatoes, and 32 percent was used to plant the 54,000 acres of seed potatoes to produce fourth-generation seed (assuming generation acreages are stable across years). Repeating this calculation for the fourth and fifth generations of seed acres implies that 98 percent and 97 percent of that production was sold as seed potatoes to commercial growers. Thus, Table 1 suggests that more than half of U.S. commercial potato acres are planted with fourth-generation seed, with most other acres using third- and then fifth-generation seed potatoes. The acreage multiplication factors show how quickly cultivars can be expanded for use in commercial potato production. Note that these factors are not the expansion in hundredweight or in the number of tubers, which probably exceed these factors. Also, we do not have data on the seeding rate used for each generation, just the estimated average rate of 25 cwt./ ac. based on national USDA data for commercial production. Finally, the factors reported in Table 1 for moving from the third to the fourth generation and subsequent generations are all biased downward

because much of the production is sold to commercial growers. Using the average planting rate of 25 cwt./ac. and the average seed yield of 225 cwt./ac. gives 225/25 = 9 as an acreage expansion factor. SEED PRODUCTION COST Exploring Extension and university websites, we found only one seed potato crop budget, for Idaho in 2015 (Patterson 2015). The total cost of producing third-generation seed potatoes was $2,866/ac., including the cost for on-farm storage. These costs are notably less than the costs for commercial potato growers because fewer inputs are used so that tubers do not become too large for use as seed potatoes. Using the USDA’s Producer Price Index (an inflation index for agricultural production costs) to convert the cost in 2015 to equivalent costs in 2021 gives $3,084/ac., which includes $339/ac. for purchasing second-generation seed potatoes and $2,745 for other non-seed costs. Informal discussions with Wisconsin seed potato growers indicated that a reasonable cost to assume for minitubers is $0.55 each. Thus, if a seed grower plants 20,000 mini-tubers per acre, the cost is $0.55 x 20,000 = $11,000/ac. just for the mini-tubers for producing first-generation seed potatoes. continued on pg. 64

Average Acreage Multiplication Generation 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Certified Acres in 2021


From Previous Generation

From Generation 1

358 2,585 18,874 53,988 8,524 2,471

0.4% 3.0% 21.7% 62.2% 9.8% 2.8%

-7.2 7.3 2.9 0.2 0.3

-7.2 52.7 150.7 23.8 6.9

Table 1: Certified acre figures are given by seed generation planted in the top eight states, in 2021, with their average acreage multiplication factors. BC�T August 63

Badger Beat. . .

continued from pg. 63

Table 2 uses this information to estimate the cost to produce seed potatoes by generation assuming a grower buys enough mini-tubers to plant 1 acre and saves all the production each season to plant the next generation of seed potatoes. The acres grown uses the 7.2 and 7.3 acreage expansion factors from Table 1 for the first and second generations, and then 9 for later generations. The annual cost for the first generation is $11,000 for mini-tubers plus $2,745 for non-seed costs, multiplied by the 1 planted acre. For later generations, the annual cost is $2,745 multiplied by the planted acres. The accumulated costs for a generation are the sum of annual costs for previous generations, with a 5 percent annual interest factor used for each year to account for the opportunity costs of the invested expenses.

to $13.80/cwt.

early generations.

Also note that these seed costs do not include any markup to cover the costs for marketing and selling the seed. These results suggest that a 10-11 percent markup is possible to equal the average cost of $15.38/cwt. for a commercial grower buying seed potatoes.

Finally, the cost of mini-tubers and the interest rate have only small effects on seed costs as they mostly impact early generation costs that are then spread over many more acres in later generations.

In terms of sensitivity analysis, seed costs are sensitive to the nonseed costs, yield, and the acreage expansion factors as these changes impact each generation over all acres. However, the cost of mini-tubers and the discount rate have modest effects on seed costs. For example, increasing the seed potato yield to 250 cwt./ac. each year (an 11 percent increase) decreases the thirdgeneration seed cost to $13.71/cwt. from $15.24 (a 10 percent decrease), and the seed cost now asymptotically approaches $12.43/cwt.

The seed produced each generation is the average yield of 225 cwt./ ac. multiplied by the acres planted. Finally, the seed cost is the accumulated costs divided by the total cwt. of seed produced that year.

Similarly, decreasing non-seed costs to $2,500 (almost a 10 percent decrease) decreases the thirdgeneration seed cost to $13.97/cwt. (an 8 percent decrease), and the seed cost now asymptotically approaches $12.58/cwt.

The seed cost is quite high for the first generation, but then begins to decline rapidly as the high initial cost is spread over more and more acres. The seed cost for the third generation is $15.24/cwt., roughly equal to the average seed cost of $15.38 estimated with national USDA data, and then declines asymptotically

This analysis shows the importance of maintaining high yields and keeping costs low for farmer profitability. Increasing the acreage expansion factors also reduces seed costs, especially the factors for later generations when the effects impact many more acres than increasing the acreage expansion factors for

Generation 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Increasing the cost of mini-tubers to $0.65 each (an 18 percent increase) increases the third-generation seed cost less than 1 percent, while doubling the interest rate to 10 percent also increases the thirdgeneration seed cost less than 1 percent. COST USING TRUE POTATO SEED How true potato seed (TPS) will transform the seed potato industry is not clear. Figure 1 illustrates a possible scenario that seems likely—TPS is used to grow potato transplants that are planted in fields to produce first-generation seed potatoes. This change would replace using tissue culture to produce plantlets and then mini-tubers. Use of transplants is common for other vegetable crops. For example, farmers in California annually plant well over 200,000 acres of processing tomatoes almost exclusively using transplants. Seeds are grown in greenhouses in specific containers that allow for commercial-scale transplanting with various degrees of automation. For example, the relatively new

Acres Grown

Annual Cost ($)

Accumulated Costs ($)

Seed Produced (cwt.)

Seed Cost ($/cwt.)

1 7.2 52.6 473 4,257 38,316

$13,745 $19,764 $144,277 $1,298,495 $11,686,453 $105,178,079

$13,745 $34,196 $180,183 $1,487,687 $13,248,525 $119,089,030

225 1,620 11,826 106,434 957,906 8,621,154

$61.09 $21.11 $15.24 $13.98 $13.83 $13.81

Table 2: Derivation of the cost to produce seed potatoes is indicted by generation beginning with mini-tubers. 64 BC�T August

PlantTape® system (https://www. advertises that it can plant 2-5 acres per hour of vegetable transplants using only three people including the tractor driver. Crop budgets for processing tomatoes published by the University of California report cost estimates for transplanting tomatoes in 2017 (Miyao et al. 2017). The cost for a greenhouse to grow the plants using grower-supplied seed is $29 per 1,000 plants; the cost for seed is $25 per 1,000; and the cost for crews to transplant the seedlings is $29.75 per 1,000 plants, for a total cost of $83.75 per 1,000 transplants. PRODUCER PRICE INDEX Using the USDA’s Producer Price Index to convert the cost in 2017 to equivalent costs in 2021 gives $93.66 per 1,000 transplants, of which $65.70 is non-seed costs. How the cost for transplant crews has changed since 2017 is unclear due to technology changes such as the PlantTape® system and current labor shortages. Also, the cost for TPS is currently unclear, as seed costs vary greatly across crops for commercial production, with some specialty seeds exceeding $200 per 1,000. Given this uncertainty, we begin by using a cost of $100 per 1,000 potato transplants grown from TPS (10 cents per transplant) and then explore the effect of increased costs using

Generation 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

sensitivity analysis.


With a cost of 10 cents per transplant, the cost to buy and plant 20,000 TPS transplants to produce the first generation of seed potatoes would be $2,000, compared to a cost of $11,000 to buy the same number of mini-tubers to plant per acre.

The cost of transplants is only incurred for the first generation and then spread over many acres in later generations. For example, increasing transplant costs from 10 cents to 15 cents (a 50 percent increase) increases the cost of third-generation seed potatoes from $14.40/cwt. to $14.49/cwt. (a 0.6 percent increase).

Table 3 uses this information to estimate the cost to produce seed potatoes by generation assuming a grower buys enough TPS transplants to plant 1 acre and saves all the production each year to plant the next generation of seed potatoes. All other assumptions are the same as for Table 2—the acreage expansion factors, $2,745/ac. for non-seed costs, a 5 percent annual interest rate and an average yield of 225 cwt./ac. Table 3 shows that the lower initial cost for TPS transplants compared to mini-tubers reduces the cost of firstgeneration seed potatoes to $21.09/ cwt., essentially the same as the cost of second-generation seed potatoes when beginning with mini-tubers (Table 2). Seed costs drop quickly as the high initial cost is spread over more acres and both systems asymptotically approach the same seed cost of $13.80/cwt. In terms of sensitivity analysis, the effects are the same as for Table 2. Seed costs are quite sensitive to the non-seed costs, yield, and acreage expansion factors, but not to the interest rate or the cost of

IMPLICATIONS Tables 2 and 3 show that the largest impact of the TPS-based transplant system is on early generation seed potato costs, with little difference in later generations. With TPS, seed growers can produce first-generation seed potatoes at roughly the same cost that a minituber-based system can produce second-generation seed potatoes, and they can produce secondgeneration seed potatoes for roughly the same cost that a mini-tuberbased system can produce thirdgeneration seed potatoes. After that, seed cost differences are minor. Thus, TPS will likely allow seed growers to skip one generation of seed potato field expansion with little effect on their seed costs. As a result, commercial growers would get access to second- and third-generation seed potatoes for about the same cost as they currently pay for third- and fourth-generation seed potatoes. Also, seed growers could buy first-generation seed for continued on pg. 66

Acres Grown

Annual Cost ($)

Accumulated Costs ($)

Seed Produced (cwt.)

Seed Cost ($/cwt.)

1 7.2 52.6 473 4,257 38,316

$4,745 $19,764 $144,277 $1,298,495 $11,686,453 $105,178,079

$4,745 $24,746 $170,261 $1,477,269 $13,237,585 $119,077,543

225 1,620 11,826 106,434 957,906 8,621,154

$21.09 $15.28 $14.40 $13.88 $13.82 $13.81

Table 3: Derivation of the cost to produce seed potatoes is shown by generation beginning with true potato seed transplants. BC�T August 65

Badger Beat . . .

continued from pg. 65

about the same cost as they currently pay for second-generation seed. Table 1 represents about 90 percent of the certified acres grown in 2021, so dividing the certified acres for each generation by 0.90 gives the total certified acres planted in the United States. Thus, in 2021, there were about 400 acres of first-generation seed potatoes (358/0.9) and 2,900 acres of second-generation seed potatoes (2,585/0.9). FIRST-GENERATION TPS Given these seed cost changes, seed potato growers may eventually simply plant 2,900 acres of first-generation TPS-based transplants to replace the 400 acres of first-generation acres grown from mini-tubers and the 2,900 acres of second-generation seed potatoes currently grown. The loss of 400 acres implies an overall minor impact on total seed potato acres. Seed growers currently buying second- and later-generation seed potatoes for field multiplication would see little effect, other than that the seed potatoes they bought would have one less field year. The impact on those using mother plants to make tissue cultures, plantlets and then grow mini-tubers could be serious. They would no longer be needed for new diploid varieties. They would be replaced by greenhouse production of TPS, much like currently occurs for many vegetable seeds.

TRANSPLANTING EQUIPMENT The demand for transplanting equipment would expand to plant the 2,900 acres of first-generation transplants, but relative to the current extensive use in commercial vegetable crops such as processing tomatoes in California, this demand increase would have little effect nationally. We believe that these changes would be the initial effect of TPS on the seed potato industry. However, longer term, there would be economic incentives to eliminate the current field multiplication of seed potatoes through several generations and simply plant approximately 100,000 acres of firstgeneration seed potatoes using a TPS-based transplant system. The seed cost would be about $21/ cwt. based on Table 3, or 38 percent higher than current seed potato costs. If these first-generation seed potatoes were of better quality and the variety had valuable traits, it seems likely that substantial demand from commercial potato growers would exist even at this higher price. The seed potato industry would then slowly shift to producing only first-generation seed potatoes. This change would substantially expand the industry’s demand for automated transplant equipment to reach the scale of major commercial vegetable industries like processing tomatoes.

However, mini-tubers would still be needed for continued production of current and new tetraploid varieties, and the transition to diploid potato is likely to occur slowly over many years.

Also, the total acres of seed potato production would decrease, as field multiplication would no longer be used, likely in the range of 10-15 percent. Note that, we would expect that this transition to a fully firstgeneration seed potato industry would take decades to complete.

Greenhouses would expand production of potato seedlings for transplanting on seed potato farms, but relative to current seedling production in greenhouses, the impact would be minimal.

CONCLUSION These are exciting times for potato breeders as they conduct research needed to develop diploid potato breeding lines and commercialize new cultivars with multiple desired

66 BC�T August

traits. Initial impacts on seed potato growers seem minor. Elimination of one year of field multiplication seems likely with minimal price and acreage effects. However, for potato varieties distributed as hybrid TPS, mini-tuber production from mother plants would no longer be needed, potentially decreasing demand for a specialized industry. Commercial growers will see new cultivars a year earlier, and these cultivars should have desired traits such as disease and pest resistance, improved tolerance of adverse conditions, and be better matched to consumer preferences and industrial needs. Eventually, however, we can foresee a complete elimination of field multiplication and a shift to only producing first generation seed potatoes by planting potato seedlings. This work is funded in part by the USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant titled “Creating a New Paradigm for Potato Breeding and Seed Production Based on True Potato Seed.” References Miyao, G., B. Aegerter, D. Sumner, and D. Stewart. 2017. Sample Costs to Produce Processing Tomatoes. University of California. Online: files/277960.pdf. Patterson, P. 2015. Eastern Idaho Seed Counties: Caribou, Fremont and Teton. Russet Burbank G3 Seed Potatoes: On-farm Storage. University of Idaho. Online: https:// idaho-agbiz/crop-budgets/ Southeastern-irrigated/RevisedPotatoes-G3-Seed-2015.ashx.

New Products HarvestEye Provides Insight on Root Crops

Growers gain valuable information on produce size and count over the whole field

Above: HarvestEye maps crop performance through vision-sensing technology, effectively monitoring variability and helping growers maximize yields.

existing territories, including Central Europe, the United States, and the Asia-Pacific. HarvestEye, a machine-learning and driven crop tool, continues to showcase the actionable insights it places in the hands of growers.

technology, which effectively monitors crop variability and helps growers maximize their yields,” Gururajan adds.

Developed by agri-tech research and development (R&D) firm, B-hive Innovations, HarvestEye integrates a patented technology that provides timely insights on root crops as they are lifted, presenting growers with valuable information on the size and count over whole field that is absent from conventional sampling.

“At the World Potato Congress, we further increased awareness of our innovative product to businesses across value and supply chains and discussed with delegates the unprecedented insights that HarvestEye offers,” Gururajan notes.

Vidyanath (Vee) Gururajan, managing director at HarvestEye, says, “We were delighted to showcase HarvestEye once again on the global root crop stage at the 11th World Potato Congress, in Dublin, Ireland.” “The event was an opportunity to engage with the potato growing community, address their needs and more effectively map crop performance through vision-sensing

FITS EXISTING EQUIPMENT Compatible with existing harvesting or grading equipment, HarvestEye is a cost-efficient method to achieve targeted agronomic performance, whereby data is collected and delivered to an online portal. After exhibiting at April’s global fresh produce exhibition, Fruit Logistica, the World Potato Congress provided the perfect venue to continue raising awareness for HarvestEye as the technology expands into new and

“We are constantly in dialogue with a range of farmers to see how we can better meet their needs for a crop harvesting insights tool,” Gururajan says. “Having recently visited India, the United States and Majorca to speak with growers and trial HarvestEye, our product is constantly evolving to improve the accuracy of the harvest performance data we can gain across a range of different varieties and soil conditions,” he explains. “In turn, we are enhancing confidence across potato supply chains and maximizing returns for all parties through reduced waste and increased efficiency,” Gururajan concludes. For more information about HarvestEye, visit https:// continued on pg. 68 BC�T August 67

New Products. . .

continued from pg. 67

Bio-Solution H2OExcel Conserves Water

Environmentally safe agent reduces inputs amid fertilizer shortages and rising costs Globally, farmers are facing a massive fertilizer shortage due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising input costs resulting from supply chain constraints. To remain competitive, more growers are turning to bio-solutions like H2OExcel to conserve water and reduce inputs during these challenging times. “Applying natural H2OExcel helps soils absorb water more quickly and efficiently, therefore decreasing water usage by up to 50 percent and reducing costs for families and business owners,” says Chad Vaninger, executive vice president and general manager of Illinois-based Brookside Agra. “This unique chemistry is put together to support a dynamic shift in the way modern farming practices have been conducted,” Vaninger adds. “The grower is given the benefit of reduced inputs and water usage, healthier soils, reduced disease pressure and increased yields.” Made from a blend of natural plant extracts and soil penetrants, H2OExcel has been research-proven to improve soil conditions, reduce surface tension and decrease water usage when planting and growing agriculture crops, rangelands, turf, and other vegetation. See the research results by visiting https:// REDUCING RUNOFF The characteristics of water and the presence of hardened and

68 BC�T August

unreceptive soils can make it difficult for water to reach existing plant life. Water will always take the path of least resistance and simply run off. This common occurrence leads to the over-watering of plants, crops, and yards because water cannot reach the root system. H2OExcel provides the perfect balance of biologicals, humates, fulvics, surfactants, natural sugars, and vitamins and minerals in one product. “The power of H2OExcel is to create soils that absorb water quicker than they traditionally could,” Vaninger says. “Once H2OExcel infiltrates the ground, it works to reduce soil and water tension, allowing soils to absorb and retain water and nutrients 3-5 times faster.” “It also relieves capillary pressure in the soil to allow soil respiration to occur,” he continues. “This puts more water at the root zone and increases nutrient uptake to the plants, all while utilizing less water and inputs.” H2OExcel’s ingredients are all on the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list, which is approved by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). H2OExcel will not harm plants, animals, or humans. Commercial and Residential Application Areas: • Golf fairways and tees • Landscapes • Crops • Lawns (seeding and sod) • Putting greens

Above: Bio-Solution H2OExcel can decrease water usage for vegetation by up to 50 percent.

• Fruit and vegetable gardens • Trees • Flowers • All vegetation Concentrated H2OExcel is available in 5-gallon containers featuring application-specific labeling for agriculture (H2OExcel-AG™) and turf grass (H2OExcel-Turf™) usage to make it easier for growers to know how much H2OExcel to use and when to use it for the best results. When mixed with water, H2OExcel can be applied as a spray or soildrench. H2OExcel is also tankmix compatible with fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. H2OExcel is proudly made in the USA. For more information about H2OExcel, visit www.brookside-agra. com/H2OExcel.

Ali's Kitchen Folding Hash Browns Over an Omelet is Genius!

An early July trip to a little lakeside vacation town and local eatery provided the inspiration Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Mike and I found ourselves exploring a little lakeside vacation town in early July. Part of that exploration included the local eateries. One family-run restaurant offered fabulous breakfast options where I

enjoyed a hash brown omelet, raisin toast, and a creamy cappuccino. It was all delicious. Crispy hash browns folded over continued on pg. 70

INGREDIENTS: Hash Browns-Wrapped Omelet • 1 Tbsp. butter • 1/2 Tbsp. oil • 3/4 cup frozen hash browns • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt • 1/4 tsp. black pepper • 1/2 cup ham, diced • 1/4 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped • 1/4 cup white onion, diced • 3-4 mini sweet peppers, sliced into rings • 3 eggs • 1/2 Tbsp. water • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese BC�T August 69

Ali's Kitchen. . .

continued from pg. 69

Advertisers Index AgroLiquid...................................... 2 Big Iron Equipment....................... 11 Binfront Barriers........................... 22 Bushmans’ Inc................................ 3 Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association................... 55 Compeer Financial........................ 28 Heartland AG Systems............ 19, 57 ICL Specialty Fertilizers................. 23 Jay-Mar, Inc................................... 16 John Miller Farms......................... 41 J.W. Mattek & Sons, Inc................ 15 M.P.B. Builders, Inc....................... 40 Nelson’s Vegetable Storage Systems Inc...................... 9

an egg omelet filled with peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheese, and ham can be recreated at home ... no need to wait for a vacation town diner! DIRECTIONS Melt the butter and warm the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Spread the hash browns out in a thin layer in the skillet. Sprinkle hash browns with garlic salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Leave the hash browns alone while cooking; you want them to become a crispy and golden-brown layer for your eggs (you can add a little extra oil or butter around the edges if they seem to be dry while cooking). In a separate skillet, cook the meat and veggies. Onions should be translucent when done. Peppers and mushrooms should be tender when done. While the hash browns and fillings cook, whisk the eggs and water in a 70 BC�T August

small bowl until light and fluffy. Once the hash browns are crisp and perfectly golden brown, pour the beaten egg mixture slowly over the top of the hash browns. Sprinkle the cheese and the cooked veggies and meat over the entire top of hash browns and eggs. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the omelet to cook for 3 minutes or so. Lift the lid and check on the eggs. Yours may need an additional minute or two to cook through. Slide a spatula under the omelet to loosen. Flip one edge over to cover the other half of the omelet. Repeat the process on the other side of the omelet. Carefully slide the folded omelet onto a plate.

North Central Irrigation................ 25 Nutrien Ag Solutions...................... 5 Oasis Irrigation............................. 72 Paragon Potato Farms.................. 61 R&H Machine, Inc......................... 18 Roberts Irrigation......................... 57 Ron’s Refrigeration....................... 20 Rural Mutual Insurance................ 27 Sand County Equipment............... 71 Schroeder Brothers Farms.............. 7 Swiderski Equipment.................... 17 T.I.P., Inc........................................ 21 Vantage North Central.................. 60 Volm Companies........................... 13 WPVGA Spud Seed Classic

Serve immediately with a side of toast, a sprinkle more of salt and pepper, and an optional bit of additional cheese on top.

WPVGA Subscribers...................... 44


WSPIA........................................... 39

Thank You................................... 35

WPVGA Support Our Members.... 36


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