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Southern Man

Cotton is king in the south. That’s a lesson that John Halverson quickly learned when he went down to Arbyrd, Missouri to set up a new potato operation for Black Gold Farms. He also learned that it takes time to gain the trust of area merchants and get a seat at the local coffee table. David Fairbourn’s profile of Halverson shows that a little patience and perseverance is part of the formula for a success in the Bootheel country of southeastern Missouri.

We have three great articles on storage management. Melanie Epps addresses the importance of a good environment for spuds in storage. Dave Wilkins writes about postharvest treatments to protect tubers in storage. Everett Brazil III covers recent innovation in sprout control.

Genetically modified potatoes are coming. Simplot’s first generation Innate potatoes are scheduled to go into commercial production next year. Innate’s generation two could be in commercial production by 2017. You can read more about both varieties on Page 28

This issue I’m proud to introduce a new columnist to Spudman’s readers. He may be new to the pages of Spudman but he’s easily recognized throughout the potato industry.

Frank Muir, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission, joins our three other columnists in writing about the issues and programs relevant to the potato industry. I look forward to reading Frank’s Idaho insights and how they impact the national industry in future issues of Spudman.

A short honeymoon

On May 19, Mexico opened the entire country to fresh potatoes from the U.S. Less then a month later, June 9, Mexico’s Ministry of Agriculture, SAGARPA, announced the closing of all border crossings. The closure was due to an injunction filed by CONPAPA, Mexico’s potato grower organization, against SAGARPA. Following the injunction the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service stopped issuing phytosanitary certificates for shipment of U.S. fresh potatoes to Mexico.         

Throughout the summer you can stay up to date on this international impasse and all potato industry news at Spudman.com.

— By Bill Schaefer, editor

Originally posted Tuesday, Jul. 22, 2014

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