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February 2005

February 2005
  • Beat 'em to the Punch
  • Deficit Irrigation Irrigation is required for profitable commercial potato production in the Western United States. Potatoes have a relatively shallow root zone and a lower tolerance for water stress than most other crops grown in Idaho.
  • Industry Outlook More than 200 people traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo., in December to attend the first-ever Potato Industry Outlook Summit. Held in conjunction with National Potato Council's Seed Seminar, the Outlook Summit looked at the future of the potato industry in the United States and brought together leaders from all aspects of the nation?s potato industry.
  • Market Outlook
  • Smartt Spuds There probably aren?t too many potato growers in the United States who'd be all that comfortable practicing their profession at 7,600 feet above sea level, where the air is thin and the temperatures get downright cold.
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Beat ‘em to the Punch

It’s not news that in order to survive you have to be thinking ahead of your customer. You have to know what they want before they want it. Product needs to be on the shelves waiting for them when they realize that’s what they need. And if you wait until they ask for it to start the development phase, you may be too late. So, as cliché as it may sound, the future really is now. Growers working on developing new products now are the ones who are going to be successful. And those who attended the first Potato Industry Outlook Summit heard this from nearly every speaker. “Unless we find some way of developing new demand for potatoes, we are going to be struggling as an industry with the need to reduce acreage on a continual basis year to year,” said Bruce Huffaker, of the…  » Read more

Growers Can Manage a Potato Crop with Less Water

Irrigation is required for profitable commercial potato production in the Western United States. Potatoes have a relatively shallow root zone and a lower tolerance for water stress than most other crops grown in Idaho. The preference for producing this drought-sensitive crop in coarse-textured soils with limited water holding capacity makes precise irrigation management a necessity to obtain optimum yield and quality. When restricted water availability reduces potato production potential, options for increasing water use efficiency need to be considered. The first step in optimizing the efficiency of any irrigation management program is to make sure the irrigation system is design, maintained and managed properly. Increasing irrigation efficiency to derive the most crop yield from every increment of water available will generally produce greater economic return than any other change in management. Irrigation scheduling and irrigation uniformity are two key management factors affecting irrigation efficiency. Irrigation scheduling…  » Read more

Summit Looks at Future of Potato Industry

More than 200 people traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo., in December to attend the first-ever Potato Industry Outlook Summit. Held in conjunction with National Potato Council’s Seed Seminar, the Outlook Summit looked at the future of the potato industry in the United States and brought together leaders from all aspects of the nation’s potato industry. “Growers asked us to bring a group of experts together to analyze the current industry structure as well as supply and demand conditions facing the nation’s growers and shippers,” said John Keeling, executive director of the National Potato Council (NPC). “The unanticipated outcome was how all the presentations mirrored what the U.S. Potato Board (USPB) has been saying for the past five years – that the long-term issue remains increasing demand and that we, as an industry, must work together to meet the needs of consumers.” Supply and Demand The daylong summit kicked…  » Read more

Market Outlook

Louis Wysocki was the driving force. The first annual Potato Industry Outlook Summit was held Dec. 9 thanks to the ideas and energy of Mr Wysocki, a Wisconsin potato grower/shipper. More than 250 people attended the summit, which was held in Colorado Springs the day before the National Potato Council’s Seed Seminar. Here are some highlights. Bruce Axman encouraged the potato industry to develop innovative products. He said more than 30,000 new grocery products are rolled out each year, and the number of items in produce departments has doubled in five years. Bruce Huffaker described the supply and demand situation for the 2004 crop. His forecasting model predicts that the small reduction in 2004 supply will cause fresh potato prices to increase. Patrick Davis of McCain Foods told participants that world market shares for frozen potato processing are: McCain 31 percent, Lamb Weston 21 percent, Simplot 15 percent and…  » Read more

Colorado Seed Farm Too Tall for Pests

There probably aren’t too many potato growers in the United States who’d be all that comfortable practicing their profession at 7,600 feet above sea level, where the air is thin and the temperatures get downright cold. That goes for insects and diseases, too. “We’re blessed because our altitude and isolation reduces serious insect pressure,” said Monte Vista, Colo., grower Phil Smartt. “We do not have the Colorado potato beetle here, have not had late blight for a number of years and only had it two or three years in our history.” Smartt, who is one of the Colorado representatives on the U.S. Potato Board and a member of the Spudseed.com marketing group, began growing potatoes in Colorado’s San Luis Valley in 1977. Home to most of Colorado’s potato production and comprised of around 65,000 acres, the valley lies in the south central part of the Centennial State. Today, Smartt’s…  » Read more
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