[Banner Top] Gowan - July, Expires 7/31
Share

March 2007

March 2007
  • Maine Farm Family of the Year The Maine Potato Board named the Moir family of Woodland, Maine, the Farm Family of the Year for 2006.
  • NPC Elects New President Don Sklarczyk was elected to a one-year term as president of the National Potato Council at the group's annual meeting in January.
  • Nutrient Management Stress conditions moisture, nutrient availability, soil properties, limited root systems can play a crucial role in tuber development, so managing the application timing of nutrients is vital to set and bulking.
  • Planting Efficiency High yields and uniform potatoes start with homogenous seed pieces planted at even intervals.
  • Planting the Seeds of Success
  • Valley Tissue Culture Valley Tissue Culture in Halstad, Minn., sets itself apart from other seed growers by the number of varieties it produces.
[Banner Middle] House-Buyers Guide 2013

All Articles

Aroostook County family has farmed the same acreage since 1953

The Maine Potato Board named the Moir family of Woodland, Maine, the Farm Family of the Year for 2006. Ronald and Ruth Moir farm about 1,500 acres in Aroostook County with their three sons Alan, Jason and Scott. They grow potatoes and grain and sudangrass as a rotation and cover crop. Three pickup trucks parked in the farmhouse’s driveway sport licenses that read: IFARM 4U, POTATOES and SPUDS. The modern ranch-style house overlooks a 9.5-acre pond that was built as part of the farm’s irrigation system. It does have a diving board, canoes, kayaks and paddleboats, and Ron “hopes and prays” it’ll have more recreational than irrigation use. “It’s a cost deal,” he said. “But we feel it’s a good insurance policy.” Moir started farming on the home farm in 1967. His grandfather, John, started the farm in 1928. Ron’s father, Donald, farmed the same acreage until 1953,…  » Read more

Michigan seed grower to lead the council in 2007

Don Sklarczyk was elected to a one-year term as president of the National Potato Council at the group’s annual meeting in January. Don grows minituber seed potatoes with his wife, Mary Kay, and son, Ben, from their greenhouse operation in Johannesburg, Mich. Don spoke with Spudman about his goals as president and why he believes the potato industry must work together to be successful. How did you get involved in the National Potato Council, and why did you continue to be part of the leadership? My first exposure to NPC was with a leadership program called Young Growers Leadership in 1987. At that first meeting, it was clear to me NPC was made up of growers who are “movers and shakers.” The group impressed me with the decisions that were made. At that time of my life, I couldn’t get actively involved with the NPC because of the…  » Read more

Timing and rate of application crucial in shallow-rooted plants

Stress conditions – moisture, nutrient availability, soil properties, limited root systems – can play a crucial role in tuber development, so managing the application timing of nutrients is vital to set and bulking, Darryl Warncke told Michigan potato growers at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO in Grand Rapids last December. Warncke challenged potato breeders to consider the root system when working on new crosses. Plants with weak root systems require more precise nutrient applications for growth. “The root system that does exist is fairly shallow-rooted,” he said. “Potato breeders really need to develop more rigorous root systems.” Applying the correct of amount of nutrients is most important during tuber bulking, Warncke said. During bulking, potato plants can use between 800 and 1,200 pounds of biomass per acre. For optimum nutrient availability, soil pH should be between 6.2 and 6.8. Above 6.8 and below 6.2,…  » Read more

Adjusting planter speed can improve yield and uniformity

High yields and uniform potatoes start with homogenous seed pieces planted at even intervals, Mir-M Seyedbagheri told growers at the University of Idaho Potato Conference in Pocatello Jan. 16-18. Seyedbagheri is an Extension educator with more than 20 years experience helping potato growers increase their planting efficiency. Planter efficiency has other benefits as well. “When you have high efficiency, disease suppression is better and nutrient distribution is more even,” he said. When Seyedbagheri started, grower efficiency was at about 32 percent. Now, all the growers he works with have efficiencies higher than 60 percent. He even has one grower that regularly plants at 98 percent efficiency, which is as good as planting by hand. Much of the improvement he’s seen has been the result of simply adjusting the speed of the planter. To find the planter’s efficiency, Seyedbagheri recommends digging 25 feet of a row and measuring between…  » Read more

Planting the Seeds of Success

It’s difficult to think about planting as the Michigan snow covers everything in a blanket of white and temperatures dip below zero, but based on the turnout at the winter potato meetings, many of you are certainly thinking about your potato operations. I attended the University of Idaho’s Potato Conference in Pocatello in January, where I heard many excellent seminars on everything from organic potatoes to irrigation management. Of course, potato cyst nematode was a recurring topic and attendees had the chance to hear John Marshall, the eminent researcher and nematologist from New Zealand, give a keynote address. Marshall led the PCN management efforts on New Zealand’s South Island, and he shared his experience for the benefit of U.S. growers. As the planting season looms, other important issues are coming to the forefront. The first was the reintroduction of the AgJOBS bill to Congress in January. The bill…  » Read more

Diversity is key to minituber grower’s success

Valley Tissue Culture in Halstad, Minn., sets itself apart from other seed growers by the number of varieties it produces. Valley Tissue cultures and grows between 60 and 75 potato varieties in its laboratory and greenhouse, said Sandi Aarestad, president and owner of the seed culturing business. The company has been growing minitubers since 1984 and has been selling seed potatoes for about 20 years. About 85 percent of the minitubers are under contract by customers before they’re produced, which helps Aarestad know what varieties to grow. “Growers have been generous and helpful in telling me what to produce,” she said. The company produces about 20,000 pounds of seed potatoes annually. It typically takes about 300 pounds of minitubers to plant one acre of nuclear or first-generation seed. All of the cultures are developed in the laboratory on-site. The sample is serologically tested and then cloned from…  » Read more
[Banner Bottom] House-Media Services - 2014