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April 2007

April 2007
  • Expand Global Markets At Home
  • Strohauer Farms It's shiny, almost futuristic. It?s compact and made of stainless steel and glass. It's computer driven and engineered to size, weigh and pack potatoes in consumer-friendly mesh bags, with sizes ranging from 1 pound to 5 pounds.
  • Watering Down Disease This year, with concern about higher energy costs and potentially reduced water supply, some extra time and a relatively small investment in equipment maintenance can significantly increase the profit potential of next year's crop.
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Expand Global Markets At Home

On a recent episode of ABC’s World News, reporter Robert Krulwich examined the most popular movie theater snack in the world. It wasn’t popcorn or candy – it was potatoes. Americans went to the movies 1.4 billion times last year, but in the rapidly Westernizing society of India there are nearly 1 billion people, and India’s version of Hollywood – Bollywood – has seen amazing growth. And when Indians go to the movies, they almost always consume products made with potatoes. Samosas, vada pav, papa chat and mango kulfi are all found in Indian movie theaters, and they all contain potatoes – mixed with other vegetables. Now, consider how many Indians live in the United States. According to the ABC piece, there are more than 500,000 living in or around New York City. Movie theaters there and in New Jersey regularly show Bollywood films and carry traditional…  » Read more

Packaging innovation unlocks the future for Colorado potato grower

It’s shiny, almost futuristic. It’s compact and made of stainless steel and glass. It’s computer driven and engineered to size, weigh and pack potatoes in consumer-friendly mesh bags, with sizes ranging from 1 pound to 5 pounds. This new packaging equipment, made by the Spanish manufacturer Giro, is the centerpiece of Harry Strohauer’s warehouse in La Salle, Colo. But really, this story is not about the latest and greatest new packaging equipment. It’s about a grower (and intuitive businessman) who, through innovative packaging and specialty potatoes, has brought a consumer focus to his business and increased the value of his potatoes. “If we wanted to stay viable in this industry, I knew we had to do something different,” Strohauer said. He watched neighbors move to Kansas or Nebraska or simply stop farming. Water continues to be a struggle and has greatly reduced the ground available for potatoes. With…  » Read more

Pre-season maintenance can reduce disease potential

This year, with concern about higher energy costs and potentially reduced water supply, some extra time and a relatively small investment in equipment maintenance can significantly increase the profit potential of next year’s crop. Uniformly applying the correct amount of irrigation water at the correct time is essential for quality potato production. To accomplish this, the irrigation system must be not only properly designed and installed, but well maintained. A good pre-season maintenance program can reduce pumping costs, increase water application uniformity and allow adequate watering of a larger portion of a field with less total water applied. However, one of the biggest benefits may be the reduction in disease potential due to fewer and smaller areas of chronically wet or dry soil. Potential for several economically important potato diseases like potato early dying (Verticillium dahliae), early blight (Alternaria solani) and black dot (Colletotrichum coccodes)…  » Read more
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