January 2013

January 2013


• A Love of Farming

• Irrigation Updates

• Managed Recharge

• Exclusive Rights a Fresh Trend

• Bagging, Sorting, Scanning

• Viva Mexico

• Alien Invasion

• Quest for the Holy Grail

• Plowing Through

• Celebrating 100 Years

• Estate Planning


• Taking Stock

• Cultiver Update


• The Guenthner Report

• National Potato Council

• United Potato Growers of America

•United States Potato Board

• Spudman 7

All Articles

A Love of Farming

Todd Gerratt plucks a few freshly dug Russet Burbanks from his field on a sunny October morning in southeastern Idaho’s Raft River Valley as diggers and trucks chug slowly and steadily down row after row. “This year, our yields are good, about 425 sacks per acre. The state average is about 390,” Gerratt said. Gerratt, 48, lives in nearby Declo and is the third generation to help run Ida-Gold Farms. “Our dry winter and hot dry summer kept the quality down slightly. We didn’t have the deep soil moisture coming into spring, and spuds like 80° – not the 90° weather we had most of the summer,” Gerratt said. A 10-minute drive from Interstate 15, Ida-Gold’s spud fields and cellars in Raft River are centrally located between two plants of their main client, Idahoan Foods Inc. “We provide whatever Idahoan projects they’ll need and can…  » Read more

Managed Recharge

Trend or anomaly, fact or fiction? It’s a fact that the global temperature has been on the rise, according to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). Nine of the 10 warmest years have occurred in the 21st century with 2011 as the ninth warmest in the GISS analysis. It’s also a fact that the finite limitations of surface water has forced water users to seek other hydrologic solutions. Tapping into subsurface aquifers has been the answer but now the aquifers are showing the stress and fatigue from too many users depleting nature’s underground storage system. Now, combine a trend line of warming temperatures with the National Weather Service’s prediction that the U.S. seasonal drought outlook will persist or intensify throughout the Great Plains and the Intermountain West into 2013 and water conservation becomes increasingly important. Water resource management has come to the forefront in…  » Read more

Quest for the Holy Grail

The quest for an improved French fry with lower acrylamide levels marches on. The second year of the National Fry Process Trials (NFPT) and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Acrylamide Program will conclude with culinary testing of selected clones at the J.R. Simplot Company’s Caldwell facility this past December. This fall representatives from five major French fry processors, McCain’s, Lamb Weston, Cavendish, Heinz and Simplot as well as researchers, breeders and other industry representatives met at the USDA/Agricultural Research Service in East Grand Forks, Minn., to evaluate and assess 88 different clones grown in four of five variety trials supported by the NFPT and the SCRI Programs. Of the 81 clones from the last year’s trial, 54 were resubmitted for the second year with an additional 34 clones submitted for the first year of testing. Clones came from trial centers, Idaho, North Dakota, Washington…  » Read more

Taking Stock: New year, new challenges

These are exciting times at Spudman and Great American Media Services so let’s cut to the chase and ring in the new year without delay. First, I’m pleased to announce that with this issue you will be able to read the entire content of every future Spudman cover to cover online. Each article, photo, column and advertisement will be accessible online. Over the course of time we will be expanding our online production to include additional features and graphic elements with the online issue. These features will include links to websites, expanded photo galleries and videos. As the online publishing world expands so will Spudman. I also want to put in a plug for eSpudman, our monthly newsletter and our webinars. The newsletter is free for the asking. Just update your subscription online and you can begin receiving our monthly updates on industry innovations, market…  » Read more

Taking the message to Capitol Hill

For most American citizens, performing their civic duty begins and ends with pulling a lever on Election Day. While some may be happy with allowing their elected representatives to speak for their interests, those in the potato industry know that their civic responsibilities reach far beyond the voting booth. Soon after Congress begins its new two-year legislative session, potato growers and industry leaders from all over the country will travel to Washington, D.C. to renew their efforts on behalf of policy priorities that could impact our farms and operations for generations to come. At the National Potato Council’s annual Potato D.C. Fly-In, from Feb. 25-28, 2013, growers learn about how the laws and regulations being considered by Congress and the administration could affect their businesses. They then unite with their fellow growers and industry partners in to deliver their messages directly to lawmakers and federal…  » Read more

Viva Mexico

This year’s abundant production of potatoes has growers and shippers in the U.S. seeking new markets for the oversupply of table stock potatoes. One market that has shown limited success due to its limited access has been Mexico. At press time bilateral negotiations continued between the U.S. and Mexico on potatoes and a number of other agricultural issues. Growers and shippers are patiently waiting for the day when table stock potatoes can be transported beyond the current 26-kilometer (16.25 miles) zone in Mexico. Current negotiations were put on hold while Mexico underwent a change of leadership with Enrique Pena Nieto assuming the presidency on Dec. 1, 2012.   One company that has enjoyed moderate success shipping fresh potatoes and onions into the 26 km zone in Mexico during the past five years is Eagle Eye Produce. The company, based in Idaho Falls, Idaho, received the…  » Read more