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March 2013

March 2013

Features

• Taking the Wheel

• Protein Biomarkers

• This Year’s Arsenal

• Feed Your Seed

• An Ounce of Prevention

• A New Tradition

• DNA Barcodes

• Getting Smarter

• Bayer purchases Agraquest

• PAA the Second 50 Years

Columns

• Taking Stock

• National Potato Council

• Unites Potato Growers of America

• United States Potato Board

• Spudman 7

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Featured Article

An Ounce of Prevention: Seed treatments can be a cure for healthy yields

An Ounce of Prevention: Seed treatments can be a cure for healthy yields

A little prevention could go a long way when preparing your potato seed for planting this spring. It’s already common practice to coat cut seed pieces with bark dust to speed the healing process. Growers should consider a product that also contains some type of fungicide to ward off diseases such as late blight, fusarium dry rot and rhizoctonia. “We recommend that growers who use bark dust use one that has a mancozeb-based dust mixed in with it,” said Jeff Miller, plant pathologist at Miler Research in Rupert, Idaho. Mancozeb is an old but reliable broad-spectrum fungicide. It provides good protection against seedborne potato late blight and fusarium dry rot. “The mancozeb component has been a really good component for dry rot control,” Miller said. “Fusarium dry rot is becoming more of a problem. I think some of the new varieties that are being grown are more susceptible to it.” Fusarium-infected seed pieces are likely to decay, leaving the grower with a poor stand. Miller has seen that on several occasions when investigating growers’ complaints about dry rot problems. In nearly all such cases, he has found that the seed was treated only with bark.…  » Read more

Featured Article

Feed Your Seed: Nutritional guidelines help determine ‘just right’ rates

Feed Your Seed: Nutritional guidelines help determine ‘just right’ rates

In the potato catalog of best management practices, nutrient management is at the top of the list. Growers must contend with reaching that perfect nutritional medium for the health of their crop: How much do you supply without supplying too much? There’s a number of variables growers must contend with; climate, water, variety, soil conditions and more, but when all is said and done, nutrient management remains the most vital of management factors resulting in quality potatoes and good yields at the end of harvest. The first step in determining your crops’ nutrient needs is soil management and testing. John Taberna, owner of Western Laboratories, said that growers should make sure they have a crop adviser you trust. “You have to have faith in your crop adviser to do a good job,” Taberna said. Taberna, who refers to himself as a soil scientist, said that for a good soil analysis he wants from 9 to 11 samples. “You don’t want to take a good and a bad area because when you mix it up you create a soil that is not in the field,” Taberna said. “You have to take it from what is typical…  » Read more

Featured Article

Taking the Wheel

Taking the Wheel

The pendulum has swung from the east to the west with the election of Randy Mullen of Pasco, Wash., as 2013 National Potato Council (NPC) president. With his election at the NPC’s annual meeting in Las Vegas in January Mullen succeeds Steve Crane, of Exeter, Maine. Mullen’s involvement with the NPC began more than 15 years ago. Previously, he had been involved with the USPB and the Washington State Potato Commission. “I really feel that the NPC is the one that really gets things done politically,” Mullen said. With his NPC responsibilities requiring more of his time, Mullen has come to rely on his children from his first marriage to help with the farming operation. His daughter and son-in-law, Randi and Mark Hammer, work as office manager and farm manager. Nearly three years ago, when Mullen’s previous farm manager was involved in a bad motorcycle accident, Mark took the job. “He had no farm experience,” said Mullen. “He kind of got thrown into it the job but he’s really stepped up to the plate. (He is) very organized, a very good boss for everybody.” His son Ryan also works on the farm and youngest son…  » Read more

Featured Article

PAA the Second 50 Years

The Potato Association of America – The Second 50 years Last month we wrote of The Potato Association of America’s development during its first 50 years, one of the few organizations formed around a single commodity, certainly a unique concept 100 years ago. In the following 50 years, the PAA continued expanding its activities, reaching beyond the North American borders. As we report on the PAA history, it is imperative to remember the important relationship and cooperative influences of the land-grant university system, agricultural experiment stations, and Cooperative Extension services in PAA programs, investigative efforts, and technological advances, as well as the PAA’s concurrent relationships with the USDA, NPC, USPB, potato trade journals, state organizations, other commodity organizations and crop agencies. Emphasis has ranged from production and management methods to governmental regulatory movements to improved customer perception of the potato and its nutritional value. The PAA’s international presence and influence increased following World War II and through the 1960s. The PAA influenced the establishment of the National Potato Introduction Station at Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (1947-48); formation of the European Association of Potato Research (1955); establishment of the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru (1971) and…  » Read more

All Articles

Taking the Wheel

Taking the Wheel

The pendulum has swung from the east to the west with the election of Randy Mullen of Pasco, Wash., as 2013 National Potato Council (NPC) president. With his election at the NPC’s annual meeting in Las Vegas in January Mullen succeeds Steve Crane, of Exeter, Maine. Mullen’s involvement with the NPC began more than 15 years ago. Previously, he had been involved with the USPB and the Washington State Potato Commission. “I really feel that the NPC is the one that really gets things done politically,” Mullen said. With his NPC responsibilities requiring more of his time, Mullen has come to rely on his children from his first marriage to help with the farming operation. His daughter and son-in-law, Randi and Mark Hammer, work as office manager and farm manager. Nearly three years ago, when Mullen’s previous farm manager was involved in a bad motorcycle…  » Read more
Feed Your Seed: Nutritional guidelines help determine ‘just right’ rates

Feed Your Seed: Nutritional guidelines help determine ‘just right’ rates

In the potato catalog of best management practices, nutrient management is at the top of the list. Growers must contend with reaching that perfect nutritional medium for the health of their crop: How much do you supply without supplying too much? There’s a number of variables growers must contend with; climate, water, variety, soil conditions and more, but when all is said and done, nutrient management remains the most vital of management factors resulting in quality potatoes and good yields at the end of harvest. The first step in determining your crops’ nutrient needs is soil management and testing. John Taberna, owner of Western Laboratories, said that growers should make sure they have a crop adviser you trust. “You have to have faith in your crop adviser to do a good job,” Taberna said. Taberna, who refers to himself as a soil scientist, said that…  » Read more
An Ounce of Prevention: Seed treatments can be a cure for healthy yields

An Ounce of Prevention: Seed treatments can be a cure for healthy yields

A little prevention could go a long way when preparing your potato seed for planting this spring. It’s already common practice to coat cut seed pieces with bark dust to speed the healing process. Growers should consider a product that also contains some type of fungicide to ward off diseases such as late blight, fusarium dry rot and rhizoctonia. “We recommend that growers who use bark dust use one that has a mancozeb-based dust mixed in with it,” said Jeff Miller, plant pathologist at Miler Research in Rupert, Idaho. Mancozeb is an old but reliable broad-spectrum fungicide. It provides good protection against seedborne potato late blight and fusarium dry rot. “The mancozeb component has been a really good component for dry rot control,” Miller said. “Fusarium dry rot is becoming more of a problem. I think some of the new varieties that are being grown…  » Read more

National Potato Council: New Opportunities to Advance Policy Goals

Earlier this year, America’s potato growers placed their trust in me to lead the National Potato Council as its president throughout 2013. It is a responsibility I take seriously; overseeing an organization that impacts the lives and livelihoods of thousands of growers and their families is a humbling experience. I hope the decisions made by me, the executive committee, and our board of directors made up of growers from across the country will keep us on a track that supports a stronger industry for decades to come. Thankfully, we have a firm foundation from which to build. Over the last few years, NPC and our partners from the state potato organizations have helped bring about a number of federal policy victories and set the stage for others in the future. Those victories did not happen overnight but were the result of years of hard work…  » Read more
Taking Stock: Industry wake-up call

Taking Stock: Industry wake-up call

Nature’s wake-up call is about to ring in the spring. Down south the potatoes are in the ground but up here in the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest and the Northeast the ground is just beginning to awaken from its winter slumber. Soon enough planting season will be in full swing. In this month’s profile, Randy Mullen, the National Potato Council’s president for 2013, is issuing another wake-up call for everyone in the potato industry to get involved in the politics of the potato industry. Strength in numbers is Mullens’ strategy when it comes to agricultural policies. He wants to see greater grower participation in getting legislation important to the potato industry through Congress. One example is the farm bill that Congress needs to pass this year. Anyone involved with U.S. agriculture should be contacting the members of their Congressional delegation about getting a farm bill…  » Read more

PAA the Second 50 Years

The Potato Association of America – The Second 50 years Last month we wrote of The Potato Association of America’s development during its first 50 years, one of the few organizations formed around a single commodity, certainly a unique concept 100 years ago. In the following 50 years, the PAA continued expanding its activities, reaching beyond the North American borders. As we report on the PAA history, it is imperative to remember the important relationship and cooperative influences of the land-grant university system, agricultural experiment stations, and Cooperative Extension services in PAA programs, investigative efforts, and technological advances, as well as the PAA’s concurrent relationships with the USDA, NPC, USPB, potato trade journals, state organizations, other commodity organizations and crop agencies. Emphasis has ranged from production and management methods to governmental regulatory movements to improved customer perception of the potato and its nutritional value. The…  » Read more
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