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November-December 2012

November-December 2012

Features

• Big Sky Communicator

• State Seed Reports

• The Reign Continues

• 50th Anniversary: Fifty years of Varieties

• Targeting Exports

• Bacterial Ring Rot

• FSMA Progress Stalls

• Conference Callings


Columns

• Taking Stock

• National Potato Council

• United Potato Growers of America

• U.S. Potato Board

• Spudman 7

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All Articles

Big Sky Communicator

Big Sky Communicator

United States Potato Board (USPB) member Steve Cottom is a fourth generation seed grower and has been involved with Montana seed potato production for over 40 years. Great-great grandparents George and Elizabeth Cottom originally settled in Idaho’s Lemhi Valley in 1881. Their son, Morse Cottom, started raising potatoes in the 1920s and earned a reputation for quality seed potato production. Morse died of tick fever in 1930, and his son Philip took over the operation. In the early 1930s, in search of better soil, Philip, along with Phillip’s father-in-law, William Irvine, moved their farming operations over the mountains to Montana’s Beaverhead Valley, near Dillon. Today Steve, his wife Cathy and his brother Dave, oversee the farming operations. Cottom Seed produces about 500 acres of seed potatoes, specializing in Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, Norkotah Russet and Rio Grande Russet varieties. Because of the farm’s remote locale,…  » Read more
Bacterial Ring Rot

Bacterial Ring Rot

At the time of this writing, the Pacific Northwest is experiencing a flare up of the bacterial ring rot (BRR) disease of potato. This disease is characterized by the deterioration of the vascular ring of the tuber often accompanied by surface cracking of the tubers and the presence of bacterial "ooze". In the field, the disease affects the foliage by causing a wilt but can also cause shortened internodes and other upper plant abnormalities in some varieties. Important note: Bacterial ring rot can also be 'latent' which means the bacteria are present but do not cause any visible symptoms in foliage or tubers. This latter factor is likely one of the main reasons why the disease persists in the North American potato production system. BRR can be very difficult to detect in seed potatoes because the disease is usually present at extremely low percentages and…  » Read more
National Potato Council

National Potato Council

Whether you have attended POTATO EXPO each of the past four years or you are considering joining us for the first time, this year’s conference and tradeshow has something new for every member of the U.S. and international potato value chain.  From January 9-11, more than 1,500 industry leaders are expected to attend the conference and tradeshow at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Attendees can expect to learn about the top challenges and solutions facing the potato industry, network with key decision makers throughout the value chain, and hear from nationally recognized speakers on ways to improve their businesses.   Business-Focused Speakers   By popular demand, this year’s general session speakers will explore ways to thrive in business with insights and inspiration that attendees can take home to their own operations. The 2013 Keynote Speaker is David Novak, chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, Inc., the…  » Read more
State Seed Reports

State Seed Reports

State Seed Reports   Colorado continues to increase seed potato production   Colorado’s San Luis Valley is an ideal location for seed potato production. Its 7,600 foot altitude, cool days and high summer sunlight intensity allows for high altitude vigor. Certified seed lots begin with extensive testing of tissue culture plantlets maintained by the Colorado Potato Certification Service tissue culture bank at the Colorado State University San Luis Valley Research Center. Disease free plantlets are distributed to ten Colorado grower owned/operated tissue culture/ greenhouse facilities. Their greenhouse minituber production serves as the foundation for one to six years of field increase for 26 Colorado certified seed potato growers as well as other certified seed growers in the United States. Detailed historical documentation of seed lots, laboratory serological disease testing, three summer visual inspections, storage inspections, post harvest test inspections, and shipping inspections compose the total…  » Read more
50th Anniversary: Fifty years of varieties

50th Anniversary: Fifty years of varieties

There have been a lot of potato varieties to come and go during Spudman’s 50 years of publishing. For nearly 100 years the Russet Burbank has been the standard that all new potato varieties aspire. Shepody. Pike. Red Norland. Russet Norkotah.  Alturas. Lemhi Russet. Cascade. Centennial Russet. Ranger Russet. These are just a few of the varieties that have been developed since Spudman’s debut in 1963. Breeding programs around the world continue to research and develop new varieties. Every year we see new cultivars being named and marketed. What the general public doesn’t realize is the large investment of both money and time  to develop a new variety. To test for disease resistance and culinary desirability and finally be accepted by consumers, be they processors or the general public. It’s a long term process with no guarantee that the end product will be successful. From…  » Read more
Taking Stock: Honoring Young Leaders

Taking Stock: Honoring Young Leaders

Exciting times here at Spudman. But before I discuss the big news I want to extend my thanks and gratitude to the Potato Association of America for presenting Spudman with an award for its half-century of service to the industry this past August at their annual meeting in Denver. It’s an honor that we at Spudman and Great American Media Services accept with gratitude and take seriously as we continue to provide the potato industry with the most current news of the industry. Now, as we kick-off our next 50 years of service to our readers I am proud to announce Spudman’s Emerging Leader Award. This award has been created to recognize an individual, under the age of 35, involved in any sector of the potato industry, from growers and shippers to researchers and marketers. Spudman believes that its time to recognize those individuals that…  » Read more
FSMA progress stalls

FSMA progress stalls

Food safety has been a constant concern throughout the produce and retail industry. In the past, however, there were no metrics with which to monitor and regulate produce. Now with the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) growers, shippers and retailers are trying to find common ground on how to move food safety measures forward in an effective, efficient and economic means as possible in reaching the consumer. With FMSA going nowhere fast, sitting in the Office of Management and Budget office awaiting implementation, it seems that PTI currently has the lead role in food safety. Dan Vache, vice president of supply chain management for the United Fresh Produce Association, predicts that FMSA is low on the priority list when the lame-duck Congress comes back into session following the November elections. “Obviously we’d like to see them do the Food…  » Read more
Targeting exports

Targeting exports

Seed potatoes represent just one percent of U.S. potato exports. It’s a drop in the bucket. No matter. Some players in this tiny niche market are making a splash. Nearly one-quarter of the 400 acres of seed potatoes Randy Bauscher grows in south-central Idaho are targeted for export. Most of his foreign customers are small-scale farmers in Latin America who prefer yellow- and white-skinned spuds to the brown-skinned russets popular in the United States. He’s shipped seed to Panama, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Haiti, Sri Lanka and the Dominican Republic.  “The rest of the world is not enamored with the Russet Burbank," Bauscher said. About 100 acres of his operation is planted to Granola, Cal White and other table-stock varieties earmarked for the export market. Bauscher has visited nearly 20 countries in the past decade in an effort to develop new markets. Many of the trips have…  » Read more
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