100 Years of PAA and Certified Seed Potatoes

One hundred years ago this autumn, U.S. potato farmers were harvesting and storing their first crop of certified seed potatoes. These pioneering farmers working with Extension professors across the no... more

2017 Expo serving diverse menu

There will be plenty to experience and discuss during the many networking hours in San Francisco at the Potato Expo 2017. With 46 hours to network during the event, plus pre- and post-Expo events, dev... more

2017 Spudwoman of the Year: Addie Waxman

Addie Waxman is the recipient of the inaugural award sponsored by Lockwood.

2nd Annual Industry Survey

Overproduction and higher cost of production - specifically input costs - top the list of grower concerns for 2011, with water and contract prices following close behind, according to Spudman's Second... more

50 Years: Farmers are the backbone of America

Perhaps the most attractive aspect of the life led by the men and women who produce potatoes is its wholesomeness. There are, of course, headwinds: harvesting while watching input prices continually p... more

50 Years: Top 10 List

It's hard to believe Spudman is 50 years old this year and even harder to think about all of the challenges the industry has gone through over the past five decades to remain prosperous.I spent some t... more

50 Years: True Grit

It took a one-eyed photographer with a vision for a national potato magazine to create Spudman magazine 50 years ago. The fact that Dan Crawford wasn't a very good farmer, by his own estimation, proba... more

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. S... more

A Chance To Improve

The last couple of months, I've written about the importance of adding value and giving consumers something special. And I could probably fill several more columns with some of the same ideas. But I t... more

A Deeper Look: Spotting PVY with drones

Seed certification experts gathered at this year’s Potato Expo in Orlando, Florida and discussed some of the challenges facing seed growers. Those challenges included pests like PVY, potato mop-top ... more
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A family affair

With this, our second annual Women of the Industry issue, Spudman attempts to remedy the situation by recognizing the important roles women are playing in the industry today. From farming and research... more

A family legacy

Third generation of family potato farmers

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... more

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... more

A New Tradition

Spudman magazine is honored to present Eric Halverson with its 2013 Emerging Leader Award. Halverson is the inaugural recipient of what promises to be an annual tradition within the potato industry. ... more
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A Sense of Place

I feel the ice-cold breath of 2016 breathing down my neck. How can this be? Wasn't it just last week that I was sitting in the Spudman booth at the 2015 POTATO EXPO in sunny Orlando?EXPO and winter co... more

A True Family Farm

Running the Bedlington seed farm in the northwest corner of Washington state is a true family affair. Located in the community of Lynden, the farm is just over 10 miles south of the Canadian border.Sc... more

A voice for the industry

High up in northern California's Klamath Basin, near Tulelake, Calif., Sid Staunton farms with his brothers Marshall and Ed as part of Staunton Farms Inc. Sid is currently serving his fourth year as a... more

Acreage levels off, top varieties decline further

Total seed acres certified in the United States for 2008 remained about the same as last year at 109,211 acres. That's down from almost 132,300 acres five years ago. However, the Top 20 varieties for ... more
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Act one: go slow, (despacio*)

Vive la Mexico!I could have sworn that I heard this collective shout of celebration (or was it a sigh of relief) from the potato industry on March 20. That was the day when the federal government of M... 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. Seye... more

African Adventure

This past spring I received an invitation to assist the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) in Kenya to establish routine ELISA testing and Tissue Blotting Immunoassay tests or TBIA. The assign... more

Ag leads the way

By the time you read this, the dust will have settled from the January road shows around the country. What I've heard in my travels and my interviews is that all sectors of the potato industry are doi... more

Agritourism helps Ohio farm survive

Road construction was going on right in front of Ramseyer Farms throughout the busy agritourism season this past fall. The thousands of customers who visited had a harder time getting in and out. But ... more

Aiming for a GMO labeling compromise

The need to see action on the voluntary genetic modified organism (GMO) labeling situation has reached a breaking point after the last few months of discussion. With Vermont's mandatory on-package GMO... more

All in the Family

Mark Tarr was born to be a Maine potato farmer. It's in his DNA - a simple fact of life. When all eight of your great-great grandfathers were farmers in Aroostook County, referred to as "The County" b... more

Allied Powers

When you're in a fight, it helps to know who (and where) your friends are.That is the guiding principle behind a new technology that identifies the traits of compatible organisms and then forms them i... more

Aloha from Hawaii

Hawaii has become the hub for winter grow out of seed potatoes. Four more certified seed potato organizations, Idaho, Colorado, Michigan and Wisconsin, will be joining Montana and Minnesota on the nor... more

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. Gro... more

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... more

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 rin... more

Band of Brothers

Iotts have been farming in Michigan for over 100 years, but how they ended up in Michigan is a tale with historical antecedents.As Dennis Iott tells the tale, his French Catholic Acadian ancestors had... more

BASF announces new chemistry fungicide for 2012

BASF announces new chemistry fungicide for 2012

BASF creates Priaxor® fungicide to protect potatoes

Having issues with disease this growing season? BASF is here to help.At BASF, it is our goal to help growers get the most out of each of their acres," said Jennifer Holland, U.S. crop protection marke... more

Battle Plans for Disease Management

Finding a strategy to fight rhizoctonia and fusarium seed piece decay.

Beat ’em to the Punch

It's not news that in order to survive you have to be thinking ahead of your customer. You have to know what they want before they want it. Product needs to be on the shelves waiting for them when the... more

Best practices help to ensure food safety

Kristian Moeller is the secretary of GLOBALGAP, but he knows potato farming well. He comes from a farming family that has grown potatoes for more than 100 years and the family had the farm for more th... more

Beverly Searle shares views ahead for farm, family

Beverly Searle shares her views on the farm, in the home and in Washington, D.C.

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 a... more

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 a... more

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 a... more

Bill DeVos: Growers Should Focus on Consumers

There are three items prominently displayed in my office. One is a painting by Colorado artist Tom Lockhart, Greenwings over a Wintry Marsh," which I won at an NPC National Seed Seminar hosted by Colo... more

Bill to reform H-2A introduced

Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte introduced a bill March 29 to reform the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program.H.R. 1792, the Temporary Agricultural Labor Reform Act of 2007, would reform ... more

Born to Lead

Some are born to lead (think Queen Elizabeth II), some are born to run (think Bruce Springsteen) and some are born to grow potatoes and to lead the National Potato Council. For Jim Tiede, the Natio... more

Born to Lead

Todd Michael's first memory of working on the farm is driving the potato harvester at the age of 9. Not only did he learn the mechanics of growing potatoes early on, but he also developed a keen inter... more

Born to the Industry

John Meyer, a fourth-generation grower from Cohocton, N.Y., recognizes that it takes the talents of many minds, and efforts from many hands to enable the work of feeding the world the highest quality ... more

Bouchey Potatoes

The air was redolent with the wafting, aromatic scent of grapes ripening on the vine. The two-lane, blacktop roads were littered with the detritus of fallen hops from the pick-up trucks overloaded wit... more

Brothers hang Together

A solid work ethic and rural-road smarts have served the Streef brothers well. Those are two of the qualities instilled into the five by their parents.There's another quality, however, that may have h... more

Brothers run third-generation family farm in Maine

The Roope family has farmed in Presque Isle, Maine, for more than 80 years, but the current generation has seen the biggest changes in the last five to 10 years. The Roopes were named Maine Farm Famil... more

Bruise Control

Bruising leaves a heavy economic impact on many potato growers, resulting in the postharvest loss of thousands of dollars. But bruising is difficult to control because the bruises don't appear until long after harvest, preventing growers from locating impact points.

Buffer zones could lead to new application techniques

EPA's Reregistration Eligibility Decision for metam sodium is due out in July, and the decision could have drastic repercussions for potato growers in the Pacific Northwest. Metam sodium, a broad spec... more

Building a better spud

Researchers nationwide are searching their shelves for potato varieties that produce lower acrylamide levels when processed into french fries.Rich Novy, a plant geneticist in Aberdeen, Idaho, who work... more

Building a Championship Team

I was never a huge college basketball fan, despite being around some excellent teams. Growing up in Michigan, I remember the years University of Michigan and Michigan State University won the NCAA tou... more

Building on a Legacy

News about the Grand Coulee Dam in eastern Washington, which was central to formation of the Columbia Basin Project, traveled across the country following the end of World War II.In 1950, Rex Calloway... more

Built with Straw

Marcus and Jessie Koenig may have the only large potato storage in the world using straw-bale insulated walls. You'll find them in southwestern Ontario, about an hour's drive north from Port Huron, M... more

California Sues Makers of Potato Chips, Fries

When Congress got rid of the controversial Delaney Clause by passing the Food Quality Protection Act in 1996, most Americans got rid of a problem. But California has a Delaney-like law, and California... more

Call for Convenience

I had the chance to tour the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit International Trade Show and Exposition in October to see the fresh produce suppliers and the many value-added products.Even w... more

Calling in Sick

This winter was a sick one for me. Between battles with strep throat, sinus infections and downright icky colds, it seems I haven't gone one week without feeling crummy. And it's been a sick one for o... more

Can a Chaotic Washington D.C. Focus on the Ag Labor Crisis?

Despite challenging current events, Congress and the administration can solve this crisis. The solution is threefold.

Cautious Optimism

Looking back over my first five months with the United States Potato Board (USPB), one of the more impressive things about this industry is how well it works together on many important issues, such as... more

Celebrity Farmers

"I know their stock went up."When I asked Frank Martinez about the impact of some McDonald's television commercials that was the first thing he said. Frank is a Washington-state potato grower and the ... more

Change, Precisely

GPS products and services add to potato growers' tool kits

Changes in Leadership

With the inauguration of President-elect Obama Jan. 20 comes a change in leadership for many of the agencies that regulate and monitor the produce industry. This change comes as no surprise to the pro... more

Chasing Water

Last year's drought convinced Colorado potato grower Harry Strohauer that he had to make a change — a big change. He moved 500 acres — roughly half his spud production — to New Mexi... more
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Christmas in July

It's early summer here in southeast Idaho. Potato fields are in bloom right now. The flowers have such a quiet beauty in their simplicity. I read that in France, King Louis XVI would wear a potato fl... more

Clean Investment

Potato farmers could easily envy the winemaker. It must be wonderful to make a product that gets better with age. Spuds are as good at harvest as they're ever going to be. The same is true of other f... more

Clean Water Rule

Federal regulators issued a much-anticipated proposed rule on the Clean Water Act (CWA) this spring just as U.S. farmers were getting ready for another irrigation season.The EPA and Army Corps of Engi... more

Clen and Emma Atchley grow crops while preserving the environment

Some people believe farmers stand in the way of protecting the environment, but there are growers out there working to preserve the land and the nutrients in it.A lot of people see farming as a detrim... more

Colorado Grower Adapts to Changing Industry by Expanding Farm

Bruce Heersink knows what it takes to keep his farm successful. Afterall, he's watched his dad and grandfather before him. Bruce is the fifth generation to farm his family's land in Monte Vista, Colo.... more

Colorado Seed Farm Too Tall for Pests

There probably aren't too many potato growers in the United States who'd be all that comfortable practicing their profession at 7,600 feet above sea level, where the air is thin and the temperatures g... more

Columbia Basin family farm looks to the third generation

See Web-exclusive images on the Spudman Facebook fan page here.It's a period of transition for the Morris brothers and their Columbian Basin farm, Morris Irrigated Farms, based in Quincy, Wash. As one... more

Combatting PVY

The potato industry in North America is currently experiencing an invasion of sorts by an old pest that has recently undergone some important and sinister changes. The pest is Potato virus Y or PVY a... more

Coming Home

With rain delaying harvest of their 2,000 acres of potatoes, Deverle Wattenbarger and his three sons take a rare office break. They reminisce and laugh about how they all planned to leave Wattenbarger... more

Communication is key to keeping good workers

Almost every farmer has had to deal with the farm labor issue. As the labor supply gets tighter and tighter, finding good workers and getting good employees to come back every year will become even mo... more

Community leader

USPB chairman seeks to 'make the industry healthy'Driving across the Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, leaving a plume of dust in his wake, Sid Staunton points to a coyote running across a field of cu... more

Consumers, processors drive demand for organic spuds

Organic agriculture is about 2 percent of total U.S. agriculture, and sales of organic produce were about $5.8 billion in 2005. But the market segment is growing, and in 2007 sales from organic produc... more

Continuing Education

There was nothing like the feeling of getting my first published issue of Spudman in the mail. It was amazing. But what's even better than holding the finished product in my hands is knowing that peop... more

Continuing the Legacy

Garrisons continue family tradition in MaineGregg Garrison, the Maine Potato Board's Young Farmer of the Year last year, attributes much of his success to his father, Wayne."Take care of the land ... ... more

Contracts can determine how much you pay for land

With commodity and specialty crop prices high and optimism for 2008 also high, landowners are looking to get a piece of those profits by turning to different types of land rental contracts that buck t... more

Cover Crops

The notion of a plant-back period is well known for herbicide application and soil fumigation. This is the minimum period of time that should follow herbicide or soil fumigant application before crop planting. The plant-back period for most cover crops has not been established. However, for "hot" cover crops like rye, oilseed radish and other Brassica species, our program recommends a plant-back period of at least two weeks when adequate cover crop biomass are present during cover crop incorporation.

Cultivar Corner: Alpine Russet

Parentage: A8343-12 x A85103-3Developers: Tri-State Variety Development ProgramPlant Variety Protection: Applied for. Administered by PVMI.Strengths: High-yielding, resistance to sugar ends and other ... more

Cultivar Corner: Lamoka

Parentage: NY120 x NY115Developers: Cornell UniversityPlant Variety Protection: Applied forMorphological CharacteristicsPlant: Large and vigorous vine, with pale green foliage, and white-tipped, magen... more

Cultivar Corner: Lelah

Parentage: S440 x ND3828-5Developers: University of Wisconsin-MadisonPlant Variety Protection: PendingIncentives for production: Attractive and uniform tubers with long-term (9 months) and cold chipp... more

Cutting Costs

Although potatoes still are receiving high prices on the open market and contract pricing, some growers are concerned about the market. Fortunately, the economic conditions are looking up in some sect... more

Dakota Trailblazer

Dakota Trailblazer (AOND95249-1Russ)Parentage: A98163-3LS x A8914-4Developers: The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and North Dakota StateUniversityPlant Variety Protection: Application in... more

Demand Isn’t the Result of Increased Consumption

This year started with tight potato supplies because of reduced acreage throughout the United States of about 8 percent. Weather conditions in some of the potato-producing regions led to reduced yield... more

Desiccant decisions

Chemicals, variety, timing affect vine killVine desiccation is an important decision during the growing season, potentially affecting tubers well into the storage season. Many factors impact vine kill... more

Different Practices Can Help Manage Late Blight in Sprinkler-Irrigated Potatoes

Integration of several control tactics is needed to manage potato late blight in sprinkler-irrigated potatoes. These include strict sanitation practices, proper irrigation management, cultural practic... more

Disease & pest control

Always an issue somewhere: Disease and pest management remain a precarious balance

Disease Control Measures Should Be Taken Right Up Until Harvest

After growers apply the desiccants that will kill their potato vines and set the stage for harvest, it's not yet time to park the sprayer. They should plan to return within three or four days to make ... more

Disease Thrives on Cool, Wet Weather in Midwest, East

Prevailing weather for the Midwest and Eastern states during the summer of 2004 can be summed up in two words cool and wet. It just so happens that the late blight pathogen we've all learned to recogn... 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 la... more

Doing the math

Shippers see increased weight limits for trucksDon Meacham said the math is simple when it comes to increasing truck weight limits and the benefit that will have for shippers.While it would require ad... more

Double Duty

2014 is a year of double duty for Randy and Karlene Hardy, the dynamic duo from Oakley, Idaho.This past January Randy Hardy became the National Potato Council (NPC) president, succeeding Randy Mullen ... more

Driving Home

Bound for home a few months ago, the time was just getting past the top of the hour. I turned on the radio to hear the latest news, but I’d just missed it. Instead, an impersonal traffic report, ... more

Dutch grower improves yields by 1 percent each year using precision ag

It’s been 11 years since Dutch potato grower Jacob van den Borne took over the family farm with his brother Jan. At the time they decided that they didn’t want to grow bigger, they wanted to grow ... more

Dynamic Decade

It's been quite a ride for Rick Miles in the 10 years since he first began supplying fresh Idaho potatoes to Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants. In 2002, when Miles' company was contracted to su... more

Early identification can prevent early die in following years

Verticillium wilt, a major component of potato early dying, is caused by the soilborne fungus, Verticillium dahliae, which causes wilt and crop loss in a range of plants and produces microsclerotia in... more

Editor’s Letter

There are two sides to creating a profitable market for potato growers: the supply side and the demand side. Supply has been kept in check through the hard work of many in the industry, but there's mo... more

Ein Traum Von Amerika: The 1990s

Wulf is a tough old bird… he is 65 and he just keeps going."Wulf Lebrecht's son, Chris, said that about his father in the German-made documentary film "Ein Traum Von Amerika" ("An American Dream... more

Ein Traum Von Amerika: The 2000s

Wulf is still farming in Idaho.When Wulf Lebrecht was a youngster in Germany he had a dream to become an American farmer. Before he could do that he helped his mother and siblings keep their farm goin... more

Equipment Round-Up

Advanced Farm Equipment AFE Lenco recently introduced the Lenco Four-row Wrap Around Harvester with side-hill leveling that keeps the cleaning table level. Lenco has installed a load cell in the prim... more

Equipment Round-Up

Advanced Farm Equipment AFE Lenco recently introduced the Lenco Four-row Wrap Around Harvester with side-hill leveling that keeps the cleaning table level. Lenco has installed a load cell in the prim... more

Eric Schroeder is Spudman’s 2018 Emerging Leader of the Year

It would be accurate to call Eric Schroeder, assistant manager at Schroeder Brothers Farms, a jack of all trades. Depending on the time of year, you could find him out on a tractor, at a tank truck fi... more

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.... more

Experts Answer Questions about GPS for Potato Growers

What is GPS?D.J. Mulla: GPS stands for Global Positioning System. This is a network consisting of 24 satellites that broadcast radio signals to earth. Under the right conditions, these signals can be ... more

Eye on psyllids

One year, it's the potato tuber worm; another year, it's the beet leafhopper. This year's public enemy insect is the potato psyllid. At both the Idaho Potato Conference and Washington/Oregon potato co... more

Eyes In the Sky

Drones are in the headlines. Rarely a week goes by without a story about these remarkable flying machines and their potential applications, from delivering packages and air strikes to surveying real e... more

Facility has looked at potato storage issues for more than 20 years

At the University of Idaho's research storage facility in Kimberly, Nora Olsen has been overseeing the best methods of potato storage for almost 10 years. She also has responsibilities for potato prod... more

Facing an Energy Crisis

As I write this column, the futures market for a barrel of crude oil is expected to top $100, surpassing the $95 inflation-adjusted cost in 1980. In 1999, oil futures hit a low price of $11, but have ... more

Facing Food Prices

The United Nations selected 2008 as the International Year of the Potato, not knowing there could be no better product to feature this year.Food prices are increasing worldwide, driving many in develo... more

Family Business

This issue marks my one-year anniversary as editor of Spudman. In the last year, I've not only learned a lot about the potato industry, but I've learned a lot about myself. Taking on another magazine ... more

Family Legacy

From the time he was big enough to stand on a milk crate and grade potatoes, John Christoffel Stoffel" Probasco has been involved with potatoes on his family's farm in Chesterfield, N.J. "I've been w... more

Farming Heritage

You could say that farming in the Red River Valley is in Justin Dagen's genes, and you wouldn't be far off the mark. If it's not in his DNA, then it's definitely in his blood. It also helps to explain... more

Farming Tradition Continues For Van Orden Family

There are more than 50 years of potato-growing history in the Van Orden family of Bingham County, Idaho. Michael, Gaylen and LeRoy Van Orden are working to continue that tradition, with more than 1,50... more

Fast Food Fries

At the Potato Expo meeting in San Antonio in January, one of the presenters brought up an interesting point about the future of potato products at quick-service restaurants. Jeff DeLapp, president of ... more
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Fasten your seat belts

It's the start of a new year, and that means this is our state of the industry issue. So what is the state of the potato industry? In the short time that I've been editing this magazine (six years), I... more

Father, Son in Maine Design Potato Equipment

They may no longer be growing potatoes, but the Ellises certainly are involved in the potato industry on a world-wide basis. Malcolm and Jaye Ellis, an Aroostook County, Maine, father and son pair, le... more

Federal Government Targets Employers of Illegal Immigrants

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expanding its efforts to target employers of illegal aliens, which could have negative consequences for farmers and their workers.On April 20, Homelan... more

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... more

Feeding the World

These are interesting times for the potato. While many scientists believe potatoes will play a key role in providing global food security in the future, potatoes are not without their critics.A majori... more

Fertile delta provides grower with “world’s best” soil to grow specialty crops

The Skagit Valley in northwestern Washington is a fertile delta formed by the Skagit and Samish rivers. It was there in 1938 that then 22-year-old Norman Nelson began potato farming. The land, with it... more

Fighting Late Blight

Late blight isn't an annual problem for Wisconsin growers, but it does make a presence in potato fields occasionally. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-M) have recently seen new ... more

Fighting nematodes

The fight against nematodes uses a multi-pronged approach with fumigants continuing to be the primary mode of action followed by nematicides, green manures, clean equipment and using certified seed.Wh... more

First Time for Everything

I enjoy firsts." My first car was a 1987 Plymouth Sundance I sold it to buy my first pick-up truck.My first girlfriend was Jamie in junior high she's now my wife.And I bought my first house in Decembe... more

First-ever comprehensive industry survey gives growers a voice

Well, if there are two facts you can definitely take away from our 2009 reader survey, it's that our readers are not shy in expressing their opinions and their opinions are as diverse as the varieties... more

Five keys to growing fresh retail sales

One of the highlights of the fresh breakouts at Potato Expo 2012 was a presentation covering new research that the United States Potato Board (USPB) conducted into the potato shopper, studying percept... more

Florida grower fills seasonal need for chipping potatoes

Florida potato production is counter-cyclical. While growers in other states are looking at snow-covered fields, tinkering with their equipment and watching their storage sheds get lower and lower, gr... more

Florida Grower Has Potato Business In His Blood

Farming isn't just what Florida potato grower Alan Jones does. He was born to it and it's in his blood. At age 38, like many other farmers, he's growing not only potatoes but a number of other crops a... more

Florida’s potato industry changing, moving

Southern Florida's potato industry has seen a dramatic shift in production in recent years as urban sprawl from Miami has decimated fields around Homestead, south of the city. Homestead historically h... more
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Fly-In wrap-up

From Feb. 23 to 26, the National Potato Council hosted the 2015 Potato D.C. Fly-In. More than 150 U.S. potato growers and industry partners from across the country came to Washington, D.C., to advocat... more

Flying into the Future

Whether you call them unmanned aviation systems (UAS) or unmanned aviation vehicles (UAV) or the more common designation of drone, the eye in the sky may be the next tool in the agricultural arsenal o... more

Foreign trade: It’s complicated

Complicated. It’s a word that kept coming up as John Keeling, National Potato Council’s (NPC) CEO and executive vice president, discussed foreign trade agreements such as the North American Fre... more

Fostering Innovation

In the middle of spring planting, hail pings off the roof of Jim Tiede's shop and office, pelting his newly planted fields about eight miles west of American Falls in southeastern Idaho. A few wind gu... more

Fourth generation grower couldn’t stay away from the farm

Running a potato farm is a not a commitment to be taken lightly, and Mike Baginski's parents, Ted and Sue, wanted him to be sure it was what he really wanted to do. They had him move away from the fam... more

Fourth Generation Grower Says Marketing is Industry’s Future

Though Kent Bitter was born and raised on his family's farm near Shelley, Idaho, it wasn't until after his first year of college, that he realized he had a special affinity for the land and decided to... more

Fresh Potato Sales Up

The decline in potato consumption seen over the last 10 years appears to be leveling off, and retail purchases of potato products are increasing, according to a report released in October by the Unite... more

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 Tracea... more

Fueling Up Fears

Fueling Up Rising fuel cost impacts extend beyond transportation in the potato industry

Fungicide resistance management grows ever more popular

Most vegetable growers probably have panic attacks just from the thought of a massive fungicide failure. Virtually every crop has its potential plague, and most growers know of times when fungicides f... more

Fungicide Review: Keeping Diseases at Bay

There's some new fungicides being introduced into the market this year, and growers also saw the resurrection of an old fungicide standard in the fight against the late blight pathogen U.S. 23 in 2015... more

Futbol and Potatoes

I've been watching a some of the World Cup soccer matches and I have to confess that I have a new-found appreciation for the game of soccer. I marvel at the agility and quick footwork of the players. ... more

General field practices can reduce risk of contamination

Beginning in July, any supplier to a USDA food or snack program will be required to pass a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit with a score of 80 percent or above. The audit verifies that growers ... more

Getting Buyers Excited

Few agricultural segments have needed to adapt as much as the potato industry. Sure, growers of all specialty crops and commodities have adopted new technology, from water-monitoring equipment to GPS-... more

Getting down to business…

I can't believe that winter is behind us, but it's a fact that planting is underway in the Columbia Basin and the dirt will be flying soon throughout southeast Idaho and the rest of the northern state... more

Getting It Done

A desire to follow the money took Brett Jensen, 43, of Idaho Falls, on a path that led to his 2014 election as chairman of the U.S. Potato Board (USPB) this spring.Curious to find out how his check-of... more

Getting it Right

This is the year that potato farmers must get it right," says Merrill Hanny, a 56-year-old third generation fresh market potato farmer as he sits in his home office at Merrill Hanny Farms east of Shel... more

Getting the Credit

Since 2010 the small employer health insurance tax credit (Code Section 45R) has been available. For tax years 2010 through 2013, businesses that pay more than half the cost of health insurance under ... more

Gilbert Farms

Faming and family. For Richard Gilbert the two could not be more intertwined; the words are almost synonymous for this potato farmer and rancher in Grace, Idaho. Gilberts have been breaking the soil i... more

Going Dutch

Plant variety protection drives international innovation in potato

Going Underground

Many agronomic crops have benefited from subsurface drip irrigation (SDI), including cotton and corn, but potatoes primarily rely on pivot and sprinkler irrigation systems. Research across the United ... more

Goodbye Hermiston

The J.R. Simplot Company has announced that it will permanently close its Hermiston, Ore., potato processing plant in a phased shutdown over the next nine months.The plant and related support operatio... more

Grassroots Messenger

Being a leader in the potato industry isn't a new or unusual role for Dan Lake. It's a role the 2015 president of the National Potato Council (NPC) he is well known for across the Big Sky state of Mon... more

Grower Leader Retires

Bob Bartlett, a potato industry leader from Littleton, Maine, recently completed six years as a leader of the U.S. Potato Board (USPB). At the organization's 2004 Annual Meeting in Denver, he retired ... more

Grower: 2010 to be ‘interesting’ for process growers

The process potato market seems to be in a state of suspended animation across the country at the beginning of 2010. From reduced consumption in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) category, a concomit... more

Growers Can Manage a Potato Crop with Less Water

Irrigation is required for profitable commercial potato production in the Western United States. Potatoes have a relatively shallow root zone and a lower tolerance for water stress than most other cro... more

Growers Must Weigh Risks, Benefits of Planting Window

It's no secret that a uniform stand of healthy, vigorous plants is one of the keys to producing high yields of good quality potatoes. Most potato growers spend a lot of time selecting seed and prepari... more

Growers to have ‘sufficient’ supply in 2010

Early indications for the 2010 water year point to sufficient water storage and ground water reserves to get irrigators through the upcoming growing season in the Pacific Northwest and in Colorado's S... more

Growing the Industry’s Voice

At the National Potato Council's (NPC) annual meeting in January, America's potato growers placed their trust in me to lead the NPC as its president through 2014. It is a responsibility I take serious... more

Happy 2011

Happy New Year! I hope that 2011 is a profitable year for you, economically as well as intellectually. This past year as the managing editor of Spudman has been one with a steep learning curve for me,... more

Happy New Year!

While it's hard to believe that 2007 is coming to an end and 2008 is about to begin, the staff at Spudman has been eagerly and anxiously awaiting this issue for quite some time. You see, for the staff... more

Happy trails

I first ran into Milt Carter at last year’s Idaho Potato Conference. We exchanged business cards and some small talk about CSS Farms’ Colorado City operation overseen by Liz Sanders (see the May/J... more

Health Care Changes

President Obama and Congress made sweeping changes to America's health care system in March. After reviewing the complex legislation and its potential effects on those who make their living in agriculture, representatives of Western Growers Association held a webinar in May, where they presented their findings.

Health Traits May Drive Future Potato Research

Communicating the healthful aspects of potatoes can help return the vegetable to its rightful place of prominence on North American dinner plates, a Colorado State University researcher said.David Hol... more

Healthy Soil Regimen Reduces Need for Chemical Attack

For more than 30 years, potato growers have managed the chronic disease called potato early dying (or potato early die) with a chemical attack that ranges from relatively mild preventatives to complet... more

Heavier Loads

Proponents of increasing truck load limits on interstate highways are in for the long haul, according to industry analysts.Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Safe and Efficient Trans... more

Here comes the sun

The days are longer and the ground is starting to awaken. The soil seems to swell with fertile anticipation for the spring rains and growing warmth. Yep, it's time to get to work. It's planting time, ... more

History of irrigation

History of irrigation manufacturing

Hoff Brothers farm keeps frontier legacy alive

Caretaker of a legacy: that’s how James Hoff describes himself. There’s a serene sense of awe and gratitude in Hoff’s voice when he talks about the legacy of the family farm, known as the Rainbo... more

Humidity Control Key to Storing Bulk Potatoes

While temperature is probably the most important potato storage concern, another important step in storing potatoes is ensuring adequate relative humidity levels in the storage shed. Relative humidity... more

Idaho Co-op Gathers Support

Idaho's new fresh potato cooperative is going strong. United Fresh Potato Growers of Idaho (United) now has membership agreements from growers who represent more than 80 percent of all fresh potato ac... more

Idaho Extension improves visual quality and nutrients in fresh market potatoes

When Mike Thornton gets together with his brothers, Sam and Rob, you can count on potatoes being part of their conversation.The Thornton boys grew up in a potato environment.Their father, Robert is a ... more

Idaho grower is potato council’s 2008 president

The days are getting longer in Idaho and the snow is melting. Spring planting is just around the corner. It's the prelude to the start of the busiest time of year for farmers.Richard Polatis' days are... more

Idaho grower offers more value-added products

The continued national decline in potato consumption, in both the process and fresh markets, has growers, shippers and industry marketers searching for solutions to end the downward spiral.From better... more

Idaho Grower Tackles Challenges Associated with Growing Seed Potatoes

With a few years of active duty in the U.S. Army under his belt, Norm Johnson returned to school to earn a master's degree in hospital administration. But somewhere on that path, a trip to his father-... more

Idaho Potato Commission celebrates 70 years

The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) celebrated 70 years as the marketing arm of Idaho potatoes in May. The role IPC has played in the development of other commodity advertising groups is a large one, as... more

Idaho potato growers predict good season for grain, weak for potatoes

Idaho's potato farmers are talking about high market prices. High market prices for wheat, that is. In the past, wheat has always been considered a rotational crop with marginal profit, but this year ... more

Idaho Power working with state to refill aquifer

A March 26 announcement that Idaho Power and the state of Idaho had signed a tentative accord has state officials hailing the agreement as a reaffirmation of the state's ownership of the Snake River w... more

Imidacloprid Resistance Appearing After 11 Years

There's no need for growers to panic, but it's true. Colorado potato beetles are becoming resistant, in some production areas, to the leading insecticide that has been knocking them dead for 11 years.... more

Improving Seed Performance

To cut, or not to cut, that is the question facing many growers as they make their planting preparations. How you prepare and treat your seed stock at planting time are factors that play crucial role ... more

Improving the WIC program

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is designed to provide nutrition education and to increase the intake of key nutrients for a population with sp... more

In For the Long Run

Any farm that grows both potatoes and tulips can rightly be defined as diversified." Iverson Family Farms fits that description by growing bulbs and tubers, along with the rest of their crop portfoli... more

Industry Leaders Look to Remove Trade Barriers

North America's potato industries are continuing processes started years ago to even out the playing field and assure fair trade for all parties involved. Ministerial exemptions, anti-dumping laws and... more

Industry looks at packaging innovations

Connecting with consumers means marketing potatoes in a way that will stimulate new purchases. Industry leaders agree that adopting this simple strategy is vital to increasing demand and, in turn, pro... more

Inhibitor Alternatives

In the fresh potato market, few things are as unwelcome as a spud that looks like it should be planted rather than eaten. Sprouting may be a natural process, but it's a sure turnoff to shoppers. Howe... more

Innovation Helps Moss Farms Flourish

Dan Moss and his son, Ryan, point out their farm’s latest invention as they watch their potatoes roll along a conveyor at a cellar in southeastern Idaho during fall harvest. A high-powered fan blows... more

Intensified nationwide testing under consideration

Potato growers in Idaho are in for a lot more of the same kind of activities" as they enter the 2007 growing season. But growers across the United States may get a greater share of the scrutiny as APH... more

Investigation of Pest Under Way in Idaho

In early May, officials from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) were still trying to track down the source of two tiny cysts th... more
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Investing in the Future

An investment in the future of the potato industry is how John Keeling likens the National Potato Council's (NPC) academic scholarship. Both the NPC and Syngenta have made annual scholarship awards sp... more

It Takes An Industry

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo EmersonThat's one of my favorite quotes. Whenever I reach a particularly stressful deadline ... more

Jim Wysocki Has Ambitious Goals For His Year As NPC President

The potato industry is going through some big changes. And it's not just the marketplace that's different. It's the nature of the business. Thirty years ago, hard work and producing a good crop assure... more

Journey to Orlando

What better way to kick off the new year than by getting the inside look at issues facing the industry, creating new connections, finding products and solutions for your business, and so much more &nd... more

Just Tell us the Rules so we can Get Back to Work

I admit it: writing monthly columns for the potato trade publications is a challenge. While no one who's ever met me can claim I suffer from a loss for words, writing about the ever-changing national... more

Keeping it Clean: Sanitary potato storage promotes healthy tubers

You've made major investments in time, labor and inputs to bring in a healthy crop of potatoes. Now the question is: Have you made the necessary investments in your storage system to protect thehealt... more

Keeping Safe at Harvest

During harvest, there can't be a big enough emphasis on safety on the farm.Recently there was a news story of one death and one serious injury on a potato farm during planting. This happens every year... more

Keeping weeds to a minimum

Potato growers can add a new weapon to their weed- control arsenal for the 2012 season with Reflex, a Syngenta herbicide that has shown a lot of promise in university research trials.Reflex has been a... more

Kim Wahlen Works Hard In Industry He Grew Up In

Kim Wahlen is a third-generation potato grower, farming about 6,000 acres near his hometown of Aberdeen, Idaho. His grandfather, Peter Frederick Wahlen, immigrated from Sweden to Salt Lake City, Utah,... more

Know Your Soil

One of the most important factors in any fertilizer management program is application timing, which can vary widely among growing regions, soil textures and potato varieties. But there are fairly stan... more

Land of Opportunity

As the fading glow of twilight gave way to night and vaporous layers of mist descended on the freshly harvested potato field, Dan Chin drove his truck across the field to check on the final load of Yu... more

Late Blight

New strains of late blight are creating problems for Florida potato growers, leading scientists to find out why the disease is changing before it becomes an epidemic.Late blight isn't new to Florida, ... more

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