Aug 30, 2016
Wet conditions dominate talk at NPPGA Field Day

In a more typical year, the recent find of late blight in Pembina County would have been the talk of the the day, but the wet growing season dominated conversation among growers and ag professionals at the Northern Plain Potato Growers Association’s annual Field Day last Thursday. Many of the research presentations also centered around the wet summer and the problems it has created. Three straight years of weak commodity prices added to the concern, but growers were surprisingly upbeat and optimistic.

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The weather on Thursday offered a little bit of everything but didn’t deter attendance. A chilly and damp morning in Larimore gradually gave way to a sunny and pleasant evening in Hoople.

Carl Hoverson’ crew served up a delicious pancake, ham and roasted potato breakfast to about 150 guests at his farm north of Larimore to start the day at 7 a.m. Researchers each spoke briefly but delivered some news many had not heard previously. Late blight had been discovered in Pembina County just two days earlier.

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NDSU Plant Pathologist Dr. Gary Decor delivered the bad news but also commended growers in northeast North Dakota for keeping the disease at bay this long. It was first detected about a month ago in nearby southern Manitoba. Secor noted that at this time the North Dakota find seems to be isolated and contained, but it would not surprise anyone if more is found in the area in the coming days.

Later in the morning everyone headed north on Highway 18 to the Forest River Colony where about 175 folks were served another great lunch prepared by the colony. Most made their way to the NPPGA Irrigated Research Site for research presentations before again heading north on Highway 18 to wrap up the evening with burgers and brats prepared by the Potato Associates.

— Photos: Ted Kreis/NPPGA Potato Bytes

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