Oct 11, 2019Nina Zidack to host World Potato Congress webinar on certified seed potatoes
Nina Zidack, Ph.D., Montana State University’s Director of Seed Potato Certification, will present a webinar on behalf of the World Potato Congress, titled “Why You Should Plant Certified Seed Potatoes,” at 9 a.m. EST Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019.
Zidack grew up on a farm/ranch in Central Montana and earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Montana State in 1987. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in plant pathology from Auburn University in 1993.
Zidack has held her present position as seed certification director at MSU since 2008. Her responsibilities include supervision of all field inspections, both in Montana and for the post-harvest test in Hawaii, and the administration of activities performed by the MSU potato lab. This includes maintenance of mother stock, distribution of in-vitro plant material to growers, and disease testing. In addition to the regular functions of certification, the MSU potato lab is actively involved in adopting and improving on the latest diagnostic methods available for the identification of potato diseases important for certification.
Each individual process in certifying seed potatoes insures growers can expect reliable quality and maximum yield from their crop. Through seed potato certification, limited generations are initiated from disease-free in vitro stock. Varietal purity is maintained through careful auditing and inspection of crops starting from tissue culture through multiple field generations. Disease status of the crop during the growing season is monitored through visual inspection for virus, bacterial and fungal diseases. Disease levels are recorded and must remain within specific tolerances.
The most important quality assurance test is the post-harvest evaluation that provides the actual disease status of the crop to be planted the next year. In the US, post-harvest testing is primarily conducted in tropical areas employing both visual inspection and lab testing for viruses. In Europe, tubers are tested post-harvest using highly sensitive laboratory methods.
The host for the webinar series is WPC Director Nora Olsen ([email protected]).
Interested participants can register and will be able to interact with the presenters of the webinar. Please register at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NGStcYgASbCjikOfJ_mpGg.
All webinars are recorded and can be viewed at www.potatocongress.org until Dec. 31, 2019.
The next webinar in the series will feature Kris Michiels, marketing adviser, VLAM (Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board) who will present “Illustration of Regional Potato Promotion: Flanders (Belgium)” on Nov. 14.