Jul 17, 2023
NPC’s Agency Farm Tour provides up-close view of potato production

The National Potato Council and the Washington State Potato Commission partnered to play host to the NPC’s annual Agency Farm Tour in Washington’s Columbia Basin.

The tour, for USDA and EPA staff, aims to strengthen the relationship between the agencies and the U.S. potato growing community. Agency participants also learned about commercial potato production practices, including the real-world use of federally regulated pesticides and integrated pest management.

Keith Tiegs of NW Biologic demonstrates fertilizer and pesticide management through chemigation at his farm near Pasco, Washington. Photo: NPC

Growers also provided demonstrations on safe handling and proper use of pesticides and pest management equipment.

Tour stops last week focused on the use of potato production technologies, including demonstrations with seed treatment, irrigation-mounted imaging cameras, drone and see-and-spray cameras, fumigation equipment, and monitoring devices and models.

Staff from EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs and USDA’s Office of Pest Management Policy participated.

“It was a pleasure being able to interact with staff from OPP and OPMP and share with them the complexities of producing a high-quality, high-cost potato crop for U.S. consumers and consumers around the globe in an environmentally friendly manner in my community and on my farm operation,” said Grant Morris, Washington state potato grower and member of NPC’s Environmental Affairs Committee.

The tour is hosted by the National Potato Council and sponsored by Potatoes USA.

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