Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Badger Common’Tater January 2018 Issue

Growers Participate in Remote Sensing Conference

Forum for farmers and other industry reps examines remote sensing research and strategies
By Joe Kertzman, Badger Common’Tater

In small group sessions during the Remote Sensing Conference, growers and industry reps were asked to identify obstacles in utilizing remote sensing for potato production and variety development, and how researchers and the University Extension could help.

Many potato growers, agronomists and researchers are interested in the use of remote sensing to improve crop management and variety development.

A Remote Sensing Conference, held on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, November 14, 2017, addressed a national effort underway to coordinate efforts and obtain federal funding for remote sensing research.

The conference itself was funded by a Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) planning grant awarded to UW-Madison’s Dr. Jeff Endelman in the summer of 2017.

The grant and resulting conference were actively supported by Potatoes USA and the Potato Research Advisory Committee (PRAC).

The advisory committee is a collaborative effort between Potatoes USA, the National Potato Council and state potato organizations to improve industry coordination and competitiveness on potato research projects nationally.

The Remote Sensing Conference was not only well attended, but a coming together of the some of the greatest minds in the use of remote sensing for disease detection and management; measuring water stress; screening germplasm; scouting insects; managing nitrogen; potato breeding and production; field sampling and overall farm economics.

Speakers included Endelman and Andy Jensen, the latter of the Northwest Potato Research Consortium in Oregon; Sindhuja Sankaran of Washington State University; Phil Townsend, Amanda Gevens and Paul Mitchell of UW-Madison; and Paul Bethke of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

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