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Posted by WPVGA | In the News | News | Tater Talk

Tater Talk – October 31, 2014

Tater Talk - October 31, 2014

Tater Talk – October 31, 2014

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Posted by WPVGA | Crop Updates | In the News | News

Vegetable Crop Update #24

Vegetable Crop Update #24

Vegetable Crop Update #24

Read full update.

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Posted by WPVGA | In the News | News | Tater Talk

Tater Talk – October 24, 2014

Tater Talk - October 24, 2014

Tater Talk – October 24, 2014

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Posted by WPVGA | Badger Common'Tater Feature Stories | In the News | News

In the October 2014 Badger Common’Tater

Wysocki Stands Up for Ag Water Use

WPVGA Hall of Fame potato grower Louis Wysocki stood up for Wisconsin’s agricultural water use during a presentation at the Portage County Board of Supervisors meeting held on Aug. 19th in Stevens Point.
 
Wysocki, founder of Wysocki Produce Farm in Bancroft, called for the Board of Supervisors to find the middle ground on the widely divided ground water debate. He went on to propose practical solutions to current issues.  For the full story, read the October 2014 issue of The Badger Common’Tater.
 

Continuing the Blight Fight in 2014 

By Dr. Amanda J. Gevens, Vegetable Plant Pathologist, UW-Madison, Dept. of Plant Pathology
Late blight, caused by the oomycete or ‘water mold’ Phytophthora infestans is one of the most limiting diseases of potato production worldwide and has been recognized as a significant agricultural concern for nearly 200 years.  The pathogen has continued to evolve creating ongoing challenges in management.   
 
To date here in Wisconsin, our late blight diagnostics and management approaches address clonal or asexual populations of the pathogen.  In this scenario, we can genotype the pathogen and receive a result which is tightly associated with mating type, mefenoxam/metalaxyl resistance, and often host preference.  This scenario also includes an end to the late blight disease cycle when the affected plant tissues are dead.  Read more in the October 2014 edition of The Badger Common’Tater.
 
Badger Beat oosporeOospores are the largest of the spore types that the late blight pathogen can potentially make and they are designed to be persistent in soil outside of plant tissues for many years.   
 

Pointers and Potatoes Star
In 28th Annual Spud Bowl

September 6, 2014
Community Stadium at Goerke Park, Stevens Point, WI
 
UW-Stevens Point 42, Albion College 31
Pointers’ record improves to 24-4 in Spud Bowl games
Over 100 Runners Sign Up for Spud Run
 
 
Spud Bowl Volunteers
Volunteers:  Spud Bowl Committee members and volunteers pose with potatoes at the 28th Annual Spud Bowl.  Pictured are: (L-R) Gary and Liz Wysocki; Cliff Gagas, Tony Grapsas, Carole Gagas and Dana Rady.  Cliff and Carole Gagas baked the potatoes which were donated by Myron Soik & Sons and wrapped in foil by Paragon Specialties (a sister-company of Wysocki Produce Farm). Nick and Dianne Somers and Wayne and Judy Solinsky also helped out all day.
Spud Run - HackbarthFormer WPVGA Associate Division board member Brion Hackbarth (in purple “Pointers” shirt) of Jay-Mar races to take the lead over a large group of runners at the start of the second annual Spud Run 5K race which was held two hours prior to the Spud Bowl football game.  Hackbarth finished second in his class, and 16th overall.
Spudmobile - BrooksChris Brooks of Central Door Solutions, Plover, welcomes visitors to the Spudmobile, which was one of the main attractions at this year’s Spud Bowl.
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Posted by WPVGA | In the News | News | Tater Talk

Tater Talk – October 17, 2014

Tater Talk - October 17, 2014

Tater Talk – October 17, 2014

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Posted by WPVGA | In the News | News

Why would you want to X-ray a potato?

Blog 4

When you think about how to use new advances in X-ray technology, potato breeding is probably not the first thing that springs to mind. However, scientific researchers at the University of Wisconsin are doing just that to help develop new potato varieties — and to do it faster!  State-of-the art, high- speed X-ray technology is now becoming a routine practice for evaluating potential new potato varieties, because it is faster and much more effective.  Do you remember your last X-ray at the doctor office? It was time-consuming, uncomfortable and expensive.  Not so with potatoes! Every day during harvest, tens of thousands of potatoes are examined in just milliseconds, at virtually no cost!

This technology is possible by incorporating a high speed X-ray imager into the potato-grading line (where potatoes are evaluated after harvest).  This imager takes an X-ray image of each tuber as it passes through the machine at a high rate of speed.  From that image,  computers calculate just about anything that you ever wanted to know about that tuber, including its weight, length, width, height and shape; most remarkably, it can determine if there are defects on the outside and even the inside of the tuber. This is a huge improvement on previous technology in both speed and expense, which is akin to doctors being able to take the X-rays they need as you drive past the clinic!  

But why would potato breeders need this level of sophistication?  Will it contribute to developing a better spud that can be stored at lower temperatures to avoid sprouting and breakdown, resist disease or tolerate drought? The answer is a resounding yes!  In the complex and protracted science of developing new varieties, many thousands of crosses (plant breeding that deliberately interbreeds desirable properties) must be whittled down to a select few that possess the characteristics that will satisfy the needs of consumers.  By improving the speed and accuracy of the grading process, we are now able to identify potential varieties quicker and more efficiently than ever before.

In my research, I am seeking to pinpoint the location of specific genes that allow a potato to be stored at low temperatures. This is a highly desirable trait as tubers that are stored below typical refrigerator temperatures accumulate sugars. This is unacceptable to consumers and food processors alike since the tubers taste overly sweet and also turn dark brown when made into chips or French fries.  However, if we could store potatoes at lower temperatures and avoid these problems, then we could extend the availability of high quality tubers to provide a year-round supply and avoid the equally unacceptable results of higher temperature storage — the nasty wrinkling, sprouting and rotting that we have all seen in our pantries.  To find spuds that have the traits that allow them to be stored at lower temperatures, I have crossed potatoes with varying responses to temperature and created a series of unique lines for which I am developing DNA profiles.  With these, I can identify where the desired genes are located that will allow researchers to speed up the development of potential new varieties.

High-speed X-ray imaging may seem overly technical for a mere potato, but it is now an essential step to evaluate multiple tuber characteristics of these new lines rapidly and accurately. This helps me to determine if the lines that carry the cold storage gene will be acceptable as new varieties — to the processors that make the chips and fries and to the consumers that enjoy them.

For more information contact Kyle Rak at: krak@wisc.edu. Kyle is the 2014-15 recipient of the Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship awarded annually by the Wisconsin Potato Industry Board.  

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Posted by WPVGA | In the News | News | Tater Talk

Tater Talk – October 10, 2014

Tater Talk - October 10, 2014

Tater Talk – October 10, 2014

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Posted by WPVGA | In the News | News | What's Cookin

October 2014 What’s Cookin’

October 2014 What's Cookin'The potato harvest season is upon us which makes it the perfect time to try one of these recipes with some freshly-dug Wisconsin potatoes. Welcome fall with these potato dishes as featured in our October 2014 What’s Cookin’ column.

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Posted by WPVGA | Badger Common'Tater Interviews | In the News | News

Interview with Rod Beggs

Interview with Rod BeggsMidwestern Farms was established by a group of central Wisconsin potato growers back in 1977. Formerly owned by Godfrey Erickson, the operation was primarily a packing shed for growers/shareholders such as Fred Reid, L.P. Johnson, Bob and Jim Johnson, Howard Williams, Larry and Randy Bacon, Gayle Bacon and Jay Erickson, as well as some others over the years. Bob Berard of Paramount Farms has been a primary owner along with Denzel Beggs, who served as the Plant Manager for over 35 years.

In October of 2013, Denzel’s son, Rod, along with Bob Berard, bought out the ownership group which at that time consisted of Denzel and Dave Beggs, Jay Erickson and Berard. In July of this year, Bob and Rod sold one-third of the operation to Bushmans’, Inc., headquartered in Rosholt.

Read more of our October 2014 interview with Rod Beggs.

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Posted by WPVGA | In the News | News | Tater Talk

Tater Talk – October 3, 2014

Tater Talk - October 3, 2014

Tater Talk – October 3, 2014

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