News

Recent Posts

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

Tater Talk – November 21, 2014

Tater Talk - November 21, 2014

Tater Talk – November 21, 2014

Share |

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

Tater Talk – November 14, 2014

Tater Talk - November 14, 2014

Tater Talk – November 14, 2014

Share |

Posted by WPVGA | In the News | News

Band Aids® won’t help these potatoes?

Blog 6

Like humans, potatoes develop scabs. Although they look similar – raised, rough, brown growth on the surface of the skin – they are fundamentally different. The scabs you got when you scraped your knee as a child are part of the human body’s natural healing process. When the scab finally falls away, new, unblemished skin is left underneath. In contrast, potato scabs are a disease that infect the tuber skin; these scabs don’t heal and can even get worse as the disease progresses.  A better name would be “potato ulcers.”  Ulcers are open wounds that are slow to heal, originally thought to be caused by factors such as stress or skin irritation but later, were shown to actually be caused by bacteria.

Potato common scab is caused mainly by the bacterium Streptomyces scabies. The scabs produced by these bacteria are largely cosmetic and limited to the surface of tubers, but they drastically reduce marketability and are rated as one of the top 5 potato diseases in the U.S. Common methods of controlling infection – using pesticides and increasing irrigation – are expensive and often ineffective. In organic production, scab can be the major cause of tuber rejection. This is a classic example where breeding a potato with natural immunity to common scab is the most effective and perhaps the only realistic approach to managing this serious disease threat. There are currently no varieties of cultivated potato that are immune to common scab, but wild potato species offer a wealth of genetic diversity and have long been viewed as a potential source of desired traits such as disease resistance. Researchers at the UW-Madison have identified a line of the wild potato species Solanum chacoense from South America that is highly resistant to common scab and a closely related line that is susceptible.

In my research, I am exploring the genetics of these two plants to examine the nature and location of scab resistance.  To accomplish this, I cross-pollinate the lines creating plants with one set of chromosomes from the resistant parent and one from the susceptible parent. These plants can then be self-pollinated for successive generations, creating plants with differing resistance to common scab. The resulting plants are powerful tools for mapping genetic traits; we can determine where the specific gene(s) that confer scab resistance are located in the overall genome, then create a simple genetic marker that can be used to quickly identify resistant plants and greatly speed up the process of selecting resistant lines – using traditional methods, this would take multiple years to achieve.

These two highly similar lines of a little known South American wild potato that differ in their resistance to common scab are providing a great opportunity to explore the factors that contribute to resistance or susceptibility to common scab and allow further insight into a disease that, despite its economic importance, is not well understood. Ultimately, these studies will assist other researchers in developing new commercial varieties that are resistant to common scab and allow potato growers to manage this destructive disease naturally.

For more information contact Christina Allen, cmallen4@wisc.edu  

Share |

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

Interview with Art Seidl

Interview with Art Seidl

One of the stalwarts in the Antigo area certified seed potato industry, Seidl Farms, Inc., has a long history of potato farming.

Frank Seidl grew up on his parents’ (Art and Evelyn Seidl) dairy farm in Bryant, Wisconsin which also raised about 15 acres of table stock potatoes. Frank grew his first crop of potatoes 65 years ago in 1949. He was just 21 years old at the time and farmed 20 acres in Bryant. From 1950 up until 1980, the farm raised fresh and chipping potatoes, along with oats and clover.

Read more of our November 2014 interview with Art Seidl.

Share |

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

November 2014 What’s Cookin’

November 2014 What's Cookin'

Try one of these State Fair contest-winning recipes as featured in our November 2014 What’s Cookin’ column.

Share |

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

Tater Talk – November 7, 2014

Tater Talk - November 7, 2014

Tater Talk – November 7, 2014

Share |

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

In the November 2014 Badger Common’Tater

Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato Crop Report:  Good Yields and Quality

Alex Crockford, Program Director of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Agency, provides the following comments on this year’s Wisconsin certified seed potato crop:

“Another reluctant spring delayed some seed potato plantings, but overall, the bulk of Wisconsin’s 8,500 acres of seed potatoes were planted within norms, with only a slight increase in acreage from 2013.

Regular rain and cooler temperatures promoted extensive and healthy vine growth.  No Late Blight was detected in field inspections by the Wisconsin seed potato certification program.  Aphid pressure was below normal for the 2014 season.

Bulking weather was good for early maturing varieties, but many growers delayed vine kill to allow for further bulking of full season varieties.  Yields and quality look good despite plenty of rain in early September. Digging was slow at first due to wet conditions, but gradually improved in the second half of September.  Potatoes entering storages were of good type and condition with ideal nighttime temperatures for cooling.”

Check out the November Annual Seed Issue of The Badger Common’Tater for more information.

WSPIA BoardThe 2014 Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association board of directors includes (L-R): Ron Krueger (President), Dan Hafner (Vice President), Charlie Mattek (Secretary/Treasurer), Bill Guenthner and Eric Schroeder.

Water for All:

WPVGA Helps Sponsor Second Annual WELLers Walk to Help Build Wells in AfricaWELLers Walk Logo

In an effort to raise funds to build wells in Africa, the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) helped sponsor the second annual Makah Water for All WELLers Walk on September 20 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

This unique event consisted of a walk along the Wisconsin River, from Pfiffner Park to Bukolt Park, with participants repeatedly filling and carrying water jugs to a central location, as if they were making the trek many villagers in Cameroon, Africa make daily, simply to gather enough water for their family’s immediate needs.

This family-friendly event was designed to raise awareness of the need for clean drinking water and raise funds to help deliver it to those in need.  The event also included a presentation on 14 wells that have already been built, plans for future wells and information on how to become a WELLer. All proceeds go toward building more wells (each well costs about $5,000) and improving more lives.

Read the November edition of The Badger Common’Tater for more details.

1114WW.pauldawnPaul Roberts of Roberts Irrigation, Plover, and his wife, Dawn, fill jugs and get ready to walk.

1114WW.heavyDespite the heavy load, most walkers were smiling the entire route.

Spudmobile Supports Cheeseheads at Lambeau Field

What goes together better than potatoes and cheese? On October 2, visitors got that and more with the Spudmobile promoting Wisconsin potatoes at Lambeau Field.

The grilling duo Mad Dog and Merrill were also there to add some flare to the event. They prepared delicious potato dishes, filmed an episode promoting Wisconsin potatoes while also featuring the farmers who provide those spuds!

All this was done right in front of Wisconsin’s traveling billboard, the Spudmobile, while visitors walked through! Here’s proof of the fun had by all.

Mad Dog & Merrill

Grilling Duo Mad Dog and Merrill get ready to film the episode promoting Wisconsin Spuds with Larry Alsum on October 2 at Lambeau Field.

Packer FansChris Brooks (WPVGA Associate Division Vice President) photo bombs this cheesehead posing near the Spudmobile at Lambeau Field.

Mad Dog & MerrillJerry Bushman (Bushmans’, Inc.) talks taters with Mad Dog and Merrill during an episode shoot at Lambeau Field.

Share |

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

Tater Talk – October 31, 2014

Tater Talk - October 31, 2014

Tater Talk – October 31, 2014

Share |

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

Vegetable Crop Update #24

Vegetable Crop Update #24

Vegetable Crop Update #24

Read full update.

Share |

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

Tater Talk – October 24, 2014

Tater Talk - October 24, 2014

Tater Talk – October 24, 2014

Share |