Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

In the December 2013 Common’Tater

2013 Wisconsin Potato Crop Report: Average Yields, Good Quality

By Duane Maatz, WPVGA Executive Director

The WPVGA has estimated 2013 harvested acres at 63,000. This estimation is a result of conversations with growers and DATCP Agricultural Statistics. Total planted acres are similar to 2012 crop acres. Fresh, seed potato acres are stable. Fry potatoes remain relatively stable after several years of reductions and we again have a slight increase in chipping potato acres.

The growing season was cooler than 2012 and dry after a wet spring. We experienced drought conditions from June through harvest, with the least amount of rain falling in the Central Sands production area. Frost arrived late in Wisconsin giving crops an excellent opportunity for late-season bulking. We experienced no hard freezing temperatures until into October, similar to 2012. Overall, the Wisconsin potato crop showed average yields and good quality.

For the full story, read the December 2013 edition of The Badger Common’Tater magazine.

Mike Helbach of Helbach Farms

Mike Helbach of Helbach Farms, Amherst, gives his wife and son a ride while harvesting potatoes with a Lenco self-propelled harvester this fall.

Potato Variety Harvest Expo

October 30-31, 2013
Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Storage Research Facility, Hancock, WI

Dr. AJ Bussan

Dr. AJ Bussan of the UW Horticulture Dept. is pictured with W9133-1rus, a promising fresh market russet. The second annual Potato Variety Harvest Expo was held October 30-31, 2013 at the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Storage Research Facility at Hancock, Wisconsin. The Expo included material harvested from the Wisconsin Potato Variety and SpudPro trials, selections from the University of Wisconsin breeding program, as well as other specialty potato varieties.

Dr. Paul Bethke

Dr. Paul Bethke of the UW Horticulture Dept. is pleased with the performance of the variety Lelah, which is shown in this bin at the Storage Research Facility. He said Lelah had yields in the 450-500 cwt./acre range this fall.

Felix Navarro

Hancock Research Station Superintendent Felix Navarro shows off a large size tuber of W9433-1rus, a processing and fresh market russet that has performed very well in trials. See the December 2013 issue of The Badger Common’Tater for more photos and information on the Potato Variety Harvest Expo.

What a Spudtacular Year for Wisconsin Potatoes!

By Dana Rady, WPVGA Promotions Director

It’s hard to believe December is already here and 2014 is knocking on the door to come in as 2013 works its way out. But, the more fun we have, the faster time seems to fly by. And so I begin with an overview of all the spudtacular fun the WPVGA Promotions Committee has experienced over the past few months.

Trade Shows Stay in the Spotlight

There are not a lot of better ways to promote potatoes than to attend a few trade shows. The Promotions Committee members attended them regularly in 2013 and had a blast talking taters at each one! Locally, WPVGA attended the March Wisconsin Restaurant Expo in Milwaukee, and the Wisconsin Grocer’s Association Golf Outing in the Wisconsin Dells in June, in addition to the Midwest Produce Conference and Expo in August.

On the national side, January opened the year with the National Potato Council’s Potato Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. July kept up the pace with the PMA Foodservice Produce Expo in Monterey, California and October finished off the Association’s national show presence with the PMA Fresh Summit in The Big Easy. Returning to New Orleans for the first time in 11 years, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) emphasized innovation and keeping up with the times on healthy meal choices to promote healthy lifestyles in a way that gets passed on to kids from their parents. PMA also worked hard to bring innovation and a new marketing direction together to spur ideas for new products that meet consumers’ needs.

For more on the efforts of the WPVGA Promotions and Consumer Education Committee, check out the December issue of The Badger Common’Tater.

WPVGA at PMA Fresh Summit

Working the WPVGA booth at the PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans in October are (L-R) Dana Rady (WPVGA Promotions Director), Chris Lockery (Bushmans’, Inc.), Mark Finnessy (Okray Family Farms), Jerry Bushman (Bushmans’, Inc.), Shannon Finnessy (Okray Family Farms), Dick Okray (Okray Family Farms), Paula Houlihan (Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary) and Carol Okray (Okray Family Farms).

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