Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

In the June 2011 Badger Common’Tater

A REvolution in Clod Separators

Prairie Star Ranch Has Great Success with Scotts Evolution Separator

Evolution Clod Separator

Terry Wolosek of Prairie Star Ranch, Plover, Wisconsin, is pictured with the Evolution clod separator that is installed on the farm's two-row Underhaug harvester.

According to Terry Wolosek, Co-Owner of Prairie Star Ranch potato farm in Plover, Wisconsin, “Our bruise free pays our bills.” 

So when Wolosek dug potatoes on vastly different soil types in tough conditions last fall, the new Scotts Evolution Separator was the right tool for the job.

The Evolution Separator is a full width rolling table with spiraled flutes that separates out the mud, clod and vines from the potatoes.  Prairie Star Ranch had the separator installed directly onto their two-row Underhaug harvester and used it for the first time in the fall of 2010 on about 200 acres of Silverton, Goldrush and Russet Norkotah potatoes. 

“This unit separates out the mud, vines and clods better than any table we’ve tried,” said Wolosek.  “And it’s not so aggressive that it’s hard on the potatoes.  All the potatoes we ran through our wash plant looked really good.  There was very little bruising.”  See the full story in the June 2011 edition of The Badger Common’Tater.

The Badger Beat

Outcompeting weeds: Is it as easy as loading the planter?
By Jed Colquhoun, Renata Solan and Richard Rittmeyer, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Minor crops, including potato, rely heavily on a few herbicides for the majority of weed control, and thus weeds are prone to resistance development because selection pressure is high.  Additionally, the widespread adoption of herbicide-resistant agronomic crops has stymied further herbicide development.  The unlikelihood of significant future herbicide registrations for weed control in vegetable and potato production, as well as some environmental and economic concerns surrounding herbicide use, have stimulated research on alternative weed control tactics. 

Weedy Plot

Potato weed competition study at Hancock, Wisconsin showing varying stages of emergence and canopy development among cultivars in weedy plots.

With the need for integrated weed management systems in mind, we conducted field research over the past few years to assess the ability of potato cultivars to tolerate and suppress weeds and to assess the ability to reduce herbicide use through cultivar choice without increasing the risk of crop yield or quality loss.   Read the June 2011 issue of The Badger Common’Tater for the full Badger Beat column.

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