EPA Staff to Tour Potato Fields
The National Potato Council organizes and sponsors the Policy Makers and Regulators Field Tour each year. The tour offers EPA staff the opportunity to see potato production, discuss pesticide utilization, and interact with farmers outside the confines of Washington, D.C. Growers who host the tour provide employees at EPA firsthand feedback on their stewardship of pesticides and the process to bring potatoes from field to table. The 2016 tour will take place August 16-18 in various locations surrounding Park Rapids, MN. A dozen staff from EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, including members of the divisions that handle product registrations and reviews, will make visits to the local farms of Pete Ewing and R.D. Offutt Farm Operations, and Sand Plain Research Farm at Becker, Minn., which is affiliated with the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Participants will tour fresh potato packing plants, witness harvest activity, experience an aerial application demonstration, learn about innovative pollinator habitat partnerships, discuss the use of cover crops, receive detailed insight on day-to-day potato production activities and learn more about university field plot trials to maximize nitrogen efficiency.