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Tater Talk

                Volume 5, Issue 39
                  October 11, 2013

The Search for New Fresh Market Varieties

Potato growers and marketers have opportunities to review, recommend and select our future varieties.
Our UW Potato Breeding Program in conjunction with the WPVGA Research Committee and SpudPro is placing a renewed emphasis on the development and selection of fresh market potato varieties.  We are asking for growers and marketing personnel to become engaged in the process of identifying traits and selecting clones / varieties to enhance our competitive advantages.

We are working to acquire more agronomic data by variety, related to production success, resource management and payable yield.  We need to include seed and fresh growers as well as sales personnel, along with our research community to create and conduct this activity.  We are going to ask participants to rank several traits from the samples grown in our variety trials.  I just attended a meeting where we did this very activity for the National Fry Potato Trials.  We were shown how samples of the same clone are grouped with tubers from different locations.  It gives you a unique perspective on how different varieties perform in different locations.  Understanding that it is a snapshot of a single year’s production helps us respect the process in developing these varieties.

You have an opportunity to influence the selection process.  I am asking that representatives from every seed and fresh farm as well as marketing personnel participate in this process.  This allows you to directly impact how we proceed with certain clones.  We are all investing in this development.  It is a great opportunity to bring your expertise to light in providing input for future direction in developing not only our varieties, but also our marketing opportunities.  Remember, the world is run by those who show up.

Our first variety review and selection field day will be held on October 15 at the Langlade Co. Extension Research Site at the Antigo Airport.  The event will begin at 6:00 p.m.  The second opportunity to participate will be October 30 and 31.  The second event will be held at the Research Storage Facility at the Hancock Ag. Research Station.  Feel free to stop in any time between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on either of those days.  You are also welcome to participate in a SpudPro meeting at 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 30.

I appreciate your continued involvement and I expect to see you at these important events.  As one of our potato friends says, “It’s easier to sell something that someone else wants.”  Let’s get together to make those kinds of decisions which will have huge positive impacts and returns for our future.
Duane Maatz

Potato Industry Invited to Langlade Potato Research Open House

We welcome the potato industry to the Langlade Agricultural Research Station Open House on Tuesday, October 15 at 6 p.m.  The experimental station is operated by UW Extension with funding and support from the Wisconsin potato industry.  It is located at the Langlade County Airport (corners of Hwy 64 and Hwy 52 just east of Antigo).
We will have over 100 varieties of fresh market potatoes on display for your review and critique.  These include standards, named varieties and experimental breeding lines for russets, whites, red-skinned, yellow-fleshed and specialty types with different colors, textures, flavor profiles and shapes.  Dr. AJ Bussan will be available to discuss the results of the Fresh Market Trial at all sites across the state.
Dr. Amanda Gevens will also share and display the results of her work on common scab treatment programs and provide a late blight review and storage management discussion.
Questions can be directed to Steph Plaster at 715-627-6236.

Potato Variety Harvest Expo

Please mark your calendar to participate in the "Potato Variety Harvest Expo" at the Hancock Ag Research Station Storage Research Facility. This open house event will provide an informal but informative way for you to look at samples of potato varieties from different trials conducted at the Hancock Ag Research Station and other WI locations. Potato varieties featured will include all processing and fresh market potato types. This will provide a relaxed environment for interaction between researchers and growers. Participants will get to know what new potato varieties may become important variety options for the potato industry in the near future. You can come either Wednesday, October 30th or Thursday, October 31st from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. For further information contact Felix Navarro at the Hancock Ag Research Station ( or 715-249-5961). Please feel free to extend this invitation to others in your business.

Shutdown Thwarts Key Agriculture Report

The U.S. government shutdown has thwarted the formulation of the monthly USDA crop production report, sidelining the Department of Agriculture's corps of enumerators and almost certainly delaying the report due for release on Oct. 11.
Creation of the report, which affects prices of grains and other agricultural commodities around the world, starts at the farm level with two full weeks devoted to surveying growers and inspecting crops in thousands of fields.

Small Business Update from Governor

At the Small Business Summit, the Governor spent some time at lunch speaking with attendees and addressing the group about some of the positive things that are happening in Wisconsin.
He highlighted the first part of our fall legislative agenda, building on the $100 million investment in workforce development that we made in the 2013-15 budget, with eight pieces of legislation focused on developing our workforce.  Check out the video and learn more about the eight pieces of legislation here.

PTI Systems- Full Steam Ahead

As of 10/9 ten outside growers have placed their orders with RedLine for PTI Lite and should be PTI compliant by the Walmart’s Nov 1st deadline. There are another dozen growers who have received quotes and are planning on ordering in the next week. If you have further questions, or need to place an order with RedLine Solutions, please contact Todd Baggett (, (888) 801-2039) of Gary Fleming (, 408-326-0140).
On Wednesday October 16th RedLine CEO, and Co-Chair of the PTI Technology Working Group, Todd Baggett will be attending the PTI Leadership Council meeting in New Orleans.  Retail members will be discussing their PTI implementation timelines and we expect several public announcements to follow. If you are attending PMA’s Fresh Summit, please stop by and see us at booth 4315. Don’t miss our Mardi Gras hour at 4PM Saturday the 20th.
RedLine will be hosting a PTI 2013 Updates webinar on Wednesday, October 23rd at 1PM CST and you are invited!. In this webinar PTI Technology Working Group Co-Chairs, Todd Baggett and Dan Vache, United Fresh’s VP of Supply Chain will explore PTI updates including a report from the Leadership Council meeting before Fresh Summit. This webinar is free and advance registration is required. For more information and to register visit

Soil, Water, and Nutrient Management Meetings December 3 through December 12

The Department of Soil Science, in conjunction with University of Wisconsin-Extension, will conduct eight Soil, Water, and Nutrient Management Meetings in 2013.  Each meeting will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with lunch from noon to 1 p.m.  The purpose of these meetings is to provide research updates in the field of soil, water, and nutrient management.  Francisco Arriaga, Matt Ruark, Carrie Laboski, John Peters, and Sue Porter will present current information.  All speakers may not be present at all meetings.  A $35 registration fee (which includes lunch) will be charged for the meeting.  Certified Crop Adviser CEU credits (2 soil & water management and 2 in nutrient management) have been requested.  Make reservations with the host agent at least 1 week before the meeting you wish to attend.

Discussion Draft for Modifications to Current Requirements for PCN Testing for Seed Moving Between the US and Canada

Since the discovery of PCN in Idaho all seed moving between the US and Canada has been inspected and certified prior to shipment based on the PCN Guidelines agreed to by CFIA and APHIS.  This has resulted in a significant amount of sampling and the accumulation of significant quantities of data indicating no positive finds in the seed production areas in either country.  Based on a review of the current requirements that all shipments of seed potatoes between the US and Canada must have the field they are grown in surveyed at 5 pounds per acre prior to being certified for shipment  it is generally agreed that adjustments to the current requirements are justified.  

Farm Technology Days Sponsorship Event

Please join us on October 22, 2013  for an evening of local agricultural products and networking.  Learn how you can benefit from partnering with the 2014 Portage County Farm Technology Days Event.
1800 Northpoint Drive
Stevens Point, WI
5:00pm to 7:00pm
Welcome Message at 6:00pm
RSVP by Oct. 18
(715) 344-2556
Complimentary food, beer, wine and soda donated by local growers and producers.

Space and food prep generously donated by @1800 and Sentry Insurance.

United Fresh Recall Ready Program

Be Ready for Virtually Any Recall Situation
Sign Up Today for United’s Recall Ready Training Workshop
November 6-7, 2013
Philadelphia, PA
Recalls can impact the entire produce supply chain and United wants to help you prepare for a recall and be ready to respond when a crisis occurs. United’s Recall Ready Training Workshop covers the essential elements you'll need to manage a recall.
  • Understand the fundamentals of a recall
  • Know your rights and responsibilities
  • Know the role of the FDA and how to work with them
  • Discover strategies for limiting your liability and managing customer expectations
  • Learn how to develop a communications plan and effectively communicate to the industry, your customers, consumers and news media
Everyone on your produce recall team can benefit from United’s Recall Ready Training Workshop. Your recall team should include management, operations, food safety/quality assurance staff, technical staff, and sales, marketing and communications staff. United’s workshops combine recall protocols and communication management principles to ensure that both your technical food safety staff and communication and marketing staff work together effectively and efficiently during the entire recall event.
More Information
Register Your Team

Please be aware that space is limited Tuesday, January 7, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio – the headquarters hotel for POTATO EXPO 2014 and the NPC Annual Meeting.  If you plan to arrive on January 7th, or earlier, you will need to make your reservations ASAP to ensure you get a room at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio.
To make a room reservation at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio click here.  Should you need additional assistance, please call 1-888-421-1442.  Do not book reservations through any other company or representative claiming to represent POTATO EXPO, and please report any such correspondences to
Register for POTATO EXPO 2014

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