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Tater Talk

                Volume 5, Issue 45
                November 15, 2013

Wisconsin Potatoes Sustainability Assessment

Potato Growers,
Today is the final day to complete and submit our Sustainability Survey.  I am told that we have 85% of the Wisconsin potato crop reporting on their practices.  That’s an amazing response.  Thank you for participating. 
If you are one of the very few who has not completed the survey, please make an effort to complete it today by following this link:  This survey serves as a baseline of information about our farming practices.  It will help you when you receive a report indicating your score on a particular question and how that compares to the score of the group.  The value at that time becomes very clear.  You will know what practices improve your operation and hopefully your bottom line.
We will use cumulated data in short report form allowing us to select certain practices that indicate our environmentally sound practices, as well as our social and economic responsibilities.  This is important information that puts your farm well ahead of the nation in sustainable farming practices.  I expect this to create an economic advantage, increased market exposure and success as we promote and utilize this information. 
Thank you to our research team for bringing us along in this thinking and in these practices.  Thank you farmers and business owners for recognizing the importance of doing things right and carrying out sound plans related to your production affecting the environment, society and the economic contribution agriculture makes to us all.
This is not the end game.  This is a beginning.  In the future we will refine the procedures and improvements will be made both in this process and on your farms.  I expect nothing but success from this activity.  Expect to see initial reports in the upcoming months with a report being available at the Potato EXPO in San Antonio in January.
Duane Maatz

The WPVGA Water Task Force Needs Your Help to Continue Our Data Collection

The WPVGA Irrigation Task Force is continuing our efforts to collect well depth data for high capacity wells. This is very important to the industry and we ask that you please take time to review the below documents and participate in collecting data for your wells. We need these measurements to be taken on a regular basis.  It is important to our process that you take a reading at this time of the year and once again in the spring (at a minimum).
We are building a data base using this information.  It is critical that we have these measurements so we can apply the information to our other research areas in an effort to learn more about aquifer fluctuations and recharge as it is related to surface use of the resource.  The diversity across our state helps us significantly.  We want to continue receiving data from all corners of the state as it enhances what we understand about groundwater and recharge. 
We have created a system of reporting using electronic devices.  If you are ready to report using that method please contact Josh Knights at and he will connect you with the right technical persons to get you set up.
This work has great value and has created much interest at the state level.  We prepare and release periodic updates regarding the ongoing work and our results of these studies. Please know that your information will be kept completely confidential and is for the sole purpose of the Irrigation Task Force Committee's efforts to address the groundwater issues in Wisconsin.
Please contact the WPVGA with your questions.  Thank you for your cooperation with this important project.
Duane Maatz                Jeremie Pavelski

WPVGA Well Water Monitoring Protocol
Blank Well Dept Monitoring Spreadsheet
Water Level Indicator

Libby: Revolutionizing Fruit & Vegetable Marketing to Kids

Tracy Flood, MD, PhD wants to revolutionize how fruits and veggies are marketed to children by creating real-life stories & food adventures at the point-of-purchase.  Tracy created Libby, a Nobbie, who has been tested by over 1400 children at farmers markets & county fairs.  Now, Tracy is trying to raise at least $90,000 to create Libby's Food App.  Farmers and fruit & vegetable growers were consulted on the app design, but this project will only be funded if at least $90,000 is pledged by Monday, December 2, 2013. View the video and pledge today!
View video here
More Information and Pledging Opportunities Here

Table-Stock Export Success

Exports of fresh potatoes to the world—which includes table-stock and potatoes for processing—grew 13% by volume to 456,366 MT during the July 2012-June 2013 marketing year.  On a fresh weight basis, fresh exports totaled 10 million hundredweight.  By value, exports dropped 4% to $196 million, reflecting price decreases to the major markets of Canada and Mexico.
Exports to USPB’s target markets for table-stock, however, outperformed overall exports, registering a 22% leap by volume and a mere 0.6% dip by value.  In total, the US shipped a record 138,039 MT worth $59.2 million to target markets in Central/South America and Asia.  This is 85% higher by value and 45% higher than their levels just five years ago.

Chip Stock Export Success

Exports of US fresh potatoes to the USPB’s targeted chip-stock markets continued to rise, reaching record levels for the third year in a row.  US target market exports hit 67,690 MT, valued at $33.9 million in the July 2012-June 2013 marketing year.  This is up 28% by volume and 21% by value compared with the previous year—and more than three times their level just four year ago.
To achieve these exceptional results, the USPB’s marketing program for chip-stock revolves around a highly focused strategy that addresses market access barriers, technical barriers and chip manufacturers’ unfamiliarity with US chip-stock potatoes due to the US’ status as a relative newcomer in supplying chipping varieties.

Seed Potato Export Success

US seed sales last year reached their highest level since the USPB initiated its market development program.  During the July 2012-June 2013 marketing year, exports of seed potatoes to the USPB’s target markets reached an estimated $3.08 million and 4,250 MT.  This is 42% higher by value and 40% higher by volume than MY 11/12, and a far cry from the early stages of USPB’s program when US exports barely topped $200,000.  Statistics are based on USPB monitoring of actual sales in the market; USDA statistics are unreliable for seed due to the frequent confusion of seed and fresh potato export categories.
The USPB’s seed program operates on the international and domestic fronts—targeting the primary constraint of market access and lack of knowledge of US varieties, while encouraging US industry education and involvement.  Market access work is complemented by variety trials, market visits, grower-buyer interactions and reverse trade missions to establish the US’ ability to meet import protocols while simultaneously building confidence in and demand for the US’ high quality seed.  Latin America continues to be a major target as it has in past years.  However, the latest frontier for US seed potatoes is Sub-Saharan Africa, where international aid organizations have sought USPB assistance in using potatoes to increase food security.

Precision Farming
Farming for the Future
Educational Seminar

December 4th 1:00-4:00
Hooligans Bar and Grill
N4766 5th Ave Plainfield


VRI-Variable Rate Irrigation
Data Storage and Usage
Data Mapping Process
Moisture Probes
Equipment Requirements
Natural Resource Management

Sponsored by

Partnered with
Prime Meridian, AquaSpy, North Central Irrigation, Oasis Irrigation, Roberts Irrigation, Precision Crop Service, and Frontier – Servco FS 
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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