A P R I L 2 0 1 7 24 POTATO GROWER 2017 Minnesota Area II 26th Annual Potato Growers Annual Educational Workshop by Dr. Andy Robinson, Extension Potato Agronomist, NDSU/UMN The Minnesota Area II Potato Short Course was held on March 1 in Duelm, Minnesota. This workshop gives growers and industry the opportunity to get together, learn and share ideas. It is an important program that shares useful information. Speakers were from North Dakota State University, the University of Minnesota and the National Potato Council. Dr. Carl Rosen spoke on the effects of nitrogen and deficit irrigation. His group has been studying the effects of utilizing the checkbook irrigation method compared to a deficit irrigation model with the intent to discover if deficit irrigation can reduce nitrates leached. There were no differences in yield when comparing irrigation meth- ods. Also, no differences were observed between treatments on the amount of nitrates leached. It was promising to see the variable rate nitrogen of 200 lb N/a had a similar yield to 240 lb N/a or urea or ESN, indicating that variable rate nitrogen with utilizing leaf scanning to determine nitrogen deficiency could work. NPC Executive Vice President and CEO John Keeling gave an update on Washington and the presidency of Donald Trump. He explained the differ- ences with the new presidency and how this affects agriculture. President Trump wants to revoke WOTUS, which the NPC has been working on for eight years. This still has to be worked on through congress. Regulation in general will be evaluated and determine if this will rely on science because EPA has moved away from science. We have an opportunity to get reform that will be beneficial to agriculture. Immigration is also an issue, probably less of an issue for potato growers than for other agriculture sectors. Keeling believes that Trump can help with the immigration issue, but worker force for agri- culture could be affected. Trade can affect the 20% of US potato production that are exported and if they cannot be exported there will be a surplus of potatoes in the US and this can affect the North Dakota and Minnesota potato growers. We need to have expanded trade and open new areas of market for potato. Dr. Susie Thompson, NDSU, spoke about her breeding program. The goals are to develop new cultivars, identify and introgress into adapted potato germplasm, identify and develop improved germplasm with enhanced quality attributes for adoption by potato producers, industry and consumers. The new families include 60% late blight resistance, 48% Colorado potato beetle resistance, 14% verticillium wilt resist- ance, 14% PVY resistance and 3% nem- atode resistance. Sites for potato produc- tion trials in 2016 were Crystal, Grand Forks, Hoople, Inkster, Larimore, Oakes, North Dakota and Park Rapids, Minnesota. Evaluations for all trials include agronomic characteristics, yield and grade components, quality parame- ters (specific gravity, chipping, French frying, bruise evaluations – blackspot, shatter bruise, and pressure bruise). Dr. Neil Gudmestad, NDSU, discussed black dot biology. In his 40-year career, Neil has shown that black dot is a signif- icant pathological disease that affects potato. It can limit yield and cause severe blemishes on potato. When look- ing at smooth-skinned varieties, you can use a hand lens and see small black micro sclerotic. Black dot affects all parts of the plant, roots, stolons, tubers, stems and leaves. High disease pressure can cause 18-20% infection of stems 2-3 weeks after emergence, indicating infec- tions happens in the soil prior to emer- gence. Inoculum density is very impor- tant. Now the Gudmestad lab has an extraction procedure to determine the number of propagules in the soil. The Gudmestad lab is currently doing beta testing for a nominal fee. There are some materials that can be used at planting to reduce black dot. Chemical control: Quadirs in-furrow at 9 oz/a gives control about 50% of the time, Headline applied at first fungicide NPC Executive Vice President and CEO John Keeling gives an update on the Donald Trump presidency.