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NorthernPlainsPotatoGrowersAssociation P.O.Box301 420BusinessHighway2 EastGrandForksMN56721 O F F I C I A L P U B L I C A T I O N O F T H E N O R T H E R N P L A I N S P O T A T O G R O W E R S A S S O C I A T I O N Non-ProfitOrg. U.S.Postage PAID FargoND PermitNo.152 MayJune2016 MayJune 2016 81 247 CONTENTS 3 NPPGA Marketing Message 6 Potatoes USA Message 8 NPC Message 10 UNECE Meeting On Seed Potatoes 15 Potatoes USA Elects New Leadership 16 Andys Advice Calculating Potato Seed 18 Chip Cultivar Trial In Inkster North Dakota 20 2015 Fresh Market Potato Trial Crystal North Dakota 28 Seed Potatoes In South Africa On the cover This is a field being planted just outside of Hoople North Dakota. Photo courtesy of Willem Schrage NorthernPlainsPotatoGrowersAssociation P.O.Box301 420BusinessHighway2 EastGrandForksMN56721 O F F I C I A L P U B L I C A T I O N O F T H E N O R T H E R N P L A I N S P O T A T O G R O W E R S A S S O C I A T I O N Non-ProfitOrg. U.S.Postage PPAAIIDD FargoD PermitNo.152 MayJune2016 Publisher Northern Plains Potato Growers Assn. General Manager Todd Phelps NPPGA Staff President Chuck Gunnerson Finance and Operations Director Diane Peycke Marketing and Communications Director Ted Kreis NPPGA Executive Committee Chair Lonnier Spokely Vice Chair Greg Campbell SecretaryTreasurer Eric Halverson ND Council Representative Greg Campbell MN Council Representative Justin Dagen Potato Associate Representative Todd Phelps Past Chair Don Suda Valley Potato Grower is published 8 times annually at P.O. Box 301 East Grand Forks MN 56721. Telephone 218 773- SPUD. Fax 218 773-6227. E-mail Subscription no charge in U.S. Canada 401-year Foreign 601-year. Advertising call 218 773-SPUD. Editor welcomes manuscripts and pictures but accepts no responsibility for lost materials. Reproduction in whole or in part of materials in this issue without permission is prohibited. Copyright 2016 Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. All rights reserved. Please Come Enjoy Potato Golf Open 2016 and Potato Associate Day Thursday July 21st Hill Crest Golf Course Park River N.D. Questions Contact the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. 218-773-3633 All involved in the potato industry are welcome M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 62 POTATO GROWER M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 3 The Big Turn Around by Ted Kreis NPPGA Marketing and Communications Director One thing I have noticed since I started working at NPPGA 12 years ago is that every fresh potato shipping season is unique but the 2015-2016 shipping sea- son offered up more surprises than most. Planters got in the fields early then wait- ed for rain to kick start the crop which finally came in late May. This was a departure from recent springs that had been cold and wet causing planting delays seed rot and even re-planting as late as early July. The story was much the same in the fall as growers waited for and received rain to loosen the soil for digging. Harvest wrapped up early under near ideal conditions. Between planting and harvest rain seemed adequate with around 11 to 12 inches falling over most of the Red River Valley except areas near Grafton that received double or more that amount. The NDAWN automated weather station located 10 miles east of Grafton record- ed almost 24 inches of rain from May through August. There were reports of even higher amounts closer to Grafton. Standing water created isolated losses in those areas. Despite the adequate summer rain there were extended periods of dry weather in between rain storms. This created a problem that would rear its ugly head later. As late as August most growers and shippers were predicting below average yields based on test digs and probably some coffee shop talk that often includes a touch of farmer pessimism. Not everyone was pessimistic however. I talked with retired Potato Extension Agent Duane Sarge Preston periodical- ly through the late summer and he said There are going to be some big yields out there this year dont believe what you are hearing. He was right. With the exception of some isolated areas some of which I mentioned earlier yields were off the charts on some non-irrigated land. Some fields that typically produced 200 to 225 hundredweight cwt. per acre were producing well over 300 cwt. Yields topping 250 were common. One seed grower in the southern valley told us he had a field that topped 400 cwt. on dryland. The average yield for all pota- toes irrigated and non-irrigated in North Dakota shattered the old record by 15 cwt. per acre set just one year ear- lier. Along with the prosperity of big yields came a big problem. A problem that growers had seen before but never pro- liferated to this extent. Growth cracks. The wet-dry spells I spoke of earlier are suspected of causing the unusually high number of growth cracks in some cases afflicting more than 30 percent of the potatoes on a given field. The problem was wide-spread from the Canadian bor- der to the southern edge of the Red River Valley. Norland varieties seemed more susceptible than late storing varieties. Just about every fresh grower took a hit. Thankfully irrigated crops were not affected. Once the Red River Valley fresh crop was all counted for it topped 5.2 million cwt. over a million cwt. more spuds than the previous year. It would be the Folson Farms and other Red River Valley shippers are moving a lot of reds this spring. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 64 POTATO GROWER4 POTATO GROWER largest fresh crop in recent times the next closest was the 2008 crop that hit 4.9 million cwt. As one would expect the 2015 crop would be a challenge for marketers and wash plant operators. They had two sig- nificant situations facing them a lot of potatoes to move and a high percentage of culls to deal with. Sorting all the growth cracks out would slow produc- tion lines and decrease efficiency how- ever some say the high cull percentage was a blessing taking well over a half million cwt. of potatoes off the already saturated market. Slowing U.S. consumer demand for red potatoes for the first time in the past five years would add to the challenge and if that wasnt enough a weak Canadian dollar allowed cheap Canadian potatoes to flood the U.S. keeping prices low. The Big Turn-around Then something hap- pened that nobody saw coming. Misfor- tune in Florida was rapidly becoming good fortune for the Red River Valley as the sec- ond half of the ship- ping season pro- gressed. Typically Florida is the lead ship- per of reds in the late winter months but a mid-winter heat wave in the Sunshine State caused early potatoes to senesce prematurely result- ing in low yields and a small size profile. Cold wet weather followed hampering harvest. As the harvest moved north in Florida shipments were expected to return to normal but by mid April that hadnt materialized. By this time red potato shipments from Quebec had also dried up and Wisconsin re-packers were relying on the Red River Valley to replace Florida reds. The result Red River Valley wash plants ran at or near capacity for much of February March and into early April. Helping the situation trucks were read- ily available. Growth crack like these had to be culled out to assure top quality from Red River Valley shippers. Hammer-Lok Steel Building Systems 44434 Harvest Ave. Perham MN 56573 1-844-203-4565 Full service Design Build General Contractor for all your produce storage needs. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 5 Typically November and December are the biggest shipping months for the Red River Valley. This year February and March topped November and December. The added demand also helped prices recover. Prices that were 4.00 behind the five year average pre- holidays were now 4.00 above the five year average. The pack-out rate increased too late storing varieties like Sangre held up well and did not exhibit the high number of growth cracks found in Norlands. Wash plants that had expected to run a month or more longer than normal would instead be wrapping up on time. A few will still be shipping into June but that is not all that unusual. To summarize what made the 2015- 2016 Red River Valley fresh crop so unique Here is my top five 5 Trucks Trucks became readily available this past season something shippers hadnt seen in many years. Many credit the slow- down on the oil patch in western North Dakota for making more rigs available. 4 Weak Canadian Dollar A weak Canadian dollar sent millions of sacks of red and yellow potatoes mostly from the eastern provinces into the U.S. market at low prices. 3 The Topsy-Turvy Shipping Season The Florida crop disaster sent a lot of business to the Red River Valley making February and March bigger shipping months than November and December. Very unusual 2 Unexpected Big Crop As late as September many were predict- ing average to below average yields. When harvest was completed it was 19.3 percent larger than the 5 year aver- age the largest red crop since the 1970s in the Red River Valley topping 5.2 mil- lion cwt. 1 Growth Cracks 2015 will be remembered as the year of the growth crack. So prolific it even occurred in smaller B and C size tubers. The dry-wet theory didnt seem to explain the problem everywhere. How about the hazy sky theory For several weeks in the Red River Valley this July bright sunshine was obscured and tem- peratures were cooled by a yellowish smoky haze drifting southeast from large forest fires in Saskatchewan. Could this have slowed plant growth then the plants grew too quickly when sunshine and rain returned There is absolutely no scientific evidence to sup- port this theory but if you must Blame Canada M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 66 POTATO GROWER By Blair Richardson President and CEO Potatoes USA Potatoes USA is sending Spud Nation the potato industrys first self-funding marketing program to Washington D.C. This is the first food truck owned by farmers to inspire consumers with a field-to- fork potato adventure. Our Nations Capital is home to an active vibrantly progressive street food market where food trucks abound. Food trucks are one of the fastest growing markets in foodser- vice Over the past two years there was an almost 200 increase in sales from food trucks serving meals across the U.S. Food trucks appeal to consumers who are called Vibrant Diners. From Potatoes USA research this target is a grouping which falls with- in the Adventurous Diners and Live to Eat market segments. This food-truck target-consumer trends heavily toward millennials who are male and they are important because they influence other con- sumers. This is how trends often begin in the food world. This gener- ations age range is 18-34 so they tend to be younger. Vibrant Diners live in higher income households with annual income averaging 70000. In education 52 percent have college or advanced degrees and 57 are employed full or part- time. Vibrant Diners are adventurous eaters who favor potatoes. They have 5.2 average weekly potato meal occasions while the general population eats potatoes 4.1 times a week. They are frequent diners who often eat on the run. They prefer fresh foods over frozen or canned alternatives but they are on the lookout for quick and easy meal options. In their dining experiences Vibrant Diners are looking for variety and adventure. Food truck menu offer- ings fulfill this need with potato dishes drawn from the Boards pro- grams in 23 countries around the world. They enjoy different types of food and seek variety in everyday life. They choose tasteful food options caring more about indulging food cravings over mak- ing healthy mealtime selections. Food trucks are magnificently posi- tioned to serve bustling patrons PotatoesUSA Message D.C. Diners to Experience Spud Nation Food Truck M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 7 who are time-sensitive and conven- ience minded. Washington food trucks are particularly renowned for being trendsetting. They drive a lot of the innovation and excitement in this fast-paced growing area of foodservice responding to the fast food to you paradigm. Working with the food truck manu- facturer who created Washington D.C.s food truck regulations Potatoes USA has created a food truck which conforms to this citys one parking space maximum 18.5- foot length requirement. But we have also built a 12-foot custom trailer complete with four 50-pound fryers and additional cooking and serving space. When not operating on the streets of the District this food truck and wagon duo will be promoting innovative potato recipes at regional events and festi- vals where hundreds of thousands of consumers will be enjoying music cultural activities and pota- toes. We are also working with the United States Department of Agriculture to participate in their weekly USDA Farmers Market on the National Mall. Washington D.C. is the right place to have a food truck. Its home to an influential millennial population. Millennials spend more money din- ing out than any other generation and they are moving into their key buying years. From 35-45 years they will spend even more money going out to eat and we are influencing their palette early on. In our Spud Nation food trucks we are presenting potatoes in unexpect- ed waysshowcasing convenience diversity and variety delicious foods and global flavors. Whats more these food trucks are global test kitchens where customer interac- tion and instant feedback abounds as our chefs test recipes and flavors. This is an exciting time to be in the food industry and it is great to be the number one consumed veg- etable in the United States and around the world. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 68 POTATO GROWER Why The Type Of Study Data Matters Growers know that theres a need for good data that reflect the condi- tions on your farm- soil nutrients water- as such information plays a critical role in crop production and output. Solid data is similarly criti- cal in determining whether certain pesticides should be approved for use or what bene- fits a vegetable offers at the micro- nutrient level. Its important to under- stand the differ- ences in types of research studies and the data provided as they affect your business and policy decisions made by the government. Epidemiology Epi studies also known as observational studies are used to examine what risk factors or exposures are associated with an increased or decreased risk that a person will develop a disease. They rely on data collection via recall methods or via surveysinterviews. On the other end of the spectrum are laboratory and clinical studies which can be done by directly col- lecting cell samples from live ani- mal or human subjects. A clinical trial is any research study that prospectively assigns human partic- ipants or groups of humans to one or more health- related interven- tions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Clinical observations are the gold standard in determining causali- ty. An Epi study shows association and the observa- tions relate primari- ly to groups of peo- ple. In the past few years Epi studies have been the basis for associating potato intake with certain health problems like diabetes and obesity. These studies are observational and do not actively involve a control group and other clinical measures NPC Messageby John Keeling NPC Executive Vice President and CEO NPC has consistently called for sound scientific principles in the regulatory process. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 9 and they often get misinterpreted by news outlets who need big head- lines. When the results are sensa- tionalized and applied too broadly the studies are publicly given more significance than is scientifically accurate. In the case of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines published every 5 years Epi studies have served as a major source of data to establish guidance on what components of diet should be added avoided or reduced. Relying largely on Epi data is trou- blesome as it does not carry the weight of studies specifically designed to look at clinical effects. Once clinical data is available dietary advice is likely to change which confuses consumers and cre- ates conflicting messages. Another important public policy area relying on Epi data with a direct effect on growers is EPAs eval- uation of insecticides for their effects on human health. In a cur- rent case where EPA is seeking to revoke the tolerances for an organophosphate product one or two Epi studies are being used to supplant the findings of hundreds of animal clinical studies that sup- ported the safety of the product. This could lead to the removal of the product from the market. To make matters worse in this example the raw data from the studies is not available for review by the scientific community. For growers it means one less tool to combat crop damage when a pesticide is banned without a credible scientific review. For con- sumers it can mean a more limited food supply and higher prices. NPC has consistently called for sound scientific principles in the regulatory process. When clinical studies are available they should be given priority by federal agencies policy review panels and govern- ment experts. Just as good data makes for a good crop it leads to the best decision-making when developing policy. Rethink Harvest with a Crop Cart - The perfect holding tank to keep harvesting between trucks - Link the Crop Cart via GPS to the Harvester to maintain position - Use in multiple crops year round M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 610 POTATO GROWER UNECE Meeting On Seed Potatoes Kimberley South Africa March 2016 by Willem Schrage Twenty-one delegates from four- teen countries Australia Belgium EU Czech Republic Finland France Germany Italy Kenya Netherlands New Zealand South Africa Sweden United Kingdom USA met in March in Kimberley South Africa for a UNECE seed potato meeting. The US delegation was from North Dakota and was elected by the Seed Certification Sub-committee of the National Potato Council. The funding was provided by Potatoes USA under its seed potato export program. The UNECE Seed Potato Standard has been developed to set common terminology and minimum com- mercial quality requirements for the certification of seed intended for marketing internationally. It is a unique international frame of reference covering seed-potato cer- tification aspects such as varietal identity and purity genealogy and traceability diseases and pests external quality sizing of tubers and labelling. The UNECE Seed Potato Standard can be downloaded from httpwww.unece.orgtrade agrstandardpotatoespot_e.html. Promotional Leaflet Available Copies of a promotional leaflet in English French and Russian are available from the UNECE Secretariat in Geneva. A contact from can be found at httpwww.unece.orgtradeagrwp .7contactcontact-form.html . Translation in Spanish is being done. The leaflet can also be down- loaded from the same website as the UNECE Standard. Inspection guides To enhance the efforts of a com- mon purpose in seed certification four inspection guides manuals have been developed. The Disease Guide the Field Inspection Guide are finished. PDF files of these two can be found at the same website as the UNECE Standard. Hard copies are not available because the Disease guide is out of print and not reprinted yet and the Field inspection guide has not been printed yet. The Seed Potato Tuber Inspection Guide and the Guide to Operating a Mr. Gerhard Posthumus of Wesgrow Christiana South Africa center explains to UNECE seed potato certification officials the production of high quality seed potatoes under the local circumstances. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 11 Seed Potato Certification Service were edited at the meeting in Kimberley and will be submitted to the UNECE Seed Potato Sections annual meeting in September in Geneva Switzerland. A version of a draft of each of the two guides can be found at index.phpid41760. Considering US seed potato certifi- cation standards with respect to the UNECE Seed Potato Standard US standards are generally within the tolerances of the UNECE Standard. There is an exception. Registration and listing of varieties for certifica- tion is a requirement in the UNECE Standard and all countries but not in the US which is why the US still has a derogation. The certification guide describes that only varieties accepted by the inspection service may be certified including the ones still under registration or from other countries. The first applicant of any new variety must have a ref- erence sample and a description available to the inspection service possibly through the variety rights office. Another issue in international trade is that seed sizes are described in millimetres of a square sizer with a maximum difference of 20 mm unless the buyer and seller agree to deviate from this requirement. The definitions of minimum and maxi- mum size differ from the US size requirements. The tuber inspection guide defines minimum and maxi- mum as A tuber is within the maximum size when the inspector can drop the potato through the sizer when the longitudinal axis is at right angles to the sizer. A tuber is considered above the minimum size when the tuber is held by the sizer regardless of the position of the tuber. The US requirements mention diameter in the defini- tion of sizes and for minimum size do not recognize that a potato is held by the sizer when lying flat on it. The definitions are close but are said to create disadvantages. Risk-based inspections The Dutch industry and certifica- tion service held discussions to see where a more or less frequent inten- sity or frequency can be applied to field and tuber inspections accord- ing to the estimated risk. Inspection should be carried out in higher frequency and intensity where it has been established that there is higher risk that lots will not be within tolerance. Developing the standards for identifying the level of risk is the greatest chal- lenge. True Potato Seed Listing and marketing of potential varieties derived from true potato seed are under discussion in the European Union because no regu- lations covering the marketing of true potato seed and its progeny are in place. Without the requirement to list varieties for certification that Large greenhouses of Wesgrow in Christiana South Africa. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 612 POTATO GROWER may or may not become a challenge for US certification. Promotion of the Standard The East African region is currently discussing customization of seed marketing legislation for the region. The delegation from Kenya indicat- ed that it would be helpful to have further input from the UNECE group. There is a promise to work with the delegation of Kenya to pro- mote use of the UNECE standard in East Africa. The delegation of Australia gave an update on converting the Tuber Disease Guide into a mobile device app. Windows Android and Apple Website The trilingual list of pests will be kept on the website as it is. The pic- tures are appreciated. The EU countries are in the process of updating the comparison tables of tolerances and will report to the European Seed Certification Agencies Association ESCAA. Conducting a similar exercise for the non-EU schemes may be consid- ered. Collection and publication of each seed potato certification rules should be done or a link to these rules should be provided via the UNECE web pages. The list of certification agencies Designated Authorities under the UNECE Standard and the contact details therein are out of date. Another survey should be conduct- ed of certification programs to update the programs and the con- tact list. A survey will be submitted to the meeting in Geneva to update the work done in 2001. Future meetings are planned for August 31 thru September 2 2016 and March 29 thru 31 2017 in Geneva. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 13 Potatoes USA Immediate Past Chairman Carl Hoverson of Larimore ND passed the gavel on to Mike Pink of Mesa Washington the Boards newly appointed Chairman of the Board for 2016- 2017. This past year has been a great experience Hoverson said reflecting on serving as Potatoes USA Chairman. Rolling out a new strategic plan for the Board creating a new business name and identify- ing a new mission for our organiza- tion are some of the important highlights we can all be proud and thankful for. Hoverson paid special recognition to the Board Staff and his family for their help and support during his 2015-2016 chairmanship. He partic- ularly noted the academic and pro- fessional successes each of his chil- dren has made and expressed grati- tude for their accomplishments. Harkening back to a moment at the Boards 2015 Annual Meeting when he received his own Chairmans nomination he once again donned his University of North Dakota hockey jersey and led the Board in a final cheer for Potatoes USA. He challenged the industry to focus more on maintaining good taste and flavors in new potato varieties and not be so quick to select pota- toes based on appearances. Hoverson grows Russet Burbank potatoes for frozen processing. He and his two sons grow 5100 acres of irrigated potatoes for the JR Simplot Company. Sugarbeets wheat corn soybeans canola and navy beans are also produced on Hoverson Farms. Hoverson has served as chairman of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association and also as the SecretaryTreasurer. He attended the University of North Dakota Grand Forks North Dakota and North Dakota State University Fargo North Dakota studying civil engi- neering. Hoverson has six children sons Michael and Casey and daughters Alyssa Fallon Norah and Paris. He enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and growing pota- toes. Potatoes USAs Immediate Past Chairman Hoverson Reflects On Year of Service M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 614 POTATO GROWER Black Gold Farms Executive to Lead Potatoes USA International Marketing Committee John Halverson of Arbyrd MO was re- elected to the Potatoes USA Executive Committee on March 17 2016 at the organizations 44th Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs Colorado. He will be serving his fourth year on the Board and his second year on its Executive Committee. In 2015 he served as Co- Chairman of the Domestic Marketing committee and in 2014 he served on the Boards Administrative Committee also as a member of the Domestic Marketing Committee. Halverson has been involved with pota- to production his entire life and works out of Black Gold Farms business unit in Arbyrd MO. Black Gold Farms is a glob- al production sales and service opera- tion specializing in potatoes for the chip fresh and seed markets. John is pri- marily involved in the chip-stock and fresh sectors of the industry. Sweet pota- toes wheat corn and soybeans are also grown on the farms. I have a passion for potatoes Halverson said. It is what my family has done for generations and we all love it with a passion. My brother Eric and sister Leah and I are fourth genera- tion farmers in our business which dates back to 1928 in the Red River Valley of North Dakota. Halverson attended North Dakota State University Fargo North Dakota and studied Agricultural Economics. He is married to Angie and they have three daughters Hannah age 13 Ava age 10 and Lilly age 4. He enjoys golfing in the summer months and college foot- ball during fallwinter M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 15 Potatoes USA Elects New Leadership For The Coming Year The Potatoes USA grower member- ship elected new leadership during its Annual Meeting held in Colorado Springs March 14-17. During this meeting of the National Potato Promotion Board the Board Members also approved a new strategic plan and voted to change the Boards dba from United States Potato Board to Potatoes USA. The following section lists the leader- ship for the coming year. The Potatoes USA Executive Committee is comprised by the Chairman Immediate Past Chairman and the Chairmen of each committee. They are also part of the Potatoes USA Administrative Committee. The Committee Members serving on the Domestic Marketing Research International Marketing Industry Outreach and Finance committees are also mem- bers of the Boards Administrative Committee. The marketing committees will work over the next twelve months to guide how the Potatoes USA staff will implement the Boards market- ing and promotion programs. These programs run on a July through June fiscal year. They are targeted at consumers food manufacturers chefs and nutritionists in the domestic market. In the targeted international markets these pro- grams engage importers and distrib- utors foodservice food manufac- turers consumers and retailers. Potatoes USA also provides leader- ship to the U.S. potato industrys research efforts in potato variety development for potatoes destined for chips and fries and in potato nutrition. Expanding awareness in the U.S. potato industry of these marketing and research programs to strength- en demand for potatoes is a key objective of the Industry Outreach committee. The Potatoes USA Executive Committee from left to right - Doug Poe John Halverson Carl Hoverson Blair Richardson Mike Pink Karlene Hard Jason Davenport Jay LaJoie Tim May Steve Gangwish Phil Hickman and Chris Wada. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 616 POTATO GROWER Planting is here A pertinent sub- ject for the season is calculating planting rates and here is a brief overview and some tables that may be helpful. The tables pre- sented in this article can be found and downloaded from the NDSU U of M Potato Extension website toextension and utilized in a manner suitable for your opera- tion. Calculating seed potato for planting varies by row spacing within-row spacing and seed size. Typical row spacing in the Red River Valley and surround- ing area is 36 inches. However some potatoes are planted in 34 and 38 in row spacing. Row and within-row spacing will change the seed needed and plant popu- lation Table 1. Within-row spacing varies greatly depending on the cultivar selected desired harvested tuber profile and if irrigation is available. The amount of seed needed to plant at 34 36 and 38 inch row spac- ing at various within-row spac- ings is shown in Table 2. Physiological seed age or the number of stems may also cause changes to within-row spacing. There is a relationship between stem number and tuber set. As stem number increases the number of tubers increase. The number will vary by cultivar and environmental conditions. Understanding the seed age will help you make adjustment to within-row spacing. Seed size typically ranges from an average size of 1.5 to 2.5 oz per seed piece. Decisions on seed piece size will depend on seed avail- ability seed cost and cultivar. Each seed piece should have at least one eye. Some cultivars such as Russet Bannock or Shepody have a low distribution of eyes per tuber necessitating a larger seed piece. Andys Advice Calculating Potato Seed By Andy Robinson Extension Potato Agronomist NDSUUMN Table 1. Plant population based on row and within-row spacing. Within-row spacing inch Row spacing 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 Plant population number 34 30748 26356 23061 20499 18449 15374 13178 36 29040 24891 21780 19360 17424 14520 12446 38 27512 23581 20634 18341 16507 13756 11791 M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 17 Table 2. Amount of seed need to plant one acre of potato. Row spacing Within-row spacing Seed piece size oz 1.5 1.75 2 2.25 2.5 cwtacre of seed 34 6 28.8 33.6 38.4 43.2 48.0 34 7 24.7 28.8 32.9 37.1 41.2 34 8 21.6 25.2 28.8 32.4 36.0 34 9 19.2 22.4 25.6 28.8 32.0 34 10 17.3 20.2 23.1 25.9 28.8 34 12 14.4 16.8 19.2 21.6 24.0 34 14 12.4 14.4 16.5 18.5 20.6 36 6 27.2 31.8 36.3 40.8 45.4 36 7 23.3 27.2 31.1 35.0 38.9 36 8 20.4 23.8 27.2 30.6 34.0 36 9 18.2 21.2 24.2 27.2 30.3 36 10 16.3 19.1 21.8 24.5 27.2 36 12 13.6 15.9 18.2 20.4 22.7 36 14 11.7 13.6 15.6 17.5 19.4 38 6 25.8 30.1 34.4 38.7 43.0 38 7 22.1 25.8 29.5 33.2 36.8 38 8 19.3 22.6 25.8 29.0 32.2 38 9 17.2 20.1 22.9 25.8 28.7 38 10 15.5 18.1 20.6 23.2 25.8 38 12 12.9 15.0 17.2 19.3 21.5 38 14 11.1 12.9 14.7 16.6 18.4 M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 618 POTATO GROWER Chip Cultivar Trial In Inkster North Dakota by Andy Robinson Eric Brandvik and Alan Bingham NDSUUMN Potato Extension Agronomy As part of a North Dakota Specialty Crop Block grant we tested ten dif- ferent cultivars for their agronomic performance. This trial was planted at the irrigated research site near Inkster ND on June 10 2015 with a 2-row research planter. The ten cul- tivars planted were Russet Burbank Pinnacle Manistee Umatilla Accumulator Nicolet Lamoka Snowden Atlantic and MegaChip. Each plot was 1 row wide 3 feet by 25 feet long. Prior to planting 67 lba of nitrogen 124 lba potassi- um 30 lba sulfur 1.5 lba zinc 2 lba boron and 1 lba copper were incorporated. At planting 29 lba of nitrogen and 100 lba of phospho- rous were applied as liquid starter. Nitrogen was side dressed at 70 lba on June 23 and plots received 30 lba of nitrogen by fertigation on August 3 and 12. Typical agronomic management practices were used to grow the crop. Stand and stem number were counted on July 10. Tubers were harvested on 15 October 2015 and graded thereafter for yield. There were differences in the grad- ed yield data. Atlantic was the best performing cultivar tested when compared across yield parameters Table 1. It had the greatest numer- ical amount of tubers from 6-10 oz 10-14 oz total yield marketable yield and percent tubers 6 oz. Pinnacle and Snowden tended to have a large number of undersized tubers 4 oz. Pinnacle and Snowden averaged 34-42 of tubers undersized. However this may have been because the stem number Table 2 was high on these cultivars. The lower yields may have been a result of late planting and too much nitrogen because an earlier cultivar like Atlantic per- formed well. Table 1. Graded yield of ten cultivars grown at Inkster ND in 2015. Within columns a significant difference is indicated by a different letter at p0.05. 14 oz -------------------------------------------- Cwta -------------------------------------------- Russet Burbank 4 c 81 145 a-d 51 ab 19 Pinnacle 1 a 106 88 d 18 b 2 Manistee MSL292-A 9 abc 103 102 bcd 21 b 3 Umatilla 9 abc 111 121 a-d 22 b 1 Accumulator 7 bc 94 174 ab 48 ab 12 Nicolet 8 abc 112 149 a-d 37 ab 23 Lamoka 8 abc 112 168 abc 30 ab 9 Snowden 1 ab 114 94 cd 17 b 9 Atlantic 5 bc 108 203 a 61 a 25 MegaChip 6 bc 82 147 a-d 44 ab 13 M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 19 Table 2. Total and marketable yield and percent of tubers greater than 6 or 10 ounces of ten cultivars grown at Inkster ND in 2015. Within columns a significant difference is indicated by a different letter at p0.05. Total yield Total marketable 6 oz 10 oz ---------------- Cwta ---------------- ------------- ------------- Russet Burbank 343 ab 296 abc 62 a 20 Pinnacle 366 ab 214 c 30 c 6 Manistee MSL292-A 322 b 228 bc 39 abc 8 Umatilla 354 ab 256 bc 42 abc 7 Accumulator 398 ab 328 ab 58 ab 15 Nicolet 406 ab 321 abc 51 abc 15 Lamoka 399 ab 319 abc 52 abc 10 Snowden 354 ab 234 bc 34 bc 8 Atlantic 450 a 397 a 64 a 19 MegaChip 349 ab 286 abc 58 ab 16 Table 3. Stand and stem count of 10 processing cultivars grown at Inkster ND in 2015. Within columns a significant difference is indicated by a different letter at p0.05. Stand Stem ------------------- Number ------------------- Russet Burbank 22 ab 76 cde Pinnacle 24 a 95 abc Manistee MSL292-A 22 ab 61 de Umatilla 21 ab 70 cde Accumulator 22 ab 115 a Nicolet 24 a 85 bcd Lamoka 20 b 52 e Snowden 22 ab 105 ab Atlantic 23 ab 74 cde MegaChip 22 ab 77 b-e M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 620 POTATO GROWER 2015 Fresh Market Potato Trial Crystal North Dakota by Dr. Asunta Susie Thompson NDSU Potato Breeder The northern plains potato produc- tion areas of Minnesota and North Dakota produce potatoes for all markets including tablestock seed and processing. About 17 of pro- duction is for the fresh tablestock market. Red Norland and Yukon Gold are two of the predominant cultivars one red skinned and one a yellow fleshed cultivar. While industry standards they have short- comings such as none uniform red skin color across fields for Red Norland and low tuber set often resulting in hollow heart for Yukon Gold. Both are susceptible to many pests and stresses including Colorado Potato Beetle late blight silver scurf PVY and soil moisture. Cultivars possessing excellent table- stock quality should have a uniform tuber size profile be attractive in terms of shape and skin finish pro- duce a high yield of marketable sized tubers be free of internal and external defects ideally be flavorful and for todays industry should combine environmental and eco- nomic sustainability. The North Dakota State University NDSU potato breeding program conducts crossing selection evalua- tion and cultivar development activities across North Dakota and western Minnesota in order to iden- tify superior genotypes for all mar- ket types. In 2015 field research tri- als were grown at eight sites. Five were irrigated Larimore Oakes Inkster Williston and Park Rapids and three were non-irrigated Hoople Crystal and Grand Forks sites. Trials are important in discov- ering selections with high yield potential disease and pest resist- ance stress tolerance and consumer quality attributes for tablestock and processing. This narrative summa- rizes the results from the Crystal Fresh Market Trial. Additional trials at this site included the non-irrigat- ed North Central Regional Fresh Market Trial and our Preliminary Fresh Market Trial. Thirty advancing fresh market selec- tions and commercially acceptable check cultivars were included in the trial planted on May 20 at Crystal North Dakota. The field plot design was a randomized complete block with four replicates cultural prac- tices typical of the growing area were used during the growing sea- son. Rows were spaced 36-inches apart with a 12-inch within-row spacing. Vines were desiccated on September 1 and the trial was har- vested on September 15. Days to days to vine kill were 102 while days to harvest totaled 117. Agronomic yield and grade and quality evaluations are summarized in Tables 1 2 and 3 respectively. Percentage stand was not statistical- ly different for clones and ranged from 49 to 100 Table 1. Vine sizes significantly differed as expected and ranged from medium- small for ND0102990B-3R to very large for Mondeo. Vine maturity ranged from 1.8 medium-early for ND102990B-3R to 4.5 for Mondeo. Stems per plant is indicative of seed quality physiological age and seed size tuber eye number genetic and dormancy genetic and envi- ronmental. Stem numbers ranged from 1.6 for Sangre to 2.9 for ND7982-1R. Seed quality was excel- lent in 2015 and this was reflected in the stem numbers. Most cultivars peak performance will be in the 1.5 to 3.0 stem range. Tuber shape is important for fresh marketing. Tuber shape ranged from round 1.0 for many selections to long for All Blue and Abby a KWS fingerling cultivar. Check cultivars such as Red Norland and Red LaSoda are more oblong while Dakota Ruby is very round. Richness of color and smoothness of skin finish are two important attributes for fresh mar- ket tubers. ATND99331-2PintoY is a buff colored clone with purple splashes and yellow flesh while All Blue is purple with purple flesh. Mondeo Vitabella and Yukon Gold are yellow with yellow flesh. Many NDSU selections and recent releases have outstanding bright red skin color. General rating is an overall assessment of appearance yield and quality attributes. General rating scores ranged from 2.8 to 4.0. Clones such as Red LaSoda Sangre and Viking which tend to have a larger tuber size profile slightly deeper eyes and lighter red skin color than new selections rated lower. Dakota Ruby and several advancing selections rated the high- est. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 21 Total yields differed significantly as expected ranging from 198 cwt. acre for ND113338C-3R to 420 cwt.acre for ND113207-1R Table 2. Yield of A-sized tubers ranged from 9 for ND113338C-3R to 263 for ND113089B-2RY while percent- age A-sized tubers ranged from 4 for ND113338C-3R to 70 for ND7132-1R. Due to a more normal growing season late April through mid-September the tuber size pro- file for all clones tended to be excel- lent and because of the fresh market desire to limit oversized tubers vine kill was done on September 1. Many genotypes have been selected for an increase in tuber number per plant and the propensity to produce B and C sized tubers. Many selec- tions had small tuber size profiles with an excess of 50 in the 0-4 ounce category and many exceeded 40 in the 4-6 ounce tuber size cat- egory. ATND99331-2PintoY ND 6002-1R Dakota Rose Red LaSoda and Viking produced the highest percentages of 6-10 ounce tubers as well as oversized tubers. There were few US No. 2 tubers from the trial as well as culls with the exception of Viking and Red LaSoda. Both tend- ed to have more external defects such as growth cracks misshapen tubers and deep or protruding eyes. Clones were rated for scab and scurf during grading. There was very lit- tle scab and the few tubers with scab had surface or pit scab. Scurf was more widespread through the trial. All Blue Red Norland Sangre and Viking had the most scurf. ND102663B-3R ND6002-1R ND 102990B-3R ND113338C-3R Dak- ota Ruby ND081571-2R and -3R amongst many others had little scurf silver scurfblack dot. Trial entries were evaluated for internal defects. There were minimal inter- nal defects including internal brown spot 0 vascular discoloration range of 0-20 but most clones were 0 and hollow heartbrown center Table 3. Percentage hollow heartbrown center ranged from 0 to 5 Yukon Gold. Trial entries are also evaluated for blackspot and shatter bruise potential. Blackspot bruises result when polyphenol oxi- dase and tyrosine combine within damaged cells due primarily to rough handling of tubers during harvest and handling operations. The skin is generally not broken and bruises are difficult to detect with- out peeling. Blackspot bruise scores rated from 1.2 to 4.3. Dakota Ruby and Sangre rated as a 1.4 on our scale of 1 to 5 using the method of Pavek and Corsini where tubers from 45F storage are peeled using an abrasive peeler and held overnight at room temperature discoloration on the stem end is then rated for coverage and intensity. Based on our ratings and granted we dont always have belted or padded chains we harvest into burlap and move them from pallets a few times before grading and storage produc- ers should always use best manage- ment practices to maximize the marketing of bruise-free tubers including a pre-harvest irrigation if appropriate maintain belts and conveyors full of tubers and soil as the potatoes move through the har- vester limit drops and utilize padding on harvesters in trucks and on conveyors going into stor- age. Shatter bruise potential was evaluated following storage at 45F. The range was 2.3 to 4.4 with a mean of 3.2 across the trial. While no clone stood out as having signif- icant potential for shatter keeping tubers properly hydrated using bruise-free management techniques and minimizing damage limits shat- tering. Shatter bruises may be a pos- sible entrance point for pathogens such as Fusarium graminearum Fusarium sambucinum and Fusarium coeruleum creating a potential prob- lem in storage or in marketing. There are many very promising advancing selections in our breed- ing program and all NDSU selec- tions had a general rating signifi- cantly higher than Red Norland Sangre or Red LaSoda. Please see Figures 1-3 for specific summaries for a few of these outstanding lines. The NDSU potato improvement team wishes to express our gratitude to Dave and Andy Moquist O.C. Schulz for hosting this research trial. Thanks also to Duane Bernhardson and the group at KWS for allowing us to trial their clones Abby Mondeo and Vitabella and for supporting our research efforts. We are particularly grateful to the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association and the Minnesota Area II Potato Promotion and Research Council for funding to conduct research in North Dakota and Minnesota. We are appreciative of the opportunity to perform cooper- ative and interdisciplinary research efforts and are grateful to our many grower industry and research coop- erators across North Dakota and Minnesota and beyond for support of our research programs including funding certified seed potatoes and inputs. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 622 POTATO GROWER Table 1. Agronomic evaluations for advanced fresh market selections and cultivars Crystal North Dakota 2015. 1 Vine size-scale 1-5 1small 5large. 2 Vine maturity-scale 1-5 1early 5late. 3 Shape1-5 1round 2oval 3oblong 4blocky 5long. 4 Color1-5 1whitebuff 2pink 3red 4bright red 5dark red PpurpleYyellow. 5 General rating1-5 1poor and unacceptable 3fair 4excellent 5perfect. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 23 Table 2. Yield and grade for advanced fresh market selections and cultivars Crystal North Dakota 2015. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 624 POTATO GROWER Table 3. Quality attributes including specific gravity internal disorders and bruise potential for advanced fresh market selections and cultivars Crystal North Dakota 2015. 1 Determined using weight in air weight in water method. 2 Hollow heart includes brown center. 3 Blackspot bruise determined by the abrasive peel method scale 1-5 1none 5severe. 4 Shatter bruise is evaluated using a bruising chamber with digger chain link baffles. Tubers are stored at 45oF prior bruising. Shatter bruises are rated on a scale of 1-5 with 1none and 5many and severe. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 25 Turning Back The Clock A Look Back 25 Years Ago at Excerpts from The May 1991 Issue of The ValleyPotato Grower Magazine United Sponsors June Fresh Month The United Fresh Fruit Vegetable Association is launching the first month long celebration of fresh fruits and vegetables this June with Fresh Month. Helping to spread the word about Fresh Month are THE FRUGIES pronounced fru-jees a whimsical collection of 19 fruit and vegetable caricatures created by the world famous cartoonist Mort Drucker and Walt Disney World advertising copywriter Mitchell Erick. Use of THE FRUGIES marks the first time that characters are being used for the generic promotion of all fresh produce. THE FRUGIES illus- trate how varied fresh produce items are in taste color texture and nutritional value. Drucker con- ceived the word frugies by com- bining the words fruit and veggies. The concept of the gang came from Erick and working as a team they carefully developed their characters inspired more often than not by characteristics inherent in real fruits and vegetables. THE FRUGIES cast includes Adam Apple Squeezer Madam Carla CarrotTina Tomato Onion JoyE. J. Cobb Rudy Potato I. C. Berg Miss Sweety Pie Priscilla Pineapple Banana Split The Beautiful Bunch Peach Velour Pepe LPepper Wally Watermelon Penelope Pear Auntie Broccoli Susie Strawberry and Lord Mush- room. George Dunlop President of United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association said We are establish- ing June as the month to celebrate the joys and pleasures associated with fresh produce because although produce is plentiful year- round supplies are especially abun- dant during June. United is working with supermar- kets in an effort to convey to con- sumers the outstanding merits of fruits and vegetables and to encour- age them to increase their con- sumption. In addition Fresh Month comes on the heels of the Federal Governments new Dietary Guidelines which recommends Americans choose a diet with at least five servings of fruits and veg- etables per day. Highest R-Value Insulation Moisture Barriers Fire Proofing Flat Roofs The Insulation Place 14770 69th Place NE Grafton ND 58237 LL LL Urethane Spray-On Insulation Eliminates air infiltration stops condensation Grafton 701 352-3233 1-800-352-0620 Bismarck 701 255-0025 1-866-425-0025 Website M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 626 POTATO GROWER M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 27 Jeff Suttle Retires From ARS The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association NPPGA would like to recognize Dr. Jeff Suttle on his retirement effective April 1st after 37 years of federal service as Research Leader for the Agricultural Research Service office in Fargo. The direction of our local UDSA-ARS under the leadership of Dr. Jeff Suttle has been an essential compo- nent of our research and education- al capabilities fulfilling needs not only on the local level but also for potato producers across the country. Dr. Suttle is recognized as a leader and innovator and is widely respect- ed by his peers throughout the United States. He has led his team at the USDA-ARS Sugarbeet and Potato Research Unit to new levels of expertise and has strongly support- ed the United States potato industry and we appreciate his dedication to the industry. In 1991 Dr. Suttles research was redirected to the topic of potato tuber dormancy and he was trans- ferred to the Northern Crop Science Laboratory Fargo North Dakota. In 1999 Dr. Suttle was appointed Research Leader of the Sugarbeet Potato Research Unit. Throughout his career Dr. Suttles research inter- ests have focused on the physiology of plant growth regulators. Dr. Suttle has published over 83 fully refereed articles review papers and book chapters. Collectively Dr. Suttles research on the hormonal control of tuber dormancy has formed the nucleus of our current understanding of the regulation of this agriculturally important phe- nomenon and is providing the impetus to develop improved genet- ic methods to reduce or eliminate the use of chemical sprout control agents. His stature in the interna- tional scientific community is evi- denced by over ten invitations to present research findings at national and international meetings. Dr. Suttle served on the editorial boards of the journals Plant Physiology Plant Growth Regulation and Journal of Plant Growth Regulation and as senior editor for the American Journal of Potato Research. By invitation he has served as panel co-chair of the Postharvest Section of the U.S. - Israel BARD granting agency on the scientific advisory committee for the International Plant Dormancy Symposium Working Group apan- elist for the USDA-NRI. His expert- ise on sprout control and potato storage is sought by the industry. Dr. Suttle has been the recipient of three ARS post-doctoral awards. NPPGA speaking on behalf of its staff growers and associate mem- bers would like to thank Jeff for his many years of service to the potato industry and wish him the very best as he retires from public service and begins a new chapter in his life. NPPGA President Chuck Gunnerson right with Dr. Jeff Suttle left at his retirement party. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 628 POTATO GROWER Seed Potatoes In South Africa by Willem Schrage In March the Specialized Section on Seed Potatoes of the United Nations Economic Commission on Europe UNECE held its meeting in South Africa. The group from 14 countries on four continents Europe Australia and New Zealand North America and Africa had the opportunity to visit large seed potato operations not too far from the diamond city of Kimberley. The invitation for this visit to South African seed potato growers was extended by the Potato Certification Service. It is a non-profit company contracted by the Independent Certification Council for Seed Potatoes in South Africa. The Council is appointed by the Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries from which it has received its authori- ty. Potato Certification Service supplies the inspection and certification servic- es supporting the South African potato industry. Their objective is to ensure the availability of suitable quality seed. South Africa is a big country with seed potato producers in areas that are very different from each other. The UNECE group was introduced to seed potato inspectors. At one of the farms two supervisors showed what they were looking for in their shipping point inspection. The UNECE meeting itself was held in Kimberley because it was within driving distance of two success- ful seed potato producing coopera- tives Griekwaland-Wes Korporatief GWK in Douglas and Wesgrow in Christiana. Griekwaland-Wes Korporatief GWK has its headquarters in Douglas. There Mr. Andr Coetzee and Mr. Ruben Rens received the UNECE group. They indicat- ed that GWK wants to be a leader in the agricultural food chain. Their new approach was that FARMERS MAKE ROCKETS which is to say all of human activity can only happen when people are well fed. GWK is owned by bona fide farmers who buy a share to become shareholders. For potato production it has a mini tuber production facility seed potato production farms and a testing facility. It is THE SUPPLIER TO THE FOOD SUPPLIERS. It is an agri-business that helps participating stakeholders within the food supply. It is backed by established and new trade- marks. GWK provides farmers with inputs farm support channels for marketing and sustainability. They have many brands. They also repre- sent John Deere in the area. They are the biggest supplier of lamb. GWK receives tissue culture plantlets from Pretoria. Their mini tuber pro- duction is in tunnel houses in Douglas. The tour was conducted by the green- house manager Mr. Nico Du Toit who told the group that their first year field generations were grown at a distance where there was no other potato pro- duction. One of the GWK growers is Mr. Frank Lawrence who irrigates his potatoes through center pivot. A roguing crew walked through a field close by. The number of people in the roguing crew indicated to us that there is a larger workforce available in agriculture in South Africa than in the US. Since bacterial wilt has been found in the country a 4605 tuber field sample of each seed crop is tested for at Ralstonia solanacearum. Besides hav- ing disease tolerances in their regula- tions certification has also require- ments on eligibility of fields crop rota- tions isolation distances and volun- teer control. The lack of penetrating frost forces growers to leave time for volunteer control. Mr. Gideon Truter regional manager and Mr. Frank Osler technical manager of the Potato Certification Service were on hand dur- ing the visit to explain field inspection procedures and tuber sampling Frank Lawrence grows seed potatoes as a member of GWK. M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 29 process in the field after vine kill. Plantovita is the official supervisory testing laboratory in South Africa. Regional testing laboratories may be owned by growers or companies. However they work under supervision of Plantovita. In the Laboratory of Northern Cape in Douglas Ms. Anl Espach Technical Manager of Plantovita explained that virus testing is done on sprouts with ELISA and bac- terial wilt testing is done on tubers with ELISA. They are also using some PCR. The supervisory laboratories have added functions such as testing for import and in-vitro production. Another seed potato producer is Wesgrow with headquarters in Christiana and a quarantine and tissue culture facility and a mini tuber pro- duction plant. The Rascal Nuclear Stock facility is the quarantine genebank micropropaga- tion and minituber production site for the WesGrow group. Ms. Margaret Rebombo the manager showed a very impressive contained microplant han- dling facility. Separation of quarantine and production was well explained. Mr. Dawie Ras the managing director and Mr. DD Joshi the production manager showed their minituber pro- duction tunnels. They have two sys- tems for minituber production aero- ponics and vermiculite based produc- A rogueing crew is walking through a field of Mr. Frank Lawrence. dinrcoeRtcampI tenesrept reside bvores ppaphur sO detroppud snd aetesh tcraeesR iceveDgn evita maeur tor yoa fotatle dbaniotcA tsacpf ime ogeravav ppp .yy.tiervee s faceurd snn aiotleraacce esuire btaimto esics ttsiertracahc t aacph imtoes bsuIRDehy tlOn 517-322-0250 MOC.C.TECHMARK-INWWWW.TECHMARK-IN M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 630 POTATO GROWER tems for minituber production aero- ponics and vermiculite based produc- tion. The aeroponic production pro- duces more per plant but is more labor intensive. Wesgrow seed potato growers separate tubers by size at harvest. Seed size potatoes are stored and shipped for seed and the larger size tubers are des- tined for the fresh market. Sifra and Mondial are popular varieties. The director of one of the Wesgrow group farms Agrivan Mr. Werner Du Plessis explained the growing packing and marketing of their potatoes. The packing house was a large operation with 62 to 80 people working. Mr. Gerhard Posthumus managing director of the cooperative Wesgrow explained that they do the marketing of fresh and seed potatoes for their members. They impose on themselves stricter guidelines to maintain the highest possible seed potato quality. That also means that the growers themselves impose discipline on their colleagues. To maintain freedom of viruses they do something similar to North Dakota by multiplying only once or twice in the same place. Their first field years multiplication is 200 miles away. Then they bring the seed potatoes to the Valley area for further seed production after which the seed is sold to non-seed growers. Vinekill of the crop for recertification on the own farm is after 90 days for other seed after 120 days. The marketing of potatoes through Wesgrow results in higher prices to the growers. Wesgrow not only does the marketing but also assist growers in agronomy and evaluating new vari- eties. It carries out variety trials with new foreign varieties. South Africa has no longer its own potato breeding pro- gram. Temperatures are high in the growing season which enhances the tendency of potato plants to grow vines rather than tubers. Wesgrow has found and developed techniques that keep plants producing tubers even under high temperatures. The results were impressive. One of the highlights of the visit of the UNECE group was the talk of Dr. David P. Keetch Chairman of the Independent Certification Council for Seed Potatoes. Dr. Keetch explained that in South Africa certified seed pota- toes underpin a multi-million dollar industry that produces about 2.3 mil- lion metric tons of potatoes per year with a total estimated value of around 433 million. He quoted the benefits of seed certification as Preventing the build-up of diseases in seed potatoes and the corresponding increase of dis- ease-causing organisms in the soil. Encouraging planting of early genera- tion seed providing greater assurance that only the lowest incidence of seed- borne diseases is present in seed pota- toes. And assisting in preventing the spread of viruses and other diseases as the South Africa Certification rules and regulations prohibit the planting of uncertified material in the same field as registered seed potatoes. In a meeting of certification officials of several countries and people from the South African industry and govern- ment there was general agreement with Dr. Keetch when he stated that all sectors freshtable and processing of the South African potato industry rely upon certified seed production to ensure the efficient production of high quality food products to consumers. The people visiting the seed potato farms and facilities in South Africa were impressed by the quality of the crop and the professionalism of indus- try and officials. Inspection supervisors are showing UNECE delegates what they are looking for in their inspections. 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