b'A Critical Eye To Tuber ResearchJohn Lundeen and Ben Harris,Potatoes USAAs Americas favorite vegetable and multi-yearefforttoexaminesoilone of the worlds most nutritionally healthinpotatoproductionsys-rich foods, potatoes have every rea- tems.TheCommitteefrequentlyson to be at the forefront of specialty hostsopendiscussionstosolicitcrop research and development. This input and triage potato research, giv-is an exciting time to be in agricul- ingprecedencetopressingtopicstureR&D:thespateofrecent like disease control, enhanced breed-advancementsinagronomicper- ingmethods,andcropmanage-formance,diseaseresistance,pro- ment.Withamembershipof15,cessing readiness, consumer quality, PRAC is agile enough to make deci-and moreshows no signs of letting sionswhether to advance a propos-up.Butiftheresaflipsidetothis al, for instanceon the spot. Despiteabundance of opportunity, its that itsleansize,PRACcoverseveryour attention is getting tugged in all major market niche, production cli-directions, which could bring about mate, and grower profile in the U.S.,business siloes and competing prior- lendingadditionalcredibilityandities.Inthesecircumstances,its clout to proposals. Its possible thatimperativethatwefocusonthe the voice of PRAC could put pota-industrys biggest concerns.toesaheadofothercropsinthescrambleforever-limitedresearchPotatoes USAToestablishresearchdirectionand monies.ensurealignmentacrossthevaluechain,PotatoesUSAoverseesan TheNationalChipProgram(NCP)advisorybodyandtwovariety- andNationalFryProcessorTrialsMessagedevelopment pipelines, which chan- (NFPT) make up the remaining pil-nelexpertiseandcapitaltowards lars of Potatoes USA Research. Bothprojectsorclonesthatofferbest wereconceivedtoconsolidatenewbang-for-buck.Since2016,the variety research rather than expandPotatoResearchAdvisory it, for, at the time of their creation,Committee(PRAC)hasgenerated there was no shortage of new culti-broad support for projects centered vars in development. The issue wasontheindustryscoreconcerns. infacttheopposite:contributionsPRAChasbeenacatalystbehind were spread thin across hundreds ofsomeofthelargestcollaborative thousandsofclones,dilutingtheresearchinitiativesofthepastfew effectiveness of research dollars. Theyears,includinganambitious, industry came together and found a6 POTATO GROWER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019'