Archive for the ‘Potato’ Category

2015 Weed Control Guide now available!

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

-E. Hill

2015WG_coverThe 2015 Weed Control Guide for Field Crops has just been posted for viewing at!


Harvesting the 2009 MSU Potato Weed Research

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

-Alexander Lindsey

Potato harvest this year was spread over a few weeks beginning Thursday August 27th and finishing up Tuesday September 22nd.  With the exception of the first trip, the harvests were conducted Tuesdays.  Participants in the harvest were Dr. Wesley Everman’s technician Andy Chomas, graduate students Calvin Glaspie, Laura Bast, John Green, and me, as well as undergraduate workers Dan and Melissa.  Most Tuesdays began around11:30am due to many of the students having class in the morning.  Most days were reasonable in length, but September 22 was the latest night for harvest.  With the help of Bruce Sackett, the farm manager at the Montcalm Research Farm in Lakeview and Chris Long, the Potato Agronomist, we were able to harvest 14 studies that had been planted.  For most of the plots we used a single row harvester which dug the tubers and brought them on a conveyer to an area where we could remove the rocks that were of similar size.  The “rock picking” conveyor then transported the potatoes to a shoot where burlap sacks were placed to catch the tubers.  A few of the studies had to be handpicked, so a machine that dug a single row was pulled behind a tractor.  This piece of equipment brought the potatoes up and left them on the soil surface.  We would then walk down the row and put the tubers into burlap sacks by hand.  Due to a low area in the field and copious amounts of rain this season, one of the studies had to be discarded due to lack of marketable tubers in half the plots.  The rest of the studies on the farm were more successful.  Once the plots had been harvested, the crew graded them into separate categories (A, B, oversize, pickout) and quantified internal defects.  As of now, we are working at completing the data analysis.

Potato Association of America’s 93rd annual meeting

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

-Calvin Glaspie

All eyes were on Fredericton New Brunswick this week as it hosted the Potato Association of America’s (PAA) 93rd annual meeting. I was able to attend this event along with other MSU researchers from different disciplines including my major advisor, Dr. Wesley Everman, from weed science, Dr. David Douches, Nicole Nichol, and Joe Coombs from plant breeding, Dr. Willie Kirk from plant pathology, Loren Wernette a masters student in Entomology and the Michigan spud titan himself, Chris Long. Topics at the meeting spanned all material concerning production, management and the future of the potato in not just the US but the world. The meeting began Monday morning (10th of August) with the plant protection symposium which offered great insights into alternative control of pests in potatoes.  Towards the end of the day in the Plant Protection session, I was able to present my work on “Tolerance of potato mini-tubers to PRE and POST herbicide applications”. The presentation I felt in whole went very well and it sparked some interesting conversations with different individuals after my talk. Wednesday, we had the opportunity to visit a few different locations in the Fredericton area, including a visit to Jolly Farmer, the Potato World museum, a McCain research farm and the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company. Jolly Farmer’s company struck our tour group with awe because of its industrialized greenhouse operation focused on the production of young seedling ornamental products to supply retail home and garden stores. To say the least, the company had a very proficient system to produce and manage their greenhouse with robotics to assist in production of plants to their utilization of wood waste products to heat their facility. Potato World was a joyful place to visit allowing the group to view artifacts of the potatoes past and enjoy a wonderful potato-e lunch. The McCain research farm tour offered us the opportunity to view their research plots and learn about topics important to the company. Lastly, at the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company we were able to view their operation as they prepared a batch of amazingly delicious sweet potato chips for us to sample. Thursday was the last day of the meeting and ended at night with the awards banquet where Nicole and I were awarded3rd and 2nd place, respectively, for the Frank L. Haynes graduate student research competition. Reflecting on the meeting as a whole, I enjoyed it and my time spent in Canada for the insight I gained about potato production in the Americas and current research on it from different disciplines. I did however leave the meeting with a heavy sadness in my heart…I didn’t get to see a moose.

Planting the 2009 MSU Corn & Potato Weed Research

Friday, May 15th, 2009

-Wesley Everman

This spring’s planting season has been frustrating at best with the cool wet weather we have been having. It seems like we get rain just often enough to keep most of us out of the field. For the corn and potato weed control group the last week has worked out quite well in 3 long days. Our field crew this season consists of my technician Andy Chomas, my graduate student Calvin Glaspie, and undergraduate workers Jake, Dan, and Brad.   We were hoping to get our corn planting started on the 4th, however the wet weather kept us out of the field until Thursday the 7th. We planted the majority of our corn research, approximately 10 acres, for small plot weed management studies and got our preemergence herbicides sprayed before the rain over the weekend, which should have helped activate them. It was a late night on Thursday with our entire crew leaving the field after the sun had gone down and an early start Friday to finish up some loose ends with spraying.  Monday we had potato planting planned and got an early start to the Montcalm Research Farm. We were able to get a quick start thanks to Bruce Sackett the farm manager and Chris Long the Potato Agronomist, getting all 14 of our studies planted by noon. We then were able to spray our preemergence at planting herbicides in the afternoon. The weather held enough for us to plant another 4 acres of corn research on Tuesday and 2 acres on Wednesday, wrapping up the majority of our planting for the year. All in all we consider ourselves very fortunate to get into the field as we did. From reports around the state it sounds like less than 25% of the corn is in the ground, and more rain in the forecast. Check out the CAT article on delayed preemergence herbicides for options where you cannot get into the field immediately after planting.