Breakout Sessions

Thursday, January 5


Chip, Fresh, Process, Seed and Technology-specific Breakout Sessions designed by growers will address top issues in the potato industry marketplaces.

Session 1

2:30 - 3:00 PM

Session 2

3:10 - 3:40 PM

Session 3

3:50 - 4:20 PM

Session 4

4:30 - 5:00 PM

Breakout A
A Focus on the Chip Market
A1: Varieties of Interest and How to Find Them
A2: Emerging Chipping Potato Traits
and Their Potential Benefits
A3: Variety Development Impacts
on Late Storage Supplies

A4: Oh SNAP!:Debate
Around Choice in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Breakout B
A Focus on the Fresh Market
B1: The Foodservice Sector and Potatoes
B2: Online Grocery Shopping and
Delivery Services: Friend or Foe?
B3: The Changing Retail
Landscape and the Impact on
Fresh Potato Sales

B4: Impact of Diseases and New Varieties on Storage and Shipping of Fresh Potatoes

Breakout C

A Focus on the Process Market
C1: Building the Scientific Case for the Nutritious Potato

C2: How the Potato Industry is Addressing

International MRLs
C3: How Are Retailers
to Consumer’s Question on Sustainability?
C4: What Does Brexit Mean for Potatoes?
Breakout D

A Focus on the Seed Market
D1: Minituber Economics
D2: Management of Bacterial
Soft Rot and Blackleg Pathogens Dickeya and Pectobacterium
D3: Following in the Footsteps
of Corn Breeders – Potato as an Inbred Line-based Crop
D4: Cultivar Resistance to TRV and PMTV
Breakout E

A Focus on Technology
E1: Weather Trends and Risk in U S Potato Production

E2: Harnessing Technology

to Manage Water Application
E3: Remote Sensing Applications for Potato Production
E4: New Potato Technologies – What’s Next?

A Focus on the Chip Market

2001/2003, Level 2

A1: Varieties of Interest and How to Find Them
Ryan Krabill, Director of Research, Potatoes USA
Bradley Halladay, President/Lead Engineer, Medius Ag

Data for thousands of potato clones are now online and available to processors, growers and breeders. Do you know where to find them? In this session, learn about the significant Potatoes USA investments in data management systems that make finding varieties of interest easier than ever. While past varietal data is available, Ryan Krabill and Bradley Halladay will use 2016 varieties of interest to illustrate where you can find what you’re looking for.

A2: Emerging Chipping Potato Traits and Their Potential Benefits
David Douches, Ph.D. Director, Michigan State University Potato Breeding and Genetics Program

Through potato breeding we are improving the processing quality as well as the agronomic and disease resistance in potatoes for the chip processing market. Cooperative state, regional and national trials are helping to identify varieties with stable yield, solids and chip quality. Storage tests in commercial bins also help profile the processing potential of the most promising lines. Modern marker technology is helping the breeder select progeny that carry disease (late blight), nematode (Golden nematode) and virus resistance (PVY and PLRV). Lab assays are being developed to understand the wound healing of potatoes to reduce the risk of disease breakdown in storage. Dr. Douches will discuss how improving these quality and disease resistance traits will reduce management costs and risks and their potential to improve seed quality.

A3: Variety Development Impacts on Lake Storage Supplies
Moderator: Jeff Thomas, Senior Procurement Manager, Snyder's Lance
Panelists: Ragen Horst, President, E.K. Bare & Sons, Inc.; Ed Cook, Managing Director, H.C. Schmieding Produce Co., Inc.; Jason Davenport, President, Allied Potato, Inc.; Tim Wilkes, Owner/Partner, Potato Services of Michigan

Matching supply with demand is a challenging annual ritual in the chip sector. Although growers make significant efforts to minimize variability across growing seasons, each year’s crop is unique. In the first panel discussion among potato brokers, hear what varietal developments are changing in chipping potato supplies coming out of late storage and how the window between storage and fresh supplies can be further reduced.

A4: Oh SNAP! Debate Around Choice in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Maggie Gentile, MS, RD, LD, Senior Director of Food and Nutrition Policy, Food Directions, LLC

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) –formerly known as food stamp program – is the largest nutrition assistance program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and seeks to alleviate hunger and malnutrition by increasing food purchasing power for 47 million Americans in need. Over the past several years, federal and state legislative proposals have been introduced touting nutrition restrictions on foods purchased through the program as a way to improve the health of SNAP recipients. Join us for an educational session to learn about the arguments on both sides of the issue, what it means for potato products, and the likelihood of this moving forward.

A Focus on the Fresh Market

2005/2007, Level 2

B1: The Foodservice Sector and Potatoes
Amy Shipley, Managing Director/Partner, Sterling Rice Group

Hear a review of the growing demand for potatoes in the foodservice sector and trends that could positively or negatively impact potato sales. Foodservice accounts for over 60 percent of potato sales in the U.S. and almost half of fresh potato sales. Amy Shipley will review current trends at foodservice including vegetable-centric diets, vegetables at the center of the plate and reductions in food costs that could benefit potatoes. She will also discuss how the expansion of ethnic cuisines and movements towards “healthy” concepts could negatively impact potato sales at foodservice.

B2: Online Grocery Shopping and Delivery Services: Friend or Foe?
Matt Lally, Client Manager, Nielson

More and more people are getting their food from meal solution companies such as Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, etc. Groceries are also being purchased online (from retailers and Amazon) for home delivery as organic and other farm to- home delivery services and cooperatives are expanding. Apps that influence what, where and how groceries are purchased are expanding and growing in sophistication. Matt Lally will discuss how new research is shedding light on what is happening in this field and how it is, or could, impact potato sales and how potatoes can take advantage of these new approaches.

B3: The Changing Retail Landscape and the Impact on Fresh Potato Sales
John Rand, Senior Vice President, Retail Insights, Kantar Retail

Consumers are changing how they eat and how they buy food at a very rapid rate. This is having a significant impact on supermarket sales and the supermarkets are doing everything they can to adapt. These changes are occurring across the store, but are particularly present in the produce and deli sections. Other impacts include fresh potato sales at retail and how the retailers are sourcing product. John Rand will discuss how these changes will only accelerate in the future and why it’s so important to understand what they are, where they are going and how they will further impact fresh potato sales.

B4: Impact of Diseases and New Varieties on Storage and Shipping Fresh Potatoes
Moderator: Molly Connors, Vice President, Sales, Basin Gold Cooperative
Panelists: Brian Charlton, Senior Instructor, Cropping Systems and Potato Research, Oregon State University; Gary Secor, Ph.D., Professor, Plant Pathology Department, North Dakota State University; Dale Nelson, Owner, Nelson's Vegetable Storage Systems, Inc.; Mike Thornton, Ph.D. Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences, University of Idaho

As the number of different varieties being grown and marketed is expanding and new diseases like silver scurf are becoming more prevalent, there are increased problems with quality coming out of the shed and even more so upon arrival at the retailer or terminal market. A panel of agronomists and researchers will discuss the problems and, most importantly, possible solutions or best practices that can be employed to address them.

A Focus on the Process Market

2009/2011, Level 2

C1: Building the Scientific Case for Nutritious Potato
Frank Finn, President, McCain Foods, USA
Keith McGovern, CEO, R.D. Offutt Company

According to some well-known scientists, the potato is responsible for diabetes, obesity, heart disease and other serious health concerns. Using largely epidemiological data, these studies have been mostly unchallenged due to the relative lack of credible clinical data to counter claims of an association between potato consumption and poor health outcomes. Established in 2011, the Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE) is committed to conducting sound peer-reviewed research that informs the scientific and nutrition communities about the role potatoes in all forms play in helping people achieve healthy diets and lifestyles. APRE Board members Frank Finn and Keith McGovern will talk about how APRE brings growers and food company partners from the U.S. and Canada together to identify and support research that can potentially transform attitudes and perceptions about the health benefits of potatoes. You will also hear about the tremendous accomplishments of APRE’s first five years and the exciting changes taking place to expand the scope of its research portfolio.

C2: How the Potato Industry is Addressing International MRLs
Matt Lantz, Vice President of Global Access, Bryant Christie Inc.

On January 1, 2019, the Korean government will completely overhaul its pesticide residue regulations. Korea is the latest market to establish its own unique national pesticide maximum residue level (MRL) list. U.S. potato shippers are facing an array of varying potato MRLs when exporting. Often those MRLs differ from established US standards. Failure to meet the foreign standard can result in rejections of shipments and negative publicity. This session will discuss the actions the U.S. potato industry has taken to address the international MRL challenge and to ensure exports of U.S. potato products do not face issues due to new pesticide residue standards.

C3: How are Retailers Responding to Consumer's Question on sustainability?
Kendra Levine, Manager, Supply Chain Sustainability, McDonald's
John Keeling, Executive VP and CEO, National Potato Council

Customers are increasingly asking where their food comes from, what’s in my food, was the environment protected and were workers safe while my food was being made? To answer these questions, brands are working with their supply chains to collect data and drive continuous improvement around these key sustainability topics. During this session, Kendra Levine will talk about what sustainability means to McDonalds, why it’s important to their company, and what actions their taking within their potato supply chains to ensure environmentally, ethically, and economically sound practices. Growers and their supply chain partners are responding to their customers and developing platforms that measure progress over time in improving sustainability. The Potato Sustainability Initiative (PSI) was created to develop potato specific tools to evaluate grower adoption of advanced production practices and relate those practices to outcome based metrics. John Keeling will highlight the role PSI is playing in meeting the needs of their customers to ensure sustainable sourcing of potatoes.

C4: What Does Brexit Mean for Potatoes?
Cedric Porter, Manager Editor, World Potato Markets
Guy Faulkner, Editor-in-Chief, World Potato Markets

The world seems to be changing some of its basic attitudes about globalization and trade. Shifts in attitudes in favor of a less traditionally integrated world community have occurred across the globe has left many unanswered questions. Did Brexit foreshadow the Trump revolution in the U.S. election? What does a Trump presidency mean to a European Union already under stress from Brexit? Are there other shoes left to drop in the EU? And, finally, what does all this mean for the global potato markets? Guy Faulkner and Cedric Porter will provide the European perspective, describing how the political shocks of 2016 may affect the global potato industry and anticipating some more shocks to come in 2017.

A Focus on the Seed Market

2014/2016, Level 2

D1: Minituber Economics
Joseph Guenthner, Ph.D. Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Idaho

Two challenges in seed potato production systems are: (1) controlling diseases and (2) multiplying stocks. Minitubers have become important components of seed systems as they bridge the gap between laboratories and fields. Dr. Guenthner will review a common seed production system that consists of harvesting minitubers produced from in vitro plantlets in greenhouses. The minitubers are then planted as the first field generation of seed multiplication. Subsequent generations of field-grown seed potatoes multiply stocks to spread out front-end costs. Yields at each step of the process, from cuttings, plantlets, microtubers and minitubers to the generations in the field all affect costs. The more quickly that costs can be spread through higher yields, the fewer the number of seed generations are needed, and the less risk of disease contamination. Varietal differences in minituber yields cause a range of minituber production costs.

D2: Management of Bacterial Soft Rot and Blackleg Pathogens Dickeya and Pectobacteium
Amy Charkowski, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University
Jianjun Hao, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Food and Agriculture, University of Maine, Orono

Bacterial soft rot and blackleg diseases of potato are caused by Pectobacterium spp. and Dickeya. An outbreak starting in 2015 in the Eastern U.S. dramatically demonstrated the losses that these pathogens can cause and the difficulty that the potato industry has in managing diseases caused by soft rot bacteria. These bacterial pathogens cause low emergence, decayed stems, and rotted tubers. Multiple detection and diagnostic PCR based assays are available for Pectobacterium and Dickeya and these assays have been validated in multiple laboratories in the U.S. Dr.’s Charkowski and Hao will discuss how disease management is based on exclusion of the pathogen from seed potatoes and sanitation. They will explain how this requires a better understanding of pathogen diversity, distribution and inoculum sources of pathogen, and disease epidemiology. They will also provide an update on recent progress towards pathogen biology and detection, sanitation methods, and variety resistance.

D3: Following in the Footsteps of Corn Breeders - Potato as an Inbred Line-based Crop
Amy Charkowski, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University
Dave Douches, Ph.D., Director of Michigan State University Potato Breeding and Genetics Program
Shelley Jansky, Ph.D., Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, and Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, university of Wisconsin-Madison

A revolution in potato breeding has begun. We are carrying out the genetic transformation that will allow us to create inbred lines in potato, which can then be crossed to make hybrid cultivars. Drs. Charkowski, Douches and Jansky will show us how this process parallels that of corn breeding a century ago. They will discuss how in recent years we have developed the technology to create inbred lines and have produced high-yielding hybrids and how this inbred-based system will allow breeders to systematically assemble desirable combinations of genes while simultaneously discarding undesirable ones. As a consequence of this transition to inbred lines, they will present how they envision that the seed potato production system of the future will be based on true seed rather than seed tubers.

D4: Cultivar Reistance to TRV and PMTV
Neil Gudmestad, Ph.D., University of Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair of Potato Pathology, North Dakota State University

Tobacco Rattle Virus (TRV) and Potato Mop Top Virus (PMTV) are two soil-borne viruses affecting potato in many production areas of the U.S. TRV and PMTV cause tuber necrosis in potato tubers making them unmarketable. Genetic resistance to TRV and PMTV is the only means to effectively and sustainably manage the tuber necrosis disease caused by these two viruses. Dr. Gudmestad will discuss how the susceptibility of 63 potato cultivars, representing each market class of potato. He will also discuss varietal options to control these diseases in fields that are infested with either one or both of these pathogens.


2018/2020, Level 2

E1: Weather Trends and Risk in U.S. Potato Production
Eric Snodgrass, Co-Founder and Senior Atmospheric Scientist, Agrible

U.S. potato production is weather sensitive and risk associated with adverse weather can derail a well-managed operation very quickly. Eric Snodgrass will first discuss how weather over the last 70 years has impacted potato production and discover what weather patterns are the best and worst for growing potatoes. He will show you how long-term trends in the weather conditions are changing the way U.S. producers grow potatoes, including heat stress and drought, how to forecast and monitor each, and how winter snow pack influences spring and summer irrigation. Finally, Snodgrass will look at the long- term forecasts for the remainder of winter as well as the spring and summer outlooks.

E2: Harnessing Technology to Manage Water Application
Moderator: Chris Voigt, Executive Director, Washington State Potato Commission
Panelists: John Campbell, Manager, Technology Advancement and Adaption, Valley Irrigation; Jason Parker, Director, Sales and Marketing, Lindsay Corporation; Chuck Powell, Regional Manager, Lindsay Corporation; Terry Schiltz, Chief Executive Officer, AgSense LLC and Chief Technology Office, Valmont Irrigation

The vast majority of the U.S. potato crop receives supplemental water from irrigation. The advent of irrigation systems has improved productivity and reduced yield variability in dramatic ways. Modern irrigation equipment has transformed potato production in this country. As the use of modern irrigation techniques expand, the demand for irrigation water has grown, creating challenges as agriculture competes with cities, towns, fish and other animals for finite water supplies. Advances in irrigation technologies are helping farmers cope with the water availability crisis. This session will take a look at the future of irrigation technology. From enhancements that make life easier for growers to irrigation efficiency technologies that yield more crop and use less water, you will hear about the irrigation technologies of the future.

E3: Remote Sensing Applications for Potato Production
David Mulla, Ph.D., Dept. of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota

Potato production depends on timely management of water, nutrients and crop protection chemicals. Dr. Mulla will provide some examples of how remote sensing can be used for improved management of potato fields. Remote sensing technology has improved in spatial and temporal resolution over the last several decades. In the past, remote sensing applications in agriculture relied heavily on use of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) to identify stressed areas of a field. Today, it is possible to view individual leaves at high resolution and diagnose specific types of crop stress with high temporal resolution. As a result, remote sensing is a powerful tool for assessing onset of stresses over time at different locations within potato production fields.

E4: New Potato Technologies - What's Next?
Haven Baker, Vice President and General Manager, Simplot Plant Sciences

It has been nearly two years since Innate® potatoes have entered the U.S. marketplace. Beyond the opportunity to address some of the largest industry issues facing potatoes – late blight, bruise, sugars, storability – Innate® ushered in a new era of visible benefits for consumers. Haven Baker will discuss how biotech companies are pioneering new genetic techniques which aim to solve major food issues such as the reduction of allergens, reducing spoilage and enriching nutrients. He will explain how the potato industry is uniquely positioned to capitalize on new tools and provide benefits to growers, processors and consumers.