The 2018 Crop Is Going To Be The Best Ever!

The Crop of Potato Expo Innovation Hub Education Sessions That Is...

You Voted and we listened - we received 4,461 votes and have the most relevant, important and exciting discussions on the Potato Industry ever. This year's Potato Expo will be jammed packed with the tools you need to run your businesses. It's a great reason to bring more of your team to this year's Potato Expo to be sure you can experience all the offerings on the Expo Floor and in the Innovation Hub.

WEDNESDAY, January 10


Irrigation Technology and the Future of Farming
John Campbell, Senior Global Manager, Technology, Advancement and Adoption, Valley Irrigation

This session focuses on the need for increased irrigation efficiency and the new irrigation technologies in the market place that can address that need. This presentation will discuss the latest in precision irrigation product development and how this technology is poised to help the world feed its growing population while also helping the grower’s bottom line. It will be an open conversation with growers about the future challenges of farming and the progression of precision irrigation technologies.


Optimized Irrigation Management Made Simple
Brian Magnusson, Vice President, Lindsay Corporation

This session will provide an overview of irrigation best-practices related to the use of the proven soil-water-balance method for irrigation scheduling in potatoes, as well as how new technology fully automates the previously cumbersome task of tracking irrigation requirements across all of your fields. Hear how to use proven irrigation science, the grower’s own field data, as well as data from various high-quality third party sources to leverage existing remote irrigation monitoring and control platforms to deliver a fully integrated solution to optimize, execute and monitor irrigation management. Data from case studies will be shared, highlighting real-world results growers have already experienced using this approach to irrigation management.


Chloropicrin Soil Fumigation in Potato Production Systems
Chad Hutchinson, Ph.D., Director of Research, TriEst Ag Group, Inc.

Chloropicrin soil fumigation is a relatively recent disease control practice adopted in potato production. However, chloropicrin soil fumigation has been used safely and effectively in agricultural production for over 50 years to suppress a broad range of soil born diseases. In potato production, chloropicrin soil fumigation is gaining acceptance because it suppresses troublesome diseases such as Verticillium wilt and common scab. There are many long-held assumptions regarding soil fumigation such as 1. soil fumigation sterilizes the soil, and 2. once a farmer starts soil fumigation, the practice cannot be stopped. New research into disease suppression and soil health following chloropicrin soil fumigation is demonstrating these ideas to be outdated. This session will update the potato community on new information related to chloropicrin soil fumigation in potato production through examining the cultural practices and required equipment, disease suppression, tuber yield and quality improvement potential; and the soil health benefits related to chloropicrin soil fumigation. University research and on-farm research trials will be shared.


Precision Ag Technology Can Give Your Entire Operation the Competitive Edge
Clint Graumann, Chief Commercial Officer, Agrian Inc.

This session will explain how to grow potatoes more efficiently using precision Ag technology (software) that is intuitive, unifies workflow, maximizes equipment investments and becomes a management system from season start to harvest end. Learn how precision agronomy, compliance, sustainability analytics and mobile technology can advance your overall operation, including: crop planning, connected software provides better record keeping - wireless data transfer, robust compliance check, strong record keeping system, scouting & imagery with mobile technology, tissue/soil/nematode sampling analysis, zone management, tools to analyze your data - yield by variety and field trials.


It's Not Hard, It's Just Data
Keith Tinsey, Data Solutions Lead, CropTrak
Jonathon Sherrill, VP Business Development, CropTrak

This presentation will explain what "Big Data" means in the potato industry and why you don't need an IT (Information Technology) degree to collect and utilize data generated by your potato business. From the simplest forms of data like "time,” to data derived from sophisticated sensors this session will teach growers how you can let your data work for you. Use your data for profit, food safety or sustainability versus letting it sit in storage. This session will provide you with a clearer picture of the digital data landscape. It will explore the basics of digital data and the transformation of data into information that delivers knowledge for shared understanding and decision making.


Spud NationTM Throwdown Cook-off #1


Spud NationTM Throwdown Cook-off #2

THURSDAY, January 11


The Potato Association of America: Working for You Since 1913
Rich Novy, Ph.D., Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS

The history and contributions of the Potato Association of America (PAA) to the advancement of the potato industry will be given with specific examples of how the industry has benefitted from the research and extension activities of the PAA. This session will provide a summary of the poster being presented as a part of the PAA Poster Session to further familiarize the industry with the PAA and how the association benefits the potato industry. Benefits of becoming a PAA member, such as access to cutting-edge research and information on newly released varieties as highlighted in the association’s American Journal of Potato Research, or presented at the PAA annual meetings, will also be highlighted.


Impact of Eating Potatoes at Breakfast on Cognition, Blood Glucose Response and Satiety in Children
Nick Bellissimo, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Nutrition Discovery Lab, Ryerson University
Mitch Kanter, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, FoodMinds

In recent years, the impact of high-carbohydrate foods, such as potatoes, on markers of health and disease, including obesity and diabetes, has been somewhat controversial. Over the past few years, researchers at Ryerson University in Canada have completed a series of studies looking at the impact of potatoes and other high-carbohydrate foods on post-meal blood glucose responses, satiety (how satisfied/hungry a person is after a meal), and markers of cognition in normal weight and overweight children. In general, their results indicate that potatoes in all forms (fried, mashed, boiled) have an overall positive impact on alertness, short-term memory, and satiety, and no detrimental effects on blood glucose levels when consumed as a part of a breakfast meal. This presentation will review the results of these studies and how the findings can inform our understanding of the role of potatoes in healthy lifestyles, including for children.


Spud Nation Final Throwdown


Culture That Rocks: How To Amp Up Or Revolutionize A Company's Culture
Jim Knight, Business Culture Catalyst, Former Hard Rock International Executive & Author of “Culture That Rocks!”


Potatoes as a Nutrition Powerhouse: The Role of Potatoes in Improving Training & Exercise Performance
Moderator: Mitch Kanter, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, FoodMinds
Janet Walberg Rankin, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Department Head, Dept. of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech University
Lawrence Spriet, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Human Health & Nutrition Sciences, University of Guelph

For over 50 years, sports nutritionists touted the benefits of high-carbohydrate foods, such as potatoes, for improving exercise performance. However, in recent years, athletes searching for a performance edge have increasingly turned to exotic-sounding diet regimens that, in many cases, focus more on high- protein and higher fat foods than on carbohydrates. Despite these attempts to “contemporize” athletes’ diets, research has consistently indicated that, in order to train and excel at levels required by high-performance and serious recreational athletes, natural, high-quality carbohydrate sources such as potatoes need to be an integral part of the diet. Potatoes not only provide energy in the form of carbohydrates, but they also contain several vitamins and minerals, as well as protein, that are required for sports performance and recovery. Leading sports nutrition researchers will address these issues during this panel discussion.


Integration of Biopesticides into Potato Pest and Disease Management
Michael B. Dimock, Ph.D., Vice President, Field Development & Tech Services, Certis USA LLC

Use of biopesticides has grown as growers and pest management professionals recognize their value within the context of overall crop production. Besides proven efficacy against target pests and diseases, biopesticides offer benefits that can enhance performance and sustainability of other pest management tools, including conventional chemical pesticides. These include unique (often multiple) modes of action useful as rotational partners in resistance management programs with conventional pesticides, in addition to their low risk of resistance and cross-resistance. Most biopesticides are highly specific, affecting only target pests or plant pathogens, with little or no effect on nontarget organisms such as beneficial insects, pollinators or humans. Thus, they can be used without the disruption to farm operations caused by long restricted entry intervals, buffer zones or extensive personal protective equipment requirements. Most are exempt from residue tolerance and have no maximum residue limits, providing flexibility for harvest management and export. This presentation will use real world examples as a roadmap to getting started with biopesticides and maximizing their value within existing and future potato pest management programs.


Using Beauvaria Bassiana for Control of the Colorado Potato Beetle
Manuel Campos, Ph.D., Technical Agronomist, U.S. and Mexico, BioSafe Systems
Mark Milenski, Technical Representative, BioSafe Systems

According to a recent study by Dr. Silvia Todorova and M. Beland, Beauvaria bassiana strain ANT-03 based products controlled up to 80% of Colorado Potato Beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, larvae and up to 75% of adult beetles. This was more than twice the number of larvae controlled by the standard, Imidacloprid. The effects on the adult insects with BioCeres WP, the Beauvaria bassiana product, were similar to the effects of Imidacloprid. Due to the fact that Beauvaria bassiana is a naturally occurring fungus, products with this active ingredient are harsh on insects but safe for humans and plants. The OMRI-listed ANT-03 strain is approved for organic production and is perfectly suited for IPM programs, in a tank mix with other pesticides as well as specific, stand-alone use. The infection caused by the Beauvaria bassiana results in a white mold growth which leads to the eventual death of the insect.


Successful Strategies for the Management of Potato Pink Rot

Rick Peters, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

This session will provide a summary of the poster being presented as a part of the PAA Poster Session. Dr. Peters will provide an update on the past years’ research findings on the successful management of potato pink rot, caused by Phytophthora erythroseptica, which is endemic in many potato-producing regions of the world. An overview of the traditional management approaches will be given as well as the current status of fungicide resistance. The application of new management technologies will be highlighted and will be supported by extensive studies in the lab (plate-based assays), in the field (replicated field trials) and in storage settings (post-harvest approaches). The interaction of management techniques and pathogen strains will also be discussed, as well as the benefit of in-furrow, foliar or post-harvest disease control options. Ultimately, an overview of the best current options for managing pink rot will be given, based on years of cumulative work, but more specifically based on the insights generated in the previous year, which will be novel for all participants.


Improving Yield and Quality through the Use of Potassium-based Technology
Tommy Roach, Director, Specialty Products and Product Development, Nachurs Alpine Solutions

As a result of environmental stresses which affect plant growth and development during the growing season, it remains very difficult to reach the maximum genetic yield potential of a potato crop. It is a continual balancing act to maximize yield and address quality components such as size, grade and specific gravity/total solids. One such practice that will always remain under the control of the potato grower is the proper use of fertilizer to the growing crop. Potatoes utilize a large amount of primary and secondary nutrients, as well as micronutrients throughout the growing season. Based on years of plant research and confirmation by current agronomic practices, we know the nutrient requirement of a potato plant as well as the associated uptake rate of each plant nutrient. Growers must also consider the solubility, availability, salt index and operative efficiency of the various plant fertility sources. In other words, not all fertility choices are created equal. The information from this session will inform growers decisions on sources of potash and adjusting applications to plant growth stages. Knowing these details regarding potassium fertility will help guide a grower’s strategy in obtaining maximum potato productivity.


Visualization of Dry Matter Distribution in Raw Potato Tubers

Curtis Frederick, Ph.D., Senior Agronomist, Sterman Masser Inc.

This session will provide a summary of the poster being presented as a part of the PAA Poster Session. Potato dry matter content is currently estimated using specific gravity measurements. Previously, we successfully estimated dry matter on fresh tuber slabs using hyperspectral reflectance. Dr. Frederick will discuss how new camera imaging systems allow the reflectance spectra to be measured on an entire image. Implementing this technology for the potato industry requires an accurate prediction equation that computes trait values from hyperspectral reflectance intensity at each pixel. The prediction equation derived from the images had a high prediction accuracy for dry matter (R2=0.88). This equation was then used to color each pixel in the range of predicted dry matter value. The session will include a display of variation within slabs in commonly used commercial varieties.


Improved Calcium Nutrition Solutions for Potatoes
Anke Kwast, Head, Crop Nutrition R & D, Yara International

This presentation will focus on fertigating potatoes with calcium, as part of a complete balanced nutrition program including foliar fertilization to increase the calcium in the tubers leading to increased yield as well as improved crop quality. Potato breeders have released a number of promising varieties in recent years. Data on the response of these new varieties to improved calcium nutrition as well as the response of older varieties. The information generated in these field trials allows growers to compare the impacts of calcium applications on older and immerging varieties. A demonstration of a new tool which offers interpretation and nutrient management recommendations based on the analysis of plant and soil samples is included in the presentation.


Overcoming the Challenges of Controlling Storage Decay

Brett Jensen, Owner, Brett Jensen Farms

Dale Nelson, Owner, Nelson’s Vegetable Storage System

Gary Secor, Ph.D., Professor, North Dakota State University

Thomas Young, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist, Food Defend

This panel will focus on storage decay and will provide information on chemical interventions and innovations that are in development. Information will be presented from the perspective of the grower, service provider and academia. It will help growers to sort through options for preventative and curative applications of chemical to control storage decay. The format will include short overview by leading industry experts followed by time for the audience to ask questions.

FRIDAY, January 12


Aerial Imagery to Optimize Grower Profitability
Bob Westbrook, National Director, Sales and Business Development, TerrAVion

This session explains how aerial mapping can help growers access reliable, constantly up-to-date information on the status of their fields to improve management of their farming operations. Using various high resolution map layers, growers can decide to add or hold back water, efficiently scout for nutrition or pest issues, locate irrigation problems, monitor pre-harvest dry down and order interventions from their offices or in the field. State of the art mapping services now allow a operational, top down, view of the world based on aerial data collected every 7-14 days and delivered overnight. The session will include case studies of potato growers and other growers of specialty and commodity crops such as corn, wheat, soy, grapes, strawberries, etc. that see productivity improvements on the order of ten percent with the highest being Francis Ford Coppola winery, who estimates their return on investment at 86x. Operational imagery for agriculture is only possible because of enabling technologies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and 4G wireless.


Ag Technology: Cultivated Approach or Managing a Jungle?

Micah Eidem, Enterprise Account Manager, Trimble Inc.

Bret Nedrow, Senior Manager Raw Development & Sustainability, J.R. Simplot Company

Dan Sun, President, Harvestmark

Allison Thomson, Science & Research Director, Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture

This panel will explore the emergence and evolution of technology across all aspects of agriculture and associated business management behaviors. They will discuss elements of a holistic technology strategy, evaluate and engage with vendors and maximize the value of a technology investment and the current and future issues driving utilization of technology. Panelists will include a technology advisor who will address how technology should be considered, procured and implemented; a potato processor manager who will provide his prospective on utilization of technology in their global operation; a food industry advisor who will blend perspective of what end-consumer customers expect, require and value from the supply chain; and, a segment leader (e.g., irrigation, traceability) to broaden perspective to illustrate how these elements stretch across all domains that influence production, operations control and information management.


Improvements in Potato Seed Certification: Identifying Necessary Changes to Meet the Emerging Challenges of the 21st century

Amy Charkowski, Ph.D., Professor of Plant Pathology, Colorado State University

Stewart Gray, Ph.D., Research Plant Pathologist, USDA, Agricultural Research Service

Neil Gudmestad, Ph.D., Professor of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University

Christopher McIntosh, Ph.D., Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Idaho

Seed potato certification programs are the front line defense against the introduction and spread of seed-borne diseases, most notably viruses and bacteria. Seed certification is primarily dependent upon visual inspection of the crop during the growing season and post-harvest grow outs of a sample of harvested tubers. Diseases that induce limited, transient or no foliar symptoms pose a major challenge to current seed certification practices. If the pathogen is long-lived in the soil or irrigation water sources it can further exacerbate the challenges to seed certification by providing a inoculum reservoir in seed production areas. A modernization of seed certification procedures will require the development of reliable and economically viable diagnostics that can be applied not only to dormant tubers, but also to soil and water sources. These tools would allow an accurate assessment of seed lots prior to their dissemination to other growers and an assessment of risk of infection prior to planting. Detecting pathogens and associated vectors in soil and water prior to planting or irrigation can minimize the risk of harvesting an infected crop and perpetuating the disease in infested fields.

Learn what the Hub is all about in this video