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WSU Potato Research Group Hosts Field Day June 23

OTHELLO, Wash – The Washington State University Potato Research Group will host its annual Potato Field Day starting at 8:30 a.m. on June 23 at the Othello Research Farm.

The Field Day will feature field tours highlighting the latest research developments in potato cultural practices and pest management, as well as water and nutrient use efficiency trials of several new potato cultivars.

Talks on the management and efficiency of new potato cultivars, fertility and pest management will be presented by experts from Washington State University, USDA/ARS, and Washington Department of Agriculture.

Washington State University is a partner in the Pacific Northwest Potato Variety Development Program along with the University of Idaho, Oregon State University, and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

The program develops potato varieties with disease and pest resistance, good storage and processing characteristics, and excellent fresh-market qualities. Since its founding in 1985, the program has released close to 40 varieties. The program has developed cultivars with resistance to potato late blight, the cause of the Irish Potato Famine, with more blight resistant cultivars in the pipeline. By growing a late blight resistant variety, it is estimated that growers could save more than $160 per acre in fungicide costs. Additional late blight resistant varieties are expected to be released in the near future.

According to a study by University of Idaho agronomist Stephen Love, every dollar invested in the Tri-State breeding program yields a return of at least $38 to the region’s economy.

The Field Day culminates with a hosted lunch. CCA and pesticide recertification credits have been applied for in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

The Othello Research Farm is located at 1471 Cox Road, Othello. A map with driving directions, as well as a complete schedule of events, is available at  http://potatoes.wsu.edu/.

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Media Contacts

Mark Pavek, WSU Extension Horticulturist, 509-335-6861; mjpavek@wsu.edu