OTHELLO, Wash – The Washington State University Potato Research Group will host its annual Potato Field Day starting at 8:30 a.m. on June 29 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 a potato pest management workshop.
Talks on the management of new potato cultivars, fertility and pest management will be presented by experts from Washington State University, as well as Oregon State University and private agronomic consulting firms.
Along with the University of Idaho and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Washington State University and Oregon State University are partners in the Tri-State Potato Variety Development Program.
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 more than 20 varieties. The program has developed cultivars with resistance to potato late blight, the cause of the Irish Potato Famine and an ongoing concern for growers the world over. 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 $38 return to the region’s economy.
The Field Day culminates with a hosted lunch at 12:30 p.m.
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/lots/2007/07-fieldday-info.html.