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7-10 IAN Storing Spuds
by David Sparks, Ph.D., click here for bio
Program: Today's Idaho Ag News
Date: July 10, 12
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Believe it or not, there’s a whole science devoted to the issue of potato storage. And why not? It’s an important topic. In fact, University of Idaho has built a laboratory designed specifically for the purpose of studying potato storage under different environmental conditions. Here’s University of Idaho Extension Support Scientist, Lynn Woodell. “What we have basically is 9 mini storages under one building. So we have 9 bins that are separate environmentally controlled.”
According to Woodell, if you only buy enough potatoes to eat within a few days, you can store them almost anywhere in your home as long as you keep them out of the light. But if you buy or harvest between several pounds and several hundred pounds, your choice of location can clearly affect the potatoes’ long-term usability. Warm temperatures encourage sprouting and tuber disease, cold temperatures cause spuds to turn brown when fried, exposure to light prompts greening, sealed plastic containers starve potatoes of oxygen and dry environments are downright withering.? Woodell recommends storing potatoes in an unheated entrance, spare room, attic, basement or garage insulated to protect against freezing or in an extra refrigerator whose temperature can be set a few degrees higher than normal.
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