Potato Commission okays over 740-thousand dollars in research

Potato Commission okays over 740-thousand dollars in research

Washington Ag Today March 25, 2011 The Washington Potato Commission approved about 742-thousand dollars in research projects for the upcoming growing season at its quarterly meeting this month.

Commission Director of Research Andy Jensen says there are a couple of notable things about the projects approved this year.

Jensen: “One is that we funded a couple of projects that are cooperative between Oregon, Washington and Idaho scientists, something that we have recently begun doing is having scientists cooperate amongst all three of our northwest states. Another project that I am excited about personally is a project that is looking at what kind of insects actually eat spider mites in potatoes. Spider mites are a major pest of potatoes especially late in the season. We have always thought there are probably things that keep them under control in certain situations but we don‘t know which predators they might be and we have a project looking at that this year.”

How do you find out if there are predators to the spider mite? Jensen says DNA analysis is used.

Jensen: “They are going to be collecting various kinds of predators from fields that have spider mites and then grinding them up and then looking for the DNA of spider mites in those predators.”

That’s Washington Ag Today. Brought to you in part by the Washington State Potato Commission. Nutrition today. Good health tomorrow. I’m Bob Hoff on Northwest Aginfo Net.

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